Agility And Empowerment Through Tough Times With ThirdLove Co-Founder Heidi Zak

On this 237th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Heidi Zak, the co-founder and CEO of ThirdLove, the 3rd largest online bra and underwear company in the United States. Zak is passionate about making sure all women feel comfortable in their underwear, no matter their shape or size.

Our conversation starts with a glimpse of Zak’s past, growing up in a town of just 3,000 people and working at a farmer’s market. After college, Zak finally found her way to the Big Apple while working in an investment bank’s retail division. Zak then talks about the cushy job with Google that pulled her out west, the same cushy job that she decided to leave to start ThirdLove. In a market dominated by men, Zak had a hard time finding investors for her women’s bra and underwear company, that is until some men were able to see the “opportunity to do things differently in all aspects.”

We then dive into the challenges presented by COVID that forced ThirdLove to “cut back on marketing expenses to focus on efficiency.” Zak then tackles the issue of creating content when the world is shut down, claiming, “as a marketer, you’re constantly in the cycle of content creation, but sometimes you might not maximize the assets that you’ve already created.” Lastly, Zak discusses ThridLove’s support of entrepreneurs with its TL Effect program in an attempt to show everyone that “you can support causes through what you show to the world!”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Heidi grew up in a 3,000-person town just outside of Niagara Falls and learned a lot from her time working at a farmer’s market. 1:41
  • It wasn’t until after college that Heidi found her way to the retail group at an investment bank in NYC. 3:01
  • Like most college graduates, Heidi had no idea what she wanted to do after school. 4:09
  • Banking served as an excellent entryway for Heidi to understand basic business skills that she used to build her own company. 4:32
  • Heidi made the switch to the operations side out of a desire to learn more about operating a retail business. 5:12
  • A job at Google brought Heidi out to the West Coast, where she got her first taste of entrepreneurship and the startup industry. 5:50
  • Heidi quit her job at Google to start ThirdLove with her husband after seeing a need in the market. 6:40
  • It was difficult to raise seed money for ThirdLove in a world dominated by men at the time. 7:31
  • When COVID hit, ThirdLove hunkered down and prepared for the worst-case scenario. 8:49
  • The market for bras has changed a little as more and more people have started working from home. 10:24
  • ThirdLove had to cut back the most in the Television marketing sector while becoming more efficient in all other sectors. 11:38
  • In the last month or two, ThirdLove has been able to reinvest in mid to upper-funnel marketing. 12:30
  • Heidi is always testing out new markets to see where the potential lies for innovation. 13:00
  • Creating content became trickier when COVID hit, forcing ThirdLove to do things differently with the same stuff. 14:25
  • Leveraging content from customers and the team has allowed the brand to connect with its audience. 15:32
  • With so many social movements going on in today’s society, ThirdLove has put the elements of inclusivity and diversity at the company’s forefront. 16:55
  • TL Effect supports a new-business female founder of color by providing mentorship, a monetary grant, and promotion through ThirdLove. 17:55
  • Kyutee Nails was the first winner of the TL Effect and provides unique nail services while many salons are shut down. 20:02
  • Competitive gymnastics during her childhood showed Heidi the power of dedication and determination. 21:45
  • Just like Alan, Heidi struggled with how the apparel industry makes its clothing around these one-fit models. 23:14
  • If Heidi could go back, she would focus more on the moment and less on the future. 25:35
  • ThirdLove has been conducting more testing and research with SMS technology to connect with its customers. 28:23
  • Heidi believes that the sheer amount of brands competing for consumer mindshare makes it hard to stand out from the competition. 30:25

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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.

Toyota North America Elevates Lisa Materazzo To Group Vice President Of Marketing

This week in leadership updates, Toyota North America promotes Lisa Materazzo to group vice president of marketing, CarLotz hires Michael Chapman as CMO, Meredith Corporation names Amanda Dameron chief digital content officer, Brightcove taps Jennifer Smith as CMO, Victoria’s Secret appoints Martha Pease as CMO and more.

Toyota North America Elevates Lisa Materazzo To Group Vice President Of Marketing

Toyota North America has promoted its longtime marketing executive, Lisa Materazzo, to group vice president of marketing, reports Ad Age. 

