The Emergence Of E-Commerce In The B2B Marketplace With Alibaba’s Erica Chan

In this 253rd episode of Marketing Today, I talk with Erica Chan, who leads brand customer experience and insights at, one of the world’s largest B2B e-commerce marketplaces.

On the show, we discuss the almost $24 trillion global B2B e-commerce market and how Alibaba is both globalizing and localizing its brand around the world.

Chan breaks down the behemoth of an organization that is Alibaba and their transformation to going global as a brand. Chan says they realized they needed to transform the platform to make it truly “helpful and relevant” to today’s businesses. The way the world does business is changing rapidly, and Chan sees digitalization and e-commerce platforms as a “gateway” to making this transition.

Learn more about this, the future of B2B e-commerce, and virtual trade shows in our discussion on this episode of Marketing Today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to go global while also going local with your brand
  • Why going digital and access to e-commerce is now essential for B2B
  • Why e-commerce is a gateway to going global

Key Highlights:

  • [02:20] Erica’s role at Alibaba
  • [04:48] Alibaba’s organizational structure
  • [07:15] Alibaba’s transformation
  • [09:37] How Erica thinks about globalizing Alibaba’s brand
  • [12:40] The different ways companies can leverage Alibaba
  • [16:48] How the pandemic sped up going digital
  • [21:10] Alibaba’s virtual trade shows
  • [24:04] What marketers should think about in 2021
  • [27:17] An experience that defines Erica, made her who she is today
  • [28:46] Erica’s advice for her younger self
  • [29:38] A recent impactful purchase Erica made
  • [31:24] The brands, companies, and causes Erica follows
  • [33:15] What Erica says is the biggest threat and opportunity for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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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.

Consumers Expect More Digital Experiences From Brands

Over half (53 percent) of consumers believe that online experiences will be more important than in-person ones, according to Appnovation’s latest report, “The Digital Consumer: Shifting Expectation and Digital Readiness.”

The research, based on an online survey among more than 1,500 consumers in the US and Canada, revealed that consumers have two key expectations from brands—to deliver more online experiences and create more digitally-enabled in-person experiences that include touchless technologies.

The top consumer expectation of brands is to care for the safety and wellbeing of their employees (72 percent) and educate consumers about measures they’re taking against the virus (51 percent). But apart from COVID-related expectations, 44 percent of consumers expect more digital experiences from brands, while 45 percent of respondents expect brands to improve existing digital product and service offerings.

Digital self-serve options are also a priority for consumers. Sixty-six percent say they want brands to offer tap-and-go payment options, 65 percent want the option to book appointments through a website or app and 51 percent want to see self-service kiosks.

A majority of consumers surveyed understand that brands struggled to keep up with the digital acceleration amid the pandemic, yet not all are forgiving. Fifty-eight percent of consumers believe brands should have been better prepared to meet their online needs. 

Nearly half of consumers say the pandemic has shown them that everything can be done online and that in-person interactions are no longer needed to have great customer experiences. What’s more, half of millennials say they switched to a new brand based on the digital innovation they leveraged in response to COVID-19.

Looking ahead, though 84 percent of consumers in both the US and Canada say they expect brands to offer a seamless experience between online and in-store shopping, the same number of people say online shopping experiences will never fully replace in-person ones.

Still, brands that don’t increasingly adopt digital solutions will suffer, as 50 percent of consumers say they won’t engage with a brand as often if it doesn’t offer online experiences.

Online interactions surged during the pandemic and are expected to increase even further moving forward, reports Appnovation. This increase will be more pronounced among 25-54 year olds across a variety of verticals–from travel and tourism planning and insurance claims to health and wellness advice and buying non-essentials like clothes.

Consumers–particularly those aged 25-54 who say digital experiences are extremely or very important across all industries–show a strong digital readiness when it comes to the banking, travel and tourism, healthcare and insurance industries.

“Gone are the days when consumers measured and compared your digital experiences to experiences in the same space. Today, they’re comparing you with the very best digital experiences across completely different industries,” says Anton Morrison, Appnovation vice president, experience design.

