Pizza Hut, IKEA Dish Up Special-Edition Pizza And Table

Pizza Hut Hong Kong and IKEA are dishing up a special-edition pizza topped with IKEA’s popular meatballs and promoting the pie with a life-size version of a pizza saver. Dubbed Säva, the white circular table has three legs and its top features the Pizza Hut logo.

Pizza Hut is selling the tables in store as add-on specials to customers’ meatball pizza orders. Like all IKEA furniture, the table must be assembled. Its five parts are packaged in an actual pizza box, on which there’s a step-by-step animation of assembly instructions, which hints at what to do after you’ve finished building: call Pizza Hut and order the new meatball pizza. 

The companies announced the pizza-inspired furniture in two social media posts on their respective channels, Facebook and Instagram. One post shows a Pizza Hut delivery guy asleep at an IKEA store and the other shows an executive’s “aha moment” when he came up with the meatball pizza.

The tongue-in-cheek approach worked: three days after, Pizza Hut saw 67 percent more units sold than expected. According to Pizza Hut’s Q4 2019 earnings report, China is the company’s second-largest market after the US and accounts for 17 percent of sales. 

The campaign comes as Pizza Hut struggles to redeem itself after Domino’s stole the pie spotlight in 2017—Pizza Hut’s same-store sales in the US declined in three of the last four years including a one percent fall in 2019. Now its parent company Yum Brands is counting on former KFC executives George Felix, Pizza Hut’s new chief marketing officer, and David Graves, new chief brand officer, to make a turnaround. Under Felix and Graves, KFC sales grew for 13 consecutive quarters through Q3 of 2017.

Brands Spend Nearly Half Their Budgets On Micro-Influencer Campaigns

Originally published on ION.

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

Nearly 65 percent of marketers now measure the return on investment (ROI) from influencer campaigns, with conversions and sales as their top measures, according to a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub and CreatorIQ. 

The “Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2020” found that more than 380 new influencer marketing-focused agencies and platforms were established last year, with a total of 1,120 open in 2019, compared to just 190 in 2015. With an increase of at least 50 percent each year since 2016, when the industry was worth $1.7 billion, the industry will reach $9.7 billion in 2020. Searches for “influencer marketing” on Google also continue to grow, rising to 70,000 in 2019, up 9,000 from 2018.

Most (91 percent) of respondents said they believe influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing and 79 percent are dedicating a budget to influencer marketing in 2020. Among those respondents, 65 percent intend to increase their budget over the next 12 months. Thirty-nine percent of respondents plan to spend 10-20 percent of their budget on influencer marketing while 23 percent will allocate 20-30 percent of their total budget on influencer campaigns. Nine percent intend on spending over 40 percent of their budget on influencers.

How much brands are willing to spend on influencers varies as 43 percent said they spend less than $10,000 annually while 29 percent spend between $10,000-$50,000. Eleven percent spend $50,000-$100,000, 10 percent spend $100,000-$500,000 and five percent spend more than $500,000.

The most common measure of influencer marketing success is now conversions and sales, as noted by 39 percent of respondents. Thirty-four percent focus on engagement or clicks followed by 27 percent who focus on views, reach and impressions. 

The average earned media value (EMV) per dollar spent on influencer marketing increased in 2019 and more brands (77 percent) now favor the measure. Businesses that have a grasp on influencer marketing gained up to $18 in EMV for every dollar spent on influencers while average firms saw an EMV of $5.78 per dollar they spent on influencer marketing. 

The research shows there’s a clear move from mega-influencers to micro- and nano-influencers as these small but mighty players have higher engagement rates than influencers with big followings—particularly on Instagram, where nano-influencers have seven times the engagement rate than mega-influencers. 

Additionally, although Twitter has overall lower levels of engagement, Twitter nano-influencers have 1.4 percent engagement compared to mega-influencers, who only have a 0.3 percent engagement rate. The same pattern is evident on TikTok—users with small audiences have 9.38 percent engagement while ones with large audiences see just 5.3 percent engagement.

The proof is also in the budget brands are dedicating to micro-influencers—respondents spent 47 percent of their influencer budget on micro-influencers, compared to 23 percent for celebrity influencers.

When evaluating influencers, 41 percent of respondents rated engagement or clicks as being the most important criterion and 53 percent see great value in working with influencers who have a real influence on their audience.

Now more than 90 percent of all influencer campaigns include Instagram and 84 percent of creators have upped the amount of content they produced in 2019. As influencer marketing efforts get bigger and better, marketers must give influencers clear guidelines on how to disclose endorsements. The survey analyzed 4,200 posts on fashion micro-influencer accounts for a month and found that only 14 percent of posts were fully FTC- and CMA-compliant, compared to 11 percent last year. With more content also comes more influencer fraud as 68 percent of respondents said they’ve experienced influencer fraud, up from 63 percent last year.

Instagram is included in the majority of influencer campaigns, followed by Twitter at 45 percent, Facebook at 40 percent, YouTube at 20 percent and Pinterest at 10 percent. 

