What We’re Reading—February 24

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of February 24th.

We Must Create New Proxies’: In The Absence Of Cookies, Advertisers Focus On Attention-Based Metrics

The ad industry is still puzzling over solutions to a future without third-party cookies as a way to prevent losing decades worth of measurement data.

Why it matters: See which tracking alternatives Google, Microsoft and others are looking to as a replacement for third-party cookies.

Is Corona Beer Facing A Brand Crisis Because Of Coronavirus?

Corona beer is getting a lift in search from the Coronavirus and #CoronaBeerVirus has over 1.5 million impressions. Even if the beer isn’t contagious, misinformation around Corona’s relation to Coronavirus is going viral.

Why it matters: “There has never been such a huge spike in searches for Corona beer in the past four years as it happened in January 2020,” due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Reports are circulating (and even cited within this Adweek piece) that 38 percent of beer-drinking consumers in America would not buy Corona now, with 16 percent of respondents confused as to whether the beer and virus are connected in any meaningful way.

Privacy Changes Are Making Mobile Advertising More Complicated

With Apple and Google already planning to nix third-party cookies, experts anticipate similar designs for the mobile app ecosystem.

Why it matters: It’s absolutely past time to give thought to how you’ll deal with attribution and measurement without tracking through third-party cookies.

50 Stats All Marketers Must Know About Gen-Z

Bookmark this one: Forbes shares a collection of stats measuring Gen-Z’s makeup, values and orientation towards products and brands.

Why it matters: Gen-Z is uniquely poised, due to the generation’s size and purchasing power, to greatly impact marketing in the coming years. How do you plan to reach them?

Coronavirus Concerns Hit Fashion’s Workplaces
Business of Fashion

Western fashion brands are taking steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus with workplace provisions and travel restrictions, in light of the recent public health emergency — one that has absolutely no relation to Corona beer.

Why it matters: Taking simple precautions can save lives and set a unified recovery plan for businesses that may become impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Brands Are Probably Paying Multiple Times For The Same Data

Disorganization is a major, yet correctable factor causing marketers to pay for the same data twice.

Why it matters: Waste not, want notespecially when it comes to your marketing dollars.

Is Silicon Valley’s Love Affair With Direct-to-Consumer Brands Over?
Business Of Fashion

Silicon Valley’s attitude toward investing in DTC brands has done a 180-degree turn.

Why it matters: “A lot of investors were looking at topline without considering how much it took to get there, but now the question is, ‘At what point will you be profitable?’ And there’s more scrutiny than ever.”

Luxury Brands Go All In On TikTok

Typically slow-to-react luxury brand marketers are quickly adopting TikTok as a marketing channel.

Why it matters: Luxury brands on TikTok “have seen the success from other platforms and know there is less risk after [being on] Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

Is Your Brand Getting The Six Best Benefits Of Working In Partnership?
The Drum

A look at survey results from over 3,000 brand partners who were asked about the benefits of working in branded partnerships.

Why it matters: “The top six benefits [marketers] see are reaching the right audience easier, better and faster, giving your brand another story, testing and learning, getting smarter, better ROI than other channels and better measurability too.”

Olympics Advertisers Hold Their Breath In Coronavirus Waiting Game
Ad Age

Despite an air of uncertainty surrounding global events in the wake of the spread of COVID-19 (and comments from senior member of the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound, concerning the cancelation), Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto tried to quash concerns that the Summer Games would be altered in a way that would affect advertisers.

Why it matters: Advertisers should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. “If this is so bad they have to call off the Olympics, trust me when I tell you we’re all going to have a whole lot more to worry about than lost impressions.”

Jif Seeks To Settle The Debate About ‘GIF’ Pronunciation
Mobile Marketer

Whether it’s with a soft “G” or hard “G,” the debate over how to pronounce “GIF” is an Internet “OG.”

Now, J.M. Smucker-owned peanut-butter brand Jif has partnered with Giphy on a digital marketing campaign tapping into cultural conversations around the debate.

Why it matters: The partnership between Jif and Giphy created modern buzz for a very old school brand by leveraging limited-edition products related to the campaign.

The Evolution Of A Chief Marketing Officer

A look at what characteristics the modern CMO embodies and how the role has evolved.

Why it matters: “As the CMO uncovers and delivers business insights, they’ll find themselves not only at the table but right next to the CEO.”

Do Shock Tactics Reek Of Brand Desperation?
Campaign Live

Creative directors, strategists and more from adland share their take on Burger King’s moldy Whopper ad and the general use of marketing with ‘shock tactics.’

Why it matters: There’s a fine line between desperation and resoundingly shocking creative work.

The Ten Tenets Of Brand Control
The Drum

The Drum shares helpful tenets for refamiliarizing yourself with the manifold aspects of brand control, including compliance for regulated industries and empowering employee unity.

Why it matters: Brand control (and its corollary, brand safety) is far more than a deck of stylistic guidelines. It doesn’t hurt that in terms of financials, brand value has “repeatedly been shown to be a direct driver of enterprise value.”

Your People Are Your Brand
The Drum

Remember these tips as you prepare to plan employee engagement efforts. Internal activation isn’t just a check-box!

