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Johnson & Johnson exec: Mobile is more strategic than promotional

NEW YORK ? A Johnson & Johnson executive at IAB?s Innovation Day conference this week said that although mobile is being tapped as a promotional tool, it is best used as a strategic tactic in emerging markets.

During the ?Brand Matters? session, the executive discussed how Johnson & Johnson approaches its marketing with consumer-first tactics with data, talent and insights. The executive also spoke about how digital needs to be integrated into all marketing channels in a company?s organization.

?I would say that we are at a point in time when consumer insights as we know them and love them aren?t enough," said Kimberly Kadlec, worldwide vice president of the global marketing group at Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ.

"We are challenged to take those insights and turn them into actionable marketing messages in different formats across many screens," she said.

"But I think the biggest challenge is how do we do that in a way that not only grows our business but also adds value."

Collaboration is key
Ms. Kadlec said that the ways that mobile and digital have affected emerging markets can be staggering.

Although consumers in third-world countries might not be the stereotypical consumers associated with high mobile ownership, many consumers are plugged in with social media and mobile, which presents a huge opportunity to marketers.

For example, Johnson & Johnson offers a mobile program to expectant moms in emerging countries that gives them information about pregnancy.

When it comes to social media, just getting a high number of ?Likes? is not a strong metric. Instead, brands need to think about how social media creates a dialogue with the conversation with consumers and how it fits the message of the brand.

Additionally, brands should not be afraid to focus on social media if there is a strong, transparent relationship with consumers.

The Johnson & Johnson executive also said that marketers should not be afraid of data and should be willing to measure everything. However, it is important to think about what business goal the data will help solve and consistently use the data.

With multiple screens available at marketers' fingertips, it can be a challenge to know which traditional mediums are worth investing in compared to new media.

Listening to what consumers have to say can be a great way for a company to understand who its demographic is and where they are.

For example, Johnson & Johnson has several skincare brands and has a social media presence for all of them. Although all of the brands are under Johnson & Johnson, they all have different marketing messages that need to be conveyed with a unique voice.

As an example of a social media campaign that struck a chord with both consumers and business clients, the executive spoke about how American Express used social media in its Sync campaign to give consumers specific deals. Not only does the campaign give consumers an incentive for using social media, it also helped both big retailers and mom-and-pop stores build a business strategy.

Digital talent
Digital needs to become woven into a company instead of being siloed channels, per Ms. Kadlec.

In an organization such as Johnson & Johnson, there can be lots of moving parts and people with different skill sets. Since digital is quickly becoming more ingrained into a multichannel approach, it is important for departments at a company to integrate early on in projects.

Additionally with the change in a multiscreen world, more brands are forging different partnerships with publishers.

For example, Johnson & Johnson has a direct relationship with approximately 12 different publishers, which have become more connected to the company?s agency and marketing team.

?One of the important factors in building a relationship is listening," Ms. Kadlec said.

"So we pulled back into this notion of storytelling, which I think has a very important role in what we all do, but it needs to change, and we need to spend more time listening because in storytelling that still keeps us in charge of the beginning, middle and end and that?s really not how it works anymore."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York