At Marketing Trends, we are discovering what drives Australia’s top marketers. Scarlett leads the social media presence of Hungry Jack's® Australia. In this compelling interview, she shares with us her thoughts on the industry’s most interesting rising trends (including the collision of two contentious ones), her professional journey and why her current role has all the elements to that of a perfect burger recipe!
Career & professional background
Scarlett, how did your career in marketing start?
In my family, ‘marketing’ was considered a foreign language, so when I decided to study it at university, I approached like a trepid explorer entering an alien world.
The pressure to prove myself ignited the fire and drove me to learn everything I could. University alone was not going to cut it, I needed real world experience to augment my degree. Whilst studying, I undertook five internships. Ogilvy (Pulse Communications) showed me the ropes of traditional Public Relations. Shac Communications, exposed me to events management. I picked more up at Business Chicks, then saw in-house marketing at Bond University, and lastly Content Marketing at King Content (Isentia).
After graduating, I kicked off my career working at The Mint Partners, a lifestyle PR agency. It proved to be a great way to gain a foundation in writing and presenting. Social was still in its elementary years, organic content was the primary focus, likes, comments and shares were the key measures of success, and ‘pay-to-play’ was yet to be coined, but it appeared to have strong growth potential which caught my interest.
I navigated my way through the fast-paced landscape of social and transitioned over to a larger agency, Red Havas. My time in agency land was exhilarating, challenging, and filled with opportunities. The term ‘fail fast, learn faster’ was something I regularly wrote on sticky notes.
I was promoted to Senior Social Media Manager and worked on numerous international/national brands, won industry awards, pitched for global clients, and travelled overseas for training and client onboardings.
While I learnt a lot agency-side, I was eager to move client-side to grow my understanding of the internal operations and how sales outcomes are influenced by successful marketing campaigns and strategies. This is when the in-house role at Hungry Jack’s popped up, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to step-up and lead their social media presence (read more about this below!).
If you hadn’t pursued a career in marketing, in which other industry do you think you might be?
The component of my role, which brings me the most satisfaction, is crafting engaging, smart and thought-provoking copy. Outside of work, I get the most satisfaction from enjoying food, and discovering recipes and new restaurants.
Combining these two passions, I would have loved to be a food writer/critic (although I’m not sure my waistline would’ve appreciated this!).
Could you tell us about your role as Senior Social Media Manager at Hungry Jack's® Australia?
A burger analogy seems fitting - my role has all the elements to that of a perfect burger recipe. It has numerous ingredients - keeping me challenged, engaged and constantly learning. It is unique - having the opportunity to own all elements of social from content, strategy, paid media, community management and reporting, allows me to constantly be tweaking elements to deliver social best practice that drives sales results. It’s fresh – every day there is something new and exciting, testing new social formats, running content shoots, taste-testing new trial burgers, or working with our sponsors on content co-creation.
Overall, it’s exciting, fulfilling and filled with flavour!
Marketing & Industry Trends
What type of impact has COVID- 19 had on your industry?
While many businesses grappled with both the immediate and ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19, marketing departments ostensibly were the first to feel the pressure. During this time, I was working at Red Havas, and the looming repercussions of an economic downturn meant events management, certain PR and traditional ABL teams, bared the initial brunt of budget cuts.
Fortunately for our team, as social distancing became the new norm, there was also another kind of social on the rise. Social media was no longer being predominantly used as a forum for socialisation and entertainment; instead, it became a pivotal place for learning, connection for remote working, and most interestingly, online shopping.
As consumer behaviour shifted, the platforms needed to follow suit, leading to the introduction of new tools and updates, such as the introduction of Instagram Stickers (‘Stay at Home’, ‘Donations’ for frontline workers, ‘Support Small Businesses’), Instagram launched Guides, Twitter released labels/warnings for misinformation related to COVID-19, LinkedIn released Virtual Events, Instagram launched Reels, and Facebook announced new Livestreaming features. It was a big year of change in the social landscape.
What is the most exciting trend or innovation happening in your field in terms of growth?
The collision of two contentious trends, social media and cryptocurrency, has seen the emergence of a new trend: buying and selling coins based on social influence and reputation. No, this isn’t an episode of Black Mirror (however eerily similar); the new platform BitClout turns social media influence into cryptocurrency. In a recent whitepaper, BitClout described itself as “a new type of social network that lets you speculate on people and posts with real money”.
Currently there are 15,000 profiles of the top Twitter users that you can buy/sell coins on, while only a fraction of these have been claimed. Elon Musk, currently the top ‘creator’, has a coin price of US$87,311.91.
