5 Questions with Kimberly Howard-Thomassen

Kimberly Howard-Thomassen: Senior Vice President of The Thomas Collective

As Senior VP, Kimberly Howard-Thomassen develops distinct identities for lifestyle brands using both social media and digital strategies. With her recent work with AZO, Kimberly provides an insider’s look at how developing a “digital persona” that differentiated from the competitors while continuing to educate and engage consumers. 

How are you using audience data and insights to inform editorial strategy?

We use a proprietary, three-phase process to determine our editorial strategies. Our Cultural Intelligence is built on insights drawn from audience data and evaluated against Motivational Intelligence (why the audience does what they do), Cultural Conditions (macro trends currently occurring) and Brand Forensics (the brand’s anatomy). It is at the intersection of these three points that we build our strategy.

How do you seamlessly integrate brands into cultural conversations on an authentic level? 

Our Cultural Intelligence process validates the recommended cultural conversations, as it is triangulated with both the audience’s motivation and brand benefits—ensuring authenticity.

What do you predict for the branded content space in the future?

Content will move to the immersive and physical: AR and VR are just the beginning of the content shift.

What are the steps to developing digital personas that many digital professionals always miss?

An audience-first approach. Often, as digital marketing practitioners, we become too rooted in our brand’s benefits to fully listen to the audience. If we start with the target and layer on their connections with the brand—along with the current cultural climate—we build a more relevant campaign.

When developing a brand or company’s social voice, how do you bring in the views of the key personas? 

Since our personas are built on insights from our audience data, they actually dictate the development of the social voices.

Eager to learn more about how Kimberly builds distinct digital identities for businesses? Check out her Flash Talk and the SMDayPHL conference here!