2021 Global Marketing Trends With Deloitte’s Ashley Reichheld

On this 241st episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Ashley Reichheld, principal at Deloitte. Reichheld discusses the findings of Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report and dives deep into a few of its seven trends.

We start our conversation with Reichheld’s background of traveling. She talks about her experiences living and working in over 40 countries across six continents and how it helped her gain insight and perspective into different cultures. From there, we dive into the meat of the interview, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report. With this report, Deloitte aimed to dispel some of the uncertainty that this past year has brought to marketing.

Reichheld then discusses her favorite trend category, trust, and how “overall, trustworthy companies outperform their competitors by 2 ½ times.” For a long time, public trust in corporations and governments has been on the decline and presents both a threat and opportunity to marketing departments worldwide. Deloitte uses its metric, HX Trust ID, which measures trust drivers: humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability. By measuring these four drivers, Deloitte can predict buying tendencies and motivations for consumers and employees.  Lastly, we talk about marketing effectiveness and how to know if your efforts are working or not.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Ashley has lived and worked in over 40 countries, picking up an appreciation and empathy for cultural differences. 1:19
  • The level of uncertainty in 2020 fueled Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Report. 2:23
  • Purpose, human experience, and fusion are the three trends that confused most people. 3:13
  • There has been a drop in confidence across the board in C-Suite executives from consumers during 2020. 4:52
  • Organizations have had to pivot to better serve their customers and that ability largely affects a customer’s continued loyalty. 6:40
  • Interpreting and acting on data is especially difficult for marketing departments because people are irrational creatures. 7:55
  • For a long time, trust in companies and the government has been on the decline and has only been exasperated by the pandemic. 8:50
  • Trust is the key to continued loyalty from both consumers and employees. 9:51
  • Deloitte uses its metric, HX Trust ID, which measures trust drivers: humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability. 10:37
  • By measuring these four drivers, Deloitte can predict buying tendencies and motivations to work for consumers and employees. 11:40
  • Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends Report shows a direct link between employee trust and consumer trust. 12:34
  • Recent research suggests that governments and corporations can’t be both ethical and competent. 14:20
  • Being aligned around common goals and being driven by a purpose takes companies further than being driven by incentives. 15:38
  • The airlines are all dealing with the same problems, but the companies that have remained customer/employee-centric are gaining traction.16:08
  • Alan believes that the perfect storm exists when the purpose is aligned with business results. 17:28
  • Bringing in the right talent and preparing employees for C-Level positions is one of the biggest challenges in marketing today. 18:04
  • CMOs have an extensive range of responsibilities, making it hard for employees outside of marketing to transition. 19:23
  • Marketing isn’t finance, but a finance background isn’t useless in marketing. 20:44
  • The best way to measure your marketing’s effectiveness is to simply turn your marketing off for some time. 22:20
  • Because Ashley believes that we are the sum of all experiences, she can’t point to just one experience that has helped shape her. 23:04
  • If she could look back, Ashley would practice more mindfulness and take things slow. 23:49
  • Ashley has recently joined the board of The Center for Women & Enterprise to help underserved populations through these difficult times. 25:27
  • Trust, or brand promise, both represents the biggest opportunity and threat to marketers today. 26:27

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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.

Piotr Urbanski On What Marketers Need To Know About Simpson’s Paradox

In this week’s a.university session, Piotr Urbanski, Ph.D., Ayzenberg associate director of marketing science, explains how to scan your data for false conclusions produced by a phenomenon called the Simpson’s Paradox—where trends reverse when a dataset is separated into groups. Urbanski shares how to think more critically about data analysis to analysts elevate their causal inference and help leadership better understand the performance of marketing campaigns.

Emarketer: The Pandemic Accelerated Ecommerce Sales By Nearly Two Years

The pandemic accelerated ecommerce sales by nearly two years, according to eMarketer. At the height of 2020, the researcher anticipated total ecommerce sales would reach $674.88 billion. By the end of the year, it added $100 billion to the figure, making it $794.50 billion.

That finding is part of a more comprehensive roundup of how the pandemic changed eMarketer’s 2020 sales forecasts for various industries in retail and ecommerce between February and November.

