CMO Council: Relationship Building Goes Far Beyond Passive Listening

Consumer voices are everywhere in this connected world, but listening and interpreting those voices often proves difficult according to a new report by the CMO Council. Marketers often rely too much on passive responses, make assumptions about their consumers or simply forget there is a person on the receiving end of a campaign.

The CMO Council partnered with Harte Hankes to explore the ways in which customer voices are elevated in the marketing process. An online audit was conducted in the second half of 2018 and 152 senior marketing executives participated. Findings of the audit were published on Tuesday in a report called “Bringing a Human Voice to Customer Choice.”

Participating marketers agreed that making assumptions about a consumer weakens the foundation of a relationship. When asked to name the biggest relationship-building challenge, the most popular response—at 41 percent—was remembering that they are building relationships, “not just deploying campaigns.”

In addition to remembering the relationship, 29 percent admit that they struggle to remember that a customer is actually human as opposed to just an inbox or target.

Some of this disconnect may be attributed to the way in which marketers do listen to their customers. The audit found that a majority of marketers lean on tried and true methods of gaining customer insight such as email and form submissions, but are trading comfort for a lack of real-time behavioral cues.

While reactionary posts such as complaints allow a brand to react quickly, they rarely provide a real-time view into intentions, behaviors, needs or even aspirations, explains the CMO Council.

“They are postcards of a customer’s life when marketers are looking for a real-time movie.”

There may be another reason for huddling in the narrow comfort zone of reactionary customer feedback—being proactive means having to understand massive amounts of data. Nearly a third of marketers consider Big Data to be their top challenge, while 34 percent name dark data. Thirty-six percent say the greatest challenge will be aggregating, analyzing and utilizing small data.

Small data may offer “micro-moments of opportunity” to marketers, but only 10 percent of respondents believe their organization is fully prepared to take advantage of them. Likewise, just 36 percent of respondents consider themselves “fairly prepared” to implement points of connection across the Internet of Things (IoT), but not entirely confident in their ability to act in real time.

“Marketers have made the connection between growth and profitability and the ability to reach, engage and build relationships with customers,” observes the CMO Council. “Building a relationship can often start by asking a simple question and then having the patience and maturity to step back and listen to the answer.”

The findings of this study mirror sentiments and observations made in the 2018 report, “Turn Up The Volume: Rethinking Where and How Customer Voice Enhances Experience.”

While the report focused on social media, it concluded that the same number (150) of European marketers aren’t listening to consumers in a way that would build lasting relationships. Just 27 percent said they actively listen for the voice of the customer, while another 36 percent listen with a limited scope.

Facebook Launches Cryptocurrency; Twitter Develops ‘Hide Replies’

This week in social media news, Facebook is working on launching its own cryptocurrency, Twitter is in the process of developing “Hide Replies” feature, TikTok promises to be the next big thing for marketers, Twitter introduces new Twiter Business podcast, Facebook announces premium video advertising option, Snapchat updates “Explore” with Snap ads courses for marketers, Instagram is spotted testing new title option for Instagram Live, Tinder is launching a Spring Break mode, brands are pulling their advertising from YouTube, Instagram is testing a public “Collections” feature similar to Pinterest boards and survey reveals how consumers sort out brand authenticity on social media.

Facebook To Launch Its Cryptocurrency 

The New York Times reported on Thursday that several internet outfits, including Facebook, are planning to launch new cryptocurrencies in 2019 that will make it easy for users to send money to contacts in their messager, similar to Venmo and PayPal.

Why it matters: Since products, such as Venmo have already proved popular with consumers, it is reasonable to predict that with cryptocurrency, Facebook will add more value to the platform and its users.

The details: According to The New York Times, the company is almost ready to start selling the Facebook coin to consumers. The company is also looking to operate with different foreign currencies, besides the dollar. In addition, Facebook is taking apart its messaging infrastructure and connecting Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. The incorporation, which could take over a year, would extend the reach of Facebook’s digital currency across the 2.7 billion people who use one of the three apps each month.

Facebook’s Workplace Reached 2 Million Paying Users

On Friday, Facebook released updated numbers on its Workplace performance in a blog post, claiming the platform now sees 2 million paid users.

Why it matters: The report demonstrated that Workplace is different from the competitor Slack and highlighted the Workplace’s success in an area that Slack, Microsoft Teams are also chasing, which is enterprise users.

The details:  The report said that Workplace now serves 150 companies with more than 10,000 users each on the platform. These companies include corporate giants, such as Nestle, Danone and Delta Airlines and startups, like Farfetch. “We put these people at the center of everything we do. Whether it’s releasing new features like Safety Check so frontline workers can get the support they need in a crisis; leveraging industry-leading machine learning technology from Facebook to help ease the burden of email overload; or building best-of-breed integrations with companies like Microsoft, Google, ServiceNow, Okta, Box and Netskope so our customers can get more from the SaaS apps they already use,” the report stated.

