eBay Offers Free Appraisals At Drive-Thru Authentication Station

Following a 25 percent revenue increase in Q3, eBay has converted a Los Angeles gas station into a drive-thru “Authentication Station” where people can appraise and sell their high-end sneakers, watches and collectibles without leaving the car.

The socially-distant initiative comes on the heels of eBay’s new Authenticity Guarantee, a program that involves independent experts verifying items through inspections. The offering is currently available for $200-plus sneakers and watches, two of the marketplace’s largest and popular luxury categories.

To get an appraisal, attendees drive up and stay in their car as an eBay attendant—a top eBay seller and a member of third-party authentication partner Sneaker Con—will take the item inside the station for inspection. Once the item is verified, the person has the option to sell on the spot.

In 2019, eBay sold nearly six million sneakers in North America and over 2 million watches. On average, there are more than half a million sneaker listings on eBay each day and 165,000 daily live listings for luxury watches.

Sales for Rolex, which accounts for 40 percent of luxury watch sales on the site, have increased 60 percent on eBay since last year.

eBays Authentication Station will be open for three days November 19 -21, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 4450 Beverly Blvd.

Between 19 million sellers worldwide and 183 million global active buyers, eBay’s revenues reached $2.6 billion in Q3. Gross merchandise volume was $25 billion, up 22 percent year-over-year.

“A year ago, we were losing share in [the collectible sneakers] category, but now we’re seeing over 50% [volume] growth year to date — and that was before launching the authenticity guarantee,” CEO Jamie Iannone said in a conference call with analysts.

In June, eMarketer reported that Walmart surpassed eBay in share of US ecommerce sales for the first time.

Snapchat Rolls Out New Ad Options For App Marketers

This week in social media news, Snapchat introduces new ways for app marketers to promote their app on the platform, Instagram adds branded content tags to Reels, YouTube will insert ads into content that isn’t part of its Partner Program, Instagram launches a new Community Feature for shops, YouTube launches audio ads, Twitter expands its Stories-like Fleets to all users, Twitch reaches record viewership in October and Instagram adds a keyword search functionality. 

Snapchat Introduces New Ad Options For App Marketers

Snapchat is rolling out new ad options via Creative Kit and Login Kit to enable marketers to cross-link their app features within the platform.

Why it matters: The cross-connection will create more opportunities for Snap to attract outside spending, and builds off of Snap Minis, which was introduced earlier this year to enable creators to make mini versions of their apps within Snapchat.

The details: Using Snapchat’s Creative Kit, app marketers can now link their app data with Dynamic Lenses to showcase app details through augmented reality (AR) promotions.

Those focused on user acquisition can now optimize their Lens campaigns towards installs as their primary key performance indicator by setting a desired cost-per-install bid.

In early December. Snapchat’s new ‘App Conversions’ objective will provide app marketers an improved deep link ad format to create more engagement, the ability to create custom audiences based on their in-app behaviors and new goal-based bidding options to optimize toward repeat actions.

Lastly, app campaigns will include minimum return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding to allow app marketers to set a specific ROAS.

Instagram Adds New Branded Content Tag To Reels

Instagram has launched a branded content tag option on Reels to ensure influencers clearly disclose when content is branded. Plus, a new creation flow will enable advertisers to run branded content ads without the need for creators to post organically on Instagram first.

Why it matters: Until today, branded content ads could only be created by promoting existing posts from creators.

The details: In addition to Instagram’s new branded content tag on Reels and ad creation flow for brands, branded content ads in Stories can now include tappable elements, such as mentions, location and hashtags.

Until today, branded content posts from creators that included product tags weren’t able to be promoted. Instagram is changing that to let businesses promote these kinds of posts as users increasingly shop directly from their favorite creators.

Lastly, brands can set a minimum age for their branded content feed posts.

YouTube To Run Ads During Non-Monetized Videos

As part of an update to its Terms of Service, YouTube will insert ads into content that isn’t part of its YouTube Partner Program (YPP), the company announced.

