Friday, February 27, 2009

Experts in the Industry: Kathy Warren (33 of 45)

How lucky am I? In one day, I get to post interviews about two of my favorite women in the world (my wife, mother and sister excepted of course). Minutes ago, I just put up an inteview with Ann Handley of MarketingProfs. Now I have the chance to highlight my colleague and good friend, Kathy Warren.

When I met Kathy five or six months ago, I knew immediately that I liked her AND was going to like Powered. She ran the gamut of being funny, smart, sassy and innovative -- all traits that I would look for in any of my co-workers. Over the last four months, my appreciation for Kathy's skills -- she's our VP of Account Planning & Management -- have grown exponentially. That's not to say that I didn't understand her value out of the gate, but rather that in many ways she's like an onion. The more I learn about her strategy, analytics and overall online community building skills, the more I appreciate what she does.

Before Kathy gets TOO big of a head, here are the answers to her Experts in the Industry questions:

In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
I help brands drive business results by building marketing strategies that lead with consumer needs vs. marketing messages and I’m good at this because I use data to avoid subjectivity like the plague.

How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
Multiple client-side marketing roles and an obsession with the potential for relationship marketing I found could be realized when I arrived at Powered. Creating a value exchange between a brand and its audience is the real challenge – community will follow if there’s real value there.  

If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
Aside from Powered, I’d say Netflix because they make the best use of my behavioral data and that of my network to drive my loyalty & high volume video consumption. But seriously, Powered, because if brands don’t start seeing measurable ROI, we’re all in trouble.

Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
Ann Richards for her candor, her wit, her intelligence and a leadership style that uncompromisingly leveraged it all.

No, because toothpaste is a transactional purchase in my household. A health and beauty community sponsored by a toothpaste brand on the other hand…..

Freeform – here’s where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
I don’t think it’s particularly difficult to measure social marketing programs or branded communities. If those communities are not based on audience needs and/or are not delivering value however, it can most certainly be an unpleasant experience. Marketing practitioners should think through social marketing initiatives as they would any other marketing program and in fact should analyze the contribution of their online communities against other online marketing efforts. Desired business outcomes should drive data strategy (behavioral and attitudinal) which will establish benchmarks for effectiveness and efficiency metrics throughout the life of the initiative.

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