I recently attended a live conference with Lisa Materazzo, Vice President of Marketing at Lexus, through Reuters Events. In the live, Materazzo discussed how Lexus is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and how their mission statement has helped them find solutions to all the challenges the pandemic has thrown at them.  As a B Corp, Colibri Digital Marketing strongly believes in mission driven marketing, so hearing how other companies, especially big companies like Lexus,  stick to their values inspired me. 

Read on to learn how to live your mission during a crisis and beyond. 

Lisa Materazzo On Mission Driven Marketing

I did not know much about this conference before attending. I knew Materazzo is the VP of marketing at Lexus, but besides that, I knew nothing about her. Her journey in marketing started at Toyota, where she worked for ten years. From there, she moved to Ridemakerz, a company that makes custom toy cars, where she was able to get very creative with her marketing strategies. One project she worked on was creating a Scion toy car. She had expertise in this area because the Scion is a Toyota car. Her time at Ridemakerz taught her valuable lessons about leadership. At the time, the company was still just beginning its journey. Materazzo said she learned how to motivate and pull a team together in times when the future was sunclearn or bleak. 

Recently, she transferred back to Toyota, where she worked in digital media, and soon transferred to Lexus, where she has been for one and a half years. Materazzo knows Toyota inside and out, having worked in three divisions, namely Scion, Toyota, and Lexus. 

Sticking to Mission Driven Marketing through Thick and Thin

During the pandemic, companies are having to shift their focus and come up with creative strategies to stay afloat. For Lexus, the answer is in their covenant mission. Materazzo described how in mid-March when COVID was getting really serious, she and her team had to find a way to pivot their traditional campaign and message to relate to COVID-19. The solution was a “people first” campaign. Lexus’s philosophy has always been rooted in teamwork and respect for people, and they strive to treat customers like important guests. That means providing more than comfort and care but anticipating customer needs and taking care of them before they ask. 

In their new campaign, Lexus had their individual dealers voice over the commercials saying they will still be there for their customers and provide support as they always have and always will. 

To back that message, the dealers showed up for their customers. Materazzo told the story of how one dealer gave a customer exceptional care and support by treating them as a guest in their home. The customer had mentioned to her dealer that she did not feel safe going to a certain store to get the groceries she needed. So the dealer ensured that when she picked up her car, her groceries were in the trunk. 

Lexus has been finding creative ways to service their customers’ cars. They have been going to houses to pick up cars and working to keep things as safe and socially distant as possible. They cannot stop their business right now because essential workers need to have their cars to get to their jobs. Lexus is selling mobility during a time of crisis.

Being a Woman in a Male-Dominated Industry

The session ended with questions where Materazzo shared some helpful and inspiring advice. Working in a male-dominated industry can make it hard to feel comfortable and confident. Materazzo said that by being passionate about what she does, she has been able to push through the challenges. Her success has come from knowing what is important to her and following it. Even if she is the only woman in a meeting, by remembering that this is what she loves and knows a lot about, she feels confident. She ended by saying, “to advance your career and thrive, you have to enjoy what you do.”

Lessons Learned 

Working at a B Corp, I have learned how important it is to live by your values in every aspect of your life, especially in work. This presentation cemented that belief and showed that no matter the size of your company, whether it be Lexus or Colibri Digital Marketing, you can stick to your values, and they will help you through times of crisis. Mission driven marketing is the way to create a more ethical business world

Want to create your own mission driven marketing strategy? Reach out to us to schedule a 30-minute complimentary strategy session and start your mission driven journey.