Why it matters: “A brand’s employees need to be treated as a pivotal audience for any new campaign or marketing initiatives, they need to be convinced of the brand’s power, they need to be fully on board.”

Gartner Says Over 40 Percent Of Privacy Compliance Technology Will Rely On AI In The Next Three Years

Marketing Technology Insights

According to the analyst firm, over 40 percent of privacy compliance technology will rely on artificial intelligence (AI) by 2023, up from 5 percent. Privacy-driven spending on compliance is projected to rise to $8 billion worldwide through 2022.

Why it matters: According to Gartner, “More than 60 jurisdictions around the world have proposed or are drafting postmodern privacy and data protection laws.” Privacy leaders are under pressure to ensure that all personal data processed is done so in accordance with the law, which is difficult and expensive to manage without technology. 

Uber Inks Deal With Adomni To Put Ad Displays Atop Vehicles

Uber signed a deal with the out-of-home ad-tech company Adomni to introduce ad displays on top of a thousand vehicles in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix by April 1. The partnership with Adomni opens a new business unit for Uber, called Uber OOH Powered by Adomni, as well as an additional revenue stream for the ride-sharing company.

Why it matters: Jonathan Gudai, CEO, Adomni told Adweek that the goal of Uber OOH is to “unlock a new ad network and medium at the street level, in many cases with video, and have advertisers be able to reach the consumers—audiences—in a very engaging way.”

The Average Age And Tenure Of C-Suite Executives

According to the study by Korn Ferry, the average tenure of a CMO is 3.5 years, compared with 6.9 years for a CEO. Tech CMOs have the shortest average tenure among the industries examined. The average age of a CMO is 54, which ties with CFOs as the youngest among c-suite executives. 

Why it matters: “Short CMO tenure is a reflection of a lack of understanding of how powerful this role can really be in terms of driving business outcomes,” said Caren Fleit, Korn Ferry leader, global marketing officers practice. “This often leads to lack of clarity around tangible deliverables and also to hiring a CMO whose skills and experiences may not be aligned with business needs.”

How Much Money A YouTube Video With 100,000 Views Makes, According To Four Creators
Business Insider

YouTube’s Partner Program allows influencers to earn money through their channels by placing ads within videos. How much money a single YouTube video with 100,000 views makes from Google ads depends on the content of the video and the audience. 

Why it matters: Pay varies widely based on factors like a video’s watch time, length and viewer demographic. For example, a lifestyle and fashion YouTube creator with over 264,000 subscribers earns between $500 to $1,000 on a single video with 100,000 views. Alternately, a content creator who posts personal finance, stock and real-estate investing content earns between $1,300 and $1,500 per video.

‘Nuclear Winter’: Ad Tech Enters The Vulture Capital Era


As the market consolidates, distressed ad tech assets are being taken over for a fraction of those companies’ prior valuations, what Zeta Global CEO David Steinberg refers to as, “the nuclear winter of ad tech.”  

Why it matters: The nature of ad tech buyers is changing, a sign of a maturing sector that’s more about cost-saving and synergies rather than strategic growth.

Google Removes 600 Apps From Google Play To Reduce Ad Fraud

Mobile Marketer

Google has removed 600 apps from Google Play Store and banned them from its ad monetization platform for violating disruptive ad policy and disallowed interstitial policy.

Why it matters: Google says it has developed new technologies to protect against one form of disruptive ads on the rise called out-of-context ads, which is when malicious developers serve ads on a mobile device when the user is not actually active in their app.

Why Every Ad Tech Company Must Understand Differential Privacy

Ad Exchanger

Ad Exchanger examines the importance of ad tech companies adopting differential privacy, “a set of cryptographic properties that can be applied to machine learning algorithms in order to set a limit on how much information can be extracted from data before it’s possible to draw inferences about individuals.”

Why it matters: Beyond using differential privacy to randomize large data sets for researchers to access, ad tech companies should care about differential privacy because it provides a foundation for ads to be delivered to large audiences with similar interests without allowing personal data to leave the browser.

Through Tech And Acquisition, Spotify Lays Out Its Podcast Plan

The Drum

Outlook on Spotify’s recent acquisition of The Ringer podcast network for $141-$196 million.

Why it matters: Spotify is set to invest nearly $582 million in podcasting and introduced a tool to dynamically insert personalized ads into podcasts. The goal: to grow its output of exclusive content given it doesn’t take a cut of ad revenue from third-party shows.

Google Tops Facebook, Instagram E-Commerce Activity, Study Finds

Mobile Marketer

A new survey from Oribi found that Google’s paid search ads have a conversion rate of 2.7 percent and Google’s organic search is 2.1 percent versus Facebook’s 1.5 percent. It also found that cheaper products tend to sell better than expensive ones on Facebook and Instagram.

Why it matters: The findings suggest that brand strategies must vary by platform, with a direct sales focus for search engine optimization and paid search, and a branding and awareness focus on social channels.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 28. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Home Depot Sees Payoff From Mobile, Digital Marketing Efforts

Home Depot’s mobile marketing efforts appear to be paying off. Crediting growth to its 2019 holiday ad campaign, its mobile app downloads saw double-digit growth, according to the company’s Q4 earnings call.

