Chick-fil-A Creates Virtual, Physical Pop-Ups To Encourage Quality Time During Holidays

Chick-fil-A is encouraging people to make more memories with their loved ones this holiday season. The brand is treating fried chicken fans to online and brick-and-mortar experiences called “The Time Shop” as part of its “Together Time” campaign.

Starting Thanksgiving, consumers can visit the brand’s free pop-up experience in New York City where they can create their own custom cards to “gift their time to friends and family.” At the “Time Shop,” guests will be offered experiences including three themed zones including “Story Time,” “Play Time” and “Snack Time,” where they can play games, share snacks and listen to stories. The pop-up will be open December 4-17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Though not required, reservations for the pop-up are encouraged. 

For those who can’t make it to the SoHo pop-up, Chick-fil-A created a virtual site where holiday shoppers can create the same time card gifts, which Chick-fil-A will print and ship to recipients in the U.S., for free.

To complement the campaign, Chick-fil-A also created a two-minute animated spot that brings to life the world of “The Time Shop,” told through the story of a family rediscovering the importance of time well-spent. Chick-fil-A will spot will debut on NBC’s Thanksgiving special and will continue to air during select programming throughout November and December.

Chick-fil-A’s feel-good holiday initiative follows a national survey the company commissioned that found that people don’t spend enough time with those they care about. Ninety-three of respondents said that quality time together is the single most important factor for creating favorite holiday memories, more so than gifts, parties and food. The survey also found that respondents spend 14 hours per week with their loved ones. To increase that number, 57 percent of millennials said they’d be willing to sacrifice social media to get more quality time. 

LG Australia CMO Resigns, EOS Appoints VP Of Marketing

This week in marketing moves, CMO of LG Australia resigns, EOS names new VP of marketing, Barnaby Dawe quits Pret A Manger sandwich shop chain and former PepsiCo global marketing exec launches a CBD-infused beverage line exclusively for The Vitamin Shoppe stores.

Angus Jones Leaves LG Australia 

CMO and general manager of marketing at LG Australia, Angus Jones, stepped down this week. 

“Time for my next adventure. I have resigned as the Chief Marketing Officer of LG Electronics after more than 4 years,” Jones said in the LinkedIn post announcing his resignation. He added: “During this time I am proud of unifying and reigniting a team who took their twenty one categories to new heights including No. 1 market share positions in both B2B and B2C categories. Key to this success was enforcing a brand strategy across Corporate and Trade/Retail channels whilst launching and building out new sub brands.  I built a Digital/Social team that created a framework to better connect and resonate with customers and a PR function that took advantage of the good and minimised the bad.”

Jones spent more than four years with the company. Before joining LG Australia in 2015, he held several executive marketing positions at Dell. 

EOS Welcomes New Vice President Of Marketing 

EOS Products announced the appointment of Jane Ko as Vice President of North America Marketing.

Ko is to report to CMO Soyoung Kang and general manager of North America, Robert Murphy. In her new role, she will be mainly tasked with overseeing EOS’ go-to-market brand strategy. 

“I’m thrilled to join [EOS] and contribute to its continued growth in North America. It’s such a dynamic and exciting time for engaging with our consumers. I’m looking forward to working with the cross-functional team to lead the development of breakthrough marketing strategies that will deliver impact while staying true to the brand’s legacy of innovation,” Ko said. 

Simon Michaelides Named New CMO At UKTV

Simon Michaelides was promoted to UKTV’s chief marketing and innovation officer position, The Drum reports. He will replace Zoë Clapp, who left the broadcaster last week. 

Michaelides was previously a chief transformation officer at UKTV and BBC Studios UK and served as marketing and innovation director at PepsiCo and senior brand manager at Procter & Gamble. 

UKTV chief exec, Marcus Arthur, to whom Michaelides will report, said: “With new brands, products and audiences an increasingly important driver of success at UKTV, I felt it was essential to evolve our marketing and innovation activity to ensure strong and consistent growth.”

Pret A Manger’s First CMO Quits 

The UK-based international sandwich shop chain is parting with its first chief marketing officer, Barnaby Dawe. 

Dawe spent almost a year in the role and is now planning to return to media and ecommerce industry, where he has spent most of his career, serving as CMO at HarperCollins Publisher and marketing director at British newspaper, News International

Pret CEO Pano Christou said about Dawe’s departure: “Barnaby has made an invaluable contribution over the last year and I’m personally grateful for this. He’s played an important role in the work we have done to win back trust with our customers and stakeholders, and he leaves Pret in a much stronger position than when he joined.”