The findings are based on answers from 4,000 marketing agencies, brands and other industry professionals, 70 percent of which were business-to-consumer (B2C) brands and the remaining business-to-business (B2B). Nearly half of respondents are based in the US, 16 percent in Europe, 12 percent in Asia, five percent in Africa and 15 percent representing the rest of the world. Fashion and beauty represented the most popular vertical (24 percent), followed by travel and lifestyle (13 percent) and health and fitness (12 percent).

Consumers Find Web Ads More Relevant To Them Than Social Ads

Consumers spend more time on the open web than on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Amazon, according to a new report from OpenX and The Harris Pill entitled “The Open Web vs. The Walled Gardens.” OpenX defines “open web” as any online property, website or app not owned by a major technology company.

The data shows a clear disconnect between where brands spend ad dollars and where consumers spend their time—Facebook and Google account for nearly two-thirds of all digital ad spend despite consumers spending just one-third of the time on walled gardens. 

Consumers are increasingly spending more time on the internet than on walled gardens, and the research shows this gap will continue to widen. Over a third (40 percent) of consumers say their open web usage increased in the last 12 months while over 30 percent say they use Facebook less today than they did a year ago. Thirty-one percent of consumers say their time spent on Facebook declined, followed by 25 percent who said the same about Instagram and 17 percent for YouTube.

The top reason consumers spent less time on Facebook, Instagram or Amazon is they felt there was a lack of relevant content whereas consumers who say they browsed the open web less attribute it to wanting to decrease time spent on their digital devices in general.

In addition to spending more time on the internet, how consumers use the internet is changing. Those who reported increased usage of the internet are curious and want to learn more compared to those on Facebook and Instagram who reported “zoning out and not paying attention.”

A majority of respondents (74 percent) trust news stories on the internet and apps more than ones on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Similarly, respondents reported having a negative sentiment toward Facebook—forty percent say the platform leaves them feeling unhappy, upset or unsatisfied, which is more than double those that say the same about the internet.

When looking to learn about businesses and more products to buy, 80 percent of consumers turn to the web whereas YouTube is the top choice when people are seeking how-to information. Facebook and Instagram lead when people are looking for information on friends and family.

Half (52 percent) of respondents said that an Amazon ad would lead to an immediate purchase followed by the open web (23 percent). In comparison, just 11 percent said a Facebook ad would make them buy something, followed by eight percent for Instagram and five percent on YouTube. 

When given the choice, consumers would rather view ads than pay for content as 68 percent say they would likely not pay for the sites they currently use if all the sites and apps charged for access and were ad-free.

Findings are based on answers from an online survey distributed to 2,000 US consumers aged 18 and older, from January 6-14, 2020. The Harris Poll conducted the survey on behalf of OpenX. 

Digital Transformation At PwC With Reggie Walker

During this 198th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Reggie Walker, U.S. Chief Commercial Officer for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).  

We discuss Walker’s background and his long career at PwC. Then Walker takes us through the digital transformation happening within PwC and the impact of technology on professional services today and in the future.

Walker shares the importance of giving employees new skills and technology to transform the way you’re running your business, which ultimately impacts client experience. 

He says, “When you focus on your people, and you build the right skills within them, those are your factors of production that you can then take out and use in multiple ways.” 

When providing advice for peers in other large companies, Walker advises that training employees and setting very clear expectations is essential. 

As Walker reflects on the future of professional services, he remarks, “Creating more personalized experiences is really what’s starting to win the day.” Walker’s thoughts on the digital transformation within PwC can help us think about how other businesses can use technology to change the way that we work. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Reggie provides background about his 27-year career at PwC. (01:17)
  • Reggie describes pivotal moments in his career. (03:47) 
  • Reggie tells us about his current role as Chief Commercial Officer for the U.S. at PwC. (04:37)
  • What was it like to transition from his prior role to his current position? (06:10) 
  • Reggie explains the various components of marketing and sales at PwC. (7:10) 
  • Hear about the transformation initiative happening within PwC. (9:53) 
  • How PwC doubled down on its organization internally. (12:51)  
  • The vision PwC has for taking what they’ve done to create a unique client experience. (14:35)
  • Reggie’s advice for peers in other companies that are working on large scale change. (16:43)  
  • Reggie discusses the future of professional services. (19:38)  
  • What are the top opportunities or challenges Reggie’s clients are bringing to him in 2020? (21:55) 
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? (26:59) 
  • What is the advice Reggie would give to his younger self? (29:31)
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Reggie follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? (31:13)
  • Where does he see the future of marketing? (34:00) 

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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.

The ‘Moment’ People See Your Ad Is More Important Than The Message Itself

Originally published at AW360 by Rachel Zalta.

As the fastest growing digital ad format in the UK, it’s no secret that marketers (and consumers) see huge value in digital video.

Although launching an effective video campaign might seem simple…

Step 1: create a powerful ad

Step 2: target the right audience

…marketers are concerned with an additional factor––one that has the potential to exceed their marketing goals or destroy their campaign altogether.