Materazzo, who will succeed Ed Laukes, recently served as VP of Lexus marketing, and previously held leadership roles at Toyota in marketing, media strategy and digital engagement.

She first joined the company in 1998 as a senior product planner.

CarLotz Names Michael Chapman Chief Marketing Officer

CarLotz has announced the appointment of Michael Chapman to CMO.

Chapman joins from The Martin Agency, where he served as chief growth officer overseeing brand strategy across the agency’s clients.

Prior to Martin, he worked as senior planner for McCann leading global strategy for UPS.

Meredith Corporation Names Amanda Dameron Chief Digital Content Officer

Meredith has appointed Amanda Dameron as chief digital content officer, a newly created role.

Dameron most recently served as Tastemade’s head of content for three years. Prior to that, she was editor-in-chief and executive vice president of content for Dwell.

Brightcove Appoints Jennifer Smith Chief Marketing Officer

Jennifer Smith has joined Brightcove as CMO, the company announced in a press release.

Smith joins from Alfresco Software, where she served as chief marketing and culture officer.

Victoria’s Secret Names Martha Pease Chief Marketing Officer

In an effort to revive the brand to growth, Victoria’s Secret has appointed Martha Pease to CMO, reports WWD.

Pease is a board member for BioSig Technologies and previously was a partner at Boston Consulting Group.

Hunter Boot Appoints Claudia Plant As Chief Marketing Officer

Hunter Boot is bringing on Claudia Plant as CMO.

Plant joins from Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, where she served as interim CMO for five months. Previously, she was senior vice president of brand experience at Burberry.

Coty Taps Stefano Curti As Chief Brands Officer, Consumer Beauty

Coty has announced the appointment of Stefano Curti to chief brands officer, consumer beauty.

Curti joins from Markwins Beauty Brands where he worked as global president for three years. Curti also spent 22 years at Johnson & Johnson as global president of the company’s beauty and baby divisions.

WNBA Names Phil Cook As First Chief Marketing Officer

The WNBA has announced the appointment of its first CMO, Phil Cook.

Cook spent the last 24 years at Nike, most recently leading the company’s Global Basketball brand as senior brand director, concepts and consumer go-to market.

Discovery Taps Jim Keller As Executive Vice President, Digital Ad Sales

After seven years, Jim Keller is exiting Hulu to join Discovery as executive VP, digital ad sales and advanced advertising, reports Variety.

Keller was most recently Hulu’s VP, head of national advertising sales.

The move follows the network’s debut of its direct-to-consumer service Discovery Plus.

Potbelly Chief Marketing Officer Brandon Rhoten Steps Down

According to QSR Magazine, Brandon Rhoten, Potbelly’s CMO since 2018, is exiting the company.

His departure comes amid a string of shakeups at Potbelly. Over the summer, the company changed CEOs and in November, its chief legal officer resigned after nearly 14 years.

Revlon Appoints Martine Williamson As Chief Marketing Officer

Revlon has named Martine Williamson as CMO, according to a press release.

From 2001 to 2015, Williamson worked as part of both Revlon’s global and US marketing teams across all color cosmetics categories.

Prior to Revlon, Williamson served as strategic marketing advisor at Topix Pharmaceuticals.

Visa Elevates Frederique Covington Corbett To Senior Vice President Of Global Brand Strategy

Visa Asia’s CMO, Frederique Covington Corbett, has accepted a promotion as SVP of global brand strategy and planning.

Corbett has been with Visa for nearly five years. Before joining Visa, she worked as international marketing director of Twitter.

A Second Look: Facebook Addresses What Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’ “Gets Wrong”

Facebook is disputing the claims made in The Social Dilemma, an investigative documentary from Netflix that explores the ways social networks including Facebook are built to be addictive, drive polarization and promote misinformation.

At the core of Facebook’s rebuttal, “What ‘The Social Dilemma’ Gets Wrong,” is that the documentary offers a sensationalist view of how social platforms work via insights and commentary from former employees of tech giants who haven’t been on the “inside” for many years.  