Former PepsiCo Global CMO Launches Má CBD+ Natural Botanicals Functional Iced Teas 

Jill Beraud’s Sh’nnong Beverage Company, launches Má CBD+ Natural Botanicals Functional Iced Teas in more than 500 The Vitamin Shoppe stores. 

A former global chief marketing officer for PepsiCo, Beraud has extensive experience in the beverage market, as he previously oversaw Starbucks & Lipton Joint Ventures. 

“When my business partner Charlie Herbstreith and I originally discussed this idea, it reminded me of my time at PepsiCo when kombucha and coconut water were just emerging,” he said. “However, given the far-reaching benefits of CBD, this is a much bigger white space. The Vitamin Shoppe is the perfect launch partner for us. They are establishing themselves as CBD Central across multiple categories and have tremendous in-store expertise in health, wellness and nutrition.”

The Watches Of Switzerland Group Appoints New VP Of Marketing

Today, the Watches Of Switzerland Group has appointed Katie Reed as vice president of marketing for the U.S. 

Reed is to replace David Kellie and lead all marketing communications for both Watches of Switzerland in North America, in addition to the Mayors jewelry brand. She will report directly to David Hurley, executive vice president of Watches of Switzerland Group USA.

Hurley said about Reed’s appointment: “We are thrilled to have Katie join our team during a time of such exponential growth for Watches of Switzerland in the U.S. Her expertise in luxury goods and deep connections in the watch industry will prove to be invaluable to our continued success.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, November 29. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Vice President, Global MarketingShiseido Americas CorporationNew York, NY
Vice President, Creative MarketingFOX CorporationNew York, NY
Chief Marketing OfficerForresterCambridge, UK
Senior Vice President Of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
SVP–Creative MarketingWalt Disney TelevisionBurbank, CA
Vice President, Marketing StrategyParamount PicturesHollywood, CA

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

Twitter To Delete Inactive Accounts, Freeing Up More Usernames

This week in social, Twitter announced it plans to delete accounts that have been inactive for six months and Facebook is testing a feature that would let users share messenger stories with selected friends.

Twitter Will Delete Accounts That Have Been Inactive For Six Months

According to BBC’s David Lee, Twitter will start deleting accounts on December 11.

Why it matters: Twitter’s plan to purge inactive accounts will free up usernames for active users.

The details: A spokesperson told The Verge that the platform’s goal with the purge is to “present more accurate, credible information that people can trust across Twitter.” Any accounts that haven’t logged in for the past six months will be considered inactive and deleted by Twitter over the course of the next several months. 

Facebook Tests Options To Share Messenger Stories With Select Group Of Friends

The feature would enable users to share Facebook and Messenger Stories with friends and family of their choice.

Why it matters: Should Facebook make the feature available to everyone, it would give brands a way to add a level of exclusivity to interactions with consumers and help foster brand loyalty. The tool is similar to the Instagram’s “Close Friends” sharing option, launched in December 2018.

The details: With a potential new “Favorites” list, Facebook users can share Stories with select users that they include in their list. 

Work Video Messenger Loom Streamlines Workplace Communication

According to TechCrunch, the Loom app, which launched in 2016, allows co-workers to communicate their message via video.

Why it matters: Loom-style asynchronous video messaging makes the app a potential competitor for Slack and Microsoft Teams. Yet Loom’s co-founder and CEO Joe Thomas notes that Loom is a complementary tool to chat.

The details: The Loom app lets users send short clips of themselves to streamline communication in the workplace. The company has grown from 1.1 million users and 18,000 companies using it to 1.8 million people at 50,000 companies, with 15 million minutes of Loom videos shared per month. The company announced it raised $30 million in a round, and has recently welcomed Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom as new investors.

Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Studio Behind Rhythm Game Beat Saber

Facebook announced today it’s buying Beat Games, the game studio responsible for one of the platform’s biggest titles: Beat Saber. 

Why it matters: The move indicates Facebook’s potential interest in following the strategies of Sony and Microsoft who have also bought small studios and funded new titles.

The details: Facebook’s new studio will join Oculus Studios, but will operate independently at its Prague headquarters. Facebook says that it’s not after platform exclusivity, and that Beat Games will still support the platforms that it’s already on.

Twitter Expands “Hide Tweet Replies” To All Users Globally

After the platform performed months of testing, Twitter users can now hide replies to their tweets.

Why it matters: Giving users better control over tweet engagement represents Twitter’s latest efforts to amplify the “healthy conversations” initiative it launched in March 2018, responding to users’ reported abuse and harassment. 