Why it matters: As per YouTube:

”This means as a creator that’s not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads, though you’ll still have the opportunity to apply for YPP as you normally would once you meet the eligibility requirements.”

The details: Other updates to YouTube’s terms include an explicit ban on the collection of facial recognition data from videos, and creator revenue payments from YouTube being treated as royalties from a tax perspective.

Instagram Launches Community Content Feature For Shops

Instagram has added a new feature called Community Content that lets brands request to feature user-generated content in product pages on their Instagram shop.

Why it matters: Instagram tells WWD that the feature is “another step in its path to becoming a legit shopping destination.”

The details: As part of the new feature, a brand will be notified when a user tags them in their photo or video. The brand will then have the option to ask the creator for permission to use the content in a particular product page. Creators will not be compensated for being featured.

YouTube Rolls Out Audio Ads

YouTube has announced its first audio ad format, currently in beta, to help brands get discovered alongside music content.

Why it matters: YouTube says music video streaming is at an all time high, noting that more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.

The details: YouTube’s new audio ads include audio as the focal point, accompanied by a visual component such as a still image or simple animation.

During its alpha testing, YouTube found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns drove a significant lift in brand awareness. 

Early tester Shutterfly drove benchmark lifts of 14 percent lift in ad recall and two percent lift in favorability among its target audience when using YouTube’s audio ads to influence purchase consideration.

The new audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the regular audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns.

In addition to audio ads, YouTube is launching dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres like Latin music, K-pop, hip hop and Top 100, to enable brands to reach music fans globally.

Twitter Expands Stories-Like Fleets To All Users

Twitter has rolled out its Stories-like Fleets function to all iOS and Android users as “a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening.”

Why it matters: Twitter initially launched Fleets in Japan, and found through its tests there and in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea that people feel more comfortable joining the conversation through this ephemeral option because traditional tweeting feels, “so public, so permanent and like there’s so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes.”

The details: Like Instagram Stories, Twitter’s Fleets disappear from view after 24 hours. Tweeters can “Fleet” text, reactions to tweets, photos or videos and customize Fleets with different backgrounds and text options. To share a Fleet, users must tap the “Share” icon at the bottom of the tweet composer and tap “Share in Fleet.” Then they can add their message with text or emojis.

Twitter says it plans to add stickers and live broadcasting for Fleets soon.

Twitter will show users who viewed their Fleet in the “Seen By” text at the bottom of the Fleet. In addition, users will have the option of reporting Fleets that violate Twitter’s rules.

Twitch Viewership Reaches 1.6 Billion Hours Watched In October

According to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg, Twitch reached a new viewership record, increasing by 14 percent in October to 1.6 billion hours of live-streamed video watched.

Why it matters: Twitch, like Facebook Gaming and YouTube, has seen a surge in activity since the pandemic hit, with viewership up 99 percent since October 2019 when it reached 839 million hours watched.

The details: Contributing to Twitch’s growth was its “Just Chatting” section, which StreamElements CEO Doron Nir considers the platform’s most popular destination for the year, as reported by Forbes.

Other non-gamer sectors such as Science & Technology also thrived on Twitch, fueled by discussions around the pandemic.

Instagram Adds Keyword Search Functionality

Instagram is rolling out a new functionality that enables users to search for specific keywords in addition to being able to search profiles, hashtags and locations.

Why it matters: The new keyword search could serve as a search engine optimization (SEO) mechanism via brand captions to boost brand awareness and discoverability.

The details: When users search a specific term, Instagram will present all the posts that include those exact words, making it easier for users to identify content beyond what’s available in hashtags.

As per Instagram, keyword search will be limited to general interest topics and keywords that are part of its community guidelines. The results will be based on type of content, captions and the date of the post.

Reddit User Base Will Grow 25.3 Percent This Year To 37.7 Million

This year, Business Insider’s Insider Intelligence expects Reddit’s monthly user base to grow by 25.3 percent to reach 37.7 million users.

Why it matters: According to Business Insider, Reddit’s news-oriented nature coupled with the rise in entertainment consumption will contribute to a sharp boost in the platform’s usage this year.

