Microsoft Bing Evangelist Christi Olson On Accessibility, Search And Voice

During the 187th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Christi Olson, head of evangelism for Bing at Microsoft. Olson has led in-house digital marketing at teams at a number of companies for over a decade. This episode was a part of a series of interviews conducted at the Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC.

Olson, a search practitioner for 15 years, was the first full-time employee at Microsoft to manage search. She left the company to get outside experience before rejoining Microsoft in her current role.

Olson shares with us details about Bing search marketing, accessibility and the impact on SEO, voice as a search method and user interface and trust as it relates to customers. She notes, “most web developers and SEO practitioners don’t really think about accessibility first when they’re developing a site and content.”  Olson shares the importance of leveling the playing field for all people in search and discusses “why we should start thinking about it [accessibility] first and foremost and not as an after-the-fact process.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Christi’s background and journey to her current role with Bing at Microsoft. 01:12
  • Why accessibility is so critical at this moment. 02:09
  • Ranking factors and accessibility. 05:01
  • Good SEO practices to make accessibility a priority. 06:05
  • The future of voice in search. 08:00
  • What marketers should be thinking about when it comes to voice discovery. 10:22
  • The trust factor: earning customer trust for your products. 13:52 
  • Microsoft’s approach to advertising and trust. 16:10

Resources Mentioned:

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.

5 Video Trends That Will Take 2020 Marketing To New Heights

Marketers will spend $102.8 billion dollars a year on video ads by 2023, making 2020 an important year to ramp up video marketing efforts. At a time when consumers are inundated with video content across all touchpoints, creating engaging videos is a must for captivating the attention of a fragmented audience while also yielding important conversions. Ahead we’re sharing five of those trends to consider in your next video strategy meeting.

1. Video Ads on Streaming Platforms

A host of over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like Netflix and YouTube TV have become favorites of cord-cutters over the last few years with the number of cord-cutting households jumping another 19.2 percent in 2019. By 2022, nearly 25 percent of households will ditch traditional television. These platforms mirror the ad loads of traditional television, which means video marketing opportunities will only continue to grow in 2020. With the ongoing rise of YouTube influencers, too, brands will have the ability to attract younger demographics on the platform. The benefit of ads on these platforms is that they offer more targeting features and the content itself is easier and less expensive to produce.

However, while OTT accounts for about 30 percent of television viewing, ad spend is at a mere three percent, mostly due to the strong competition among brands for consumer share of time. OTT providers must deliver granular insights into where ads are being shown in order for marketers to increase their OTT budgets.

2. Mobile-First Video Content

Over half of video content is viewed on mobile, with 92 percent of mobile video viewers sharing videos with others. To reach these mobile users, marketers should consider taking a mobile-first approach to content in the new year. Instagram, for example, is exclusively on mobile which encourages marketers to create content for this type of viewing experience only. 

The challenge will be holding consumers’ attention and driving impact. Google explored ways to do this when the giant partnered with Ipsos to conduct a study involving 1,519 smartphone users aged 18-34. Ninety-eight percent of the group reported using smartphones to watch video content.

3. 360-Degree, AR/VR Videos

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360-degree videos will go far in making your video marketing efforts stand out in 2020. A study from Magna found that the majority of consumers who found 360-degree videos entertaining intend to interact with brand videos in the future. The study also found that these interactive videos, favored most by early tech adopters, saw a seven percent purchase intent increase on smartphones. To achieve optimal brand metrics with 360-degree video marketing, marketers should balance the content’s entertainment value with branding.

A number of brands have already integrated VR and AR, most notably within Snapchat. As part of its holiday campaign, Gucci sponsored an AR-enabled Snapchat portal lens that transported users to a Gucci-filled virtual beach where they could interact with the brand’s products.

Adidas hosted a gamified AR experience at its flagship store in Paris. Using their Adidas app, in-store shoppers were able to point their cameras at digital displays. What appeared was a virtual ocean in which a whale swam around and collected ocean debris. Then the experience showed viewers how the brand converts plastic into shoes.

