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High Brew Coffee CMO to Speak at GO2018

Mari Johnson Knows Billboards, Experiential, Pedicabs, and Bikes

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Giving you a heads up we ran this post on Saturday. If you read it Saturday, it’s the same post.  If you did not read it Saturday, take a quick read and learn why High Brew Coffee CMO, Mari Johnson, makes Out of Home an essential component of her marketing plan.  She is scheduled to speak on Tuesday morning, May 8 at the Annual OOH Conference, GO2018 in Austin,Texas.




In the run-up to GO2018, Geopath/OAAA Out of Home Media Conference & Expo, May 7-9 in Austin, Texas, Geopath developed Q&A profiles with the keynote speakers.  We are delighted to share the first profile of CMO, Mari JohnsonHigh Brew.

Mari Johnson is a knowledgeable buyer of Outdoor Advertising, citing experience with traditional Billboards, Posters, Experiential, branding Pedicabs, shared Bikes and Bike Stations.  You will want to make sure you arrive early and sit up front at GO2018.

Get to know her via the profile below and you will be prepared if you have the good fortunate of meeting her one on one at the Conference. At the very least, use the information below to formulate your questions for her post speech.  Click the conference schedule link.


GO2018 SPEAKER PROFILE: Mari Johnson, High Brew

 What is High Brew?

High Brew is an off-the-shelf canned cold brew coffee. Our founder also founded the Sweet Leaf Tea company with his best friend from kindergarten. The two of them brewed and distributed the product themselves for more than 13 years. After that company got acquired, he took a needed vacation, setting out on a boat with his wife and two kids, sailing in the Caribbean, where it was a little bit warmer and he found he needed to stay alert – but he didn’t drink energy drinks, and it was a little too hot outside for hot coffee. The iced coffee he drank was watered down and ineffective. That’s when he discovered the Toddy process, which is how you make cold brew, and saw an opportunity. When he returned to Austin from his trip, he saw there were some cold brews emerging, but they were really expensive, delivered in glass bottles, and not shelf-stable. So he worked to introduce a product that was compatible with an active, on-the-go lifestyle – and four years ago, High Brew the brand was born.

What are your marketing goals, challenges and priorities right now?

Because of the unique way in which the brand was born, our platform is based on the idea that, while this is a coffee product, it also supports an active, on-the-go lifestyle – and our marketing supports that idea. We look to deliver the message that this is a functional energy product, and we want to connect with consumers at a point of need. We do this, in some cases, through experiential marketing – offering consumers samples – or through methods like out-of-home media, which allows us to deliver a message to consumers that we feel will compel them to make a future purchase.


How do you incorporate OOH into your marketing strategies?

All our marketing efforts are executed in a strategic way. We don’t believe in just checking a box and buying media. We use a layered marketing approach where we’ll have a focal point around which we can layer assets to amplify our message. For example, we sponsor the Austin City Limits Festival in October, selling High Brew on site and doing various marketing activities around the festival. We buy radio and digital media to amplify our brand and message and, to complement and scale it all, we also buy OOH. So the consumer is seeing us at the retail level and also hearing us on the radio, seeing digital ads as well as our out-of-home ads, typically in the form of traditional billboards and posters. We also look to bring our brand to life using OOH in other creative ways, like branding pedicabs, shared bikes and bike stations, to complement and amplify the message we are trying to send. With this approach, we’ve found that one-plus-one equals three. By taking a focal point, which is the event, and layering all these assets around it, including OOH, it feels so much bigger.

We also look to bring our brand to life using OOH in other creative ways

Can you preview some of the general insights you plan to share with the audience at GO2018?

We have seen compelling data around the performance of the brand when we deploy all OOH as part of our broader marketing resources, which I plan to share with the audience. In 2017, we tested this method of layering in one singular market to see the effects around that event. The data points were compelling enough for us to shift our whole buying strategy for 2018.

We have seen compelling data around the performance of the brand when we deploy all OOH as part of our broader marketing resources, which I plan to share with the audience

Is there anything you’re hoping to glean yourself from GO2018 and take back to your day-to-day operations?

Out-of-home is an important tool for us to reach consumers. I’m always looking to learn about the types of innovation that are happening. I mentioned bike share earlier – that’s not something I would’ve ever considered as a potential advertising medium. For us, as an active, on-the-go lifestyle brand, it’s great to know that those types of resources are available to reach consumers. I’m looking forward to hearing about the “next thing” and how people are tying in other forms of communications to reach consumers and complement and amplify their out-of-home advertising buys.


As a marketer, what are your general thoughts on OOH as a medium and how it’s evolved over the past several years?

For us, OOH is very compelling, and it’s amplified our other marketing efforts and helped us reach the consumer through one-to-one sampling, experiential marketing and digital marketing that drives consumers to our website, other e-commerce sites or a brick-and-mortar store. They all work in harmony, together with PR and social media. So it is a matter of deploying multiple resources together to amplify the message. OOH is a really important component to that. It is a static message. It’s a clean way to reach the consumer, and we value it tremendously to complement our other efforts.

OOH is a really important component…and we value it tremendously to complement our other efforts.



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