The details: The 37.7 million users account for logged-in users as Reddit’s site and app allow for anonymous browsing, which Business Insider says it doesn’t measure.

As news about the pandemic and election cycle begins to subside, Business Insider anticipates Reddit’s growth will slow to 8.2 percent in 2021.

Facebook Adds New Monetization Opportunities For Its Creators

Facebook announced it will give creators the ability to collect ad earnings from matched Rights Manager content and will offer in-stream ads in more countries.

Why it matters: As brands continue upping their influencer spend despite the pandemic, Facebook is looking to give its creators more ways to achieve their financial goals.

The details: First up, Facebook has given creators who have a large or growing catalog of content the option to apply for expanded access to Rights Manager, which means they’ll have better control when, how and where they share content across Facebook and Instagram.

Within Rights Manager, Facebook has improved its Collect Ad Earnings tool, enabling creators to collect ad earnings from matching videos that include in-stream ads. It says it plans to launch new video insights to help rights holders optimize their protection activities.  

As per Facebook: “We’ve added a new filter view for spotting monetizable matches, better guidance for how to capture monetization opportunities, exportable revenue reports, and the ability to collect ad earnings while placing an ownership link on the matched video.”

Facebook has also added an in-stream ad toggle to the Creator Studio app to simplify management from mobile devices.

Lastly, Facebook has expanded in-stream ads to Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Turkey, adding to the 45 countries where the program is currently available.

Twitter Is Named Exclusive Voting Partner For One Game Awards Category

At this year’s Game Awards, the Most Anticipated Game category will be decided by fan votes on Twitter, reports Variety.

Why it matters: In the wake of the gaming industry’s explosion this year, Twitter sees an opportunity to sell advertising against the Game Awards, which will stream live from sets in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo on December 10 at 7 p.m. ET across 45 global video platforms including Twitter.

Twitter and the Game Awards have been partnering up since the show first debuted in 2014. According to Variety, the Game Awards generated 2 million tweets, and viewership of the show on Twitter surged 50 percent from the year prior.

The details: The Game Awards will announce nominees in the ‘Most Anticipated Game’ category on November 18 at 9 a.m. PT and open voting to users through Twitter DMs shortly after.

On the day of the show, Twitter will add an animated awards trophy to tweets that include the hashtag #TheGameAwards. 

Twitter Promotes Jennifer Prince To Global Head Of Content Partnerships

This week in leadership updates, Jennifer Prince accepts a promotion as Twitter’s global head of content partnerships, Tara Rush is elevated to SVP and CMO of Audi USA, Adidas names Vicky Free as SVP of global marketing, ShopRunner taps TJ Papp as CMO, Tommy Hilfiger welcomes Tara Rush as president and chief brand officer and more.

Twitter Elevates Jennifer Prince To Global Head Of Content Partnerships

Jennifer Prince has accepted a promotion as Twitter’s global vice president and head of content partnerships, reports Variety.

The update comes nearly a year after the departure of Kay Madati, who previously held the position.

Prince was most recently Twitter’s head of media and entertainment advertising revenue partnerships. Before joining Twitter in August 2013, Prince was head of ad sales for film and television at Google and YouTube.

Audi Of America Appoints Tara Rush As Chief Marketing Officer

Tara Rush has accepted a promotion as Audi of America’s senior vice president and CMO, making her the first woman to lead marketing at the company.

Rush will continue her responsibilities as chief communications officer until a replacement is named.

Prior to Audi, Rush served as chief corporate affairs officer for Heineken USA.

Adidas Names Vicky Free As Senior Vice President Of Global Marketing

Adidas has announced the appointment of Vicky Free to SVP of global marketing, reports WWD.

Free previously served as SVP and CMO at Novant Health. Prior to Novant, Free was SVP of marketing and creative at Disney.

ShopRunner Appoints TJ Papp As CMO And Head Of Marketplace-As-A-Service

According to WWD, TJ Papp has joined ShopRunner as CMO and head of marketplace-as-a-service.