The details: Twitter users will now have the option to hide replies to tweets, which doesn’t delete replies, but rather moves them to a separate page. When the test first began, among Canadian Twitter users, Twitter found that people use the feature to hide replies that are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying. It also found that 85 percent of the people who used the feature are not using block or mute functions.

The Number Of YouTube Creators Earning Five Figures Has Increased More Than 40 Percent

In her final quarterly update of 2019, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki details the platform’s developments in copyright claims, content guidelines and monetization tools.

Why it matters: The changes YouTube made to streamline creators’ experience proves that it’s taking influencers’ feedback into consideration, a move that has helped boost the YouTube economy. 

The details: Wojcicki said that compared to last year, the number of YouTube creators with a million or more subscribers has grown 65 percent, and influencers earning five or six figures annually has grown by more than 40 percent. In response to the copyright strikes creators face on the platform, Wojcicki said YouTube removed the final incentive to claim “very short and unintentional music use.” She also noted that the platform’s “Super Chat” feature, which allows fans to buy credits to have their comments featured in live-streams, have allowed some streams to earn more than $400 per minute. 

Twitter Testing Two-Factor Authentication Feature Without Need For A Phone Number

According to TechCrunch, the update comes after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s own Twitter account was hacked through a SIM swap.

Why it matters: In October, Twitter admitted to inadvertently using phone numbers provided during two-factor setup for serving targeted ads. That coupled with the fact that many people have had their phone numbers hijacked via SIM swapping, and it’s clear to see why Twitter is making an effort to protect users’ information. 

The details: For many years, Twitter made SMS-based two-factor authentication mandatory, forcing many users to give up their phone number. Now, the platform is rolling out the feature without the need for a phone number to a select group of users.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 29. 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

Clorox’s Move Into Direct-To-Consumer With Jackson Jeyanayagam

During this 181st episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Jackson Jeyanayagam, the vice president and general manager of direct-to-consumer businesses at The Clorox Company.  Jeyanayagam’s experience spans agencies working with brands like Diageo, P&G, Jordan and NASCAR to executive digital marketing roles at Chipotle and, most recently, as CMO of Boxed.

Jeyanayagam shares the journey of his career and moves from Chipotle to Boxed to Nutranext and the shift from CMO to general manager. He discusses his approach to growing his teams, the tech stack they are building and new product launches. “I look for curiosity, empathy and versatility,” Jeyanayagam says on his criteria for marketers.

Jeyanayagam shares the important role of digital and social in customer engagement and crisis management. He dives into the critical nature of analytics and performance numbers. Jeyanayagam believes you should always be learning, growing and working hard to stay ahead of the game.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Jackson’s background in PR, agency work and path into direct to consumer. (01:35) 
  • Mentors and their importance in your career. (07:15)  
  • The interesting switch to direct-to-consumer.  (09:30)  
  • “Sometime, the roles that don’t look sexy on paper might be the best roles for you.” (12:19) 
  • Nutranext: the products and the vision. (13:07) 
  • Building the team to be a leader in direct to consumer. (14:24) 
  • The “Bulldog” approach to creating a team. (16:05) 
  • Critical aspects of great team members. “I look for curiosity, empathy and versatility.” (17:20)  
  • The differences in running a direct to consumer business. (19:33) 
  • Nutranext’s tech stack and approach to new products. (22:53)   
  • The brand approach for Objective Wellness. “We felt like Gen X was a forgotten sandwich generation.” (23:52) 
  • The advantage of building your own tech stack. (25:55) 
  • Surprising challenges when working under a corporate umbrella. (28:22) 
  • The key to being a great Manager/Leader. “A good manager gives you autonomy” (29:53) 
  • The current state of the direct-to-consumer movement. (31:25) 
  • The experience(s) that defines who Jackson is today. (35:04) 
  • What fuels Jackson day-to-day? (39:02) 
  • Brands, companies or organizations to take note of. (40:07) 
  • The future of marketing. (41:48) 

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.

A Marketer’s Guide To 2020 MarTech Trends

Since 2018, marketing technology (MarTech) has seen year-on-year growth of 22 percent with estimated market size of $121.5 billion globally. Combined, the North American and UK MarTech market are worth $65.9 billion. As marketers vie for the attention of an increasingly fickle consumer, they’ve turned to more sophisticated MarTech tools. Here’s what’s new and trending in the MarTech world in 2020. From optimizing customer experience to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps and even machine learning for marketers, here’s how to most effectively leverage the technology for more successful campaigns and greater consumer engagement. 