4. Shoppable Videos

It’s been shown that consumers retain 95 percent of a message relayed in video compared to 10 percent when reading it via text, making shoppable videos a necessity for brands to support the consumer journey and reach their ecommerce goals. Engaging with creative to create ads in shoppable videos, then, will be another sweet spot for marketers in 2020.

Examples of effective shoppable content includes YouTube’s “TrueView,” campaign which allows marketers to connect viewers directly to their products and provide information that brings them closer to making a purchase. Similarly, Instagram launched shoppable video posts in 2018 for business profiles, giving users the option of shopping directly from the post or viewing shoppable items in the designated “Shop” button.

TikTok confirmed this year that it’s testing shoppable video posts, making it possible for influencers on the platform to link social commerce URLs within their posts. With the rapid growth of TikTok, this could be a strategic and lucrative way to reach Gen Z.

5. Data-Driven Videos

Nearly half of consumers say they want videos to reflect the products and services relevant to their specific interests or needs when it comes to informing their purchases. Personalization is by no means new to marketing, but data-driven personalized videos will be a hot topic in 2020, mostly because personalization makes brands more memorable to consumers. One way to start is to target a specific audience via Facebook custom audiences or YouTube’s custom match feature which uses Google account data for ad targeting and measurement across search and YouTube.

In addition, last year YouTube launched a skippable option for short-form branding ads called “TrueView for Reach” giving marketers the ability to use its custom intent audiences and leverage users’ search history. On the other hand, using data about which viewers skip YouTube ads could be beneficial for evaluating the success of video ads.

Web Optimization At SAP Qualtrics With Jared Gardner

During the 186th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Jared Gardner from SAP Qualtrics. Gardner has led search, conversion rate optimization, analytics and content management programs across several vertical markets. This episode was a part of a series of interviews conducted at the Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC.

At SAP Qualtrics, Gardner focuses on scaling demand generation through unpaid channels. Before SAP Qualtrics, he worked for Red Door Interactive, with clients including Charles Schwab and Century Link.

Gardner shares his journey from broadcast media to search and optimization. When he made the switch he thought, “digital marketing and the internet is not getting any smaller, so that’s gotta be an OK place to work.” SAP Qualtrics focuses on an “action every day” mentality. Jared shares the SAP Qualtrics approach for scaling search and conversion.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Jared’s background in broadcast media and journey into search and conversion optimization. 01:12
  • The role at SAP Qualtrics. 02:00
  • Scaling and creating scale at Qualtrics. 02:25 
  • Two key pieces of advice for marketers trying to drive web traffic and conversions. 03:13
  • Deciding what content to write to drive traffic. 04:53 
  • Examples of executing optimization. 05:55
  • The “in” metric for Qualtrics. 07:00
  • The future of search. 08:31
  • The future of conversion. 11:31
  • The four keys to making marketing more valuable. 11:32
  • The importance of discussions at the executive table. 13:40 
  • The current state of talent in the marketing industry. 14:40
  • How to be successful as chief marketing officer. 15:55 
  • The key to earning the right to your audience’s attention. 16:38
  • The importance of content marketing in your tool bag. 16:55

Resources Mentioned:

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.

Eli Schwartz On SEO And How To Get It Right

During the 185th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Eli Schwartz, a SEO expert and consultant with over a decade of experience. He’s led SEO and growth programs for several leading B2B and B2C Companies. This episode was a part of a series of interviews conducted at the Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC.

Schwartz has worked with clients such as Shutterstock, Blue Nile, Quora, Get Around, Mixpanel and Zen Desk to help them build and execute global SEO strategies. He previously led the SEO team at Survey Monkey, building organic search to become one of the largest growth drivers at the company.