Papp joins from Greats, where he was head of ecommerce. Prior to that, he was SVP, global brand and direct-to-consumer for Kenneth Cole.

Tommy Hilfiger Hires Avery Baker As President And Chief Brand Officer

Tommy Hilfiger has welcomed back longtime employee, Avery Baker, as president and chief brand officer.

Since joining the brand in 1998, Baker has held various roles across the company’s global offices.

Baker returns after stepping down in mid-2019.

On Location Experiences Appoints Deborah Curtis As Chief Marketing Officer

Deborah Curtis has joined On Location Experiences as CMO, reports Deadline.

Curtis most recently served as vice president, head of global brand and product experience at American Express for the past decade.

Her appointment follows Endeavor acquiring a majority stake in On Location in early 2020. On Location has partnerships with the NFL, NCAA, PGA of America and the United States Tennis Association, among others.

PodcastOne Appoints Ilana Susnow As Head Of Marketing And Audience Development

PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive, has named Ilana Susnow as its head of marketing and audience development.

Susnow will oversee all marketing initiatives for PodcastOne’s podcasts, including The Adam Carolla Show, The LadyGang and Off the Vine, among others.

Susnow joins PodcastOne from E.W. Scripp’s Pickler and Ben talk show as head of marketing and integrations.

What We’re Reading—Week Of November 16th

Purpose & Sustainability Needs To Include Usefulness: ANA CEO Weighs In On Brand Trends


Through conversations with its CMO friends during COVID-19, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that consumers are interested in authentic relationships and tangible actions that move conversations around racial and social injustices forward.

Why it matters: ANA’s research indicates that companies have seen improvements in gender equity, but not as much in diversity, as only about 12 percent of the CMO community is from a multicultural background.

Mondelez CMO Defends Calling Marketing Strategy ‘Humaning’


Despite receiving backlash from experts and on social media, Mondelez International CEO Martin Renaud is backing the company’s decision to call its new marketing tactic “humaning,” defined as “a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving Mondelez International beyond cautious data-driven tactics and uncovering what unites us all.”

Why it matters: A recent survey Mondelez conducted found that snacking helps consumers connect with each other. Now, the company’s marketing focuses will be leading with purpose, making each product “right,” mastering creativity and being digital-first.

Pandora’s Open Beta For Audibility Is About Helping Advertisers Get More Comfortable Spending On Audio


Pandora is moving into the next phase of its beta testing of the Media Rating Council’s audibility standard with advertisers across 50 campaigns to understand the effectiveness and optimal duration to drive favorability of audio ads. Partnering with Oracle Data Cloud’s Moat on the tests, Pandora’s plan is to be able to support the MRC’s audibility standard by 2021.

Why it matters: In its 2018 research, Pandora discovered that simply saying a brand’s name over the course of two seconds is enough to generate basic recall.

Paid Active Influencers And Sponsored Content On TikTok Surge


The latest report from Traackr found that from the first half of 2019 to the second half of 2020, the number of paid active influencers on TikTok increased by 368 percent, sponsored posts increased by 95 percent and engagements with those posts increased by 298 percent.

Why it matters: Traackr observed a noticeable decline in the overall amount of sponsored content on other social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

How Promotional Games Can Drive Business Beyond 2020

Ad Age

A recent study conducted by The Marketing Store found that consumers have embraced gaming as an essential part of their new normal, with more than 88 percent playing games during the pandemic and 46 percent playing everyday.

Why it matters: Given that gamers are playing to relax and/or to connect with friends and family, brands must shift marketing away from being purely transactional to inducing emotional engagement. To successfully utilize promotional gaming, brands should ensure their game is easy to start, offer tier rewards to drive participation and rewards, include low value/high quantity prizing, partner with complementary brands and enable technology to ensure user accessibility.

Marketing In The Cloud With NetApp CMO James Whitemore

On this 234th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with the CMO of NetApp, James Whitemore. Over the last six years, NetApp has made the switch from a traditional data-storage company to a cloud-based storage company, and Whitemore is here to talk all about it.