That additional factor surfaces when you’re putting together your distribution strategy and looking into the differences between platforms.

Have you ever asked yourself, “what’s my audience doing when they see my ad?

That’s another way of asking about their mindset.

As we researched this topic, one of the questions we kept hearing from advertisers was:

“What’s more important, the mindset or the creative?” 

We ran a survey, and found that mindset can actually have a greater impact than the message itself. This mindset is referred to by the advertising community as “moments.”

The four elements of mindset.

Let’s take a step back from ads for a second and imagine this scenario: You’re trying to figure out where to vacation next and someone comes up and tells you all about why you should visit Africa.

What determines whether or not you’ll be persuaded?

Putting aside the content of the message itself, here are the four things to consider:

  1. Who is the person? Do you trust them?
  2. What have they told you before and after the Africa suggestion? Did they say something smart?
  3. Are they forcing you to listen to their description of Africa, or are they pausing and giving you a chance to change the subject?
  4. Do you want to be listening to them at that moment? Or would you rather be doing something else?

These are the four determinants of the advertising mindset: trust in the source, safe environment, the ability to skip an ad (or lack thereof), and the degree of open-mindedness, which we will focus on.

Yes. Sometimes we actually want to view ads.

Although some will argue that consumers never want to see ads, studies have shown that this is not actually true.

For example, how many of you watched John Lewis’s Christmas advert this past November? Apparently, a lot of people did: search results for John Lewis spike higher than search results for the Queen’s name when the advert comes out each year.

According to one study in the US, more than half of respondents said they’d be disappointed if the Super Bowl was commercial-free.

These are examples of “moments of next.”

The neuroscience behind the moment of next.

Although our brains make up only 2 percent of our body’s weight, they consume 20 percent of our body’s energy, which makes our brains very expensive to use.

The amount of energy that our brains demand sets inherent limits on the number of things that can be processed at any given moment.

When the brain is working at low capacity, it’s called “low cognitive load” or the ‘moment of next.’ People in this moment are usually open to processing new information.

Our day-to-day lives contain countless moments of next. For instance, you might experience a moment of next while listening to the radio, or when waiting in a queue and looking up at a billboard, or on a publisher site, looking for the next thing to engage with.

How our brains react to stimuli in different moments.

Seeing a brand message when we’re in the middle of doing something means we’ll probably either ignore the ad completely or be annoyed by it. Seeing the same exact brand message in a moment of next will likely lead to a much more positive reaction and greater success for the advertiser.

Just take a look at John Lewis, who delivered 20 times the return on their original spend, and PepsiCo, who measure ROI very carefully, and who, this year alone, ran six different commercials in the Super Bowl.

In a Taboola-commissioned Nielsen study which compared the same video ads in moments of next and other moments, we found a 25 percent increase in visual attention for moments of next.

Marketers: Here’s how to make the most of your ad dollars.

  1. Avoid advertising in moments when people don’t want to engage with your ad. These might appear as if they’re working, achieving high viewability and completion rates, but they will almost definitely result in a negative user experience, reflecting badly on your brand. A good resource to find out which formats are interruptive is The Coalition for Better Ads, who regularly study this topic. My guess is that in a few years, these interruptive ad formats will become extinct.
  2. Make sure a significant portion of your ad budgets are allocated towards moments in which people are open to your content. Messages that appear in moments of next have a stronger impact on consumers and are generally better accepted.
  3. Higher quality moments = higher ROI. Remember that the moment of next is a mindset that will likely generate higher ROI for your campaigns, like the John Lewis ads, Super Bowl ads, and ads that reach consumers when they actually want to see them.

Even the most thoughtfully created video ad with the best-laid targeting strategy can’t succeed if it isn’t reaching consumers when they’re open to receiving it. Reach your audience when they want to explore, learn, and discover: in their moments of next.

Wingstop Pays Fans To Advertise For Them In Lieu Of OOH Budget

Wingstop shifted its national out-of-home (OOH) budget for the first half of 2020 to a merch campaign that, through free sweatshirts, aims to turn fans into walking Wingstop billboards. 

The chicken wing chain is giving away a limited quantity of the branded hoodies on a microsite called and Venmoing $10 to anyone who posts a picture of them wearing it in public on Instagram with the hashtag #ThisIsAnAdForWingstop. 

Fans can earn bonus prizes like a $100 gift card for extra-creative user-generated content (UGC) and posts that go viral.

The wearable billboards include three sweatshirts featuring a tagline and an image of the brand’s wings, mobile app and/or takeout bag. The first tagline reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop,” the second reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop delivery” and the third reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop boneless.” Displaying the brand’s signature takeout bag on all three sweatshirts was especially important given 75 percent of the chain’s business is takeout.

Wingstop teased the arrival of the merch on its Twitter days before launching. Four hours after the microsite went live, Wingstop ran out of sweatshirts and tweeted, “Keep up with what our fans do while wearing them, you never know where this flavor is gonna show up next.”

