Archive for Lori Luechtefeld

Homeboy Industries: People first, business second

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on November 21st, 2014 at 10:47 am

As a Los Angeles resident, I've had some pretty tasty baked goods from Homeboy Bakery in the past. I knew somewhere in the recesses of my mind while I snacked that Homeboy served a bigger purposes, employing former inmates and gang members. But frankly, the slickness of the branding and the tastiness of the bread led me to believe that the social good was a bonus -- a legitimate good cause, yes, but also a clever marketing angle.
I had no idea. No idea that the bakery is just one sliver of a much larger (and extremely dedicated) non-profit that's improving (and saving) countless lives throughout the community. No idea that the bakery, for all its popularity, isn't even profitable. No idea -- until Homeboy Industries opened its doors as part of NewCo LA.
During a tour of the facility and presentation by CFO Jack Faherty, I got a glimpse into the extensive social enterprise of Homeboy Industries, which serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs, including tattoo removal. Its community businesses -- including the bakery, Homegirl Café, silkscreen and embroidery services, and recently launched food trucks -- serve as job-training sites for members... Read more

A chat with BuzzFeed's Ze Frank

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on November 20th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Viral content: Putting the wrong people in positions of power since the dawn of the internet.
At least, that's how Ze Frank, president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, sees it. And he should know. He was a one-man viral powerhouse before most people even knew what it was to "go viral." Once upon a time, he was teaching people how to "dance properly." These days, he's working with a team of dozens of creative content producers to better understand the science -- if you can call it that -- behind virality.
In a fireside chat with NewCo co-founder John Battelle at the VIP kickoff reception for NewCo LA, Frank noted that many discussions of virality -- and the continuing debate around whether it’s a phenomenon that can truly be harnessed -- tend to overcomplicate things. Rather, it comes down to understanding the basic unit of virality: when one person shares something with another person. At BuzzFeed, that's the focus. Why do people share something, and what do they say when they share it? Understand that, and you understand virality.

That said, oversimplifying the notion of viral content presents its own dangers. And it's a moving target, to be sure. A few years back, "media... Read more

Los Angeles: Where technology becomes creative

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on November 19th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Following successful launches in cities including San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Detroit, the NewCo experience arrived in Los Angeles this month. And despite the city's traffic and sprawl issues (did you know we had those?), I can't think of a better home for this unique event.
OK, so what is NewCo? It's understandably a little hard to explain. NewCo co-founder John Battelle probably puts it best when he describes it as "a mashup of an open studio tour and business conference, with the vibe of a music festival." In short, NewCo invites a city's most innovative companies to open their doors to executives and entrepreneurs in order to tell their stories. The companies participating in NewCo run the gamut in products and services, but one common thread unites them: "They're all creating positive change in the industry of their choice," noted Battelle during a VIP kickoff reception for NewCo LA.

OK, so why Los Angeles? Sure, it's a biggie -- but by its very nature, I thought that might deter an event like NewCo from coming here. After all, bustling from company headquarters to company headquarters over the course of a single day in a city like San Francisco is a pretty easy... Read more

The content marketing conundrum

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on September 8th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Content marketing: Everyone is talking about it. Everyone is selling it. Few are doing it. And even fewer are doing it well.
That's the content marketing conundrum we're faced with today, said Adam Kmiec, senior director of social media and content at Walgreens, at the iMedia Brand Summit in Coronado, CA. The best content isn't necessarily what's getting the most eyes or accolades.

To truly tap into the power of content marketing, organizations need to be wired correctly. At Walgreens, these are the six building blocks that have set the stage for success, Kmiec said:
1. Understand and define the scope of your content: Think in terms of paid, owned, and shared media, as well as the platforms and technologies that will comprise your content.
2. Set a bar from which you will not compromise: Don't go halfway and stop. You will have wasted your effort entirely. Focus on content that is linked, liquid (i.e., available across all screens), and -- the hardest part -- loved.
3. Develop filters for focus: Dig deep into your brand's DNA and discover what you do and what you do well. Let the reality and legacy of your brand inform every piece of content you create.
4. Rewire your organizational... Read more

Attribution marketing: Stop looking for "the answer"

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on June 24th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Weaving proper attribution throughout your marketing plan is vital -- but how can your brand do it? In a presentation at the iMedia Commerce Summit, Charlie Cole, CEO of The Line, informed attendees that he didn't have the answer to that question -- because the answer for every brand is different.
That said, there are some basic tactics that companies can implement to help tailor their attribution practices to the needs of their businesses.
"Attribution isn't just about marketing channels," Cole said. Rather, it's about devices. It's about location. It's everything, he noted. Brands today have the ability to sell products in a contextually relevant way. The trick, Cole said, is to think beyond your media and analytics strategies. When thinking about attributional marketing, you need to think of your web property as a holistic tool and then tailor it based on the data that consumers provide.
That's the approach being taken today at The Line, a modern retail company that combines rich editorial storytelling with immersive online and offline retail experiences. The Line follows customers throughout their online journey and waits to them to indicate what they want from the brand -- and when. As such, attribution at every step of the... Read more