MarTech Interview with Scott Goodson, Founder and CEO at StrawberryFrog 

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Marketers have access to data and insights in today’s business environment, what matters most is to capitalize on the right practices that help teams optimize use of their data to drive business ROI.  Scott Goodson, Founder and CEO at StrawberryFrog shares some best practices and marketing tips:

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Welcome to this martech chat Scott, tell us more about StrawberryFrog and its journey over the last few years and what inspired you to start this venture?

Writing our new book “Activate Brand Purpose” with Chip Walker is a terrific punctuation to my career as it is highly relevant to business leaders coming out of the pandemic. I started my career in Sweden. Back in the 1990s. Nordic consumers were demanding more from their products and their manufacturers…more women on boards, less pollution, less corruption and so on. Companies responded with purpose strategies that we designed at companies such as my ad agency in Stockholm. As brands such as Ericsson, IKEA, H&M and others started growing globally we tried to bring the purpose ideas to markets in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Americas but consumers and moreover company heads didn’t get it. They didn’t understand purpose, which was a problem that needed solving. This is when I came up with the idea of borrowing the principles of social movements to activate purpose. 

Our founding client at StrawberryFrog was the Micro Car Company, a joint venture between Swatch and Mercedes. We wanted to do more than any other advertising campaign for a BSegment vehicle launch, we wanted to launch a movement. We created a purpose for this start-up car brand and then activated it with a movement to reinvent the urban environment. To bring together rental car companies, community leaders, mayors offices, and Smart Car to solve the urban issues. It was a massive success. And from there we became the world’s first creatively driven movement marketing company.

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We’d love to hear more on StrawberryFrog’s most successful campaigns that were run in the recent past (examples!) and especially, a few best practices that you feel marketing teams need to implement today to drive marketing efficiencies – learnings to share?

In over 20 years of our existence, we have done a lot of work that we are incredibly proud of. We have focused on helping companies define and activate purpose to the people who matter to the company inside and out. We have transformed, merged companies, and engaged employees all through the power of Movement Marketing™. We also have grown brands for CMOs – Google, Emirates Airline, Pampers, Jim Beam, Walmart and many others.

SunTrust stands out. The bank had a purpose: “Lighting the way to financial well-being.” We activated that by designing a Movement for change. This movement was called onUp! It was a stand against financial stress and for financial confidence. This movement we ignited for a bank had over 6.5M participants within 4 years. For a bank! In the Purpose Power Index, the first empirical measure of purpose brands with over 17,500 consumer responses SunTrust came in as one of the best purpose based brands in the United States in the financial category. This matters because the greatest challenge facing leaders is activating and actioning purpose driven brands to the people who matter inside the company and out. More than 87% of consumers would purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about, and more than two-thirds would refuse to do so if the company supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.

During Covid-19, we also partnered with Northwell Health to develop a consumer-centric Movement for the largest healthcare provider in New York State which is where Covid-19 hit the hardest at the start of the pandemic. We created the ‘Together We Well’ Movement — a purpose-based platform that set out to transform the patient-doctor relationship into a true partnership. Throughout the pandemic, including social strife, we positioned Northwell as a leader with both the ability and the empathy to guide New Yorkers through the hardest of times. We partnered with Northwell to pen an open letter to New York after Northwell treated more New Yorkers for COVID-19 than anyone else. 

What according to you are some of the marketing technologies that today’s in-house and external marketing and creative teams need to be using more of?

Today, because of the wide range of Martech tools available to Marketers, we have unimaginable amounts of data at our fingertips which means we now have deeper insights about our audiences than ever before, along with actionable insights that we can utilize to craft our messaging and campaigns to be more effective. Another huge advantage of Martech is the ability to have access to insights in real-time allowing marketers to pivot when things aren’t going as expected thus increasing efficiency.

  • It is important to understand that every team will have different Martech needs. It is therefore integral for each team to take stock of their needs and understand their objectives before investing in technology. It is therefore difficult to suggest in a broad way which particular technologies in-house and external marketing and creative teams need to be using more of.
  • Some organizations have complex MarTech Stacks, while many others will keep it simple and have an essential set of tools that they will use. A complete Stack should ideally take into consideration every stage of the marketing cycle: attracting, engaging, converting, managing, and understanding your target customer
  • Some of the tools that we consider quite important are;
    • Digital Asset Management tools – In the digital age of Marketing, content rooted in the purpose of the brand is at the heart of an organization’s marketing efforts. Digital Asset Management tools help aggregate and manage content ensuring marketing effectiveness and efficiency.
    • Analytics Tool – Without analytics, we can’t make sense of our data and thus cannot accurately measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. It is therefore important to have a quantifiable means of measuring the effectiveness of marketing messaging, campaigns, channels, and more
    • CRM Tools – With ever increasing sophistication in customer management technology, it is integral that brands understand how their customers wish to be communicated with and utilize the correct CRM tools to ensure that they manage these relationships well at each stage of the funnel. It is also important to have a great lead management system which allows brands to store, manage and nurture their leads to grow their customer base.
    • Social Media & Content Management Tools – Once a brand has clearly defined its purpose and plotted out a strategy to activate that purpose, social media becomes an important part of the mix to launch a movement. Social media and content management tools help brands manage, engage and interact with their customers thus allowing them to effectively communicate their purpose and get advocates for their movements. 

