Win More Podcast: Emerging Opps with GoldieBlox & Wyndham Hotels

July 30, 2020

Our podcast experts Joe Winter and John Zaldonis dive into two top brands making moves. Read their conversation here or listen on Spotify. For contact information on these brands and other top advertisers request a Winmo demo here.

GoldieBlox: Adds new marketing execs

John Zaldonis

Welcome to the Win More podcast. We’re going to talk about GoldieBlox. First things first here is who are they? They are a mission-driven company aimed specifically towards young girls looking to close the STEAM gap, STEAM being science, technology, engineering, art and math. Now, you may have heard of STEM before, and STEM is something that I know gets a lot of play. But STEAM, maybe not so much. So here’s the difference between the two. STEM explicitly focuses on things like scientific concepts, whereas STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does so through things like problem-based learning methods used in the creative process. But for this old liberal arts grad, I gotta say I 100 percent endorse the STEAM approach instead of STEM.

Joe Winter

John, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Combining arts and science teaches students to be able to think both critically and creatively. Science and its related subjects alone, offer the ability to use logic and perform a few particular types of research. Art offers more than simple creative thinking. It also offers, among other things, the ability to view any subject matter from multiple perspectives, which is really crucial to truly understanding and appreciating the STEM subjects. The trend toward STEM education began more than 10 years ago, with the A for arts added later on.

It’s a trend in education that’s continued to gain popularity, especially in K through 12. You will find Millennial’s and early GenZ-ers to be among some the first graduates of STEM education without the arts. Then, you will find younger members of GenZ to be among the first under STEAM approach.

John Zaldonis

GoldieBlox began as a Kickstarter campaign, but they have since grown to be a market leader. Their DIY kits, range from making things like unicorn headphones, LCD cloud lights, DIY glitter beauty labs. So, I mean, first of all, it’s just seems like a really good product for developing minds.

But also, you have to think, Joe, that some of these products are tailor-made for kids who may be stuck at home and parents looking for something, anything to occupy their kids’ time. As as we kind of trudge through these times, I can certainly think of my brother and sister in law who could probably use this right now.

Joe Winter

So, let’s talk about some of the new hires over at GoldieBlox. Pharrell McDonald recently joined. We believe that Pharrell is their first CMO who joins GoldieBlox with a wide range of experience. Previously, she held the post of CMO overhead Tinder and going from Tinder to GoldieBlox is a few very interesting transition.

John Zaldonis

Right?

Joe Winter

She’s also had senior marketing positions over at Stars and Nike. So it is indeed a very wide range of experience within that field. These are obviously different verticals. The position at Tinder does make us wonder if we’ll see more of a paid social strategy from GoldieBlox moving forward.

John Zaldonis

I saw that I was like, wow, talk about diversifying your experience.

Melissa Schneider, is another hire for us to talk about as well. She was brought aboard recently as the Chief Content Officer. Our WinmoEdge team says “combined, these two are expected to support a rapid national expansion plan.” Last year, GoldieBlox entered into a partnership with Joann to create a monthly subscription based business model. Rainmaker kits would be delivered to clients, although that project was ultimately abandoned.

Joe Winter

I know it seems like a good idea and very much in line with their brand. So it wouldn’t be particularly shocking to see them return to, if not that exact venture, then that type of venture in the future.

John Zaldonis

Just in general subscription box models are blowing up. There’s BarkBox for pets.  This model is very popular. It certainly would not surprise me to see GoldieBlox revisit that in the future.

Now, in terms of media spend, this is kind of a rare advertiser that we featured that we’re talking a lot about here on the pod, but they don’t really have that much spend to talk about. Recently, we looked at our partners at Kantar, iSpot, Adbeat and Pathmatics. We’re pretty much striking out. We haven’t seen much digital or TV.

We did see a big spend back in 2014 where they spent a lot on a Super Bowl spot. But that’s pretty much it. Let’s go back to what the team at Edge is noting here; that there is a plan in place for rapid expansion. And, you know, with all new CMO’s we think that that is obviously a positive indicator that change may very well be coming.

Joe Winter

Their key demographic is going to be overwhelmingly millennial and GenZ female. So for GoldieBlox, we are looking at an audience of young moms and their kids.

