Ryan Reynolds: Q&A Session

Q&A Session: Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds Q&A Session is happening on April 22nd 2020 at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)

A Londoner turned New Yorker with over a decade of experience developing innovative, multi-national campaigns and managing integrated brand marketing. Ryan has benefited from working withing online media, travel, financial, and technology organizations across the UK, Asia, and North America. From a former CRM marketer developing lifecycle strategies at Fidelity and Hootsuite to building a centralized integrated marketing structure in Australia to leading the Uber Eats social marketing globally, Ryan is an astute leader with an industry-acclaimed track record of delivering impact at scale.
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Ryan Reynolds – Transcript

Q&A Session with Ryan Reynolds @ Uber

April 22nd, 2020

Starting now! Q&A Session with Ryan Reynolds, Global Social and Content Marketing Lead @ Uber. You have one hour to ask him anything 

Hey all. Thanks for having me here. I hope you are all well and staying safe.  I’m looking forward to answering as many questions as I can today. A quick background on myself, I’m a Londoner turned New Yorker with over a decade of experience developing innovative, multi-national campaigns and managing integrated brand marketing. I’ve benefited from working within online media, travel, financial, and technology organizations across multiple countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Do you get special treatment when you book hotel rooms or airline flights before they know you aren’t the actor?

Yes at times. I’m fortunate enough to benefit from my namesake.

Do you have any advice for keyword optimization from your campaigns? I do not invest in any tools currently but I think SEM rush would be worth it.

Hey Delani, we are working in partnership with the SEO team to help us to optimize keywords. However, there is a tipping point. I see content and campaigns that overcompensate on campaigns; if it feels unnatural and not authentic, don’t force keywords.

Are you going to double down or slow it down?

Slow down obv ride sharing apps are currently getting rekt by COVID

Much appreciated for spending time with us. How do you see the future of digital marketing and social advertising playing out in the short and long term, as more people jump in, knowledgeable or not, and create further noise in this arena?

Great question, and thanks for kicking it off. I see digital marketing becoming more sophisticated but also increasingly efficient in both the short and the long term. Brands that have only touched the surface of digital marketing and been dependent on traditional will be forced to diversify their marketing portfolio as OOH marketing becomes less effective. For the industry,, I see this as a positive shift as we start to experiment and find new ways to connect with our communities

Do you think after this is all over more passengers will be using rideshare services to stay away from public transportation?

I’m unsure what the mentality of passengers will be as this is unknown territory, however, as always when approaching marketing we must be willing to listen and understand the needs of the customers

Hey Ryan. How’d you get so good at being so creative?

I am not a great creative unfortunately, that’s why I always look to hire the best talent around and then empower those experts to lead by example. Understanding your weaknesses and strengths is essential to succeed.

How has your approach to social changed amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

Hey Tanya, another great question. COVID has been a reminder that we must be agile and be willing to adapt to any situation. This time more than ever has shown me that we must provide the customer with value, and for this particular case, I believe it is safety and reassurance.

How much of branding do you think comes from marketing activities and how much from the day to day interactions with the product and services?

Thank you, great question. I believe that all those functions must inherently work together in partnership. Whenever my teams have delivered a plan or strategy, we look to pull in many different stakeholders across the business to help inform strategic planning. I’m starting to ignore people when they say to believe in integrated marketing unless they approach every day with a mindset of integrated marketing. Meaning, I don’t expect teams only to connect over campaign ideas, teams must be willing to share cross-functionally on a day to day basis, whether that’s reporting, priorities, strategic insights, etc.

Hey, what metrics have you found helpful to measure Uber’s brand awareness?

Thank you Anna. I work from measurement ladder framework; Social and content metrics must ladder to Marketing OKRS, which then must ladder to Business OKRs. Regarding brand awareness. We use several measurement studies such as YouGov, Nielsen, Facebook brand lift, etc. However, if you don’t have the budget for such studies, we attempt to identify a metric that directly correlates or informs a particular metric. For example, for Social you may choose to use impressions or reach to show brand awareness, but this must sit alongside the logic on why you choose the metrics.