According to Wingstop, the move to ditch OOH for wearable billboards follows multiple requests over the years from fans for the brand to sponsor them. The brand has maintained its cool, relevant reputation among millennials thanks to rapper Rick Ross, who owns several Wingstop locations and regularly promotes the brand in his songs, on social media and at events where he almost always has a Wingstop cup in his hands.

In Q4 2019, Wingstop’s digital sales increased to 39 percent and total revenue grew to $53.2 million, compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter the previous year. The earnings reflect the brand’s 16th consecutive year of positive same store sales growth.

TikTok Hires Chief Information Officer From ADP

This week in social media news, TikTok hires a chief information officer to keep watch on data and rolls out new native analytics tools, Facebook pulls out of SXSW and more.

TikTok Taps Roland Cloutier As Chief Information Officer

Roland Cloutier joins TikTok to serve as chief information officer, a role which puts him in charge of the company’s efforts to protect user data.

Why it matters: As the lead cybersecurity executive, Cloutier will be in a position to address concerns over how data is used and stored, particularly after accusations surfaced purporting that the company was secretly gathering user data.

The details: The Wall Street Journal reports that Roland Cloutier has joined TikTok as CIO and is tasked with leading the company’s security efforts. He previously served as chief security officer for ADP.

Facebook Expands Authorization Requirements For Political Ads

If you plan on running political ads on Facebook, you’ll need to provide some identification. See the latest press release from Facebook here.

Why it matters: Facebook is approaching 2020 with caution after widespread abuse of the platform during the 2016 US election.

The details: If you’re planning to run ads about elections or politics in countries like Chile, Japan, Mexico or Indonesia, you’ll need to confirm your identity with an ID issued from the country you want to run ads in, as well as providing disclosure regarding who is responsible for the advertisement.

Twitter Safety Updates Rules Against Hateful Conduct

Twitter updated its hateful conduct rules to require tweets disparaging of age, disease, disability or religion to be deleted.

Why it matters: Twitter cites Dr. Susan Benesch as well as Nick Haslam and Michelle Stratemeyer in their work on the link between dehumanizing language and its offline harm.

The details
: “If reported, Tweets that break this rule pertaining to age, disease and/or disability, sent before today will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was in place.”

Facebook Has Removed 6.6 Billion Fake Profiles In The Last Year

In response to the need for more aggressive monitoring of fake profiles, Facebook revamped its plan with an advanced machine learning system called Deep Entity Classification (DEC).

Why it matters: With over 2.5 billion active users worldwide, many advertisers are concerned about Facebook’s reach numbers given the abundance of fake Facebook accounts.

The details: In 2018, Facebook’s face account percentage neared four percent of its monthly active user (MAU) count, equating to 88 million fake profiles. That same year it removed 583 million fake accounts in one quarter. This year, Facebook has removed 6.6 billion fake profiles thanks to DEC, a detection tool that spots fake accounts based on a broader range of attributes and behaviors. DEC looks at the behavioral patterns of profiles including properties of the profiles, groups or pages that a user has made contact with. Still, Facebook’s fake profile percentage is five percent, which equates to 125 million fake accounts.

YouTube Demonetizes Videos That Mention Coronavirus 

YouTube has previously demonetized videos about sensitive subjects to protect advertisers. Now the coronavirus outbreak is being labeled as such, upsetting some influencers.

Why it matters: In 2019, YouTube made $15 billion in ad revenue alone. In keeping advertisers happy with less mention of the coronavirus, however, YouTube is ruffling influencers’ feathers, who, if they speak about coronavirus, won’t be able to make money from YouTube’s built-in ad service. 

The details: Tom Leung, product officer at YouTube said in a recent video, “As such, all videos focused on this topic will be demonetized until further notice.” Yet YouTube told The Verge that channels dedicated to covering sensitive subjects should be safe from demonetization. 

WeChat Has Been Censoring Coronavirus Content Since January 2020

A report from research group Citizen Lab found that WeChat started censoring key words about the virus outbreak before officials began acknowledging its severity.

Why it matters: China’s most popular messaging app, WeChat has over one billion monthly active users, making it one source for doctors to obtain professional knowledge from peers. Blocking references to the virus could risk the ability of the public to share information essential to their health.

The details: WeChat expanded the scope of censorship in February, blocking content that included rumors about the epidemic, criticism of the government and neutral references to the Chinese government’s efforts on managing the outbreak. Citizen Lab found that WeChat censored 132 keyboard combinations between January 1-31 and 384 keywords between February 1-15.

Facebook’s Fact-Checking Label System Has One Major Flaw

A new analysis from MIT shows Facebook’s fact-checking labels, which it launched in 2016, are helpful in detecting fake news, but have one major flaw: any story that Facebook doesn’t mark as fact-checked automatically looks more credible to users.

Why it matters: MIT’s findings show that Facebook’s fact-check labels reduce users’ tendency to share fake news by 13 percent but increase the credibility of untagged fake news by six percent.

The details: MIT says, “In Study, we find that while warnings do lead to a modest reduction in perceived accuracy of false headlines relative to a control condition (particularly for politically concordant headlines), we also observed the hypothesized implied truth effect: the presence of warnings caused untagged headlines to be seen as more accurate than in the control. In Study, we find the same effects in the context of decisions about which headlines to consider sharing on social media.”

