SFL Style - Miami and South Florida Magazine
SFL Style Magazine - Miami Best SFL Style Magazine - Miami Best - Loading...

Miami Best

See Photos

Interview with Timur Tugberk -
Marketing Strategy Guru

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Timur Tuğberk, a dynamic force in the world of marketing and a prominent figure in the fashion industry. With a keen eye for innovative strategies and a deep understanding of market trends, Timur has made a significant impact through his work, particularly in the vibrant scene of Miami Swim Week. His expertise spans various facets of marketing, from brand development to event management, making him a sought-after consultant for businesses aiming to elevate their presence in competitive markets. Join us as we delve into Timur's journey, exploring the experiences and insights that have shaped his illustrious career.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to start Designing The District? What was your inspiration behind creating this platform?
I started my business in 2005, initially as T^Squared (Timur Tugberk - TT - made sense -ambiguous name but modern). That grew swiftly to Timur Tugberk Events, Interiors, & Media, as my skill set and service offering expanded beyond event planning and design. Over many years of working for myself, calling it "my full-time side hustle," I developed strong corporate, agency, entrepreneurial, and tactical experience in multiple creative and marketing disciplines (I've worn almost every marketing hat: social media manager, creative director, email marketing coordinator, experiential marketing director, urban planner, interior designer, life coach, spokesperson, media rep, journalist, influencer, healthcare marketing, startup growth hacker marketer, brand designer, presentation designer, brand engineer, sales director, product manager, project planner, and so on). After many years of balancing my full-time side hustle with my numerous corporate/agency roles, I decided to go fully on my own (in 2016), rebrand my business to remove my name, and let the work I do speak. I settled on "Designing the District." I come from Washington, DC, aka "The District." I am a licensed interior designer, spent many years creating public events that lasted 10+ years and shifted how regional and national cultures evolved. I implemented my cultural engineering in real estate development to literally design districts and also lived in Miami's Design District. Taking a design philosophy to creative problem-solving in any capacity - Designing the District was born!

Can you describe your approach to integrating digital and traditional marketing strategies? How do you balance these methods in today's evolving marketplace?
I treat every single client uniquely and differently, designing strategic roadmaps to curated outcomes and desired successes through creative problem-solving. No client, brand, or person is alike, and it takes calculated, experience-based thought to truly craft a roadmap to success. There is no secret sauce to balance the different marketing disciplines; they simply fall into place when blueprinting from position A to outcome B.

Collaboration seems to be a key aspect of your work. Can you share a memorable collaboration experience and what made it successful?
I just launched today, actually, a commercial for an LGBTQ-owned and operated clothing brand, ORTTU (one of my favorites), as the spokesperson for their top-selling, highly iconic Star Neck shirt. It's their signature trademark. What an honor and privilege it was to be trusted to create a global ad campaign for them 6 years after I was first introduced to them as a launch influencer. They sent me some pieces, I promoted them on IG, felt content, and a part of something I could get behind. Over the years, I became a VIP customer; their pieces resonate with my lifestyle in front of cameras and being the face of fashion weeks throughout the country. Also, during this time, I became close with the owners/founders of the brand, becoming some of my best friends. I've visited them in their homes in Istanbul and Porto, Portugal (where they recently moved). I've always truly and authentically loved the brand, fell in love with the products and the creators, and without forcibly inserting myself into their business (it was their idea to ask me to be the spokesperson), I've proudly launched a much more meaningful and bigger partnership with them than I could have imagined 6 years ago when I just wanted to work with another queer brand and get some cute fits comped to post. I'd say that's success!

What is your process for developing a new brand or product from concept to launch?
Creating a brand from scratch is one of the most fun things to do in life -- if you are up for a very complex challenge. My ideas typically originate with friends or other entrepreneurs. The best ideas come from rallying back and forth when something sparks intrigue. Depending on who you are ideating or how the vision comes to, there is a completely different approach. However, typically, I will write everything down and envision the end result.

Know your Audience - if you know who they are and where they "hang out," you will find success. -Timur Tugberk

Having built and launched hundreds of brands (both for myself and others) in my career, the process seems much simpler to me than it actually is. I can quickly think of all the elements that must go into place, the timeline, the investment, the executable work, and the legality of what's being discussed. The way I've been able to dissect processes like this is reverse engineering. I will take the desired outcome, deconstruct it into its little incremental and tactical parts, and wireframe/blueprint the deliverable into a strategy. That strategy becomes a project roadmap and POOF - a brand is born!

