Art Director, Tina Snyder talks about branding today, “out of the box” talent and the beauty of “going digital” in a global company
Tina Snyder is a Senior Art Director at Jones Lang LaSalle in Boston, a leading global commercial real estate firm, where she handles the creative direction and development of regional corporate branding deliverables and property marketing campaigns for investors and landlords in and around Boston. Her responsibilities include the art direction and design of corporate marketing programs as well as overall creative direction and design of brand identities and repositioning/rebranding campaigns for commercial properties in Boston and beyond such as Liberty Wharf, Seaport Place, and Network Drive. She is also involved in Jones Lang LaSalle’s corporate marketing initiatives in social media, advertising, events, and new business. She recently led the creative brand development for Liberty Wharf in the Seaport District which has become the hottest mixed-use asset on the Boston Waterfront.
Prior to her in-house position at Jones Lang LaSalle she spent numerous years on the agency side art directing, designing and building brands for high technology companies. Tina has been honored with numerous marketing and design accolades including Rebrand100 awards, SMPS National Marketing Communication Awards, MarCom Platinum Awards, BMA ProComm Awards, and the highly esteemed Jones Lang LaSalle Club award.
Seth Price of Placester caught up with Tina over coffee to talk marketing, commercial real estate and the what going digital means to the industry.
As we’ve seen our brand grow in the last few years, we view the individual contributors as being brand ambassadors, creating a dialogue with our audience with global consistency, in all different mediums and channels.
Placester: What are you working on right now?
TS: I am in the midst of developing numerous branding campaigns for commercial properties, one being a tremendous build to suit opportunity at Network Drive in Burlington, MA and another a new development in the Longwood/Medical area. My role is to develop the brand identity and overall creative direction for the marketing campaign for each property and to ultimately make these properties come alive and have a persona of their own.
P: What does your typical day look like?
TS: It’s non-stop from start to finish juggling family and work. Getting the family out the door and making an early train to Boston might be the biggest challenge of the day sometimes! Work is all about juggling multiple assignments and internal and external clients. Being part of an in-house marketing team means wearing many hats and being involved with projects at all levels. So I may be playing the marketing manager role one hour helping to develop property marketing plans and budgets for landlords and the next hour I may be art directing a corporate or property branding assignment and the next day setting the direction for new business presentations to help win business for the firm. So no day is quite typical for me.
P: What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
TS: When the dot com era fell through I took a position as an art director for an agency with a hospitality focus thinking it’d just be a breadth of fresh air after focusing on high tech clients for years. Instead of working on exciting branding assignments for these clients my days were spent eyeing letter spacing on Cracker Barrel’s billboards. Definitely not what I had expected but you would be amazed at how neurotic Cracker Barrel is about letter spacing! What I took away from that position was how important it is to be inspired by your work in order to make a difference, add value, and to enjoy coming to work every day.
P: What real estate marketing trends do you see shaping the industry?
TS: A couple of major trends we are seeing are the use of videos and mobile devices like the iPad. I recently read a statistic on Fast Company that websites or emails with video get 80% more clicks throughs. It’s all about people and relationships and video is an impactful and engaging way to break that barrier and to add a face to a brand. iPads are the other method we are seeing more and more of brokers using on tours and in smaller one-on-one meetings. It’s a memorable and useful tool that leaves a lasting impression.
P: How have you seen the web shift the way commercial property is marketed?
TS: Challenging and exciting at the same time, every thing is going digital. Now the focus is on strategy. We have all this information and content at our disposal, what is the most effective way to share it? Is it social? Video? Interactive Web? All of these options allow us to engage the consumer on their terms. This newfound freedom does come with technical challenges. We are constantly learning.
P: What’s the driving force for JLL to go digital?
TS: I would say it’s a natural evolution. And in our company we have complete support buy-in from the top. Even though we are global, we are a brand that operates intimately on a local level. As we’ve seen our brand grow in the last few years, we view the individual contributors as being brand ambassadors, creating a dialogue with our audience with global consistency, in all different mediums and channels. Digital, print, video, image, copy and social. In 2006 no one in the industry was talking about brand standards. Not it’s the norm.
P: How do you bring ideas to life?
TS: Not alone! Lively brainstorms and gathering ideas and inspiration from all involved in a marketing project makes all the difference.
We look for talent that have social media skills in addition to more traditional marketing skill-sets, marketers who have done things out of the box.
P: What inspires you?
TS: Good aesthetic design or a blank canvas. Both are inspirational to me as an art director.
P: How do you measure success?
TS: Success in marketing a commercial property is measured by filling actual space but for me on the creative side I measure my success on an assignment by seeing a property brand come to life. It’s exciting when we kickoff a branding assignment for a property that has no visibility and complete lack of identity and we turn it around with a creative repositioning and rebranding campaign and bring it to life and then ultimately fill the space.
P: How has you need for talent changed during this digital evolution?
TS: We now have more individual focus is far as the team. We look for talent that have social media skills in addition to more traditional marketing skill-sets. At JLL, we have two sides, strategic, and creative. Just being a project manager is no longer sufficient. We look for marketers who have done things out of the box, who have engaged audiences in ways that show creative problem solving.
P: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in real estate marketing today?
TS: It’s important to do your homework. Know you target audience, understand the asset, understand the market it is in and think creatively. Having a true understanding before developing a creative marketing campaign is essential to its success.
P: What do you read every day and why?
TS: I love blogs. I love the personal aspect of them and have a long list that I subscribe to. I have such a variety of types I read from branding, to marketing, to social media, to baking, to interior design, to mommy blogs. Some are inspirational, some are educational and informative and some are just for fun. All depends on how I am feeling that day as to which makes the top read of the day.
One of my favorites is Fast Company’s Co.Design blog. Inspirational, informative and fun, and I appreciate that it touches on all aspects of design whether its branding, technology, product etc..
P: What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
TS: Definitely my iPhone. Its information and accessibility wherever I go. But I have my eye on the iPad so hopefully that will be my new favorite gadget soon.
P: Three sources we should follow on Twitter and why?
TS: @JLLNews, truly leading commercial real estate news and information
@FastCoDesign, great insight and inspiration for marketers on business and design
@adage, great source and industry insight for marketers
P: When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
TS: When my two year old sat on the potty to toilet train and looked down and said “not workin”. It’s the little things in life!
P: Name of your organization?
P: How can people connect with you?
P: Where are you located?
TS: Boston, MA/Providence, RI