How Brands Are Allocating Their Influencer Marketing Budgets

Originally published on ION.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the influencer marketing landscape, click here.)

Influencer marketing is considered the most effective channel for delivering return on investment (ROI) for 84 percent of professionals. A majority of these marketers cite brand awareness as the top reason to use influencer marketing followed by driving engagement with the brand and reaching new target audiences. 

Given the influencer marketing industry has reached $5-10 billion, it’s worth noting how brands are allocating their influencer budgets across platforms and activations. By 2020, spending on Instagram influencers is projected to reach $2.3 billion, and while the industry considers it the gold standard for influencer marketing, brands are increasingly challenged to find ways to flip the script on the typical Instagram influencer post as well as leverage other effective platforms to dedicate their budgets to. 

Here we’re exploring what an average influencer budget looks like for brands, the key areas in which marketers are allocating influencer marketing budget and how allocation strategies are shifting, namely why the surge of macro-influencers is swaying marketers toward micro-influencers as cost-effective alternatives.

On their quest to create meaningful connections between product and consumer, brands are seeing the value in increasing their influencer marketing budgets. A study from Linqia showed that in 2016, influencer marketing budgets ranged from $25,000 to $50,000. Fast forward three years and 65 percent of marketers plan to up their influencer marketing budgets in 2019. A 2019 surveyfrom SocialPubli also revealed that 18 percent of advertisers dedicate more than 50 percent of their budget to influencer marketing. 

Despite the rise in fake followers and influencer imposters, brands are gaining high traffic and good-quality customers as a result of influencer marketing. Case in point: 71 percent of marketers rate the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing as better than other marketing sources, and their actions prove this. 

On average, more than a quarter of digital marketers said they ran five or more influencer marketing campaigns in 2017 while two-thirds said they ran three or more campaigns in 2018. 

According to an eMarketer report, how brands manage influencer marketing varies as 34 percent of respondents said their agency manages all influencer marketing programs in-house, while 26 percent hire a specialty agency and 20 percent rely on a platform.

Instagram’s shopping tools and increased users make it a powerful platform for sponsored posts and videos through influencers. Eighty-nine percent of marketers ranked Instagram as the top strategic platform for influencer marketing followed by 70 percent for YouTube, 45 percent for Facebook, 44 percent for a blog and 33 percent for Twitter. 

Given the ease with which influencers can create sponsored content on Instagram stories, marketers have plans to dedicate even bigger chunks of their budget to Instagram influencer marketing. For example, 69 percent of marketers plan to spend most of their influencer marketing budget on Instagram in 2019, six times more than YouTube.

Instagram is viewed as the gold standard for influencer marketing, making the platform saturated with influencer initiatives and forcing brands to think outside the box when it comes to influencer tactics. 

In the summer of 2018, Olay launched an Instagram campaign featuring nine micro-influencers, urging these women and others to unapologetically be themselves. A 28-day challenge and hashtag #FaceAnything complemented the campaign to encourage consumers to enhance their routines with Olay skincare products and later, go makeup-free at an event. Through the “Fearless 9” and their powerful stories, Olay generated relatability among the millennial female audience, 54 percent of which prefer the natural look.

YouTube came in a close second among the top platforms on which brands are allocating influencer budget. To promote its range of eyewear, Warby Parker successfully used YouTube for an influencer marketing video that strategically highlighted an influencer’s signature quirks. 

YouTube comedian and actor Anna Akana, who boasts 2.4 million subscribers, was the star of Warby Parker’s 60-second video spot which Akana posted to her own channel. The video garnered over 210,000 views, a total of 13,000 likes and comments combined and an engagement rate of 6.7 percent. 

Perhaps the most underutilized platform for influencer marketing budgets is Pinterest. Buick’s “Pinboard to Dashboard” campaign is one reason brands should reevaluate how they approach the platform. To appeal to a younger demographic, the auto company enlisted 10 design, fashion and food bloggers who had no ties to the auto industry to create Pinterest boards displaying how the Buick Encore car could help them express their personal style. The Pinterest campaign generated 17 million unique site visitors. Pinterest’s ability to drive discovery is undeniable as 93 percent of people said they use the platform to research purchases. 

