Intense curiosity and a willingness to take risks. Those are two requirements to be successful, at least for Tressie Lieberman, Director of Digital and Social Marketing at Taco Bell. She came to share her perspectives with my MBA class in Social Media Marketing at Chapman University and the students were treated to a full menu of examples of how Taco Bell under her direction embraces new platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram with real-time marketing while also balancing legal and organizational considerations.
“I actually get nervous if I haven’t been nervous for a while” – Tressie Lieberman
Experimentation is key and instead of buying research data, the best research they do is in the form of the real-time feedback they get from launching initiatives and adjusting as they move along. Internally, she emphasized how critical it has been for their success with digital efforts to educate and provide reverse mentoring programs internally to get executive buy-in. For example, she spent four hours with the CEO showing her everything starting out with her personal accounts to provide a full picture of how consumers can interact with the brand.
To make it possible to have real-time conversations, Tressie Lieberman talked about how she had managed to reduce the bureaucracy needed for various initiatives on social media at the same time as she wants to clearly identify what they cannot do as they don't want to get in trouble which could stop all initiatives online.
Taco Bell launched a new app by doing a social media blackout so it looked as if they had zero presence on all networks that day. Also, mobile ordering they launched nationwide day one as opposed to doing a gradual rollout.
This all made for higher levels of social conversations about the brand and people started talking about the app. They broke through the clutter of 1,2 million apps and became a top app almost instantaneously.
In conclusion, Tressie Lieberman says it is the best time to be in marketing and working in digital is like working like a change agent and is very rewarding career choice. Also, it keeps her on her toes as “you are only as good as your last week.”