Schwartz shares how he got into SEO by accident. He talks about how basic SEO strategies aren’t keeping up with the changes that Google is making and how “we need to think about Google as another user that can read content.” He adds, “SEO is a marketing channel and companies are wanting to have someone responsible for it, and they are wanting to have someone to grow that channel.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Eli’s background in SEO. 01:09 
  • Why basic SEO practices just aren’t working. 02:16 
  • E.A.T. and the need for writing good content.  03:33
  • The 4-step process for creating great content. 04:21 
  • The amazing stats around organic search. 06:09
  • Examples of people “getting it right.” 07:14
  • Programmatic SEO: the key to knocking it out with SEO. 08:58
  • How SEO fits into the marketing mix. 09:40
  • The future of AI in search. 11:20
  • The four keys to making marketing more valuable. 11:32
  • The importance of discussions at the executive table. 13:40 
  • The current state of talent in the marketing industry. 14:40
  • How to be successful as chief marketing officer. 15:55 
  • The key to earning the right to your audience’s attention. 16:38
  • The importance of content marketing in your tool bag. 16:55

Resources Mentioned:

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.

The Best Campaigns Of 2019

2019 has been another year of rapid change for the marketing community. The last twelve months have seen an industry in flux, wrestling with seismic changes in technology and consumer behavior. However, many brands have managed to pull off some spectacular wins.

We’ve chosen five campaigns that best captures the state of marketing in 2019. While all mix technological adeptness and killer strategic insights, it’s striking that all retain an appreciation of the fundamentals of marketing. Even in febrile times like this, it goes to show that a focus on brand, positive perception and the role innovation remains the surest path to success.

Greggs Goes Vegan

What happened? Veganism and convenience pastry aren’t natural bedfellows but in January this year British high street bakery Greggs hit marketing gold by launching a new line of vegan sausage rolls. Challenging the perception of the brand as a familiar, if cheap staple for time-strapped office workers, a smart, reactive social campaign deftly judo-flipped a Piers Morgan led backlash and drove a significant uplift for the company.

Why it mattered: It’s easy to be caught up by the innovation of all this, but the real impact of Greggs’ move becomes apparent when you climb the ladder and take a strategic overview. 

Since the appointment of CEO Roger Whiteside in 2013, the chain has been attempting to reinvent itself from a take-home bakery to a sit-down eatery, competing with the likes of Starbucks and McDonalds. However, this move has been hampered by its reputation among health-conscious urbanites. By plugging into the growing public trend towards veganism, the company has built a relationship with a demographic that usually writes them off, while the loud spat with establishment commentators has stoked up love for the underdog brand.

What did we learn from it? Perception is the metric that trumps all others. By finding a way to play an authentic part in an ongoing debate, the vegan sausage roll has been a well-spring of positive buzz for Greggs. According to YouGov, the campaign scored an average positive rating of 65 percent among the UK buying public, in turn contributing to a 15 percent rise in profits.

Mastercard Launches Into The Supersonic

What happened? One of the big stories of 2019 has been Mastercard’s overhaul of their brand identity, but while the news focused on Michael Beirut’s decision to remove the wording from the company logo, the financial giant’s introduction of a sonic identity has been equally as revolutionary.

Why it mattered: As Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar told panelists in Las Vegas earlier in the year “virtual real estate is shrinking—you need to optimize your brand presence and impact.” The last twelve months have continued to mark the rise of mobile and its associated formats of music streaming and podcasting gather even more momentum. More than ever, brands are being consumed simultaneously over multiple formats, and sonic branding is becoming another pillar in creating 360 identities that are easily recognizable in any space

What did we learn from it? Mainly that branding is increasingly retaking its position at the heart of marketing. As an audience’s fragment over a galaxy of different platforms and formats, companies need to develop robust brand identities constructed with easily recognizable cues and adapted to all circumstances.

Paddy Power Saves Soccer

What happened? Paddy Power is the master of the bait and switch. This year, the brand pulled a fast one on all of British football, first by announcing that it had garishly decided to sponsor Huddersfield Town’s new kit and then revealing it as a hoax and taking all the branding off.