Social platforms may be brimming with influencer content every day, but brands actually strategically time influencer-led activations. 

“We also see brands allocating influencer marketing budgets for certain times of the year or seasons. Interestingly, Q1 and Q2 are when most of the influencer budget is invested. It scales down towards the end of the year as brands and retailers gear for back-to-school and holiday sales campaigns,” PR and influencer marketing strategist working with technology, fashion and beauty brands, Jocelyn Johnson tells AList

Johnson points out a Halloween DIY makeup promotion for which NYX Professional Makeup partnered with DC Comics and Warner Bros. The campaign featured five female influencers and one male influencer, each showcasing transformative makeup looks inspired by their favorite DC character with the hashtag #FACESOFDC. The content was amazing and the results were even better—19 Instagram posts and six videos reached more than 2.7 million followers with a 2.6 percent engagement rate.

Beyond social media, brands are spending big bucks on real-world influencer initiatives such as paid trips. Beauty and lifestyle brands Shiseido, Benefit Cosmetics, Revolve and Tatcha have dominated the influencer-led destination scene yet some brands’ influencer vacation strategies are changing. 

For example, Benefit Cosmetics was an early adopter of the all-paid influencer trips, treating macro-influencers to tropical journeys across the globe, filling their hotel rooms with complete collections and organizing on-site activities meant to encourage bonding and user-generated content. 

“I look at Instagram and see someone on a trip and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to shoot myself in the head,’ because I’m not spending my marketing budget to send someone to an island to take pictures,” Bernadette Fitzpatrick, Benefit Cosmetics SVP of US marketing told Business of Fashion

Though the brand still hosts these trips, it’s now rethinking its approach and focusing more on video content featuring influencers demonstrating how their products are used on themselves. This year, Benefit Cosmetics hosted its third annual “Benefit Brow Search,” for which it invites 20 contestants to compete for a chance at $50,000, of course, set at a cool venue (this year’s was Oheka Castle, New York). Mega influencers Desi Perkins and Patrick Starrr were among the contest hosts. 

With the rise in costs associated with macro-influencers comes the need to change how influencer marketing dollars are spent. As a result, some brands are shifting their focus to micro-influencers. Working with micro-influencers enables brands to generate high engagement at a lower cost among highly engaged, niche communities. Macro-influencers reach more consumers overall, but micro-influencers have the advantage of cultivating loyal audiences. 

Take Forever 21, for example, who discovered a curvy fashion micro-influencer through a tagged Instagram post and reposted her photo of wearing Forever21Plus jeans. The post on the influencer’s Instagram received 3,583 likes, 86 comments and a whopping 23 percent engagement rate. Reposting the influencer’s content not only helped Forever21Plus promote its clothing but also opened the door to a meaningful influencer relationship with a micro-influencer.

A majority of marketers believe that micro-influencers will be the biggest trend in marketing in 2019 yet the group’s potential is still undervalued. 

“While these groups are on the rise, big brands are still focusing on those who have become professional influencers with huge followings. These macro-influencers tend to be very expensive and can be more challenging to work with. Research is starting to show a rise in engagement rates with micro-influencers—upwards of 60 percent. Brands are also seeing the value in nano-influencers that are more approachable and feel less commercialized. But working with this group comes with a word of warning as many do not have experience working with brands on a professional level,” Johnson notes.

Hyundai Chief Marketing Officer To Step Down

This week in marketing moves, Hyundai CMO Dean Evans resigns; Stephen Mai leaves Boiler Room; AWAL recording company promotes Aaron Bogucki to VP marketing; Tony Weisman, Dunkin’s CMO, announces he will soon step down from the role; Bonnie Neulight is named chief marketing officer at Rebbl and Bill Zielke appointed first CMO for blockchain payments provider BitPay.

Hyundai CMO Dean Evans Resigns

Hyundai Motor America’s CMO, Dean Evans, announced today that he’ll be resigning to pursue other “career opportunities,” AdWeek reports

Evans joined Hyundai in August 2015, and while with the company, he oversaw two Super Bowl commercials. 

