Why adidas Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management

Since I joined adidas four yeas ago, I decided to start tracking some common keywords as it relates to it’s brand. By setting up the following keywords in Google Alerts, it help me monitor the brand activities. I set up alerts for the following keywords and the reason why:

  • adidas sucks – to track any new product that is tracking with the words “suck” in it.  This is a brand killer.
  • adidas lost – if adidas lost an influencer, athlete, teams, or sponsorship.
  • adidas results – monitor for feedback on quarterly results.
  • adidas cheap – ho is selling products at discounted prices, this is a negative impact on the brand as consumers equates cheap/low price product to bad quality.
  • Other that come to mind, specially now days
    • adidas sustainability – adidas is one of the most sustainable companies in the industry, specially with it’s partnership with Parley. 
    • adidas recycled – adidas is launching a 100% recycle running shoe that can be recycles every 3 months or so, over, and over, and over…amazing.

The keywords above have exposed me to amazing positive news regarding adidas, as well as not so great news or information regarding the brand.

As an example, the sustainability and recycle stories are amazing, on the flip side stories about low product quality and negative financial results, which could lead to people loosing their jobs is always hard to hear.

Regardless, i appreciate the brand’s tonality and ability to be open with their informational and organizational branding and how they have mastered it over the years. After all they have been doing this for over 70+ years.

Below is a great video on adidas ambition to replace all polyester with recycle materials by 2024. This is an example of a great positive story.

On the flip side the article and video below regarding the now infamous ‘shackle’ shoes shows when a horrible idea becomes a negative press for the brand, it’s an older post but still relevant.

Above you see how a balance of positive and negative information can influencing a brand. The tale tale sing that a company has a handle on their brand image and brand marketing is when you see an organization that can capitalize on positive news/information, and how quickly and effectively they respond to customer’s backlash when things go south.

There is tons to be learned by adidas ORM tactics and strategy.


YouTube, YouTube, Jan. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=pJBRqespiOA&feature=emb_logo.

Solomon, Jesse. “Adidas Cancels ‘Shackle’ Shoes after Outcry.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 June 2012, https://www.cnn.com/2012/06/18/us/adidas-shackle-shoes/index.html.

I am Social Media Certified!

Hello, marketing professionals. As you continue in your marketing journey, I would highly recommend snagging some certificates from HubSpot Academy. First, they are free, second they are valuable and bring a certain je ne sais quoi to your LinkedIn profile and professional skills.

HubSpot offers many certifications online. I chose to go through the Social Media Certification. Why you may ask! Because we live in a social media world and I’m a social media kind of marketer. To be honest, everything today is social media, and I really wanted to learn more about the topic. This certification gave me great exposure to the inner-workings of Social Media and how to leverage it within a well thought out marketing strategy.

Social Media is everywhere!

This certificate is not for the faint of heart, it took me several weeks, multiple hours per day, of dedication to get through the content that was broken down in the following areas:

  • Lesson 1: Developing a Social Media Strategy
  • Lesson 2: Social Media Listening and Monitoring
  • Lesson 3: Building a Content Strategy
  • Lesson 4: Extending Your Social Reach
  • Lesson 5: Using Social Media to Build One-to-One Relationships
  • Lesson 6: Digital Advertising: The Basics
  • Lesson 7: Measuring Your Social Return On Investment
  • Lesson 8: Social Media Essentials for Continued Success
What did I like about the course?

What I really enjoyed about this journey, was how much I didn’t know about Social Media, as a user you think you know everything, but in reality there is so much that goes into it. Some is science, some is art, which is pretty cool. The information was the right level, and it went deep enough to get a great understanding on how to the different channels for business. One of the more interesting lessons was on social ROI. Something that can be used on day 1. Also, another great point of learning was related with governance and social media. Do no harm should be the goal for any social media strategy.

What were my dislikes?

Honestly, there were no dislikes, the course was professionally done. Great content and teachers, with real world experiences. Nice job HubSpot!

Disappointment and/or Frustration = Learning

The only frustrating part for me was the time commitment, as a working professional I had to be diligent in how I spent my time in order to work toward my certification. Also, I’m not sure why this is not mandatory for ALL students. I think younger students coming out of college would benefit greatly having this type of certification.

