Event Recap: Refinery29 & New Republic/Tactile

Last month we hosted our 3rd #nobsmktg meetup ft. marketing leaders from Refinery29 and the New Republic/Tactile at the LinkedIn offices in NYC.

Our first speaker, Erika Velazquez Alpern, VP of Marketing and Communications at the New Republic and Founder of Tactile, spoke on her dual roles: keeping a 101 year old media company fresh, and supporting early stage start-ups at her agency. Both positions require the same diligent work of defining the goals and audiences for each brand upfront.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dive deep into the ‘why’ when defining the brand mission: “people care more about why you do what you do, than what you do”
  • In the whirlwind of creating and launching your product, don’t lose sight of the idea that sparked the company
  • Plan and pre-set a purpose for each marketing channel. This way you are not confusing messages with too many goals and CTAs

Case Study Learnings:

  • The New Republic: Wanted to broaden their audience by reaching a younger audience. Driven by an editorial need, they redesigned their website; offered up their in-depth political analysis in digestible content pieces like “minutes”; hosted live events drawing in new readers and offering new touchpoints
  • Lean On: Initially had multiple goals (B2B platform vs. B2C service), but succeeded in getting major client meetings when they streamlined their messaging to one target audience
  • Argent: Made a powerful splash in front of their specific target market, and sustained the buzz momentum beyond the launch by hosting events focused on networking within their target community to keep a loyal following
  • Tactile: Erika needed to start small when she started her agency as she had to maintain the New Republic marketing efforts. She announced Tactile with a discussion among female entrepreneurs, as well as thought leadership content

At Refinery29, despite having so many marketing channels, the team maintains a central editorial mission: create content that inspires creativity and individuality for a generation of fearless women. Our second speaker Alison Meyer, Group Client Director of Branded Content at Refinery29, takes that mission to heart to develop and execute branded content that fosters a deeper connection between brands and women. The content created helps Refinery29 capture the full gamut of women’s experiences and celebrates diversity.

Key Takeaways:

  • The same piece of content should not be repurposed on every marketing channel - distinct content should be created for each social media channel to truly deliver individual and seamless experiences. It takes a lot of effort, but audiences respond well and it shows
  • Refinery29 has become an accessible resource and destination for all different types of women from the very beginning through its thoughtful curation of content, products and overall editorial voice

Case Study Learnings:

  • Audiences have different behaviors on different channels - the content is most effective when it’s original or adapted to the medium. Refinery29 takes time to dissect each channel for their brand partners.
    • Facebook - inform by provoking, stir an emotion, make readers stop when they are scrolling because they see something of themselves in the content
    • Instagram - provide aspiration but with a ‘wink’, offer inspirational eye candy but human accessibility
    • Snapchat - feed daily curiosities with short snackable content that is utility driven
    • Influencers - obtain advocacy for a brand via thoughtful, authentic and intimate stories
  • Content creation is not just a one-sided push. Give audiences a chance to react to it. 
    • Embracing Live - R29 has experimented with “Facebook live”, which is great for events and talent as it allows audiences a chance to experience the content in the moment, and also ask questions
    • Gaming - R29 has tried gaming actions and applications to drive consumer engagement (ex. “swipe” on the beauty looks you like/don’t like to receive customized product recommendations)
    • Inspiring UGC - R29 has provided immersive, “Instagrammable” in-person experiences for its audience to become content creators (ex. 29Rooms), driving increased quality and on-brand social media output

Thank you’s are in order: To our speakers for sharing their thoughtful marketing strategies. To our hosts at LinkedIn for the great event space and views from the Empire State Building. To our community for staying engaged, asking questions and making new connections with each other.

Stay tuned for news on the next event this November! Click here for the full presentations. Don’t forget to follow us on IG, Twitter, FB for updates!