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PODCAST – Marketing during a slow-down featuring Natascha French – Digital Marketer

Podcast Transcript

James Giglio (00:12):

Hello everyone. Welcome back to the long hiatus of the MVP Podcast quarantine edition. We have a very special guest, Natascha French with us. Natascha. Hello.

Natascha French (00:28):

Hi there. Thanks for having me, James.

James Giglio (00:30):

You’re quite welcome. Natasha is known as a digital marketer and sales strategist for technology companies. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Natascha over the last couple of weeks and months here with MVP Interactive. And so thrilled to have you. And I think like many people in this moment of uncertainty and quarantine, it gives us all an opportunity to kind of work on some other projects and knowing that a lot of businesses really stuck on hold. And so it’s nice to be able to kind of get our content streams back going and get the resurgence of our podcast. And so it’s great to have you and thank you so much for your time.

Natascha French (01:17):

Yeah, I’m excited to be on.

James Giglio (01:18):

Awesome. Well, so as we mentioned Natascha has a decorated path quite honestly in terms of a career path. But obviously, we’re here to talk about digital marketing and sales strategies for technology companies. So Natascha, one of the things that we like to do is give our audience an opportunity to learn a little bit more about yourself and your background and, you know, I guess life’s journey that led you into this industry.

Natascha French (01:47):

Yeah, so definitely as you said, it’s not your straightforward background, but it all kind of goes back to where I started my career in storytelling and engaging consumers through that. So started as a journalist doing stuff at CNN on international newsgathering. Part of that, and I always like to start there cause it really my love of telling stories and my love of technology finally merged. So, you know, worked a lot with a lot of companies in-house doing marketing communications for them and very neat markets. And one thing I found was the technology piece that I loved. And being able to work with midsize or small companies or even large companies that were maybe pivoting to help really take their product or service and find the right audience and help it grow. And so having worked for a lot of companies in the risk management world, I spent some time in DC and Chicago I moved back to LA where I’m originally from and you know, the tech scene was researching here about 10 years ago of just dove in there.

And you know, at that time I think you know, every new app was coming to market, really found a love of how do you help these small companies find those audiences, they can really sell their product. But on the other side, having worked for corporations and worked with larger brands, how do you actually educate and talk to brands about what these new technologies do? So when I was in LA, you know, I probably launched every single mobile parking app, <laugh> knowing at the time, cause we know we have parking problems. The ironic part about is I usually use valet, but there’s that now. But how I kind of fell into this is you know, for the past five years I was working with a hologram company and you know, back in the day, I mean, for me a hologram was what you thought on a baseball card.

And what I really thought was so cool was, you know, how consumers work actually engaging with brands became very different with mobile phones. You know, we have kind of a tool in your hand and if you could make that more immersive with augmented reality, virtual reality, holograms, AI just kind of became dis -infatuated with this whole world. And the thing that I really loved was going back to the storytelling piece, which was using this new technology to help brands connect more with the consumer and help tell their brand story and engage that consumer. So what I’ve been doing and loving having the opportunity to work with you guys is how do you bring these new technologies to market and educate the marketplace? And the more thing is how do fans and consumers have fun with this stuff?

You know, I think there’s so much cool stuff out there and if we can allow consumers to test it and use it and experience it, and if a brand happens to sponsor that experience, you know, better yet. But it’s a win-win for both sides. And so yeah, it’s kinda where I am now that is just really helping. My big thing is I wanna make sure that all of these new technologies are successful. And what I’ve seen a lot is sometimes it’s a box mentality and brands haven’t taken time to really how to really use this technology in the right way. And so working with companies like yourself, it’s been great to kind of see, you know, what really cool products you have and then how do we help educate the brands on how do you properly use it to engage whether it’s a fan or a consumer. And we can successfully see these stories using the different types of technologies that we’re gonna dive into. Sure.

James Giglio (05:42):

Sure. So, okay before we get into these specific technologies or, maybe some of the strategies, I’m interested to learn a little bit more about this storytelling piece and if there had been any correlation or education during your time at the News Network. Now obviously being in an environment where the news most people are really tied to the television screen, trying to learn what the updates are with the pandemic that we’re dealing with. And it’s a constant news cycle that just seems to be flipping every 24 hours. And so from your interest and knowledge of creating stories, how much of that was really developed you know, during your days at the news company?

