Calling themselves “creative kleptomaniacs,” the AIM 2014 “I Stole this Idea” panel featuring moderator and Socially Engaged Marketing chief engagement officer Charity Zierten, Behringer Harvard Multifamily director of marketing Amanda Zinsmeyer and Princeton Properties senior vice president and chief marketing officer Sarah Greenough definitely took the conference’s Conspire theme to heart.
The panel addressed how marketers can benefit from stealing adapting and adopting best practices from competitor and even consumer marketing campaigns. “The key is that you want to gain inspiration from others, not blatantly rip them off,” explained Greenough. “Inspiration is everywhere, it doesn’t have to be within our industry. It can be anything that has a good match with your company.”
To that end, Zinsmeyer showcased a pet ambassador campaign based off of a successful model at Kimpton hotels. After a pet ambassador finalist contest, Diego the Dog became an entire integrated campaign featuring a Facebook page, a Bark Box, a Yappy Hour, and messages from Diego directly to resident pets concerning pet amenities, policies and procedures.
“You might think it is hard to keep up with a dog’s Facebook page, but it’s not,” Zinsmeyer says of the campaign, which was spread across 35 properties. “Americans are spending an all time high $55.7 billion on pet expenditures. That’s slated to increase to $60 billion in 2014, and represents 95.6 million cats and 83.3 million dogs. Dogs and cats have become part of our family.”
In addition to pet-centric campaigns, the panel looked at applications of Elf’d, Facebook sweater contests, and other uses of photography for resident contest and participation campaigns. “Hasn’t everyone done photo contest? I don’t know where the start was, but we are all doing it now,” Greenough says. “It shows you don’t have to reinvent successful formulas, you simply need to customize it to your brand personality.”