How do you tailor your public relations strategies to different industries or clients?
I am an educated and licensed interior designer with a BFA in Interior Design and Art History. I have never taken a marketing or PR course. I've always been a social butterfly who is friends with and knows "everybody!" During the 2008 recession, I needed to pivot my design career, which came to a halt, and harness my other self-taught skill sets to pursue a more stable future. Over many years of earning and winning job roles based on my creative approach, unique personality, and innovative way of thinking, there are no boxes within which to think. My comparable colleagues mostly followed quite literally a book and a rigid career path, which led them to standard PR (based on education and the leadership of others who have followed the same path). My path is forged by me, my interests, and my dynamic experience in all creative and marketing realms. This has afforded me the luxury of offering a more comprehensive approach to Public Relations and an array of talents that many other agencies/agency owners simply do not possess. As I said, we take a design philosophy to creative problem-solving. Working with us, you will ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD TIME, and we will always reach our goals... sometimes come hell or high water!

Could you share an example of a successful PR campaign you've managed?
We are currently amidst Miami Swim Week, and I'll discuss that. When I relocated my business from Washington, DC / San Francisco to Miami during the pandemic, I was not very connected within my industry. I had been snowbirding here for years and simply wasn't interested in plugging into work where I played. That was three years ago when I oversaw PR for Miami Swim Week while contracting with Tara INK (where I spent one year being presented to the Miami public -- very grateful for the opportunity Nick & Tara gave me to catch up with where and how well I am known in other cities). The following year, I was back working solely for myself, having only one year of working in Fashion PR and Miami Swim Week. I landed another competing large platform, provided PR services with a team of 2, and claimed almost all pre-event regional and national coverage. Very proud of that, again self-taught. Now, I work with an incredible platform; Art Hearts Fashion, as their PR Director, and my team and I support them in NYC, LA, Miami, and soon Las Vegas. We have implemented numerous national and regional campaigns, bringing them quality influencer, media, and consumer attention, and helping their platform grow in both clout and revenue. Very proud of the work I've done for each of these clients, especially Art Hearts!

How do you ensure that a brand’s identity is effectively conveyed across all marketing channels?
Cohesion, consistency, synchrony, calculated performance indication, scheduling, creative iconicism, and articulated (correct) grammar.

In your opinion, what is the most underappreciated aspect of design that people should pay more attention to?
THE DETAILS - most people have no idea how difficult it is to put the simplest publicly visible thing together - discounting creatives' value very often and dismissing the emotional and creative bandwidth that goes into delivering a sound experience.

What trends are you currently seeing in advertising that excite you the most?
Honestly, I love how mainstream queer culture has become -- the language being used in today's world spawns from queer culture, and it is nice to see my community represented in ways most people likely don't even know.

What are some common mistakes brands make with their social and digital media strategies?
They automate everything and disconnect from their audiences. The audience is the most valuable asset for any brand. Speak to and with them often.

How do you measure the success of social media campaigns?
It depends on the objective of the campaign - it is important to know your key performance indicators and what the clear call-to-action and purpose is for any campaign.

What are the key elements of successful event coordination that often go unnoticed?
How long it takes to plan the simplest task and how your one brain needs to be aware of all the pieces falling into place seamlessly without fault at the same time.

How do you determine the right mix of media for advertising campaigns?
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE - if you know who they are and where they "hang out," you will find success.

Looking forward, what are some goals or projects you are excited about for Designing The District?
We have begun some personal branding projects. When people come to me to make them "famous," bring them into the world, elevate their personal accomplishments, and oversee their numerous business communication teams. BEYOND HONORED to be trusted with so many moving parts, and I love coaching other individuals to see their star power and help them shine!

As Miami Swim Week 2024 approaches, what unique marketing strategies are you considering enhancing brand visibility and engagement?
Every single one of my clients participating in Miami Swim Week is not only taking part in a very ornate, complex, multilateral group marketing PR blitz led by us. I also have them running multi-channel individual consumer marketing and media programs, literally layering Miami and National media with so many colorful yet synergistic language, they are all bond for success this year.

How do you think the event will evolve in response to the latest fashion and consumer trends?
Honestly, you never know how people will respond BUT if you make sure they have a good time either attending, experiencing, or excited reading about it - you know you've done your job well and a trend will take legs and run!

What opportunities do you see for new and emerging designers at Miami Swim Week 2024?
The platform works with both emerging and established designers, I think it is a great way for new designers to enter the field, and the amount of quality attention our tools will bring to both of these designer types will afford each of them to grow beyond the runway.