Today’s mobile-first consumer creates, shares and consumes content far differently than previous generations, so a brand’s engagement team must be laser-focused on creating culturally relevant content experiences and tapping into people’s passions to drive brand and product love, according to Werner Brell, chief engagement officer at Samsung Electronics America.
“As a brand we need to think about creating for mobile by mobile because all the screens have armed Gen Z and Millennials with the ability to quickly filter out irrelevant information,” said Brell, delivering the keynote address, “Staying Relevant in a Mobile-First Society: Capturing Attention, Maximizing Engagement,” at SportsBusiness Journal’s Sports Marketing Symposium, last week in New York City. “For this generation, the mobile screen is the first screen. It is your most personal device – on average touched 2,600 times a day.”
Mobile plays a key role in this evolving brand partnership model, Brell said, answering questions from panel moderator Abe Madkour, executive editor for Sports Business Journal/Daily with the smartphone as the main conduit to social networks, people –athletes and talent included – can instantly connect with their millions of followers both on and off the court, field, stage or screen, not only promoting their public persona but also giving fans and followers a peek into their personal style and passions.
“We cannot interrupt the things consumers love. Instead [a brand] should become part of the thing they love,” he said. Consumers’ experiences, content and social media presence become the building blocks for a conversation with consumers – on their own terms.
Leveraging consumers’ increasingly direct access to celebrities and opportunities to connect and share, companies like Samsung are working directly with people of influence to create content and broadcast life moments that feel innate to the athlete’s voice and passions that also tap into the brand’s larger vision and message. Working with athletes and influencers to create and distribute authentic content connects with a mobile-first audience in a meaningful way, he said.
“Athletes are more than just athletes – they are storytellers and creators – and at Samsung, we’re empowering them to share their point of view,” Brell said. “We focus on the person not the performer and aspire to highlight and empower their passions.” In this way, the athlete/creator tells the brand story in his or her own voice.
Brell, a former marketing executive with Red Bull and MTV Networks, said that sometimes an ad is not an ad.
“The perfect ad at the right time in the right place isn’t really an ad but engaging content,” he told his audience.
“The idea is to go from a monologue to a dialogue,” he said. This “grants you permission to become integrated with the daily lives of your customers.”