Why it mattered: A gambling company sponsoring or not sponsoring a football kit might seem like the furthest you can get from brand purpose, but this campaign showed what’s possible when you tap into fan culture. Initially playing on the perceptions around the over-commercialization of sport and the increasing presence of betting firms in the game, the stunt went on to show the softer side of Paddy Power relentless ‘bad lad’ image. The move not only gave shirts back to the fans, but it also went on to highlight the role of fandom and community in football, eventually raising over £50,000 for local charities.

What did we learn from it? That brand purpose doesn’t always have to go big, but it always needs to feel authentic. Paddy Power drove success in this campaign by primarily knowing when to butt out, allowing unscripted moments to turn a social stunt into a remarkable brand-building campaign.

Taco Bell Defines The Essence Of Experiential

What happened? Another example of fast food going rogue, Taco Bell opened a 4-day pop-up hotel in Palm Springs last May. Called ‘The Bell,’ this high-class experience offered spa treatments, new menu items and even a taco-themed pool. It even led to one couple canceling a trip to Europe to spend their honeymoon immersed in Mexican-American food.

Why it mattered: Already being touted as one of the most “epic brand experiences ever,” this campaign has shown the massive logistical challenges that are needed to pull off experiential marketing properly. The parting shot of outgoing chief brand officer Marisa Thalberg, the Taco Bell hotel, is a product of years of planning and development. Over the year’s the brand has carefully tested how far it could push things with its audience and developed the right strategic partnerships to be able to pull the thing off.

What did we learn from it? Mainly, that experiential campaigns might not be for everyone. As more and more brands play in this space, brand experiences are going to become more and more outrageous to capture eyeballs. Spectacular executions usually require spectacular budgets—making this a tactic that only really works well for companies with deep pockets.

Aviation Gin Is The Ultimate Underdog

What happened? Going from a relatively unknown gin brand to one of the hottest new spirits on the planet, Oregon-based gin makers Aviation has spent the year running a digital campaign that achieved almost unseen levels of fan engagement.

Why it mattered: The ultimate example of what a challenger brand should look like in 2019, Aviation Gin’s marketing has been simple but effective. With a strategy that leans heavily on relatively simple digital activations and the pulling power of their celebrity co-owner Ryan Reynolds, their campaign managed to activate an owned fanbase while simultaneously educating and drawing in new customers.

What did we learn from it? That’s it’s still possible to do effective marketing on a tight budget. While having a mega-celebrity has definitely helped Aviation Gin, it’s the creation of videos with a clear sense of brand that has helped develop a devoted fanbase.

5 Social Media Marketing Trends To Adopt In 2020

As we enter 2020, social media will remain a critical channel for driving brand awareness and generating sales. To see the best return on investment (ROI), however, brands will have to be early adopters of a few social media marketing trends we’re shining a light on here. Think TikTok influencers, augmented reality (AR) social commerce and video storytelling.

1. The Rise of the TikTok Influencer

This year, TikTok outperformed all social media platforms. Recent data from Sensor Tower showed that TikTok hit 1.5 billion downloads across iOS and Android. Users in India accounted for 31 percent of the app’s downloads, followed by 11.5 percent in China and 8.2 percent in the US. TikTok even outranked Instagram and Facebook, which indicates that Gen Z have found a new playground. This has opened the door to a new generation of influencers on the nascent platform. Though consider this an early adopter phase, as TikTok’s ad platform is still being developed.

“Similar to those who were on Vine, TikTok stars are creative and collaborate to create short-form video content. With TikTok, influencers can become popular instantly with their integration of challenges. The most popular example to date is the success of Lil Nas X and Old Town Road. Expect to see more of this especially as more brands are embracing TikTok as a platform to engage users,” freelance marketing consultant and the author of “Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat For Business,” Kate Talbot tells us.

2. Purpose-Driven Content

Brands hyper-focused on targeting younger audiences will find they need to take a stand on important social issues in marketing as well as create purpose-driven social content and activations. 

