On Brand: LivePerson’s Manlio Carrelli On Elevating Customer Experience

Chief marketing officers for some of the world’s biggest companies are beginning to think beyond data and more about how they can be more assertive in taking ownership of the relationship with their customers to establish long-term engagement.

“Consumers just want to go to you direct, right from their mind to your brand. All the tools exist to do that now, whether it’s Alexa in the home or through a messaging app on the iPhone,” Manlio Carrelli, the executive vice president of enterprise business at LivePerson, told AList. “I think the best marketers are getting very deep in their consumer experience.”

Carrelli, who started at LivePerson as CMO, says that the best marketers are essentially technologists who can marry the customer experience with data and tech platforms to create new experiences. Experiential activations, for example, are usually transitory, point-in-time events, but there can be experiences that persist over time with consumers, using AI and automation to work at scale. Marketers who figure out how to do this will get ahead by removing friction from the consumer experience.

For those interested in incorporating AI into their marketing, Carrelli advises that brands be intentional with their use of bots by considering all aspects of the experience and how the bot impacts both consumers and employees.

“A lot of the mistakes that I think we made with the way we work with social platforms is that we rushed to adopt them without being intentional about the impact they have on our lives and privacy,” said Carrelli. “We don’t want to make the same mistake with artificial intelligence.”

Cadence is a key aspect, and Carrelli emphasized that these services are not software projects that operate at monthly or quarterly sprints. They operate on a daily loop, and brands will often using human customer support agents to manage over bots, intervening when they fail, and improving them to perform better next time. This approach is the fastest way to give brands experiences that engage consumers and provides higher lifetime value.

“AI is not just about the software, it’s about the operations and the interplay with humans,” Carrelli explained. “If you really want to train the AI well, train it by people who have skin in the game.”

Olay Partners With Influencers For ‘Face Anything’ Campaign

Olay launched its new Face Anything campaign on Monday with a message of being true to oneself, partnering with influencers to reach a wide audience.

Face Anything is a multi-channel cause marketing campaign that encourages women to be “unapologetically” themselves. A 10-page spread in the September issue of Vogue features nine women including gold medalist Aly Raisman, plus-size model Denis Bidot, comedian Lilly Singh and others—each sharing a quality that they have been told was too much of, such as “too strong” or “too outspoken.” Embracing these qualities, each woman is pictured with the word “too” crossed out.

Several Instagram creators including Hunter McGrady have begun a 28-day Olay skincare routine using a custom bundle of products provided by the brand. Each influencer will share their results on social media before joining the campaign’s other models for a makeup-less walk down the runway at New York Fashion Week. Out-of-home ads in New York City’s Times Square and the Grand Central train station will invite consumers to join the challenge.

Face Anything also opens up about diversity, mental illness, vulnerability, ambition and being driven, but mentions nothing about the quality or appearance of a woman’s skin.

“Just remember that you know your truth, don’t let anyone rewrite your story,” Raisman says in the campaign.

Olay’s Face Anything campaign is unrelated to Smashbox Cosmetics’ marketing efforts using the same slogan.

Depicting women in diverse and natural forms has become a trend in the beauty industry as public views change and younger generations value individuality over social conventions. Glossier tapped into this self-affirming movement with its Body Hero campaign last September. The print and social campaign featured a diverse range of models, all appearing in the nude.

Building self-esteem in women and girls has also become an issue that beauty brands are tackling head-on. Unilever brand Dove partnered with Cartoon Network earlier this year to encourage body confidence through the show Steven Universe.

Evolving ideas about what it means to be beautiful are shaping the way brands approach their marketing strategies. In a Cannes Lions presentation, chief digital officer of L’Oreal Lubomira Rochet said that YouTube and other digital platforms helped democratize beauty and tell brands what they want.

One thing consumers seem to want is self-expression, and beauty products are simply a tool to accomplish this. A 2017 study by BeautyCon Media found that 81 percent of respondents between the ages of 13-34 believed beauty is not about products, but about cultural expression.


Trojan’s ‘Trojan Man’ Character Rebooted As Modern, Open-Minded Guru

Trojan Brand Condoms has been looking to connect with younger audiences by presenting itself as more than a contraception maker. and more recently, the brand has been positioning itself as a sexual health educator. With that in mind, today, Trojan relaunched its signature Trojan Man campaign by revising the character as a sex guru, ready to explore all aspects of sexuality and offer advice.