Optimize Omnichannel For Better Customer Experience

Marketers are using tech to focus on customer experiences regardless of the media platform. This paves the way for customer experience optimization and tracking, as echoed by WARC’s study in which over half of respondents noted that customer experience optimization is a high priority for their organization. Still, less than 50 percent of brands are using MarTech to track customers between channels.

Today’s consumer expected a seamless interaction with brands across multiple channels, and brands should turn to tech to bridge the divide. Cross-channel sales should be top of mind for marketers as they’re expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2018 according to Forrester, though only 44 percent of marketers applied uniform segmentation across multiple touchpoints. Using MarTech to build a customer experience is critical to improving omnichannel strategies. The answer? Integrate digital data and customer information from internal systems such as loyalty programs and CMS using automation platforms to create user profiles based data from multiple channels, collected in real-time.

Mobile And Mixed Reality Apps

Consumers are driving retailers’ need for yet another MarTech touchpoint for engagement—AR and VR apps. One-third of US consumers reported using AR, but 73 percent of that group said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience. While only 10 percent of consumers said they’ve used AR or VR while shopping, 45 percent say they’d like to try it. In the same survey, 30 percent of consumers said they’d never visit another clothing store again if AR allowed them to buy the right size item with confidence.

Despite the low consumer adoption rate for AR, consumers are showing an interest in AR/VR apps that could potentially simplify their retail experiences—and brands are taking note. Apps that have AR or VR features, also known as mixed reality apps, will more than quintuple their advertising revenue to $11 billion by 2024, from $2 billion this year. Smartphone mixed reality is also set to account for 75 percent of consumer revenues by 2024, according to a report from Juniper. 

IKEA, for example, was an early adopter of AR ads in 2013 when it released its iOS AR mobile app that lets users see virtual pieces of furniture from the company’s 2014 catalog.

“We expect social media applications to account for 40 percent of all consumer mixed reality revenues by 2024. Third-party content delivered on these apps has been key to their success, therefore investment in content development frameworks will increase their app’s content library with minimal investment,” noted the research author, Sam Barker.

Similarly, 5G cellular networks and edge computing are two emerging technologies expected to increase the precision of location intelligence and overall marketing efficiency in 2020. Looking forward, marketers can use insights from connected device data to improve campaigns in real-time using automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Tailor To Various Types Of Search

Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report revealed that 75 percent of households will have at least one smart speaker by 2020. On a similar upward trajectory is the usage of mobile to conduct searches and compares prices on products. But rather than text-based searches, consumers are increasingly researching and purchasing via voice searches. A whopping 72 percent of people used voice search through a digital assistant in 2019.

To reach target audiences, brands can make their online presence conducive to voice-based searches by updating keywords to reflect natural language in web content and sites as opposed to overly technical language. Machine learning is necessary here to improve internal searches and answer consumers’ questions.

Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Automation Tools

Over three-quarters of brands use MarTech to assist them with email and social media while nearly two-thirds of brands use MarTech for analytics, content and customer relationship management (CRM).

AI-enabled automation platforms can help simplify email marketing, lead generation and performance measurement. For example, brands should use automation to draft messages for each segment to reach different audiences wherever they are in the funnel. That extends to location-based data to support customer communications via mobile as well. Automation also takes care of repetitive tasks such as these to not only increase campaign return on investment (ROI), but also improve productivity and campaign management.

Improvements in systems and components have led to sophisticated algorithms, making AI a significant part of any company’s decision-making processes. The way that brands are successfully using AI to inform business predictions including price optimization, forecasting, upselling and lead scoring is growing sales. Data-driven insights from AI have become so helpful in generating sales that Accenture found that AI could lead to an economic boost of $14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035. 

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is growing as over half of display ads in the US are now being bought programmatically. Programmatic buying involves AI software and technology to automate ad buying on the web at a speed greater than that which humans can achieve manually. Real-time bid impressions are made instantly when the system sees a cookie or mobile identifier that matches the advertiser’s targeting criteria. Marketers can position themselves to reach audiences based on their interests and demographics thanks to programmatic buying that utilizes a mix of data sources at the time an impression becomes available.

Over the course of a few campaigns, programmatic technology gathers additional performance data, allowing the system to determine what time of day and location performs best for the ad.

As beneficial as MarTech is, brands are challenged to implement the tools. Half of global respondents in WARC’s report said that budget constraints are a main barrier to MarTech investment, up 36 percent from last year. MarTech budgets in North America and the UK are up three percent, and 43 percent of marketers globally expect these budgets to increase over the next 12 months.