As stated above, I learned several things I did not know about Social Media. Below are my top 5 learnings:

  1. Social ROI – what is it, how to calculate it, and how to use it to measure success and monitor it as a KPI
  2. Journey-based advertising – part of the basics regarding Digital Advertising
  3. How to leverage social media to build a more personal (1-on-1) relationship with your customers
  4. Influencer Marketing – how to use it to take your social media reach to the next level
  5. Content, content, content – it’s the nuts and bolts of your social media strategy

After going through the certification process, I believe that all marketers could benefit from this program. Things in this space are changing daily, actually by the minute. It’s important to stay current to all that is new. New social media platforms will flood the market, all with their unique value proposition. How we adopt them to attract more customers will be key to any business success. At the end of the day, I’m glad I completed my Social Media Certification, if anythings it has made me more aware of the power of key, targeted, advertising in all the social media channels. As stated before the social media space is a balanced combination of science and art. A great space for data and creative geeks like me.

Lastly, I highly recommend (5) that any and all marketers take this certification. Not only to keep up with the latest trends, but also to enrich their professional portfolio. This journey was well worth it!

You can find me in the following social media channels if you would like to learn more about my experience through this certification. Thank you!

Increase Conversions by Creating a Buyer or Customer Persona

Every buyer or customer has a profile or persona. We are all different…

Why a create a persona for email marketing?

Personas are important for various reasons, but most importantly is to to make sure your campaigns are targeting the right buyers or potential customers. You wouldn’t want to send an email about your product or services to a customer that is not part of your consumer profile. This would lead to waste, loss in sales, and a high volume of unsubscribe angry notes to your email marketing administrator. Which could, in turn, impact your brand reputation.

When creating a persona make sure that it aligns with your company’s or brand’s core belief. As an example for adidas, their core belief is “Through sports, we have the power to change lives”. As a sports brand, adidas puts young and old athletes at the center of everything they do. Meaning they will have multiple personas created to target specific products to customers that have a higher chance of conversion or purchasing a product.

By creating specific personas adidas is sure to communicate more effectively to it’s costumers, and resonate better when new products are launched.

What is a Persona?

A persona is a profile that is created for your specific customer base. It should include as much known information of a particular customer type.

This that are mostly included in a Persona are:

  • Demographic Data
    • Name
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Profession
    • Income
    • Nationality
    • Primary language
    • Educational background
  • Behavioral Data
    • Likes and dislikes
    • Brand loyalty
    • Hobbies
    • Interest
  • Marketing Data
    • Blogs
    • Newsletters
    • Market trends updates
    • Social media outlets that are used
    • Conferences attended

You don’t need to have all the information above filled out, but any piece of data could be helpful, when creating a costumer or buyer person. Below are two examples from a blog created by Kim Kosaka from Alexa.

How to use personas in email marketing campaigns

Now that you understand personas, let’s talk a bit about how to be use them so they can drive sales. Now that you have narrowed your customer pool, let’s start a communication strategy to help them purchase and become loyal customers.

My two top, and most important, must do things are content and offer.

You will have eyes on your emails, let’s make them count. If you are going to invest on anything, invest on a great copy editor. Your content should be crisp, to the point, and worthy of your brand’s image. It has to grab the reader in a few short seconds, so make sure you have a great call to action right off the bat, to draw your potential buyer or customer in. Great content equals great open rates.

The other must do is have an enticing offer. This could be in multiple ways, such as:

  • A free trial of your product
  • Join a loyalty program
  • Receive free shipping on the first order
  • Receive XX% off on the first order
  • Sign up to a newsletter
  • Receive a free article for signing up
  • Free tickets to a conference or a meeting

Whatever offer you put out there, make sure it’s relevant and strong to drive a great CTR.


Your customers and buyers time is valuable, as well as your. Minimize the wasted emails you are sending to people that can care less about your product(s). Make sure you identify your target customer and create a persona for as many potential customers. This will help you reach the right people for your brand. Also, make sure you track your email marketing KPIs, to see how accurate you are being. Tweak and change if needed, to bring efficiency to your email marketing campaign. Personas will drive the right customer, to buy the right product, at the right time, for the right price. Keep that in mind and your business will increase 10 fold!


Kosaka, Kim. “Here Are 10 Buyer Persona Examples to Help You Create Your Own.” Alexa Blog, 2 Oct. 2019, https://blog.alexa.com/10-buyer-persona-examples-help-create/.