A survey by Crowd DNA found that 68 percent of Gen Z consumers expect brands to contribute to society, and 61 percent are willing to pay more for products that are ethically produced.

“In 2020 we’ll see a lot more political awareness in social media. With the election, no matter the platform, people will be using social media to highlight issues in the world. We saw this year, many Gen Z’ers use TikTok to bring awareness in creative ways to highlight the water crisis in Flint Michigan or global climate change. However, all the social platforms will be on top of their game to combat fake news and any interference. When you scroll down your feed, it’ll be a mixture of fun memes intertwined with political jokes and messages,” Talbot explains.

“Woke culture” in beauty and fashion is also on the rise, and as Talbot notes, brands like Victoria’s Secret that haven’t shifted their mindset are already on their way out. Companies that think about their consumer first, and how they fit into the diverse beauty narrative will emerge and grow.

3. Video Storytelling

Marketers who use video, on average, grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users, and social media is arguably the fastest way to utilize this advantage. PR and influencer marketing strategist working with technology, fashion and beauty brands, Jocelyn Johnson believes video in various forms will gain budget and more focus. From short-form ephemeral videos for Instagram Stories and Snapchat to longer format YouTube videos, she notes, all forms will continue to grow as platforms such as Snapchat extend the length of ads from six seconds up to three minutes. A Cisco study echoes Johnson’s prediction as it found that by 2022, 82 percent of all online content will be video content.

According to Talbot, three areas of video in social media marketing that have the potential to grow in 2020 are: IGTV, LinkedIn Live and Snapchat Discover. Instagram gives IGTV a lot of visibility on the app, and the platform wants the feature to grow with a focus on long-form video storytelling. This is Instagram’s way of competing with YouTube and they’re going all in. 

Talbot says that LinkedIn has become a strong social media network in the past few years, giving creators a place to shine. Although only a small amount of creators have access to the Live feature, everyone in their network gets a notification, making it a valuable tool. Many creators have their own shows that speak to their audiences’ business needs and are interactive in real-time. 

Discover on Snapchat is a prime example of brands and media working together on social media to create digestible content and entertainment for the next generation consumers, Talbot says. Snapchat doubling down on this feature and finding more influencers and celebrities to be part of the program will be influential for the future of branded content on social media. 

The bottom line: Video wins across all of the algorithms. For every channel, video is a huge driver of impressions. Quick videos that include subtitles are a great way to educate, inspire and inform your audience.

4. Nano-Influencers

Due to the rising costs associated with influencer fraud, marketers will have more reason to leverage smaller, more influential figures such as nano-influencers, those with 10,000 or less followers. A recent study found that these alternatives to mega influencers have an engagement rate of 7.2 percent on Instagram compared to influencers with over 10,000 followers who have just a 1.1 percent engagement rate on Instagram.

On the disappearance of likes and organic influencers, Talbot says, “There will be a shift into having real influencers, no bots or fake followers, that share insights that can make an impact on a company. Instagram will still lead the pack for influencer marketing. With disappearing likes, there will be a shift where more content will be created. Because users can still see their likes and influencers can work with agencies and platforms to share data, Instagram influencer marketing will rise, and as predicted last year, nano-influencers will continue to hold power. Us regulars will have access to nano-influencer influencer platforms like Heartbeat and RewardStyle where we can share out favorite products to our niche audiences.”

5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Social Commerce

AR-enabled ads will generate nearly $13 billion dollars a year by 2022, and the number of global mobile AR users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2023. Even more marketers then will call on AR and VR to enhance their in-app shopping experiences.

“Marketers and brands will get creative with applications of technology such as AR. The beauty category has seen lots of makeup try-ons, but brands such as Dior have had a lot of fun with it. In the spring, the brand launched a Kaleidoscope filter to support its spring collection, and now they’ve gone to the next level with the launch of the 2020 Holiday Makeup with an Instagram face filter that emanates gemstones and fireworks from the Instagram user’s face,” Johnson says.

