Bob Garfield

How to empower your fans to take over your advertising

In the search for the next great campaign, don't be afraid to harness magic that already exists. Here's how to get your fans to do the work for you.

When you're brainstorming your campaign ideas, are you keeping tabs on ideas that are already trending? It needs to be done strategically, but when you can harness an idea that's already big with you fans, you essentially empower them to do the advertising for you. In the case of Petco and Hill's Pet Nutrition, the companies partnered to tie brand experience into something their audience already loved: cat memes. iMedia's Bethany Simpson spoke with Petco's director of social media and commerce, Kat Smith, and Hill's Pet Nutrition's shopper marketing manager, Tyler Milfeld, about the explosive idea.

Conversation highlights
0:45 — Harnessing emotion
0:55 — Harnessing a meme with the launch of "Caturday"
2:35 — Sell your passion
3:45 — Empower your fans to take over your advertising
4:15 — How to make a campaign partnership work
Run time is 5:45

Kat Smith is the director of social media and commerce at Petco where she oversees the social channels at the national pet retailer. Her responsibilities include growing the Petco, Unleashed, and Pooch Hotel communities, PetcoScoop blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, as well as social video content and integrations. Prior to joining Petco, she held marketing roles with Microsoft Bing, led marketing strategy for Microsoft business at a Seattle creative agency, and led integrated digital initiatives for Fortune 500 companies in management consulting.

Tyler Milfeld is the shopper marketing manager at Hill's Pet Nutrition where he leads the development of all Science Diet Marketing programs for Petco. Prior to this role, Tyler was a member of the Science Diet brand team, supporting the feline business. Tyler joined Hill's Pet Nutrition in 2010 as an associate product manager. Prior to joining Hill's, he worked as an associate manager at Pepsi-Cola North America. He also worked at Johnson & Johnson in the management development program and in professional sales. Tyler completed a dual MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology and political science from Northwestern University in Illinois. An avid runner, Tyler has completed 14 half-marathons. He and his wife, Darcie, reside in Topeka, Kan., with Ernie, a bearded collie.

 

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