Change Agent

How Marie Josee Lamothe helps brands transform their marketing for the age of Google

Why brands need to start targeting interests instead of profiling demographics

header for Canadian Business series Change Agents
Marie Josee Lamothe, Google Canada managing director, branding

“It’s no longer about profiling the person. It’s about finding communities with interests that are relevant to your brand.” (Thomas Dagg)

In her last job, as chief marketing officer for L’Oréal Canada, Lamothe oversaw a digital revolution: the company’s market share rose from 20% to 30%. Google hired her as its managing director, branding, to help other Canadian brands make the same transition.

“Digitizing communication is the biggest challenge for a chief marketing officer. And it’s not a marketing challenge, it’s a business challenge. E-commerce is a good place to start—developing a channel for it is an easy way to see instant results. Your communications have a direct impact on profitability.

A few years ago we would take a media plan and target a customer profile. We’d say we wanted to talk to men who are 15 to 25 who have acne. Now you target everybody who has an acne concern. It’s no longer about profiling the person. It’s about finding communities that have interests that are relevant to your brand, and then making your brand present within that community. As long as the brand is always available, as long as the brand is educational or useful or entertaining, the community really gets engaged.

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That’s the way we consume media: We don’t say, ‘Oh, look, this is Nike on a tablet,’ or ‘This is Nike in print.’ We just think of Nike as a brand and how that brand relates to us and our interests. For marketers, it’s time we started communicating the way we actually consume, which is always on, omni-channel and readily available when the consumer is looking for us.”