The Shifting Marketing Landscape: A Q&A With Nationwide’s Jim McCoy | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

The Shifting Marketing Landscape: A Q&A With Nationwide’s Jim McCoy

November 4, 2020

By Leah Marshall


The 2020 Influencer Marketing & Activation Virtual Conference will feature CMOs and top marketers from Chipotle, Cigna, Spartan Race, White Castle, NFL, Warner Bros., Newman’s Own, Nationwide, Uber Eats, Frito-Lay, UOMA Beauty, and White Castle. In advance of his presentation at this year’s conference, the ANA sat down with Jim McCoy, VP of sponsorships, meetings, and events at Nationwide, to discuss his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on marketing and what the future could hold.


Q. How has COVID-19 shaped Nationwide’s approach to experiential marketing?

Given the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 on our traditional activation and in-person events, Nationwide explored opportunities to replicate, and in some cases, offer new experiences in a virtual environment. Through our presenting sponsorship of the Memorial Tournament, we created a first-ever virtual Pro-Am experience for our invited guests, where our amateurs connected with Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and top TOUR pros, as well as a surprise appearance by Peyton Manning. In finding creative ways to deliver a meaningful experience, we have found that the experience is not always about being somewhere new, but about being engaged in a new, and unexpected way.


Q. What shifts have you noticed in experiential marketing since COVID-19 shut downs?

There is a higher expectation of personalization in experiential marketing, largely driven by the virtual nature of its delivery. Physical limitations are less of an issue regarding access, which lends to more personal experiences during our virtual events. For example, we were able to have Dale Earnhardt, Jr. connect with key agents across different regions during a single virtual experience.


Q. What about shifts in consumer habits?

We have found that consumers are spending more time online and on social platforms, especially during these times when many work from home and are less mobile. Consumer interest in personal stories and narratives has also increased, as the once, very private lives of athletes and entertainers has become more mainstream in terms of content they share. Consumers want to see ‘behind the curtain’, and into the lives of those they admire, to see how they are coping with similar challenges from COVID-19. Consumers also want to see action from the brands they support. From social issues to COVID-19 response, consumers are taking account of those that lean in and those that sit idle. At Nationwide, we’ve tried to live into our brand promise of ‘On Your Side’ by supporting positive change, and helping those impacted by the pandemic.


Q. What elements of company cultures have allowed some companies to thrive during this moment?

At Nationwide, we have a long-rooted commitment to being “More than a Business,” a culture that has been a critical element of Nationwide since its inception in 1926. We try to demonstrate this by supporting the communities in which our members and associates live and work. Throughout the pandemic, this culture has been more important than ever as we work with communities, charitable foundations, our business partners, and other organizations to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.


Q. What trends do you project marketers will see in the events and partnerships space over the next 12 months?

Marketers will continue to blend the tangible elements of experiential and event marketing with virtual applications. Delivering the unique aspects of an event to a person’s home so they can still experience the physical connection will be important in maintaining that emotional connection between the brand and consumer. From a partnerships perspective, we expect continued collaboration with our partners in finding new, creative ways to drive value for our business and brand.


Q. Can you tease what you’ll be speaking about at the 2020 Influencer Marketing & Activation Conference?

I plan to share more about one of our most successful, and impactful platforms — our partnership with the NFL and Presenting Sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award — as it represents a unique intersection of our brand marketing, business growth support, and community focus.


To join Jim and other leading marketers and growth champions at the 2020 Influencer Marketing & Activation Virtual Conference, register today at rates starting at only $99 or bring an unlimited number of your colleagues when you purchase a corporate package starting at $299.

You must be logged in to submit a comment.