Wendy’s Promotes CMO; Calvin Klein CMO Adds Role

This week’s executive shifts include Wendy’s promoting the company’s CMO and new chief marketing officers for Groupon, Tourism Australia, Tom’s Urban, SoFi and Hims.

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

Wendy’s Promotes Chief Marketing Officer To President

Wendy’s elevated Kurt A. Kane’s position from EVP, chief concept and marketing officer to president of the US market and chief commercial officer.

Kane has been with Wendy’s since 2015 and prior to that spent almost seven years at Pizza Hut, starting as VP, brand marketing and working his way up to global chief marketing officer.

Kane’s promotion was announced in Wendy’s Q1 financial results. The press release stated, “In this new role, Kurt will assume responsibilities for the entire U.S. business, including operations, marketing, and R&D.  He will also continue to lead our Digital Experience organization.”

Apple Marketer Joins Endeavour

Apple’s global head of content and lifestyle strategy, Justina Omokhua, will be trading silicon valley for Beverly Hills, having accepted a position at Endeavour. Omokhua will be Endeavour’s SVP brand marketing.

Omokhua joined Apple in 2015 after many years in marketing and product strategy at Verizon, Nokia, PepsiCo and Carat USA.

Calvin Klein Parent Company Announces First Ever Global Chief Digital Officer

PVH—the parent company of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and IZOD—announced Marie Gulin-Merle will add the title of global chief digital officer on top of her current role as Calvin Klein’s chief marketing officer.

“The world becomes increasingly more technology dependent and the retail landscape continues to change, making the role of CDO more important than ever to our business success,” said PVH chief operating and financial officer Mike Shaffer in a statement. “We believe this newly created role will fuel our transformation, enable us to react strategically to new disruptions and position PVH as a leader while building competitive advantages.”

Before joining PVH/Calvin Klein, Gulin-Merle was at L’Oreal for 16 years, most recently as chief marketing officer.

SoFi CMO To Step Down, Replacement Hired From Intuit

According to Fast Company, SoFi’s chief marketing officer, Joanna Bradford, will step down from her position at the end of May. Bradford has been with the company since 2015, starting as COO and stepping into the CMO role in 2017.

Fast Company reports Bradford will be replaced by Intuit VP of marketing, Lauren Stafford Webb. Webb also spent eight years at Procter & Gamble.

Hims Hires Former Lyft Marketing VP

Hims, a DTC prescription health care company, hired Melissa Waters as the company’s first chief marketing officer. Waters was previously vice president of marketing at Lyft. Prior to that she worked at Pandora for four years, where she was VP, brand and product marketing.

Hims CEO Andrew Dudum told Axios, “We’re mostly serving a young demographic of people who otherwise feel stigmatized, or are uncomfortable discussing their health needs. They need to feel that their relationship with us is comfortable and secure, and I can’t think of a consumer business that’s done it better than Lyft.”

Spence Diamonds Promotes CMO To CEO

Spence Diamonds, a lab-grown diamond company, has promoted Veeral Rathod from chief marketing officer to chief executive officer. Rathod has been with the company since 2018 and was hired from a company he co-founded, men’s retail brand J.Hilburn.

Groupon Appoints New Chief Marketing Officer

Groupon announced the appointment of Craig Rowley as the company’s newest chief marketing officer.

Rowley—who previously held positions at marketing agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Borders Perrin Norrander and Carmichael Lynch—was most recently VP of marketing at REI.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to help develop the next chapter of Groupon’s brand story as we build the daily habit in local commerce,” said Rowley in a statement. “Given Groupon’s scale, there is a huge opportunity for us to fuel a deeper brand connection with our millions of customers and merchants around the globe. I look forward to working with our talented teams to deliver a more compelling customer experience and to drive meaningful results for Groupon.”

Mattel Appoints Head Of American Girl Brand

Mattel appointed Jamie Cygielman the senior vice president and general manager of American Girl. Cygielman was previously the chief marketing officer of Iconxi Brand Group and before that, senior vice president of Jones Apparel Group. Cygielman worked at Mattel in the late ’90s as well, as vice president of worldwide Barbie marketing.

“American Girl is a beloved brand whose legacy of inspiring girls to develop a strong sense of character through creative play and imagination is more relevant than ever,” said Cygielman in a statement. “I look forward to partnering with Richard and the entire team to unlock the full potential of this storied brand.”

Tourism Australia Announces Chief Marketing Officer

Tourism Australia promoted Susan Coghill to the position of chief marketing officer. Coghill replaces Lisa Ronson. Coghill was previously a marketing consultant at Newscorp and head of marketing at Qantas.

“As an American who fell in love with Australia on my first visit as a holidaymaker and has now made it my home, this is a dream job. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement.” Coghill said in a statement. “This is an extremely exciting phase in our marketing journey at Tourism Australia. I’m blessed in having an amazingly talented team in place, strong and committed agency partners and a shared vision in how we tell our story and add value for our industry.

Kraft Heinz Chief Marketing Officer To Depart

Kraft Heinz chief marketing officer Eduardo Luz will leave the company at the end of May, according to CNBC. This news comes after the announcement that Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees would be stepping down from his post, to be replaced by former AB InBev chief marketing officer Miguel Patricio.

Luz has been with Kraft Heinz since 2013. Adam Butler will be taking over Luz’s responsibilities on an interim basis.

Tom’s Urban Hires Chief Marketing Officer

Tom’s Urban, a fast-casual restaurant based in Denver, hired Dan Hohm as the company’s chief marketing officer. Hohm was previously head of marketing at Carraba’s Mexican Grill.

Hohm started his marketing career at Outback Steakhouse before moving up to Outback’s parent company, Bloomin Brands.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Tom’s Urban team to build this brand and embark on an incredible growth journey,” said Hohm said in a statement. “It’s clear the market is ripe for a breakthrough eatertainment concept to emerge and I’m ecstatic to be joining the team at this exciting time.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, May 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, CIMD, PWM, Trust ServicesGoldman SachsNew York, NY
Vice President, Film MarketingWarner Bros.Burbank, CA
Chief Marketing Officer Houlihan LokeyLos Angeles, CA
VP, Investment MarketingPrudentialShelton, CT
Vice President of Marketingsbe Entertainment GroupLos Angeles, CA
Chief Marketing OfficerNew York UniversityNew York, NY

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

Social Media Examiner Report; Facebook Co-Founder Calls For Break-Up

How do brands utilize tools, buy ads, create content, employ influencers and increase sales with the help of social media? All this and more in our daily social media round-up.

Report: Facebook In Decline, Instagram Exploding

This week, Social Media Examiner released a Social Media Marketing report. The researchers questioned over 4,800 marketers and focused on how they utilize social media channels to grow and promote their businesses. 

Why it matters: Most social media reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but there are some interesting points in this report.

The details: Some of the findings:

  • Messenger bots are not so hot: As low as 14 percent of marketers are using bots and only 32 percent of marketers plan on increasing their bot activities this year.
  • Instagram is in favor: Sixty-nine percent of marketers also said they plan on increasing their Instagram organic activities in 2019 and named Instagram the number-one platform they want to learn more about.
  • YouTube stands its ground: Seventy-one percent of the respondents said they plan on increasing their use of YouTube video and 75 percent want to learn more about marketing on the platform.
  • But Facebook still dominates: Although marketers plan to reduce their use of Facebook this year, 94 percent of the participating marketers still incorporate it in their social media strategy. Sixty-one percent of them claimed Facebook as their most important social platform.

Instagram Introduces @shop 

Instagram announced on Thursday that its new account, @shop is now open. 

Why it matters: The account aims to support small businesses and creators behind them and will feature emerging brands like Feel jeans, products like Glossier Play Colorslide and founders of Mented Cosmetics KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson.

