‘God Of War’ Unseats ‘Far Cry 5,’ Smashing Video Game Sales Records In April

The NPD Group has released its monthly report for on new physical video game sales, as well as a subset of full-game digital downloads from participating publishers in NPD’s digital panel. Although not intended to cover total market/total consumer spend, the figures give us an idea of industry-wide trends.

April saw an 18 percent increase in spending across the hardware, software and accessories verticals, reaching $823 million. Year-to-date spending is also up across all categories, rising 15 percent year over year to $4.2 billion.

God Of War Brutalizes The Market

Sony’s critically acclaimed first-party title God of War swept the categories for the month, achieving the title of April’s best-selling game despite the fact that it’s only available for the PlayStation 4.

“Sony was April’s top-selling publisher, driven by the success of God of War,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “The PS4 exclusive from Santa Monica Studios achieved the highest ever launch month dollar sales for a title launched exclusively on a PlayStation platform.”

Indeed, sales for God of War helped the PlayStation 4 set the all-time record for April game sales on any platform, a record last set by the Xbox 360 back in 2008.

Far Cry 5 Continues Its Reign

Ubisoft’s flagship Far Cry franchise, despite losing the number-one spot for game sales, is still on top for year-to-date figures, remaining the top selling game of the year. Additionally, Ubisoft is the top-selling publisher of the year, helped by the continued success of its Tom Clancy titles.

Total software sales reached $359 million for the month of April, up 13 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date software sales hit $1.9 billion, a growth of 9 percent.

Consoles Continue Steady Growth

Hardware spending showed few surprises this month, increasing 15 percent to $225 million for the month and jumping 14 percent to $1.2 billion for the year.

“Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic have driven growth,” added Piscatella. “Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in April, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date.”

The PlayStation 4 system set another decade-old record, beating out the Nintendo Wii from 2008 as the highest April dollar sales for a console.

Continuing a trend from last month, sales of headsets and headphones are significantly higher than they were a year ago, totaling an 89 percent growth over April 2017.

Two-Thirds Of Brands Are Bringing Programmatic In-House: IAB Report

Programmatic ad placement accounts for over 80 percent of digital ad spending, a number that’s not likely to drop anytime soon. With so much money on the line, advertisers are and should be making efforts to bring their programmatic in-house, according to a new report by the IAB Data Center of Excellence.

“If brands are going to bring programmatic in-house, they need to understand both the benefits and pitfalls,” said Orchid Richardson, vice president and managing director at the IAB Data Center of Excellence, in a statement. “This research makes it clear that a significant percentage of brands have already moved in this direction—and we can expect that more will follow suit.”

The IAB’s report, entitled “Programmatic In-Housing: Benefits, Challenges and Key Steps to Building Internal Capability,” found that 18 percent of brands have fully in-housed their programmatic media placement, and another 47 percent have at least partially done so. Only 13 percent of brands have started the process and decided against it, and 22 percent have not in-housed and do not plan to.

These findings are in keeping with research by the ANA, which found that 35 percent of brands reduced the role of external agencies for their programmatic needs in 2017, compared to just 14 percent in 2016.

Despite this shift, the IAB doubts that the marketing industry will shift completely in-house anytime soon. Either due to lack of resources to completely in-house or because of special expertise held by third-party agencies, many brands will continue to outsource their programmatic needs for the foreseeable future.

“Brands are either currently working with or considering partnering as a means for executing virtually every programmatic function,” the report reads. “This penchant for collaboration clearly indicates that most marketers prefer to be selective about which in-house capabilities they stand up versus going the full-service route, which would require extensive resources and may disrupt focus on current business operations.”

Brand willingness to go internal for programmatic media placement varies greatly between areas within the ecosystem. According to the IAB, most brands hope to in-house high-level strategic decisions, but they are content to outsource for specialized technology.

“Technology build-outs and ad operations, for example, were two areas with the highest incidence of existing partnership, perhaps reflecting the need for brands to control for excessive capital expenditures and talent recruitment when establishing in-house capabilities,” the report reads. “Data science and algorithm development, as well as education/training, also represent specialty areas where partnership arrangements are either in place or under consideration.”