Some consumers believe that brands have work to do in making certain experiences more digitally-enabled. For example, one in three feel that technological innovation is required to enhance interactions during a car purchase and shopping for essentials such as groceries.

With 67 percent of consumers saying touchless technologies make them feel safer interacting with brands in-person, it’ll be critical for brands to develop these experiences as more people resume pre-pandemic activities. Currently, 58 percent say that when outside their home, touchless technology is part of their everyday routine. Yet another 36 percent say using a self-service touch screen at a public place makes them anxious.

A little more than half of consumers are completely comfortable with sensor and gesture recognition and touchless technology. In addition, 74 percent perceive companies using touchless technologies as caring towards their customers.

Consumers expect their use of voice assistants and faceless recognition usage to grow in the next year or so, at 62 percent and 56 percent, respectively. They see public spaces like hospitals, airports and hotels being a better fit for gesture and sensor recognition technologies. 

Ayzenberg VP Of Digital Michael Marina On The Future Of Virtual Events

Over the past year, virtual events proved critical to the survival of brands. Online concerts, conferences and the like afford organizers benefits that physical events never could, such as reduced costs and carbon footprint, greater accessibility and the ability to reach more digitally connected consumers. However, seeing how some brands have labeled a set of pre-recorded videos “a virtual event” raises the question: What defines a virtual event?

The answer is, we’re still figuring it out. On a foundational level, any time you can get a group of people to congregate, communicate and react to something at the same time, you’ve got yourself a live event to some extent. But according to that standard, there are thousands of live events happening all the time across platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitch. There has to be something more to virtual events than that.

I better understood what that something more entailed when I attended GatsbyConf in March. The free two-day virtual event, hosted on the Hopin platform, was exactly what I’d expect a virtual event to look and feel like. A keynote from Gatsby CEO Kyle Mathews kicked things off before talks and workshops proceeded from various speakers, including those who worked at Gatsby and others from companies like WordPress, Contentful, AgilityCMS and others.

GatsbyConf felt well thought-out for a few reasons. Like CES and other virtual conferences that took place last year, the presentations were pre-recorded videos. But what made these stand out is that after the pre-recorded video ended, GatsbyConf switched to a live stream of the speaker from the video as well as a moderator. Viewers could then submit questions in the chat room and the speaker would answer them live. This elevated pre-recorded content gave it that real-time feeling, which is one factor I think will separate effective virtual events from the rest.

I also noticed a function that directed viewers to a networking section, something similar to Chatroulette, which paired you with someone who had a mutual interest in networking. This feature is particularly important for virtual event organizers to nail as sixty-nine percent of event marketers said in a Bizzabo survey that networking is the biggest problem with virtual sessions. What would’ve made this networking feature on GatsbyConf even better is if participants could choose who specifically they wanted to network with.

Lastly, there was a trade booth area that showcased the logos of the different event sponsors. Upon “entering” that area, there was a live stream where the organizers were taking questions and answering them, but you could also enter a one-on-one chat with them. This felt nearly as natural as it would at an in-person event.

Virtual events have their limitations. For one, engagement can be a problem, like sixty-eight percent of event marketers expressed in the aforementioned Bizzabo survey. Admittedly, I was multitasking during GatsbyConf, trying to focus on presentations while answering work chats and emails.

Moving forward, I imagine events will take on a hybrid form, much like where the workplace is headed, mostly because brands can’t risk hosting super-spreader events. There might be some in-person events, but they’ll be smaller and more exclusive, perhaps only accessible to those in the C-Suite then available for others to livestream. 

Bizzabo predicts this hybrid format will involve micro-events that have virtual components, in other words, an in-person event that takes place one day and a continuation of the event that takes place online the day after. This year, IACC Americas will adopt a similar hybrid format where intimate, in-person events will offer unique experiences while the event’s main elements are broadcast together.

Since virtual experiences are replacing stores, the brands that will truly stand out from the rest will enable shopping directly within live events. As noted in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2021 Brand Disruption report, while the goal of marketing in the age of COVID-19 is still to create a customer, the new way to achieve that goal is through “participation via ongoing communities, social selling, live virtual events, classes, and other forms of active involvement in the brand.”