In a statement, Trojan vice president of marketing, Bruce Weiss said, “Since his introduction over 20 years ago, Trojan Man became famous as this interruptive, gloved hand who showed up with the goods when you really needed him. This led us to ask, who is the man beyond the sleeve? Turns out he’s a sex-positive, sensual adventurer. A modern guy who is open to anything, but always has an eye on protection and shares his knowledge and humor to inspire others.”

The character has come a long way since its initial introduction as a superhero’s gloved hand 20 years ago. In fact, the character has never had a face associated with it until now. Where the original Trojan Man campaign relied upon an interjecting hypermasculine voiceover that very simply offered a product to solve intimate issues various commercial couples—the new Trojan Man is portrayed as an open-minded, calm guru offering advice. He now acts as a guide in this “Big Sexy World,” dispensing wisdom from his mountaintop base.

Trojan Man’s return could mark a new era for the company as it engages with millennials in the era of Tinder. The digital campaign launched with a series of YouTube videos, where characters approach Trojan Man with sexual questions and are given humorous advice while being encouraged to practice safe sex at the same time.

The accompanying social campaign introduces the revised character to the world. Instagram posts include quick quotes from the guru, including “A confident explorer is a prepared explorer. Think about it.” The social campaign also highlights different aspects of Trojan Man’s lifestyle, including his gong, xylophone, golden robe and others.

According to the press release, the campaign “comes at a time when the world truly needs an advocate for safe and pleasurable sexual exploration.” Following this theme, Trojan Man is presented as the embodiment of modern sex, which rejects labels and stereotypes while embracing sexual curiosity.

Some other recent educational initiatives from Trojan include partnering with the Advocates for Youth nonprofit group in for the “Consent. Ask For It.” campaign that seeks to educate sexually active college students about the facts of sexual assault by normalizing conversations about it. The brand has also sought to remove the social stigma related to safe sex by marketing its products to women who might feel uncomfortable purchasing condoms, and it has actively supported the LGBTQ community.



Stella Artois Releases 20-Minute Guided Meditation For Beer Sipping

Taking inspiration from popular meditation apps, Stella Artois has created a 20-minute audio guide called Stellaspace, which outlines in detail the “art of beer sipping.” Narrated by actor Luke Evans, the guide is available through Inscape’s meditation app to help drinkers sit back and truly enjoy the beverage.

“People today are busier than ever before, and this can often get in the way of enjoying some of the more simple pleasures in life, like a cold beer with friends,” said Stella Artois vice president Harry Lewis, speaking with AList. “There are all kind of mindfulness tools out there to keep you present but we noticed there was nothing to help you fully enjoy a beer.”

The company states that 20 minutes is, in fact, the optimal amount of time to enjoy the beverage, as recommended by its beer expert Master Ciceron Max Bakker. The guide combines Evans’ voice, personality and witty anecdotes with modern meditation techniques and is meant to be enjoyed with friends.

“We know that life tends to get in the way of enjoying these simple pleasures and our mission is to help bring more enjoyment to the limited time people do have,” Lewis explained. The 20-minute time frame not only allows drinkers to “fully appreciate” the beer, but it also encourages people to slow down and savor each sip.

He added that the experience was created to engage millennial drinkers, who value mindfulness, relaxation and self-care, as demonstrated by the rise of adult coloring books, meditation studios and more.

“Knowing that these consumers are our target audience, we want to play a role by providing a way to help people rethink how they enjoy a Stella Artois,” he said.

To create a greater sense of authenticity while incorporating meditative expertise, Stella decided to partner with Inscape and launch the experience through its app instead of as a podcast or on a self-branded app. Lewis said that Stella was impressed with Inscape’s approach toward merging traditional meditation techniques with modern technology.

“By hosting Stellaspace within the Inscape app we’re able to help ensure part of that balance is taking time to enjoy a beer with friends,” said Lewis. “Beyond Inscape we’re promoting the experience through proactive public relations, via our collaboration with narrator and slow-sipping expert Luke Evans, as well as ongoing influencer efforts aimed at inspiring people to join us in Stellaspace and think differently about how they enjoy a Stella Artois.”