Twitter Is Working On “Hide Replies” Feature Release 

Twitter is developing a feature that would let users hide replies to their tweets, TechCrunch reported on Thursday. The “Hide Tweet” feature was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, who shared her findings on Twitter.

Why it matters: The feature will allow the users to “mute” toxic or unreasonable comments.

The details: “Hide Replies” wouldn’t let the users permanently hide replies to tweets, but it would make those replies more difficult to see. Michelle Yasmeen Haq, senior product manager at Twitter, confirmed in a statement for CNBC that the “Hide Tweet” and “View Hidden Tweets” controls are currently in development, as part of its drive to promote “healthy” conversations on the platform. By giving users the option to hide replies, Yasmeen Haq said, Twitter can “balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”

Twitter Offers ‘Character Count,’ The New @TwitterBusiness Podcast

Twitter announced on Wednesday the launch of their new “Character Count” podcast for marketers.

Why it matters: The podcast aims to help marketers and advertisers feel supported and inspired by the expert guests and the Twitter Business team.

The details: In each episode of “Character Count,” you can expect to hear about Twitter’s most interesting advertising stories and learn the mechanics of the most effective campaign, as well as find out more about Twitter’s audience.

“We’ll hear how @MontereyAq uses memes to raise ocean awareness, how @Dropbox builds warmth with their customers, how @SimonBooks brought a legacy brand online—and more,” the statement from Twitter said.

Will TikTok Be Relevant To Marketers?

According to Digiday, TikTok has already started testing ads in the US, with GrubHub being among the first to try out the ad units. The question of the platform sticking around, however, still stands. SocialMediaToday is sorting it out.

Why it matters: New social media platforms pop up all the time, promising to become “the next big thing.” Most, however, don’t make it. It is important to analyze their relevance to marketers at an early stage.

The details: According to a SocialMediaToday analysis, TikTok has good chances at sticking around. Although the platform is quite similar to other brief video content tools, such as Vine, it’s is growing fast. What also sets TikTok apart is that besides providing an alternative outlet for creative expression to the users, the features offered in western markets were first tested among the platform’s native, Chinese userbase first.

TikTok is still testing waters with its ad options, but its Chinese version, “Douyin” is living proof of the company’s experience and understanding of the subject, as Douyin has more than 300 million monthly active users.

Facebook Announces ‘Facebook Showcase’ Premium Video Advertising Option

Facebook announced in a statement on Tuesday the launch of “Facebook Showcase” ad program.

Why it matters: The program should provide wider opportunities for advertisers to increase brand awareness in connection to the most popular “Watch” shows. Also, according to the statement, “Showcase” can help advertisers reach younger audiences that are not easily reachable on TV. “Over the past three months, 43% of people in the US who watched In-Stream Reserve-eligible content on Facebook were 18-34 years old,2 compared to 28% of TV viewers,” the statement said.

The details: Showcase is currently available for campaigns in the US and the products offered include:

  • In-Stream Reserve. This product allows advertisers to reach people watching video from a selection of numerous publishers and creators.
  • In-Stream Reserve Categories allows advertisers to reach people within contextually relevant content.
  • Sponsorships give advertisers an opportunity to be the exclusive sponsor of a program.

Snapchat Launches Updated Snap Ads Education Courses for Marketers

Snapchat recently announced in a statement that its “Explore” education courses will be upgraded with a new range of tools and insights for marketers and advertisers.

Why it matters: Snapchat ad education courses is a useful source offering many educational course options, which touch upon nearly everything: from ad formats to data analytics.

The details: Snap ads is a convenient addendum to the “Explore” platform. It will provide informative overviews of the various Snap ad options and tips on how they can be utilized. In addition, the tool includes an updated Snap ads accreditation program.

Instagram Spotted Testing New Title Option for Instagram Live

SocialMediaToday reported on Wednesday that Instagram is testing new title option for Instagram Live.

Why it matters: The new title frame might help users to better engage others with their Live stream content.

The details: According to SocialMediaToday, the tip was shared on Twitter by user Giuseppe Foresta (and Matt Navarra). The new option appeared at the top of the Instagram Live launch tile, prompting the users to “add a title for your viewers.”

Tinder Launches a Spring Break Mode

TechCrunch reported on Tuesday that the dating app Tinder is launching a new feature “Spring Break mode” for the college-aged users, which will allow them to look up potential matches in their Spring Break destinations.

Why it matters: “Spring Break, like Tinder, is a staple for many college students across the country. We’ve historically seen huge upticks in Tinder usage during Spring Break in these destinations, and we are excited to give users the unique experience to connect before they pack their bags,” Jenny Campbell, chief marketing officer at Tinder, told TechCrunch in a statement.

The details: Spring Break mode will be working starting March 4 through March 31, 2019,  and will cover 20 popular destinations, such as Cabo, Lake Havasu, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego and others. To opt in, Tinder U users will have to look for the Spring Break card and when they see it, select their Spring Break destination to see who else is going. This destination will then be displayed to potential matches through their profiles.