Twitter Is Testing Tweets That Expire Called ‘Fleets’ In Brazil

Twitter said in a blog post that users have expressed interest in fleeting tweets to remove some of the pressure that comes with posting public tweets that are permanent.

Why it matters: Testing Snapchat-like tweets in Brazil follows Twitter’s efforts to give users more control over conversation. In November 2019, it made the option to hide tweet replies available to everyone around the world. 

The details: Twitter group product manager Mo Aladham said, “Twitter is for having conversations about what you care about. But, some of you tell us that you’re uncomfortable to tweet because tweets are public, feel permanent, and have public counts (retweets and likes).”  Ephemeral tweets would show up the same way that Instagram stories do at the top of users’ feeds. From there, users can type a tweet, which with this feature won’t have a like or retweet option. The tweet will disappear after 24 hours.

Byte Dedicates $250,000 To The First Pool Of Its Creator Program

Byte said in a blog post that come spring it’ll launch its Partner Program, a revenue-generating initiative for its creators.

Why it matters: The fall of Byte’s predecessor Vine was in large part due to the app’s lack of revenue generating options for influencers. Now Byte is taking steps to ensure influencers have an incentive to keep creating quality content.  

The details: Byte said it will establish a Partner Pool every 120 days that pays creators every 30 days over four months. Byte dedicated $250,000 to the first pool of 100 creators, which will hit the ground running on April 15. Creators must be based in the US as Byte works on expanding international efforts. Byte says it will reach out to influencers, but that anyone who regularly makes great Bytes and is a positive member of the community is eligible.

Facebook Redesigns Plans For New Digital Currency Libra

In an attempt to address regulatory concerns, Facebook is revamping its cryptocurrency project Libra to accommodate coins issued by central banks and backed by other currencies, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: If Libra is recast as a payment network that operates with multiple coins rather than as a single, global cryptocurrency, some consumers may not see the appeal and stick with existing systems run by PayPal, for example. 

The details: When Facebook first announced Libra, its goal was to create a digital currency that made sending money as easy as sending a text. Now Facebook is changing its tune to appease lawmakers and officials, some who said Libra could potentially undermine sovereignty of its own currencies.

YouTube, Facebook Stories See Strong Growth

According to Animoto’s Social Video Trends: Marketer Insights for 2020 report, Facebook stories and YouTube are where brands need to be in 2020.

Why it matters: Consumers are increasingly using social and digital videos to discover and research new products, making it a top channel for brands to invest in. Pew Research shows that 73 percent of adults in the US use YouTube.

The details: Animoto surveyed 1,000 US adult consumers that own smartphones, use social media and have watched social media videos as well as 500 US marketers that have created at least one video in the past year. The findings show that 73 percent of marketers uploaded two or more marketing videos to YouTube in the last month. Fifty-nine percent of marketers surveyed have run video ads on YouTube in the last 12 months. Facebook stories was rated one of the top three platforms to watch videos from brands and 72 percent of marketers post branded content to Facebook stories once a week or more.

TikTok’s Creator Marketplace Now Has Analytics Tools

TikTok is rolling out new analytics tools to Creator Marketplace, the burgeoning platform’s native influencer marketing solution.

Why it matters: By baking analytics tools into its platform, TikTok is able to control the data they share instead of leaving this up to a third-party analytics tool; since this data comes from the platform itself, it should also be more accurate.

The details: The new campaign analytics will include data on views, engagements, engagement rate and audience breakdown including top markets, gender, age range and device.

Facebook Pulls Out Of SXSW Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Facebook won’t be attending SXSW this year, instead erring to the side of caution due to growing concerns over the spread of Coronavirus.

Why it matters: Your schedule is likely a lot lighter this year due to widespread concerns over Coronavirus. Facebook is just the latest company to drop out of planned marketing activities around SXSW, while Mobile World Congress and GDC have been canceled altogether.

The details: Facebook has pulled out of SXSW amid concerns over Coronavirus, as well as nixing its F8 event. SXSW organizers are proceeding with the event as planned at this time.

Twitch To Surpass 40 Million US Users By 2021

eMarketer reports that, according to the first-ever forecast for the platform, Twitch is set to surpass 40 million US by the end of 2021.

Why it matters: Twitch is an impossible platform to ignore, reaching 15.5 percent of US digital video views this year. It’s also primed for growth around non-gaming content which drove significant traffic last year.

The details: Twitch will grow by 14.3 percent this year and is already the “largest platform for streaming game content, well ahead of YouTube, Mixer and Facebook Gaming,” according to eMarketer forecaster Peter Vahle.

Poshmark Finds 58% Of Consumers Would Buy Items On Social Media

Poshmark’s 2020 Social Commerce Report found that 58 percent of consumers are comfortable buying items through a social media platform instead of directly from a company’s website and 75 percent are okay buying something directly from a person online.