I was hoping to learn about your content inspirations for social campaigns. How/What is your process for developing content and telling stories? I have a super powerful story centered around ride sharing that I would love to share.

Thank you Alex. Content for me is inspired by business objectives, brand pillars, customer needs, and quality. All these are equal parts; fundamentally, it comes down a question I ask myself. “Am I proud to share this work?”

How do you see content marketing changing in the next five years?

More and more rich storytelling content that connects to the audience. Users have become numb to bland self-promoting content, we should celebrate content that informs and connects. I don’t remember the last time I connected or engaged with content that attempted the hard sell.

Brands are having a hard time deciding what kind of content to produce during the crisis. No one wants to be tone deaf, but they want to continue conducting business. I read something like 80% of fashion brands will not survive this economic crisis. What’s your advice to brands on social media content during this time?

Thank you Heather for your question. COVID is a challenging time for all brands, and I don’t believe there is one piece of advice that fits all. As should be the case before COVID, brands must identify and understand the impact of their planned content and that should begin with “What I am attempting to achieve?” – then if that ladders back to the business priority, you will have your answer.

How to you inject company philosophy and values in content marketing efforts? How to you plan it?

I’ll reference a previous answer. Content for me is inspired by business objectives, brand pillars, customer needs, and quality. All these must inform your content plans; you do not want to develop content that does align with your companies principles. The customer will be the first person to call you out if you play in a space you don’t deserve to be in.

How did you managed action plan in crisis situation? When lockdown was announced and all regularplans have to be changed? How do you preparing now for post-quarantine state?

Hey Anna, great question. We certainly needed to mobilize and shift priority swiftly during the crisis. Currently, we are adapting on a week by week basis and we will stay with that mindset until the future becomes clear.

As a global content marketing lead, how are you able to come up with content strategies and ideas that you feel will make a difference in the overwhelming sea of content we live in?
And what’s your advice to someone just starting in content marketing (and frankly constantly oscillating between desperation and excitement of bringing something of value)?
Thanks for taking the time

Thank you, really great question. I believe if you align to the following principles; business objectives, brand pillars, customer needs, and quality – your content will cut-through. People love authentic content; sometimes, that’s not the most obvious choice. E.g., A content series my team developed last year named Unpacked. Unpacked is a content-driven docu-series that follows the emotional journey of immigrant chefs on our platform while showing eaters the diversity of cuisine on Uber Eats. It wasn’t the most obvious choice as it didn’t focus on the product, but people loved the authentic stories that made it sharable and therefore helped to improve Uber Eats brand awareness.

Uber has had to pivot very quickly to utilize drivers in different ways. What was the process of getting ideation > implementation done so quickly?

The goal was to identify “how we could help the drivers?” They are instrumental to the business, and in this time of need, we must help all those whom we can.

Hey, Thanks for taking the time today. Wondering, what strategies or tactics have you found most successful and impactful when it comes to building brand awareness on social, and why?

Be authentic! And develop content you are proud to share. Don’t create content for the sake of filling your feed; all content must have a purpose.

 As I get, you leading content on global level. How do you manage it while every country have different situation, government prescriptions and moods among the people?

Great question and a topic I feel passionate about this topic. We empower regions and teams to make decisions for their market. From a global level, we give guidance such as strategic direction and measurement frameworks; however, regions are empowered to make the best decision for their market. We hired experts within regions; therefore, we must trust those same experts to make the correct decision for their market and the business.

How fast can you type?

Not nearly fast enough!

Hi, thanks for joining us! What are your top tips and techniques for growing email databases?

Great question Tash, however, I feel this comes to another question. What are you looking to achieve by growing your database? And what value are you looking to bring to your subscribers?

What is the most challenging part of leading a global content team? What’s it like building a content strategy for a global brand that operates in local communities?

Hey Ally, great question. I would say the biggest challenge for most is leaving their ego at the door and allowing others to take control. Working with multiple regions is the most rewarding part of my role, instead of battling and attempting to control a global strategy, embrace those around you, and build together. The result will be much stronger than a plan developed on your own; you’ll all make friends along the way.