We start our conversation off with Whitemore’s childhood in the U.K. and how an affinity for toying with technology sparked an early interest in the field. Whitemore then outlines his professional journey, starting as a salesman for a mobile phone company in the U.K., which led him to work for big tech in the data storage field in the U.S.  Whitemore made the switch to the startup industry and that eventually led him to NetApp. NetApp has been “managing large-scale data storage” for over 30 years in countries all over the world. We then dive into the recent shift into large-scale cloud data storage and how that has affected NetApp’s sales and marketing processes.

Whitemore’s background in sales helped him make the shift, staying true to the guiding question, “what’s the selling experience got to look like for that client?” He has found that there is no cookie-cutter process, and the clients must “pick their own journey.” Whitemore then touches on how the shift in technology has forced a change in employee demographics, stating that “we had a lot of people who understand how to use the technology…but if you don’t have people that really know how to put it to work,” then you’re stuck. In a world that is navigating chaos, NetApp is trying to “redefine what enterprise-class cloud storage services should look like!”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • James grew up in and around technology, knowing that he wanted to work in tech from a young age. 1:02
  • After University in the UK, James began his career selling mobile phones before moving to Colorado to join the storage industry. 1:31
  • James became tired of big tech and made the switch over to helping bring startups off the ground. 2:45
  • NetApp has been managing large-scale data environments for over 30 years for companies all over the world. 3:21
  • Over the last 5 or 6 years, NetApp has switched from storing data in large data centers to storing data in clouds, making data movement much easier. 4:21
  • NetApp has had to reinvent the company to serve both the data center and cloud audiences. 5:56
  • The entire sales process has changed because the demographics of those sold to has changed with the cloud. 7:01
  • Sales cycles have been very predictable for the most part until cloud selling reared its head. 8:26
  • James’s background in sales has made the switch over to cloud sales smoother. 10:36
  • NetApp has had to throw away the classic qualification process, essentially allowing clients to choose their own journey. 12:50
  • Marketing organization, funding models, and metrics have had to shift after 20+ years of traditional infrastructure. 13:28
  • Many services that had traditionally been outsourced had to be brought in-house because they are core to what NetApp does. 14:24
  • It’s taken over three years for the company’s demographics to change following the shift in technology. 16:23
  • The revenue-marketing team is working towards shifting the company mentality from lead generation to revenue generation. 17:37
  • NetApp’s ability to help its customers transform their companies has skyrocketed with the shift in technology and people. 18:54
  • New interest and new buyers are coming in at an incredible rate for a 30-year-old company. 20:16
  • NetApp knows where to look for their customers and what information those people need to hear. 21:10
  • I. bots have become an essential part of the selling process by acquiring information from potential customers. 22:14
  • James is on a mission to redefine cloud storage services to one of convenience for the users. 22:57
  • The marketing team focuses on what their audience is going through during the global pandemic to meet their needs. 24:18
  • While consumers are dealing with the chaos of the world, NetApp makes sure to take care of its employees while they deal with the same troubles. 25:30
  • James’s dyslexia forced him to go through an extra level of work to get through school, but this made him resilient to the world’s tough realities. 27:55
  • Learning difficulties do not equate to stupidity but should be seen as an opportunity to confidently navigate obstacles. 29:52
  • Dolly Parton’s foundation works to make literature accessible to children around the world, and that cause resonates with NetApp. 32:46
  • James was on the Peloton train very early and admires how it has created a community on its platform. 33:45
  • B2B and B2C are the same, presenting both challenges and opportunities. 34:46

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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.

Listen In: Good Work Begins With Good Health

First thing’s first. Take a deep breath. Exhale.

How are you feeling right now?

Our show today is all about turning inward and taking small steps to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves. Ayzenberg Senior Strategist and yoga instructor to a.network, Alexa Borghi, reminds us that to do well at work, we need to be healthy and happy. And that begins with mindfulness and self-reflection.

“For any career it’s important to have your focus on personal health first.” And as Alexa notes, “There’s no time more relevant than 2020 to have this conversation.”