A brand that I think is getting virtual events right is Bud Light, both for its weekly music series, “Bud Light Seltzer Sessions: Your Flavor,” live-streamed on its YouTube, and its live New Year’s Eve concert headlined by Post Malone. During the latter event, viewers were able to switch between performances, join breakout rooms to watch the show with friends and family, post photos of themselves to a fan wall and enter a giveaway for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with performers.

Another example of a virtual event that exceeded my expectations was the second part of DC FanDome, “Explore the Multiverse.” This was a 24-hour experience that gave fans across the world free access to more than 100 hours of on-demand content, and the ability to choose from panel sessions, screenings and exclusive content from the franchise’s film, television, comics and games. The organizers were wise to include a kid-friendly portion that gave parents a break from the stresses of remote learning. 

Until consumers can decide their comfort levels with dining and shopping out, let alone attending in-person events, brands should utilize virtual events whenever possible. Though they’ll never supplant physical events, virtual events will be a powerful tool for engaging audiences at scale. If Grand View Research’s $78 billion valuation of the industry in 2019 is any indication, virtual events aren’t just a pandemic-induced trend. The firm expects the space will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.2 percent from 2020 to 2027.’s Chief Financial Officer On The Workplace Of The Future

As approaches its one-year anniversary of working remotely, it’s been my mission as chief financial officer to help reimagine our workplace and create a future-forward model that aligns with the disruptions the industry has faced. Though it’s difficult to predict anything without a clairvoyant ball, I’m humoring myself with a vision that involves the concept of community shifting dramatically. In the fashion of Steve Jobs, I’m trusting that the dots will somehow connect in’s future.

Rather than taking a wait-and-see approach to establishing new policies, we’ve hit the ground running on an idea that embraces the phaseout of physical spaces and the potential to build in-office company culture remotely. As part of our network growth, over the next two years I see this evolving into a hybrid community where complementary companies can congregate—in person and digitally—and new intellectual properties are born.

Our nearly 250 employees have yet to return to Ayzenberg headquarters in Pasadena, California. Essential functions such as the finance team go in as needed and our creative teams have access to the studio. Since shifting to virtual work, our staff has displayed impressive resilience and adaptability in the way they listen, create and share both internally and with clients. It’s become clear that this set-up is not only effective but that most of our members actually prefer it. Echoing this sentiment is data from a global Slack survey in October 2020, which revealed that 72 percent of workers would prefer a mix of both in-person and remote work. 

A professional from Google got a clue as to what that hybrid model might look like down the road when they asked the Blind platform to share their optimal hybrid environment. The consensus: 43 percent of respondents desire a week in which they work three days remotely and two days in the office.

Many employees worldwide have grown accustomed to splitting their time between the office and Zoom screens. But agencies and brands must quickly figure out how to reinvent their space to make it conducive to innovation. The way I see this manifesting is orchestrating partnerships with other like-minded companies, entrepreneurs and even freelancers that can add value to each other. These partnerships will take place both in physical spaces that we currently operation and will expand into digital ecosystems. 

Our hope is that the partnerships we forge would become fully integrated within the dual physical-digital ecosystem, a hub of innovation that might feature digital war rooms in addition to an event space where product demos, public lectures and IP testing occur. Participants would gain access to the cutting-edge technologies and systems has built and perfected over the past 25 years. This would produce more opportunities, more leverage and in turn, greater value for all parties.

The idea of creating a community around space is not new, but it would behoove brands to take a collaborative approach at a time when consumer behavior is rapidly changing and budgets are being shifted or slashed. The fourth annual 2021 Creative Management Report by inMotionNow and InSource found that while in-house creative teams still oversee most of the work, 86 percent reported that they currently partner with agencies and freelancers. What’s more, in 2021, nearly one-third of teams are planning to increase the work they send to outside resources.

The hybrid model could extend to larger companies as well. For example, if joined forces with an equally reputable agency, the possibilities for growth would be limitless. Want to assemble a best-in-class production team? We’ve already done that. Need an entirely new finance system? We’ve built one. It’s about having access to capabilities and being able to deliver a higher, better product for all of our collective clients.

