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CEO Thought Leadership Series from Trade Show

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Martha Boudreau of AARP on How Nimble is the New Norm

Doug Simon, CEO and Founder of D S Simon Media had the chance to speak with Martha Boudreau, Executive Vice President & Chief Communications and Marketing Officer of AARP at the Capitol Communicator PR Summit DC.  Martha and Doug both have a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Martha discussed the four areas of change that communicators need to navigate. She also emphasized how an effective mobile strategy is critical to an organization’s success.

Martha Boudreau’s VlogViews: 

‘The most effective organizations at creating one brand voice are those that blend communications and marketing under on organizational structure so that the priorities can be set and channels can be synchronized in a way that speaks across all those channels to the audience.”

“It’s all about mobile devices… People want to interact with brands and other organizations that matter in their lives on their mobile device and that’s not just getting information, that’s buying things, that’s voting on things, that’s joining, that’s weighing-in so a mobile first strategy is crucial for every brand and every organization in this day and age.”

 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

DOUG SIMON: Hi, I’m Doug Simon of D S Simon Media, here with fellow University of Michigan graduate and political science, Martha Boudreau. Thanks so much for being here.

MARTHA BOURDREAU: A pleasure, go blue.

DOUG SIMON: Great. Now, Martha just presented at the PR Summit DC talking about the need to be nimble and four key changes we’ve got to be looking out for. The first is integration of the silos. Can you explain?

MARTHA BOURDREAU: Yeah, lots of organizations have communications and marketing separated. And the fact is, there’s only one key set of audiences. So the most effective organizations at creating one brand voice are those that blend communications and marketing under one organizational structure so that the priorities can be set and the channels can be synchronized in a way that speaks across all of those channels to the audiences.

DOUG SIMON: And your title speaks to that, as Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, which may be unusual now. But if what you say is true, it’ll probably be more normal. Now, a second key part is changes and expectations of the customer experience.

MARTHA BOURDREAU: Absolutely. Customer experience is a burgeoning practice on the corporate side of things. And I think that there are lessons to be learned, regardless of what sector you’re in. If you’re in trade associations, if you work for the government, it doesn’t matter. Because you and I have expectations as consumers based on our interactions with some of the leading brands like Amazon, like American Express, and Zappos, and Nordstrom’s.

And what we want is a seamless experience across all of our devices. Right? We want to be heard and we want these brands to speak to us in a way that makes sense for us. So that customer experience is really viewed by CEOs as the next key point of differentiation for brands around the world.

DOUG SIMON: And you point out data and analytics, obviously, are growing a big topic and they’re playing up the value and importance of video.

MARTHA BOURDREAU: Yeah. Well, data and analytics are critical. And we’re now, more than ever before, able to pull that data together from a lot of different listening poses, right? We have our use of mobile, we’ve got internet activity, we’ve got video views, all of those different things. So when we roll it all together, we get a good picture of who our audience is. And then we know how to speak to them in a more relevant way.

But organizations have to both collect the data and then extract the insights from it that can be operationalized from a communications standpoint.

DOUG SIMON: And then finally, mobile first. And that can affect people of all different generations, which you deal with is your key publics of your organization.

MARTHA BOURDREAU: Yeah, absolutely. It’s all about mobile devices. All over the world, people have jumped past the desktop and onto their mobile device. You know, our phones and most part it’s phones not just tablets, our phones are with us almost 24 hours a day. It’s the first thing we look at in the morning. And people want to interact with brands and other organizations that matter in their lives on their mobile device.

And that’s not just getting information, right? That’s buying things, that voting on things, that’s joining, that’s weighing in, sharing opinion. So a mobile first strategy is crucial for every brand and every organization in this day and age.

DOUG SIMON: Well, congratulations on your great leadership, and thanks so much for spending a few minutes with us.

MARTHA BOURDREAU: Thanks very much.