The Toy Book: How are you making up for the lack of major trade shows this year with adjusted marketing strategies and PR efforts for your clients in 2021?
Harold Chizick: The lack of trade shows and in-person meetings is perhaps one of the most difficult adjustments the toy industry has had to make. The excitement they create, the surprises we unveil, the ability to see and touch product first-hand are equally important. We are adjusting our strategies and PR efforts to ensure that we are still bringing that excitement and connection in a few different ways. Helping to develop and taking part in interactive, virtual showroom tours are, of course, a part of that. But we go a step further by engaging media and influencers with personalized product demonstrations, samples, and at-home experiences to immerse them into our clients’ brands and do our best to bring the showroom experience to them. We also believe that maintaining a human, personal connection is equally important. You see our faces, smiles, and enthusiasm for the brands and clients we represent. While we are eager to get back to in-person meetings, we are making the best of the current situation and ensuring that we are in-touch and no further than a video chat away from our colleagues and partners to provide the best visibility for our clients.
TB: What role does working with influencers play in your marketing efforts?
HC: We pull a lot of levers in our marketing efforts to create multifaceted, out-of-the-box plans. Working with influencers certainly plays a big role in this. However, we are strategic about when, where, and how we engage them. Not every influencer is right for every brand, just like not every marketing tactic is right for every brand. As a full-service marketing and media agency, we are working with a wide range of earned and paid influencers — from micro to large scale — each serving their own unique purpose. Overall campaign objectives and KPIs, as well as other tactics being employed as part of a complete plan, help to drive what that purpose is.
In the same way that we work with other partners, we cultivate relationships with influencers versus simply and blindly sending product their way. We get to know them, their personalities, and their audience to ensure that they match up with the brands’ traits before we engage. In addition, we are thinking beyond just followers and platforms; we are looking for how, when, and where influencers can bring an added flair of uniqueness, authenticity, and personality to our campaigns. As new platforms like TikTok gain steam, we are seeing a whole new level of uniqueness from emerging influencers. That makes working with them even more fun and exciting.
This State of the Industry Q&A response originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of the Toy Book. Click here to read more!