May 1, 2019
Joining us on the Marketing Mix Podcast is Eric Edge, SVP Marketing & Communications at Postmates. Eric talks how Postmates became a household verb, the creative success of its current out-of-home advertising campaign and the future of the on-demand gig economy. In discussing how celebrities such as Iggy Azalea have become an integral part of the Postmates brand, Eric shares his tips on how and when to leverage macro-influencers.
Jeff Ragovin: What’s been going on at Postmates?
Eric Edge: One of the things that really stood out to me when I was making the move from Pinterest to Postmates was the strength of the brand that was built in this space. Finding a tech brand as strong as Postmates is not something you find often and so it was something I was really excited about from the beginning. We’ve been on an amazing growth streak over the past 8 months. The Postmates business and customer base have grown. We have expanded into a thousand more cities. There’s so much going on that it’s just a fun place to be.
Jeff Ragovin: Postmates has leveraged a lot of celebrities, such as Iggy Azalea, in its marketing strategy. What was the rationale behind this tactic?
Eric Edge: I’d have to start at the beginning. Postmates has become such a lifestyle brand and even a verb in pop culture. One of the things that went really well for us was to focus in on Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the largest food market outside on New York, and Los Angeles did not have access to on-demand delivery like New York did. You had to be within a certain radius of the restaurant you were ordering from so people were very limited.
Not only have we become part of pop culture, but we have also become part of celebrity and influencer culture as well. This is because celebrities and influencers actually use our platform. Our celebrity campaigns and celebrity interaction is natural to our brand. Brands often buy their way into celebrity influence, but for us it's inherently core to who we are.
We have this series called The Receipt that sort of lives on Instagram, but you can also find it on our blog. It's us partnering up with some amazing celebrities and influencers to tell their stories about what they use Postmates for as they unveil their order history. We’ve done that with Kylie Jenner, Post Malone, John Legend and that only happened because inherently they are using the platform in their day-to-day lives. We have integrated celebrities into our marketing strategies as they play an integral part in Postmates success.
Jeff Ragovin: What factors do you think have enabled the rise of the gig economy in services like Postmates?
Eric Edge: They key driver is the access to flexibility. People today want to have flexibility in how they work, when they work, and what they do in a way that is meaningful and profitable. People want to be able to do what they love to do and on their own terms. This is where the gig economy comes into play.
Jeff Ragovin: Postmates has some great out-of-home advertising campaigns. Are billboards making a comeback, especially for online brands?
Eric Edge: There are so many benefits across each marketing channel, but no one marketing channel is going to be the key driver for your business. TV and video are still very much alive. If you think of out-of-home and print, out-of-home is still something you see when you are driving or walking through your city -- it's still something that allows you to keep a brand top of mind. When you're driving you're not on your phone, so when you look up and see a beautiful piece of eye-catching creative from Postmates, hopefully, we sit in your brain there so that when it comes to thinking about what to eat for dinner that day, Postmates comes into your mind as the solution.
I do think that there is a very real place for outdoor, no single media or marketing channel is going to win the game. Out-of-home marketing is one piece of it, but you really still have to have an integrated approach that brings in digital and traditional. A lot of what we’ve done and how we have brought the brand to life creatively lends itself to big, outdoor advertising.
Jeff Ragovin: Do you have different campaign strategies for each channel you market through?
Eric Edge: The goal is for our marketing strategy to be truly integrated and personalized. The more that we can create personalized marketing at scale, the better off we will be. We create a whole set of assets and then evaluate which asset plays well with which segment and then further segment them within digital based on each platform we advertise on.
Jeff Ragovin: Is there any advice you can give to marketers wanting to be provocative with their strategies without being offensive?
Eric Edge: I talk to my team about this all the time. There is a very fine line between being provocative or risky in the brand tone, and being totally inappropriate. There’s no formula that you can apply homogeneously every time. It has to be something that you inherently bake into your brand. It needs to be clever. Clever is very different from being irreverent.
For us, it's less about being irreverent and more about having a really smart pulse on what’s important to consumers today, understanding those key seasonal or cultural moments and being a part of those, and then bridging that with our core brand attributes and assets when it comes to our tone and our voice. I think every brand should go through the process of thinking through what their brand truths are. You mentioned celebrity earlier -- that’s a truth of ours. If we were another brand, even in our space, that’s going to be really hard to do.
Jeff Ragovin: Thank you for joining the Marketing Mix Podcast.
Please note, the above has been paraphrased for editorial purposes