Against a backdrop of perturbed users who say they’ve considered deleting their Facebook and Instagram accounts after watching the documentary, Facebook is seeking to absolve itself of any wrongdoing by outlining the steps it’s taken in recent years to quell critics’ complaints. 

The amount of time people spend on social media has only increased since the pandemic, with 48 percent of global consumers saying they’re using social media more. 

According to filmmakers, this addiction is the direct result of social companies like Facebook building features that aim to increase users’ time spent on its products.

Facebook’s response: “Instead, we want to make sure we offer value to people, not just drive usage.” To do this, it says in 2018 it changed its ranking for news feed to show meaningful social interactions over things like viral videos. Further disputing this claim, Facebook says it gives users control over how they use its products through time management tools like an activity dashboard and notification limits.

Facebook slams the documentary for calling its algorithm “mad,” on the basis that all consumer-facing apps use algorithms to improve the experience for users, noting: “That also includes Netflix, which uses an algorithm to determine who it thinks should watch ‘The Social Dilemma’ film, and then recommends it to them. This happens with every piece of content that appears on the service.”

Users have long expressed concerns over the role Facebook has played in spreading political misinformation and hate speech and interfering with elections. To that end, Facebook says misinformation that could lead to imminent violence, physical harm and voter suppression is “removed outright,” adding that in Q2 it removed over 22 million pieces of hate speech and over 100,000 pieces of content across Facebook and Instagram that violated its voter interference policies.

Addressing the documentary’s claim that social media platforms fuel political division, Facebook argues that news from polarizing pages represent a “tiny percentage” of what most people see on Facebook.

Critics might say otherwise, as an internal memo from Facebook’s head of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), Andrew Bosworth warned employees not to “use the tools available to us to change the outcome of the 2020 election.” In addition, Bosworth credits Facebook’s advertising tools for Trump’s election victory, brushing off the role played by Russian interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In 2018, Facebook sought to make political ads more transparent when it created an ad library that makes all ads on Facebook visible to users, even if they don’t see the ad in their own feed. Social issue and election ads are then labeled and archived in that ad library for seven years.

While Facebook took a clear stance against the claims made by the documentary, the internet was mixed in its reactions. Some were quick to delete their social media profiles while others challenged the film’s credibility, with one user saying:

Another use pointed out the documentary’s lack of a solution to society’s growing dependence on social media:

Pepsi Launches Purpose-Driven Campaign To Spotlight Detroit Artists

As part of its ongoing support of Detroit, Pepsi has launched a purpose-driven community platform and creative campaign called “Full of Detroit Soul,” which marks a culmination of the brand’s 80 year-plus support for the Detroit community and a way to virtually celebrate the next class of artists influencing the city’s culture.

The campaign will showcase local artists’ work and include a virtual performance by Detroit-raised R&B artist KEM, a digital hub and limited edition packaging at retailers across Detroit next year.

Taking inspiration from Detroit’s popular mural and art scene, Pepsi tapped three local artists to create citywide murals, including Desiree Kelly, whose known for her mixture of street art and traditional oil technique, Ndubisi Okoye, whose work aims to inspire people throughout the African Diaspora and Sydney James, whose become a local leading creative change through a variety of community arts projects.

The digital hub will feature the campaign artwork and a two-minute video spot in which the local artists share what Detroit personally means to them. The spot was produced by a creative video production company based in Detroit, Woodward Original. In addition, the microsite spotlight’s Pepsi’s Detroit-based community partners, such as the Urban League of Detroit, Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, SER Metro-Detroit and Detroit Branch NAACP.

Pepsi is also hosting a virtual locals-only meet-and-greet and performance by KEM, an R&B singer and producer who grew up in Detroit. Early next year, the brand will roll out limited edition packaging inspired by the campaign to Detroit retailers.

Over the last four years, Pepsi has contributed more than $1 million to Detroit through local charities as its manufacturing facility and distribution center there employs more than 400 employees.

The purpose-driven campaign is part of Pepsi’s larger plan to integrate purpose into its brands and engage Gen Z, a group that continues to shape the food and beverage industries and increasingly expect brands to act on the social issues it supports. To do so, PepsiCo has been ramping up its sustainability efforts and strengthening its first-party database through an in-house team that enables it to network media and consumer data.