Together the different disciplines and companies would work to understand what services they could sell for each other and where there’s talent overlap. Both would be able to apply learnings from interactive approaches, retain talent and access exclusive programming. The financial implications would be decreased cost of labor and infrastructure. Personally and professionally, it would enable greater development.

There will be challenges to implementing this digital-physical workforce model that I propose, starting with humanizing it all. In the last 12 months, millions of workers have felt the effects of Zoom fatigue, burnout and feelings of isolation. Sure, we’ve gotten the hang of how to balance work while our kids are screaming in the back. But for a hybrid environment to succeed, companies must prioritize connections and refresh employee engagement tactics. This work should be rooted in personal interactions and relationships. Additionally, as with every innovative idea, we must take things slow and steady. This model needs to be planned out properly for us to actually launch it successfully and scale it sustainably.

What We’re Reading—Week Of March 22nd

A look at the marketing and advertising articles we’re sharing internally this week at AList.

3 Opportunities For CMOs To Capitalize On In 2021


After 62 percent of companies reported having to entirely rethink operational models as a result of the pandemic, chief marketing officers can remain agile by investing in ecosystems of partnership between departments and enlisting humans, not just artificial intelligence, to make sense of data to deliver unique personalized experiences.

Why it matters: Eighty percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that delivers personalized experiences. Therefore, being a CMO in the age of COVID-19 will require patience and empathy as consumers decide how they feel about important changes, including how often they want to work remotely and how often they feel comfortable going out to eat and shop.

Ignoring These 4 Marketing Trends Could Cost You In The Long Run


Reducing marketing budgets can short circuit brands and cost them more in the long run. Instead, they should take advantage of the opportunity to double down on marketing initiatives while their competitors are cutting back.

Why it matters: Four areas of marketing investment to consider are chatbots for personalized experiences, a focus on the searchability of social media posts, creating more video content to grow organic reach and partner with influencers to personify experiences in the post-pandemic world.

IAB Releases AR Buyer’s Guide For Marketers


According to the IAB’s augmented reality (AR) Buyer’s Guide, 97 percent of brands on Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands list are currently using AR, and there will be 85 million AR users in the US alone this year.

Why it matters: Immersive and multi sensory, AR creates an enhanced online shopping experience. Shopify saw a 200 percent increase in conversions after using AR for product visualization, while Overstock increased conversions from 10 percent to 200 percent after using AR in its product catalog.

What We Really Need From ‘The Future Of Work’

Ad Age

Rather than making predictions about how sustainable supply chains and hybrid workforce will change the future of work, Ad Age columnist M.T. Fletcher suggests companies create a wish list based on reflections from last year.

Why it matters: Fletcher suggests companies keep things unstructured and organic when heading back to the office, avoid ghosting agencies and clients and be candid about lay-offs to generate loyalty.

Tommy Hilfiger Taps Alegra O’Hare As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Tommy Hilfiger Global appoints Alegra O’Hare as chief marketing officer, Ikea hires Linus Karlsson for the newly created role of chief creative officer, BookClub appoints Pamela Levine as chief marketing officer, Freshworks names Stacey Epstein chief marketing officer, Driscoll’s adds two new board members and more.

Tommy Hilfiger Hires Alegra O’Hare As Chief Marketing Officer

According to WWD, Alegra O’Hare, former Gap CMO, has been named Tommy Hilfiger Global’s new CMO.

O’Hare succeeds Michael Schneier, who stepped down in October.

Previously, O’Hare worked at Adidas for 11 years, including leading marketing for the Adidas Original brand.

Ikea Names Linus Karlsson Chief Creative Officer

Ikea has appointed Linus Karlsson to the newly created role of chief creative officer, which will span design, product development and marketing and communications.

Karlsson told the Wall Street Journal that he has worked with IKEA in several roles, including more recently as an independent consultant.

BookClub Hires Pamela Levine As Chief Marketing Officer

Pamela Levine, former president of global marketing at Twentieth Century Fox, has been named CMO of BookClub.