Nestle, Disney Pull YouTube Ads

Bloomberg reported that Disney is pulling its advertising spend from YouTube, along with a laundry list of other other companies including Nestle SA and Epic Games after a blogger, Matt Watson, released a 20-minute video on the platform about comments on YouTube being used to aid a “soft-core pedophilia ring.”

Why it matters: This is ultimately a brand safety issue. If the brands can’t control where the ads appear they will pull them for the time being.

The details: “Any content–including comments–that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments,” a spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email to Bloomberg. YouTube also published an updated policy about how it will handle content that is not appropriate.

YouTube Pulls Ads From Anti-Vaccine Videos 

According to BuzzFeed News, YouTube also had to remove ads on videos that advocate against vaccination after advertisers complained about programmatic ad placements on such videos.

Why it matters: These videos fall under YouTube’s policy, which prohibits the monetization of videos with “dangerous and harmful” content which again, affects the reputation of the brands advertising.

The details: BuzzFeed News found that even for queries like “are vaccines safe?” YouTube usually pulls results from credible sources, such as a children’s hospitals’ data but its “Up Next” algorithm frequently suggested recommendations for anti-vaccination clips.

Seven different advertisers told BuzzFeed News they were unaware that their ads were appearing on videos that advocate against vaccinating children, and contacted YouTube to terminate the programmatic placements.

“We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads,” a YouTube spokesperson said in an email statement to BuzzFeed News.

Instagram Is Testing Public “Collections” Feature 

TechCrunch reported that Instagram is looking to challenge Pinterest. Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections,” similar to Pinterest boards, to which multiple users can contribute.

Why it matters: Instagram public “Collections” could certainly inspire a new medium of content curation on the platform, enabling the users to “collect” their “bucket list” items, shopping wish lists or travel destinations.

The details: Instagram didn’t confirm testing to TechCrunch, but the “Make Collection Public” option was discovered by reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong. Wong was able to generate a screenshot of the prototype, which showed the ability to toggle on public visibility for a Collection, and tag contributors who can also add to the Collection. Urges Travel Daydreamers To ‘Just Book It Already’

Travel brand isn’t beating around the bush with its latest call to action. A new campaign called “Be a Booker” encourages consumers to stop dreaming about their next trip and finally make it happen. debuted its latest national campaign on Monday, celebrating those who travel and shaming those who are content to just “pin, post and swipe.” Social media makes it easy to dream about travel, especially on Instagram where popular influencers go to extraordinary lengths for their next “travel brag” post. Not surprisingly, a majority of travelers depicted in the “Be a Booker” campaign are young and virtually all “bookers” do so with a mobile phone.

At first glance, the campaign appears to cater only to those who actually finalize their plans, i.e. existing customers. One spot called “Ask Your Boss Later,” however, promotes impulse booking by highlighting the site’s free cancellation policy. This message is clearly aimed at those who hesitate; the “others” in a travel booking scenario.

“By creating a community of ‘bookers,’ is aiming to celebrate the people who take action and empower others to experience the world, no matter where that is,” Pepijn Rijvers, chief marketing officer at explained in a press release. “ wants to inspire ‘bookers’ and as a leading tech company, assure them that we’ll do all the work to take the friction out of the travel process to help them plan their trip in a seamless way.”

“Be a Booker” launched nationally on Monday and will air on primetime TV and online channels. The campaign includes a mix of 60-second and 30-second spots as well as four separate 15-second spots dubbed ”’Ask Your Boss Later,” “What You’re Looking For,” “Big Plans” and “L.A. Baby.” cited a 2018 study by Victorinox that found 76 percent of Americans wanting to spend more of their free time traveling. This statistic, says, means that US consumers have an opportunity to take advantage of accommodations and daily deals featured in the campaign.

Throughout each ad, Happy travelers cavort in restaurants, hotel rooms and on the road, reminding consumers that the service isn’t just for finding a place to sleep. These visuals are a nod to’s Experiences portal, which just launched in September.

In addition to experiences offered around a traveler’s destination, has offered exclusive events such as a meet-and-greet with DJ Khaled and a Halloween-themed night for two inside The San Francisco Dungeon.


Wingstop Debuts ‘Where Flavor Gets Its Wings’ Digital And Experiential Campaign

Wingstop launched its most extensive advertising campaign yet called ‘Where Flavor Gets Its Wings,’ to showcase their variety of flavors.

Along with TV spots, Wingstop is hitting the road on their ‘Flavor World’ tour. Food trucks will travel across the country so consumers can sample their wings. The first stop was at Los Angeles’ LA Live venue followed by the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

“We’re embarking on an amazing journey to excite people so they can overcome the flavor indifference that keeps them stuck with bland and predictable fast food choices,” said Maurice Cooper, Wingstop chief marketing officer in a statement.

