A SERIES in the quest to know more about the offline world
An Interview with Beam Global’s Rory Finlay
After SOBCon08, I asked Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer, to check in with with Beam Global. The question was whether we might share their social media relationship with their customers. Could we show how it started and tell the story as it grows? I’m delighted to say that the idea got an immediate approval — this is one of those interviews.
Meet Rory Finlay. He is the senior vice president and global chief marketing officer of Beam Global Wine & Sprits, Inc. Rory is leading the charge in this cultural shift.
Hi Rory! The first question probably won’t surprise you. Corporations turn as slowly as aircraft carriers. Why did Beam Global invest in a Social Media Initiative?
Beam Global is committed to its Vision of Ã¢â¬ÅBuilding brands people want to talk about.Ã¢â¬Â We pride ourselves in developing bold, innovative, creative and unique campaigns that engage our consumers in meaningful ways. With the evolution of social media, weÃ¢â¬â¢re finding that people are talking less around the water coolers at work and more through blogs and social media outlets such as Facebook.
As our consumers engage in conversations in the social media world, it seemed only natural that we should as well. Through social media tools, we are able to move beyond merely talking about our brands, but actually showing consumers what our brands stand for and how our consumers connect with those brands.
What worries, concerns, and hurdles did you have? How did you make them dissolve?
One issue we focused on solving was how to accurately measure Ã¢â¬ÅtalkablityÃ¢â¬Â and the tone of the conversations generated in the social media world. We worked with Jason Falls, social media explorer, who helped us implement metrics and tools to do just that. We are able to capture our consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ comments (good and bad) and use the feedback to improve our work in the social media arena and our brandsÃ¢â¬â¢ place within those conversations.
We have also tasked our marketers with the goal of creating new and innovative ways to utilize social media. For example, Jim BeamÃÂ® has turned conventional marketing on its head by linking the quality of whatÃ¢â¬â¢s inside the bottle to the positive qualities and attributes of selected individuals and organizations that personify Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff Inside.Ã¢â¬Â As Jason mentioned to you earlier this month, Jim Beam is using 100% of its advertising budget to support individuals and organizations with Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff Inside,Ã¢â¬Â and help them reach the next level of success by amplifying the story of their true character to a broader audience. We have issued a social media release on this movement and developed a micro site (www.thestuffinside.com) that invites consumers to talk with each other about what Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff InsideÃ¢â¬Â means to them and provide real-life examples. The implementation of ideas and commitment to concepts like this is will continue to set Beam Global and its brands apart.
Rory, what did it take for your team to see what Jason meant when he says you have to “live social media”?
In order to understand social media, we truly had to engage in it. Merely talking about things like webcasts, Twittering and blogging really do not mean much until you actually connect with the medium. Marketing to consumers through social media allows us to experiment and test different ideas and concepts, which eventually helps us to evolve and adapt the presence of our brands in this arena. Ã¢â¬ÅLivingÃ¢â¬Â social media ultimately helps us Ã¢â¬ÅliveÃ¢â¬Â our Vision; getting people talking about our brands in social media is one of the key ways we strive to achieve Ã¢â¬ÅBuilding brands people want to talk about.Ã¢â¬Â
What surprises did you hear of from JJ Betts (Jim Beam brand manager) and Scott Kolbe (relationship marketing manager) when they immersed themselves with social media bloggers at SOBcon?
JJ and Scott were able to speak with veteran bloggers about Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff InsideÃ¢â¬Â and showcase the movement for critique and feedback. My main takeaway from SOBcon was that the Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff InsideÃ¢â¬Â effort is among the first major social media efforts for the spirits industry. It validates Beam GlobalÃ¢â¬â¢s goal of executing bold ideas and actions that inspire conversations about our brands.
What are your hopes for “The Stuff Inside” (http:/www.thestuffinside.com/) and how can the bloggers who love you help?
Through Ã¢â¬ÅThe Stuff InsideÃ¢â¬Â we want to celebrate and support integrity and character. Superficial images inundate us all the time and when we came across individuals and organizations that personified quality and integrity, we want to do whatever we can to champion these anchors of genuineness. By supporting real-life subjects in non-traditional ways, Jim Beam is putting the brandÃ¢â¬â¢s timeless values into a context that makes them contemporary and relevant to todayÃ¢â¬â¢s consumer. We ask not only bloggers, but all legal drinking age consumers to join in the conversation with us.
Thanks, Rory, and thanks, Beam!
You can read the other Beam Global Cultural Shift Interviews here:
The Beam Global Cultural Switch to Social Media: How It Began
The Beam Global Interview with Jason Falls Continues