CNBC reports same-store sales were up 5.2 percent, topping Wall Street’s expectations. Home Depot’s Q4 revenue fell 2.7 percent to $25.78 billion from $26.49 billion a year earlier but exceeded analyst estimates of $25.76 billion.

In December 2019, the company ran a 32-second television spot called “It’s a Good Time to Be a Doer” showing how customers can use the Home Depot app to identify unknown parts, pick up purchased items in-store via Home Depot lockers and take advantage of the company’s delivery services.

Home Depot has also stepped up its digital offerings. Around the same time the home improvement retailer launched its holiday commercial, it added a section on its website detailing its mobile app’s features.

“We believe that the front door of our store is now in the customer’s pocket, it’s on the job site, that most of our customer’s shopping experience actually starts in the digital world even if it finishes in the physical world,” Home Depot CEO Craig Minear said on the earnings call.

Home Depot’s Q4 performance reflects its continuous efforts to boost experiences across all consumer touch points especially during the holidays. In 2018, Home Depot partnered with Verizon Media for a personalized digital holiday campaign to promote its selection of holiday decorations. Home Depot became the first brand to pilot Verizon’s augmented reality (AR) ad unit and in doing so, allowed consumers to visually bring to life their Christmas tree and all of its decorations from their mobile phones. Users spent an average of over two minutes interacting with the AR ad and the campaign received a 12.5 percent click-through rate (CTR) from the ad to the Home Depot landing page.

“It’s interesting because we’re seeing that people are using their mobile and in-app functionality even when they’re within our stores. So, even if they’re in our physical environment, they’re still using our mobile app. This demonstrates the multichannel shopping experience that we’re living in today. In addition to letting shoppers check store product availability via our site or mobile app, we’re also incorporating voice and visual search into our efforts,” Home Depot senior director of marketing Dawn Erksa told eMarketer in September 2018. 

From a feature standpoint, Erksa added, voice and visual search are generating the greatest adoption.

Home Depot announced plans to hire 80,000 associates this spring to prepare for its busiest season of the year, Nasdaq reports.

TikTok To Reach 52.5 Million Users In US By 2021

This week in social media news, eMarketer reports TikTok will reach 52.2 US followers by 2021 and LinkedIn has announced it’s working on a stories feature for all users and college students, respectively.

TikTok To Surpass 50 Million Users In US By 2021

eMarketer reports that TikTok will reach 52.2 million users by 2021.

Why it matters: TikTok’s user penetration is the lowest among social networks but it’s one of the few whose penetration is actually growing. Though its growth has been explosive, big players like Instagram are coming for TikTok: Instagram introduced a Boomerang looping-effect that mimics a similar feature on TikTok. However, experts warn that growth cold slow given competition from other platforms and the questions it faces on censorship and data privacy. 

The details: This year TikTok’s US audience will grow 21.9 percent to 45.4 million people and that figure will reach 52.2 million by 2021. This follows TikTok’s 97.5 percent growth in 2019, when it went from 18.8 million users in 2018 to 37.2 million users in 2019. This year 21.6 percent of US social network users will use TikTok at least once.

LinkedIn Testing Instagram-Like Stories Feature

The company said in a blog post that it’s internally testing LinkedIn Stories, to be released in the coming months, as well as “Student Voices,” stories for university students to share their campus experiences.

Why it matters: Launching stories is part of LinkedIn’s continuous attempt to appeal to GenZ and millennials. Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong recently found 10 new Instagram- and Facebook-like features LinkedIn is prototyping like GIF comments, location sharing and reaction buttons.

The details: The student-focused stories feature lets users post videos to their “Campus Playlist.” The videos disappear from the playlist after a week, but stay permanently visible in the “Recent Activity” section of their profile. Given that stories were originally meant for users to post impromptu moments that disappear after 24 hours, many students may resist adopting the tool in fear that recruiters will use the material to inform hiring decisions.

Facebook Launches Creator Studio Mobile App 

The Creator Studio app is an extension of Facebook’s insights dashboard, which launched globally in August 2018 and helps publishers and influencers manage their content and track performance.

Why it matters: The app lets users analyze page and post-level insights and distribution metrics to inform their strategies. It also allows them to toggle between multiple pages, which could be helpful for creators who have a large following and brands that manage multiple creator pages.

The details: Now brands and creators have access to the Creator Studio on their mobile phones, allowing them to track engagement insights, edit video titles and descriptions, message followers and manage multiple pages on Facebook. The Creator Studio app is available on iOS and Android.

TikTok Holds First Summit For Black Creators

TikTok’s #MakeBlackHistory Summit brought celebrity speakers and 100 black creators together in Los Angeles for a two-day community building experience that included an intimate concert and kickoff dinner.

Why it matters: Following its explosive growth among the influencer and brand world, TikTok is now looking to call on the power of celebrity and experiential events.

The details: TikTok’s celebration of Black History Month included keynote speaker Tyra Banks and an interview between Tracee Elliss Ross and TikTok creator Drea Okeke, @dreaknowsbest. Ross, who shared details about how she branded herself, filmed her first TikTok while at the summit. Viral TikTok artist Doja Cat also performed. 