The Stellaspace experience is part of the larger “Joie de Bière” brand campaign, which launched in April with a “Les Pockets” ad spot. Lewis said that it was inspired by the European sentiment “Joie de Vivre” or “the enjoyment of life.” Its mission is to help bring enjoyment to people using Stella Artois’ established sense of wit, charm and sophistication.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Kanopy Hires CMO; RE/MAX, Barcardi, NBCUniversal Telemundo Make Marketing Promotions

This week, Kanopy hires CMO from gaming industry, RE/MAX makes a marketing promotion, and executive moves happen at Bacardi, NBCUniversal Telemundo, BNY Mellon, Lawry’s Restaurants and more.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Kanopy Hires New CMO

On-demand digital video streaming platform Kanopy has hired Sarah Anderson as chief marketing officer. In this role, Anderson will oversee planning and execution for all of the company’s brand, marketing, advertising, publicity, social and promotional activity for the company, which caters to libraries around the world. Prior to joining Kanopy, Anderson served as senior vice president of marketing for 2K Games, in addition to Sega of America and Egreetings Network.

RE/MAX Senior Promotion

Real estate network RE/MAX announced the promotion of Abby Lee to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication. Lee was previously vice president of marketing and media strategies and will continue overseeing advertising campaigns across the US in addition to leading marketing, communications, public relations and social media groups at the company.

Bacardi CMO Role Expands To Vodka Brand

Bacardi Limited announced that Lee Applbaum, the company’s global chief marketing officer of Patrón Spirits, is expanding his role to lead global marketing for Grey Goose vodka. Applbaum will develop Grey Goose’s global marketing strategies, which include brand equity, architecture, advertising, brand communications, experiential and more. At the same time, he will continue to oversee the Patrón Spirits portfolio, directing “all global integrated marketing efforts across creative, media, public relations, innovation, and experiential activation in more than 100 countries,” according to a press release.

Kroger Updates VP Marketing Role

Cincinnati-based supermarket chain Kroger has named current vice president of Our Brands, Gil Phipps, to the role of vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands. Phipps has been with the company since 2012, evolving the Our Brands division by updating current brands and introducing new ones to drive customer loyalty and sales. The new position goes into effect on August 15.

NBCUniversal Telemundo EVP Adds CMO Role

NBCU Telemundo announced four senior appointments, including Mónica Gil, who has been named executive vice president and chief marketing officer for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. In this role, she will drive the company’s reputation, brand and corporate marketing while overseeing functions across communications, corporate affairs and human resources. Gil has served as an executive vice president at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises since 2017, and was the senior vice president and general manager for multicultural growth and strategy at Nielsen prior to that.

BNY Mellon Hires First CMO

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation announced the appointment of Brenda Tsai as chief marketing officer. She most recently served as vice president and global head of strategic communications and marketing at FactSet, a financial data and software company. Tsai has also led marketing teams at GE Capital, Procter & Gamble and Clorox. In the newly created position, which began on August 6, she will use her experience to drive client-focused global marketing with an emphasis on digital marketing through technology and research.

Bethesda Appoints European Marketing Director

Video game publisher Bethesda Softworks hired Sean Ratcliffe to serve as its new European marketing and PR director. Based out of the company’s London office, Ratcliffe replaces Sarah Seaby, who is leaving the position to take personal time. Prior to joining Bethesda, Ratcliffe served in various marketing and PR roles at companies, with the most recent being Rovio, maker of Angry Birds. Others include Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Studios, Sega of America and Konami.

Esports Mogul Names Marketing Chief

Esports media and software company, Esports Mogul, announced that Marian Kaufmann has joined as chief marketing officer. His responsibilities will include leading marketing activities for the company’s flagship tournament platform Mogul Arena. Kaufmann previously served as an online marketing specialist for the technology company Razer, and was most recently the marketing head for AVADO Learning, a professional learning and consulting company.

Lawry’s Names CMO

Ryan O’Melveny Wilson, who most recently served as Lawry’s Restaurants vice president and executive chef, has been named as the group’s global chief marketing and strategy officer. In this role, he is tasked with revitalizing the 80-year-old brand while leading Lawry’s marketing, product and business activities in addition to managing its international licenses. Wilson’s career at Lawry’s spans 15 years and his uncle, Richard Frank, is CEO and chairman.