In October, YouTube globally launched an AR-enabled beauty try-on feature in beta via its masthead and discovery video ads. NARS was one of the first brands to incorporate the AR feature, and in doing so, has reached over 20 million people in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

Ahead of Black Friday this year, Kohl’s also debuted its first AR experience on Snapchat, a virtual store where users could purchase real products via shoppable links. The virtual store was “open” for a limited time, from November 7-10.

In March, Instagram announced that users would be able to shop and check out within the app. Now the platform is testing an AR try-on shopping feature with select brands such as Ray-Ban and MAC Cosmetics.

Ayzenberg Group, Spotify Launch Holiday Initiative Supporting Women In Tech

(Editor’s note: AList is published by

While advancements in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) diversity is growing, gender equality in the field is stagnant. Averaged across regions, women accounted for less than a third of those employed in scientific research and development across the world in 2015. Women make up half of the total US college-education workforce but account for only 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce.

To celebrate and amplify the voices that still need to be heard in STEM, Ayzenberg Group, a full-service advertising agency that is part of, partnered with Spotify to launch Grooves for Good (G4G), a platform where engagement equals impact. That’s based on the acknowledgment that a better representation of women in STEM begins with education.

Helping launch the initiative, the first “Box Set” is a compilation of holiday playlists for every occasion of the season, including “martini & mistletoe,” “wrap music” and “crying in my eggnog.” G4G fuses creativity and technology for a collaboration that has the power to pay it forward. All season long, each time a user follows a playlist, it will trigger a donation to Girls Who Code. 

“We partner with She Can STEM throughout the year as we share their passion for championing diversity in STEM professions. Girls Who Code is one of their organizations, and so in addition to raising awareness of current diversity gaps, we’re able to make a donation to sponsor participants of their Summer Immersion Program,” said Danielle Simon, VP, head of strategy and marketing science at Ayzenberg Group.

In August, Girls Who Code surveyed over 1,000 college-aged women within its network and found that nearly half have either had a negative experience applying for a job in tech or know a woman who has. In the US today, women account for less than 20 percent of all graduates with computer science degrees and less than 25 percent of the computing workforce. That’s why in September, Girls Who Code announced it has plans to expand to 10,000 clubs across the US, nearly doubling its existing clubs presence. 

“When we reached out to Spotify to talk to them about setting up the platform, we learned that we were the first company or brand to make playlist engagement equal an action or donation. That’s when we realized that Grooves for Good had the potential to engage a much larger community and become a CSR fundraising platform,” Simon added.

Ayzenberg Group is treating the initial launch of G4G as a soft beta while they optimize the user experience, tweak how to best share playlists and provide the community turnkey ways to share. In parallel, Ayzenberg Group is reaching out to influencers, artists, brands and organizations with a shared passion for the mission.

University Of Phoenix Names Steven Gross Chief Marketing Officer

This week in marketing careers, University of Phoenix has named a new chief marketing officer, Ulta promotes four executives leading to the appointment of a new CMO, Bed Bath & Beyond relieves six members of its c-suite from their posts, jewelry maker Pandora names ex-Bulgari marketing VP Carla Liuni as their new chief marketing officer and Coca-Cola is bringing back its global CMO role two years after the beverage giant nixed the position.

University Of Phoenix Interim CMO Given Permanent Role

Steven Gross has been elevated from his position as interim CMO to chief marketing officer at the University of Phoenix, according to a press release from the for-profit university.

Gross is tasked with focusing on “expanding performance marketing efforts, introducing new analytics platforms and dashboards.” He will also oversee agencies working with the university in a marketing and PR capacity.

Gross’ previous roles including serving as CEO of Calvert Education, SVP of global marketing for Pearson and in marketing leadership roles at LexisNexis and PepsiCo.

