When he’s not repurposing a piece of content eight ways, or extending his tickle trunk to friends to make sure they’re Halloween-ready, Cody Chomiak, Director of Marketing for Tourism Winnipeg, has been involved in some pretty heavy-hitting marketing campaigns locally.
One that stands out for him and that made a big splash in our city was the bid for Amazon’s headquarters, which brought together some of the best things about Winnipeg: the camaraderie around a shared goal of bolstering the city, and the ideation that comes out of this cold climate. Here are some of the tips Cody generously shared with UpHouse, shedding light on his successful track record as a marketer.
What is one tool you absolutely can’t live without as a marketer?
Analytics and data!! Everything now relies on being measurable – to look at what is working/not working and resonating with audiences often dictates our creative approach and strategies.
If you aren’t using data to drive your decisions, you’re flying blind.
I like to get as much information as possible to make sure our efforts are optimized with good ROI.
Describe one project or campaign that you’re super proud of, and what you think made it such a success in your mind.
I have two recent projects I’m really proud of! One is being a part of the Amazon bid for Winnipeg. It was a challenging and hectic turnaround with an “all hands on deck” approach – but really great teamwork came out of that project. From that bid we received a lot of national and international attention, even getting named one of the top five best bids by Bootkik and landing on the front page of the Seattle Times.
The other was a marketer’s dream – we received some raw video footage of some kids who were really upset they weren’t going to Winnipeg. The family was happy to have us use the footage as part of a campaign – and it was a huge success. It remains one of our most viewed organic videos on Facebook, and received national and international press. We recently hosted the family to experience their “dream trip” to Winnipeg, and it was a fantastic and fun campaign to work on.
What is some advice you’d give to a marketer that’s just starting out, who hopes to become a director some day?
Build relationships – in our heavily tech world, it is the offline face-to-face connections that sometimes have the most impact. Other than that – keep learning, stay humble, and prove your worth by your actions. There’s a lot of talk, but it’s the work that makes the difference.
As an agency, we have some guiding principles on marketing. Would you say you have some of your own, and care to share?
We have a 1×8 rule in our department, which is for every piece of content you create, it should be distributed and/or altered in eight different ways. It really helps us all to work together and not create pieces in isolation, while at the same time getting more from the existing content already being created.
You seem to be on the pulse – how do you keep constantly innovating/finding inspiration?
Continually learning and studying what others are doing is a big part of it. Having a limited budget means we have to be creative and innovative to make an impact. We do a lot of brainstorming with the team and other departments to make sure we’re coming up with that next creative idea.
What do you love most about your job/being a marketer?
Every day is different, and I love seeing the reaction to a new campaign or piece that has been launched. I also love getting to collaborate with so many different departments (since we are an internal agency, which means I get to work with a lot of fantastic people).
In marketing, there are often competing forces, including people to please and budgets to keep. Any tips on navigating the creative and practical demands on a marketer?
Check your ego at the door – that is huge. Don’t be threatening. Listen to what others have to say; if you disagree, do it respectfully and explain the solid reasons behind it. And ultimately, know when to bend and when to stay strong.
What type of qualities do you look for in a marketing coordinator, staffer, or agency to work with?
People who are positive, genuine and are wanting to learn – whether a new staff or an agency that wants to learn more about your business.
What is something you love doing that is completely unrelated to marketing?
Board games, swimming, and entertaining with friends are things I love doing when I’m not working.
Fun tidbit about yourself?
I have a tickle trunk in the house full of vintage clothes and wigs, which are fantastic for outfitting friends for Halloween (one of my favourite holidays of the year).