Natascha French (06:28):

Yeah. What always came down to when you work, you know, there’s the feature stories you’re telling, and then when you’re working kind of in, I worked in the newsroom, so it’s like the day to day and at that time it was doing the September 11th attacks, right? And so <Affirmative> kinda like what we’re dealing with today. And you kind of realize life stops for a second and you kind of reassess what is important, but what’s always gonna be the same, whether it’s in a breaking news story or a feature story or documentary, is that connection with the viewer and that connection with the reader. And that’s where I think the storytelling piece is so important because it’s more about how can I tell a story that I’m gonna get across, you know, to that viewer or to that reader that might resonate with them. Right.

I will tell a very different story to a 14-year-old kid than I might tell to a grandparent or to my own parents. Cause it’s not relevant. So I think it goes back to personalizing, having that human connection. Especially with news like today, it’s like always, you know, if something happened, a role that you would play as a producer is you go find someone who can verify that story, tell that story through the eyes of a person, not just, you know, an authoritative person just giving you updates, but to really personalize that story with the hopes that you’re connecting with someone on the other end, that reader or that viewer. And so I think that’s what’s really important, whether it’s a news story, but then on the documentary side, or even when you’re doing brand storytelling, you need to identify who your audience is and then really be able to capture their attention by a story. And then you add those visualizations. Cause you always have to say like, you know, if you’re physically not there and you know, I’m right now in Los Angeles, you know, near the beach if I don’t turn on a television or don’t turn on my computer, to me it’s probably a really nice day <laugh>.

James Giglio (08:35):


Natascha French (08:35):

Right. I could just pretend everything’s fine in the world where once I turn something on and kind of the reality sets in, I wanna hear a story of, you know, someone who’s a young professional, how are they being affected? How are my co-friends and colleagues being affected? So for the storytelling piece of it, whether it’s news or whatnot, it’s so important to know your audience and to really resonate on an emotional level, but also just make sure that it is the factual piece too <laugh>. Yeah. You know, when you’re not making a lot of assumptions. And I think that’s where on the news cycle piece of it, it’s been interesting to kind of see the evolution Sure. Of storytelling. Cause you also now like, what do you believe? Do you know? Right. so that was kind of when I worked at that time, it was a very intense time. You know, I was working with journalists that were in Baghdad every day. I was kind of their lifeline to let them know things, and how things were going, but we always wanted to make sure that we told that story with the facts, but then also with that emotional connection to the reader or the viewer as well.

James Giglio (09:46):

Sure, sure. And it sounds a lot like, you know, a segue into marketing in terms of tailoring a particular message to the right audience. And so maybe you can kind of talk a little bit more about if you know, some of the strategies that you have deployed or have done with these technology companies to make sure that, you know because one of the things that we hear in the live event business and the technology business is that you don’t want to use technology for the sake of technology. Right. And, so as selfish and or opportunistic as it could be to kind of shoehorn tech as a technology company into an experience, you know, you’re really doing an ultimate disservice to everyone involved if that’s just your, your motive. Right. And so talk to us a little bit about maybe using technology or marketing strategies to tell the right story to a different target audience.

Natascha French (10:36):

Yeah, for sure. And I think that you said it really well, I call it the check-the-box mentality, right? We saw a lot of failures in emerging tech, whether it was AR, VR, or holograms because you know, people were just checking a box and doing something really cool, but they never had a goal in mind. And it’s just like, whether you’re doing a traditional, you know, marketing campaign and sending out collateral or doing a stunt, you know, at an event, it still has to have a goal. And if you don’t have that goal and then you throw in new technology, that’s a failure before it starts. And when I talk about goals, I’m talking about, you know, are you using new technology for user-generated content? Are you trying to just get a PR headline? Are you trying to engage an audience just to launch a new product and you just wanna use them super cool, Let’s look at that goal and then align the technology with that goal in mind.

Because it then comes back to the content, right? You can have a super cool, you know, immersive experience, but if the content doesn’t resonate with that end user <Affirmative>, they’re just gonna be like, That was cool, but you know, and they won’t really take, you have to have an emotional connection. So I think what I’ve seen is two streets one is on the technology company side, what has been very successful is how you market your technology in a digestible way because it’s so new. Like some of this tech is so cutting edge. Sure. in our world we live in, you know, we can spit out all these acronyms and we’re doing this and it’s gesture-based and, but in someone who might have never put a VR headset on or someone who has never taken a phone like Pokemon Go and like experienced AR they’re not sure what that is, Right.