For campaign analysis and optimization, consensus is much less common, with brands leaning in both directions on whether to go in-house or out.

Motivations for bringing programmatic in-house were primarily fiscal, with 44 percent of the study’s respondents hoping to improve ROI tracking and 34 percent wanting better cost efficiency. Additionally, 44 percent predicted both better audience targeting and more effective campaigns as rewards for bringing programmatic in-house.

“The impact of digital spend, as measured by marketing mix models, began to improve within a year of in-housing digital media spend, driven by enhanced targeting and ongoing placement optimization,” one of the report’s sources claimed.

Brand safety and transparency were major concerns as well, with marketers worrying about unreliable third parties.

“Without the visibility of an agency’s optimization efforts and an understanding of what they’re actually doing, I don’t know that they’re ever doing their best to maximize performance versus to maximize spend at a good performance,” another source claimed.

For brands hoping to in-house their programmatic capabilities, the IAB recommends taking time most of all. According to their research, setting up internal channels can take 12 months, at least.

“First, there must be management support and directive substantiated by an initial feasibility plan to justify in-housing time and resource requirements,” the report reads. “Next, everyone in the organization must come together to achieve plan execution. But there is bound to be some change resistance that’s consistent with human nature as staff members depart from their routine comfort zones.”

The report is based on a survey fielded by the IAB in April of 2018 that queried 119 brand representatives from member companies, comprised of “media decision makers across all titles and 16 major ad categories.”

Brands Get Dark And Broody For Global Goth Day

It’s World Goth Day, so brands pulled out the old black lipstick, dusted off those boots and took to social media to engage with audiences.

Founded in the UK by two DJs, World Goth Day began in 2009 with an annual gathering and celebration of the Goth subculture. Now the event spans across multiple countries, with several events raising money for charity.

The BBC Archive paid tribute to its dark followers with a clip from a 1987 TV program that explains the subculture’s punk origins.

The Smithsonian Library added another bit of education to the holiday.

Brands often take to Twitter to join trending conversations and World Goth Day is no exception. Rather than claim to be “real” Goths on this comfortably dark day, most brands took a playful, self-deprecating approach, laughing at how little they fit into the subculture.

Totino’s mascot, Pet Zaroll, shared a cheerful post against a gothic background.

Energy drink brand G Fuel made one of their black cups to look like a member of the goth subculture, complete with hairstyle and dragon earring.

Progressive gave Flo a darker look just for the occasion:

Other brands used the opportunity to call attention to Goth-themed entertainment.

Naturally, Comedy Central gave a shout out to its infamous South Park Goth episode.

DC Comics paid tribute to its character, Raven and her dark origins.

Discovery Family pointed to one of Fluttershy’s more despondent moments from My Little Pony.

Will Farrell’s Baron Nocturna sends his blackest regards.

Ironically, Hot Topic did not join in the dark festivities. We would say that brands celebrated World Goth Day, but that’s not very Goth. They have, however, taken part in other social media holidays like Dinosaur Day and Caramel Day.

ESL And Alienware Partner For ‘You Vs. Pro’ Social Activation

The Esports League (ESL) announced a partnership with Dell’s Alienware brand that will include onsite competitions and a social media push across Twitter and Facebook.

Beginning with ESL One Birmingham on May 24, Alienware will serve as the official OEM/PC and monitor partner of the global circuit for all of 2018. During that time, fans attending in person will be invited to take part in an onsite activation called Alienware Presents: You vs. Pro.

To participate in the branded event, fans attending ESL tournaments can take a picture of themselves at the Alienware booth and post it to ESL’s Twitter account using the hashtag #alienwareyouvspro. Five winners will be invited backstage, where they will each go head-to-head against a professional esports player.

All participants walk away with an Alienware keyboard and gaming mouse, with the best player taking home a 25” monitor as well. If the selected fan beats the pro gamer, however, they will be awarded additional ESL and Alienware merchandise.

