Back then: When Cheryl Di Re senior vp-marketing appeared on EM’s cover as captain of our 2004 Dream Team she was ramping up a strategic marketing plan that included events from the beginning not tacked on at the end. WaMu was heavy into community marketing with events targeting teachers as well as walkathons fairs and festivals for a touchy-feely effect that connected at a local level.
Now: How is event marketing adding money to the bank? Di Re is taking a break from the industry so read on for an update from Jane Zalutsky WaMu’s first vp-experiential marketing:
What’s changed over the past three years?
Our event sponsorships are more closely aligned with marketing and more fully integrated. We still make our decisions very much with the local community in mind and are still involved in many of the same events. Overall we’re doing bigger sponsorships with more clearly defined activation such as the Latin Grammys last year for the first time and again this year. That’s a national program that also includes street parties in five neighborhoods across the country. We sponsor the main stage at Sun Fest (Florida) and the Chicago Cubs.
And your biggest achievement since November 2004?
The launch of WaMu Live a couple of months ago a music and entertainment-based platform that offers great perks and benefits to our customers. We have tied in our two naming rights deals the WaMu Theaters in Seattle and Madison Square Garden as well as multiple venue sponsorships where our customers get access to tickets special entrance gates a lounge and a website at WaMuLive.com.
What’s your biggest challenge?
It’s always a challenge internally to represent the breadth of experiential marketing with so many touchpoints and the integrated nature of it but I think people are coming around to seeing how that kind of marketing can make a significant difference for your brand. It’s normally harder internally than externally.