Cruise Line Appoints Marketing VP

Windstar Cruises announced that Mary Beth Wressell has been hired to serve as the company’s vice president of marketing and public relations. Wressell will be responsible for the company’s brand communications, digital marketing, customer relationship marketing, partnerships and public relations.

Home Vision Test Service Appoints New CMO

EyeQue, an at-home vision test company, has hired Datta Nadkarni as its first chief marketing officer. In this role, he will lead the company’s global marketing efforts as it expands internationally, with a focus on driving adoption.

FTX Hires Marketing Head As It Promotes CEO

FTX Games, which publishes games based on popular movie and television IPs, has hired Kathy Bricaud as its head of marketing. She takes over marketing responsibilities from Casey Dickinson, who was promoted from general manager and vice president of publishing to chief executive officer.

PepsiCo Names New CEO

Beverage and snack giant PepsiCo announced the appointment of Ramon Laguarta as its new chief executive officer. She succeeds Indra K. Nooyi, who is stepping down from the role on October 3 after a 24-year career at the company, but she will continue to serve as chairman until sometime in early 2019 to help with the transition. Laguarta, who most recently served as president of PepsiCo, has been with the company for 22 years.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 10. 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 

VP, Brand Marketing NBCUniversal New York, NY
Head of Performance Marketing Strategy Uber San Francisco, CA
VP, Brand Marketing Aéropostale New York, NY
Head of Lifecycle Marketing Dropbox San Francisco, CA
VP, Marketing  Disney Burbank, CA
Head of Integrated Marketing, Fire TV Amazon Seattle, WA

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

Friend List Feeds Retired From Facebook; Twitter Says Its Rules Are A ‘Living Document’

This week in social media news, Facebook adds extra Page verification, nixes Friend List feeds and bans the sharing of blueprints for 3D-printed guns.

Also, LinkedIn explains how it addresses potentially harmful activity and Facebook hosts a panel on the intersection between technology and free speech. Facebook Messenger introduces AR games, Twitter explains its ever-changing rules and YouTube could soon be the second largest website. Pinterest takes promoted video width “to the max,” Facebook holds its own in the US as a mobile browser and LinkedIn makes it easier to highlight a professional journey; Facebook has also been busy testing its dating feature, connecting small businesses and enforcing its community guidelines while YouTube Premium announces its first Spanish-speaking slate of programming.

Friend List Feeds Retired From Facebook

Facebook users can no longer view a custom News Feed based on their Friends Lists.

Why it matters: Facebook is steering users back to its main News Feed, putting them at the mercy of the site’s algorithm. The company has been focused on prioritizing friends and family over brands in the Feed, making the retirement of Friend List Feeds—which highlight only the desired updates—a bit ironic.

Details: Effective August 9, Facebook has retired the ability to sort one’s News Feed by specific Friend Lists. Facebook said the purpose of this change is to “focus on improving [the] main News Feed.” Users can still create, edit and share Friends Lists as normal.

In Light Of Attacks, Facebook Page Managers Are Being Scrutinized

Two-factor authorization and confirming a primary country location will now be required of anyone who manages a Facebook Page, the company announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Facebook recently uncovered a coordinated attempt to influence US politics through the creation of fake accounts and Pages. Scrutinizing Page managers helps the site prevent future behavior targeted at US audiences.

Details: Facebook has introduced new rules related to its Pages and those authorized to manage them. Page Managers that require additional verification will not be allowed to post on their Pages until they complete the process. “Enforcement will follow shortly this month,” said Facebook, although details were not provided. In addition to the new verification process, users can view a Page’s history, such as when it merges with another Page. The company hopes that by making this information public, users will be able to determine when activity doesn’t seem right.

LinkedIn Joins The ‘Safe Community’ Discussion

Paul Rockwell, LinkedIn’s head of trust and safety, posted an article on Thursday that explains how the site handles spam, harassment and other unwelcome content.

Why it matters: Facebook is taking most of the heat lately, but LinkedIn admits that it has been targeted with suspicious activity, as well (although on a much smaller scale). Admitting this, as well as outlining how the situation is being handled allows LinkedIn to maintain its integrity with users—getting ahead of any controversy that may erupt later.