In Q3, Pepsi’s e-commerce sales nearly doubled and total revenue grew 5.3 percent to $18.09 billion.

Real Estate Agents Tap Influencers To Engage Millennial Home Buyers

Many industries are seeing the benefit of influencer marketing for its ability to spread brand values and drive return on investment (ROI). Now, as COVID-19 yet again puts the kibosh on open houses, real estate agents are turning to macro-influencers to engage young home buyers.

According to Crain’s New York, real estate agents in New York are enlisting influencers to appeal to millennials, which represent the largest share of home buyers in the US.

At the onset of the pandemic, agents shifted to virtual home walkthroughs and augmented reality-powered home staging. Still, the New York real estate market is suffering, with residential sales transactions down 41 percent year-over-year according to PropertyShark.

The third wave of COVID represents the need for agents to remain virtual, but a sale in the pandemic will require more than giving buyers the ability to browse homes online.

Young buyers want to envision a dual work-life space, one that includes a veneer of cool, New York-based Compass sales director Christine Blackburn told Crain’s. 

Influencers are a surefire way to induce that cool factor. To promote the sale of studios in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights at the end of March, Blackburn partnered with three Instagram influencers who curated model homes with touches of their personal aesthetic. 

One of the influencers, Summer Rayne Oakes, is known for sharing houseplant tips with her 213,000 Instagram followers and 348,000 YouTube subscribers.

Crain’s reports that Oakes transformed a 447-square-foot studio, priced at $499,000, into a “boho-chic” space by sourcing furniture, plants and other decor on a $5,000 budget.

Blackburn called Compass’ partnership with Oakes “super effective.” To date, Oakes’ YouTube video of the studio transformation has received 478,000 views and her Instagram post featuring the makeover has 3,361 likes and 82 comments.

According to Crain’s, Thomas Fialo, vice president at Douglas Elliman Development, Marketing partnered with beauty and wellness influencer Sai De Silva, who has 329,000 followers, to promote the Quay Tower condominium near Brooklyn Bridge Park. After De Silva posted an authentic day in the life video inside the luxury building on her Instagram Stories, Quay Tower’s Instagram page saw a 650 increase in visits while its website saw a 500 percent surge in clicks.

One major advantage of promoting real estate through influencers is that younger generations perceive them as more relatable and therefore, more trustworthy. Research from Morning Consult found that 50 percent of millennials trust influencers they follow for product recommendations compared to 38 percent for their favorite celebrities.

Video Game Industry Ad Spend Is Up 80 Percent Year-Over-Year

The video game industry spent over $45 million in ad spend during the first two weeks in November, an 80 percent increase year-over-year, according to MediaRadar’s latest research.

The surge coincides with the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation PS5, which were released on November 10 and November 19, respectively.

Leading up to the launch of PS5, Sony spent over $15 million on advertising the console—more than triple what Microsoft spent to advertise Xbox Series X.

The launch of the new consoles inspired growth among other gaming brands and sections. For example, despite not releasing a new console, Nintendo’s ad spend from November 2 to 15 was 138 percent higher than the two weeks prior.

During that same time, the release of Call of Duty Cold War and Assassins Creed Valhalla resulted in a 76 percent increase YoY in ad spend from video game titles.

Game retailers ramped up ad spend by 28 percent YoY and mobile app games saw ad spend increase 23 percent YoY.

The game industry’s ambitious spending comes as video game players play for longer hours and across more devices. According to NPD Group’s Q3 report, consumers spent $11.2 billion on video gaming in Q3, a 24 percent increase YoY. During the same period, sales of video game content reached $10.04 billion, up 24 percent YoY.

At the end of November, NPD found that four of every five US consumers reported playing a video game in the past six months. Nontraditional gamers in particular have taken a liking to video games during the pandemic. According to NPD, time spent gaming for those between the ages of 45 and 54 increased 59 percent while dollar spend increased 76 percent. Gamers ages 55 to 64 increased time and money spent by 48 percent and 73 percent, respectively.