Facebook Acquires Virtual Reality Games Developer Sanzaru Games

Facebook has acquired veteran game developer Sanzaru Games, an independently operated studio known for creating virtual reality (VR) game experience.

Why it matters: Facebook has been buying up big players in VR —the Sanzaru Games acquisition comes after Facebook acquired VR game developer Beat Games in November 2019. 

The details: Sanzaru Games was the first developer to partner with Oculus in 2016, and since then has developed four games for Oculus including one of its most popular games, Asgard’s Wrath. Now the developer will continue to help Facebook create more VR game content out of its current offices in the US and Canada with support from Facebook and the Oculus Studios team. 

Twitter Rolls Out Hide Replies To Developers

Twitter is making Hide Replies available to its community of developers today, according to TechCrunch.

Why it matters: “With Hide Replies now available as a new API endpoint, developers can create tools that automatically hide disruptive tweets based on factors important to their customers.”

The details: Twitter unveiled the Hide Replies feature to users last November in a bid to reduce the impact of disruptive, toxic conversations on the platform. The unveiling was slightly controversial, as some believed it could lead to the silencing of criticism on the platform. 

For developers, participation in Twitter Developer Labs is free, but you’ll be required to sign up using an approved developer account.

Vimeo Launches ‘Vimeo Create’ To Help Marketers Create Video Content

Vimeo released a new video-editing platform for creating templatized video content, according to an official blog post from the video platform yesterday.

Why it matters: Vimeo’s new platform lets marketers efficiently collaborate on creative video content while leveraging creation tools to help reduce production time on those resources.

The details: Vimeo Create, released earlier this year in closed beta form, is now open to anyone who wants access to the open beta. The tool features brand customization options, “smart technology” for AI editing and integrated video marketing tools. 

Vimeo’s press release touts the platform as a way to “radically simplify the process of video creation and unlock powerful capabilities to make and distribute high-impact social videos in minutes.”

The Hill Finds Twitter Slow To Provide Verification Status For Primary Candidates

According to The Hill, about 90 primary candidates in five states holding congressional and gubernatorial primaries on Super Tuesday have not received the verified “blue check,” in their profile.

Why it matters: Back in December, Twitter declared it would help level the playing field between little-known challengers and established incumbents by providing verification status (the blue checkmark in profiles) to all candidates who qualify for primaries in 2020. The verification process ultimately helps lesser-known candidates gain more visibility and credibility. 

The details: As of today, The Hill found that in the 130 House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries scheduled for March 3 (Super Tuesday), 89 candidates who have a Twitter account and appear on ballots remain unverified. “The process we implemented is rigorous in order to ensure that we accurately identify and verify candidates’ legitimate Twitter accounts,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

Twitter Is Testing Labels To Identify Misinformation 

According to NBC News, a leaked demo shows that Twitter is testing brightly colored labels underneath politicians’ and public figures’ posts that contain lies or misinformation.  

Why it matters: Since the 2020 election season began, Twitter has taken steps to combat deep fakes and misinformation. Last month, it rolled out a policy to remove tweets that include deceptive or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm.

The details: A spokesperson told NBC News that the leaked demo is one possible iteration of its new anti-misinformation policy. Twitter is also experimenting with a community-based points system. As shown in the leaked demo, users are asked whether a tweet is “likely” or “unlikely” to be “harmfully misleading.” Then they’re asked on a sliding scale of 1-100 how many community members would answer the same.

Facebook Releases New Data On Facebook Messaging Trends For Travel Businesses

Facebook’s research finds that consumers are increasingly turning to messaging to communicate with travel businesses.

Why it matters: Facebook messaging for business is key for brands looking to ramp up their customer service experiences as consumers demand faster, real-time interaction with businesses. The proof is in the data: Over 40 million firms globally are active on Facebook Messenger and Click-to-Messenger ads are one of the platform’s fastest-growing formats.

The details: In its report, Facebook emphasizes messaging as a tool that enables personalized communication at scale, noting that 64 percent of people would prefer to message rather than call a business. With the help of a bot messenger to help personify its brand, Canadian airline WestJet saw a 24 percent lift in positive sentiment among travelers. Additionally, Airline KLM recently used WhatsApp to deliver real-time booking confirmation, flight status updates and gate assignment to travelers. Despite the benefits of messaging for businesses, Facebook says a Spectrm study of 242 leading brands found that 45 percent didn’t respond within five days when messaged via their Facebook pages. 

Instagram Tests Feature That Would Allow Android Users To Remove Followers Directly From Their Profile

Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong spotted the feature in the backend of the Instagram app on an Android device.

Why it matters: The feature is already available to iOS users and adding it to Android users indicates that having the ability to remove followers gives users a better, safer experience on Instagram.

The details: Android users who want to remove a follower must find the user’s account from their own follower list whereas an iOS user can simply go to the person’s account who they want to remove and do so via the drop-down menu. That feature will potentially soon be available to Android users.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, February 28. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Ad Fraud By The Numbers

Advertisers lost more than $23 billion globally to ad fraud in 2019, according to a report from CHEQ called “Ad Fraud 2019: The Economic Cost of Bad Actors on the Internet.” Another report, released from WhiteOps and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), found that advertisers would lose $5.8 billion to ad fraud in 2019, down from its $6.5 billion estimate reported in 2017. 