Prior to that, Evans spent four years as CMO at Subaru of America and was chief marketing officer of and vice president of marketing of 

The company had started an immediate headhunt for the new CMO and Brian Smith, Hyundai’s CEO will lead the Hyundai marketing team while a search for a replacement is completed. 

Former Boiler Room CMO Joins Potato Head Family As Global Director Of Content And Marketing

CMO Stephen Mai has left Boiler Room after 19 months. He joined a hospitality brand with outposts in Bali and Hong Kong, Potato Head Family, as global director of content and marketing. 

According to his LinkedIn, Mai previously worked at LadBible as head of marketing, brand design and artist relations and at ASOS as senior brand communications and content strategist. 

He told Campaign about joining the hospitality brand: “Potato Head is an incredibly successful global cultural brand immersed in music, design, art, fashion, travel and sustainability, with venues around the world and a new cultural village in Bali. I’m looking to build on the brand through taking that foundation and creating a platform that connects like-minded people around the world. There are many stories to tell, people to celebrate and artists to platform.”

Aaron Bogucki Promoted To VP Marketing At AWAL 

Kobalt’s recording company, AWAL, has promoted Aaron Bogucki, who joined the company earlier this year as VP, digital marketing, to vice president of marketing. 

Prior to AWAL, Bogucki was VP, digital marketing for Republic Records and at AWAL, he will oversee a more integrated marketing and digital marketing team focused on developing marketing campaigns and audience growth strategy in the UK.

“I’m honored to step into this role to continue AWAL’s commitment to true artist development. Our roster is full of incredible artists who are impacting and shaping culture globally on their own terms, and we’re proud to help them deliver on their artistic vision,” Bogucki said. 

Tony Weisman Announces Departure From Dunkin’

Tony Wesiman will step down from his role as chief marketing officer of the quick service restaurant chain, effective December 1. Weisman has been with Dunkin’ for two years and was responsible for leading the company’s rebrand in 2018. He was previously a CMO at Draftclub Chicago and spent 10 years as a CEO, DigitasLBi North America at Digitas. 

“I am proud of what we accomplished over the past 2+ years including our rebranding to Dunkin’, introducing new menu items like the Beyond Sausage Sandwich, relaunching and doubling our espresso business, transitioning from foam to paper cups and bringing in new talent and agencies to modernize the Brand,” Weisman said in a blog post.

Rebbl Taps Bonnie Neulight As Chief Marketing Officer 

This week, Bonnie Neulight joins Rebbl as chief marketing officer. 

Neulight brings to the company over 20 years of experience in brand management and innovation. She previously held the role of chief marketing officer at Mezzetta Foods and several marketing positions at The J.M. Smucker Co. and Del Monte Foods, Inc.

“Joining the Rebbl team at this upswing in momentum lets me jump right in and do what I love to do. For me, coming to Rebbl at this exhilarating time, under [Michele Kessler’s] leadership, gives me such inspiration to work with this fast-growing brand that is also deeply purpose-driven,” Neulight said. 

BitPay Welcomes Its First CMO 

BitPay, a global blockchain payments provider, added Bill Zielke as the company’s first chief marketing officer, Yahoo Finance reports

Most recently, Zielke was chief marketing officer at venture-backed startups Ingo Money and Forter, and in his new role with BitPay, he will be in charge of executing the company’s marketing strategy in order to support the company’s growth, build a consumer brand and cultivate increased cryptocurrency acceptance and use.  

Zielke said, “The future of payments is on the blockchain and BitPay is at the forefront of blockchain-payment technology globally. My career goals have been to [help] cutting edge companies build and launch new products into new markets to grow. BitPay has the opportunity to disrupt the current global payments market as blockchain is superior and less expensive than traditional payment processing methods because every transaction is verified, recorded and stored on a public, tamper-resistant ledger.”