Levine previously served as CMO at HBO for nearly five years.

Talia Gerecitano also recently joined BookClub as the company’s vice president, original content marketing.

Freshworks Names Stacey Epstein Chief Marketing Officer

Freshworks Inc. has tapped Stacey Epstein to lead its marketing.

Ranked as one of the Software Report’s top 50 women leaders in SaaS of 2020, Epstein is currently a member of the Litmus board. Previously, she served as chief marketing and customer experience officer for ServiceMax.

Driscoll’s Adds Two New Board Members

Driscoll’s has welcomed two new members to its board, including Giannella Alvarez, former chief executive and board director at Beanitos LLC, and Graciela Monteagudo, former president and CEO of LALA US.

Pokeworks Taps Steve Heeley As Chief Marketing Officer

Former Veggie Grill CEO, Steve Heeley, has been named Pokeworks’ new CMO.

Heeley served as president and CEO of Earl of Sandwich for two years before taking on the role of Veggie Grill CEO in 2014.

Volkswagen Appoints Andreas Walingen Chief Strategy Officer

Volkswagen’s current head of group product strategy, Andreas Walingen, has been named chief strategy officer of the company’s passenger cars.

Walingen succeeds current chief strategy officer Michael Jost.

Prior to Volkswagen, Walingen worked at Porsche for eight years, most recently as head of end-to-end electronic architecture.

Equifax Elevates Julia Houston To Chief Strategy And Marketing Officer

Julia Houston, chief transformation officer at Equifax, has assumed the role of chief strategy and marketing officer.

Houston first joined Equifax in 2013 as SVP of US legal.

AB InBev India Promotes Vineet Sharma To VP Of Marketing

Anheuser Busch InBev India has elevated Vineet Sharma, its trade marketing director, to VP of marketing and business development.

Sharma first joined AB InBev India in 2016 as an associate marketing director.

Previously, he served as a global assistant brand manager at Unilever, leading Pond’s Men across South Asia.

JPMorgan Chase Taps Leslie Gillin For Chief Marketing Officer

JPMorgan Chase has appointed Leslie Gillin as CMO.

Gillin started out at JPMorgan Chase as president of co-brand cards in February 2017, a role she held for three years.

She succeeds Kristin Lemkau, who was named chief executive officer of the firm’s US Wealth Management last month.

How Snapchatters Plan To Observe March And April Holidays

This week in social media news, Snapchat’s latest survey reveals how its users plan to observe holidays in March and April, Instagram says a ‘drafts’ feature for Stories is coming soon and that it may expand the Stories poll feature to groups. Facebook tests a green screen tool for Facebook Stories, plus it’s developing new audio-only features for Rooms.

Snapchat Survey Reveals Users’ March And April Holiday Buying Behavior

Snapchat’s latest survey found that half of Snapchatters plan to observe an upcoming holiday or festival, like Easter, Ramadan, Passover and Holi, and many are prepared to spend more money while doing so.

Why it matters: Sixty percent of Snapchatters say the pandemic has forced many of them to get creative with their celebrations this year, but their desire to uphold these traditions remains strong. Brands should find ways to enable the cohort to remain connected with friends and family through photo and video sharing, perhaps through Snap’s Lens feature, which an average of 31.5 million Snapchatters used daily during Easter weekend last year.

The details: According to Snapchat’s findings, more than half of Snapchatters are brainstorming ways to make the holidays in March and April feel special. A top purchase for these users will be specialty foods and drinks, along with new outfits and gifts for friends and family.

In addition, 57 percent of respondents said they’ll be spending the holidays with their family while another quarter of Snapchatters plan to spend them with friends.

Instagram To Launch Drafts Feature For Stories

Instagram announced that a ‘Drafts’ feature coming soon to Stories will enable users to save their content as a draft, then post it at a later time.

Why it matters: Currently, Instagram users can save a feed post as a draft and post it at a later date. The ability to create Stories drafts will prove especially useful for brands who wish to plan out their creative and messaging within Stories ahead of time.