The details: The new page for devoted shoppers is live and growing by the hour. It will serve the Instagram community by introducing the users to the newest trends, providing inspiration and making shopping experiences easy, as every product featured is shoppable.

Facebook’s Co-Founder Thinks The Platform Should Be Broken Up

“Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government,” Facebook’s co-founder, Chris Hughes, wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.

Why it matters: Hughes’ argument is simple: the nearly uncontrollable power of the social media company is a threat to democracy.

“[Zuckerberg] has created a leviathan that crowds out entrepreneurship and restricts consumer choice. It’s on our government to ensure that we never lose the magic of the invisible hand,” Hughes writes.

The details: Although Hughes is far from being first to call out Zuckerberg, his opinion as a co-founder of Facebook has weight and authority. And his solution to the problem is as follows, “Facebook should be separated into multiple companies. The F.T.C., in conjunction with the Justice Department, should enforce antitrust laws by undoing the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions and banning future acquisitions for several years.”

How Bleachers Report Takes Advantage Of Instagram Stories For App Downloads 

According to Digiday, Bleacher Report‘s mobile app allows people to share content from the app directly to Instagram Stories.

Why it matters: Knowing that the readers share the content from the app directly to Instagram, Bleacher Report makes it more convenient for them, hoping to boost the app download rate.

The details: Now, when Instagram users see a Story featuring content from Bleacher Report’s app, they can tap the post and install Bleacher Report’s app or open the app if it’s been installed before. And when they share a post from Bleacher Report’s app to Stories, a thumbnail of the post will appear with its title, main image and the information about how long ago it was published and how many comments and likes it has received, Digiday reported.

The publisher’s senior vice president of product, Chris Nguyen, told Digiday it was too early to share any stats regarding the number of app installs and app opens driven by the Instagram Stories feature.

Facebook Updates Ad Policies For Financial Services And Products 

This week, Facebook made an announcement about updating ad policies related to blockchain, cryptocurrency and financial products and services, a measure taken to prevent misleading advertising in financial products and services. 

Why it matters: The company will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, it will no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency. Also, starting June 5, Facebook will update Prohibited Financial Products and Services policy to no longer allow ads promoting contracts for difference (CFDs) and complex financial products that are often associated with predatory behavior.

The details: “As with all ads on Facebook, we require the ad’s text, targeting, positioning, images and content on the landing page comply with this updated policy as well as with all of our Advertising Policies and Community Standards. For example, an ad that directs to a landing page that features a restricted product, like a cryptocurrency exchange, will still require prior approval. Or, if the landing page includes a prohibited Instagram’s, like an initial coin offering (ICO), we will reject it,” the blog post said.

Only Half Of Brand Marketers Utilizing Twitter

Sprout Social released their newest report outlining brand marketers use of social media.

Why it matters: According to the report, very few consumers follow companies on Twitter, choosing to keep an eye on their favorite brands on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The details: The report shows how marketers utilize social media channels in their strategy versus how consumers discover and follow brands. Facebook is leading the pack with 89 percent of marketers and 66 percent of consumers using it in their strategy. Followed by Instagram with 65 percent of marketers and 41 percent of consumers using the platform. Twitter, however, is split, as only 50 percent of marketers use it for brand promotion and as low as 22 percent of consumers use it for brand discovery.

Adidas Online Sales Grow Thanks To Instagram 

According to Digiday, Instagram has been driving online sales for Adidas, which was one of the first among the brands to try Instagram’s new checkout feature.

Why it matters: Along with the other 19 participating brands, Adidas is paying a fee to Instagram to sell their products directly in the app, which seems to be worth every penny for the sportswear brand, as in Q1 2019, the company’s online sales jumped 40 percent YoY.

The details: Adidas’ CEO, Kasper Rorsted told Digiday, “There was no doubt that Instagram had a positive impact for our online business in the first quarter. Product launches and Instagram’s checkout tool were the two most important things for our online sales business in the first quarter.”

Facebook To Develop New WhatsApp Payments Tool In London 

The Financial Times reported that Facebook chose London as a place to build its new WhatsApp mobile payment feature.

Why it matters: The initiative means that Facebook’s daughter company, WhatsApp, will grow. About one hundred people will be hired to work on a new WhatsApp payments tool, which means a 25 percent team expansion for WhatsApp.

The details: It was expected. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned at F8 that WhatsApp mobile payments will launch in several countries in 2019 after an initial trial in India.

Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp confirmed the news in a statement shared with Forbes saying, “We’re eager to work with some of the best technical and operational experts in both London and Dublin to take WhatsApp into its second decade. WhatsApp is a truly global service and these teams will help us provide WhatsApp payments and other great features for our users everywhere.”

Facebook Will Update Video Ranking 

This week, Facebook announced that it will be introducing a series of ranking updates for content creators and media companies in the next few months. 

Why it matters: The intent is to help video creators and publishers to find the right audiences on the platform and build meaningful relationships with them. 

The details: The updates will affect video distribution across News Feed, Facebook Watch and “More Videos” recommendations and include: 

  • Loyalty and intent: The company will add more weight in ranking to videos that people seek out and return to week after week.
  • Video and viewing duration: Facebook will add more weight in ranking to videos that keep people engaged, especially on videos that are at least three minutes long (because it is important to ensure that videos capture viewers’ attention for at least a minute).
  • Originality: Facebook will more strongly limit distribution and monetization for unoriginal or repurposed content from other sources with limited or immaterial added value and video content from Pages that is involved in sharing schemes.

Buckle Up: Auto Brands’ Social Media Use Report

A recent report from Brand Total explores digital and social advertising strategies of major auto brands in the U.S. and explains how they utilize social media marketing to promote their latest products and reach target audiences on multiple platforms.

Why it matters: From the report, marketers can learn about audience targeting strategies for auto brands such as Tesla, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Volvo and many others, as well as their top performing ads and trends in media-mix allocation and platforms of choice for advertising.

The details: One of the most interesting findings concerns Tesla, which avoids paid digital campaigns entirely and instead, focuses exclusively on organic growth on Instagram and other social media. This strategy results in 2 million organic engagements (putting Tesla right behind Porsche, which has 2.2 million organic engagements).

According to the report, Facebook and YouTube are leading the pack of most popular social media platforms for auto brands’ advertisement. Volkswagen and Nissan spent 100 percent of their campaigns spend solely on Facebook, ignoring other social platforms.

Instagram is “breathing down YouTube’s neck” with Volvo spending 39 percent and Mercedez spending 38 percent of their digital ad budgets on the platform. Twitter, however, doesn’t perform so well for auto, as brands like Mercedez, Infiniti, Porsche, Ford and others choose to spend less than 1 percent of their social media budget dollars on the platform. 

Instagram Reduces The Reach Of False Posts  

Poynter reported on Monday that starting this week, Instagram posts will be fact-checked. 

Why it matters: Instagram will be sending the posts in question to the same dashboard that Facebook’s uses to fact-check potentially false posts. Through this process, fact-checkers will be able to select, check and prevent the spread of deceptive information and create a more credible environment on the platform. 

The details: In a phone interview for Poynter, Stephanie Otway, a spokeswoman for Instagram, said, “Our approach to misinformation is the same as Facebook’s—when we find misinfo, rather than remove it, we’ll reduce its distribution. We can use image recognition technology to find the same piece of content on Instagram and take automatic action.”

Facebook has 52 fact-checking partners in more than 30 countries, who rate links, images and videos. If a post is ranked as false, its reach in the News Feed will be decreased and a warning will be displayed when users are trying to share it. Instagram also has a goal to remove deceptive posts from the Explore tab and its hashtag result pages.