The conversation ranges from how her work as a yoga instructor impacts her work as a senior strategist, the books she recommends for those interested in pursuing yoga and tenets for achieving a greater awareness of our own wellbeing. Oh, and a few exercises you can start doing immediately to help combat stress.

All told, Alexa’s philosophy is something anyone can put into action: private reflection can make you a more fulfilled professional and is the first step toward increasing your general wellness.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the a.network audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

Mobile Ad Spend Will Reach $290 Billion in 2021

As media consumption continues to surge, App Annie’s latest report reveals five key mobile trends marketers need to know as mobile continues to function as a portal to the outside world.

First up, TikTok’s user base is set to soar. App Annie expects the app will reach 1.2 billion average monthly active users (MAUs) next year. Hitting that milestone will position TikTok alongside competitors who have already exceeded the 1 billion MAUs mark, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and YouTube.

TikTok’s projected surge will come on the heels of its strong Q3 performance, when it ranked the number two non-gaming app by consumer spend.

Next, App Annie anticipates time spent in key “at-home” mobile categories will exceed 1.3 trillion hours on Android phones alone in 2021. Business and education apps will see a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57 percent and 62 percent, respectively, as people continue to work and learn remotely.

At a 43 percent CAGR, global time spent streaming on mobile will also surge, topping 1 trillion hours on Android phones alone next year.

Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, consumers turned to mobile to use finance apps, in which time spent globally will surpass 31 billion hours annually on Android phones in 2021—representing a four-year CAGR of 35 percent.

US consumers will set a new record for mobile shopping at 1 billion hours spent on Android devices in the holiday shopping season, taking time spent in shopping apps in 2021 to a four-year CAGR of 40 percent.

Consumers are feverishly spending on mobile games. According to App Annie, average weekly downloads of games worldwide were up 15 percent year-over-year in Q3. With increased demand for casual and core gaming, consumer spend on mobile games will surpass $120 billion in 2021.

App Annie says 2021 will be the year of the hybrid mobile game genres, a result of mobile phones delivering more sophisticated experiences previously only available on console or PC and hyper casual games adopting midcore elements. During the first half of the year, hyper casual games saw 5 billion downloads worldwide.

This hybridization will also occur in multiplayer games, which are becoming more casual and will continue to be in high demand as consumers seek to stay connected with friends and family.

In Q3, overall time spent in apps globally was up 25 percent YoY. During the first half of 2020, App Annie observed a 70 percent increase in mobile ad placements despite reduced budgets. It’s due to this resiliency that App Annie predicts mobile ad spend will jump to $290 billion, a two-year CAGR of 21 percent.

Consumers in the US will have an average of 9.5 video streaming apps downloaded on their phones in 2021—up 85 percent from 2019. As competition in the space intensifies, App Annie advises companies capitalize on features that cater to today’s socially distant consumers, such as those that encourage socializing, connection and shared experiences.

Ayzenberg Social Index Adds Earned Media Values For TikTok

Brand interest, user engagement and moves in social commerce have never been stronger when it comes to TikTok. Hence the reason Ayzenberg has taken the guesswork out of measuring your brand’s success on the tween-beloved app and introduced TikTok values to its Social Index.

Now, in addition to showing how your campaigns stack up by vertical through earned media values across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter, Ayzenberg’s Earned Media Value Index (a.EMVI) will provide value metrics for engagements on TikTok—which in April was the top-grossing non-gaming app globally with more than $78 million in user spending.

According to Vincent Juarez, Ayzenberg CMO and a.EMVI author, the goal of Social Index is to provide marketers with the most comprehensive benchmarks for tracking earned media values (EMVs). As a result, Ayzenberg’s data science team is constantly monitoring the social media landscape to identify new and emerging platforms that matter most to marketers.

“Most platforms provide robust analytics in terms of video views, time spent, followers, likes, comments and shares among other metrics. Filling the void and providing marketers with earned media or advertising value equivalents (AVEs) for platforms like TikTok provides a foundation for testing, learning and optimizing future content efforts. It will also help standardize benchmarks to compare against other platforms,” said Juarez.