Consumer electronic ecommerce sales in particular were strong as people worked, learned and socialized from home. Emarketer initially expected sales here to be $150.10 billion, but has since revised that to $179.35 billion.

Another positive shift compared to pre-pandemic estimates happened in furniture and home furnishing ecommerce sales, which eMarketer anticipated would reach $76.80 billion, but now forecasts it to be $92.32 billion.

Health, personal care and beauty ecommerce sales also grew significantly. The researcher’s previous forecast was $58.70 billion, but now it sees it reaching $73.52 billion.

Emarketer expected food and beverage online sales to be $32.20 billion, but as shoppers flocked to digital grocery shopping, it raised its forecast by 41.3 percent to $45.47 billion.

Click-and-collect sales also surged in popularity, causing the researcher to revise its forecast in sales this year from $50.66 billion to $58.52 billion.

Negative shifts were observed for sales in brick-and-mortar retail, auto retail, digital travel and apparel retail. The most dramatic downward adjustment that eMarketer made was for in-person retail sales. First anticipated to reach $4.946 trillion, it’s now down to $4.711 trillion—a $234.50 billion loss.

Digital travel sales were initially expected to reach $215.74, but now sit at $115.27 billion. Apparel retail was in line to reach $483.40 billion in sales, but eMarketer says it will be $394.89 billion.

Pokémon Go Hosts Twitter Contest For Its Virtual Kanto Tour

In honor of the Pokémon franchise’s 25th anniversary and Pokémon Go’s fifth anniversary, Pokémon Go is running a Twitter contest that gives players a chance at becoming one of the new featured trainer characters in the game during its virtual Kanto Tour set for February 20.

Between now and January 11 on Twitter, fans can apply to be a featured trainer during the Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto by posting a screenshot of their trainer profile that includes their name and displays their avatar’s outfit, a list of three Pokémon that would comprise their team and the hashtag #PokemonGOTourContest.

Niantic suggests that players give their entry a theme, as a panel of experts will judge contest entries based on the creativity of their outfits, general theme and Pokémon team composition. Eight winners will be selected and contacted on January 18 via direct message on Twitter.

The trainers selected for the game will appear as characters on the in-game map. Pokémon Go app players will then be able to battle these trainers and the corresponding Pokémon team at PokéStops during the event, regardless of whether they have a ticket for the Kanto event.

During the virtual tour, priced at $12 per ticket, players can work to collect all 150 Pokémon in one day, with a chance to earn rewards during their journey through ‘Special Research.’

Stuck in lockdowns, consumers have spent more time and money on video games than ever before during the pandemic. But unlike most couch-friendly games that saw usage skyrocket in 2020, Pokémon Go is one that requires socializing in real-life places like a park—an issue that proved “existential” to the game. As a result, Niantic canceled community events and implemented remote raids that it plans to keep permanently, according to The Verge.

Unlocking Brand Growth with Belvedere Vodka CEO Rodney Williams

On this 240th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Rodney Williams, president and CEO of Belvedere Vodka. With a bevy of experience leading successful marketing campaigns across a plethora of industries, Williams is truly an expert when it comes to closing the gap between a product and its consumers.

To start our conversation, Williams discusses his business school experience and the nonprofit sector before he began his journey to become a marketing expert. In school at Northwestern, Williams quickly learned that “you have a strong chance of getting a good grade by joining a group with people that don’t think like you.” This experience helped him understand a simple fact of life; to truly be successful, you must be open to the perspectives of others.

We then dive into Williams’s experience working for large companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. It was his success at these companies that taught him both “the element of brand-building where you’re really fundamentally problem-solving” and not only the importance of “really tapping into what was already there.” Williams then takes us into his induction into the Wind and Spirits industry, which eventually led him to his current position at Belvedere.