Facebook Announces New Products For Small Businesses

Facebook is spending National Small Business Week in DC and rolling out new products in the process, aiming to help the 90 million small businesses on the platform.

Why it matters: Small businesses have a huge impact on the local economy and with Facebook’s new free and paid solutions more people will be able to start and grow their ventures.

The details:The new solutions for small businesses include: 

  • Automated Ads: which uses the existing images from a business page and lets the owners “set it and forget it” to make it even more simple for them to advertise.
  • Appointment Bookings: is a time-management tool with the help of which service-based businesses on Facebook and Instagram can accept and manage appointments, customer information and send appointment reminders.
  • Video creative tools: will help small businesses build effective video for mobile.

Twitter Now Allows Retweets With Media

The platform tweeted this week that the users will be able to retweet with gifs, images and videos.

Why it matters: Another way for Wendy’s to continue gaming the system on Twitter.

The details: Twitter rolled out the feature with the tweet below. All users should be able to use it immediately.

Google Planning Shoppable Ads On YouTube

We may soon be able to see product prices and recommendations beneath YouTube videos, and make direct purchases within the platform, The Information reported.

Why it matters: With the new shoppable feature, participating brands and retailers will have another way to deliver ads on YouTube.

The details: According to an unnamed source, Google reported plans to support direct-to-consumer commerce on YouTube. The company is currently testing a feature that will take the viewers from the video recommendation to Google Express marketplace (to be rebranded as Google Shopping soon) and adding retailers to the Google Express marketplace.

Nike and cosmetics chain, Ulta Beauty, are among the first retailers to give the YouTube product recommendations a try in hope to gain more customers through video content on YouTube. 

Mercedes-Benz Is The First Car Brand To Use Instagram AR Filters In A Campaign

According to Mobile Marketer, Mercedes-Benz released an augmented reality filter on Instagram to support its campaign targeted toward Millennials, created for the new CLA Coupe.

Why it matters: Mercedes-Benz’s AR filter was created in tandem with a short film the company released on its YouTube channel. Instagram and YouTube are key social media platforms for marketers to hunt down younger, tech-savvy Millennials.

The details: @mercedesbenz Instagram account followers can select AR filters to “upgrade” their pictures with filters, inspired by the neon lights of Tokyo.

Instagram Stories Helped Vogue To Sell Out Its September Issue

Instagram recently shared a case study, highlighting Vogue’s September Issue success from using Instagram Stories.

Why it matters: Vogue was able to increase magazine sales and advertising revenue through Instagram campaigns, which resulted in adding more than 22 million followers.

The details: Here is what Vogue did exactly: 

  • Used video: Video proved to be more effective than still photos for Vogue, and many of the campaign videos were taken by the team members with their phones for an authentic, unfiltered feel. 
  • Tested new ideas with Instagram Stories: Vogue took full advantage of Stories to test new languages, different types of callouts or to A/B test new types of content.
  • Used their Feed and Stories differently: The magazine used Stories to showcase its more casual and less glamorous side to better connect with the followers. 
  • Offered content that only their brand could create: Vogue’s Beyoncé Instagram campaign is the kind of exclusive content that very few brands other than Vogue could offer.
  • Kept Insta Stories format in mind during photo shoots: This would be the right vertical images.

Abby Sjoberg, Vogue’s director of audience development analytics, said in the interview, “We convinced stakeholders that Instagram is a platform they should be investing in by showing [them] results. When we were able to show the amount of impressions we get through swipe-ups or the amount of click-throughs that we can bring to an advertiser, the numbers speak for themselves.” 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 19. 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.

Forrester: Marketers Not Taking Full Advantage Of AI

A new study conducted by Albert and Forrester surveyed 156 decision-making marketers to examine their martech purchase behaviors. The findings revealed that even though marketers do utilize AI in their strategy, the majority still neglect the AI-autonomous solutions, which could relieve some of their major sore spots.

However, out of all respondents that reported to already adopting AI-powered marketing solutions, 74 percent admitted to using artificial intelligence strictly in an “assistive” fashion. While as little as 26 percent described AI as actually collaborative.

The researchers explain that marketers tend to have a quite limited view of applying AI to their trade because they see AI marketing as primarily supporting tactical campaign tasks. Only 39 percent of respondents said that AI can play a role in creative development and even less, 34 percent, said it can provide insights to other business functions.

Complicated martech stacks are blamed for customer engagement tactics not being relevant enough by 47 percent of participants and named the reason customer engagement is not delivered in the optimal channel by another 37 percent.

On the bright side, the researchers predict that AI technologies will continue to grow and evolve in the next five to 10 years; allowing marketers the freedom of automating certain processes and focusing on more important initiatives, such as personalization.

To help them better utilize AI in their digital strategy the researchers outlined some recommendations which include targeting AI solutions that support the function of a marketing team.

“The minority of respondents in our research who have already progressed to collaborating with autonomous AI-powered marketing solutions are reaping benefits in areas that align with marketers’ most pressing objectives. Over half say they have already realized or expect to realize more effective use of data, an improved customer experience, and more effective marketing campaigns,” the research stated.

NPR CMO Meg Goldthwaite: “As A Marketer I’m Not Just About Generating Revenue, I Need To Be About Lifting Hearts And Minds”

In late 2016, after working two years at Conservation International, Meg Goldthwaite accepted a chief marketing officer position at National Public Radio (NPR), overnight became the marketing head for one of the most important non-profit institutions in the United States. At NPR, Goldthwaite has worked to promote broadcasts and podcasts through traditional marketing methods, but also new mediums like voice-activation smart devices.

AList sat down with Goldthwaite to discuss the challenges of marketing at a non-profit and how she allows her marketing team to take risks.

Can you describe some of the broader trends that are affecting your job as a CMO right now?

Certainly, the push for voice-activated assistants is what we are mostly taking advantage of right now. We didn’t invent smart speakers, obviously, but it’s one of those things that, as a not-for-profit marketer, we have to be very opportunistic. I don’t have great, big marketing budgets to plan my marketing spend out for the year.

What we need to be doing is looking on the horizon for the waves that we can hop on. At NPR, we are the pioneers of audio and we create emotional experiences through storytelling and convey new stories because we have that intimacy and emotional connection. Which is generated by the quality of our work, the quality of our journalism, but also, the quality of the sound and what you are experiencing. Being [has been our] strength, four years ago when smart speakers started coming out, we thought, “We need to be on this.”

We are a radio; we have radio in our history and our core. However, we are not just radio. The whole idea that “radio is dead” is never something that we ascribed to. What the smart speakers did was it allowed more people to access our content. Younger people and more diverse groups.

How have you been taking advantage of the voice activated tech?

A lot of it is coming out from multiple dimensions. The first is to work with the manufacturers to ensure that the utterances are correct, so listeners can play NPR on Amazon Alexa and Google, where you simply say, “Play NPR.” You’ll be asked what your local public radio station is and that alone has been huge for us. Same thing with our podcast. We are making sure that the utterances are “play How I Built This podcast” or “play Code Switch podcast.” That’s step one.

Step two is doing what I’m doing, which is going around to as many places as I can and making certain that people understand that you can access our content on smart speakers.

Step three is looking at the content that we are creating and packaging it up so it is easily accessible on smart speakers, and we are creating some new cool things for the smart speaker devices, like our “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” quiz, where you can play and check your awareness of current events, and possibly your humor.

As a marketer, we work with National Public Media, and they do our underwriting. They are working with brands and understand how the power of audio and smart speakers can help deliver the messages that they want to deliver, while they support public media.

We do this study called The Smart Audio report, where we are taking a look at how people are using smart speakers. Are they using them as companions in their homes when they are alone? Are they using them to tell stories to their children? And this helps our underwriting clients understand how they can use these devices. Then, our National Public Media team works with those sponsors to help craft messages that are going to be appreciated by NPR audiences.