“Where Flavor Gets Its Wings is the first campaign we’ve launched that speaks to any eating occasion. Our longtime fans of Wingstop and the masses demanded a better flavor experience and will agree that Wingstop fits every lifestyle moment that food and flavor enhances.”

Eleven winners—one fan for each of Wingstop’s chicken wing flavors—will earn free wings for a year if they discover a green ticket inside their wing boats. Participants will also get the chance opportunity to star in their virtual Wingstop ad through a custom VR experience.

Recently, the company rolled out updates to their website and app, introducing a calculator feature which assists you in determining how many wings you should order according to how many people in your party and how hungry they are. Alongside this digital and experiential strategy refresh, Wingstop also plans to expand delivery to more markets in the US.

Last February, Wingstop created a special toll-free hotline to help people “looking to step up their romance game or cure hunger pains” for Valentine’s Day. Those who called the 1-844-WING-LUV hotline could hear five response options depending on what number you pressed—one could get Valentine’s night tips and another featured a vocal warm-up routine.




Oscar Night Advertisers Rely On Female Empowerment, Craft To Inspire Viewers

Advertisers during the 91st Academy Awards vied for audience attention by sending messages of empowerment, craft and a love of film.

Walmart served as the main sponsor for the Academy Awards and turned its marketing efforts not on the celebrities themselves, but those working behind the scenes. For its TV spot, the retail giant partnered with movie stylists who designed custom outfits for six film crew members working in Foley, voice acting, stunts, costumes, styling and catering.

In addition to prominent branding and the hashtag #WalmartFashion used throughout the program, Walmart created a dedicated microsite to the film crew partners and their curated fashion.

The #MeToo movement is still in full swing, so brands no doubt consider the Oscars to be the perfect platform for female empowerment.

Nike continued its “Dream Crazy” campaign with a female-focused ad narrated by Serena Williams. The commercial highlights moments in sports history when women were considered “crazy” for attempting something new.

“So if they want to call you crazy,” says Williams in the spot, “Fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

Cadillac likened stepping up into one of its new SUVs to rising to the occasion, using visuals like a woman of color receiving an award, a female boxer rising from the corner and a man stepping onto the stage to a microphone.

Budweiser enlisted the help of actress Charlize Theron to promote its new reserve lager in a spot that plays on the saying, “Hold my beer.” After ordering a glass of Budweiser reserve lager, Theron notices some men playing pool and it inspires her to challenge them. She goes from activity to activity—pool, darts and arm wrestling—emerging victorious without putting down her beer glass. Oddly enough, as some viewers have pointed out, she never takes a sip, either.

The Academy Awards were designed to honor those who are masters of their craft. This theme resonated in several ad spots, as well.

Rolex turned its attention to Academy Award-winning filmmakers James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow and Alejandro G. Iñárritu who each give their advice about telling one’s story.

Samsung, fresh off its Galaxy S10 smartphone reveal, teased a new phone during the ceremony that would take “cinematic” pictures.

Budweiser touted its own craftsmanship by shaming other brewers for using corn syrup. Set In its “Dilly Dilly” universe, two thespians take the stage to dramatically read beer ingredients from Miller Light and Bud Light. After hearing that Bud Light does not use corn syrup, one audience member is moved to tears.

The jab at its competitors began at the Super Bowl with Bud Light’s “Special Delivery” spot.

Google took an imaginative approach to its voice assistant marketing by adding its functionality to popular films. As the commercial plays, the events of Deadpool, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Scream, Toby McGuire, Hangover and Lady Bird are all changed when Google Assistant is used.

Hollywood’s biggest night has attracted fewer viewers in recent years, and the 2018 Oscars reached a new low. Despite this, brands pour millions of ad dollars into the televised event for a chance to be associated with celebrity glitz and glamor. According to Kantar Media, the average price of an Oscars-airing ad was $2.11 million in 2018.


Shiv Singh: “You Were Either A Coke Drinker Or Pepsi Drinker”

An excerpt from Rohini Luthra PhD and Shiv Singh’s upcoming book ‘Savvy: Navigating Fake Companies, Fake Leaders and Fake News in the Post-Trust Era’.

The “cola wars” was the name given to the marketing battles that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo fought over the course of three decades to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Through a series of innovative marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, promotions, and product extensions, each company constantly tried to outdo the other and win greater market share. Pepsi, as the challenger brand with the smaller market, often took the lead as disrupter [sic], upending the status quo and catching its competitor off balance. Coca-Cola would respond furiously, fighting to retain the consumers Pepsi was gunning for. The competition became even more fierce when sales stopped growing as consumers moved away from carbonated beverages to healthier drinks.