Details: LinkedIn reminded its users on Thursday about how to report content that “makes them uncomfortable.” The networking site assured its users that reports are taken seriously. Rockwell’s article outlines recent action taken by his team to combat suspicious or unacceptable behavior, such as removing fake accounts. Like Facebook, fake accounts were created to connect with political organizations, presumably to influence them and their activities. Rockwell said there was no evidence of fake news or malicious ads being spread, but his team doesn’t “take their existence lightly.”

Facebook Hosts Panel On Free Expression

A Facebook Live panel is being held on Thursday at 2 p.m. PST to discuss where technology and free speech intersect and the challenges thereof.

Why it matters: By welcoming conversation around the topic of free speech, Facebook is attempting to show that it is not biased or censoring content based solely on differing viewpoints.

Details: Facebook’s “Hard Questions” series continues with a panel to discuss where and when technology giants like Facebook can or should censor content. The panel will be moderated by Andrew McLaughlin, co-founder of Higher Ground Labs. Panelists include Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management, Malkia Cyril, executive director of The Center for Media Justice, Daniella Greenbaum, a former reporter at Business Insider and Geoffrey King, a journalist, attorney and lecturer at UC Berkeley.

AR Games Debut For Facebook Messenger

Facebook has introduced the first of several planned multiplayer AR games for video chat on Messenger.

Why it matters: Facebook Messenger hosted over 17 billion video chats last year, making it an obvious testing ground for the company’s ongoing push for augmented reality. The new video chat AR games also place Facebook at an advantage over Snapchat. For one, Facebook’s version is designed for split-screen multiplayer unlike those on Snappables released earlier this year. In addition, monetization used for Instant Games has already laid the groundwork for how Facebook could monetize this new interactive feature.

Details: Beginning Wednesday, Facebook Messenger users can challenge friends and family to “Don’t Smile” and “Asteroids Attack.” In “Don’t Smile,” users see who can hold a serious face the longest. Those who crack a smile are exposed with an AR filter that exaggerates the grin for all to see. In “Asteroids Attack,” video chat participants navigate a spaceship through a barrage of asteroids. Facebook said it is planning to roll out more games in the coming weeks and months, including a kitten match game and a virtual beach ball that can be bounced back and forth between callers.

Twitter Says Its Rules Are A ‘Living Document’

In a blog post, Twitter explained how its rules are constantly changing and why the site doesn’t always enforce them the way users expect.

Why it’s important: In light every other major social media outlet banning Infowars, the timing is right for Twitter to address how violating content is identified and enforced. As Twitter faces pressure to join the purge, the company is standing by its admittedly vague and ever-changing policies. Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said they have been “terrible” at explaining rules in the past, but refused to “succumb to outside pressure” in regard to Jones and Infowars for fear of becoming the politically-biased site it has often been accused of.

Details: Twitter provided users with a recap of its “living document” that governs behavior on the platform. This including different kinds of prohibited behavior added over the years, like unwanted sexual advances and threats to expose or hack someone. While the company pledged to continually adapt and improve, it warned: “Given the scale of Twitter, we will not always get it right.”

YouTube Could Become Third-Largest US Website

A new study shows that growth on YouTube could propel it past Facebook to become the second largest website in the US.

Why it matters: Should predictions become reality, Google is poised to dominate the US in terms of website traffic—bolstering its position as the world’s top ad seller.

Details: While Facebook traffic is on the decline, YouTube traffic is rising, according to a study by market research firm SimilarWeb. For the past several years, the top US sites have been Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and Amazon, in that order. As CNBC reports, however, Facebook’s decreasing user base could allow YouTube to slip into the number two spot. In addition, Amazon is on a course to overtake Yahoo for website traffic.

Promoted Videos Go Maximum Width On Pinterest

Pinterest is now offering promoted videos at “max. width,” four times larger than a standard video option.

Why it matters: Testing of the wider format resulted in higher purchase intent and brand awareness, Pinterest announced. For example, UK retailer John Lewis saw a 20 percent increase in awareness and a 33 percent increase in purchase intent in a campaign promoting their new nursery collection.

Details: Advertisers on Pinterest now have two video sizes to choose from—standard and max. width. Standard videos are the same size as a regular Pin and fit seamlessly into a user’s feed. Max. width, on the other hand, is four times larger and spans the width of both columns. The new format has been in testing but is now available for all advertisers on Pinterest.

Facebook Finds Success As A Mobile Browser

A recent study on mobile browser usage found that Facebook holds 7.6 percent of market share in the US and over 10 percent in many states. Considering the ubiquity of Chrome and Safari, that’s a sizable chunk.