Compared to CHEQ’s eye-watering estimate, WhiteOps and the ANA’s prediction makes it seem like the fight against ad fraud is winnable. WhiteOps arrived at its estimate by measuring 27 billion impressions across 50 brand marketers, counting fraud that was actually effective plus the price of the ad rather than using a high-CPM average. This methodology, then, explains the disparity between CHEQ’s conclusions and WhiteOps and ANA’s conclusions. In any case, WhiteOps’ finding—that ad fraud declined by 11 percent in two years—could mean there’s hope for marketers battling ad fraud considering digital marketing ad spend increased by 25.4 percent between 2017 and 2019.

But inside CHEQ’s clairvoyant ball, there is no future with less ad fraud as its report states, “Where studies have shown that ad fraud is lower or even declining, we think this particularly unlikely. Digital ad marketing is growing at a high rate and thus is an attractor for increased fraudulent activity.” Left unchecked, CHEQ says the level of ad fraud is expected to reach $26 billion by 2020, $29 billion by 2021 and $32 billion by 2022.

Neither estimate paints the whole picture because marketers prefer to keep data private. But ad fraud is still prevalent, and not just for digital marketers. In its Global Insights Report 2019, DoubleVerify found there was a 120 year-on-year percent increase in fraudulent ads in connected television (CTV) and mobile apps. DoubleVerify defines the majority of mobile app fraud as ad impression fraud or invalid traffic practices such as misrepresentation, laundering and hidden ads.

Mobile apps are a breeding ground for deception. So much so that Google recently removed nearly 600 Android apps from its Google Play app store and banned them from its ad monetization platforms, Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager. The apps, Google wrote in a company blog post, violated its disruptive ads policy and “disallowed interstitial policy.” Google says it’s working to protect the mobile ecosystem by mitigating a type of disruptive ad on the rise called out-of-text ads, which are ads that malicious developers serve on a mobile device when users are not actually active in their app. The consequences of out-of-text ads running rampant include a poor user experience and wasted ad spend. Google has developed a machine-learning-based approach to detect these out-of-context apps and prevent threats that can produce invalid traffic.

According to DoubleVerify, both CTV and mobile app fraud have shown growth. Fraud rates remained steady year-over-year with 3.1 percent in 2019 compared to 3.5 percent the year prior. Yet while desktop fraud rates decreased by seven percent, mobile app fraud grew by six percent.  

In February 2019, DoubleVerify detected a new kind of ad fraud that involved launching bot networks to avoid ads.txt protections that publishers use to list authorized sellers of their inventory. In a nutshell, the botnets wiped websites clean and created new ad slots to falsified versions of the websites then sold the fraudulent ads under fake URLs through ads.txt authorized sellers. The Wall Street Journal reported that the activity potentially cost advertisers $70-80 million. 

Shortly after the ads.txt scheme, another kind of bot emerged, what the Integral Ad Science (IAS) Threat Lab called 404bot, which was imitating domains. Since its arrival, IAS estimates that 404bot has impacted 1.5 billion ads, mostly targeting publishers in digital markets worldwide, specifically videos. Similar to ads.text, 404bot activity includes false misrepresentation of a URL so that buyers think they’re getting valid inventory when in fact the domain doesn’t exist.

Fraudsters have also siphoned away ad dollars from online video streaming, which a new CHEQ report projects will cost advertisers $4 billion in over-the-top (OTT) ads in 2020. In short, OTT spend will reach nearly $24 billion in 2020, with ad fraud levels reaching 17 percent.

“Marketing budgets are steadily flowing to OTT, offering a mouthwatering proposition of brands being able to reach consumers on their screens with relevant messages at the right time,” said Guy Tytunovich, founder and chief executive officer of CHEQ.

Knowing what ads are appearing and where can prevent fraudsters from exploiting ads. Or Lencher, chief executive officer of Luminati Networks, cites IP proxy networks as one viable solution. Because proxy networks provide access to accurate data in real-time from anywhere in the world, brands can use them to follow their ad campaign exactly as target audience sees them and test multiple different ads that might be presented to the consumer. Leveraging proxy networks then ensures brands know their ads are being delivered to the right customers at the right times.

To win the fight against ad fraud, marketers’ efforts must also match the sophistication of ad fraudsters’ methods. That starts by partnering with reputable verification companies in the supply chain and updating ads.txt files often. It also means avoiding the use of high click-through rate as a primary campaign metric as much as possible because buying will encourage scaled cheap inventory that’s fraudulent.

Will This New Platform Help Prevent Influencer Marketing Fraud?

Originally published on ION.

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

As the rise of influencer marketing fraud increases, one entrepreneur created a new platform to help provide greater transparency in the influencer process. Here’s why.

Influencer marketing fraud cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019, according to Cheq and economist Roberto Cavazos. The figure accounts for 15 percent of what the report predicts will be an $8.5 billion market in influencer marketing spend. 

Much of that fraud comes from fake social accounts, especially on Instagram, where a new report from Instascreener found fake accounts rose from one percent to 1.2 percent from September to December 2019. 