When a listener has asked Alexa to play NPR, KQED or WAMU, KCRW, KPCC on your smart speaker, we’ve been invited into somebody’s living room, kitchen or bedroom. If listeners are in the middle of playing an NPR podcast, they are going to have an underwriting message in the middle of that. We need to make certain that the brands that we work with appreciate and understand that we’ve been invited in and that the way that message is delivered is consistent with what NPR listeners are expecting to get. Even though it’s typically just a line, a “thank you” to this sponsor, who is generously supporting National Public Radio.

Those messages at the end of a program are always strangely comforting.

Which is why so many of our supporters, our underwriters, want to be with NPR because they appreciate the value and the message of what they are giving to support a crucial social mission.

It feels like smart speakers weren’t a regular item in the home until the last 6 months.

Yes, I believe it was a 68 percent spike. And now one in four Americans own a smart speaker. And, once you have one, then you want to have two or three. They’re absolutely exploding, which is crazy, given that this category didn’t even exist four years ago.

What are some of the ways you measure brand effectiveness? 

We have a series of different research that we take a look at. We are fairly new to the marketing world but also lucky. We have been around for almost 50 years and had incredible organic growth and trust. Because remember, we started out as just a bunch of people with microphones running in the Washington mall to capture the protests of the Vietnam War. Growth has been something that we’ve just done organically. If you know NPR, you love it, but not everybody knows the NPR brand and certainly, different demographics are just learning about it. Particularly in podcasts, which is great. 

Are you working directly with the NPR editorial team?

If the editorial team decides that. They are the ones who say, “We want to explore this.” It’s one of the more interesting aspects of marketing for a journalism company, where I worked for companies like MCI, where the marketing group drove everything. We’d come up with a concept for an ad and then build the product behind it and put it out there.

NPR Marketing gets involved in promoting the work that the editorial team does and making certain that we have a new [listeners]. We just started the fifth season of Invisibilia. They create it and they come to us and we say, “Ok, we will take a look, get a feel for it and this is where you should market it to.” It’s a female-run podcast, which is fantastic, it’s very heavy science-based, so we are going to be talking to a lot of scientific publications and a lot of women’s magazines.

As a marketer, and now a chief marketing officer, how have you been able to step back, look at the bigger picture and avoid micromanaging?

We talked earlier about my start at MCI, where we were a bunch of young, very entrepreneurial-minded people, who were given a lot of responsibility and sent on our way. And if it went well, you could be the next SVP of marketing, if it went badly, you were probably going to be laid off within minutes.

But, what I learned there, was give smart minds the [creative license] to go do their thing and that’s very much what I do now. There is an incredible woman that runs our media relations department. She knows media relations better than I could ever know it, so I lean on her [for that]. I’m not going to micromanage her because I’m not going to get the best product out of her [if I do that]. It’s the same thing with my marketing team. I’m there to help remove hurdles. I’m there to help motivate and push them, to help keep them focused on what our ultimate strategy is going to be. That’s consistent with the rest of the organization. I know a thing or two but would much rather rely on a diverse group of different ages, backgrounds, viewpoints, and have them come up with ideas. It’s much more fun. 

And hiring the right people. 

Yes. It’s all about hiring the people who have the right attitude. I care much more for the ability to write and articulate, in terms of marketing and communications. The ability to think on your own. I don’t want people constantly coming to me and asking what they should do. I would much rather [they] take a risk. That is all within reason. We have to protect our brand. But, I can say I’m rarely disappointed. As long as you give people an opportunity to learn, and we talk a lot about the ability to fail. [Sometimes] someone does something in a very big way and it lands with a thud. And I can say, “Let’s learn from this.” It’s not finger-pointing to say, exactly what went wrong here. It’s more like, “Let’s identify what happened, so we make sure that it doesn’t happen next time.”

Right, and with the speed at which the marketing industry moves, you almost have to experiment.

Yes. And again, to the budgets that we have as a not-for-profit media company, we have got to work with what we have. We have to be very smart and also have to take risks and go out there and see how things are going to land.

Make it go a long way. Make mistakes. You often hear that if you are going to fail, fail fast. Push it, make the mistake, and move on as quickly as you can. I’ve been there for a little over two years, I’m happy to say I can’t point at a mistake and say, “Oh Gosh, that’s a good example of something that went wrong.”

In some ways, we are direct-to-consumer, but in others, we have 260+ member stations around the country, who distribute our content and who are our partners and our colleagues, so we need to keep them top of mind. I was at a meeting of stations managers from around the Western region earlier this week, and each one was still very unique and different. The way you market to a Denver market and the community that comes around Colorado public radio looks different than what you are going to see in Boise which looks different than what you are going to see in Yellow Stone, or frankly, even Aspen. 

What are some of your ultimate goals with marketing at NPR?

It is very important that we generate revenue because that is how we will sustainably continue public radio for the next 50 years and beyond. However, we do have to meet the requirements of our social mission, which is to inform and provide a platform for civil discourse.

I’ll give you an example of a podcast that was done for Michigan Public Radio called Believed. It was the work of female journalists who got into the happenings behind Larry Nassar and came out as podcast episodes of unbelievably important stories that needed to be told. It performed marvelously, but it’s a delicate topic to go to an underwriter and say, ” Do you want to underwrite this content which is sensitive but very important work.”

We have to remember as a marketer I’m not just about generating revenue, I need to be about lifting hearts and minds and getting more people to tune in to their local public radio station. Often times, I am trying to market content that ultimately will generate revenue for an entirely different organization, which is our local public radio station. I am accountable and I feel that it’s my professional and personal responsibility to support that system.

It’s interesting because in some ways I’m B2C and in other ways I’m B2B, and then I’m B2B2C. It’s different than other for-profit organizations where I’ve worked: where I had a PnL and had to hit a number of widgets; work with the sales team on a sales goal; make sure that the finance would be fine with the pricing of something. This is a totally different world. We create content. Our journalists are not thinking about how much money this is going to generate for the organization, nor should they ever. But my job is to go through PR and marketing and make certain of the stories of these storytellers get out.

Driven By Video And Mobile, US Digital Ad Revenue Exceeded $100B In 2018

Digital advertising revenues reached a historic high of $107.5 billion in the US last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC US. This growth is attributed to the direct brand economy, brand storytelling through video and a narrowing gap between mobile usage and mobile advertising spend.

IAB presented its 2018 Internet Advertising Revenue Report on Tuesday, pointing out that full-year digital revenues grew 22 percent YoY and surpassed $100 billion for the first time. Digital usage is up 20 percent YoY, IAB observed, even though the digital audience only grew one percent YoY.

Among all formats, digital video experienced the highest growth in advertising revenue, jumping 37 percent YoY to $16.3 billion. Digital video on mobile devices reached $10.2 billion in 2018, an increase of 65 percent. In fact, more than half—63 percent—of digital video ad revenue was on mobile devices.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for 65 percent of 2018 internet ad revenues, growing 40 percent YoY to $69.9 billion. The gap between mobile time spent and mobile ad revenue closed from 14 percent in 2017 to eight percent in 2018.

“Mobile revenues continue to benefit from advancements in single-click eCommerce, creative ad formats and placements on social media sites,” said IAB in the report.

Social media revenue rose to $28.9 billion in 2018, an increase of 31 percent from $22.1 billion in the previous year. The company defines “social media” as advertising delivered on social platforms including social networking, social gaming websites and apps across desktop, laptop, smartphones and tablets.

“Consumers, especially Gen Z, are adopting social stories at warp speed, while, at this rate, we approach a future where social stories may surpass social feeds in becoming the prevalent way consumers engage with advertisements on social media,” says IAB.