Why it matters: The findings mirror the growth of the resale market, which ThredUp estimates will reach $51 billion in five years. The findings also highlight the growth of peer-to-peer transactions, which Etsy is helping lead the way— its revenue increased 46.8 percent in Q4 2019, up from 41.3 percent in Q3 and 30.2 percent in Q2.  

The details: The report found that of all the sellers on Poshmark in 2019, 48 percent used a portion of their earnings to also make a purchase on the platform in the same year. Nearly 40 percent of the items in Poshmark users’ closets are secondhand. Generation-specific findings include: resale is trending among Gen Z and Gen X, millennials’ wardrobes straddle traditional mall brands and emerging brands and Boomers look to value chains more than any other generation. About 20 percent of Poshmark users are Gen Z and 35 percent of all US Poshmark sellers live in the South.

The findings are based on online surveys conducted by Zogby Analytics of 8,573 respondents, a majority of Poshmark users and some non-users, aged 18-75, in the US and Canada. 

New AI-Powered Facebook Feature Turns Any 2D Images Into 3D 

Facebook is upgrading its 3D Photos features, which launched in 2018, with a new option to transform static images into 3D photos, it announced in a blog post. It’s also working on enabling high-quality depth estimation for videos captured on mobile devices.

Why it matters: Up until now, Facebook’s 3D image option has been limited to higher-end devices. Now the new feature will apply to any image, captured on any device, be it Android, iOS, or a “decades-old images recently uploaded to a phone or laptop.”

The details: Facebook says it trained a convolutional neural network (CNN) on millions of pairs of public 3D images and their accompanying depth maps and used Facebook artificial intelligence-powered mobile-optimization techniques to create the feature. It’s available on iPhone 7 or higher or a recent midrange or better Android device. 

Facebook Rolls Out New Faster, Smaller Messenger App

Over the next few weeks, Facebook is rolling out a newer, faster version of messenger on iOS, which became its own app in 2011.

Why it matters: A more responsive messenger iOS app that doesn’t take up as much battery or storage will improve user experience for those using an older device and in areas with lower connectivity. Facebook writes in a blog post that the new messenger also, “lays the foundation to fulfill our vision for private messaging and interoperability across apps, allowing us to scale our messaging experience in the future.”

The details: The new messenger app will be one-quarter the size and load twice as fast. Facebook says it reduced messenger’s core code by 84 percent, rebuilding its features to fit the new lighter infrastructure. During the rebuild, some messenger features will be temporarily unavailable, but Facebook plans to bring them back soon.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 6. 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

Buffalo Wild Wings Transforms Restaurant Into March Madness B&B

Buffalo Wild Wings is building a bed and breakfast called BnB-Dubs inside the sports bar of its Chicago Lincoln Park restaurant to celebrate March Madness. The restaurant’s goal is to give four fans the chance to experience the game-day-themed pop-up, and “literally live at the bar.” 

Amenities of Bnb-Dubs include bunk beds, a mini basketball court, built-in flat screens, an on-call waitstaff and in-room dining. This includes the brand’s new brisket lineup, which it’s rolling out to all 1,250 locations this month. Guests can also wear bespoke loungewear like the custom varsity jacket-bathrobe made from pleather and terry plus matching signature slides. Buffalo Wild Wings will also provide guests with single serve-shower wet wipes infused with essential oils like “chamomile, castor and courage.”

To enter to win a stay at Buffalo Wild Wings’s pop-up, fans must record a video proving why they’re the ultimate March Madness fan, then post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #BnBDubsContest and tag a friend. Submissions are open now through March 12. Buffalo Wild Wings will notify two winners (who can each take a friend) via direct message on Selection Sunday. The microsite for the pop-up explains, “Throughout the contest period, check your DMs to see if our esteemed panel of sports bar analysts have selected you and your buddy to go dancin’ at BnB-Dubs.”

Overnight experiential activations are all the rage these days— has been known to host sleepover stays around the latest national holidays and films. Oscar Mayer turned its Wienermobile into an Airbnb for rent. Mattel and Airbnb transformed a Malibu home into a Barbie Dreamhouse. But for Buffalo Wild Wings, the move is unexpected. In late 2019, hiring a new agency for creative signaled the restaurant’s first step toward a revamped marketing approach. 

Ever since, it’s been making efforts to appeal to sports’ fans. In September 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings inked a multiyear deal with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture Roar Digital. The partnership launched a free, mobile football game called Picks and Props, which mimics sports betting and rewards winners via trips. 

Shortly after the announcement of their partnership, the companies launched a test program in New Jersey that gives customers inside the restaurant exclusive perks on the BetMGM app. 

Marketers Are Doubling Down On Micro-Influencers

Originally published on ION.

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

As influencer marketing matures, brands are recognizing what works and what doesn’t work. One important finding that has surfaced along the way is that nano- and micro-influencers have a greater influence than mega-influencers and celebrities. This had led to brands teaming up with figures who have smaller audiences, but bigger pull with their followers. 