Consumers avidly took sides in the competition. You were either a Coke drinker or Pepsi drinker, and people rarely drank both or switched sides. Loyalists watched the Super Bowl ads of their brand with glee and disparaged those of the competitor. Researchers of a 2016 study analyzed a database on consumer shopping history for more than sixty-two thousand households across the US. Results showed that consumers were remarkably loyal to their chosen brand. Coca-Cola kept 94 percent of its loyal households from one quarter to the next and Pepsi retained 91 percent of its households.

Inside the companies, loyalty and the competitive spirit were intense. Having worked for PepsiCo, one of the co-authors has firsthand knowledge of how the cola wars affected the company. As an employee, you never ever drank Coca-Cola products. We all knew that to be caught with a Coke in our hand was company betrayal. But that hardly mattered, as few, if any, employees wanted to drink a Coke. The cola wars were personal. We took the competition very seriously- the mere sight of a Coca-Cola was an irritant. Business partners were strongly encouraged to only serve Pepsi at meetings and to hide all Coca-Cola products. PepsiCo leaders were known to leave social events in a huff if Coca-Cola products were being served. One year, at the annual sales meeting, a PepsiCo manager even distributed floormats depicting a crushed coke can with the message, “wipe your feet here” on it to the thousands of attendees attending as a way to motivate the sales teams to crush the competition. Employees knew that. if they were to leave PepsiCo and join the Coca-Cola Company they’d been seen as making peace with the devil! No one ever did that. And in case you were wondering, all of this was true for Coke too. In 2013, a Coke driver was fired for drinking a Pepsi in the back room of a California store after completing a delivery. He’d been with Coca-Cola for twelve years.

Yet, as in the Robber’s Cave experiment, when the companies were given an opportunity to collaborate for a greater good, they became effective partners. In 2012 they joined forces against Mayor Bloomberg’s health campaign linking consumption of sodas to obesity in New York City. Bloomberg proposed a Soda Ban which would limit the same of soft drinks over sixteen ounces. Coca-Cola and Pepsi launched a PR assault against the ban, and both together and individually lobbied against health bills designed to reduce consumption of their products. They wanted to educate consumers about obesity in a more balanced fashion, emphasizing what they were doing to help.

Then, in 2015, they came together again to help veterans get jobs, jointly running public service announcements encouraging companies to hire veterans. In those ads, each company’s CEO raised a toast to veterans (with their favorite cola in their hands.) As we’ve seen, the two companies can certainly partner, but why would they? Both have masterfully engineered bias to their benefit. For employees and consumers, being loyal to one group over the other satisfies the fundamental human motivation to belong.

Get Savvy NowHow To Fight The Need To Belong

  • What happens when we don’t conform: Studies have found that non-conforming employees report being more confident and engaged in their work, display greater creativity, and receive higher ratings on performance and innovativeness from their supervisors. Make space in your company for non-conformity.
  • Why some people don’t conform: About 1/4 of subjects in Asch’s study never agreed with the erroneous judgment of the majority. Those that resisted said (1) they were confident of their own judgment and (2) felt like they had to be true to their own perceptions.
  • Combating groupthink: In combating conformity and groupthink, managers should (1) emphasize the need all viewpoints, including dissenting ones; and (2) build a culture that encourages critical thinking and transparency. When you hire, look for heterogeneous employees.
  1. Hold off on voicing your own opinions: Being a manager means that you shouldn’t be the first to speak. Try to create an environment where your teams develop their opinions first and then come to you for validation.
  2. Devil’s advocate: Always assign one person to play the devil’s advocate when trying to solve a problem. Discuss the final idea with outsiders to get impartial opinions.
  3. Welcome competition: Don’t treat your competitors like they’re enemies. It can lead to a culture of ingroup bias where you’re not only disrespectful to your competitors, but also blind to their strengths and advantages. Competition is healthy, it makes us work harder and more creatively. However, even as we compete, we should find ways to partner around shared values.

Nine Stats On The State Of Mobile Right Now

Smartphones have become one of, if not the most, important battleground for consumer attention. And with the advent of 5G and IoT, marketing in this sector will only become more intensified, and the consumer attention more sacred.

Here are some stats every marketer should know about the current state of mobile and where it’s headed.

About three out of four users will be mobile-only by 2025 (WARC)

Aside from showing the increase in mobile advertising investment, WARC found mobile device users spend around three hours a day socializing on their smartphones or tablets. In 2025, approximately 73 percent of the online population will access the internet only on mobile; China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan are expected to account for half of all the growth.

Ninety percent of gamers play games on their phones (NPD)

The 2018 Gamer Segmentation Report found that of gamers who only use one platform for gaming, that device is most likely to be a smartphone.

About 94 percent of Millennials will be smartphone users in 2019 (eMarketer)

Almost the entire demographic uses smartphones, but only 56 percent of millennials use tablets and about 37 percent use smart speakers.

Almost half of Millennials use a smartphone voice assistant (eMarketer)

Millennials might not use smart speakers but they do use voice assistants like Siri.