To help combat the rise of fake accounts and promote more transparency in influencer marketing, entrepreneur Aaron Simpson recently started a new platform. Kindred digitizes word-of-mouth recommendations on social media channels and turns them into direct sales for brands while offering customers deals. Plus, a percentage of each transaction goes toward a charity of the influencer’s choice.

The platform’s ability to attribute sales to specific influencers may be the solution the industry needs to achieve greater transparency. Here’s how it works: brands pay commission on any sales resulting from a Kindred influencer. A percentage of each transaction goes toward a charity of the influencer’s choice, ensuring brands are fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. The app’s emphasis on sales rather than audience size means there’s no smoke and mirrors—brands can track and measure the performance of the influencer’s posts.

“Kindred does something very simple, as it taps into two prevailing trends: a concern over how we consume as a society, and a growing skepticism around paid-to-post “influencer” marketing. For brands, Kindred is a new, authentic and direct link to customers, and for charities, it’s an amazing and original way to get straight to a younger audience–who very much want to contribute and are demanding this shift to conscious consumerism,” said Kindred COO Mike Gadd.

Influencers with any following size can join the app for free via the Apple Store and Google Play Store then share the products and services they love on their social media channels. Since launching six months ago, thousands of brands including Missguided, Gillette and Jimmy Choo have joined the Kindred community.

Integrating AR And VR Into Business And Marketing

This week in Extended Reality (XR) we saw AR integration coming to Chrome and a company that looks to enhance current stationary bicycle experiences through the power of virtual reality technology. 

Chrome Getting AR Support

What’s Happening: Google’s Chrome 81 will get support for web-based AR. This means anyone using Chrome as their browser will be able to experience augmented reality moments right through their browser rather than needing a specific AR application or Google’s AR options built into the camera. 

Why it Matters: When browsing the web, users have the entire world at their fingertips. With this new integration, marketers have access to a whole new world of AR. We can create content that can be explored without the need to download additional apps, breaking down a huge barrier in converting users who are hesitant to test out the medium. With AR integration built in to Chrome, the door to new and exciting digital marketing experiences has flung wide open.

Virtual Reality Takes Exercise To The Next Level

What’s Happening: VirZOOM looks to enhance exercise experiences by taking the stationary bike anywhere in the world. With a handlebar attachment and virtual reality headset, you can teleport your exercise experience from the gym to locations like Iceland and beyond. 

Why it Matters: We should always be looking at how things are done and how we can use emerging technology to expand on and enhance the traditional methods. In this case, VirZOOM saw VR as a way to enhance stationary bikes into something that’s emotional and creates a story. How can you look to future technology to enhance your product or marketing approach?

Mobile Marketing Spend To Grow 73 Percent Over Five Years, Report

Results from the February 2020 CMO Survey are in. The survey, administered bi-yearly online, covers the opinions of top marketers on budgets, firm capabilities and social media. Here we’re covering the survey’s most important findings.

Marketing budgets will increase, but not as much as last year’s prediction. The survey found that marketing budgets are expected to grow by 7.6 percent in 2021, a decline compared with last August’s 8.7 percent growth. Marketing budget as a percent of firm revenues will grow to 8.6 percent, a nine percent increase since 2018, while marketing budget as a percent of firm budget remains consistent at 11.3 percent. 

Digital marketing is growing faster than traditional marketing with brands spending nine percent on customers, 7.1 percent on brands and 6.1 percent on product innovation. Marketers are spending 15.2 percent of budget on customer experience, a 71 percent increase over the last three years.

Marketing capability development remains the top marketing knowledge priority for service companies, even more than product companies, at 12.7 percent followed by marketing consulting services at 11.2 percent.

Marketers are investing 54 percent of spending on existing markets and offerings while diversification remains the lowest growth strategy. Companies are continuously focusing on domestic marketing with a 13 percent increase observed since 2012.

Current budget spending on China is at 2.1 percent, up 1.7 percent three years ago. Marketers plan to increase Chinese budgets 100 percent to 4.2 percent in three years with the biggest spenders in mining and tech.

When data was collected for this survey in January, Chinese budgets were expected to exponentially grow. However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus may eventually slow international spending given the disruption of consumer spending in China, as cities are currently being described as ghost towns. Similarly, an outbreak in the US could disrupt consumer spending here, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.

Internet sales as a percent of revenues are at the highest level in a decade at 13.5 percent. The space is dominated by B2C companies at 18.1 percent.

Social media remains important for marketers as spending grew to 13 percent of marketing budgets, the second-highest point in CMO Survey history. Companies with 10 percent internet sales dedicate more than twice the spending to social media than those with no internet sales. Outside agencies now perform about a quarter of all social media activities, the highest level reported since the question was first asked in 2014.

Across all industries and company sizes, social media spend for companies will increase by 62 percent over five years. Despite this, marketers continue to rate it as contributing only moderate value to company performance (3.4 on a seven-point scale).

Mobile spend also continues to rise and is expected to grow 73 percent over the next five years, with companies citing social ads the highest spend in mobile. Companies that sell at least 10 percent online see the most value with mobile, averaging 4.1 percent compared to a 2.7 average for companies that don’t sell online. Difficulty tracking customers across the mobile journey is the top challenge for companies.