Linqia’s “State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Influencer Marketing Grows Up” report found that 77 percent of marketers want to work with micro-influencers (those with 5,000-100,000 followers) versus 64 percent who want to work with macro-influencers, those with 100,000-500,000 followers. The desire to work with mega-influencers and celebrities, 30 percent and 22 percent, respectively, even fell short of marketers’ desire to work with nano-influencers, those with less than 5,000 followers, at 26 percent. Marketers rated micro-influencers 6.3 out of seven based on the amount of budget they plan to spend on micro-influencers, versus 5.8 for mega-influencers. 

Linqia found that engagement is the most important key performance indicator for marketers, as 71 percent measure the success of a campaign on this metric. Brand awareness and impressions came in second and third at 62 percent and 60 percent, respectively. If engagement is the top influencer marketing metric for brands, then micro-influencers are key to driving this metric. 

Micro-influencers have better engagement rates than mega-influencers across all channels, even on Twitter, according to Influencer Marketing Hub and CreatorIQ’s third annual Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report: 2020. This is particularly evident on Instagram, where nano-influencers have seven times the engagement rate than mega-influencers (7.2 percent versus 1.1 percent).

Another reason brands are betting big on micro-influencers? Because internet users lack confidence in mega-influencers. A GlobalWebIndex study proved this when 56 percent of US and UK respondents said they believe influencers with up to 50,000 followers are the most credible. 

Lyft uses micro-influencers to create a steady drumbeat of buzz around its brand campaigns and key cultural moments. To launch LyftUp—an initiative that provides access to affordable, reliable transportation for everyone, no matter their age, income, or zip code—Lyft focused on bike access, working with LeBron James and his company Uninterrupted to give one-year bikeshare memberships through the YMCA to youth all over the country. The campaign kicked off with LeBron sharing his story of how “it all started with a bike.”

The campaign continued with a series of social media posts from micro-influencers who told their raw stories of how bikes changed their life for the better. 

‘We tap into micro-influencers to tell our story in their own words. A best practice is to let them truly use their own voice. Putting too much creative direction, copy and rules on what you want the influencer to do is going to limit their creative genius. Remember, you chose to work with them because of their voice and aesthetic,” Lyft director of influencer marketing Bette Ann Schlossberg tells us.

When Lyft evaluates the success of campaigns, it looks at the typical metrics—impressions, earned media value (EMV) and engagement rate—but it finds that the most important metric is sentiment. 

“Seeing the community respond to the #LyftUp posts, and even seeing its drivers respond to these posts is often times the most valuable return on investment (ROI),” says Schlossberg. 

Although more marketers are interested in working with nano-influencers than celebrities and although micro-influencers cost less to work with, there are downsides to these partnerships. When asked to rate the top concerns in influencer marketing from a scale of one to six, Linqia’s respondents rated the amount of time it takes to manage influencer marketing programs a 4.2, making it a top-three concern. Given that more brands are working with micro-influencers these days, this could mean it takes more time to manage micro-influencer campaigns, allowing more room for mistakes and oversight.

They might have better engagement, but micro-influencer campaigns also have less reach, and that means less exposure. That’s why it’s important to tier your strategy, working with celebrities, macro-influencers and micro-influencers, says Schlossberg.

What We’re Reading–March 2nd

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 March 2.

Instagram Influencers Are Creating Their Own TV-Style Ad Breaks

“Instagram influencers are starting to put their own placeholders before and after their sponsored posts, similar to an ad break on TV.”

Why it matters: Concerns around disclosure could be this practice into hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority.

China’s Live Streaming Boom
Vogue Business

Rounding up the key trends propelling China’s live streaming boom.

Why it matters: Follow the money. According to a report from Deloitte, the Chinese live streaming market reached $4.4 billion in 2018, growing 37 percent over the previous year.

Can Influencers Rule Online Marketing In The Post-Cookie World?

The direct connection that influencers have with their audiences could be a solution to the impending end of the third-party cookie.

Why it matters: “The influencers themselves have access to the first-party data from their own followers, data they can legally share in aggregated, anonymized form for a specific campaign, with a specific brand. It can be a gold mine for smart companies.”

Keds Puts A Print Catalog At The Center Of Its New Marketing Strategy

Brands are experimenting with print campaigns as digital ads have become more prohibitive due to the array of competition.

Why it matters: “Anything and everything is fair game now. It’s a battle for engagement across all touchpoints. And sometimes an unconventional use of conventional media is a great way to relevantly connect.”

South by Southwest Is Not Canceled Despite Coronavirus Concerns

SXSW is still scheduled despite numerous cancelations from the likes of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook, Mashable, Amazon Studios and Intel due to fears over the spread of Coronavirus.

Why it matters: SXSW drew a crowd of 417,400 people last year, but so far organizers are undaunted by the potential spread of Coronavirus. Are you still attending or has your organization changed its plans for Austin this year? Let us know by shooting us an email at

Missguided Rapped By ASA For ‘Presenting Women As Sexual Objects’
The Drum

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has banned a recent ad from retailer Missguided for being too sexually suggestive and reducing the depicted model to a “sexual object.”