Why it matters: Facebook has become a primary source of internet consumption for many people, which adds pressure on the company to take responsibility for the content it spreads. In addition, Google faces increasing competition and acquisition costs as it pays to be the default browser on new mobile phones.

Details: Analytics provider Mixpanel conducted a study of mobile behavior across 20,000 of its users in the first half of 2018. While Safari and Chrome are the most oft-used browsers, Facebook has grown to be the third most popular in the US. In Washington, for example, Facebook holds 13.74 percent of browser market share.

LinkedIn Revamps ‘Experience’ Layout To Highlight Growth

Consecutive work experience on LinkedIn profiles will now automatically group under the same employer.

Why it matters: For professionals that work their way through the ranks, a LinkedIn profile begins to fill with separate sections for each job position. This new layout makes it easier to get a sense of a user’s professional journey and experience.

Details: With the new Experience layout, LinkedIn users can list every position held while at a company in a bullet list, highlighting their professional growth and varying experience in a streamlined format. According to LinkedIn, creating a better way to highlight past experiences and show career movement across each role has been one of the site’s top requests.

Facebook Tests Dating App On Employees

Facebook’s new dating feature is undergoing an internal test, according to source code located within the app.

Why it matters: Announced during its F8 conference, Facebook’s dating feature would allow users to privately build separate dating profiles using first names only. These profiles would be hidden from regular friends and news feeds. Internal testing doesn’t guarantee that the feature will ever go live, but it does show that Facebook is still on board with the idea.

Details: An internal test of Facebook’s dating feature is being conducted with the company’s employees, according to internal source code found by independent app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. The test version tells employees, “The purpose for this dogfooding (slang for testing one’s own products) is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers.”

Facebook confirmed the test with The Verge but would not provide additional comment.

Spanish-Language Slate Coming To YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is developing an unknown number of Spanish-speaking titles, the company announced.

Why it matters: With availability in 16 regions including Mexico and Spain, YouTube Premium is taking advantage of popular Spanish-speaking performers on its platform. Latin pop star Maluma, for example, has five videos on YouTube that have garnered over one billion views.

Details: Although details are scarce, YouTube has confirmed the development of Spanish language movies and series for its Premium platform. Actor Gael García Bernal, singer Maluma and comedian Sofia Niño de Rivera are all attached to these projects.

“Latin America is a region filled with creative storytellers with unique voices, and we’re looking forward to working with them to bring their innovative brand of programming to YouTube fans around the world,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content at YouTube in a statement.

Facebook Removes Alex Jones Pages

Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones faced additional punishment from Facebook this week that resulted in four Pages being removed from the site.

Why it matters: The fact that Facebook felt the need to write a blog post about this move is notable. The company has taken a softer approach in the past by deprioritizing offenders in news feeds rather than removing pages altogether, but this move indicates a clear line in the sand. Prior to his exit, Facebook’s chief security officer urged the company to “pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues.”

Details: On Monday, Facebook confirmed the removal of four Pages belonging to Infowars and Alex Jones, citing repeated violations of its guidelines. Specifically, Facebook found the content to glorify violence and use dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants. Jones was recently suspended from Facebook for violating the site’s policies in regard to hate speech and Jones has already been banned from livestreaming on YouTube for 90 days.

Updates Catered To Small Businesses Roll Out On Facebook

Facebook has made updates to its site designed to help small businesses that extend to recommendations, mobile Pages, job tools, events and a Local section for users to browse.

Why it matters: As the world’s second-largest ad seller, Facebook needs to appeal to businesses big and small. Together with prioritizing local news, making it easier to interact with local happenings helps Facebook’s mission to create more meaningful interactions, as evidenced by prioritizing back in March.

Details: Local business Facebook Pages have been updated with features that allow users to make reservations, book appointments and other features that help facilitate a purchase. On mobile, Stories give businesses an opportunity to engage users with behind-the-scenes, product spotlights and specials, etc. Recommendations are now displayed in a more prominent position on Pages and users can purchase tickets from Events pages. Facebook has also expanded its job application tool globally and added a “Local” section for users to browse businesses and events in their area.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 10. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Millennial Shoppers Turned Off By Traditional Marketing, Study Shows

With giants such as Amazon gaining an ever-stronger presence in the retail space, brick-and-mortar stores have a lot to be worried about. But a study conducted by Euclid, which surveys 1,500 consumers in the US, shows that it’s not all necessarily doom and gloom. In fact, the report finds that understanding current shopping habits, particularly those of millennials, may be the key to adapting retail brands and their marketing approach to current and future shoppers.