And they’re not sure how is this important to me and how is this, you know, gonna make my life any better? So in marketing and technology companies, I always say it’s really important to know what you actually do and to categorize yourself in a way that is digestible and understandable to the user<affirmative>. So for example, if I was working for example, when I’m working with companies like yourself, you know, you have some really cool VR experiences, AR experiences, but for the brand that’s working with you, what does that AR experience actually means or do, you know, how does the user like, have a phone in their hand and what are they seeing and is that more of an interactive experience, You know, is it an experience that’s going to get them to buy their product or, So for the tech companies, it’s important to one, be able to clearly define what your technology does important, understand what does that customer experience when they’re using that technology, right?

From like, from A to Z, how will that person immerse in my brand? And one thing that’s really important too for the tech companies is that your just, you’re one part of that tech. So let’s say you’re just the app on the phone, it’s still important to tell the whole story of how that user is gonna experience, that app on the phone. How is that content gonna live after you do the experience? Is it shareable? You know, how can that content live beyond it? How does the experience start before that user might get to the stadium? Right? Let’s say you buy a ticket <Affirmative>, or you can then, you know, send an email saying, download our app and engage with us before you get to the stadium, meet other fans or, So I think it’s really important too for the tech companies to not just silo yourself one moment, and I’m talking more about these are more like immersive tech companies doing these consumer engagements.

<Affirmative>, but understanding kind of from the start to the end, what does that 360-degree view look like for the consumer? Cause I think that helped the brand better understand, oh, now this fits into my whole marketing campaign. You know, you have a touchpoint, in the beginning, you have a touchpoint during the experience, and then you have a touchpoint at the end. On the flip side, for brands and organizations looking to use technology, I emphasize a lot about what’s the goal of using this new tech. And I think it’s so important to not just use the tech to check a box. Because as I mentioned earlier, that will be a failed experience because just because it’s cool doesn’t mean it really ties in the consumer knows what to do with this experience. Cause one thing that’s really important is, I’m sure you’ve downloaded apps before and our attention spans, it’s one of my favorite stats is are less than fish.

I think the goldfish is at nine seconds, humans are at eight seconds. So we have no attention span. Right? The last thing, is you try to download the app, but it doesn’t work. You probably give up, right? Cause we are so impatient. And so with these new technology companies, you sometimes have that one shot <laugh> for the technology to work, but sometimes the technology is so new. Like if it’s gesture-based, there’s only one gesture that this whole world knows that it’s a swipe. And you’re working with these new gesture-controlled experiences, you really have to think about, you know, this is so new for a consumer, I’m literally like moving my hand and air and somethings happen. There’s no tangible like you’re not touching something. Right? And I think if you can explain that, what’s really important on the marketing end is easily describing what your tech does, how the user interacts with it, and then what is that end experience.

 When that uses it for the technology company and for the brand side, when you’re using new tech to market, it’s so important to use the tech company as a partner. You know, you’re hiring these tech companies as the experts and work with them to be like, Hey, what’s worked before? What have you seen as a success with consumers? What are, you know, what is really cool and cutting edge, but not so complicated that a consumer’s gonna get frustrated with it? Do you know? Cause that’s the last experience you want a consumer to have is to be frustrated.

James Giglio (17:12):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and it’s I think you mentioned a key point, you know, in terms of checking the boxes, right? And, so one of the things that we constantly go through when, when a new client comes to us really identifies a lot of the times, you know, what they think that they want isn’t really what they need. And educating them as to what, Right. What is the right technology? And, you know, as you mentioned, the acronyms and what have you gets very confusing. And a marketer’s definition of one technology could be slightly different than a technologist’s definition, of a technology. Right. And so I think one of, from our perspective going through the creative process, going through the brainstorming is really listening to the brand, listening to what their message is, and then using technology as the right, the proper technology as the right conduit.

 And so that’s always a fun and rewarding process for us because, you know, as you had mentioned, integrating, you know, we become partners of these brands, right? And our clients. And so this isn’t just, hey, buy the new cool tech toy. This is like, you know, consumer engagement for the 21st century. And this is the newfound media. And, so we wanna make sure that the experience is good, it’s memorable, and, you know, the data-driven points are accomplished and you know, what is the right technology for that experience. And so I think you’re, you’re spot on with that and that’s very much a part of our process as well.