Three out of every four search shopping impressions occur on a mobile phone (Kenshoo)

Kenshoo released their report The Kenshoo Q4 2018 Quarterly Trends Report and found Q4 spending growth in social was up 31 percent and search was 14 percent YoY. On Instagram, the spending growth came not from new advertisers, but ones who had been on the platform for at least five years.

During the 2018 holidays, 64 percent of shoppers placed online orders through their smartphone (Adlucent)

Mobile orders were up 152 percent compared to 2017. Even in stores, shoppers used mobile devices 71 percent more. The report also found video is the best way for consumers to learn about a product—chosen over a web page or reading text.

50 percent of retailers said a mobile shopping app is a top priority in their omnichannel plans (Shopgate)

In 2019, retailers realize mobile is essential to survival, around 61 percent of respondents surveyed recognized buy online; pick up in store and buy online and return in store capabilities as being among top priorities in their continuing omnichannel strategies.

69 percent of podcasts are consumed on a mobile device (Edison Research)

The Infinite Dial Report examined Americans of various backgrounds and also found around 48 million Americans listened to podcasts on a weekly basis in 2018—up six million from 2017. Half of consumers hear podcasts in their homes and not cars.

The global food delivery mobile app market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 27.9 percent—to $16.6 billion by 2023 (Allied Market Research)

According to the report, the growth is attributed to “high internet penetration, rise in standard of living in the developing countries and increase in mobile and smartphone usages.”

How 5G Will Impact Marketing

The future of marketing will happen in 5G. That’s what’s been promised, but the question remains—when will the rise of 5G fully take place, and what will it look like? While tech advancements and achievements in digital marketing are indeed speeding up, a McKinsey study predicted that, considering the significant build-outs that will need to take place to foster 5G adaption, the industry shouldn’t expect 5G to gain traction on a large scale until at least the early 2020s.

With just a few years to go before 5G takes the stage, now is the time to examine just how 5G will impact marketing and how advertisers can prepare for what’s to come.

The 5G Impact

While 5G has not yet been fully rolled out, many marketing experts expect 5G will be transformative. The latest 5G technology will be able to process significantly higher amounts of data at far greater speeds than current 4G devices. In December, AT&T announced they’ll be introducing a 5G hotspot with speeds 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G technology.

As a result, more users will be able to access the internet on a greater number—and variety—of devices at once. Consumers will be able to download everything from movies, games and TV shows to virtual reality experiences from their smartphones as well as other devices, all at speeds that will greatly reduce loading times.

Susan Borst, VP of mobile at IAB, emphasizes just how broad of a reach 5G will have, and as a result, how broadly it will impact marketing.

“While it’s easy to think of 5G’s impact on mobile devices,” Borst said, “What makes 5G so exciting is its on impact everything from mobile to so much more, including desktop, IoT, OOH, wearables, drone delivery, manufacturing, analytics-driven retail experiences and smart cities infrastructure.”

As users can access content at a rapid-fire pace, marketers will have more opportunities to reach their target audiences.

Conor Mason, principal of Punchkick, predicts the introduction of 5G will also affect user experience, consumer demands and data collection.

“One of the biggest challenges with gathering data from mobile users today is network reliability—it’s tough to upload app data or analytics data reliably when the user might be experiencing subpar network conditions,” Mason said. “But 5G offers greater range, improvements to MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) for congested networks, and overall increased speeds to send more data quicker.”

Increasing Reach

While exciting, marketers are sure to face challenges when adjusting to 5G technology, including meeting increased consumer expectations and extending to one of today’s biggest marketing challenges—ad blockers.

The rise of 5G may present opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers who would otherwise use ad blockers. As pages load more quickly using 5G technology, marketers may have an opportunity to introduce content to consumers without those users becoming frustrated as ads slow down their browsers.

A 2017 report by AdBlock Plus and Global Web Index found that 40 percent of those surveyed had used an ad blocker within the last month, but of those respondents, just 22 percent utilized ad blockers on their mobile devices.

Respondents gave a variety of reasons why they use ad blockers—33 percent said they used those blockers to “speed up the time it takes for things to load on my device.” Approximately 37 percent of respondents said ads “take up too much screen space and get in the way,” while 40 percent said they found “online ads intrusive.”

As 5G is adopted and download times decrease, marketers may be able to find ways to reach users who are less inclined to use ad blockers as ads, as well as websites, take less time to load. Advertisers can also use this opportunity to develop innovative solutions in advertising. With VR, AR, business intelligence and improved data collection on the table, now is the time for the industry to focus on digital innovation.

“The marketing industry needs to think about 5G as an opportunity to reinvent their offerings in the mobile space,” Mason said. “Experiences that were once relegated to WiFi are now going to be possible everywhere—what kind of sophisticated mobile apps would make sense in those contexts?”

Borst anticipates significant improvements in live streaming, as well as more accurate geofencing and next-generation VR, in addition to overall improvements in download times.