Among the quality of companies’ marketing knowledge resources, companies ranked marketing capabilities highest, followed by customer insights then competitive intelligence. Online sellers rated their marketing knowledge resources as higher in quality, dominated by analytics and intelligence.

Survey results are based on a sample of 265 top marketers at for-profit US companies, 98 percent of which include responses from vice president level or above, surveyed from January 7-28, 2020.

JCPenney’s Top Marketer Resigns After Less Than A Year

This week in marketing leadership moves, JCPenney’s loses their chief customer officer, Hulu’s chief marketing officer is elevated to president, Bacardi Limited and Dave & Buster’s bring on new CMOs and more.

JCPenney Cycles Through Third CCO In Less Than Five Years

Adweek reports that Shawn Gensch has resigned from his post as chief customer officer for JCPenney. He was the third CCO, the top marketing position with the department store brand, in a span of five years. 

The announcement comes on the heels of several VP appointments to the marketing team, including Jill Feldman, VP of marketing, Roger Worak, VP of customer engagement and insights, Dan Matarelli, VP of digital marketing and Robin Beauthin, VP of creative marketing.

No word yet on Gensch’s replacement.

SodaStream USA Names Matt Kahn New CMO

SodaStream’s U.S. leadership team has a new head marketer as Matt Kahn joins the brand as its first-ever chief marketing officer, according to HomeWorld Business.

Kahn’s previous positions include marketing leadership roles at Glacéau and Heineken.

Cigna Names Kristen Lauria Global CMO

Kristen Lauria has been appointed as global CMO for Cigna, AIThority reports.

Lauria’s new position, which situates her as the overseer of Cigna’s global marketing strategies, takes effect on March 23rd. She was most recently GM of IBM Watson Media and The Weather Company Solutions and had been with IBM for the past 17 years.

Hulu Promotes Marketing Chief Kelly Campbell To President

Kelly Campbell has been promoted from her position as chief marketing officer to president of streaming service Hulu, according to Adweek. The promotion is effective immediately and no replacement has been named for the open CMO spot vacated by Campbell.

The promotion comes one month after the departure of Hulu CEO Randy Freer.

Milly Preston Joins Excel Esports As Head Of Marketing

Milly Preston joins British esports organization Excel Esports as head of marketing, according to Esports Insider. She will be taking the “lead role in leveraging Excel’s growing commercial brand partnership portfolio,” according to the announcement.

Bacardi Names Kathy Parker As CMO For Patrón, Grey Goose

Bacardi Limited named Kathy Parker as CMO for PATRÓN and GREY GOOSE vodka. Previously, Parker served in a variety of senior marketing roles at Diageo, Unilever and Guinness. Most recently, she was SVP for Global Premium Rums, Gins and Portfolio Scotch Whiskey brands at Diageo. 

Dave & Buster’s Brings On New Senior VP, CMO

According to Restaurant Business, Dave & Buster’s announced Brandon Coleman III as its SVP and CMO. Coleman was previously president of Del Frisco’s Grille and has also worked as chief marketing officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. He succeeds Sean Gleason, who held the post for 11 years.

Kantar CEO Eric Salama Makes Quick Exit 

After 17 years of leading market research business, Kantar CEO Eric Salama has left the company, according to PR Week. At the close of 2019, Kantar announced that Salama would leave his post, however, his departure was unexpected given that Kantar said Salama would remain in his CEO post throughout the search for a successor.

Tribeca Enterprises Appoints Rachel Noonan To Marketing And Communications VP

Rachel Noonan, who has led marketing and audience development for The Toronto International Film Festival, Warner Bros, Samsung and Microsoft, has been named VP of marketing and communications of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 28. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

VP Of Marketing Operations Califia Farms Los Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And Community Calibra Menlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated Marketing Zillow Group Pasadena, CA
Head Of Marketing Aspyr Media, Inc.   Austin, TX
Chief Marketing Officer NPR Washington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

How Brands Are Working With Top TikTok Influencers

Originally published on ION.

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

TikTok was downloaded over 104.7 million times since January 2019 and has amassed more than 1.65 billion downloads to date, according to Sensor Tower. What’s more, the app grossed nearly $177 million globally in 2019 and it recently announced the opening of a permanent Los Angeles office, reflecting its commitment to scale its US presence. In short: TikTok is taking over.

Although TikTok only recently launched an advertising process and hyperlinking capabilities for brands, many brands are seeking out top TikTok creators to promote their products and services. TikTok currently offers ad formats such as promoted hashtag challenges, in-feed native videos, influencer packages, brand takeovers and top-view videos.

According to Forbes, for a one-day buy of $50,000, a brand takeover ad is guaranteed five million impressions a day via a three to five-second long video that encourages users to click-through to an external or internal destination.

TikTok is slowly making it easier for brands to find influencers that align with their ethos. Last year, TikTok launched the Creator Marketplace, a program that brands can use to browse over 1,000 of the app’s top creators through filters like follow count, location, topics and insights on the audience reach. Yet the program, which is still in beta tasting, lacks automation and only offers marketers the reach and average view count of an influencer’s videos, metrics that aren’t as insightful as engagement.

