Interview: Mr. Youth and the Future of Social Media Marketing

-MrYouth Logo-Social media marketing. It’s a growing industry and one that we’re we’re still struggling to figure out, in terms of implementation, usability and overall effectiveness. Selling brands online can be a tricky task, but done right it can be quite successful.

So in terms of being smart about social media marketing, a brand needs to be smart and ready to be held accountable for not only its product but its interaction within the social media realm. Mr. Youth is a marketing agency that takes these things into consideration, and creates a marketing process around brands with some of these goals in mind. Below is an interview with Brandon Evans, a managing partner over at Mr. Youth.

Kristen Nicole: What’s Mr. Youth all about and what are the site’s main objectives?

Brandon Evans: Mr. Youth is a new breed of agency that is empowering individuals to be a part of the marketing process by engaging more deeply with brands. We create campaigns that focus on the consumer and their communities, creating messages that have the ability to spread from peer-to-peer through, utilizing channels that best enable this to occur.

Kristen Nicole: Why do you think mass media marketing is dead, and how do you go about marketing in the new era?

Brandon Evans: The breadth of media choices and social technologies have exponentially increased the number of places where consumers can now get information on new products and services. While mass media still serves certain marketing goals, its power is greatly decreased due to the consumers ability (and preference) to often tune it out and even when the message is received, it is less trusted as consumers have the ability to hear about products from peers and communities much easier before purchasing.

In the new era, brands will increasingly need to focus on the product and message. It is even more important to have a truly differentiated product that lives up to claims and delivers on a clear consumer need. The brand message or promotion should be designed to spread and be powerful enough to get consumers talking. While traditional media will still assist in generating wide spread awareness, focus on social interactive, word-of-mouth and tangible offline experiences will be increasingly critical to creating movements, establishing and growing passionate bases and remaining close enough to consumers to evolve brand offerings at the rapid pace that consumers now require and expect.

Additionally, blogs are a great way to connect with your audience. Our blog, grownupthinking.com, provides clients, marketers and industry influencers with commentary, news and topics – mainly related to social media, word-of-mouth and digital – that we hope will engage them and continue an ongoing dialogue in this space.

Kristen Nicole: How do you apply your concepts to various brands that look to online marketing in today’s age?

Brandon Evans: We call our online marketing discipline “Social Interactive” at Mr Youth. We have done so for over two years now, before social media was nearly as engrained in nearly all demographics as it is now becoming.

We see a strong need for everything we do online to have “social” at the core. Nearly every site we build now has Facebook connect and other social technologies heavily integrated. With every client we review various different options for building a powerful online presence, we don’t just build flashy websites. We evaluate Facebook profile pages, Facebook applications, iphone/mobile applications, twitter and other solutions as well as how to integrate these into any central web or social network presence.

We are able to build all of these in house and have a strong interactive/social media strategy group that can best evaluate and advise clients on the mix that will most efficiently and effectively help them achieve their goals. This makes us very impartial as to the solution we recommend and allows us to reach the best solutions for our clients which is very rare with other digital shops.

Kristen Nicole: Your own word-of-mouth project is RepNation. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Brandon Evans: RepNation began about four years ago when we realized there was a strong need for creating a way for brands to activate communities both on and offline. We now have over 100,000 reps who have signed up on RepNation to participate in research and word-of-mouth campaigns with us for leading brands.

We offer four different core service offerings which gives us the flexibility to customize campaign types to fit the various different goals and demographics of our clients. That paired with the strong creative and strategic thinkers at Mr Youth as well as the ability to align campaigns closely with our other disciplines (social interactive and experiential) allows us to think about reaching and motivating consumers and communities in ways no other agency can.

Kristen Nicole: What have you set out to do for Mr Youth through RepNation?

Brandon Evans: We have set out to flip the marketing model from one of focusing on paid media and impressions to one focusing on earned media and deep engagements. We feel the key to success for brands moving forward will be based on their ability to motivate their core consumers and communities. RepNation and our RepWare platform gives brands a central hub for on and offline word-of-mouth campaigns that can be closely integrated with broader social media initiatives.

Kristen Nicole: What type of feedback and success have you seen so far, since launching RepNation?

Brandon Evans: We have seen tremendous growth from consumers participating as well as very strong ROI for our clients. RepNation fits perfectly with Mr Youth’s overall offering and philosophy and clients certainly recognize our unique ability with this property and our ability to deliver what we call the modern media mix of social interactive, word-of-mouth and experiential in a totally integrated way in ways no other agency can claim to do in house.