The details: Stories drafts have been a highly requested feature from users, with Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri tweeting, “You asked and we’re delivering…story drafts coming soon.”

Facebook Tests Green Screen Creative Tool For Facebook Stories

According to Social Media Today, Facebook is testing a ‘Green Screen’ creative function for Facebook Stories, which will let people overlay their video over a still image or another video.

Why it matters: The Green Screen option is already available in Instagram Stories, but Facebook may be looking to implement its own as a means to compete against TikTok, where the effect is widely used. Doing so will provide Facebook marketers the opportunity to make their organic and paid Stories content more interactive.

The details: As per this screenshot from social media expert Matt Navarra, the Green Screen feature on Facebook Stories would be placed between the text feature and boomerang feature. Users can add a photo or video from their camera roll as the background of their Stories. Then they’ll be able to use a recording of themselves or a still image as the overlay.

Facebook Rooms Tests Audio-Only Broadcast And Private Room Features

Facebook is testing new audio-only features for Rooms, its multi-user video chat option, reports Social Media Today.

Why it matters: Facebook is gearing up to compete against similar audio experiences from invite-only Clubhouse and Twitter’s Spaces, which Twitter plans to open to all users by April.

The details: As seen in this screenshot shared by developer Alessandro Paluzzi, Facebook will give users the option to choose from two additional functionalities in Rooms—one, a live audio-only room and two, a private audio room with friends.

Instagram Looks To Expand Stories Poll Feature To Groups

Instagram may be expanding its Stories poll option, which gives individual users the ability to ask a question with two answers and see results in real-time, to groups, according to Digital Information World.

Why it matters: With the impending demise of third-party cookies, a poll option for groups could help businesses looking to gather more information about their audience on Instagram.

The details: Developer Alessandro Paluzzi first discovered the Instagram poll option for groups, which appears in the Stories’ sticker section under a gradient pink icon.

Nearly 80 Million Americans Listen To Podcasts Weekly

Nearly 80 million Americans, or 28 percent of the US population aged 12 and older, listen to podcasts weekly—a 17 percent increase over 2020. That’s according to “The Infinite Dial 2021” from Edison Research and Triton, a survey among 1,500 people conducted in January.

The podcast listening cohort is more diverse than ever today as the survey found that monthly listeners are 57 percent white, 16 percent Latino, 13 percent African American, four percent Asian and 10 percent of some other background.

An all-time high number of weekly online audio listeners was also observed—62 percent of the US 12 and over population, around 176 million people.

Smart speaker adoption is continuing to grow, with 33 percent of Americans, or 94 million consumers, saying they own a smart speaker—22 percent more than last year and seven percent more than in 2017. Among the respondents who own a smart speaker, 34 percent report having three or more of the devices in their household.

For the first time in the survey’s history, Facebook is no longer the platform that people use most. Forty-seven percent say they use Facebook the most—a 54 percent dip from the year prior. TikTok may be the source of the decline, with 44 percent of 12-34 year olds reporting that they use TikTok, up from 25 percent last year.

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have also seen an increase in usage among users aged 12-34. The only app other than Facebook for which usage declined is Snapchat, down from 61 percent in 2020 to 55 percent.

Additionally, 20 percent of people say they’ve watched a video game livestream on services such as Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live or Mixer, up five percent from last year.

With the jump in music streaming during lockdowns, shared audio listening is also on the rise. Over half (51 percent) of the survey participants say they “frequently” or “sometimes” listen to audio with other people, with this figure rising to 69 percent among those aged 12-34 years old. The most-listened-to audio service in the last month was Spotify (29 percent), followed by Pandora (20 percent) and YouTube Music, formerly Google Play (16 percent).

How Quantum Marketing Drives Success With Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar

On this 252nd episode of Marketing Today, I speak with Raja Rajamannar, the chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard.

We discuss Rajamannar’s new book, Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers, which demystifies data-driven marketing and identifies emerging opportunities in the digital world.