Why it matters: While Missguided’s ad purports to promote female empowerment, the result of the ASA’s arbitration brands it as sexist indicating a sensitivity around even the suggestion of sex in advertisements.

Inside The 2020 Campaign Messaging War That’s Pelting Our Phones With Texts
Fast Company

A look at how P2P texts from 2020 U.S. presidential hopefuls are having an effect on voters, including how such communication is possible via a loophole in federal law.

Why it matters: In short, the effectiveness of P2P texts has a lot to do with how people use messaging versus telephone calls and emails, as well as demographics.

Will Loyalty Programs Gain Renewed Value In A Cookie-Less Era?
Marketing Dive

Brands are adopting loyalty programs, a trend that is expected to grow as third-party cookies go the way of the dodo.

Why it matters:
Loyalty programs could limit the disruptions due to major consumer privacy initiatives by providing a stop-gap for tracking and attribution. “Consumers understand, at this point, that their data is the currency by which they barter. They just want to know that everything is above board. Loyalty programs can be a lot clearer or easier to understand in terms of how that happens.”

‘Mad Men’ Fans Can Peek Inside Don Draper’s Apartment With This 3D Re-Creation
Ad Age

WeWork’s head of visualization, Greg Rogers, lovingly recreated Don Draper’s Manhattan apartment in 3D from scratch.

Why it matters: A note to the creatives out there: if you’re feeling uninspired or drained, take it offline and invest your time in a creative project like Rogers has done.

Unilever Achieves 50/50 Gender Balance Across Global Leadership

A year ahead of its goal to achieve gender balance among its management, Unilever now has the same number of women as men in global leadership positions for the first time.

Why it matters: In the words of Unilever’s chief executive, Alan Jope: “Women’s equality is the single greatest unlock for social and economic development globally and having a gender-balanced workforce should be a given, not something that we aspire to.”

Do Most Businesses Have An Overarching Audience Data Strategy?
Marketing Profs

Recent research from Winterberry Group and the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) suggests that only 16 percent of survey respondents said that they are successfully implementing an overarching strategy to govern practices around dealing with audience data.

Why it matters: Major upcoming data protection initiatives like CCPA will necessitate that marketers develop a sound strategy around collecting and managing audience data.

Tackling Identity’s Biggest Challenges In A Cookieless World
Marketing Dive

Review the basic challenges around ‘identity’ and familiarize yourself with the four components to building an identity solution in light of Google’s announcement to end support for third-party cookies.

Why it matters: Has your organization given thought to what the end of the cookie means for resolving identities?

Nonprofits And Consumer Brands Borrow From Each Other’s Playbook To Engage Millennials
Marketing Dive

Nonprofits are taking a page from consumer brands by tapping into Millennial audiences, while consumer brands are appealing to audiences with more than just their products by putting purpose first.

Why it matters: Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places.

Mashable And Intel Are The Latest Brands To Pull Out Of SXSW
Ad Age

Mashable and Intel won’t be attending SXSW this year due to fears about the spread of Coronavirus. SXSW officials are moving forward, nonetheless.

Why it matters: You might have a clear calendar next week, if Coronavirus has anything to do with it. Track the latest announcements to see how your trip to SXSW may be affected.

The Best Leaders Are Versatile Ones
Harvard Business Review

An examination of why the capacity for versatility is so important for leaders.

Why it matters: Versatility is an important capacity to have as a leader, since versatile leaders have “more engaged employees and higher performing teams,” among a number of other positives.

Why You Need To Break Down Marketing Silos
Ad Age

While siloing business functions makes sense in terms of decentralization, the practice can lead to a host of communication issues between teams that should share common goals.

Why it matters: Silos cause redundancy, harm business,cause a lack of cohesiveness and lead to the development of inconsistent customer experiences, among other problems.

Which C-Suite Leader Has The Most Confidence In The CMO? You Won’t Believe The Answer

“A new study from Deloitte […] of 575 executives across the C-suite found that the CEO is the C-suite leader with the greatest trust in the CMO.”

Why it matters: This one is a case of perception vs. reality, especially regarding the notion that CEOs are largely disappointed in CMOs and lack confidence in them. This new Deloitte study says otherwise.

CMOs Lose Status As Companies Shift Spending To Technology
Marketing Dive

“The number of companies that said CMOs were among their best-paid officers fell 35 percent from 1999 to 2017 as the compensation for technology executives surged, per a study of company filings by the Harvard Business Review.”

Why it matters: “The data suggests the importance of CMOs has declined, supporting the researchers’ earlier assessment that marketing is less valued today than it once was.”

Four Seasons Checks In To Podcasts With Influencer-Led Travel Series
Mobile Marketer

A new podcast series from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts encourages travelers to make use of the extra time they have due to leap year.

Why it matters: In a 2019 study from BBC Global News, branded or corporate podcasts were found to be more effective to reach consumers than TV or radio ads. The result indicated that “podcasts out-performed TV ads by 22 percent on measures of engagement, emotional intensity and memory encoding.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 6. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at