“With enhanced data in real time, the winning trifecta of getting the right message to the right person at the right time will no longer be a pipe dream,” Borst said.

Even while preparing for the adoption of 5G and the opportunities it presents, advertisers should anticipate the rollout be a gradual one. This transitional period presents its own set of marketing challenges.

“The biggest challenge in embracing 5G will be understanding that we will be in a 4G/5G hybrid world for a long time,” said Seth Dobbs, VP of engineering at Bounteous. “…Any marketing effort that embraces 5G will still need to consider a deprecated experience for 4G users.”

To keep pace with 5G advancements, Borst recommends getting on board with the changes as soon as possible, as well as to prepare for shifting U.S. and international data collection regulations.

“If applicable, creative should be developed based on assets that can be mixed and matched to provide the most relevant messaging to consumers,” she said. “For marketers who have been slow on creating video assets, now is the time to ramp up efforts and make sure their infrastructures are ready. Finally, as is the case today, marketers must be cognizant of the evolving public policy landscape in the US and abroad and the impact of what this means on data collection and use.”

The marketing industry faces unique challenges with 5G, as well as unique opportunities for growth, innovation and creativity. It may not be here tomorrow, but 5G is on its way, and when it arrives, advertisers should be prepared to keep up with technology and ultimately, to keep up with consumers as their everyday online experiences evolve.

Visa’s Oscar Spot Takes On Hollywood’s Pay Gap

Visa is launching phase two of its social and digital campaign ‘Money is Changing’ to continue the conversation of millennial women and their attitudes towards money—finding they’re less willing to sacrifice their financial independence. The company is using the platform of the Oscars, one of the most prestigious awards shows in Hollywood, with viewership around 30 million in the last few years. Visa will debut ads featuring female designers, directors, producers and activists discussing the pay gap in Hollywood.

The spot “Pay Equality In Hollywood,” was directed by Gia Coppola and entertainment industry professionals like Arianne Philips, a twice Oscar-nominated costume designer and Mel Jones. The women disclose stories about how they’ve been paid less than their male counterparts for the same or more work.

This second phase centers on female empowerment and it shows tools and resources to help Millennial women reach their financial goals. Refinery29, Bustle and The Cut are Visa’s content partners with the “reach and credibility” to cultivate and continue the conversation.Visa’s research suggests 60 percent of Millennial women feel they live paycheck-to-paycheck. In Visa’s other new spot “The Cost,” women’s daily expenses are seen racking up.

“We are embracing the authentic voices and perspectives of women from all backgrounds, in order to seed our message and ensure that we are talking to her at various touch-points in her day and in her life,” said Mary Ann Reilly, senior vice president of North America marketing for Visa.

“Plans consist of custom think-pieces, data sharing infographics, ‘How I Changed It’ storytelling via a robust influencer plan, transparent conversations via podcasts, and crowdsourced pieces. Additionally, we have high-impact placements that will run throughout the year.”

The digital ads and social posts are on Visa’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The financial services corporation chose to go the digital route because most Millennial women are online and engaged in various social media platforms.

“We want to talk to her when she is in the mindset of consuming and engaging with content that interests her. Launching digitally also allows us flexibility and nimbleness to assess what is working, quickly pivot, and constantly test campaign creative,” added Reilly.

“With this in mind, we set out with the intention of running this campaign as a closed feedback-loop vs. a standard linear launch approach. We developed hundreds of assets, based in research, and put it all into the world so that we could quickly learn (via data) what our target was interested in and the best way to message it to her.”

Carolina Panthers Appoints T-Mobile Exec; Meredith Hires VP

This week’s executive shifts include the Carolina Panthers appointing a former T-Mobile exec, Halstead hiring a new CMO, ZitSticka appointing a former Tinder exec, Constellation Brands promoting their VP of digital marketing, PDQ hiring their first CMO, Meredith appointing a VP of shopper marketing, IMAX’s global CMO resigns, Paramount Pictures appointing co-presidents of marketing, BHS hires a new CMO, IPIC hiring a new chief marketing officer and Whistle appointing the former VP of marketing at Refinery29.

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

Carolina Panthers Appoints Former T-Mobile Exec

The NFL’s Carolina Panthers hired Meredith Starkey as their chief marketing officer. Previously, Starkey served as VP of marketing for sponsorships and events at T-Mobile. Prior to that, she served as manager of sponsorship marketing at Motorola and as an account director at Genesco Sports Enterprises.

“We are delighted to have Meredith join our leadership team,” said team president Tom Glick in a statement. “She is a proven difference maker in our industry and understands fans and how to deliver special moments, memories and experiences to continue to fuel their passion. As we strive to do more for our fans, partners and communities across the Carolinas, Meredith’s command of the fundamentals and drive to innovate will help us get it right.”

Halstead Appoints New Chief Marketing Officer

Halstead Real Estate hired Matthew Leone as their chief brand and marketing officer. In this role, Leone will oversee marketing and further expand the firm’s brand activities. Previously, Leone worked as senior vice president of digital marketing and CMO at Terra Holdings, a parent company of Halstead.