Brands getting in on the TikTok action have their eyes set on the app’s undisputed king, Zach King, the 30-year-old creator who, in 2016, started posting six-second video “magic vines” to Vine that make it look as though he’s performing magic. King’s efforts have landed him 34.7 million followers and 326 million likes on TikTok.

Universal Pictures, BMW, Chipotle and the Cash App have all called on Zach to create one of his popular digitally edited videos. To create buzz around its Dolittle movie, Universal Pictures enlisted King to make a video that shows him creating a sidewalk chalk image of a polar bear that comes to life, scaring off passersby. The hashtags #ad and #TalkToAnimals accompanied the video, which generated 2.9 million likes and 7,600 comments.

For BMW, King’s mission was to highlight the car maker’s new x7 ZeroG Lounger models. In the video, King and his friend visit the BMW dealership. Intrigued by a roped off x7 ZeroG, King’s friend tries gaining access to the inside. King waves his hand and his friend magically appears in the car’s driver seat only until a security guard notices their shenanigans. The video received 1.8 million likes and 1,300 comments. 

Digital shopping app Flip Fit, which sends users clothing based on their brand preferences and interactions with friends and followers, launched a major influencer marketing campaign in October 2019 that included TikTok. Flip Fit’s user experience is similar to TikTok so it only made sense for the social retail platform to flex its muscles there. Part of Flip Fit’s TikTok lineup included Marina Leigh, who has 1 million followers and 18 million likes. In partnership with Flip Fit, Leigh created a video showing how to use the app on her phone then trying on different clothes that she received through Flip Fit’s service, highlighting via text the free delivery and free returns/shipping features. The video received 2,178 likes.

TooFaced, the beauty brand known for its robust influencer marketing approach on social, has also joined the TikTok influencer landscape. Recently the brand partnered with Kristen Hancher, the beauty and lifestyle influencer with 23.4 million followers who transforms her appearance by wearing a different colored wig and matching makeup look each week. Wearing purple hair, Hancher captured a selfie video and upon shaking the camera, showed how her lashes looked after applying the TooFaced Better Than Sex Mascara. The video received 63,000 likes and nearly 300 comments.

A quick Google search will yield a list of the top TikTok influencers, but how can brands working within a budget find micro-influencers on the platform? Enter: Fanbytes. The first dedicated TikTok platform uses machine learning and neuro-linguistic programming to assist brands in discovering over 500,000 influencers with the accuracy of different search goals. Fanbytes has been used by brands like Pretty Little Thing, Warner and Universal Studios.

For brands to understand whether their influencer ad spend on TikTok is successful, however, TikTok must provide more in-depth stats like Instagram and YouTube do currently. Brands that want in on TikTok should also keep in mind that TikTok influencers prioritize authenticity over quality, making TikTok not a one-size-fits-all social media marketing approach.

SaaS Marketing With Dave Gerhardt, CMO Of Privy

During the 196th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Dave Gerhardt, the chief marketing officer of Privy. Gerhardt was formerly the vice president of marketing at Drift, has been featured in numerous national publications and co-authored the book “Conversational Marketing.”

We discuss how Gerhardt’s early interest in working for a startup led him to join Privy at a previous point in his career. Then we learn how Gerhardt later leveraged his podcast to land a job at Drift. He also shares insight into building out a highly efficient marketing team.

Gerhardt has excellent advice for creating your personal brand and starting a podcast. “If you start with a show first, you can get all the other content with it.” In his view, audio drives everything. He adds, “Even if nobody listens to our show, we’re going to get enough content to feed our funnel for a year if we do it right. That alone is worth the investment.”

Gerhardt also shares why he went all-in on growing his following on LinkedIn and how he moved many of his marketing conversations over to paid subscribers on Patreon. He says, “If you can continue to understand people, and just evolve with whatever comes with that, I think that’s how you become successful in the long term.” Gerhardt’s passion for marketing comes through as he emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and a focus on creativity as the marketing world shifts.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Dave shares his background and how he became involved in marketing. 01:30
  • Dave describes how his interest in working at a startup led him to join Privy for the first time and where he went after that. 03:26
  • Learn how Dave landed a job through a connection he made on his podcast. 05:19
  • Learn more about Privy. 08:58
  • Dave shares his vision for his marketing build-out at Privy. 11:33
  • Dave’s theory about how demand gen can work on his team. 15:38
  • How to measure brand awareness without a big survey. 17:25
  • Why podcasts are the form of marketing you can gain the most leverage from when done right. 19:07
  • Learn how Dave is currently using Patreon as a platform. 21:26
  • Why he feels that even ten subscribers would make the Patreon experiment worthwhile. 25:06
  • What’s next for Dave at Privy in 2020? 26:10
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 28:10
  • What advice would he give his younger self if he had to start all over? 29:39
  • Are there any brands, companies or causes that JT follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 30:52
  • Is there a threat or an opportunity he thinks marketers should be aware of as they enter 2020, or is there something he thinks marketers need to be doing? 32:14

Resources Mentioned:

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Listen in Google Podcasts (link: http://bit.ly/2Rc2kVa)
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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.