Ulta Beauty Reog Leads To New Marketing Appointments

Ulta Beauty announced organizational leadership changes late Tuesday leading to the appointment of a new chief marketing officer, an effort to “strategically position the beauty retailer for continued long-term growth and market share capture.”

Dave Kimbell, who previously served multiple roles as Ulta’s president, chief marketing and merchandising officer, will continue to serve as president and oversee the “merchandising, marketing, digital functions and the corporate strategy team.”

Shelley Haus, who has been with the company for 5 years last month, has been promoted from SVP of brand marketing to chief marketing officer, where she is tasked with leading “all brand building and consumer initiatives.”

Bed Bath & Beyond Announces Massive Executive Overhaul

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton is beginning a massive overhaul of the home goods retailer’s executive leadership, starting with the exit of six members of its c-suite. The vacated roles include the company’s chief merchandising officer, chief marketing officer and chief digital officer.

CNN reports today that the company’s chief financial officer is the “only remaining executive officer at Bed Bath & Beyond other than Tritton,” who began on November 4 and is seeking “fresh perspectives from new, innovative leaders of change,” according to a statement on the shuffle.

Jewelry Maker Pandora Names Carla Liuni CMO

Fashion United reports that Carla Liuni has been tapped as chief marketing officer by jewelry manufacturer Pandora. Liuni previously served as VP of global marketing and communication at Bulgari and will replace interim CMO Jesper Damsgaard, who will be moving to a new role with the company as part of a March 2020 transition.

Liuni will report to Pandora chief executive Alexander Lacik, who noted that the appointment comes as part of a larger marketing initiative: “As part of our turnaround program, we are significantly stepping up our marketing investments and have just relaunched our brand to improve relevance for consumers,” he said.

Coca-Cola Brings Back Global CMO Role

Coca-Cola resurrects the global chief marketing officer position amid the retirement of SVP and chief growth officer Francisco Crespo, The Drum reports

Crespo assumed control of global marketing and corporate strategy in 2017, leading to a domino-effect of reorgs at other companies taking lead from Coca-Cola’s marketing leadership restructure.

To fill the void left by Crespo’s departure, Manolo Arroyo, the president of Coca-Cola’s Asia Pacific business, will split his time between his current position and new duties in the role of CMO as part of a new integrated global structure for 2020.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, December 20. 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 out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

The Challenging Thing About Mentorship Is All Of It

Originally published at AW360 by Estie Wassner.

Article takeaways:

  • Mentorship isn’t a walk in the park
  • Some steps to finding a mentor
  • No one reached their fullest potential in a vacuum

The word “mentorship” induces yawns, cringes and raised eyebrows, indicating that it may not be the thing we’d all rather dive into. It is the esoteric cherry-on-the-cake achievement for extroverted juniors and networking gold medallists, mentoring is something many would do, if they truly understood the long-term benefits.

My college peers and professors sprinkled in lukewarm encouragement to, ‘find a mentor’ when I graduated, but I didn’t quite know where to start. Was I supposed to march up to the author I stalk on Instagram after a high-powered luncheon and let her know that I bought her exact pair of Sam Edelman flats because it made her look like a powerful ballet dancer? Ask her to coffee? Mojitos? Do I write a 12-page manifesto on why she should mentor me?

Back then, mentorship was a word that symbolized the meaningful, professional relationships that help form and inform a career. It was about taking real, measured efforts to stay connected with those who had been floating in the treacherous waters of advertising long before us, and those entering after us. It was about forming friendships with people who had a unique perspective unlike our own; shaped by their personal decisions, failures, and successes.

As fate would have it, the minute my LinkedIn announced that I had graduated and snagged a coveted position at a data-driven New York City advertising agency, a coffee date invite from a college student hit my inbox. My heart did a happy dance. Real people wanted my advice! And I could give it!

Here’s the thing; mentorship is scary, in the same way, any other relationship is scary – we don’t want to come off needy, naive or socially inappropriate. And, mentor relationships take work, time and commitment – valuable resources we have already depleted. Like all relationships, mentorship is a hefty investment for all involved. A give and take.