“Because this is a year-long global partnership and we will host You vs. Pro at every ESL One event in 2018, the specific details will most likely change each time,” Paul Brewer, senior vice president of partnerships at ESL told AListDaily. “However, the #alienwareyouvspro hashtag on Twitter will be used for the activation throughout the course of the year.”

Additional pressure—or thrills, depending on the person—will be given to participants by streaming each You vs. Pro event on Facebook Live.

“We wanted to keep consistent and make it easy for our viewers to stay engaged in the scheduled competition of ESL One, but also be able to access You vs. Pro content conveniently on the same platform,” explained Brewer.

Thanks to a deal announced in January, all English language ESL One streams and ESL CS:GO Pro League have become exclusive to Facebook. Previously, fans could watch the streams on multiple channels including Twitch and YouTube.

Fans were not too thrilled at being forced to watch the tournaments on Facebook, but some DotA 2 players have taken to stream on Twitch. The game’s publisher, Valve, allows matches to be streamed on Twitch so long as they are done so without sponsors or using any assets from the official ESL One stream.

ESL may not be streaming on Twitter anymore, but Alienware Presents: You vs. Pro will give the brand an opportunity to keep the conversation going on some level.

Zara Integrates Online And Offline With Re-Launched Digital Storefront

To keep up with the encroachment of digital retail on the physical sector, brick-and-mortar brands have needed to shake up their business practices to stay competitive. For Inditex-owned Zara, integrating e-commerce into their flagship London location is simpler than it may seem.

“This Zara store is the first in the world with a dedicated area for the purchase and collection of online orders, in addition to the usual sections for women’s, men’s and kids’ lines,” the company wrote in its announcement.

Functioning as both a pick-up location and conventional retail store, the location features a host of tools to give shoppers as wide a swathe of options as possible. In this case, the tool consists of a hidden robotic arm that collects and sorts

“We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online,” said Inditex chairman and CEO Pablo Isla. “In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimized our stores for this aim.”

In addition to the robots, the store includes “interactive mirrors,” which hope to transpose the quintessentially e-commerce feature of recommendation engines.

“Interactive mirrors equipped with RFID will be able to detect the garment a customer is holding, enabling customers to see what a complete outfit will look like in the mirror,” the company claims.

This is not Zara’s first foray into the world of augmented reality shopping—the company launched an AR app featuring digital models for both physical and digital orders just last month. The new store follows the trends set by the previous app, eschewing shop windows and mannequins for open spaces.

“The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex,” Isla stated. “Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.”

Fake Fanta Bot Is A Reminder That Audiences Control Brand Narrative

A Twitter bot is inventing strange flavors of Fanta, reminding marketers that anyone can hijack a brand’s image for better or worse in the social space.

Consumers may not be able to try “Noisy Eggplant” or “Communist Blowfish” Fanta anytime soon, but they can visualize the flavors thanks to a Twitter bot that appeared over the weekend.

Fun Fearless Fake Fanta combines adjectives and emoji to generate fictitious soda offerings. The bot tweets out the resulting combination along with a generated soda can design.

The Twitter bot was created by Laura González, a front-end developer based out of London that goes by the Twitter handle @freezydorito.

“I like to think of online brands as characters or celebrities in a way,” González told AListDaily. “At the end of the day, they are a character with a voice and a personality.”

The bot was inspired by a “particularly foul tasting” bottle of Fanta Zero, she said, that turned out to have carrot and pumpkin in the orange-flavored drink. González began creating a mock-up of the flavor combination in Photoshop, then realized it would make a fun Twitter bot instead.

Gonzáles said that creating an online brand persona makes it more difficult to control, but brands can respond in different ways.

“I just sort of expect to wake up tomorrow and have a takedown request from Coca-Cola, if I’m being honest,” she laughed, “but I would expect a ‘funnier’ online brand like Wendy’s after the nugget thing to play along.”