Natascha French (18:47):

No, I love it. And one thing I forgot to mention too is you know, I, it’s funny, I do a kind of social media for all the people I’ve worked with my whole career. Like I don’t post anything, right? Like, so I am probably you wouldn’t even know I’m engaged, right? Cause I have nothing personally posted, but, which is funny. Like I wouldn’t go to myself and be like, Would I use this app to share? So I say that because it’s really important to talk to who you’re a target and understand like, what are 15-year-olds doing right now, right? Is it all in TikTok? Should my technology output be TikTok if it’s a social sharing experience, right? What are you like, I don’t know, I guess Facebook’s not cool anymore for some age generations. Like I, you know, so I think it’s so important to know what people are using as the output, if it’s a shareable experience or, you know I know we’re gonna kind of talk about this later, but like right now everyone’s at home.

There aren’t events to go to, right? So I think it’s really important we look at some AR solutions at home, and we can talk about that in a bit, but it’s, it’s understanding like, what is that user going to experience now <Affirmative> and how is that user going to take in that content, how that user’s going to respond to that content. Like, I used to call friends that had high school kids, like, “Hey, what are your kids using these days?” And I think it’s so important. Like, understand like what’s, what’s cool? Cause you could build this really cool tech, but if no one uses it <laugh> or you know, no one gets it, it’s not gonna be cool. And I think the fun thing, what you guys are doing, and what I love doing is like creating these experiences that the end-user is just like, this is the coolest thing I just did.

Like, I didn’t even know what happened, but you know, I just like throw a virtual baseball and like got to challenge myself against my favorite athlete. And like, it’s those moments that they’re sharing with their family and friends. And whether it’s from their couch through an AR app or, you know, when we can go back into stadiums, it’s there. But I think that the cool thing about this tech is creating not just an individual experience, but an experience that could be shared beyond with, you know, with your friends and with your family. And it’s just, you know, having those moments where like I think one of my favorite things is seeing when a kid gets as excited as like his grandfather, right?

James Giglio (21:19):


Natascha French (21:19):

Technology is like bridging that moment for them.

James Giglio (21:21):

Yeah, exactly. And, that is ultimately our goal with every new development. And as folks that are developing the technology like us, it can get you, you can fall down the rabbit hole very easily and quickly and deeply with making sure that every asset is proper, every mechanic is proper, and really lose sight of what the ultimate goal is. And, really to keep it simple, with any new technology that goes out our door, there’s just one question in mind. And it is, was it a good experience? Right? And so you can do all the bells and whistles and design and over-engineer an experience, but if it’s not good, it’s a waste. And so I think that’s really important. And I think that is where these immersive technologies are the new frontier of where media is going because of such the powerful messaging behind that experience.

And from a marketing perspective, you can do all of the data analysis that you want and understand that millennials, you know, their purchase power is coveted amongst all these brands, but you know, what they value the most is experience, right? And so, yeah, great. You know, like you have a buying generation that wants to attend events and concerts and games and all of these public gatherings to experience something. So how do you capitalize that as a brand and make sure that you know, you are not just like the brand that’s putting up a billboard or maybe doing a radio spot leaning on technology to really connect as that new form of media? And so for someone that has been in this space for 10 years in different iterations, talk to us about the evolution of where you’ve seen, you know, the trends of engagement and technology really merge with where brands are actually no longer saying, Oh, that’s a nice to have. It’s a must-have.

Natascha French (23:26):

Yeah. It’s funny just about saying one thing, and it goes back to that user customer experience if you create something that enhances a moment, and makes something easier for a person, that means the technology worked. If it’s making it more difficult to get into where you’re trying to go <laugh>, you know, that’s when technology can be a failure. Where I think it’s really important, you know, 10 years ago it was all about apps and like everyone was, you know, creating every single app you could imagine. But then I don’t, I wish I had the stat but I think it was, there’s a stat out there of actually how many apps people use daily. And I think it’s like just that front screen right on your phone which might be like 10 which is not many apps for, you know, how many apps in the-

James Giglio (24:22):

Realm of things. Yeah, yeah,

Natascha French (24:24):

Yeah. And it’s funny cause if you think about like what apps you use on a daily basis and I, the thing about that was it was capturing the audience, back then it wasn’t just apps were so new too. So I started noticing the apps that were useful, like the parking hour, those that I was working with. And then I started working with like a food delivery app back in the day. But then there were apps that were like, is this truly helping the person? Could this better be used on a web medium? You know, do we really need an app for this? And then all of a sudden, every company was building an app, but maybe you just needed a web, a mobile-friendly version of your site, right? Like, and I think that’s where with technology you can have these great ideas, but you wanna make sure that it makes sense for your brand.