IAB does not break down social media ad revenue by platform but notes that the 2018 report includes Snapchat for the first time.

“Social media sites tend to foster consumer interaction and during a time when capturing the attention of the consumer is so critical, it is no coincidence we are seeing social media drive revenue,” says the report. “Ripe with various formats primed to take advantage of future technologies, revenue derived from advertisements on social media sites is expected to continue to grow in the future.”

Overall, marketers are pouring more budgets into the internet than any other platform. Print media, however, was the only category to experience a drop in advertising market share. Newspaper ad revenue dropped 6.9 percent while magazines dropped 2.1 percent.

Digital audio advertising revenue grew 22.9 percent in 2018 and reached $2.3 billion compared to $1.8 billion the previous year. IAB will release a dedicated digital audio report later this year.

Advertising Does Not Always Look Like Advertising

An excerpt from Rory Sutherland’s new book ‘ALCHEMY: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business and Life.’ Reprinted with permission from William Morrow.

A few years ago, a coffee shop opened on a fairly busy road a mile or so from my house. There were about twenty seats inside, and a few benches on the pavement outside. It wasn’t a bad coffee shop, but in time it failed. Some new people took over, following what seemed to be an identical formula, but they failed too.

The third owners to take over the premises therefore seemed overconfident in trying the same formula, yet they miraculously created a successful business. The food and the prices did not seem to be any different from that of their predecessors. In fact the only thing they changed seemed trivial: they bought more attractive chairs and tables, and placed them outside at the start of the day, as well as a waist-level gauze fence which surrounded the chairs, making a kind of terrace. This was less efficient than the old benches, since this moveable (and therefore thievable) furniture had to be stored away at the end of each day, and replaced every morning.

However, I think it was precisely this change that was the reason for the new shop’s success. I mentioned that the café was on a busy road–in fact, to anyone concentrating on their driving, its existence wouldn’t have been immediately obvious. Even if you did spot the sign saying ‘coffee’, it was far from clear, when no one was sitting outside, whether the coffee shop was open–you could have spent five minutes finding a parking space only to find it was closed.*

The old benches that permanently sat outside were meaningless as an indicator of whether the shop was open. By contrast, the new chairs and the fence, which might have been stolen or have blown away if left unattended, were a guarantee that the shop was open–no one who had closed their shop would have gone home and left them in the street.

‘Oh, come on,’ I hear you say. ‘This is all very well in theory, but nobody driving down an A-road consciously calculates the probability that a café is open by assessing the portability of the furniture outside.’ In one sense you are right, but they don’t do it consciously–they do it instinctively. And to make such calculations we use mental processes, which take place beyond the reach of conscious awareness. We draw unconscious inferences from environmental cues everywhere we go, without having the slightest awareness that we are doing so–it is thinking without thinking that we are thinking.

These mental processes are psychological rather than conventionally logical, and rely on a different set of rules to those we adopt when we use conscious reasoning, but they are not necessarily irrational, given the conditions under which our brains have evolved. Our brains did not evolve to make perfect decisions using mathematical precision–there wasn’t much call for this kind of thing on the African savannah. Instead we have developed the ability to arrive at pretty good, non-catastrophic decisions based on limited, non-numerical information, some of which may be deceptive. Far from being irrational, the inferences we are able to draw just from seeing chairs outside a café are surprisingly clever, once you uncover the reasoning behind them.

A sign that said ‘Open’ could be a meaningless claim, because someone could simply have forgotten to turn the sign to ‘Closed’–and in any case it would be hard to read from a car. A neon sign that said ‘Open’ would be a more reliable indicator, since someone leaving the shop would probably switch it off to save electricity.†

But light, stackable chairs behind a windbreak–now that’s a signal you can trust. In other words, the chairs act as an effective advertisement; the cost of their purchase and the daily effort entailed in arraying them outside the business and restacking them at the end of the day is a reliable signal of the existence of a functioning coffee shop, and one that is tacitly understood rather than consciously processed by human reason. Having worked in advertising for over 25 years, usually for large companies with big budgets, it still fascinates me how great an effect unconscious signaling can have on the fortunes of a tiny business. And more than that, it frightens me to think how many perfectly worthwhile businesses have failed that might not have done if they’d implemented a few trivial signals.‡

Relatively small businesses that might not be able to afford to advertise in any conventional sense, could transform their fortunes by paying a little attention to the workings of psychologic. The trick involves simply understanding the wider behavioral system within which they operate. Cafés could boost sales by improving their menu design. Many small shops are inadequately lit, and so passers-by assume they are close–how much business do they lose as a result? Pubs are often needlessly intimidating because their windows are made of frosted glass, preventing people from looking inside before entering. Pizza delivery could differentiate themselves in a crowded market by agreeing to deliver tea, coffee, milk and toilet paper alongside a pizza. Restaurants might increase sales by allowing the kerbside collection of takeaway meals–or by adding a sign which says ‘parking at rear’.§

In the unlikely event that either of the failing cafés had decided to appoint a management consultancy to solve their business woes, I doubt anyone would have suggested changing the furniture; doubtless they would have received a long list of recommendations covering all the left-brain facets of the business–pricing, stock control, staffing levels and so forth. Anything that could be included on a spreadsheet would be analyzed, quantified and optimized, in order to increase efficiency. But no one would have mentioned the chairs.¶

I will now take my idea one step further. Not only would we reliably infer from the presence of tables and chairs that the café is open, I also believe we go deeper still–I think we subliminally deduce that any place that goes to the trouble of erecting chairs on the street will serve coffee that, at the very least, is unlikely to be terrible. That seems a silly use of mental energy-surely the way to determine whether the coffee is good is to buy one and find out? ‘I knew the coffee was going to be good because of the chairs,’ sounds like a very silly sentence, but hold on a moment–maybe, using psycho-logic and a bit of social intelligence, we can identify a connection. For a start, someone who invests in new chairs and goes to the trouble of placing them on the pavement every day is not lazy, and has also invested in their business. Furthermore, they seem to expect their business to be a success–had they not, they would not have undertaken the expense. The chairs don’t promise perfection, but they are a reliable indicator of at least reasonable quality. The business owner who buys the windbreak and the chairs has probably also invested in a decent Gaggia machine, proper milk and coffee beans–and in training his staff. It suggests the owner, rather than playing the short game of immediate profit maximization, is playing the long game, building a reputation and a loyal customer base–, which will mean a cappuccino that is palatable at the very least.

Of course, you might have to be careful not to overdo this kind of signaling. Putting expensive armchairs outside might lead people–not unreasonably–to conclude that the establishment is also expensive. This question is a significant dilemma in supermarket design: the main factor which influences human price perception in shops is not, bizarrely, the actual prices charged, but the degree of opulence with which the store is fitted.

If this emphasis on advertising seems excessive and self-serving, I sympathise–in fact, I thought this myself. However, it all depends how you define advertising; in nature, it is often necessary for something to present a persuasive message, and in a way that can’t be faked. Information is free, but sincerity is not, and it isn’t only humans who attach significance to messages in proportion to the costliness of their creation and transmission; bees also do it.**

*    Anyone familiar with provincial British tea and coffee shops will know that they follow the most eccentric opening hours in the known universe.
†    Though a neon sign would be better suited to an American diner than a British coffee shop.
‡ I know of one branch of John Lewis that could double their sales simply by placing a sign at the entrance to their car park.
§    My use of one local restaurant doubled when I discovered an obscure public car park hidden behind it.
¶    I have never worked for McKinsey, Bain or the Boston Consulting Group, so I may be doing them a great disservice, but I think I am safe in saying that you don’t earn much kudos within those technocratic organizations by talking about furniture.
**   As Noel Coward once said.