González has created other bots that poke fun at marketing, such as taking random headlines and adding “And That’s A Big Opportunity For Brands.” While most tweets become nonsensical, a few border on the profound or creepy.

Other bots in Gonzales’ collection include a random Pokémon status generator, nonsensical romance advice and fake choices overlayed onto video game screenshots.

“I guess in today’s super online world, ‘brand’ has become sort of meaningless as a word,” Gonzáles reflected. “Even people have ended up running a personal brand of sorts, so I like to poke fun at that.”

Online audiences often take a brand image and give it meaning, with both positive and negative effects. Proctor and Gamble has backpedaled against the poisonous trend of eating Tide Pods, for example, but Hamburger Helper generated over $93,000 in earned media value when a Twitter user questioned its mascot’s skeletal structure.

Volkswagen Makes An Instagram Museum-Style Pop-Up With Jetta Haus

Tapping into both the zeitgeist of experiential marketing and the lasting influences of the Bauhaus, German car manufacturer Volkswagen is attempting to inject some life into the test drive and is promoting the 2019 Jetta with “Jetta Haus,” a series of pop-ups across America.

“The Jetta Haus events allow drivers to experience the progression of Jetta in a way that captures the vehicle’s vibrancy and timeless fun-to-drive appeal,” said Derrick Hatami, Volkswagen North America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a press release. “We are excited to connect with guests across the cities at our open-house party.”

Featuring live music performances by artists local to its locations in Chicago, Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Volkswagen treats the launch of its new car as “an interactive art car experience.” For interested car buyers, the company offered the chance to get behind the wheel of the car before distribution to car dealerships.


Volkswagen, however, doesn’t intend to limit the experience exclusively for those interested in purchasing the new Jetta model. Partnering with SiriusXM and Beats by Dr. Dre for music, as well as Red Bull for beverages, Volkswagen is treating Jetta Haus as more of an Instagram museum than a product showcase.

“It’s a stunning backdrop for you to win the weekend’s social updates,” the company urged to the public, pushing for social spread.

Besides the car itself, Volkswagen highlights the “Betta Lab” as the centerpiece of the experience. Treating the Jetta as the theme to the art experience, the two-room space promises “light, sound and motion, inspired by the Jetta’s turbocharged power, its available 10-color ambient lighting and available premium BeatsAudio sound.” Also featured in all four pop-up locations is an arcade with “hit retro games.”

“Every generation of Jetta, since its introduction in 1979, was built pragmatically to meet the needs of drivers of the time,” the company stated.

Caught in the Sunday Scaries @vw #jettahaus

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To infinity and beyond #jettahaus @vw

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Sprint Reboots Super Bowl Robot For ‘Time To Go’ Campaign

Sprint continues to push its “Evelyn” Super Bowl ad character into the summer, launching a series of video ads that focus on price savings.

A 60-second launch spot called “Time to Go” features Evelyn the robot and her friends Arm, Atlas, Roberto and Sassbot as they continue to question why consumers would pay more for Verizon. When the lab researcher tells Evelyn she should work at Sprint if she loves it so much, the robots pack up and head to the company’s headquarters.

“Time to Go” begins airing Friday in movie theaters and online. The spot will also play during the NBA Conference Finals on ESPN and TNT.

Also launching today is a series of social videos called “Road Trip” that features Evelyn and her friends’ adventure from the lab to Sprint headquarters.

A 30-second spot features Atlas the robot, who storms into the Sprint marketing department to make sure everyone knows about current deals, including 50 percent off the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Evelyn first appeared in Sprint’s Super Bowl ad February 4, in which she expresses confusion about why consumers would pay more for Verizon and not switch to Sprint. Evelyn is presented as a super-intelligent AI robot that uses math and logic to argue her case for Sprint. Other robots in the lab chime in and all mock the researcher, who ends up in a Sprint store changing providers.