The roll-out of data privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) could, however, limit marketers’ ability to enrich MarTech capabilities with data-driven insights. How companies collect and use customer data is a topic of concern that only limiting third-party-purchased data could mitigate. To maintain consumers’ trust while still encouraging them to share personal data requires marketers to implement interactive experiences that make consumers feel safe sharing information and as though they’re receiving a fair exchange of value for the data.

Digital Advertising Alliance Introduces CCPA Tools For Publishers, Brands, Agencies

As the “Judgement Day” of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) approaches, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) rolls-out new tools for publishers, brands, agencies and adtech in the digital advertising supply chain.

The tools from the DAA, an independent not-for-profit organization for digital advertising privacy practices, will introduce CCPA opt-out instruments, which will provide users with cross-industry control over the ways in which their personal information is being shared and sold. 

“The digital advertising ecosystem is incredibly complicated and interconnected, so we need tools that work both for individual companies and across the supply chain,” said Michael Signorelli, Partner Venable LLP and counsel to the DAA, in a press release. “Today we’re outlining the roadmap for our approach, so companies can begin taking the internal steps necessary to adapt their systems for rapid implementation with well understood and deployed technologies. Over the next few weeks, we will quickly roll out the tools, guidelines, and technological specifications needed for full adoption.”

CCPA Opt-Out Tools will be available in English and Spanish via desktop browsers, mobile web browsers and a mobile app, according to the release by DAA. The tools will include the following elements:

  • A text link and new green icon for publishers to display on their web and app-based digital properties. 
  • The text link and icon, which will take users to a publisher-hosted notice that will provide user information and control. 
  • An option to opt-out of the sale of customer personal information by any or all of the participating companies in the new DAA tools, including third parties collecting and selling personal information through the publisher’s site or app. 

It is important to note that the DAA’s tools are mainly consumer-centric and are built to provide the ability for consumers to opt-out of the sale of personal information by third-party businesses. It is publishers’ job to find their own technical instruments to meet their requirements under the DAA’s guidelines and the CCPA law, the DAA stated in the press release.

“These tools create a simple and recognizable mechanism for consumers to express their opt-out rights under the CCPA for the sale of data collected not only on any individual site, but also across sites served by third parties in the digital ecosystem that participate in the DAA tool. The tools also provide a timely implementation path for companies based on existing technologies and proven models,” said Lou Mastria, executive director of the DAA.

Why The Beauty Industry Is At The Forefront Of Experiential Marketing

The global beauty market is predicted to grow to $750 billion by 2024, but not without a lift from experiential marketing. Be it in the form of virtual reality (VR) makeup try-on apps, influencer-led trips across the globe or striking pop-ups—beauty brands rule the queendom that is immersive marketing. Beauty brands are also taking advantage of the added pressure younger audiences feel to maintain a certain standard of appearance or present a curated lifestyle on social media. Here we’re exploring what fuels the beauty sector’s vigorous experiential marketing efforts and which brands are doing a beautiful job of engaging consumers.

Pop-ups takeover malls and museums 

Brick-and-mortar brands and direct-to-consumer (DTC) beauty brands alike are staunch advocates of the pop-up strategy. Last month, to celebrate the first-ever reformulation of its 10-year-old Advanced Génifique Serum, Lancôme debuted an experiential pop-up in Hong Kong’s duty-free shopping center called T Galleria by DFS. The “Microbiome Hub,” was meant to educate consumers on the benefits of microbiome science in an environment that married physical and digital—phygital. To start, guests were invited to test out the serum’s new formula and play with an interactive digital table. What pop-up would be complete without a photo booth? Lancôme cleverly displayed visitors’ photos on the eight-foot-high life-size LED-lit bottle of Advanced Génifique. Adding personalized touches to each guest’s experience was the engraving services offered to anyone who purchased the serum, which has sold over 25 million bottles worldwide since its launch.

Taking pop-ups to the next level, skincare brand Murad launched an experiential activation, “The Wellness Vault” this past summer to offer visitors a one-on-one skin consultation with the founder Dr. Murad himself. Additional vault perks included meditative sound baths, mini facials and an Instagrammable selfie wall. The pop-up, which was meant to celebrate Murad’s 30th anniversary, formed a tour, which debuted in Los Angeles, San Francisco and lastly, San Diego.

This month, the CEO of beauty research company Poshly Inc., Doreen Bloch, took the pop-up concept to another level when she debuted the Makeup Museum, the first museum in the US that brings the history of beauty to life through large-scale exhibits, events and interactive and shoppable programming. The flagship opening will begin with an immersive exhibit called, “Pink Jungle: 1950’s Makeup In America,” which explores entrepreneurs, icons and artifacts of the decade. Founding sponsors of the exhibition include Erno Lazlo and Alcone Company. Tickets to the exhibit will go on sale in March 2020.

