Announcing Our First #SophisticatedMktg Winner

July 12, 2016

You might have noticed a recent influx of Sophisticated Marketer Aficionado laptop decal images floating through your Twitter and Instagram feeds. Perhaps you've even spotted a colleague or two with their physical decal placed neatly on their laptop for all to see. If so, it’s because hundreds of marketers have wisely decided to join the #SophisticatedMktg Movement (And you can too!)

One perk of joining is that you're automatically eligible to win a Sophisticated Swag Pack when you take to your social channels using #SophisticatedMktg and show us what being a Sophisticated marketer means to you.

Our first winner is Jessica Otero, Assistant Vice President, Social Media Manager at SunTrust who used the LinkedIn Publishing platform to share why she believes in the #SophisicatedMktg movement.

To better foster and add value to our #SophisticatedMktg community, we caught up with Jessica as she was unpacking her Swag Pack to see what insights she has to share with our marketing novices and mavens alike. Read on to see where she finds marketing inspiration, how LinkedIn fits into her overall marketing strategy and more.

LinkedIn: How would you describe a sophisticated marketer?

Jessica: I would describe a sophisticated marketer as someone who can distill complex marketing strategies and apply them to business objectives to drive demand. And to become one, you need to stay on top of emerging trends, read lots of thought leadership content, and most importantly, have fun! LinkedIn News is a great feature to help you stay on top of the latest trends in marketing and your industry. For insights, I recommend following the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Showcase Page. They publish great content and training webinars for marketers and often have insights on various audience segments, such as millennials. Plus, if you don’t have time to log into LinkedIn daily to view this content, you can always subscribe via email here

Lastly, marketers so often get caught up in meeting deadlines that they forget to have fun with our creative concepts and content – which can prove to be detrimental to our campaign objectives. When you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or in a creative slump, do as I do and go read a funny, creative post from Buzzfeed. They often help stir my creative juices, and if nothing else, they definitely make me smile. Check out this one featuring some furry friends next time you need to take a second to recharge – #10 gets me every time!

LinkedIn: What does the #SophisticatedMktg Movement mean to you?

Jessica: This movement has made me think about my job differently. I am now leveraging more of the learnings that LinkedIn provides, like their case studies and tips, and it helps me produce better results for my company. My top performing post lately was one that was created based on audience insights LinkedIn gave me and my agency. This movement reminded me of the importance of learning continuously and thinking of new and different ways of approaching my marketing efforts. 

LinkedIn: In sparking this movement, we hope to gather our community of industry influencers and marketing mavens to swap ideas, share effective tactics and uncover opportunities to adapt to your marketing strategy. What is your top marketing tip you can share with this audience?

Provide actionable help to drive results. As more and more companies seek to garner the attention of millennials, advertising to this audience is becoming a fierce competition. Millennials are being told, “Buy this new smartphone!” or “You need this credit card!” or even “Subscribe to our blog!” Being a millennial myself, I can wholeheartedly say that this is not how to market to a younger audience. My generation grew up with the internet and we are very technologically savvy. We know how to block ads, and when we do see them, we barely pay attention to them. So how do you cut through the clutter and get that audience to covert? Simple. Provide actionable help and meet them where they already are.

I recently read that millennials are more likely to turn to Google for help rather than ask their parents when they have a question. Millennials crave information they can act on immediately to either make their lives more efficient or enriched. Provide brief, actionable tips about your product or service with your audience in mind, and you will see more engagement and conversions. The posts we publish on LinkedIn at SunTrust do exactly that. If you’d like to see an example, check out this post on our SunTrust Page.

Lastly, many millennials enjoy reading blogs or watching video bloggers that provide help. Teaming up with these bloggers to have them write about your service or feature your product is a great tactic. We are more willing to trust the opinions of our peers than the advertisements from brands. There are many services and tools that have networks of bloggers that brands can leverage to promote their products and services.

LinkedIn: How does LinkedIn fit into your overall marketing strategy?

Jessica: LinkedIn is one of the five social media platforms in which SunTrust has a presence. We are also on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and just launched our Pinterest page this week. LinkedIn is a way for us to reach a targeted audience to promote our onUp movement, which is designed to help everyone reach financial confidence. You can learn more at We also used LinkedIn to also provide thought-leadership content related to personal finance and have three showcase pages and one affiliated page for promoting content to varied audiences:SunTrust Private Wealth ManagementSunTrust Small BusinessSunTrust Commercial & Corporate, and SunTrust Investment Services.

Finally, we have empowered our financial advisors to share thought leadership content from our Resource Center to their personal LinkedIn networks in a compliant and engaging manner. Those of you reading this that work in a regulated industry know that this was no small feat!

LinkedIn: What’s your top LinkedIn Marketing tip?

Jessica: I could speak all day long about the amazing services in the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions toolbox, but if you’re reading this, you are probably aware of them. If not, check out their offerings here. Their InMail and newly enhanced Sponsored Content offerings have changed the way SunTrust markets on LinkedIn.

However, one of the most often overlooked but extremely important topic is employee engagement on social media. Company employees are perhaps your lowest hanging fruit and something you can do with little to no investment to make a big impact. As little as 3 percent of employees on average share company-related content, but increasing that number by only an additional 3 percent can result in an average increase in engagement of 60 percent [source: LinkedIn]. That’s huge! So, leverage your teammates and get them involved in your LinkedIn strategy. A simple way of doing this is sending out links to your marketing team with all of your LinkedIn content so they can easily find something to share. At SunTrust, our teammates are helping us spark the onUp movement by sharing content on their social media pages. If you make it as simple as possible for your teammates to share content on LinkedIn, they will be more likely to do so.

And, if you are looking for an even bigger impact, I recommend looking into LinkedIn’s latest offering, Elevate, which is an employee advocacy platform. You can learn more about Elevate by clicking here.

LinkedIn: What’s your favorite part about being a marketer?

Jessica: I love marketing, but more specifically, I love being a marketer for a purpose-driven company. SunTrust is dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-being. It’s not just something we say, but it’s something that is engrained in every aspect of our company. We started the onUp movement to bring that purpose to life and provide help to all Americans. It may be a startling, but more than 40 percent of Americans do not have $2,000 saved for an emergency and nearly three quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. SunTrust seeks to change this. At, users can join the movement to take charge financially and set a goal, take a "Mental Wealth Quiz", and share their goals and actions and inspire others through social media. In addition, the site is full of actionable content to help people take steps to move from financial stress to confidence. SunTrust is also donating one dollar for every person that joins the movement to Operation HOPE.

Marketing for a purpose-driven company like SunTrust is incredibly rewarding. When I publish content on LinkedIn to encourage people to take just one step toward a more financially-sound life and they comment saying how helpful the content is, I know that I have made a difference in someone’s life. That is why I get up and go to work every day, and why I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It also doesn’t hurt that I have a great team.

LinkedIn: What’s your favorite quote to inspire marketing greatness?

Jessica: “Too often, feeling intimidated becomes our excuse not to be awesome.” Scott Stratten

Want to win your own Sophisticated Swag Pack? Get your decal and tell us what being a sophisticated marketer means to you! We'll then select a monthly winner.