Engaging Target Audiences in a Changing Market: Delly Dyer’s Insights

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In a recent interaction with CanadianSME, Delly Dyer, the Senior Manager of Consumer Brand Marketing at DoorDash Canada, shared her seasoned perspective on today’s evolving marketing landscape. Delly discussed the paramount challenges executives and businesses encounter in effectively engaging their target audiences amidst shifting consumer behaviours. She underscored the importance for brands to establish and sustain a robust online presence, considering the contemporary consumer trends. As a veteran in the field, she elaborated on the strategies she recommends to companies keen on pivoting and adjusting their branding and communication efforts. Delly emphasized the pivotal role of innovation in carving successful marketing strategies and shed light on fostering a culture of innovation within marketing teams. Lastly, her words of wisdom to aspiring marketing professionals were centered around making a significant industry impact and proficiently navigating the dynamic consumer landscape.

Delly Dyer, Senior Manager, Consumer Brand Marketing, at DoorDash Canada, is a
strategic marketer with over 15 years of experience and has successfully developed
and executed brand marketing and communications for B2C and B2B businesses.
Delly combines strategic thinking with a detailed-oriented approach to execution
and a focus on client service. Throughout her career, she has been able to pinpoint
her area of expertise which lies in interpretation and communication of complex
concepts in a persuasive and creative way, regardless of the demographics of her
audiences. Leveraging her insider knowledge, and experience, she is also passionate
and focused on mentoring and helping develop the next generation of marketing
leaders and professionals!

A champion for innovation, and research-based insights, Delly is a firm advocate in
pushing the envelope and being a stand-out marketer, to help brands communicate
and engage with their audiences.

In today’s rapidly changing marketing landscape, what do you think are the most significant challenges that executives and businesses face in effectively reaching and engaging with their target audiences?

There are two significant challenges we’re facing currently–one is age-old and one a bit newer.

The age-old challenge is one marketers have always faced: identifying the right channel mix to reach your audience at the key moments that best connect your brand with their needs. What makes this challenge more significant now is the sheer breadth of channels we have at our disposal. It’s such a fun and wild time to be a marketer, with so much incredible unprecedented opportunities to reach and connect with our audiences, and naturally, we have this desire to be in the new trending space. But just because a channel exists, doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your brand. It’s a constant world of learning, research, testing and optimizing to find that sweet spot. And even when you find it, you know it won’t be the same 3months from now!

The newer challenge is in building a purpose-driven brand that aligns with your audiences on critical values like equity, inclusion, environmental awareness, and more. And within that is the very difficult challenge of finding ways to authentically activate your purpose and mission with your audience, while still driving business objectives. With today’s consumer so attuned to socio-political and economic conversations, BS detectors are unmatched. It’s critical for us marketers to ensure we’re always reading the room in culture, and thinking very strategically about each move we make.

How have you seen consumer behaviors and habits evolve in recent years, and what implications do these changes have for marketers?

Building off the previous question, the biggest shift I’ve seen is that consumers are now aligning themselves with brands that support their values. If a brand’s purpose and mission feel unaligned, consumers are not shy about speaking out. The damage that can cause can take years to repair or destroy a brand entirely. It’s important to earn trust, which means authenticity, honesty, and relatability. It’s now far beyond putting out a Corporate Social Responsibility report once a year, consumers are looking at day-to-day operations, interactions, and associations. As marketers today, we have a responsibility to ensure that the brand purpose and mission we’re putting out into the world is true and be prepared to validate it with receipts.

As a senior marketing professional, what strategies do you recommend for companies looking to pivot and adapt their branding and communication to align with changing consumer trends?

Examine the “why + what” and validate it with data. Why are you pivoting and what is it about the brand that is no longer working?What’s driving this decision and what impact (or lack there-of) did your current or previous branding/communications have on your audience? As any marketerknows, large pivots to branding and communications can take years with many intended and unintended consequences. Make the investment in research to gain tangible and factual insights to inform your decision. We now work in the art and science of marketing, so everything needs to be tested, gut checkedand informed by robust data.

With the rise of digital platforms and social media, how important is it for brands to establish a strong onlinepresence? What are some effectiveways to build and maintain that presence?

From a brand perspective, digital platforms and social media are incredible tools to increase awareness and grow brand affinity. They can help foster brand trust, which is key when retaining existing audiences. They also provide a unique opportunity to bring your brand personality to life, and differentiate within your category, while creating a 2-way 24/7 line of communication with your audience.

The most effective way to establish a presence is through consistent, authentic, and engaging content that connects your brand’s offerings with what’s happening in culture, and in the lives of your audiences. It comes back to finding that perfect channel mix–and it may take some time to identify which levers and platforms across paid and organic channels are best. Once you find it, the next step is to ensure you’ve invested in a strong paid and organic content plan that continually gives your audience a reason to stop their scroll.

In an increasingly competitive market, what role does innovation play in developing successful marketing strategies? How can companies foster a culture of innovation within their marketing teams?

Innovation means never getting too comfortable, and it’s the only thing that’s going to allow brands to grow and thrive in our current market. If your marketing plans are a rinse-and-repeat of the previous year or quarter, you’re missing out on opportunities. A successful strategy should include at least one or two things you’ve never done before–something to test, whether it’s validating a hypothesis or trying something you’ve seen work in other categories. Something that’s a bit scary, and that pushes against the boundaries of your existing success. It takes effort and guts, but it’s so worth it!

To foster a culture of innovation, you require the kind of trust and transparency at all levels that allows marketing teams to feel safe bringing their ideas forward. Pitching an idea is terrifying, even a small one–but if you’re operating in an open environment where ideas are welcome, it’s easier. It’s also important to ensure the team is aware that ideas don’t need to only come from the top. All levels should feel equally empowered. And of course, deliberately building diverse and inclusive teams will naturally open up the door to the kind of bigger and broader thinking that leads to the best innovations.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring marketing professionals who are looking to make a meaningful impact in the industry and navigate the ever-changing consumer landscape?

It’s almost impossible to stay on top of every trend and shift in the landscape, so please don’t expect that from yourselfor anyone else. Instead, do your best to carve out a bit of dedicated time each week to dig into work, data or perspectives in the market that inspire you, or that you can learn from. That focused time each week will compound,and keep you growing as a marketer.

I also recommend taking a little of the pressure off yourself. Making a meaningful impact in the industry can mean so many things, and how you define that impact is likely to evolve over the course of your career. Focus on the things that you love about the work, lean into your passions, continue to learn, find wonderful mentors and work towards waking up every morning loving what you do. That will be incredibly meaningful.

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