In a world where everything is becoming increasingly shoppable, diversity in both content experiences and creator culture is influencing commerce like never before. Colleen Hotchkiss, President of Growth Practices at Zenith Media, knows this well. She oversees commerce, content, and multicultural engagements for Zenith Media’s clients. In this interview, Colleen talks about what brands should do now to create an impactful marketing strategy and offers an inspirational real-life example of the power of content, commerce, and culture coming together.
Where growth is coming from today
Brands that want to propel their marketing initiatives forward have to recognize how marketing has changed. Cultural relevance is now essential to influencer culture. Influencers themselves are a very diverse group, and they’re speaking to microcultures with specific needs, wants, and interests. Commerce is the thread that connects them all. Consumers now have an expectation that they can purchase something with as little friction as possible, right in the app or content experience. So you can have a very niche product intended for a very specific audience and find a lot of success today if you keep the three C’s – content, culture, and commerce – tightly connected.
“The more that clients can connect the dots across those three things, we’ve seen that we can really deliver a 1 + 1 = 3 type of multiplier,” says Colleen.
How to create a successful marketing strategy that fuses content, culture, and commerce
It starts with a strong, deep insight into the target consumer – who they are, what they’re passionate about, and what (or who) their influences are.
“How should we be talking to those consumers, what are the channels that we should be reaching out to them in, and at what point in that experience is going to be the right place to drive that shopability and consumption?” Colleen says.
Identifying the right shoppable moments in the purchase funnel or social environments is key to a marketing strategy that works.
Marketing to a niche group: college students
Colleen shared a great real-life example of a marketing campaign that hinged on the convergence of content, culture, and commerce.
The Zenith Media team sought a new consumer set for Black Silk, a line of Folgers coffee. Starting with the consumer first, they tapped into the creator network via TikTok to identify the needs or wants that were shared by all the disparate microcultures of college students. Their research led them to create both a custom product and a fast delivery mechanism to address college students’ near-universal need for convenience.
“We created a program that was all about developing the perfect kind of pack of Black Silk Folgers for them based on what their personal experiences were,” Colleen says. “GoPuff is really what connected them all…consumers have that expectation of immediacy, and [GoPuff] allowed us to deliver the product within 30 minutes.” In the end, the campaign resulted in sold-out products in several markets and a positive response from the target consumer base.
Watch the full interview
In her role at Zenith Media, Colleen Hotchkiss spends her days examining the ways content, culture, and commerce come together, so she’s tuned in to the latest influencer and content creator trends and has plenty of innovative ideas about how to level up marketing campaigns.