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NEW members are more 'social' in Toronto

Thursday, May 28, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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"Consumers are now the new brand advocates and storytellers — engage them," Julie Rusciolelli, president of Maverick, a public relations firm, told 120 leaders at the NEW Toronto spring learning event, May 21, 2015 at Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Rusciolelli joined Dale King, director of client services for Nielsen, Media Canada and Simon Rodrigue, senior vice president of eCommerce for Walmart Canada, for the panel discussion "Social Media Tool Chest for Leaders," focusing on the evolving social and digital media landscape.

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Rusciolelli zeroed in on key social influencers who own or shape a brand's narrative by inserting themselves in public conversations or reversing negative sentiment. "Brands that are authentic and nimble are winning the day," Rusciolelli said. "They get the immediacy of social and know how to play in it."

King offered insight on measuring the success of social media campaigns. "We’ve moved well past first-generation measurement such as clicks to much more meaningful measures such as on-target percent audience delivery, to view ability of creative and brand life as measured by awareness, likeability and purchase intent."

Real-time social media measures enable brand owners to reallocate dollars based on real behavior, King said, adding that "regardless of the channel, measurement is a requirement for marketing to have the desired seat at the table."

"The customer doesn't understand the channel," Rodrigue added. "They want to buy what they want and technology can either help or hinder them.

"Fail fast and fail often," he advised, explaining that companies need to test to get it right, but the pace has to be so quick that you can recover even faster. Hiring top talent in the digital space is a key differentiator for many organizations.

NEW Toronto PR Co-Lead Gabby Nobrega of Breakthrough Communications said the learning event's topic was especially relevant to NEW members. "If brand leaders know one thing about today’s marketplace, it’s that social continues to dominate the conversation — in the boardroom and in the marketplace,” she said. "[We created] a platform to help companies rethink how they win in the market, starting with how they engage, while reminding them the road to success would not be possible without the failures along the way."

NEW Toronto committee members gathered at the spring learning event,
May 21, 2015 in Mississauga, Ontario.

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