Prior to the Super Bowl, Sprint released a series of teaser ads showing Evelyn learning new skills by watching a mobile phone that range from taking a selfie to football. While Evelyn’s “selfie” teaser ad garnered over 2.3 million views, the Super Bowl ad it promoted has just over 1.3 million views to date, which could point to consumers being amused but not so much as to keep the momentum going months later.

This time, the telecommunications brand is banking on not just Evelyn but with her robot friends, including the aptly-named Sassbot. Internet sass is proving an effective marketing tool for brands at the moment, especially when they throw it at one another.

Mediacorp Names Debra Soon First CMO, And Other Hires

This week: Mediacorp and Mavenir bring on new CMOs, Dunkin’ Donuts expands branding team to ensure quality messaging and FOX News promotes a new CEO.

Debra Soon Becomes Mediacorp As CMO

Singapore-based media conglomerate Mediacorp is reorganizing to integrate its marketing capacity, creating the role of chief marketing officer and appointing Debra Soon to fill the slot.

“The new integrated marketing organization will unify branding efforts across the company, strengthen our brand identity and communicate consistent messages as part of our efforts to create better, on-brand experiences for those we serve,” said Tham Loke Kheng, Mediacorp’s CEO. “Debra’s wealth of industry experience, deep understanding of our consumers and passion for the business make her the natural choice for this much needed role.”

Soon has been with the company for more than 20 years, beginning as a broadcast journalist and rising to chief customer officer.

Mavenir Appoints Stefano Cantarelli CMO

Global 5G software provider Mavenir has named Stefano Cantarelli executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Stefano is a proven industry veteran and visionary technology leader that brings expertise and strategic insight into mobile and convergent communications,” said Pardeep Kohli, CEO of Mavenir. “His proven experience and reputation will further Mavenir’s position as a global leader in the wireless industry through our mission of transforming mobile network economics.”

Cantarelli most recently worked at O2 UK, leading its network and IT strategy, and has been in the telecom industry for nearly thirty years.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 18. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Dunkin’ Donuts Hires Drayton Martin As Vice President Of Brand Stewardship

Set to ensure consistent application of brand messaging across advertising, packaging and digital channels, Drayton Martin joins Dunkin’ Donuts as vice president of brand stewardship.

“Drayton has a long and successful track record in creating compelling creative work and leading strong teams that have helped transform leading global consumer companies,” said Tony Weisman, Dunkin’ Donuts CMO. “Her extensive experience makes her well-positioned to lead and advance our creative vision and long-term strategic plans to drive engagement and excitement for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand.”

Martin previously spent 14 years at MullenLowe, most recently as executive director.

FOX News Appoints Suzanne Scott CEO

Suzanne Scott has been promoted to the position of chief executive officer of FOX News and the FOX Business Network.

“Suzanne has been instrumental in the success of FOX News and she has now made history as its first female CEO,” stated Lachlan Murdoch, 21st Century Fox chairman. “Her vision and innovation have helped create some of the most popular and lucrative primetime programs on cable and as we embark on the era of the proposed New Fox, I am confident that Suzanne’s leadership will ensure the dominance of both FOX News & FBN for years to come.”

Scott has been with FOX News since its inception 22 years ago, most recently as president of programming.

Phunware Names Barbary Brunner Chief Marketing Officer

Mobile technology firm Phunware has appointed Barbary Brunner to the position of CMO.

“With our announced intent to merge with NASDAQ company Stellar Acquisition III, Inc, and upcoming launch of PhunCoin, we are at a pivotal moment in Phunware’s history and in the larger landscapes of mobile application software, media and data,” said Alan Knitowski, Phunware’s cofounder and CEO. “Taking advantage of this moment requires a marketing leader with vision and expertise. Barbary possesses these and more, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Phunware’s executive leadership team.”

Brunner joins the company from the Austin Technology Council, where she served as CEO.

Nirmal Parikh Joins Dynasil As Vice President Of Marketing

Optics manufacturer Dynasil has appointed Nirmal Parikh vice president of marketing.

