Meredith Ulmer: She’s Got a Deliciously Different Take on Marketing

February 15 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Word-of-mouth Advertising

Do you ever have advertising jingles or slogans pop into your head that were popular when you were a kid? Anyone remember the Doublemint Gum jingle? Or the “Where’s the beef?” old lady? How about this one: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz? I can distinctly recall a local commercial for Alaskan Fur that ended with a song simply repeating the business name. I’ve never purchased a fur coat, so I’m not sure how compelling the marketing was, but there’s something to be said for remembering that dang song to this day, right? So, which advertising jingles will you get stuck in your head today?

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 18 Million

Nowadays, any time I have to sit through a full set of commercials, it’s unbearable. Promotion looks a whole heck of a lot different now, and social media has much to do with that. Here’s the perfect example: A teenager named Carter Wilkerson tweeted fast-food chain Wendy’s a request for free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy’s said sure, assuming he could get 18 million retweets—a darn near impossible feat. Though he didn’t hit that 18 million mark, his #NuggsForCarter tweet resulted in nearly 3.5 million retweets—even beating Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Academy Awards celebs selfie tweet. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, Wendy’s awarded his valiant efforts with free nuggets for a year and a $100,000 donation to charity. Talk about word-of-mouth marketing!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Meredith Ulmer, Social-media Specialist for Wendy’s

Believe it or not, tweets from some of our favorite brands don’t magically appear in the Twittersphere. Someone has to come up with a catchy idea, then employ savvy business smarts to ensure the idea hits the mark and ultimately attracts customers. And when it comes to Wendy’s, it’s not Wendy at the keyboard. In fact, more likely than not, it’s today’s Woman to Watch, who is causing the internet to go all atwitter over Wendy’s. Her name is Meredith Ulmer, and she’s the senior social-media specialist for the beloved fast-food chain.

Meredith knows pretty much all there is to know about strategic partnerships and communications, having spent her career specializing in those fields. When she started at Wendy’s, in 2015, she initiated and analyzed market-research studies, assisted in digital strategic planning and created a powerful advertising strategy for the company’s website.

Meredith’s current role for Wendy’s is even beefier. After all, more than 2 million people follow the Wendy’s Twitter page. Meredith’s method, which has been lauded by experts, involves an organic approach to social media, one that is always authentic to the brand. Tweets don’t feel forced, are often clever and—most importantly—resonate with customers. For instance, that #NuggsForCarter tweet went viral without Wendy’s putting any money behind it.

In addition to that internet-jangling nuggs tweet, Wendy’s earned a Shorty Award for its Twitter Beef tweet, a sassy response to one tweeter’s claim that there’s no way the chain uses fresh, never-frozen beef for its burgers. Spoiler alert: Wendy’s beef is fresh and never frozen. Thanks, refrigeration!

But as Meredith knows, social media isn’t all Frosty memes and saucy tweets. People often use platforms like Twitter to voice complaints and concerns, and Meredith takes on that not-so-fun aspect of her job with poise and a level head.

Meredith’s innovative approach to connecting a brand with its audience even earned her a coveted spot on Adweek’s list of 10 Branded Content Masters Who Bring True Craft to Consumerism. We can’t wait to see what compelling—and deliciously different—social-media stories Meredith comes up with next!

QUITE THE QUOTE

Let’s close out today’s fresh-never-frozen On The Dot with a quote from social-media expert Lori Taylor:

“Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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