T-Mobile Appoints CMO; Carolina Herrera Hires VP

This week’s executive shifts include new CMOs for Curaleaf and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Charlotte’s Webb hiring a former Kraft CMO, T-Mobile shaking up its executive marketing team and an ex-Popchips CMO joining PLUS.

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

T-Mobile Shuffles Marketing Team

According to an internal memo shared with GeekWire, T-Mobile is shaking up its marketing team, in particular, the company is blending Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS) into the larger organization.

Changes include:

  • Matt Staneff is appointed chief marketing officer of T-Mobile, he was formerly executive vice president and chief commercial officer. The CMO position at T-Mobile has been vacant since 2017
  • Nick Drake, formerly EVP of marketing and experience, “is moving into a new position working on a ‘confidential new initiative'”
  • Tom Keys will be stepping down from his role as Metro’s president. He has been with Metro since 2005.

Staneff has been with T-Mobile for 16 years, working his way from customer retention analytics and through marketing teams and customer loyalty positions. He’s now rewarded with the top marketing position at the mobile giant, serendipitously timed with the enormous Sprint merger.

Carolina Herrera Hires VP Of Global Marketing

According to Business of Fashion, Carolina Herrera appointed Jodie Chan to the position of vice president of global marketing and communications.

Chan comes to the company from Altuzarra, where she was director of marketing and communications. Prior to that she was a senior account executive at Syndicate Media Group.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Promotes For Chief Marketing Officer

Dick’s Sporting Goods appointed Ed Plummer as the company’s chief marketing officer. Plummer moves up from his previous position with the company, as SVP Dick’s Team Sports HQ. Plummer has been with Dick’s Sporting Goods since 2010 and prior to that spent 12 years at American Express, most recently as VP, consumer card CRM.

According to a press release, “Plummer will lead the Company’s overall marketing strategy and implementation, including brand building, traffic driving elements, and its continued digital transformation across all consumer touch points.”

Steve Miller was also promoted to the position of SVP of strategy and analytics.

“These two executives’ skills and experience in the industry will be tremendous assets to our leadership team and will undoubtedly help accelerate our business and continue our strong track record of innovation and success,” said Lauren Hobart, president of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Curaleaf Acquires Cura Partners/Select, Appoints CMO

Curaleaf completed one of the largest cannabis acquisitions, using $1 billion in stock to acquire Cura Partners (owners of Select). With the acquisition, Jason White becomes Curaleaf’s chief marketing officer, the position he recently accepted Cura/Select.

White was previously the EVP, global head of marketing, working at Beats by Dre, an Apple company. Before that, he spent almost a decade at Wieden + Kennedy.

On the acquisition, Cameron Forni, CEO of Cura and founder of Select said, “The leading companies in the industry on the West Coast and the East Coast are now joining forces to progress the legalization and mainstream acceptance of cannabis across the country.”

Former Popchips Chief Marketing Officer Joins PLUS

PLUS, a cannabis goods company, hired former Popchips CMO Marc Seguin to be the company’s chief revenue officer. Seguin is a veteran marketer, who joined Popchips in 2014 as CMO before also adding president to his title.

Before that Seguin spent eight years at Paramount Farms, working his way up from director of marketing (Sunkist pistachios) to VP marketing Paramount Farms, POM Wonderful and Paramount Citrus.

“PLUS is undoubtedly a market leader in the cannabis industry, but what attracted me to the company was their safe and approachable mission,” says Seguin. “Jake and the leadership team truly embody a seasoned food manufacturing company in quality standard, lab assurance, manufacturing protocols and even implementing child-proof packaging before required. I look forward to further elevating the PLUS brand into a household name amongst cannabis and food competitors alike.”

Kobalt’s AWAL Names VP Of Strategic Marketing

AWAL, a music label/distributor owned by Kobalt, has appointed Thomas Fiss to the position of VP, strategic marketing. He was previously head of the Life Is Beautiful festival. According to the press release, Fiss has “over a decade of experience in the music and partnership marketing arenas.”

Charlotte’s Web Appoints Chief Executive Officer

Charlotte’s Web, a major player in the CBD product industry, hired Deanie Elsner as the company’s CEO. Elsner is the former president of Kelloggs Company—she served in that role from 2015 to 2018.

Before that, Elsner was the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Kraft Foods Group—during her tenure she was named one of Forbes 50 Most Influential Global CMOs in 2014. According to Elsner’s LinkedIn, she led “company-wide marketing reinvention to accelerate the growth of Kraft’s iconic brands such as Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Velveeta and Philadelphia. Focused on new approaches to brand innovation and renovation, real-time precision marketing to create more relevant consumer relationships, and creating a dynamic culture on the cutting edge of marketing innovation.”

“Deanie’s appointment is timely and aligns perfectly with our corporate evolution from the early stage organization we were just two years ago into a professionally managed public company with top-tier executive talent,” said Hess Moallem, current president and CEO of Charlotte’s Web. “Placing world-class marketing and sales expertise at the highest level of the Company is critical to further extend Charlotte’s Web’s leadership position in the market.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, May 3. 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, CIMD, PWM, Trust ServicesGoldman SachsNew York, NY
Vice President, Film MarketingWarner Bros.Burbank, CA
Chief Marketing Officer ThirdLoveSan Francisco, CA
VP, Investment MarketingPrudentialShelton, CT
Vice President of Marketingsbe Entertainment GroupLos Angeles, CA
Vice President of MarketingBelkinPlaya Vista, CA

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

IAB Categorizes Audience Video Motivations, Mindsets

“A Day in the Life of Video Viewers,” the new study presented by IAB at the 2019 NewFronts, demonstrated that consumers mindsets and motivation for watching the digital video varies throughout the day and this factor significantly impacts their perception of advertising.

The IAB study surveyed 1,544 U.S. respondents to determine which mindsets through the day increase ad receptivity in video. The types of mindsets include, Spontaneous, Escapist, Educational and Informative.

The findings revealed that viewers’ attention to content and ads get a boost when they are exposed to educational/informative or instructional video content. In fact, 40 percent of respondents admitted that they are more receptive to ads in this mindset.

Consumers also switch between devices during a typical day. According to the study, smartphones are leading Informational (45 percent), Spontaneous (53 percent) and Escapist (49 percent watch to take a break during the day, and 61 percent to pass time while traveling) mindsets.

Big screen viewing across all age groups is right behind mobile. It normally happens during Appointment viewing (51 percent) or in Relaxation (51 percent).

Educational/instructional videos, which in the course of the study proved to be the most ad-friendly, ranked highest on desktop for all age groups.

In terms of general advertising, nearly 80 percent of respondents stated that they accept it as a “necessary evil” in exchange for free content. Fifty-sex percent of video viewers admitted to preferring contextual ads. About 37 percent reported an increase in ad receptivity when experiencing ad targeting that they prefer, such as Behavioral, Contextual, Mindset and Demo.  

Eric John, deputy director, video center of excellence at IAB said of the study, “The industry recognizes that the on-demand and always-on nature of media consumption requires a more nuanced approach to connecting with the right audience. We see this ‘day-part to mind-part evolution’ as key to a more relevant and effective way of working. We hope this study will lead to innovation and greater rigor in both audience research and the data and methods used for pairing content, consumer mindset, and advertising.”

Motivation/Mindset Description

  • Relaxation To relax at the end of the day/during free time
  • Appointment I have planned to watch alone I have planned to watch with others
  • Spontaneous I stumble-upon or get pulled into watching To spontaneously view/share with others To catch up on popular/viral videos
  • Escapist To take a break during the day To pass time while traveling
  • Educational To learn a new skill To help me with a project/task
  • Informative To get ready for the day 

YouTube’s Newfronts Presentation Reveals Plans To Boost TV Viewership, Measurement

YouTube is updating its algorithm to favor content viewed on TV screens, adding Nielsen tools for advertisers and making YouTube Originals free with ads, the company announced at its Newfront event on Thursday.