So why do it?

Recently I participated in a panel discussion and coined the phrase, “radical mentorship” – a concept by which you eradicate all fear and doubt surrounding mentorship and dive straight into finding the mentor/mentee networks that will enrich your entire career journey.

First things first, radical mentorship is for everyone. Introvert, extrovert, ISFJ, ENTP, intern, CEO – everyone should be participating, and in their own way. Not everyone is a fan of attending speed-networking sessions, mumbling pleasantries in between crackers and lining their pockets with crafty business cards. You may meet your mentor/ee at the mandatory company fire drill or the boring reception buffet at your cousin’s wedding. Since they are anyone, you can meet them anywhere.

Make the first move. That means, think about how to bring value to the relationship. Really enamored with an executive’s opinionated LinkedIn post? Share that ASAP. Attended a dynamic panel with talented people you admire? Approach them afterward to say thank you. Don’t know what to say? Be genuine about it and keep it short. Radical authenticity is a good step towards radical mentorship.

Be yourself. Chemistry matters. You want to be learning from and/or teaching people who have similar interests. If your pithy, perfect emails are hitting a wall – don’t take it personally. Maybe that person is overwhelmed with their inbox and truly unavailable to invest in a new connection right now. That is OK. That email headline was still a Cannes-worthy gem.

Stay humble and pay it forward. Recognize that no matter how far up the ladder you climb, there will always be a younger, faster, version of you waiting to usurp your position. I say that with less doomsday prediction, and more precautionary realism. Be kind and generous. We can all learn something from everyone. You’d be surprised at how other people’s thoughts can change your perspective.

Do the things. Get on LinkedIn. Join that networking non-profit. Set up that early AM coffee. Hold out your hand. Tweet a compliment. Make it to that fundraiser. Write a congratulatory email. Action has the power to change the course of a relationship. Rather than mope about your lack of network, do something to change it.

And most importantly, realize this; no one reached their fullest potential in a vacuum. We are all a part of something greater than ourselves, connected by our passions, fears, aspirations and Mad Men dreams. In a fast-paced, whirlwind industry that is sometimes cruel in its nature, building a strong network of mentors and mentees confident enough to support and inspire each other is critical. Just go for it. How radical would that be?

Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Partner With Snapchat Scan

McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are the first brands to partner with Snapchat on an initiative powered by its augmented reality (AR) utility platform, Scan, which provides users with AR lenses and content that changes depending on which products they scan and unlock. 

Now, users in the US with Scan activated on their iOS devices can unlock access to three immersive Coca-Cola AR lenses in their lens carousel when they scan the original Coca-Cola logo on products like Coca-Cola and Coke Zero cans. Users can retrieve three immersive McDonald’s lenses as well upon scanning French fry boxes, food trays and burger wrappers.

Leveraging Snapchat’s Scan feature will help Coca-Cola and McDonald’s extend their digital content into the physical world. And because some of the interactive lenses unlocked via Scan are promoted to Snapchatters directly through the app, the brands can also drive incremental value and engagement. 

Though McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are Scan’s first brand partners, any brand can utilize the feature by creating a marker tech lens via Snapchat’s public AR creation tool Lens Studio. Once submitted to Snapchat and approved, the lens automatically is enabled with Scan.

Snapchat introduced Scan in April at the first-ever Snap Partner Summit, where details surrounding partnerships with Photomath and Giphy were explained. Using Photomath, users could point their camera at a math problem and Photomath would solve it for them. Similarly, Giphy makes GIFs appear on a user’s screen when objects are detected and scanned using the camera. 

More brands are looking at Snapchat for ad and partnership opportunities, as in the US, Snapchat reaches nearly 75 percent of all 13 to 34-year-olds and 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds. The platform reaches more Gen Zers than Facebook or Instagram in the US, UK, France, Canada and Australia.