To end the conversation, we discuss how “the push for social justice has opened up brands in a big way” and how “the need for brands to take a stand and stand up for values that they believe in has never been more important.” Williams touches on how the views of different cultures in the corporate business world have changed since he entered the workforce. “We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress!”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Before business school, Rodney ran a direct mail business in Chicago that hired disadvantaged employees. 1:53
  • Rodney has stayed in-tune with how the business world affects the communities that it is in. 3:03
  • Growing up in Evanston, Illinois, it was a natural fit for Rodney to attend Northwestern’s business school. 3:35
  • After business school, Rodney worked for J&J and Procter & Gamble in a pursuit to learn sophisticated marketing. 5:32
  • Figuring out how to get the brand in the right position where it can connect with its customers is like a game to Rodney. 6:20
  • In his time at J&J, Rodney learned the ins and outs of working in an intrapreneurial environment. 6:55
  • Over time, Rodney slowly developed into an enhance-growth guy that has been able to take companies over the top. 8:47
  • J&J required that 25% of each business under its umbrella’s revenue had to be from new products in the last three years. 9:15
  • When Rodney arrived at Band-Aid, he was able to take it from stagnant to The New York Times by using Barry Manalo’s jingle. 10:22
  • The ability to understand the essence of a brand and what it means to the consumers allows a brand to enhance its imagery. 12:26
  • A former colleague’s call about a dot-com opportunity led Rodney to quit his job and head to the West Coast. 13:04
  • Rodney’s time working with OnStar eventually led to his entrance into the Wine and Spirits industry. 14:41
  • It was the health benefits of wine that initially drew Rodney to interview with his first wine company. 15:58
  • Robert Mondavi taught Rodney the importance and value of presentation. 17:20
  • Kendall Jackson, the number 1 chardonnay over $10, presented Rodney with an opportunity to launch the biggest product in company history. 18:37
  • In 2011, more women than men graduated from high school for the first time in history and saw the gender gap begin to grow. 20:28
  • Since coming to Belvedere, Rodney has seen that vodka takes people back to experiences they have outgrown. 21:30
  • Belvedere aims to add some class and flavor to an alcohol category that has become stagnant. 22:30
  • Just before the pandemic, Belvedere ran a study that showed people in different markets around the world valued the same things in nature. 25:12
  • Being the nerd that he is, Rodney used to love reading the American Demographics magazine because social culture absolutely fascinates him. 27:05
  • A person’s lifestyle or desired lifestyle is usually reflected in the brand of alcohol that they prefer. 28:47
  • Due to the emotion attached to alcohol brands, they can build community, unlike other consumable products. 29:50
  • Nas’s background as an incredibly successful venture capitalist has allowed Hennessey to include inspirational voices in their campaign. 31:22
  • With Rodney’s vision, Belvedere has been able to connect with many demographics while also crossing borders. 34:05
  • Rodney’s time at the direct-mail business had a huge effect on who he is today because it gave him the opportunity to change lives. 35:54
  • Looking back, Rodney would have been bolder and taken more risks with the opportunities that were presented to him. 38:54
  • Since the death of George Floyd, Belvedere has supported Race Forward, an institution that seeks to rid society of institutional racism. 42:00
  • As a successful African American CEO, Rodney uses his position to support diversity and spark change. 45:23
  • Rodney believes that social media and brands have a dark side in their ability to distort the truth. 48:30

Resources Mentioned:

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

Mtn Dew Game Fuel Launches Online Direct-To-Consumer Store To Engage Gamers

Mtn Dew Game Fuel has launched an online “direct-to-gamer” site where fans can shop the entire Game Fuel beverage portfolio and sign up for its ‘Victory Pass Rewards’ program for a chance to win gaming prizes and unlock exclusive digital content.

Mtn Dew Game Fuel is giving those who sign up for Victory Pass on the Game Fuel site a chance to win a PlayStation 5 console and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with the purchase of any Game Fuel case. The sweepstakes is running from now until January 31, 2021.

With a Victory Pass, the more fans buy, the more rewards they can rack up across 20 different levels. Levels one to five offer Game Fuel digital packs, oversized mouse pads and water bottles. Additionally, from now until March 16, 2021, those who sign up for the program will receive free shipping.

With each purchase, Mtn Dew Game Fuel is also including a limited-edition can inspired by streamer superstar Dr DisRespect—one of the 19 YouTube and Twitch game streamers showcased under the ‘Partners’ tab on the website, including Courage, Yassuo, Nothing and Simp.