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

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, October 18. 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 ThirdLoveSan Francisco, CA
Vice President, Film MarketingNew York UniversityBrooklyn, NY
Chief Communications And Marketing OfficerUC San DiegoSan Diego, CA
Senior Vice President Of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
SVP–Creative MarketingWalt Disney TelevisionBurbank, CA
Vice President, Marketing Int’l International Distribution And ProductionsSony Pictures Entertainment Inc.Culver City, CA

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

Virtual Reality Marketing In The Time Of Oculus Quest

In 2015 through 2017, virtual reality (VR) campaigns were a hot trend that brands were experimenting with, but VR in marketing quickly stalled. A lower than expected adoption rate of VR hardware among consumers is largely thought to have been the culprit. This year, things started looking up for VR in marketing, as the technology has become more convenient and affordable given the introduction of the Oculus Quest headset in May. The big question for marketers to consider is whether VR is now here to stay and if so, how can it be used to drive engagement and reevaluate communication models with the customer. 

“What you saw happening with VR is happening with every new technology. The [term] ‘hype cycle’ perfectly illustrates how evolving tech develops over time,” explains Nils Wollny, co-founder and CEO at holoride, an in-car VR experience start-up. “There is usually a big hype around new technology, so everyone is jumping on it, and then this gap of disappointment comes, where everyone says, ‘Ok, the expectations are not fulfilled by this great new technology.’ And then [the tech] reaches the Plateau of Productivity and becomes a part of our general life. This is exactly what happened to VR, but it’s not an unusual development for any new tech. Every new technology has to go through this [process].” 

As recent as last year, analysts were skeptical about the VR tech utilization among consumers. In the report, “Virtual And Augmented Reality Users 2019” eMarketer researchers anticipated that this year, only 42.9 million people would use VR and 68.7 million would use AR at least once per month, prediciting that VR would slow down as AR picks up. Another survey from Perkins Coie showed that 41 percent of respondents felt that the most tangible obstacle blocking mass virtual reality adoption was user experience issues, such as uncomfortable hardware or technical glitches. 

The VR/AR experts’ predictions for 2019, however, were more optimistic. In January, Ricardo Justus, CEO, Arvore Immersive Experiences told AList his expectations for VR in 2019 were “steady growth of the home-use space, amazing new location-based experiences and new and surprising device announcements.” 

Today, brands from diverse sectors are indeed tapping into the technology in more creative ways.

Google recently partnered with the Château de Versailles and now takes VR users on a private tour of the French royal residence. Fashion companies have incorporated VR influencers into their marketing initiatives with Chanel, Prada, Vans and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty currently leading the pack of established companies that drive brand awareness with VR characters. Balmain even created a whole “Virtual Army” on influencers. 

In the world of auto, Porsche debuted virtual reality technology and Land Rover, wowed the crowds with the new Defender VR experience at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. 

Wollny points out that VR marketing has an important place in gaming and entertainment. Earlier this year, DreamWorks collaborated with Walmart to promote How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and allowed the fans to dive into the movie world right at select Walmart parking lots during the promotion of the film. Additionally, Universal Studios partnered with Ford on a campaign that started on October 14 at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, where people were able to jump into a Ford Explorer for a Bride of Frankenstein-inspired experience. 

It is quite possible that brands that master VR in the coming years will be the most successful at harnessing the medium’s creative potential. These brands need to remember, though, that while a fully immersive experience that shuts out the physical world makes a great tool to deliver a company’s message, a successful VR marketing campaign, first of all, caters to the customer’s desire for personalization and delivers a truly exceptional experience that consumers can’t find elsewhere. 

So, what is the future of VR marketing? According to experts, we’ll soon see the Plateau of Productivity of VR in action, meaning the technology will be more relevant in customers’ daily lives.

“We can already see that with devices, like Oculus Quest, which is an affordable, stand-alone virtual reality device, VR will have greater impact on the daily life of customers in the coming months, bringing new opportunities to marketing. There is also a big opportunity for brands to build stories for interactive experiences that don’t feel like a commercial or campaign but [offer] infinite worlds to build on and provide new experiences. We’ll also see things like product placement but in a smarter way than product placement in a movie, for example, because a product or a brand can be a part of the story people interact with, which feels more natural than simply placing something somewhere and have it captured by a camera,” Wollny said.

Wendy’s Continues Quest To Attract Gamers, Becomes First Sponsor Of GIPHY Digital Arcade

Wendy’s launched three branded video games on Giphy’s new digital arcade, “GIPHY Arcade,” making it the first sponsor of the shareable micro-game platform. The branded games, which appear in a section called “Wendy’s World” on the arcade landing page, are nods to arcade favorites such as “Space Invaders” and “Breakout.”