Though the a.EMVI TikTok values are still in the evolutionary stage, Juarez says that current value per views (VPVs) are significantly lower than other platforms, in the sub $.05 range due to the high volume, view count methodology and other factors. In comparison, platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are typically in the $.10+ range. Value per clicks (VPCs) are also in the lower range – $.35 vs $1+ range for other platforms, according to Juarez.

Juarez says It’s important to note that Social Index values are in a constant state of evolution as Ayzenberg’s resident data scientists are constantly refining proprietary algorithms to determine values. 

“Since AVEs are a part of the equation, the algorithm is constantly learning based on the multiple data points ingested. The core methodology established for other key social platforms is used as the foundation, which creates less of a learning curve as it applies to TikTok,” said Juarez.

Heather Cohen, Ayzenberg vice president of media, says that Social Index aims to offer an apples to apples comparison for EMV across social media platforms. To arrive at these scores, Ayzenberg examines variables such as a client’s objectives on social, engagement, conversion, reach, efficiency and share of voice (SOV) against a brand’s competitive set.

“One of the biggest issues on social media is having third party verification as most of the numbers are self-reported. Brand safety has been critical as we’ve seen less savory sources utilizing number and searchable terms to their benefit, which has left brands open to being in less ad-friendly environments. A VPV, VPC and VPM help to gather not just the tangible values of when dollars are spent on a purchase, but also those intangible values like when a customer leaves a review or shares a product on social platforms,” said Cohen.

Given 60 percent of TikTok users are Gen Z, TikTok presents a lucrative opportunity for brands to reach young consumers, but its foray into the app must be intentional.

“For marketers to care about these values, they must first care about the platform. We care about TikTok because it provides an opportunity to reach and interact with a relatively untapped Gen Z audience. A brand’s entry to this space must be authentic and representative of key platform behaviors that work to build relationships rather than brand priorities,” said Steven Monterastelli, associate director of data and insights of Ayzenberg’s marketing science team.

If you’re interested in seeing how your social campaigns stack up, a.network developed the Social Index tool with the goal of becoming the industry standard for measuring earned media value (EMV) and campaign ROI. 

Social Index 2.0 leverages a combination of expert analysis, machine learning algorithms and vast amounts of proprietary and public data. The index helps brands and agencies take engagement and earned media ROI measurement to the next level.

For more information: https://earnedmediavalues.com/

IAB: The Brands Of 2021 Will Be Storeless, Streaming And Data-Rich

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2021 Brand Disruption Report, the pandemic has accelerated the nation’s shift to a “storeless” direct brand economy five times faster than pre-pandemic rates.

Hastening this shift has been the rise of ecommerce, which now represents 23-25 percent of all retail commerce in the US, more than seven times what it was in 1995, according to IAB.

Research from McKinsey shows that nearly every consumer category will see 15-45 percent growth in permanent online shopping.

As a result, IAB expects brick-and-mortar store closures in the US to top 25,000 this year, nearly three times last year’s record number of closings. Among the major retailers that announced bankruptcy due to the pandemic include Neiman Marcus, Pier 1, Sur La Table, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, J.C. Penney and Lord & Taylor.

“Faced with recession-minded consumers fearing out-of-home contact and hamstrung by compromised logistics and retail operations, retailers are using digital 1-to-1 channels, such as text and chat, to reach consumers, sell products and put products in shoppers’ hands,” Chris Bruderle, senior director, research & analytics, IAB, tells AList.

At thriving major retailers, same-day delivery is booming. As per IAB, Target’s same-day delivery grew 350 percent during COVID while its “buy online, pickup in store’ (BIPOS) offering grew 700 percent. Currently, 43 percent of the top 500 US retailers now offer BIPOS, up from seven percent last December.

Directly shoppable media such as livestreams, social commerce, virtual consultations and shoppable ad formats will be the fastest-growing ad categories in 2021, says IAB.