The conversation begins with the evolution of various marketing paradigms, from product to psychology, to emotion in brand messaging. Rajamannar makes these shifts easy to understand and clarifies how marketers can leverage them in their strategies. Rajamannar says over the years, marketing has shifted to four paradigms, and marketing is going to go through “an unprecedented level of disruption as we enter the fifth paradigm.”

Later in the episode, Rajamannar and I discuss how today’s technology demands greater creativity from brands to stand out. Even more fascinating is how emotions have dominated the marketing industry. Listen to Raja break down this change, what it means for the future of marketing, and more on Marketing Today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What quantum marketing is and how to leverage it
  • How the evolution of psychology and emotion influence marketing
  • Why marketing needs to be re-imagined
  • What quantum marketing means for business transformation
  • How to break your brand down into the five senses

Key Highlights:

  • [01:29] What led Raja to write his book
  • [02:50] The definition of quantum marketing
  • [06:03] The evolution of marketing paradigms
  • [13:33] Why this book matters now
  • [15:16] How Raja came up with the five elements of quantum marketing
  • [20:21] Examples of quantum marketing transforming businesses
  • [29:11] Mastercard’s push for multi-sensory marketing
  • [37:50] An experience that defines Raja made him who he is today
  • [40:38] Raja’s advice for his younger self
  • [42:44] A recent impactful purchase Raja made
  • [43:25] The brands, companies, and causes Raja follows
  • [46:18] What Raja says is the biggest threat and opportunity for marketers today

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.

What We’re Reading—Week Of March 15th

Our survey of the marketing and advertising articles you should be reading this week.

Marketing Proves Its Mettle During Pandemic, Job Growth Follows Suit


The 26th edition of The CMO Survey found that there was a 9.1 percent overall increase in the number of marketing jobs added in 2020, with 17.7 percent of the roles going to senior managers.

Why it matters: The marketing job additions are expected to be permanent, with 72.2 percent of marketers reporting that the importance of marketing in their companies grew during the last year vs. the June 2020 survey level of 62.3 percent.

How To Target Generation X Through Paid Ads

Neil Patel

Generation X, the cohort born between 1965 and 1980, have typically been ignored by marketers who are focused on targeting baby boomer and millennial generations. But the reality is they comprise about 25 percent of the population and they outspend millennials by 41 percent and baby boomers by 18 percent.

Why it matters: An effective strategy for reaching Gen X consumers should include paid search ads, email marketing, social media and occasionally, direct mail. The group of shoppers is frugal but also tech-savvy enough to use Google and Facebook regularly, so marketers should use terms like “discount” and “promo code” in their ad copy, as well as ensure their website is clear and contains detailed information and reviews.

Goldilocks Vs. The Three Little Pigs: Three Options For The Future Of The Web


To ensure marketers don’t have to interrupt the consumer journey by asking them to enter an email to access their website, The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media is advocating for the use of cross-site and app addressable media identifiers together with an enhanced accountability program.

Why it matters: Such cross-site and app solutions can make contextual and encrypted email-based solutions more valuable and supplement other engagement tactics rather than replace them.

Nordstrom Tosses Its Hat Into Shoppable Livestreams


Nordstrom kicked off its foray into shoppable livestreams with a live Burberry virtual styling event. The retailer expects to host multiple shoppable livestreams each week, some of which will be highly produced and include runway footage while others will involve industry experts discussing trends around fashion and beauty.

Why it matters: Nordstrom’s goal is to deliver engaging experiences that “allow for discovery, personalization and service at scale.” Each event will enable customers to click on links that direct them to shop the item on Nordstrom’s website.

The Impact Of Race On Influencer Pricing

Campaign Live

Charlotte Williams, the founder of SevenSix Agency, an influencer marketing agency with a focus on diversity and inclusion, concluded via a survey that a fear of transparency around the pay gap between black and white influencers is impacting the ability to formalize pricing structure, something influencers are desperate for.

Why it matters: Her agency’s survey among brands and influencers found that 57 percent of influencers believe ethnicity impacts the fees they can charge. Forty-nine percent who thought they undercharged and believed their ethnicity affected their fees were black, followed by 18 percent who were South Asian and 13 percent who had a black and white heritage.