Users can add creative touches to Wendy’s games in the arcade’s “REMIX” section, with the option of adding stickers and mixing and matching characters and music. On the arcade’s desktop version, players can choose from over 30 backgrounds and 20 different songs. Comparatively, the mobile version of the arcade creates a game based on a list of questions that users must answer. Integrated with Snapchat and Instagram, the GIPHY microgames can be shared with friends in messages and social media posts. Games from Wendy’s and NASA are among the first to be featured on the arcade’s home page.

The arcade also features premade games, formats of which are reminiscent of games of the past. Some games that users can play straight away include “Frankenstein Lives,” Big Mouth-inspired “Avoid Lola” and “Galactic Glutton.”

Wendy’s has seamlessly inserted itself into the gaming world through a variety of activations targeted towards gamers. With over 2.5 billion gamers across the world and mobile gaming growing 10.2 percent year-on-year to $68.5 billion, Wendy’s is playing its cards right. Earlier this year, the brand live-steamed its digital avatar on Twitch to promote a Baconfest initiative. Prior to that, Wendy’s launched a Twitch campaign called “Keeping Fortnite Fresh,” which led to a 119 percent increase in mentions of Wendy’s across its social media platforms. More recently, the brand introduced a Wendy’s-themed table-top role-playing game called “Feast of Legends,” available for free in PDF form online.

Snapchat’s New ‘Dynamic Ads’ Bring Automated Personalization To Platform

This week, Snapchat introduces templated ads that allow marketers to create ads that look visually native to the platform and LinkedIn rolls out a free events tool that members can use to facilitate in-person meet-ups.

Snapchat’s New Dynamic Ads Bring Automated Personalization To The Platform

According to a company post, ecommerce advertisers can now choose from five unique ad templates without the need for design skills.

Why it matters: The mobile-native templates will help brands deliver ads at scale while maintaining authenticity and creativity, two elements the platform’s young users value. The feature will also increase the relevancy of ads across Snapchat. 

The details: Dynamic Ads’ five templates are designed to showcase products visually and make advertisers’ ads look native to the platform, eliminating the need to manually create Snapchat ads. Dynamic Ads also allow marketers to sync a product catalog, select an audience for prospecting or re-engagement and will deliver the ad in real-time. Brands can continuously tailor their audience’s shopping experience because as changes to products occur, the ads adjust accordingly, allowing brands to run always-on campaigns.

LinkedIn Introduces Events Tool For Real-World Professional Meet-Ups

The events tool gives members the capacity to create and manage events with global members on mobile or desktop.

Why it matters: LinkedIn events could help the platform create another revenue stream down the line by adding premium memberships, making it a potential competitor of Eventbrite.

The details: To create an event, members must click on the “Community” panel on the left side of the newsfeed. After adding event details, organizers can invite guests using search filters, track attendees and invitees as well as post updates and interact with attendees. Anyone can join the event if they receive an invitation and members who have joined the event can also invite people from their own networks to attend. LinkedIn events will be available starting with English-speaking markets first over the next few days.

Twitter Introduces New Restrictions On Tweets From World Leaders Who Break Platform Rules

In a company blog post, Twitter provided clear insights into how it will address content from world leaders on the platform if that content violates its user policy or includes threatening or violent messages.

Why it matters: In June, Twitter said it wouldn’t remove certain Tweets of world leaders that broke its rules if there was a clear public interest in keeping them up. After user outcry, the platform updated its criteria.

The details: Twitter outlined scenarios that will result in the removal of tweets of world leaders. They include: promotion of terrorism, clear and direct threats of violence against an individual, posting private information such as home address and non-public personal phone number, posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent, engaging in behaviors relating to child sexual exploitation or encouraging or promoting self-harm. A tweet from Twitter’s safety page said that users will not be able to like, reply, share or retweet the tweets in question but will still be able to retweet with comment. Twitter also expanded on its decision-making process in its updated help center page. 

iOS Users Can Now Share Favorite Reddit Content To Snapchat

According to TechCrunch, a new integration allows sharing of text, link and image-based posts from Reddit’s “Safe for Work” forums.

