SocialMedia.org member Mark Rankin oversees all of digital marketing at RPM International.

The customer dictates how we need to interact with them.

That includes about 100 marketing and social media representatives for RPM’s 60 different operating companies. They include companies like Rust-Oleum, DAP, Stonhard, Tremco, Day-Glo, and other specialty materials that range from DIY to industrial. It’s Mark’s job to help the teams at these companies with social media and digital marketing strategies as a whole.

“My job can be challenging since all of our operating companies are in different industries.”

He explains that communication between the groups hasn’t always been strong, so he’s working to get everyone on the same page. One way Mark’s hoping to do that is through creating a digital marketing committee at RPM. The recently created committee includes marketing leaders from RPM’s brands who get together to collaborate, talk about what’s working, and pass along brand messages, tools, and inspiration to their teams.

Right now, Mark’s looking to build a social media hub for all of RPM’s operating companies and the social platforms they’re on. He hopes that will help alleviate some brand awareness difficulties and help create a better tie-in to their corporate presence.

Across all 60 companies, Mark says the customer drives the social media strategy.

It’s about effectively being a trusted authority — not just trying to sell your product, but becoming beneficial to your audience.

“The customer dictates how we need to interact with them,” says Mark.

And since RPM’s businesses range from BtoB, BtoC, and a hybrid of both, that strategy obviously isn’t the same across the board. For instance, RPM’s consumer brands rely mostly on platforms like Facebook to build their brands. While BtoB brands have seen some success with creating leads and engaging with customers through LinkedIn. While one year ago, they would have mainly used LinkedIn for HR and recruiting, Mark says the platform has really taken off for their brands.

For example, Mark says the team at RPM’s Flowcrete has been a big influence on how he leads digital — serving as a standard bearer when it comes to social media. “They truly get it. It’s about effectively being a trusted authority — not just trying to sell your product, but becoming beneficial to your audience.”

“I’m looking forward to building a more social culture at RPM,” says Mark.

He says they’ve seen a sharp increase in BtoB customers looking for RPM’s information on social media rather than on their company websites — something they attribute to younger decision-makers and buyers within big companies.

Internally, he’s looking to build more brand advocates and getting more long-term employees to become involved in social media. As a long-term employee himself, Mark says he’s been with RPM for over ten years because he appreciates the diversity of his job and the constant change

“You’re not clocking in and doing the same thing day-in and day-out. Being able to come up with outside-of-the-box ideas to keep up with the changes is what’s kept me here for so long.”

Mark’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2015. Find him on LinkedIn here.


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