“We are very excited to welcome Nirmal to the Dynasil team,” said Peter Sulick, president and CEO of Dynasil. “With nearly twenty years of experience in digital marketing focused on the delivery of cutting-edge technology solutions, Nirmal brings valuable know how to Dynasil’s marketing team in an effort to strengthen Dynasil’s online presence.”

Parikh most recently served as chief marketing and technology officer for Digital Wavefront.

Condé Nast Appoints Vikki Chowney Director Of Brand Partnerships

Vikki Chowney has joined the century-old publishing conglomerate Condé Nast’s British division as its director of brand partnerships. In the role, Chowney will head the company’s creative studio, producing branded content for Condé Nast’s numerous media properties.

“I work within the Condé Nast Creative Studio to lead its brand-owned offer, harnessing over 100 years of the company’s editorial expertise to create content for Clients’ own channels,” Chowney wrote on LinkedIn, announcing the new position.

Previously, Chowney served as chief content strategist at Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Miguel Ángel Oliva Joins Dopamine As Chief Marketing Officer

Audiovisual branded content startup Dopamine has hired Miguel Ángel Oliva as CMO, in an effort to expand the firm’s presence in the US, Europe and Latin America.

“Multi-platforms, original series and new audiences are calling for unique promotional strategies, along with a very particular type of storytelling that is both creative and enticing. Miguel Angel brings that experience and the necessary dopamine to provide our partners and clients services and solutions that are optimal to face those challenges,” said Dopamine CEO Fidela Navarro. “He is an entrepreneurial professional, modern and passionate.”

Oliva previously served as vice president of public relations and corporate communications for HBO Latin America.

Snow Names Sanjay Castelino CMO

Software asset and cloud spend management software provider Snow has hired Sanjay Castelino as its chief marketing officer.

“This is a pivotal appointment for Snow’s growth and Sanjay’s strategic vision and global experience will add strength to the team,” Alex Kling, Snow’s CEO stated. “The customer experience is changing and his leadership and creativity will ensure we drive innovative solutions and propositions to the market.”

Castelino joins the company from Spiceworks, an IT-focused professional network.

Telenor Myanmar Appoints Amaresh Kumar CMO

Succeeding Joslin Myrthong, Amaresh Kumar has been moved to Telenor Myanmar from Telenor India, where he served as chief product officer. His new role will be chief marketing officer.

Meredith Appoints Patrick McCreery President Of Local Media Group

Media and marketing giant Meredith Corporation has promoted Patrick McCreery to president of its Local Media Group, succeeding retiring Paul Karpowicz.

“Patrick has led our news operations to leading positions in most of our markets, and worked diligently to expand our digital offerings,” said Karpowicz. “He has also led the integration of MNI Targeted Media into Meredith. I am confident that Patrick is the right person to move the Local Media Group into the future.”

McCreery most recently served as executive vice president of news and marketing.

Sears CMO, Marketing Personnel Depart

Retail giant Sears is shedding several members of its marketing department, AdAge reports. Among those who have left include CMO Kelly Cook and chief content officer Paul Graham Hayward.

VTS Hires Amy Millard As Chief Marketing Officer

Leasing and asset management platform VTS has appointed Amy Millard to the role of its first-ever CMO.

“As our growth has accelerated, we felt the time was right to expand our leadership team, hiring Amy Millard as CMO,” stated Nick Romito, VTS CEO and cofounder. “She brings tremendous SaaS marketing and leadership experience with her, along with a passion for growing and mentoring high-performing teams.”

Millard previously served as CMO for Spigit, an ideation management software provider.

Liberty Health Sciences Appoints Stephanie Kubacki Vice President Of Marketing

Stephanie Kubacki has joined Liberty Health Sciences as vice president of marketing, to assist the cannabis startup’s growth push.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Stephanie to the leadership team where she will play an important role in pursuing our aggressive growth strategy” said George Scorsis, director and CEO of Liberty. “She has an impressive background and wealth of experience in developing and advancing some of the world’s most recognizable brands. She’s a tremendous talent and adds important depth to our team.”