Authenticity is key

“One of the key challenges facing beauty brands in experiential marketing is engaging in a truly authentic way that is free of gimmicks. It is so important for brands to not simply place their logo on a step-and-repeat backdrop for a quick photo opp, but rather, to really understand their audience and the story they are trying to tell through an experience. The right balance of product-led immersion experiences with vivid storytelling is what truly resonates with consumers and helps the brand to develop an ongoing relationship with them,” executive director and co-founder of the Makeup Museum, Bloch told AList

Beauty brands go on holiday

Beyond pop-ups, if there’s one strategy that beauty brands have the firmest grasp on, it’s experiential vacations that strengthen the connection between brand and consumer on a deeper level. This month, e.l.f. Cosmetics’ annual “Beautyscape” took place in Nassau, Bahamas. The event matches beauty industry professionals with fans of the brand looking to grow professionally. But not just anyone can attend. Consumers must apply for a chance to escape, and this year’s four-day Beautyscape received over 1,400 submissions. Leveraging its grassroots digital engagement strategy, e.l.f. selected finalists who were then challenged to work in teams to create a tropical-inspired collection with help from e.l.f. mentors. Members of the winning team received a $10,000 cash prize, as well as the opportunity to create their own palette with the e.l.f., set to launch in summer 2020.

Makeup tries on new VR technology

Beauty brands are also among the earliest adopters of VR and augmented reality (AR) technology. Smashbox was the first beauty company to test eye-tracking technology that would identify eye movement patterns to determine whether or not a consumer was reacting positively to a makeup product as they tried the product on. The company has seen a 27 percent increase in overall conversions since implementing the feature. 

As part of its revamp of customer experience, Sally Beauty recently expanded its ColorView artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the Sally Beauty app and kiosks in 500 Sally Beauty stores nationwide. The app lets shoppers virtually try on hair color and makeup before purchasing. If that’s not enough to produce a confident shopping experience, when a customer tries a product using the app, it’s automatically added to her shopping list with options to “add to cart” or “save for later.” The app is available in both iOS and Android. 

Similarly, L’Oréal’s Modiface app uses AI-powered skin diagnostic technology that provides treatment advice based on customers’ uploaded selfies.

Experiential marketing leaves a lasting impact and yields user-generated content (UGC), but to sustain brand awareness, beauty brands leverage YouTube influencer marketing. According to research from Pixability, makeup tutorials accounted for 68.5 percent of the views accounted for the top 200 beauty videos. Speaking of videos, YouTube’s six-second bumper ads have become significant in beauty brands’ growth. Clinique, for instance, replaced traditional ads for bumper ads and has since seen a 70 percent increase in ad recall, and a 26 percent rise in product awareness. Thirty-two percent of Gen Z and millennials say that without YouTube tutorials, their final look wouldn’t be nearly as good.

This summer, Google introduced an AR feature that allows users to see what they’d look like wearing the product being discussed by the influencer in the tutorial. During its testing, YouTube found that 30 percent of users activated the AR experience, and spent an average of 80 seconds trying on virtual lipstick.

“The very essence of makeup is meant to be an experience. Whether it be through color, transformation, expression, or downright playfulness…done in a rushed minute or an indulgent hour, the usage of makeup is immersive and powerful. In order for a brand to introduce something new or even breathe life into an existing product, it is key to show, rather than tell, what kind of unique, individualized experience can be expected,” notes Caitlin Collins, content director and co-founder of the Makeup Museum.

Direct Mail Isn’t Dead, Instead, It’s Boosting Multichannel Campaigns

Today’s reliance on digital marketing has left a once-popular channel largely forgotten: direct mail. However, contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t dead. Instead, recent data suggest it’s a powerful tool to reach target audiences with personalized messages. 

In a new survey from PFL, “2019 Multichannel Marketing Research Report: Direct Mail in the Digital Age,” 83 percent of marketers reported good or very good return on investment (ROI) when direct mail was fully integrated into their multichannel campaign mix. Here we’re examining how direct mail positively impacts ROI, how brands have successfully used it and how consumers perceive it.

The role of direct mail in today’s multichannel campaigns to produce higher ROI shouldn’t be underestimated. Over half of the PFL respondents reported that ROI delivers a moderate to major improvement in overall campaign performance. That figure jumps to 89 percent when direct mail that is highly personalized and integrated into the channel mix is involved.