All Eyes On TV

YouTube said that over 250 million hours of its videos are viewed on television screens every day. To keep this trend going, YouTube will update its proprietary algorithm (P-score) to prioritize higher production value content and videos that are frequently watched on the TV screen. Videos will be selected from the top five percent of popular channels on YouTube based on user engagement and a “higher bar for brand suitability.”

YouTube TV, the live TV subscription service launched two years ago, is now available across the US and will be offered as a standalone lineup on Google Preferred this Upfront season. YouTube TV already features over 70 broadcast and cable partners, the company said.

“As I meet with many of you, I hear two questions loud and clear,” said Allan Thygesen, president of Google Americas during the presentation. “You want us to prove first, YouTube really can drive reach as fast as TV. And second, that YouTube drives results.”

Nielsen Catalina Solutions will be available for Google Preferred campaigns before the end of the year, measuring lift in offline sales for US consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. In addition, the tool will provide “deeper” performance insights across audiences, creative and other criteria.

A recent study by Google and MediaScience found that YouTube’s Google Preferred ads on TV screens drove an average lift of 112 percent in Ad Recall and 53 percent Purchase Intent.

On average, over 50% of the target audience reached by YouTube was incremental to TV, according to Nielsen. Television required on average five-times the frequency of YouTube to hit reach goals.

Ad-Supported Originals

YouTube announced that all of its forthcoming original series and specials will become available worldwide as a free, ad-supported service. By breaking the paywall, YouTube gives advertisers more opportunities to work with Hollywood talent and YouTube content creators.

Last year’s Originals slate earned over 2.5 billion views across 50 shows, YouTube told the audience. Cobra Kai received 11 award nominations including an Emmy and the show’s season two premiere reached 20 million views in six days.

Google may be the world’s largest seller of advertising, but it’s not invincible. Ad sales grew at the slowest pace since 2015, according to Alphabet Inc.’s Q1 2019 earnings report. The company did not offer investors any explanation for the slowdown, leaving investors baffled and shares dropping.

Antonio Lucio’s Facebook Plan; YouTube Makes Originals Free

Social media platforms change constantly: competing, evolving, innovating and, sometimes, falling from grace. These changes often have a direct impact on marketing. How? Let’s sort it all out in our daily social-media round-up.

Antonio Lucio’s Bid To Restore Trust In Facebook

According to AdAge, Facebook’s new CMO Antonio Lucio put the finishing touches on his first campaign with the company. The campaign is aiming to reduce hate and toxicity around the brand and rebuild positivity and trust.

Why it matters: Antonio Lucio’s appointment last September was a huge deal amongst the marketing community. Now, we’ll see the fruits of his labor with his bid to rebuild trust for the Facebook brand.

The details: The campaign, called “More Together” revolves around Facebook Groups, the purpose of which is to unite like-minded people based on their interests and passions. On Friday, the campaign rolled out with TV commercials, online videos and billboards. The campaign will feature “real people, real stories.”

Facebook’s CMO, Antonio Lucio said, “People are a bit tired of the fast-paced, loud, hyper-polarized environment in which we’re living around the world,” Lucio says, speaking just days in advance of the purge. “They want to find a common ground, things that they share with people.”

social media news

“What you’re going to see from us from now on is much more of a regular beat on all the progress that we are making,” Lucio said. “We need to make sure that we are participants in the way that our story is told and not just on the receiving end.”

YouTube Confirms Free, Ad-Supported Originals  

In his interview for Adweek, preceding YouTube’s annual Brandcast event, the company’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl confirmed that all original YouTube programming is shifting to a free, ad-supported format.

Why it matters: By breaking the paywall, YouTube gives advertisers more opportunities to work with Hollywood talent and YouTube content creators.

The details: “The trend you see in the market today is every media company racing to put up a paywall and put much of the content behind it, which means with every year, there will be less and less opportunity to put advertising next to content. What you see us doing is running in the opposite direction. That’s because that is our business, and advertisers and brand builders are our partners; they are the ones enabling this incredible creative community that thrives on YouTube. So while everybody is running left, we’re running right,” Kyncl told Adweek.

Tinder Debuts “Festival Mode” 

On Thursday, Tinder announced the launch of its new “Festival Mode,” similar to “Spring Break Mode” released in February. The feature aims to help connect badge-holders at festivals.

Why it matters: Tinder often sees an explosion of engagement on the platform during festival weekends. In 2018, for example, “Tinder app registrations during Hangout Fest increased up to 30x and app activity increased up to 300x at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Value.”

The details: The feature is available for use as of today, feature at some of the largest music festivals, including Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas, Governors Ball, Parklife, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Lovebox, Faster Horses, HARD Summer and EDC Orlando, as well as AEG’s festivals in the US and UK, including Hangout Fest, All Points East, Firefly and British Summer Time.

In the new mode, users can add a badge to their profile to highlight their planned destination, approximately three weeks before each festival. From there, they have the ability to match and connect with the users planning to attend the same music festival.

Maureen Ford, president national and festival sales at Live Nation said in a press release, “In an increasingly digitized world, people around the globe are flocking to Live Nation concerts and festivals in droves to experience connection where the emotional intensity is unmatched and the moments are unforgettable. Music has a long history of bringing people together, and our partnership with Tinder allows us to bridge the digital and physical worlds to facilitate more meaningful connections between fans in real life.”

Twitter’s Marketing Events Calendar

Twitter published its monthly event calendar, highlighting all the major events relevant to marketers this month. 

Why it matters: This is just Twitter helping out with some dates for marketers to keep an eye on.

The details:The dates to remember in May are: 

In the U.S.

  • Star Wars Day May–4th​
  • Kentucky Derby May–4th 
  • Cinco De Mayo May–5th​
  • MET Gala May–6th
  • Mother’s Day–May 12th
  • Memorial Day–May 27th 

In Europe: 

  • Eurovision Song Contest–May 14-18th 
  • Cannes Film Festival–May 14-25th
  • FA Cup Final–May 18th
  • The EU elections–May 23-26th
  • MCM Comic Con–May 24-26th

In Middle East:

  • Saudi Professional League Final–May 2nd 
  • Ramadan–May 5th – June 4th.

Influencer Marketing Is Rapidly Growing

report released by the social media marketing platform, Socialbakers, focused on major influencer marketing trends for Q1 2019 and revealed that the industry is exploding.

Why it matters: Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Socialbakers CEO said in a press release, “Consumers are increasingly seeking out reviews and trusted voices when making purchasing decisions. This has created a huge opportunity for influencers and brands to team up to create authentic connections with audiences. Our findings indicate that brands that collaborate with authentic and relevant influencers increase their results from their social media campaigns.”

The details: In particular, in 2018 the use of #ad on Instagram by influencers was up 133 percent and in terms of all Instagram posts, the use of #ad was up 120 percent.

Other highlights include:

  • Influencer-sponsored posts on Instagram increased by 150 percent
  • From Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, the use of Stories saw 21 percent increase
  • Micro-influencers run the show, accounting for over 80 percent of influencers in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and over 75 percent in North America

Social Media Influencers Boost In-Store Sales 

According to a report from Forbes and Influential, paid media posts from carefully curated influencers on Instagram also prove to boost sales at physical stores.

Why it matters: Despite the obvious effect on ecommerce, influencers and can also help get people out of their homes and into stores.

The details: The campaign ran from August through October in 2018 in Boston, Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich. It resulted in a 1.8 percent increase in physical stores sales in the test cities, compared to the three control markets (Augusta, Ga., Seattle, Wash. and Columbus, Ohio).