Kubacki joins the company from the alcoholic beverage industry, serving in marketing roles for Bacardi, Diageo and Palm Bay International.

Michael DiBella Joins IVCi As Vice President Of Marketing

Consulting firm IVCi is expanding its executive leadership team, bringing on Michael DiBella as vice president of marketing to revitalize the company’s global messaging and brand management.

“What drew us to Michael was his unique background that combines broad technology experiences within organizations like Canon and Crestron with a focus on revenue generating initiatives. He’s the kind of proven leader who can solve business challenges with innovative, results driven strategies,” says Tim Hennen, IVCi’s president of sales and engineering.

DiBella most recently served as director of product and channel marketing at Kramer Electronics.

IDFA Names A. Bailey Wood Jr. Vice President Of Communications, PR And Marketing

The International Dairy Foods Association has tapped A. Bailey Wood, Junior, for the role of vice president of communications, public relations and marketing.

“Bailey brings a rare and valuable blend of communications and advocacy expertise from his work on Capitol Hill as well as in other associations,” said Michael Dykes, CEO of IDFA. “We know he’ll be a dynamic and creative addition to our strategic planning, membership marketing and media relations efforts.”

Wood previously served at the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, where he served as vice president of communications since 2014.

Facebook Creates Three New Divisions, Moves Executive Roles Internally

Family Of Apps

Chief product officer Chris Cox is now the head of Facebook’s newly created “Family of Apps” division. In his new role, Cox will oversee Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Will Cathcart, vice president of product management, will take over all of product for Facebook’s core app.

New Platforms And Infra

David Marcus, previously in charge of Facebook’s Messenger app, is now heading up a new blockchain division called “New Platforms and Infra.”

His small team will include Instagram’s VP of engineering James Everingham and Instagram’s VP of product Kevin Weil, sources told RecodeMessenger will now be overseen by head of produce Stan Chudnovsky.

Weil’s role at Instagram will be assumed by Adam Mosseri, who currently runs Facebook’s News Feed.

Central Product Services

Javier Olivan will now oversee a third division called “Central Product Services” that includes shared features across Facebook’s offerings, to include ads, security and growth.

Intel Shifts Chief Marketing Officer Steve Fund To Handle “Special Projects”

Steve Fund has been shifted from his chief marketing officer role to handle unspecified “special projects,” the company told employees in an internal memo last week.

Michelle Johnston Holthaus, general manager of the company’s sales and marketing organization will handle marketing and communication while Intel seeks a replacement.

Cologix Appoints Lisa Guillaume Chief Marketing Officer

Lisa Guillaume has joined Cologix as chief marketing officer.  In this role, she will lead the global product and marketing strategy for the network neutral interconnection and data center company.

“As we continue to focus on driving more growth and expansion throughout our business, there is not a more qualified leader than Lisa to lead product strategy and elevate our brand, and I am thrilled that she has joined our team,” said Grant van Rooyen, chairman and CEO of Cologix.  “Her impressive track record of building high-impact products coupled with her passion for the customer experience will play a critical role in our next step of innovation and growth.”

Previously, Guillaume served as chief product officer for Relay Network, and held key leadership roles in product and marketing at Digital Globe and Level 3 Communications (now Century Link).

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 18. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

Head of Partner Marketing, UK  Netflix London, United Kingdom
Director, Global Partner Marketing Google San Francisco, CA
VP, Product Marketing Turner New York, NY
Director, Global Business Product Marketing Twitter San Francisco, CA
VP, Partner Marketing Pandora Oakland, CA
Global Director, Product Marketing (Monetization) Spotify New York, NY

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

All Commerce Is E-Commerce: CMO Council Report

With digital retailers continually proving to be an existential threat to the success of brick and mortar retailers, consumer product brands have faced a simple choice: join or die. But, according to a report by the CMO Council released on Monday, seeing which way the wind is blowing in the dawn of the digital retail age is just one of a number of hurdles marketers have to face.