Social reputation as a form of currency seems to be madness, but as Bitcoin decentralises the finance system, BitClout does the parallel for social media. Doesn’t seem so mad anymore, does it?
As a marketer, what do you believe is the biggest challenge facing your industry in the future?
My answer begs no surprise: Apple’s recent privacy related updates for iOS 14 and the implementation of a new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. In its simplest form, this update will mean zero data will be passed back about the user if they do not opt in to tracking. The challenge this poses for advertisers is the looming impact on targeting, optimisation, and measurement across social channels, as the amount of data shared significantly reduces.
According to a recent report by Flurry Analytics, 85% of worldwide users clicked ‘ask app not to track’ when prompted. Whilst it is still early days (having only been released on 26 April 2021), it is likely the biggest impact will be felt by small-scale businesses and advertisers who can’t compete with the bigger players for data points – watch this space for the Facebook vs Apple war to unfold.
Tools, recommendations & sources of inspiration
What does a typical day look like for you?
Having read a few of Tim Ferriss’ books (Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors), I’ve learnt a lot of tactics, routines and habits that breed success among billionaires, celebrity icons and elite athletes.
I’d be lying if I said I follow a similar morning routine to the likes of Ben Stiller, Seth Goodwin, or Marc Benioff (drinking an ancient tribal tea, dunking my head into an ice bucket, gratitude journaling…).
However, there is at least one thing that I took from these books, and that is to start my day by making my bed. Echoing Tim Ferriss’ advice, “No matter how s---ty your day is, at least you’re coming home to something that you’ve been able to control”.
My morning following this is much more of a cliché: a few episodes of The Daily Podcast, an F45 session and a double espresso whilst I scan my emails before I sit down at my desk.
Once my laptop is opened, I jump onto Feedly (read more about this below), conduct a quick scan of Meltwater for any key alerts or community management flags overnight, then jump onto Twitter Explore to scour for any trending moments that could be capitalised on for ad-hoc content opportunities. All while simultaneously writing out my to-do list and checking my calendar for my daily meetings.
After this, each day proves more atypical than typical, from brainstorms with our studio creatives, alignment sessions with our media agency, reporting catch-ups with the digital team, to strategy workshops with sponsors, every day is different!
What brands do you take inspiration from?
Air New Zealand knows their target market well, they don’t take themselves too seriously and focus on the experience rather than pushing their product. Whether it’s their utterly brilliant ‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made’, Dave the Goose in a ‘A Better Way to Fly’, or their Christmas Campaign, a 'Very Merry Mistake' their campaigns soar sky-high.
IKEA – whether it’s ATL or BTL, IKEA nails it every time. Their ability to capitalise on trending topics/moments and subsequent agility in rolling out a campaign, takes responsive marketing to another level. From their ‘Get the Look’ ad off the back of the Bernie Sander’s meme and the ‘$9.99 Viserum Picture Frame’ campaign off the back of the record-breaking $450m sale of Leonardo Da Vinci's painting Salvator Mundi, IKEA understands how to best resonate with audiences, resulting in strong brand affinity.
Software and tools recommendations: what is the one software you can’t work without and why?
Feedly – if it isn’t already, this will become your most accessed website. Sick of digging for news and switching from Mumbrella to SMH, Business Insider to Adweek, Social Media Examiner to Entrepreneur? This free tool aggregates topics from across the web into one news feed, allowing you to tailor news to your interests across industries, trends, skills and more – work smarter, not harder.
AnswerThePublic – stuck for consumer insights when gathering strategy research, or looking for inspiration to create hyper-relevant content? AnswerThePublic listens into auto-complete data from search engines, then pinpoints useful phrases and questions that people are asking in relation to your keyword – the ultimate goldmine in search listening tools.
What are three resources you would recommend for anyone working in your field?
The Social Media Geekout Facebook Group & Newsletter – The Social Media Geekout, created and led by social guru Matt Navarra, is a haven for the latest features, insights, tips, industry news, social events and more. Either join their Facebook Group (tip: turn on notifications so you can be alerted to any new updates), or sign-up to their weekly newsletter.
Blinkist App – the idea of sitting down to read a 400 page book, versus finding the time to do so in your busy schedule, is a common predicament. The Blinkist App is a book summarising tool; in 15 mins you can read or listen to the key insights from bestselling nonfiction books. Blink, and it will be done!
Trendwatching Newsletter – an invaluable free newsletter that reports on global economic, demographic and behavioural trends. Keeping ahead of the trends and flashing your ‘I know what’s cool and what consumers want’ knowledge will be easier with this newsletter.