Many brands have already incorporated these formats into their strategy. Coty recently boosted conversions with an augmented reality (AR) beauty try-on Snapchat lens; TikTok announced a global partnership with Shopify; General Mills is making its brands’ sites more experience-driven and content-focused; and Esteé Lauder launched a voice-activated sampling campaign on Spotify to promote its new product.

Shoppable livestreams have also seen a surge in engagement during the pandemic. In July, Amazon launched Amazon Live for influencers as Facebook and Instagram rolled out live shopping features in August. IAB’s research shows that this year, sales from global livestreams will double to $120 billion. Last year, China’s major online shopping festival, Singles Day, alone generated $2.9 billion in sales.

“Being successful in livestreaming comes down to creating original, live video content that is entertaining, engaging and interactive, combined with seamless checkout functionality,” says Bruderle.

This will require brands to enable consumers to directly interact with sellers on the platform for Q&As and tutorials. To get off the ground quicker, Bruderle says brands can enlist companies like Livescale, Bambuser or Popshop Live that offer full-service, livestreaming capabilities.

IAB says that the introduction of shoppable formats will strengthen the free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) medium, which has seen significant growth during lockdowns. NBCUniversal’s Peacock reached nearly 22 million users, according to its Q3 performance update. Similarly, Xumo, recently acquired by Comcast, said that since January, its user base has ballooned 2.5 times to hit more than 24 million US monthly active users.

Digital acceleration coupled with government privacy regulations is fueling 60 percent of marketers to stress-invest in first-party data, a necessary ingredient for remaining competitive. 

To operate as a data-first company while overall maintaining privacy compliance, Bruderle suggests putting mechanisms in place to capture customer consent to use their data for marketing purposes, then finding trustworthy data partners to supplement that data with user attributes around media behaviors and shopping intent. 

Next, brands should find ways to activate that data such as through identity resolution partners, CRMs, CDPs and other data activation technologies. Lastly, he says they’ll need to find scale on the open web, which means finding publisher partners who have validated their own audiences and are thus able to match that back with the brand’s first-party data.

“Overall, retailers need to reimagine their current, offline shopping experiences into online shopping experiences, or to put it another way–turn “IRL” into “IVL,” says Bruderle.

68 Percent Of Consumers Will Do Their Holiday Shopping Online

With thousands of brick-and-mortar stores set to close this year, the holiday season is even more important to retailers. Yet a new report signals more bad news for the group and the potential demise of Black Friday. According to 97th Floor, 52 percent of consumers have decided to never do their holiday shopping in stores.

97th Floor surveyed 1,000 US shoppers to understand their hopes and fears regarding crowded malls and online shopping in the wake of COVID-19.

As expected, 68 percent of respondents said they plan to do most of their holiday shopping online due to the pandemic. What’s more, 81 percent of shoppers said that even if retailers offer great in-store experiences during the holidays, they’re still not sure they’d want to shop in person.

Despite research that suggests consumers are tightening their wallets, the report found that 73 percent of shoppers will spend either the same amount or less than they did last season.

Consumers’ fears about in-store shopping have also led to a dim holiday spirit. Just 20 percent of respondents said they’re definitely in a holiday “shopping mood.” And only 26 percent of people who have been to a midnight Black Friday doorbuster said it was worth it, an indication that the end of in-store Black Friday shopping is near.

Still, for those who do plan to shop in store, 54 percent said they want to get through their shopping lists by early November to avoid crowds.

These findings echo those of a Loqate report about consumer shipping expectations, which revealed that convenience and safety are top priorities for shoppers. As consumers plan to shop online, retailers must ensure packages arrive on time for 38 percent of shoppers are concerned they’ll arrive late and 10 percent are extremely unlikely to buy from a brand that delivered a late package.

For 59 percent of online retailers, the concern is that shipper fees may strain profitability, according to Loqate.

Retailers looking to make up for pandemic losses should also consider implementing an address verification solution as 40 percent of shoppers trust retailers who have one more than retailers without it. In addition, 22 percent of shoppers would make another purchase in the future from that retailer.