You know, just because one brand does it and has success doesn’t mean it’s right for your user. So like, I’ve worked with a lot of companies, especially with AI and with interfaces where, for example when I started working in the, you know, kind of augmented reality, holographic space, a lot of these organizations were looking for like, let’s get an AI personality, who to interact with me at a bank. If you really think about who is actually going into banks right now, the older people probably. And if you really went, took the time to go to the bank, you probably wanna talk to a human. If you, so does an AI robot really, you know, pepper the robot? Is that really gonna resonate with them, like an 80-year-old who’s going into a bank to talk to a human who probably doesn’t even have a cell phone, maybe, I don’t know?

Or, you know, And that’s when you have to make sure, like, is this technology actually enhancing the experience for the user, or is it now gonna make someone like angry at a three-foot-tall robot asking how they can help you? Sure. And I think that’s really important when I use that example. Cause I know Pepper the robot and we used to see a lot of them, and then I’m like, where did all the Peppers go? It’s like, and it’s, and I think it’s useful for some informational stuff and for the right place, but it doesn’t work at everyone. And it goes back to like, who is your audience? Like, know that this technology might hinder the moment for someone as opposed to enhancing that experience. Yeah. So I think the same thing happened when the first time I did virtual reality, I did virtual, it was a skiing experience and I ski personally.

So I put the headset on, and they asked me if I wanted to stand on this like wiggle board. I was like, No, let’s just start with the ground. And then all of a sudden he said, Look down. I looked down and all of a sudden he is like, look up and I’m going like 80 miles per hour down, a slope. And then all of a sudden I’m going off a jump and my knees buckled. I threw it off and I like fell <laugh>, it was the most out of body. Like. And then goes back to the content. Like right? Like maybe that would’ve been fun for like a 14-year-old kid <laugh> like wanted that out, but Right. Like that was the experience from, like, that was not a fun experience. And it took me a while to do VR again. Cause I was like, <laugh>

James Giglio (27:44):

Traumatized. Yeah. You almost broke a bone there.

Natascha French (27:47):

<Laugh>. Yeah, I fell, I always say I fell VR skiing which is really sad, but it’s, it’s going back to like the content, knowing that user and is that experience gonna enhance my day or is it going to deterrent? And I think that kind of goes across with everything from, you know, streaming with AI experiences. Like I think voice is great, like what we do with Siri and Alexa, and like how voice has been such a, it’s like a part of our daily lives, right? But when that worked at your home, now you take voice to a mall. You know, I don’t wanna go to a mall and have a public conversation if I’m going to buy a personal item, right? So like, sure, that might not be the best tool for a large mall. Or I’m not gonna go to a bank and be like yelling my code <laugh>, you know, to, And so I think it’s going back to making sure the technology makes sense for your brand, It makes sense for your user, it makes sense for your consumer. Because every new tech doesn’t mean it’s the right tech for you.

James Giglio (28:52):

Right. Yeah. You know, it’s funny that you had mentioned the banking experience because just the other day, and I mean, this is purely anecdotal, but you know, given the environment that we’re in with social distancing and really being quarantined to our homes and, you know, attending these essential businesses and banking is obviously one of them, but you had mentioned about, you know, that human interaction and you know, as I was in line, you know, literally to get into the bank, there was an elderly woman who had never used her ATM machine. And so she was just, you know, really looking to speak to someone to help her because she didn’t know what to do. And at this particular branch, there was only one individual working. And every message, every sign that was in the branch was going to the ATM.