The report found three major trends in the retail space—the first being that new buying models, particularly subscription boxes, are changing the way consumers think about stores. Secondly, the millennial generation is turned off by traditional marketing and third, there’s a growing sense of channel agnosticism, meaning that shoppers are generally open to regularly using multiple channels.

To address these trends, the report explains that retailers need to reduce friction for shoppers while using a variety of channels to provide blended experiences to a broad group of consumers. Shoppers respond to creative, distinctive and playful offerings that differentiate brands from the competition.

Specifically, Euclid found that pop-up stores were effective at drawing in shoppers, and they work both within established retail spaces or as standalone locations. The former offers novelty that will enliven the brand for consumers. The fear of missing out acts as a strong driver for people to get out and go shopping. The study found that 38 percent of people who shopped online each week would check out a pop-up store. Additionally, 50 percent of subscription box users and 29 percent of traditional brick-and-mortar shoppers said the same.

“The concepts of personalization, convenience and connection are central to the millennial buyer—and that’s apparent in this demographic’s expectations, preferences and opinions on their retail experiences,” states the report.

Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, millennials are the most channel agnostic, and have no problem with switching between online and physical stores, or combining both, as their needs require. About one in three use a subscription service, showing a strong preference for this shopping model while most Boomers and Gen Xers still relied on in-store shopping.

There are two main drivers that get millennials out to stores, the first being group shopping with friends and family, indicating that the group seeks immersive and shared experiences. At the same time, millennials are far more likely to shop online to pick items up from the store for quick get-in/get-out experiences, which benefits retail brands that offer these services on their web pages or apps.

Additionally, millennials regard marketing as a turn-off, not a draw. According to the study, “Advertising isn’t a needle-mover for millennials the way it is for other generational demographics.”

For 53 percent of Baby Boomers and 40 percent of Gen Xers, an ad showing an item they want is enough to warrant a store visit, but less than a third of millennials said the same. Millennials also generally don’t care for email marketing, but that trend crosses generations, with about half of respondents from other groups stating that they would unsubscribe from a brand if they received too many messages.

In order to effectively reach millennials, brands need to offer a blend of technology, personalization and price. Price is the strongest motivating factor, and brands can couple digital coupons with outreach to establish millennial engagement. All three groups said that they would like to see stronger technology integration and curation to help them find the products that best serve their needs, suggesting that projects such as Alibaba’s New Retail Strategic Opportunities fund might have a future in the US.

Thoughts? Continue the conversation at @alistdaily.

Viacom Bets On Advanced Marketing Solutions Platform

Viacom reported a drop in its Q3 2018 earnings, with revenues in the quarter decreasing by 4 percent to $3.24 billion. Losses were seen across both the company’s media networks and filmed entertainment divisions despite the buyout of its EPIX investment the previous quarter, gains in domestic box office sales and the continued revitalization of its struggling media networks.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish highlighted the company’s continued evolution during the earnings call, particularly with the increased performance of Paramount and MTV. He also sought to reassure investors that growth would continue as it expands its services and partnerships with OTT platforms, driven further with the recent acquisition of AwesomenessTV.

Viacom’s broadcast networks, which include MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, The Paramount Network and more, collectively saw revenues decrease by 2 percent in the quarter to $2.50 billion. The company reported a 17 percent increase in worldwide ancillary revenues to $158 million, but this was offset by a 4 percent decrease in worldwide advertising earnings to $1.19 billion and a 3 percent decrease in worldwide affiliate revenues to $1.15 billion. However, Bakish emphasizes the strength of the upfront.

“We drove our strongest upfront in five years, with mid-to-high single-digit growth across all our cable networks,” Bakish said. “Reflecting the improved strength of our brands and greater share of viewership across our portfolio.”

The growth in upfront pricing also demonstrates the strength of its Advanced Marketing Solutions (AMS) portfolio, which includes its branded content, advanced advertising and experiential offerings. The company expects that AMS will grow to deliver about $300 million in revenue by the end of the year, setting up a return to overall ad sales growth in 2019.