Why it matters: Reddit is trying to encourage Snapchat’s younger users to use the platform given that a majority of its audience is a bit older (34 percent are 30-49 years old and 25 percent are 50-64 years old). Given Reddit’s growing ad business, estimated to reach $100 million in revenue, the platform must balance out its demographics and enhance usage to remain competitive. 

The details: Reddit users must have Snapchat installed on their iOS device to use the new feature which enables a “Share” icon on posts in the Reddit app that allows users to then post to Snapchat. People can send the post to a group of select friends or to their story for all friends to view it. The integration includes a new sticker featuring the Reddit logo and source information. 

Study Reveals Why Users Deactivate Their Social Media Accounts 

A GlobalWebIndex study that surveyed 1,000 US and UK users found that younger consumers are more likely to deactivate their accounts as compared to older users. 

Why it matters: People are becoming more cautious of what they share online given the increase in digital bullying as well as privacy and data breaches. 

The details: The study showed that 48 percent of users aged between 16 and 24 have temporarily deactivated their accounts (compared to just 30 percent of users aged 55-64). Multiple factors for deactivation include losing interest in posts shared by others (26 percent), the desire to spend time doing other things (25 percent) and fearing the repercussions social media can have on their image (25 percent).

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 18. 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

Brands Report Need For Additional Data Skills, Budget In Martech Strategies

Globally, 68 percent of brands have an increased need for data skills when it comes to utilizing marketing technology (martech), according to WARC’s “Martech: 2020 and Beyond” report. Published in association with BDO, the report assesses martech’s growth over the last year, addresses how agencies are balancing data with creativity and where respondents plan to focus budgets next year.

Since 2018, martech investment has seen year-on-year growth of 22 percent with a current estimated market size of $121.5 billion globally. In addition, the combined UK and North American market of martech is now worth $65.9 billion.

According to respondent feedback, a lack of expertise on the brand side is a key driver to outsourcing martech functions to agencies. Whether in terms of upskilling internally or hiring discipline specialists, brands are exploring ways to increase skills. Opinions on which skills should be the focus differ among businesses.

For brands and agencies alike, there’s a need to use data to guide creative strategy, but each side has different priorities. Forty-nine percent of brands cited creativity as one of the most important skills for hiring into the marketing function whereas 21 percent considered strategy and data a top priority. Comparatively, only 25 percent of agency respondents chose creativity as an important factor, ultimately citing data literacy as their top priority. 

The majority of respondents have found a use for martech tools in established disciplines. Over three quarters of brands use martech to assist them with email and social media, and nearly two-thirds of brands use martech for analytics, content and CRM. Still, 76 percent of respondents feel the need to add more martech tools to their belt while only 24 percent of global marketers believe they have all the martech tools they need.

In addition, brands are focusing on customer experiences over specific media, resulting in the growth of experience optimization and tracking in the martech industry. Over half of the respondents noted that customer experience optimization is a high priority for their organization. Despite this, less than 50 percent of brands are using martech to track customers between channels. 

Half of global respondents agreed that budget constraints are the main barrier to martech investment, up from 36 percent last year. Forty-three percent of marketers globally, however, expect their martech budgets to increase over the next 12 months. On average, North American and UK brands are spending 26 percent of their budgets on martech compared to 23 percent last year.

Report findings are based on an annual survey of more than 750 brands and agencies in North America, UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Fact-Based Thinking To Improve Your Brand’s Health With Wiemer Snijders

During this episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Wiemer Snijders, author, editor and curator of the book “Eat Your Greens: Fact-Based Thinking To Improve Your Brand’s Health.” With an emphasis on a scientific-based, self-learning, Snijders brought together a collection of incredible people to share a variety of perspectives on topics around branding and marketing. Today on the show, Snijders talks about the creation of the book, what it took to pull it together and the insights from innovative thinkers, especially those who base their findings on scientific facts. 

Snijders explains the structure of the “Eat Your Greens” and why he wanted to structure it in an easily digestible way. He wanted to provide a means for people to quickly pick up the book, read some short, topic-based articles and challenge them to dive into those topics further. It’s very much like “looking at a selection of painters from a certain period or style, indulging in small portions and exiting a richer person,” he notes.