The response rate for direct mail is equally impressive. Direct mail sent to houses saw a 5.3 percent response rate, and for prospect lists, the rate was 2.9 percent. Comparatively, the response rate for email is a meager 0.6 percent. In 2016, direct mail’s customer response rate increased by 43 percent, and its prospect response rate increased by 190 percent compared to 2015. 

You’re probably wondering how direct mail measures up to social media and email in terms of boosting. Surprisingly, paid search and online display pale by comparison to direct mail for median ROI. Direct mail has a median ROI of 29 percent, putting it third behind email (124 percent) and social media (30 percent). Third place may not sound impressive, but when you consider median ROI was 23 percent for paid search and 16 percent for online display, respectively, it’s easy to see why direct mail is underutilized. 

It’s important to note that brands currently favor certain forms of direct mail over others. The majority of marketers are sending postcards (55 percent) and letters (52 percent), but most agree that these forms of direct mail fall short when it comes to demonstrating brand value. The third most popular form of direct mail—dimensional mail—is the most preferred. Today, 42 percent of marketers send this type of physical mail with 35 percent or marketers saying it does “very well” at representing their brand (versus 17 percent for postcards and 19 percent for a letter).

The reasons for why direct mail can help brands stand out are many. First, given its tangibility, direct mail feels more interactive than an email or a digital video. When the right form of direct mail is used, it can also spark an emotional response on some level, making it more memorable. 

An added benefit direct mail offers is creativity. For example, for its holiday campaign, a Utah-based marketing firm mailed out a card and a $20 bill to encourage recipients to put it towards their preferred charity. When they scanned the card’s code on the back, they were directed to a YouTube video explaining the initiative as well as a hashtag to use when posting about it on their social media.

Yet the greatest opportunity direct mail presents for marketers is less competition in the mailbox. PFL’s findings show that most marketers leverage three or four channels in a multichannel campaign, but only 56 percent are typically using direct mail. Despite this, 78 percent ranked integrated, branded, personalized direct mail as the second most effective channel for reaching their target audience. Personalized direct mail came in at a close second next to events (83 percent).

CMO Council’s study, “Critical Channels of Choice,” confirms that consumers have positive feelings toward direct mail. One out of every three consumers surveyed said they expect direct mail to be part of their ideal communications mix. 

Perhaps that’s why Mailchimp decided to try its hand at tangible mail. A few months ago, it introduced a feature letting users send printed postcards to potential customers. Users can customize postcards via the same email-style automation features currently offered for email services. Before clicking “send,” companies have the option of sending it to potential customers in the US in addition to 26 other countries. On Mailchimp’s decision to integrate the postcard feature, the company’s VP of product management, John Foreman said, “In interviewing customers, we noticed they still do a lot of print marketing, they still do a lot of direct mail.”

The postcard feature doesn’t come with the same click-and-open data that come with email or web ads, but users can track postcards online through the US Postal Service and note when recipients use coupon codes included on postcards at online stores linked to Mailchimp.

To get the most out of a direct mail initiative, brands should determine their desired target audience. Just as important is setting a call-to-action, be it in the form of encouraging the recipient to use a discount code, sign up for a newsletter or take a survey.

JOANN Handcrafting Brand Turns To AI For Copywriting

America’s go-to hub for handcrafting has called on computers to ramp up its email marketing efforts. JOANN’s tech of choice? Artificial intelligence-powered copywriting.

Building on its efforts to digitally transform the brand, craft and fabrics store JOANN used AI to enhance customer engagement. The initiative resulted in 10 percent average uplifts in its campaigns, according to AI marketing company Phrasee.

To refocus on the JOANN customer, the 76-year-old company began leveraging more data to improve the performance of its email marketing. Historically, the company promoted discounts in email subject lines, but failed to test an array of techniques to improve email opens.

After partnering with Phrasee’s AI-enabled copywriting to enrich its general promotional emails, JOANN saw a 26 percent average click uplift and generated millions of dollars in incremental revenue, according to the company. The crafting giant learned that using diverse language — not high-urgency language — is critical for maximizing email engagement. 

“From a customer standpoint, don’t focus on the offer so much, focus on the engagement and that’s where the ah-ha moment for us came from,” said Lee Washington II, CRM and loyalty strategy manager at JOANN, in a release. 

Given its success with optimizing email engagement via AI, JOANN’s goal is to refine language at every customer touchpoint in the future, so that it can be “the most engaging, most enjoyable, most delightful exchange and interaction,” said digital marketing manager Gideon Toman in a release. 