If you need mind, just go to the atm. And this poor woman really had no idea how to interface with it. And so and then, you know, publicly, that’s an uncomfortable situation because you know, you want to help. I wanted to help. But, you know, that’s very sensitive. That’s private information, you know, and for someone the first time using it, I mean, you can imagine the anxiety in terms of fraud or, you know, she doesn’t know me and, you know, there’s no level of relationship there. But so yeah, so ultimately you know, the teller was able to assist her. But it’s a very good point in really focusing on you know, the right technologies for the right environments and the right people. And so I guess, you know, that, that could be a good segue in terms of, you know, the environment that we’re in right now dealing with this pandemic and you know, the world is on one part on hold, but on the other side really moving to a new trajectory and how we interface and you know, how we’re communicating with each other.

Right. You know, even now during this podcast, we’re on a video chat, you know, I see you through the eyes of a screen, and every single corporate meeting that we’ve had over the past month, month and a half has been done via teleconference or video conference. And so talk to us a little bit about what your forecast or what’s in your purview in terms of how shifting technologies you know, with brands or, you know, what’s the wave of this uncertain future right now? Through technology?

Natascha French (31:17):

Yeah, I think, well, it’s funny the more, like right now it’s even more important to be able to use technology to bring joy or a smile or also ease to your daily life. Like, I think we could look at it in two things, right? There are opportunities where we’ve talked a lot about this is, you know, taking you, you guys are great at, you know, building in concourse experience, right? For sporting events right now, there are no events. Let’s take those in-concourse experiences like you’re doing and offer those content-creation moments from the user’s couch. So sure, I can become a bobbing head you know, of my favorite player and I can what you guys do. And I think that’s great because one, we need a little, everyone needs to be a bobbing head right now, right?

James Giglio (32:04):

Never gets old. It never gets old.

Natascha French (32:07):

<Laugh>. I dunno if you wanna head, but I’m saying like, or like, we need those moments of fun and we need those moments right now, I think more than ever. And if technology can help us get some of those, that’s one use case, which I think is great. And you know what we all do with voice or I always laugh these apps with the shopping, like, I’m like, it’s funny like you think high tech and I’m literally texting with my shopper and I’m like, how is this high tech? It’s just communicated with me, right? Like sure. That part of it, like this whole, we’re not going the grocery store. And now I have some person out there shopping for me and nothing’s ever available and he’s sending me photos of like, I dunno if that’s advanced yet, It’s getting the job done, right? But it’s not the most pleasant experience.

<Laugh> having to spend 30 minutes with this person going back and forth on what soup I want. But with the technologies that can help is for the banking stuff. You know, if you get a check right now and you don’t, can’t go to a bank, right? And the fact that we can just, you know, deposit it online, like thinking about those technologies or on your phone, sorry, through a mobile app, that’s, those are things that can really help as well. So I think there’s room right now more than ever for those fun content creation experiences that you can, you know, all of us are having happy hours with our friends via chat. I know my friends have sent me multiple apps, I forgot what they’re called, but to like connect that way just to kind of change it up a bit or creating content.

I was talking to my friend who went on a Zoom date the other night, <laugh>. And so, you know, it’s like how are we using this streaming? Like I to still connect with people? Sure. And I think technology now more than ever is enabling us to do that, right? So you’re connecting whether it’s like we’re doing right now, we’re connecting for everyday use to get groceries at the home to help people. And then in the healthcare space, I mean, all of the doctors who can do telemedicine for non-emergency based you know, conditions for people is huge, right? We can you know, it doesn’t work for every case, but I think that’s so important right now that you can communicate with someone, a doctor, get help, get advice, because, you know, the biggest thing we wanna do is connect and it’s, it’s whatever that way is, whether it’s for health, whether it’s for simple the grocery shopping.

But then on the brand side of things kind of going back to the fun piece of it, I think brands now more than ever can really find a way to connect with their friends using new content. So maybe I know a lot of stuff about AR and VR and is the content piece, right? Sometimes you have to shoot in a certain way or create the content to be used. But if we can work with brands and technology companies and say like, Hey, we might have an arsenal of 3D products or 3D assets, how can we take these and now use them through these apps or through a web experience and working with technology companies like yourself to say like, how do we still connect with with the consumer in these times when not they’re not going to events? And I think it comes down to a few things.