Snijders describes the setup and the broad “briefing” for the book. He told people, “you can write about anything, you just have to back it up with facts.” The first chapter was designed to focus on the fundamental ways we make choices as consumers. How do you approach the reality that “about 40 percent of your customers are going to only buy once, in five years?” How does that shape what we do in marketing? Snijders also shares the importance of evaluating and growing that group of people. How do you actually measure effective advertising? Snijders shares incredible insights on how to use the limited amount of time we have to share our messages.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”

  • What was the reasoning behind building a compilation book? (01:48) 
  • How did Wiemer find and pick those who would appear in the book (04:24) 
  • An interesting answer to whether Wiemer has a favorite chapter (06:31)
  • Who do we need to hear from next? (07:05)
  • The 1st Chapter and “set up” for the book (08:25)
  • The fundamental and well-established things in customer choice (08:55) 
  • The “banana” visual of distribution (13:41) 
  • Focusing on value-based marketing (18:21)
  • Why Wiemer focuses on “purpose” and “unique selling propositions” (22:54)
  • Why the “Essence of Branding” is so vital (28:10)
  • Exciting insights into consumer purchasing behaviors (30:02) 
  • What opportunities does Wiemer see for marketers today? (32:09)
  • Digging into the idea of “creative publicity” (33:27) 
  • What defines and makes up Wiemers’s past? (35:47) 
  • What personally drives Wiemer? (38:27)
  • Wiemer’s advice to his younger self (39:58)
  • Who should we follow or take notice of? (40:50)
  • What does the future of marketing look like? (43:44) 

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Direct-To-Consumer Is A Skill, Not A Business Unit

Originally published at AW360 by Andrew Heddle.

No other area of business has seen such exciting growth and visible success as Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) commerce. In the past decade over 3,500 new brands have sprung up in every sector of the economy, and they are raising an estimated $4 billion in capital along the way—$4 billion that they have used to eat away share from brands that once exclusively dominated consumer industries. The effect of new entrants has never been more widespread, so keenly felt by incumbents, and so enthusiastically embraced by consumers.

As organizations like the IAB call DTC “The Future of Retail,” it’s no surprise to see large brands and retailers paying attention. Companies like Timberland, REI, Under Armor are finding success in expanded DTC channels to recapture market share. While it’s tempting for brands to simply ape the tactics that are outwardly visible from successful DTC brands, the truth is that much of what makes DTC experiences so persuasive and valuable is invisible from the outside.

Retailers or brands who view DTC as merely a channel strategy are oversimplifying and missing the value of the underlying trend in a big way. It’s not about increasing distribution, adding technology or improving supply chain; it’s about transforming customer experience and the corporate culture that enables it.

What is truly driving the meteoric rise of DTC? It’s the enduring reminder that consumer experience matters most. And now, more than ever, consumers demand better. DTC addresses fundamental demands from consumers like frictionless retail, brand experience, product innovation and personalization. Embracing the resources and sustained effort required to deliver today’s DTC experiences is critical for enterprise retailers looking to serve their customers and address emerging competitive threats.

That drive is precisely why creating a DTC experience is neither simple nor benign. Larger legacy enterprises and brands have a lot to lose through the thoughtless development and execution of DTC experiences that deliver no value to customers and create confusion in the marketplace. Our first piece of advice to brands seeking to develop DTC experiences is to swear a kind of Hippocratic Oath. “First, do no harm.”

What harm can a bad experience do?  

Many brands make the mistake of believing that DTC success is a matter of installing the right technology and establishing a delivery capability to deliver their existing products in the standard pack sizes. Native DTC brands have ably demonstrated that DTC is a skill, not simply another business unit or capability. DTC strategy is not just a matter of adding a buy button. While the user interface and the user experience are important components, DTC commerce experience is built upon the desire to deliver a great end to end customer experience for the business. Business is a value delivery system not just a product delivery system.