Per Influential CEO, Ryan Detert, the campaign had 22.9 million impressions; incremental sales were more than $1.2 million, and return on advertising spend (or ROAS) for the campaign was $6.11, or six times higher than the 0.92 average for all IRI social media food campaigns. 

TikTok Enters The Sports Arena

Front Office Sports reported on Wednesday that major professional leagues and teams worldwide are employing TikTok in their social media marketing strategy.

Why it matters: “We saw the power and creativity, and also that it’s something new,” Felix Loesner, head of social media at FC Bayern Munich, told Front Office Sports. “It’s something like the old Vine where you can have creative storytelling for a special young audience. This makes the app so interesting for us.”

The details: Per Front Office Sports, the NBA, NHL and MLB already launched league accounts, while the NFLPA reached a deal with TikTok in January and allowed the users to implement 3D augmented reality stickers of its players.

There are two main reasons why the sports giants are turning to TikTok: the age and the gender of the platform audience. In March 2018, almost 40 percent of TikTok users were under the age of 20, with an additional 26 percent between 20 and 29 years old.

WhatsApp Business Is In Focus   

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced at the annual F8 Conference that WhatsApp will be upgraded with a new “Product Catalogs” feature and payment service.

Why it matters: These changes represent a way for WhatsApp to grow out of its current advertising model and possibly become an ecommerce platform.

The details: “WhatsApp Business is also a big focus. Within a year millions of small businesses around the world are using this to communicate privately with their customers. And now we’re launching a new feature for this, Product Catalogs. So you’re gonna be able to easily see what is available from a business. And now this is going to be especially important for all of the small businesses out there that don’t have a web presence and that are increasingly using private social platforms as their main way of interacting with their customers,” Zuckerberg said.

Instagram To Test A New Feature In Canada

Another big announcement by Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 Conference concerned testing a new Instagram feature that’ll hide likes from the public.

Why it matters: The social media platform says it wants followers to focus on what people share rather than how popular the content is.

The details: The users will still see how many likes their own posts receive, but will not be able to “count likes” on other people’s posts.

Instagram will test a new feature in Canada as soon as this week. But it is yet unclear whether it plans to expand the test.

Instagram’s New ‘Donation Stickers,’ ‘Camera And Create Mode’ And ‘Shopping From Creators’ Tools

On Tuesday, Instagram shared a blog post, announcing the release of the new features that will help the users to better connect with their friends, family and popular creators.

Why it matters: Cause- and consumer-oriented, these features promise to generate a lot of engagement on the platform, by offering more valuable experiences to the users and advertising opportunities for brands.

The details: The new features include, Stories donation sticker, New Camera and Create Mode and Shopping from Creators.

Shopping from Creators takes Instagram shopping to the next level and offers shopping directly from the creators’ accounts. Instagram users will be able to shop from the Instagram accounts that belong to creators like Kim Kardashian West, Camila Coelho, as well as publishers like Hypebeast and GQ. These influencers and more will be testing the product in the coming weeks.

Susan Plagemann, chief business officer, the culture division at Condé Nast, told Adweek, “As leaders in innovation, Vogue and GQ are thrilled to be beta partners and to bring Instagram’s new checkout experience to the millions of followers on our accounts. Both titles have a historical relationship with Instagram and identify the platform as both a distribution method for content and as a means of storytelling and engaging audiences. Shopping is a natural extension for the platform and yet another way for us to satisfy our audiences’ desire to easily purchase the products we recommend and stand behind.”

Note: Creators will not receive commissions, based on clicks or sales.

Twitter Announces Partnerships With ESPN, Univision

On Monday at NewFronts, Twitter announced new collaborations across sports, news, gaming and entertainment with brands that include ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Viacom and Univision.

Why it matters: Another step forward for Twitter in offering “premium” programming options for advertisers and audiences.

The details: The new video programming includes partnerships with Univision, NFL, The Players’ Tribune, MLS, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Blizzard Entertainment, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNET, Time, Live Nation and Viacom.

Twitter’s global VP head of content partnerships, Kay Madati, said in a press release, “When you collaborate with the top publishers in the world, you can develop incredibly innovative ways to elevate premium content and bring new dimensions to the conversations that are already happening on Twitter. Together with our partners, we developed this new slate of programming specifically for our audiences, and designed the content to fuel even more robust conversation on Twitter.”

YouTube Will Livestream 13 MLB Games

Variety reported this week that YouTube landed a deal with Major League Baseball and will live-stream 13 games during the 2019 season globally. 

Why it matters: Sports leagues and social platforms seem to have revolving relationships, this time around it’s YouTube and MLB.

The details: The games will be produced exclusively for the YouTube platform by MLB Network, available on YouTube in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and free to watch. MLB told Variety that internationally, the games will also be distributed on the platform, except, in certain 23 countries because of the existing rights deals, which include Japan, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. 

Diageo Is Testing The Waters On YouTube 

According to The Drum, a British alcoholic beverages company, Diageo, is considering its return to YouTube, but only if the platform “passes” a series of brand safety tests.

Why it matters: Brand safety is a shared concern among all marketers. Diageo’s potential return to the platform shows how valuable they find YouTube’s audiences—and perhaps that the social platform has made strides in brand safety?

The details: The company is currently running a series of “scaled trials” in the US, India and some countries in Europe. Per Isabel Massey, Diageo’s global digital director, the tests have been going well so far, but the company will continue to closely monitor them to be 100% sure.

GVMA Releases New Metrics For Social Video 

In January, Tubular announced the Global Video Measurement Alliance (GVMA), which aims to create industry standards for social video metrics. Now, the GVMA is adding members Viacom, Ellen Digital Network, VICE, BuzzFeed and Group Nine Media. The alliance also released the first standard metrics.

Why it matters: Creating industry standards can help the industry at large step away from vanity metrics and also help avoid ad fraud. Adding reputable members is another great step forward for the alliance.

The details: The two metrics announced were “de-duplicated unique viewers” and “minutes watched.” The company said in a press release that, “when applied alongside social video metrics of views, comments, shares and followers, these traditional metrics will finally provide the full global picture of what the world is watching and how they engage with content.”

Rob Gabel, co-founder and CEO at Tubular Labs, said in a statement, “With GVMA partners steering our metric development, we understand the value in eradicating duplicated viewers and more granularly monitoring minutes watched across audience segments or geographies. These new metrics will be a big step forward in unifying global content measurement, and our data scientists are up to the task as they’ve been working toward this solution for years.”

Snapchat Is Launching ‘Snap Select’ 

Snapchat is releasing a new feature, called “Snap Select,” which will simplify the process of buying video ads within Snapchat’s “Discover” section.

Why it matters: The new feature will make life easier for advertisers by offering something similar to YouTube’s ad-buying option, which allows them to conveniently purchase non-skippable ads.

The details: The buyers will be able to purchase ads around Snapchat’s “Discover” section, which includes original shows, as well as shows from select publishers, like ESPN and NBC. The pricing will be fixed and the ads will be human-curated, which reduces the risk of brand-safety issues for the publishers.

Q1 Report From Kenshoo

This week, Kenshoo released a report for Q1 focusing on search, social and e-commerce advertising metrics.

Why it matters: The report provides insights into social media performance and trends.

The details: Here are some important take aways:

  • Social advertising spending was up 27 percent year-over-year in Q1 2019, versus Q1 2018
  • Impressions were up 20 percent YoY
  • Instagram saw a 44 percent increase in spending year-over-year
  • Pinterest’s spent almost doubled (up 107 percent YoY); with clicks up 100 percent YoY and impressions up 81 percent YoY

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 19. 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.