Welcome Ryan Reynolds! Many of us have had our budgets slashed and put on freeze. Love to know what are the top things you would still continue to prioritize with a minuscule budget.

Connect with your audience, take this time to understand their needs and how we can all support each other. Social interactions and listening is free, be transparent with your customer – this will build a deeper, longer future with your customer.

What is your favorite tool for the B2C market and how do you like to segment for marketing?

Hey Thomas, thank you for the question; that is a tough one. Not sure if it’s a tool, but I would say anything that is listening or measuring – then you can pull insights that will provide campaign success and benefit future planning. I’m a firm believer that all marketing teams must be able to show ROI in one way or another, so some form of measurement or listening tool. Segment as much as you can!

Hey Ryan Reynolds! I just saw that Slack notification pop up and was thinking I only know 2 Ryan Reynolds and it would be weird if the other one was on this channel  Good to see you here mate! Hope you’re keeping safe and well over in New York

Haha, this is a pleasant surprise! Hope you’re safe over there as well.

Hey, appreciate you sharing your insights. What high-level KPIs are you including in your reports that you’ve found are effective in measuring the success of your campaigns and/or overall digital strategy?

Hey Darryl, great question. It depends on the audience of the report. Marketing leaders react positively to brand metrics such as brand favorability/sentiment and awareness. C-suite tend to lean towards lower-funnel metrics such as revenue and downloads. However, this is very general, and based on recent experience, for each organization I’ve worked at, this has changed. When compiling reports, I always show and expect an approach that displays the full-funnel impact; this will help to meet the needs of each viewer.

Are there any slightly non-obvious tools or website you use in your job?

We have many internal tools, but we also use the following;
Lift Studies [Facebook, YouTube, etc]
I would guess most are obvious, we also look to agencies when we lack strength in particular areas. Any websites that you can advise?

Thanks for the AMA Ryan Reynolds. How much crossover does Uber Social and Content Marketing have with PR? Do they share any metrics or workstreams? Should they?

Great question, I believe they should; however, I don’t think they’re optimized at present. The closer the two teams, the greater success you can expect. Earned media of Social content would be an excellent KPI to start with, organically each function support each other.

Is Uber still pushing their Uber Works?

Yes! You can find more information here; works.co

Hey Ryan Reynolds thanks for the opportunityIn-short, what would be suggestions that first popped on your mind when it comes to growing a facebook business page from 0, with content marketing?My business is eCommerce type

Hey Teodor, I would first ask yourself the following questions to help prepare your growth strategy;
1| What’s the role of Facebook for your business?
2| How will you show up on Facebook?
3| What resources do you have to support your page? Admin/monitoring, content, etc.
3| What does success look like?
If you can answer these questions, that will inform your growth strategy.

What is your superpower?

The ability to get the most out of my team, and it starts with trust. I’m prepared for myself and the team to fail; however, I know my team will adapt and learn from failure.

 Thanks so much for doing this. Being a content marketer myself, I’m curious about:

  1. How do you measure success with your content at Uber (is there a tangible component or it’s more like a soft PR since it’s such a highlighter and global brand)
  2. What is the one unexpected thing specific to Uber content marketing which is different to any other content marketing work you’ve done before
  3. Lastly, what is one hidden thing content mrktng people are doing wrong all the time (apart from storytelling).

Thanks so much. Stay safe and sane

Hey Dejan, thank you for the great question;
1| We measure the full-funnel; however, Social and content metrics must ladder to Marketing OKRS, which then must ladder to Business OKRs. We also identify objectives for specific content or campaigns, e.g., Unaided Awareness, Paid Acquisition Efficiency, Favorability, Downloads, sign-ups.
2| Working on Uber Eats highlighted to me the importance of looking beyond a product and focus on the building blocks behind the brand, e.g., restaurant stories.
3| Not being authentic to their brand, stop forcing content or a persona that doesn’t fit your brand. Not everyone is a Nike or Wendy’s.

Thank you all for your excellent question. I’m going to take a break for the moment; I’ll attempt to answer all the questions above at some point.


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