Hootsuite Elevates Tara Ataya To First Chief People And Diversity Officer

This week in leadership updates, Hootsuite names Tara Ataya as its first chief people and diversity officer, Boots UK appoints Peter Markey as CMO, Hallmark Channel’s parent company taps Lara Richardson as CMO, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand names Vandita Pandey as CMO and more.

Hootsuite Promotes Tara Ataya To Chief People And Diversity Officer

Hootsuite has promoted its vice president of people, Tara Ataya, to the newly created role of chief people and diversity officer.

Ataya will be tasked with developing company-wide diversity strategies to represent employee voices in the C-Suite.

Ataya joined Hootsuite as VP of people just before the pandemic. Prior, she was VP of human resources at Vision Critical for over five years.

Boots UK Names Peter Markey As Chief Marketing Officer

Boots UK has tapped Peter Markey as its new CMO.

Markey joins from TSB Bank, where he served as CMO for nearly four years.

He succeeds former Boots UK marketing director Helen Normoyle.

Crown Media Family Networks Taps Lara Richardson As Chief Marketing Officer

Hallmark Channel’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, has announced the appointment of Lara Richardson to CMO.

Previously, Richardson served as executive vice president of marketing for Discovery and Science Channel.

PepsiCo Australia And New Zealand Appoints Vandita Pandey As New Chief Marketing Officer

PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand has named Vandita Pandey to the newly created position of CMO for both snacks and beverages.

Pandey joins from Frito-Lay US, where she spent the last 11 years in roles across marketing, insights, corporate strategy and media. Most recently, she was general manager of Bare Snacks.

eBay Names Julie Loeger As Global Chief Growth Officer

eBay is bringing on Julie Loeger for the newly created role of global chief growth officer, which combines global marketing and global customer experience.

Loeger has spent the last 29 years at Discover, most recently as executive vice president and president of US Cards.

Loeger’s appointment follows the departure of eBay’s global CMO Suzy Deering in October and eBay’s chief strategy officer Kris Miller in February.

Wheels Up Taps Lee Applbaum As First Chief Marketing Officer

Wheels Up has named Lee Applbaum as its first-ever CMO, according to a press release.

Most recently, Applbaum served as CMO for Surterra Wellness. Prior to that, he was global CMO for Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka.

The move to appoint a CMO comes after Wheels Up purchased Gama Aviation in April.

Nielsen Names Jamie Moldafsky As Chief Marketing And Communications Officer

Nielsen has announced the appointment of Jamie Moldafsky as chief marketing and communications officer.

Moldafsky joins Nielsen from Wells Fargo, where she was CMO for nine years. Prior to Wells Fargo, she held a series of leadership roles at American Express, Charles Schwab and Whirlpool Corporation.

Stella McCartney Appoints Peter Chipchase As Chief Marketing Officer  

Stella McCartney has named Peter Chipchase as the company’s CMO, as reported by WWD.

Chipchase most recently served as chief communications and strategy officer at Soho House for seven years.

eBay UK Taps Eve Williams As Chief Marketing Officer

eBay UK is bringing on Eve Williams as its CMO following the departure of its global CMO, Suzy Deering.

Williams joins eBay UK from ASOS, where she served as global brand director for nearly five years.

Apps Flyer: Mobile Game Installs Jumped 45 Percent This Year

The pandemic is the gift that keeps on giving to the gaming world. According to Apps Flyer’s annual State of Gaming report, mobile games globally saw a 45 percent surge in installs compared to last year as the crisis led scores of new players to try mobile gaming for the first time.

Apps Flyer’s data show that organic installs grew by 33 percent while non-organic installs (NOI) increased by 69 percent, the result of competition around organic app discovery.

Globally, hyper casual, casual and to some extent midcore games grew at double the rate of hardcore and social casino games. NOI installs for hyper casual games saw a 250 percent surge while total installs of hyper casual games grew by 90 percent. 

Realizing the opportunity to reach pandemic-driven mobile gamers, hyper casual games accelerated their user acquisition (UA) budgets. But to remain competitive, mobile games must utilize granular segmentation, bid optimization and predictive modeling in determining player journeys, suggests Apps Flyer.

NOI installs grew by 72 percent for midcore games, 58 percent for casual games, 27 percent for social casino games and 21 percent for hardcore games.

