Keynote Spotlight - Hilary Messink
Hilary Messink leads the consumer and digital marketing side of the business at Boxed Water Is Better, the first national company to offer a sustainable alternative to plastic water bottles. Hilary helps educate consumers about the problem with single-use plastic while generating brand awareness about the Boxed Water brand. She’s spent over 13 years focused on e-commerce, social media, influencer marketing.
What’s your background and how did you break into the marketing industry?
I got my start taking on direct-to-consumer relationships with e-commerce businesses online and working with 14 different online retailers. As I moved from that industry, I wanted a smaller business opportunity to have more control over what the digital space would look like for a company in the e-commerce environment. That’s when I came into the beverage industry at Boxed Water. I wanted to help tell the brand’s story.
How has your role evolved?
As a brand, we’re a disruptor of the beverage industry and there are hurdles that come with that. What we’ve done is we’ve taken a step away from the traditional beverage go-to market model (working with grocery and direct distributors). We still work with distributors but focus more on the B2C side, and digital and e-commerce have become a primary focus for us these days. In the last six to nine months, we’ve doubled our e-commerce business.
What does cause marketing mean to you?
To us it’s not a type of marketing, it IS the new marketing. Internally, we call it purpose-based marketing. We’re really trying to help provide a product that is solving people’s needs and meeting their desires to have a better planet. When you look at disruptor brands across e-commerce categories right now, they’re providing that type of value in their marketing message, and it’s purposeful. It has a point, it has value outside of price, and good looks. That’s really what most consumers are enjoying seeing in their content right now.
I think the younger consumer cares about themselves, but also cares about the future and those around them.
How do you think brands, tech firms and corporations should be working together to maximize sustainability?
Digital has given us the opportunity to have a platform to tell a full story. Because people are looking for more purposeful brands, they’re looking for the full ‘behind-the-scenes’ story rather than the superficial statement of ‘a company does x’ or a company had a volunteer event. They want to know what the ethos are of those employees that are volunteering. Having the opportunity to educate your tech team, sales team, and all parts of the company to live and breathe those stories is super important
What do you believe your role is as a sustainable brand?
Great question, a lot of my talk today has to do with this! Our role is to educate; it is a responsibility that a brand needs to take since our government and cities don’t always have the resources to educate consumers on what needs to happen from a sustainability side. As a brand, our focus right now is just educating people on what it means to be sustainable, and why it’s so important. We also try to do this in a positive manner as opposed to a negative manner. You as an individual have the opportunity to make an impact that can help all of us