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Tell us a little about the top technologies you’ve used in campaigns at Strawberry Frog to drive outcomes?

We use a combination of CRM tools, Social Media & Content Management tools as well as Analytics tools. It depends on the needs of each project and team which technologies they need to leverage the most.

For our social media management, we use a tool that allows us to schedule posts and stories, target audiences efficiently and manage our paid media campaigns. 

For managing our customer pipeline, we use CRM and lead management tools to ensure that we are keeping in touch with our potential customers and managing existing relationships effectively.

A few predictions that you have for the future of martech and a few technologies that you feel will change core processes for marketing teams?

Covid-19 has changed how consumers interact with brands and many of these changes are here to stay. Just like technology, Covid-19 has also forced brands to re-evaluate their purpose and how to activate this purpose both within and outside the organization. 

In addition to this, the advent of 5G has also fast-tracked the importance of mobile first experiences with customers. Martech is one the fastest growing fields in Marketing right now. Over the last 10 years, marketing technology (martech) has exploded — and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Year on year growth of Martech products shows the ever growing number of tech platforms and tools available to marketers in everything from SEO, email, chat bots, CRM, eComm and more in exhaustive detail.

We will continue to see a lot more streamlining of marketing processes and digitization of marketing efforts. Some of the trends that we foresee;

  • Content experiences will continue to get more and more sophisticated because of the possibilities brought by new technologies or by new ways of using known tech.
  • Adapting to cloud based collaboration tools has already become a norm with the changed working environment because of Covid-19 but as more and more organizations adapt to this new style of working, we will see a new approach to marketing as well where by the previous ways of reaching out to audiences will need to be evolved.
  • Artificial intelligence will become an increasingly dominant force in the world of marketing. Brands are already experimenting with AI through chat bots, predictive analytics, and automated sharing platforms. But that’s just a glimpse of this technology’s true potential.

Having said that, the most important thing is to understand that having a martech stack is not a solution to building better brands. It’s not just about picking a tool and having a crack, it’s about using that tool in such a way that it can help deliver your goals. The key remains in knowing your brand’s purpose and having a strategy to activate it. Once you have a road map for how your brand can become a galvanizer for your audiences is when you can use the Martech tools available to you to reach the right audiences in an efficient and effective manner.

Can you share your top highlights and observations on some of the key challenges that marketing teams across industries still seem to be facing despite access to various martech tools?

One of the key challenges that marketers face despite access to various Martech tools is not fully understanding and appreciating the purpose behind their brand. The effectiveness of your marketing communication is only as good as how your audience resonates with your messaging. 

As brands struggle to emerge from Covid-19, what’s most important is for them to understand their higher purpose. Not only can it ensure all stakeholders are on the same page, and help attract and engage both customers and employees, but it’s also great for the bottom line.

The solution to engaging audiences internally and externally lies in activating your brand’s purpose to galvanize all your stakeholders using the right Martech tools to reach these audiences.

A few takeaways for marketing leaders and CMOs/CEOs in 2021: top factors they should keep in mind as they plan for the rest of the year, innovate and expand their teams?

It’s time to stop talking about purpose and start acting. The enormity of the problems we face need the best CEOs now. We need less WOKE CEOs and more Warrior CEOs. 

CHROs time has come. The pandemic has laid bare the raw issues that need to be dealt with: Employee anxiety due to the pandemic. This is reducing employee productivity. 

Taking a hard deep look at their brand’s purpose and knowing how to activate it will help organizations keep their audiences and employees not only engaged but committed to the organization’s journey.

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StrawberryFrog is an independent full-funnel marketing, advertising and design company, creating breakthrough campaigns so brands grow, organizations perform and employees change habits. StrawberryFrog puts together a new way of working to overcome the gap between purpose-based storytelling, data-led optimizations and business transformation.

Based in New York, is the founder and CEO of StrawberryFrog, the legendary Movement firm working with the leaders of companies such as Google, Emirates, Mahindra, PepsiCo, SunTrust Bank, Truist, and Walmart. From his offices in the Empire State Building, he planned this new book #ActivateBrandPurpose as COVID descended into NYC working with veteran strategic leader Chip Walker. The book introduces the idea of Movement Thinking™, helping CEOs, CHROs, CMOs, CSOs and CFOs move from purpose strategy to action. Which is especially relevant as companies look to the future beyond COVID. Scott’s first book “Uprising: How to build a brand and change the world by sparking Cultural Movements” (McGraw Hill 2012) was a bestseller, bringing the idea of “Movement Marketing” to the world a better way for brands to grow. For 25 years Scott has helped leaders galvanize people and organizations around shared purpose via ‘Movement Thinking’ to achieve competitive advantage. He has lectured at Harvard Business School, Cambridge University and appeared on BBC, CNN, CNBC and in Fast Company, INC Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Economic Times, and Harvard Business Review.

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