Positive experiences create value for customers, the brand, channel partners, the organization and shareholders. High-performing DTC brands are able to see the thread through the whole experience on behalf of the customer, rather than see the experience as a series of hand-offs. Critically and inevitably, customer experience will live or die by the culture and organization that underpins a brand. DTC DNA identifies the core skills and cultural dispositions needed in each area of the business so that executives at brands and retailers can use them to build compelling experiences and corporate cultures to deliver them.

DTC is a skill to be developed more than it is a business unit to be spun up. Brands must understand the value of all of the elements that create the lived experience of the brand to develop true customer advocacy.

Social Media Adspend Will Surpass That Of Print For First Time This Year

Advertisers will spend more on social media than on print for the first time ever this year, according to Zenith’s “Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.” Social media adspend will grow 20 percent this year to reach $84 billion while ad expenditure on magazines and newspapers combined will decrease six percent to $69 billion.

The report also found that social media will be the third largest channel for advertising this year, capturing a 13 percent share of global adspend, followed by television (29 percent) and paid search (17 percent). Television advertising, however, will slip from $182 billion in 2019 to $180 billion in 2021 due to shrinking ratings in key markets.

The current US ad market makes up about half of global adspend growth at 48 percent with expectations for it having held steady at 5.7 percent growth since Zenith’s June edition of the report. That figure is in part due to targeting abilities of online platforms used by small businesses and digital brands who are investing heavily in paid search. Growing at eight percent a year, paid search advertising will also reach new heights this year as Zenith predicts it will surpass $100 billion for the first time.

Given the current political and economic uncertainty, Zenith downgraded its expectations for 2019 for global adspend. Unlike its prediction of a 4.6 percent increase in global adspend in June, this year’s prediction for global ad spend is a 4.4 percent increase. 

Similarly, forecasts for Europe have also been downgraded due to poor economic performance in key markets. The UK and Germany saw a decline in Q2 while Russia’s year-on-year growth has fallen below one percent. As a result, Zenith forecasts a 1.9 percent growth in adspend in Western Europe, down from 2.4 percent in June. Predicted adspend growth in Central and Eastern Europe have also fallen from 6.1 percent to 4.7 percent. The report attributes the decline to the absence of sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics as well as an overall weakened economy.

Jimmy John’s Launches Multichannel Campaign, Snapchat AR Game To Promote Little Subs

Jimmy John’s is launching a multichannel campaign to promote its $3 Little John subs via a Snapchat Lens and mobile game that uses augmented reality (AR). A national television spot, posted to the brand’s YouTube, featuring rapper Lil’ Jon further complements the campaign. Little John subs are “skinny mini-versions” of the sandwich chain’s seven original sandwiches, making them the first permanent value addition to the chain’s menu in its 36-year history.

To play the Jimmy John’s AR game, Snapchat users must catch as many falling sandwiches—which have been digitally shrunk—as they can in their mouths within 30 seconds. The game uses AR technology to overlay images on live selfies, which users can snap from the game and share on the platform. Encouraging users to play the game and share selfies increases the campaign’s reach among Snapchat’s younger audience for that 70 percent of users add AR effects to images they share on the app—according to Snapchat’s Q1 company metrics.

Creating a sponsored Snapchat filter-game for its $3 little subs marks one of Jimmy John’s many moves to attract younger consumers. In 2018, the company introduced tap-and-go payments to emphasize mobile orders. To highlight its commitment to ensuring freshness, the company also created a 30-second video spot that read aloud negative tweets about Grubhub and Seamless. 

Jimmy John’s recently took its delivery efforts a step further with a contest giving one fan up to $250,000 to go toward buying a home inside a Jimmy John’s delivery zone. Given Jimmy John’s strict delivery zones—which don’t utilize third-party delivery services and only deliver up to five minutes of its stores—it employed “The Home in the Zone” contest. From August 12-October 4, consumers could enter the contest by writing a 250-word essay saying why they want to move into a Jimmy John’s delivery zone. The contest held three rounds before selecting a grand prize winner.

According to QSR Magazine, on September 25, Jimmy John’s announced its acquisition from Inspire Brands, the parent company to Sonic Drive-In, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco. Jimmy John’s has more than 2,800 locations across 43 states and, according to Technomic, is the 30th largest US restaurant chain with 2017 sales reaching nearly $2.36 billion.