Tom Marchese from the College of Business shares some of his marketing techniques during the Marketing Symposium

Photographer: Emily Matthews


Marketing Symposium participants enjoying the icebreaker exercise at the beginning of Wednesday's event

Photographer: Emily Matthews


UCM's Gabrielle Johnston served as the host of the second annual Marketing Symposium

Photographer: Emily Matthews

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Second Marketing Symposium teaches the power of visual communication

Ohio University Communications and Marketing hosted its second annual Marketing Symposium on Wednesday and more than 90 attendees showed up, including representatives of 11 academic units and four campuses.

The Schoonover Center event titled, “Marketing Symposium 2015: Visual Communication in a Digital World,” addressed the issue of visual marketing in a world where everyone is plugged in digitally.

UCM hosted the event to foster collaboration and partnership between marketers and communicators in their roles as advocates for OHIO.

UCM Marketing and Online Media Coordinator Gabrielle Johnston, who served as the host of the event, said her marketing team worked hard to put together an enriching and engaging professional development opportunity.

"Attendance was up this year, and I know that’s due to our great schedule of presenters," Johnston said. "We drew from our rich pool of expertise here at the University and at an outside partner to create a timely flow of information that empowered and encouraged attendees. I know I walked away inspired."

Three communication and marketing experts from both the University and the private industry gave 45-minute presentations during the afternoon event.

The first presenter was Tom Marchese, an executive-in-residence and associate director of the Ohio University College of Business' Honors Program. His presentation was titled "Building Brands in a Digital World."

A former marketing employee at national companies like Hershey's, Crayola, Elmer's and Bob Evans, Marchese shared the secrets behind some of his most successful marketing campaigns. He also showed the audience effective television commercials from other top companies that were great examples of best advertising practices.

Marchese explained the marketing strategy that he helped create and implement for the recent Bob Evans Restaurants' interior and exterior redesign initiative. He said the changes gave the restaurant chain a more modern look that appeals to a younger audience.

He also shared these three keys to building brands through marketing:

  1. Start with a clear and compelling position
  2. Build and communicate a clear brand identity
  3. Make everyone in the organization a brand champion

"Television commercials used to be a minute long, but now we have much less time to send a message to people while they are multitasking," Marchese said.  

The second presenter was Jenn Stevens, executive creative director at Columbus, Ohio, based branding, marketing and digital agency, Ologie. During her presentation, she defined what Ologie is and the services it provides to its clients. She also showed many television ads that her company has produced for its clients and described what Ologie's thought process was behind their development.

Stevens said Ologie believes that every school has a story that is uniquely theirs and that its marketing efforts will help students find the right school for them.

She defined the word "brand" as the total experience we create for all of our audience. She said that in order for companies to tell a great story, they need to engage with people, have an authentic and consistent message and make a powerful presentation.

"Great stories make an intellectual impact, reflect common values, define a purpose, build a brand's reputation, capture a community's pride and ignite a shared passion," Stevens said.

Qing Wang, who is pursuing a master’s degree in graphic design at OHIO’s College of Fine Arts, said she particularly enjoyed Jenn Stevens’ presentation.

“Her presentation gave me inspiration and ideas about how to tell a better story,” Wang said. “I’m a visual communicator, but I’d like to improve the way I’m able to tell a story.”

The third and final presenter was John Grimwade, assistant professor in OHIO's School of Visual Communication. He teaches courses in infographics and data visualization.

Grimwade came to the University in July after an illustrious career that has allowed him to serve as graphics director at The Times newspaper in London and as an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

During his presentation, Grimwade showed examples of some of his previous works and some of the graphics that his students have produced in his classes this semester.

He said infographic professionals do their storytelling through visuals.

"You don't have to be Leonardo Da Vinci to do this, you just need to think it through," Grimwade said. "Infographics is about the process."

As one of the newest members of OHIO’s campus communicator network, Traci Tillis said she enjoyed the several opportunities to socialize and network at the symposium. She joined the staff at Ohio University Southern in August and serves as director of marketing, public relations and special initiatives.

“One of the symposium exercises involved speaking to other participants and learning what we have in common,” Tillis said. “I found that I shared similar experiences and interests with many of my new colleagues. These discussions were not only interesting, but I feel that they were the building blocks for beneficial connections – maybe even some new friendships.”