“How To Create Personas For Marketing In 2019.” Digital Agency Network, 20 Mar. 2019, https://digitalagencynetwork.com/how-to-create-personas-for-marketing-in-2019/.

Social & Online Marketing Must Change

Are Social Media ads, or online advertising, a bad thing, a destructive thing, a terrible thing.  In this writer’s opinion, not just yes, heck YES.  A screaming number 5 on our scale of danger!  I believe that our social media platforms are taking us, as a society, to the brink of extinction. We are led to believe that because whistleblowers crippled analytics companies like Cambridge Analytica, we live in a safer world, more secure, where our data is locked, and we are the only ones that can access it.  Well, I can tell you that we are dead wrong.  There are thousands of companies like Cambridge Analytica out there, harvesting and mining data on a second-by-second basis in order to drive big-data-online-marketing strategies for one purpose, and one purpose only, big profits, greed and power.  We are living in untested times, where a digital footprint or data is more valuable than a tangible object like oil. 

So the big question is where do we go from here how do we, as individuals, become accountable and responsible for this beast (social-online-advertising) that has been created?  This is not a simple proposition, it’s rather difficult, because people in this space truly believe that they are doing good, but they are eroding our ethical and moral foundations to the point of instability.

So how do we manage it?  Notice that I did not say, how do we fix it.  This is not something we can turn off, as more and more people are bombarded by ads 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.  We, as humans, do a better job of policing ourselves, the companies we work for, and the institutions we attend.  We take on a cop type of role to make sure we are not using data for evil, but for good.  Most importantly we act with a sense of compassion and transparency, by getting to our social roots of helping our communities, our families, our loved ones live a better, more fulfilled life. 

I think we do know how to manage it, by living by the following principals:

  • We are transparent.
    • Not only transparent to what our product is or what our product does, but also how we use consumer interaction (data) of our product. 
    • On what do we use this data for, when, and how.
    • Transparent on how we hold ourselves accountable, not just within the boundaries of the law, but we take it a step further.
  • We act with integrity.
    • Live the ‘do no wrong’ mantra to the fullest.
    • If something seems wrong, if a marketing tactic, strategy, analytics seems like it crosses the line…say something. 
    • Transparency and integrity go hand in hand together.
  • We assess the impact of our doing before submitting or uploading an ad
    • Let’s think about the impact of our actions, to our customers, our family, our neighbors, and our own selves.
  • We communicate clearly to our audience without trying to influence an outcome or change other’s ways of thinking.
  • We allow individuals to have full control not only of their decisions, but also of the data they produce.
  • We analyze with care and think privacy.
  • We share findings only to do more good, and not evil.
  • We take all of this rich information to make our employees, companies, our society function in an independent and connected manner.  Without fear of misuse, or mistrust of my loyalty to our brands.

By applying, living, and executing on the code of conduct above we can start to do the following:

  • Sleep at night
  • Feel like we are making a difference
  • Know that it’s bigger than all of us
  • Are supporting a grander cause
  • Take care of others, for good
  • Use data as a right not as a privilege
  • Allow us to put down our phones and have a meaningful open and honest discussion, about anything besides what’s in our social and online channels

No doubt we are in a crisis, we have done a phenomenal job at driving wedges between people for top line sales and bottom-line profits.  We know now that online activity is dividing us and not bringing us together.  We know that, not doubt, we’ll continue to produce more and more data, that can be exploited.  We have seen the evidence, when data is used for evil, and how it can manipulate governments, organizations, and society as a whole. 

The time is now, the call to action is clear.  We must be responsible for everything we do, every ad we imprint, every word we right, every data set we analyze.  In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, lets “be the change you wish to see in the world”. 

I hope that I have scared and inspired you to change and think differently, and to start anew.  By letting compassion and courage drive the decisions you make with the power (data) that you have at your fingertips. 

Th The Great Hack. Directed by Karim AmerJehane Noujaim , Netflix Production, 2019. Netflix, www.netflix.com/title/80117542.

” 7 Fundamental Ethics of Social Media Marketing”, Business 2 Community, June 14, 2016, https://www.business2community.com/social-media/7-fundamental-ethics-social-media-marketing-01571504