In-app spending (IAP) picked up in April then peaked in May with a 25 percent increase compared to February. IAP dipped slightly from May to June but peaked again in July.

As IAP revenue surged 67 percent from February to August, in-app ads revenue (IAA) declined 16 percent during the same time period, perhaps indicating players’ lower tolerance for ads this year.

Notable findings for the US mobile game market include a 35 percent increase in cost per installs (CPIs) post-lockdown, namely from May to September following the return of big brand budgets. Through August, there was a 27 increase in IAP revenue on iOS devices compared to an 11 percent decrease on Android.

As the share of paying users in the US grew by 25 percent since lockdown, the US also saw a 30 percent decline in revenue generated by ads, driven by hardcore, social casino and midcore games.

Apps Flyer’s research shows that remarketing drivers a significant performance lift in retention, share of paying users and average revenue per paying users, particularly in hardcore and social casino games. 

Despite its effectiveness and more cost-friendly nature, its adoption is relatively low, particularly among midcore and casual games. To address this, mobile apps should explore remarketing via paid channels and use push, email and social to improve overall re-engagement.

Additionally, it’ll be important for mobile games to introduce or enhance the social layer in their game to achieve organic growth that isn’t dependent solely on app store discovery.

TikTok Is Testing Three-Minute Videos

This week in social media news, TikTok tests three minute-long videos, LinkedIn launches a new market data tool called Sales Insights, Salesforce acquires Slack for $27.7 billion, Facebook buys customer relationship management startup Kustomer for $1 billion. Snapchat is shelling out $1 million to creators per day to encourage them to share their best video Snaps to its new vertically scrollable feed Spotlight and more.

TikTok Looks To Expand Video Length Limit To Three Minutes

TikTok is testing a new feature that would let users upload videos of up to three minutes in length, as spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: TikTok previously only allowed videos of up to 15 seconds long then extended that to 60 seconds. The short-form nature of the videos is one of the main reasons TikTok exploded over the past year. Though the new three minute limit will enable brands and creators to include more information in their content, longer videos could detract from the succinct experience users have grown accustomed to.

The details: As seen in this screenshot from Navarra, TikTok has given some creators early access to uploading videos of up to three minutes long, a feature they can test on mobile and desktop.

LinkedIn Launches New Data Tool Called Sales Insights

LinkedIn has added a new product to its Sales Solutions portfolio called Sales Insights that lets businesses access real-time market data generated by its global network of 722 million members.

Why it matters: According to LinkedIn, the number of sales operations roles more than doubled in the last two years, increasing 2.7 times fast as the sales function overall.

The details:  As per LinkedIn:

“LinkedIn Sales Insights gives you clear visibility into the size and fast-growing nature of specific departments, functions, and accounts so that you can accurately plan your sales strategy in order to point your sales teams to the right accounts and drive more revenue.”

Salesforce Acquires Slack For $27.7 Billion

Salesforce has acquired Slack for $27.7 billion, the company announced. As part of the deal, Slack will become an operating unit of Salesforce, which will continue to be led by chief executive officer Stewart Butterfield.

Why it matters: Salesforce recently surpassed $20 billion in annual revenue while Slack saw net losses of $147.6 million during the two quarters ending July 31.

The details: According to the press release, Slack will be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud. Together, the companies will create “the most extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business and empower millions of developers to build the next generation of apps, with clicks not code.”

The deal gives Salesforce an edge over Microsoft, whose Teams platform has acted as Slack’s competitor.

Facebook Invests $1 Billion To Monetize Its Messaging Services

In an effort to encourage more businesses to use its messaging apps, Facebook has acquired a customer relationship management software startup called Kustomer for a little over $1 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The move is part of Facebook’s larger push to enhance its social commerce capabilities as more than 175 million people contact businesses using WhatsApp. 

The details: Kustomer’s offerings enable brands to aggregate and respond to customer inquiries that come through via Messenger. According to WSJ, in October Kustomer started integrating with Instagram.

 Kustomer was founded in 2015, and a year ago was valued at $710 million, as reported by WSJ.

