“You have to have a left and right-brained approach to marketing. It’s important to leverage data, but you also have to spark creativity and inspiration so you can appeal to the head and heart of your customers.” - Jenn Chase, SAS EVP and CMO

Jenn Chase

The marketing landscape continues to change. Whether you’re operating in a business-to-business, or business-to-consumer sector, your brand is charged, more than ever, with attracting people to believe in your “why.”

One way to provoke that belief is to transform your marketing platform to a more personal approach.

When Jenn Chase took over as the Chief Marketing Officer at SAS, her first order of business was revitalizing the marketing organization for greater relevance – both internally and externally. That began with launching a brand campaign centered around the phrase “Curiosity Forever”, acknowledging that curiosity is at the core of SAS culture and values.

Are you looking at a similar evolution to rebrand and attract new business? If you are, consider these tips Chase shared during Adweek’s Brandweek.

Make emotional connections

“None of this is possible without our people – I have the pleasure of working with some of the most talented marketers in the world,” – Jenn Chase

Another reason SAS landed on the “Curiosity Forever” brand campaign? Because it embraces a business-to-human way of connecting with customers.

“We believe curiosity is at the heart of human progress. Our vision is to turn a world of data into a world of intelligence,” Chase said. “While the data or the analytics may change – curiosity is constant and it’s a shared value with our customers and a more emotional connection.”

We are all experiencing the largest shift in consumer behavior in a generation. Our digital lives are creating an increasingly data-rich and digitally savvy world. As a result of digital transformation, people are preferring a more personalized, on-demand experience.

Buyers want to have a relationship with the brand. People want to know who they are buying from and what they stand for. Buyers also recognize the importance of trust and transparency.

“They want emotional connections with the brands they love – and so your purpose and what you stand for create as much affinity and drive as many decisions as your product,” Chase said.

Introduce your brand before you’re needed

Delivering on brand awareness is often one of the first pillars of a successful brand campaign. Chase felt it was important to continue to find ways to boost awareness and preference for SAS.

Readers of this blog are most likely aware of SAS already, but many others are not. According to Chase, 95% of the market is, well, not in the market yet. But when new customers do arrive at your market, it’s important to be at the top of their minds upon entering.

As consumers become more digitally competent, marketers can drive brand awareness by “meeting the 95% in the middle.” This means interacting more with customers on the platforms they engage with the most, such as LinkedIn.

Many companies have turned to LinkedIn due to its huge cache of job seekers and advertising platform giving marketers a digital space to build relationships with customers.

LinkedIn users who are exposed to brand advertising are 39% more likely to accept a sales message and nine percent more likely to accept a connection, according to Chase.

“We're better at understanding data than ever before, but now it's a matter of understanding what's the right data at the right time to empower marketers to take immediate action and engage with consumers in the right way,” Chase said.

Never stop learning

Investment in your team plays an important role in guiding the company’s strategy. It’s equally important to keep a pulse on employees at all levels of the organization to inform the pace of change and direction.

To be successful, Chase believes the modern marketer must have eight core competencies that go above and beyond the hard skills needed to do their job.

For example, having a digital mindset is imperative to reaching customers in an increasingly all-digital world. As this landscape continues to grow and evolve, so do the trends at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Read more: 8 traits marketers need to step up their game

“I believe these competencies will matter today and five years from today. And it’s my mission to empower and inspire our marketing team with these skills,” Chase said.

Move into action

If you’ve never watched the popular soccer comedy-drama series, Ted Lasso, assuredly Chase has. She admired its “charming dose of optimism” that spreads life lessons relevant to building a team.

The best teams have chemistry and sacrifice themselves for a common goal, NBA Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere once said. Making good chemistry will help you get the most out of your team. Set the vision as leaders and ask your team to define how to reach goals.

Lastly, accept feedback and welcome debate, Chase says. “It is important to build your trusted advisors like the “Diamond Dogs” from Ted Lasso and offer a “space of vulnerability where you invite unfiltered feedback and create a safe space for debate and discussion.”

How are you making personal connections, introducing your brand to new markets, and continuing to learn? Share your examples with Chase on Twitter or LinkedIn – she would love to hear them and discover what you’re learning too.  

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Caslee Sims

I'm Caslee Sims, writer and editor for SAS Blogs. I gravitate toward spaces of creativity, collaboration and community. Whether it be in front of the camera, producing stories or writing them; sharing or retweeting them, I enjoy the art of storytelling. I share interests in sports, tech, music, pop culture among others.

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