A digital hub for Mtn Dew Game Fuel fans marks PepsiCo’s larger pandemic-driven effort to ramp up online direct-to-consumer and engage players in the growing video game industry. In Q3, PepsiCo said its ecommerce business almost doubled, and that Mtn Dew Zero Sugar, Gatorade Zero and Bubly combined have exceeded $1 billion in sales this year. That growth is likely due in part to two new DTC websites PepsiCo launched in May—snacks.com and pantryshop.com.

Partnering with popular streamers gives Mtn Dew Game Fuel the potential to reach millions of gamers across generations as lockdowns led to a sharp increase in time and money spent on video games and livestreams. Research from the NPD Group shows that today, 79 percent of US consumers play video games, or 246 million people—an increase of 34 million people since 2018—with average playtime at 15 hours per week. In Q3, viewers watched 4.74 billion hours of content on Twitch, 1.68 billion hours on YouTube Gaming and 1.04 billion hours on Facebook, according to a report from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet.

LEWIS: Ecommerce, Engagement And Entertainment Helped Top Global Brands Succeed In A Turbulent Year

A successful digital marketing strategy proved itself to be a valuable requisite for resiliency during disruption. Yet many brands struggled to harness some of the core tenets of digital marketing this year. That’s according to LEWIS’ annual Global Marketing Engagement Index, an analysis of the world’s 300 largest public companies from Forbes Global 2000 list.

The report reveals that ecommerce, entertainment and engagement were the winning trio for successful brands worldwide this year. As consumer behavior fluctuated, marketers who embraced empathy, value perception and data stayed ahead of the game.

Overall, the average LEWIS Marketing Engagement Tracker (MET) score—developed  between November 9 and November 25—for the Forbes top 300 has stayed consistent with the 2019 average (56 percent vs. 54 percent).

However, the firm observed significant shifts within digital marketing metrics. For one, website reporting metrics remained the lowest scored topic on average, with all industries scoring lower than previous years in terms of optimum tag management and engagement tracking—both essential for addressing changing consumer behaviors.

While video consumption surged 60 percent globally during the pandemic, many companies are still not fully utilizing video content on their webpages. In fact, the average Forbes 300 company scored 30 percent in this area, reports LEWIS.

“Visual storytelling remains an untapped opportunity. Some brands do this really well, Nike for example. However, there is so much more we can do as marketers. It’s not just about putting out a video, it’s about the story you tell. Situational fluency is the key to success. You must know what’s going on in the world, how your brand connects to that and show versus tell,” Noah Dye, senior vice president of client engagement, LEWIS US, tells AList.

More people flocked to online shopping than ever before, yet 76 percent of companies weren’t running search engine marketing ads when LEWIS’ research was conducted.

Social media usage also soared, giving brands an opportunity not only to communicate brand values through influencers, but to also share statements from their leaders about important issues such as COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite this, LEWIS found that two in three Forbes top 300 chief executive officers had no active social presence. Including CEOs lacking public facing accounts, 78 percent of the Forbes 300 CEOs were missing from social media conversations.

“The pandemic has driven us all online. If executives don’t see this, brands could fall behind. CEOs set the tone for an organization. They must listen to both internal and external audiences. If they are missing from social, or not truly engaged, they risk missing important conversations about their brand,” Dye says.

The importance of a visible CEO shouldn’t be undermined, as LEWIS found companies using CEO thought leadership platforms to provide quotes for the media performed better overall. 

The organizations analyzed used data to inform their fluid marketing strategies, as US data usage jumped 38 percent in March alone compared to the previous year. Additionally, consumer facing industries scored highest on user experience, with financial services companies earning 15 percent higher than the average Forbes 300 company.

For nearly all industries, website security scored high (82 percent) across the board, with the exception of the entertainment industry, where website security scored 23 percent less than the average Fortune 300 company. Still, one in three companies had site issues that could lead to a hack if not fixed.

“Always remember that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Brands must listen. Respond quickly. Be human. Customers will make their preferences known, but if you’re not listening, you’ll be left behind.”