Fifty-six percent of respondents in the CMO Council’s report titled “Ingenuity in the Global eCommerce Community” said that eCommerce is revolutionizing and reinventing the global retail marketplace and 43 percent say it challenges brands to evolve across all channels and markets. While views on eCommerce were positive overall, 14 percent said that it complicates relationships with traditional retail partners.

“When [marketers] realized that retail was reinventing itself, it was already too late,” said Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council, to AListDaily. “They couldn’t keep up with the pace of change that the Amazons and the Alibabas and the eBays of the world were precipitating. When you’re a day late to the party, it’s a little hard to catch up, and the only thing you can do is try to reinvent yourself on the fly or close.”

For many companies, the latter was the only option. Over 7,000 retail stores shuttered in 2017, and according to the report, 2018 is on track to beat that number.

“Any time CNN isn’t running a story about something happening in the White House, there’s a headline about a retailer shuttering stores,” Miller added.

However, according to Miller, the media doomsaying is largely overblown. Retail sales have grown 4.2 percent year over year, which, though not massive, is still positive growth. Though e-commerce giants are growing, they only make up 10 percent of total retail spending.

“Is every store going to close tomorrow?” Miller asked. “No! ECommerce is ten percent of the global shopping revenue base. But it used to be six. It’s growing at a much faster pace than anyone anticipated.”

According to Miller, the real sweeping change isn’t so much in the bottom line for retail brands, but in the minds of the consumer.

“These massive e-commerce communities are actively changing the baseline expectations of our consumers. And they’re forcing marketers and brands to reassess how they go to market, and the content that they’re using to engage their customers,” Miller stated. “How do we look at what these massive communities […] are doing that is successful, and how do we as brands, not just tap into that—it’s not about an ad spot—but transform to be able to engage with our customers across these communities in a way that fits their expectations?”

According to their findings, marketers have had to scrap the idea of a linear path-to-purchase model and reassess not only what content they put out, but fundamentally how they make strategic decisions. Brands no longer just have to provide products to choose from, but help guide consumers through the discovery process.

Survey participants were asked to choose the top three ways they plan to differentiate their brands in the digital retail marketplace. The most popular response, at 42 percent, was to produce richer, more visually engaging content. Only nine percent named chatbots or other AI technology as their go-to solution.

“What’s happening with these e-commerce communities is that every customer, every user, every member of the community is not being invited to shop, they’re being invited to explore. When you’re invited to explore, the brand responsibility is to be there with things that meet that need to explore.”

But brands shouldn’t lose track of the silver lining to the e-commerce clouds. According to the CMO Council, the new strategies brands have adopted to survive have given them access to swathes of new consumers whom they may never have reached before. For these new consumers, the shopping experience is an efficient one.

“It’s brands who advertise at really large malls who know that people are there, but they don’t necessarily know that they’re there to shop,” Miller stated. “People who go onto Amazon, people who go onto eBay, they’re there to shop. They’re there to find something new that they want to buy.”

For the CMO Council, reaching these consumers as they’re shopping is only small potatoes—getting them to consider a brand beforehand, or even seek it out, is the future of doing business. But for some marketers, fears over online sales eating into brick-and-mortar profits is keeping them from fully adapting.

“What could hold marketers back from success is they’re still super worried about cross-channel cannibalization. But the reality is, these communities are going to continue to grow,” Miller stated. “That expectation of diversity of product will spill over to a shopper’s expectation in a traditional retail environment. If we can’t see that the expectation of the shopper is being set by folks like the eBays, the Amazons, the Alibabas of the world, we’re in for a really bumpy reinvention ride.”

To assemble its report, the CMO Council surveyed over 200 marketers primarily in the areas of consumer packaged goods and durables as well as retail financial services, of whom 35 percent characterized themselves as either “chief marketing officer” or “head of marketing.” Of the companies the survey respondents represented, 31 percent reported revenues of over $1 billion last year.

“People are going to shop online,” Miller summed up. “We can all stop worrying about if it’s going to happen.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with details from the report that were not available before publishing time.