 You know, you guys are working with this cool, the video messaging tool that you guys are gonna be releasing. It’s more of how can those fans still connect with athletes. How can those, Right, and the athlete can be at home, right? And the fan can be at home. But the thing is, if you’re keeping that conversation going, you’re keeping, you know, the excitement alive. Cause the reason we all went to events was to have those moments, right? To have those moments with your friends, those moments with the players and cheering them on. And I think we still need that in our life right now. You know, like, and I, if we could do that from the couch and still interact with, you know, your favorite fan athlete or your favorite celebrity that’s a great way that brands could use tech right now to bring joy and or keep the momentum going. So when we can go back into stadiums and go to concerts and whatnot you know, we’re still, we’re still those true fans <laugh>.

James Giglio (36:35):

Yeah. You know, and I think that’s a good point because I, you know, one of the things that I had witnessed or at least observed early on is the absolute disservice that brands were missing out on an opportunity here where of course when something like a pandemic happens, I think there is an initial pause to kind of get your bearings to understand re-strategize and then, you know, really provide that or find that opportunity. But early on, I just saw this overall malaise within the brand community and the advertising community that everyone sort of fell silent. And of course, I think after a catastrophic event like this and one that really jars, you know, the psyche of, of what our everyday life is, that’s completely understandable. But, you know, working with sports teams for so long, I was just you know, just shocked how quiet they were on social, even the larger brands up until recently, and again, we’re probably six weeks into this environment now you’re starting to see some real emotional connective advertising and, and commercials from these large brands.

But, you know, for us, I think you’re exactly right, and this is obviously something that we talked about internally, is how do we capture this audience where, you know, you have the undivided attention of millions of people right now and the entire world is really circling the airport, the airport in this holding pattern where we’re not really seeing the opportunity in, in brands and teams and celebrities, even entertainers connecting with their, their real base. And so it’s a big opportunity and, and I think that’s one that we’re, we’ve challenged ourselves with at MVP to really fill that void. And again, you know, as luck may have it, you know, as soon as we kind of come to an experience, things may open up again and, and it, it’ll be short-lived. Hopefully, that is the case. But I think it is important that outside of the utility tech that you had mentioned that brands really start focusing on mobile engagements and communicating with their fans.

And you had referenced our new latest offering in what we’re calling up, you know, the fan portal in that, you know, a highly branded microsite and video communication tool can be offered to per provide this two-way communication between you know, a team, a brand, an athlete, and thousands, hundreds of thousands of fans and pretty seamlessly. And so, you know, we’re excited about the opportunity and you know, I’m hoping that brands, you know, collectively put their creative heads together and think of new ways to connect with us where we could all use a good laugh right now. We could all use some comfort, we can all use some positivity and you know, we, I don’t think brands should really miss out on this, this opportunity with their consumers, so

Natascha French(39:40):

No, for sure. We all need to be bobbleheads.

James Giglio(39:42):

<Laugh>. That’s right. Well, Natascha, one thing that we like to do with our guests is given a nice round of applause for you. I don’t know if you can hear this on your end, but we are at our time, but this has been a great chat. Natasha, you had mentioned that you don’t promote too much on social. If people wanna contact you, what is the best way to reach you? Or do you wanna promote any sort of any plugs here that.

Natascha French (40:11):

Yeah. No, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with me. My name’s spelled a little differently. It’s N-A-T-A-S-C-H-A, Natascha French. It’s probably the best way to contact me. And yeah, it’s funny, I don’t think, I think all my social channels are private, but my content’s not as good yet. I’m still kind of coming up with what my micro-blogging site will be one day.

James Giglio (40:36):

Well, hopefully, we can help you out with it.

Natascha French (40:38):

Yeah. What you guys doing at MVP Interactive is awesome. So I recommend all brands or agencies looking for ways and sports teams to engage with consumers or fans or just kind of talk it out to reach out to you guys as well. Cuz I think that a good starting point is just what are the possibilities and going to experts like yourself and other technology companies and trying to understand how can they use tech correctly and also effectively. So big applaud to you guys as well for what you’re doing and how you’re innovating in times like this to still find ways for people to engage with each other.

James Giglio (41:16):

Well, thank you very much. Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening to the latest MVP podcast. You can find us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all social channels. We’ll have this up and running over the next few days. And be sure to contact Natascha French on LinkedIn. I am James Giglio, you can also find me online. And until next time, it’s been a pleasure. Oh, I hit the wrong soundboard. I hope that <laugh>, we’ll have to cut that out. But here’s the exit music.

MVP Interactive Podcast


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