ZitSticka Hires Former Tinder Exec
The new DTC acne brand ZitSticka has appointed Josh Metz as the company’s CMO. Prior to joining ZitSticka, Metz served as director of marketing at Tinder and brand manager at Tinder Australia. The company just launched with its hero product, the KILLA, a penetrative acne patch.

Constellation Brands Promotes VP of Marketing

Constellation Brands Inc.—an international producer of beer, wine and spirits—promoted Karena Breslin to senior vice president of digital and media. In her new role, Breslin will lead media, e-commerce, digital marketing and marketing technology teams. She began her career with Constellation as director of digital marketing for wine and spirits and in 2013 was promoted to VP of digital marketing.

PDQ Appoints Thier First Chief Marketing Officer

PDQ Restaurants appointed Frank Rappa as the company’s CMO. Prior to joining PDQ, Rappa served as senior director of retail for Equinox and international VP for Armani Exchange. He most recently ran his own consulting firm.

“Frank has a proven track record of developing brands and people,” Nick Reader, PDQ CEO and co-founder said in a statement. “His leadership skills and forward-thinking approach to marketing [are] a big reason why we are so thrilled to have him join our team.”

Meredith Corporation Hires VP of Shopper Marketing

Meredith Corporation, a media and marketing services company, has hired Carol Campbell as vice president of shopper marketing. In this newly created role, Campbell will harness and accelerate shopper marketing capabilities for their magazine brands. Previously, she worked as an executive director of sales development at Hearst and CRO of PGOA Media.

SunExpress Appoints A New CMO

SunExpress, a Turkish airline, has appointed Kerstin Lomb as their Chief Marketing Officer. She will oversee brand, marketing and corporate communications for the airline. Before joining the team, Lomb served as senior advisor at Amadeus IT Group and also worked as a partner and managing director at Accenture.

IMAX Chief Marketing Officer Resigns

IMAX announced their global chief marketing officer JL Pomeroy left her position. She was in the position for two years and during that time led the brand’s creative, strategic positioning, immersive content and integrated marketing efforts. Prior to that, Pomeroy worked at her own agency the Jumpline Group. She also served as the VP of sales and marketing for Cartier.

SunLife Promotes VP of Marketing To CMO

SunLife Financial Canada has promoted Samantha O’Neill to the newly created role of vice-president and chief marketing officer for Canada. Previously, she served as VP of marketing and client experience at the company. Prior to that, she worked at LoyaltyOne as VP of analytics and insights.

Paramount Pictures Appoints Two Co-Presidents of Marketing, Distribution
Paramount Pictures appointed Marc Weinstock and promoted Mary Daily to be co-presidents of worldwide marketing and distribution. They’ll both report to Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos.

Previously, Weinstock served as president of Annapurna Pictures. Daily joined Paramount in 2017 after six years at 20th Century Fox’s president and chief marketing officer.

BHS Hires New Chief Marketing Officer

Brown Harris Stevens (BHS) has appointed Pablo Marvel as their new CMO. He will oversee their marketing strategy in New York City, the Hamptons, Miami and Palm Beach. Prior to joining BHS, Marvel co-founded Nova Concepts, a creative agency.

Foxtel’s Director of Marketing Sports Resigns After Six Months

Foxtel’s Adam Ballesty, director of marketing sports, has left his position after six months. He joined Foxtel in September and managed the marketing, brand, design and publicity team at Foxsports and led the sports marketing at Foxtel. This comes after Foxtel’s CMO Andy Lark left in October after only being in the position for nine months. Previously, Ballesty served as marketing and innovation director at Diageo.

IPIC Entertainment Appoints New CMO

IPIC Entertainment has hired Carla D’Alessandro as the company’s new chief marketing officer. She will lead and oversee all their marketing efforts across all their brand portfolio. Previously, D’Alessandro served as SVP and managing director of account services at Zimmerman Advertising.

“We are thrilled to have Carla join the IPIC family and build a world-class performance marketing team. Her experience in direct and member-specific marketing will help continue to build on the foundation of our IPIC ACCESS Membership Program and offer an unparalleled guest experience,” states Hamid Hashemi, founder and CEO of IPIC Entertainment in a press release.

Whistle Hires Former Refinery29 Exec

Whistle, an original programming and sports platform, has appointed Alison Meyer as their VP of marketing. It comes after the company’s expansion into original entertainment with the acquisition of New Form. Prior to joining Whistle, Meyer worked as VP of marketing solutions and client services at Refinery29.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 22. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing Officer eBay London, UK
Chief Marketing Officer Moog Music Group Asheville, NC
Vice President, Marketing Strategy  Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY
VP, Brand Marketing Carl’s Jr. Franklin, TN
Head of Marketing Uber London, UK
VP Marketing Analytics DISNEY New York, NY

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