The summer of 2018 marked JOANN’s 75th anniversary, a time when JOANN started a massive brand identity overhaul. First came a name change: the retailer, previously called Jo-Ann, dropped the word “Fabrics,” and now goes by JOANN. The new name is meant to position the brand as one that also sells non-fabric products, like those available at JOANN’s competitors, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. 

Then came JOANN’s acquisition of Creativebug, which the company calls “Netflix for DIY.” Subscribers of Creativebug can watch DIY tutorials from home or at a JOANN store where classes are streamed for groups. JOANN also introduced a new mobile app to help customers discover craft ideas, share completed projects and save coupons for their next visit. The brand logo got an update too—once dark green, the logo features a brighter shade of the color. Store section names got updated with quirky language, like “Bloom Room” for an area that features faux flowers. These updates are on display at JOANN’s new flagship store in Columbus, Ohio, and were introduced across JOANN’s 800 stores throughout the fall.

Why Connected TV Is The Most Appealing Route To Marketers Today

US ad spend for connected television (CTV)—television programming that’s streamed through an internet-connected device—will grow 37.6 percent this year to reach $6.94 billion. Coupled with CTV ad spend’s current strong performance and the prediction that it will surpass $10 billion by 2021, it’s clear that online interactive media is critical to marketing strategies.

CTV usage in the US will grow 5.3 percent to reach 195.1 million viewers of all ages by the end of this year, and surpass 200 million in 2020. Marketers are therefore leveraging CTV marketing to reach audiences that don’t watch live television. Especially for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, CTV provides an opportunity to increase reach and brand awareness among younger audiences.

CTV includes Roku devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles as well as video content streamed on a tablet, iPhone or desktop. The CTV umbrella also includes over-the-top (OTT) content, which refers to network provider extensions like Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu, YouTube TV and DirecTV Now. eMarketer reported that in terms of ad revenues, leaders in the CTV market are YouTube, Hulu and Roku.

Users of the aforementioned CTV platforms are usually cord-cutters—a group that cancels or dramatically reduces their subscriptions to multichannel television subscription services for cable or satellite. Some TV ad buyers are willing to pay a premium to reach these users, who are otherwise difficult to reach via traditional TV ads. In fact, a study found that marketers have a better chance of getting their ads seen by CTV users because ads on CTV were considered “less annoying” than those on traditional TV. Half of the study’s respondents who view content on apps like Hulu are willing to sit through video ads to continue to watch shows. This gives CTV a huge leg up over traditional TV viewers.  

CTV audiences’ acceptance of unskippable ads is driving a shift to longer ad lengths. In a recent study, half of the respondents agreed that watching ads is a fair value exchange for low-cost content. 30-second ads displaced 15-second spots as the most common ad length in Q4 2018. The trend has continued as 30-second ads accounted for 69 percent of all ads in Q1 2019, a 20 percent increase over the prior quarter. 

CTV ad impressions are hard to ignore, too, as they currently make up about half of the total impressions, or nearly double those of mobile. Because CTV ads are unskippable, they have an unprecedented 97 percent completion rate.

Another characteristic of CTV that makes it so appealing to advertisers is that CTV ads will be seen by several people at once when viewed on a smart TV. When users watch an ad on a personal device, only the user will see the content. Smart TV owners tend to watch in the company of friends and family, which results in a reduced cost per impression for marketers. Knowing that millennials are a full 67 percent more likely to be in a CTV-only house, CTV platforms are also ramping up targeting, programmatic and attribution capabilities in order to attract buyers from the digital world.

Calling on digital signals to track users’ activity after ad exposure, CTV advertising also allows marketers to utilize cross-device mapping and see if a user who viewed a CTV ad later visited a brand’s site via another device tied to the same IP address. An individual’s ad exposure can then be tracked to a user’s activity and optimized to return on investment (ROI) actions.

In addition to the benefit of direct attribution, CTV helps marketers prevent wasting marketing budget on audiences they’re not trying to reach. CTV comprises precise audiences, allowing for granular targeting to reach high-value users. Research from Telaria found that shoppers are twice as likely to buy a product after seeing it in a CTV ad versus seeing it in the same ad on linear TV.

Despite the opportunities to advertise on CTV platforms, linear TV marketers are skeptical of how much to make CTV part of their strategy because there’s no real way to measure ad performance on CTV. Unlike traditional TV, CTV has no single, commonly accepted measurement across platforms. Adding to the caveat is the fact that CTV targeting, attribution and programmatic capabilities are significantly behind those of other leading digital ad platforms.