Additionally, Bakish announced that Fox has agreed to license the AMS data science platform behind Viacom Vantage ad targeting product. With this deal, Fox will be the first media partner to use the technology to power the linear optimization service across its networks, a deal that also accounts for Fox’s acquisition by Disney.

Viacom will add another 600 hours of content to its digital offerings, which doesn’t take into account the acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network with strong Gen Z appeal. The company is also establishing a stronger presence on digital platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix around the world, the launch of a direct-to-consumer platform and a B2B-C strategy that brings targeted B2C products that are distributed through partners. For example, Nickelodeon’s Noggin channel is available on Amazon Prime Video, and the preschool entertainment channel has seen substantial subscriber growth.

The company plans to leverage brands such as MTV, Comedy Central and BET to create original content for third-party partners. MTV in particular will be using its extensive library of youth-focused and music IPs, which has remained largely untapped.

Viacom delivered a strong revitalization message for Paramount, with both its film and television channels. Paramount Television helped drive a 35 percent increase in licensing revenues, which brought in $404 million in the quarter.

“We’ve stabilized and turned around four critical parts of the business that were under serious pressure 18 months ago,” said Bakish in closing, referring to its domestic affiliates business, audience viewership, domestic ad sales growth and Paramount Pictures. “Viacom is a story of a company broadening its participation in the media landscape.”

Chinese Streaming Service iQiyi Quadruples Down On Nickelodeon Content

Originally published at VideoInk.

Chinese streamer iQiyi will have four times the amount of Nickelodeon content than it did last month. The additional programming comes from an expanded multi-year content deal between the streamer and Viacom-owned Nickelodeon.

Under the agreement, iQiyi will take streaming rights of the Nickelodeon shows “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Shimmer and Shine,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “Top Wing,” “Rusty Rivets” and “Rise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Those shows will be made available to the company’s 421 million monthly active users in both Mandarin and English versions.

The increased content helps solidify iQiyi’s position as one of the most dominant streaming services in China with over 121 million daily active users at the end of 2017. It also builds on the company’s past content partnerships with companies like Netflix, Lionsgate, Jukin Media and Paramount.

According to a report released by eMarketer, by the end of 2018, 22 percent of digital video viewers in China will subscribe to the Baidu-owned company, making it second only to Tencent Video which will control 24 percent of digital viewers. In 2018, eMarketer estimates that close to 229 million people in China will watch video via a subscription streaming service that bypasses traditional distribution and, by 2022, more than a quarter of the population will use an OTT service.

Roku: Data-Driven Selling, Programmatic Are The Future Of TV

Roku reported healthy growth during its Q2 earnings on Wednesday, touting the importance of OTT and its newfound place in the advertising market. While the brand is primarily known for its smart TVs and apps, Roku is driven by the rising importance of OTT and the evolution of how TV ads are bought and sold.

“Data-driven selling [and] programmatic-based techniques are, in our opinion, a central component of the future of the way TV advertising is going to be traded,” Roku CFO Steve Louden said during the earnings call with investors.

In June, Roku launched its Audience Marketplace that attracted media giants like Fox, Turner and Viacom. The programmatic solution includes the Roku Ad Insights Measurement suite that was created in partnership with Nielsen.

“From the very beginning, our goal with advertising at Roku has been to elevate [and] evolve the state of advertising—to make TV advertising natively targetable, interactive [and] much more highly measured like any digital media that a modern marketer expects,” said Louden.

A majority of ad revenue on Roku is still being generated by publishers on the platform, the company explained, and Audience Marketplace was a way to help publishers remain competitive. Roku participated in TV Upfront season for the first time in 2018—an experience that left a lasting impression on Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood.

“I think the big takeaway for us [is] that this is really the first year that advertisers are are proactively planning for OTT as part of their annual TV spending plan,” Wood recalled, adding that they have a team to handle traditional TV ad sales as well.

“This is an exciting time to be in the streaming business,” said Wood. “The massive TV ecosystem is moving to modern platforms with streaming at the center of a more dynamic and innovative approach to content distribution.”

Roku climbed to 22 million active users in the second quarter of 2018 who streamed 5.5 billion hours of content. Revenue grew 57 percent to $156.8 million.