John Zaldonis

For the Agency and Martech listeners out there, we’ve seen this many, many times and we’re gonna see it again. We have a new CMO here, so that could absolutely, positively trigger a future agency review.

Wyndham Hotels: Shifting gears with loyalty offers, local focus

John Zaldonis

We’re going to talk about Wyndham Hotels because like most hotels, they have been drastically forced to shift their marketing strategy in response to the global pandemic. We’ve seen plenty of verticals that we’ve talked about on the podcast that have had to adjust their strategies.

But I would certainly argue that no other vertical, maybe with a couple of exceptions, have been as greatly impacted as hotels like Wyndham.

Joe Winter

Their CMO, Lisa Checchio, was recently quoted in AdAge actually talking about just this very subject. Obviously travel is way down and becoming much more regional than in the past. This makes sense given that so many states have been spiking in infection rates at different times.

John Zaldonis

I mentioned this to another person on Slack today, as somebody who has literally not been out of the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan since Thanksgiving, I can understand that. I can’t take it anymore personally myself. I am looking to spontaneously get the hell out of the city so I could understand in response to all of this. Wyndham is focusing way more on local advertising, which clearly makes sense here, given the nature of what we’re living through right now.

They’re also taking steps to build upon brand loyalty. One of those offers is to offer guests a free night for every two nights stayed.

Joe Winter

That is a pretty amazing offer as far as hotels go. I have to say about I’d also like to take a moment to go off the rails a little and I’m going to point to an article. It offers a really interesting twist, I think, to the story of hotels in this day and age.

John Zaldonis

In April this year, the company appointed digital media director Brittany Capalbo. Which we think is actually a pretty solid signal as to where they might increase their presence once spending returns to more of a normal figure.

Joe Winter

In fact, that shift might already be on the way. According to Pathmatics, they are estimating that Wyndham has spent about four million dollars in digital so far in 2020, although admittedly the rate of digital spend did decline with the onset of the pandemic. The majority of these ads were placed directly on travel sites like Orbitz and Expedia and TripAdvisor.

John Zaldonis

Not only as Wyndham not spent nearly as much on TV as they have on digital, but it is actually important to unpack exactly what they’re promoting when they do so. Wyndham Hotels – zero dollars in TV spend in 2020, which is shocking to me. But that’s the way it is, according to iSpot.

Instead, when they do spend on television, they have been specifically promoting their loyalty program, which is called Club Wyndham. So Club Wyndham ads have accounted for $977k year to date, which again for a company this size on television anyway, would be still kind of on the smaller side of things. Those placements have been on things like South Park and also during PGA tournaments.

Joe Winter

I would love to know about the overlap.

John Zaldonis

Where’s the Venn diagram there?

Joe Winter

Now, our partners at Kantar also indicate that Wyndham spends on things like out-of-home and print, specifically newspapers and B2B magazines.  It seems like the Northeast is doing comparatively well right now in terms of Covid transmission rates. So, if that’s your territory, consider Wyndham to be a better prospect. Then if you were based somewhere else right now, like here in Atlanta.

John Zaldonis

Sad but true, I would say in this case the key demo was actually kind of interesting because usually, as the team at Edge pointed out, usually we’d expect this to be a business decision-maker, an event planner crowd. But not a lot of industry events happening in person these days. The need to rent out those hotels is certainly way, way down. Instead, now what we would be more likely to expect is for Wyndham to be pursuing Millennial and Gen Z families instead.

Joe Winter

For agency and martech listeners, we’re not seeing any signs of an imminent review. So you should probably prospect elsewhere for now unless you are a music agent.

John Zaldonis

All right, listeners, I think that will just about do it for today’s episode of the Winmo podcast. Joe, do you have any final words to send us off?

Joe Winter

I wanted to take a moment to offer my highest recommendation to check out the GoldieBlocks YouTube channel. First, they clearly know their audience. Second, if you even if you’re not part of that target audience, you are still going to find some videos that are just really fun and it’s insightful at the same time. And third, you’ll also find some inspirational stories like there, like I did with their video, ‘Meet the YouTube coder behind the subscribe button.’

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. How B2B Sales Can Adapt in an Economic Downturn
  2. 7 Business Podcasts to Reignite Your Sales Strategy
  3. 5 Cannabis Brands Sparking Up Marketing Spend

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