BtoB's Best Marketers: Linda McGovern, USG Corp.

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Linda McGovern is taking in the big picture, moving USG Corp. from a company that previously marketed one product at a time to a business that uses more broad communications platforms to talk about multiple products. The company's “The Weight Has Been Lifted” campaign is a good example. Now in its second iteration, the campaign supports a portfolio of lighter-weight products, including Sheet-rock brand UltraLight Panels. “It's being more efficient about how we communicate and packaging content in a more efficient way—in a manner that's very relevant to the end-user,” McGovern said. The company took the same approach with a recently launched campaign for its tile and flooring group. Though USG is a brand leader in that category, McGovern said, the company had previously relied on individual campaigns for each product line and wanted something unifying. As for the media channels it uses to reach customers, USG still believes in an integrated marketing mix that includes traditional media such as print, McGovern said. At the same time, though, it has been pushing ahead in newer channels, including social media. The company's YouTube channel—one of its strongest social platforms—has had 300,000 video views year-to-date. “You might think contractors aren't engaging in social tools as much, but we find they do,” McGovern said. “Especially in blogs and forums, we can get an engaged group of customers.” USG followed detailed media calendars when it began using social a few years ago. More recently, however, it has loosened up a bit, McGovern said. “We still have calendars for content, but it's not as prescriptive as in the beginning,” she said. “We allow for spontaneity in social now.” The company has started having some fun with social content, using contests, voting and promotions to connect with customers, McGovern said. As USG's social efforts have gained steam, providing the target audience of contractors with engaging content has gotten easier. “They're [now] providing content we can feed off of,” McGovern said.
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