Reddit Averages 52 Million Daily Active Users In October

Reddit averaged 52 million daily active users (DAUs) in October, a 44 percent increase from the same month last year, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: This marks the first time Reddit has disclosed a metric that more accurately reflects its user growth. Comparatively, in September Facebook averaged 1.82 billion DAUs, and in Q3 Twitter reported 187 monetizable daily users.

The details: After Reddit’s direct ad revenue growth dropped from 40 percent to 27 percent in Q1, the platform has rebounded, growing by 83 percent year-over-year in Q3, Reddit’s chief operating officer Jen Wong told WSJ.

In 2019, Reddit’s ad revenue reached more than $100 million. This year, it’s on track to grow by more than 70 percent, reports WSJ. Wong told WSJ that the expansion of Reddit’s ad business to new global markets will bolster its future revenue growth.

The company is looking to employ nearly 300 people worldwide by the end of this year, and grow head count by 75 percent over 2021.

TikTok Gets An Extension To Finalize Sale Of App To Oracle, Walmart

According to Reuters, the Trump administration has granted TikTok’s parent company ByteDance a new seven-day extension to complete the sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart.

Why it matters: The Trump administration’s August order mandated that ByteDance finalize the sale by November 12, but a day after the deadline the US granted ByteDance a 15-day extension.

The details: ByteDance now has until December 4 to divest TikTok.
“The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has granted ByteDance a one-week extension…to allow time to review a revised submission that the Committee recently received,” a spokesperson for the Treasury Department told CNN.

Snapchat Is Paying Creators $1 Million A Day For Videos Posted To Spotlight

Snapchat is shelling out $1 million a day to creators to inspire them to post short, entertaining video Snaps to its new vertically scrollable TikTok-like feed, Spotlight

Why it matters: The incentive for posting to the Spotlight is akin to TikTok’s creator fund, which will grow to over $1 billion in the US in the next three years.

The details: As per Snapchat, users 16 or older can “earn a share of more than $1 million” by submitting their best video Snaps to Spotlight. The videos must follow the platform’s content guidelines and terms.

Currently, Spotlight is available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France. Snapchat says it’ll expand to more countries soon.

What We’re Reading—Week Of November 30th

How Web-Based AR Can Help Retailers Boost Customer Engagement And Sales


The augmented reality (AR) market is projected to be valued at more than $18.8 billion in 2020 as AR ads are seeing a 520 percent increase in intent to purchase over the next six months and a 75 percent higher memory response than non-AR ads.

Why it matters: As consumers increasingly shop online, AR can help brands fuse the digital and physical worlds, enabling them to reach new digital shoppers through virtual tours of physical storefronts, virtual product try-ons and interactive packaging.

59 Percent Of Influencers Report An Increase In Brand Interest During COVID-19


After a 41 percent drop in influencer marketing efficiency in April, the influencer marketing industry rebounded with 59 percent of influencers seeing an increase in brand interest during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Half of the marketers surveyed reported spending more money on influencer marketing during COVID-19 while 62 percent have noticed increased sales due to these partnerships.

Winners And Losers Of Black Friday 2020

Retail Dive

This year’s Black Friday sales event was marked by a roughly 22-23 percent increase over 2019, yielding between $9 billion and $13 billion in online sales. Mobile comprised $3.6 billion, a 25 percent increase. 

Why it matters: Retailers unable to cope with logistical hurdles caused by a surge in online sales and decreased foot traffic will experience greater-than-normal returns, unhappy customers due to shipping delays and shipping cost increases of up to nearly 15 percent.

2021: The Year Of Living Actually And Artificially


2021 will be the year when two conflicting trends—namely the desire for both tangible products that provide comfort and products that use artificial intelligence or virtual reality—come together.

Why it matters: It’s important that brands provide creative and safe ways for consumers to live actually and artificially at the same time.

How Marketers Can Reach Gen Z This Holiday Season

Ad Age

Accounting for 40 percent of all consumers in 2020, Gen Z has an estimated spending power of $150 billion and uses the internet to shop for apparel, footwear, at-home entertainment and food takeout and delivery. 

Why it matters: Retailers offering goods and services outside of the aforementioned industries must adapt to the digitally-savvy Gen Z by marketing on formats they heavily consume and adopting brand values that resonate with them.