Kia Launches A Branded Musical Instrument

Kia is hoping to stimulate people’s creative juices with a new branded musical instrument leveraging pink noise and natural recordings.

To promote the Kia Instrument—a plug-in available to download on Windows or macOSX—the automaker launched a creator contest with SoundCloud inviting artists to write and record a song for a chance to soundtrack the brand’s next global ad campaign.

Kia captured natural sounds of movement including those from the Cheonggyecheon river in Korea, winds in the Sahara desert, beach waves in Scotland, and birds and rain falling in the Amazon rainforest. In collaboration with DaHouse Audio and synth builder Arthur Joly, Kia turned the sounds into an instrument that it also used to develop a new sound logo, “Kia: Movement That Inspires,” as well as welcome and goodbye sounds for its all-electric Kia EV6 vehicle.

The automaker also recruited up-and-coming artists to create a four-track album using the tool. All the tracks created followed neuroscientific parameters covering beats per minute, harmonic progressions, melodic intervals and texture, Kia said. The compositions were then lab-tested on people’s brains using EEG equipment.

In a two-minute spot detailing the behind-the-scenes of the musical instrument, Kathrine Templar Lewis, creative scientist and futurist, said:

“We found that people were more creative when they had listened to the songs… you could see increased alpha and theta power, a coherence of brainwaves seen and increased connectivity, particularly connecting the occipital and frontal parts of the brain, where our emotional control center is situated, and the areas connected to increased creativity and flow states.”

The Kia instrument features a touchpad keyboard that lets you play as you go. You can create endless patterns, save your loops, play them back in real-time and modulate the sounds with the dials. In addition, the key buttons light up when played, which offers a quick visual orientation.

Kia teamed with SoundCloud to run a creator contest promoting its new tool. To enter, fans must create an all-original song using sounds from the Kia instrument. The winning entry will take home $5,000 in cash, may have their music featured in a global Kia ad campaign and be part of SoundCloud’s marketing and video content. Kia is accepting entries now through May 10.

The activation comes as Kia and the live music and entertainment venue the Forum announced that the latter will be known as the Kia Forum, marking the first US naming rights deal for the automaker. The Kia Forum will include new outdoor and indoor signage, the installation of EV charging stations and Kia vehicle displays starting with the EV6. Also in the works is the establishment of the “Kia Club,” an exclusive hospitality lounge to delight car and music buffs.

More recently, Kia’s marketing efforts were recognized with two awards. Its “Movement That Inspires” broadcast campaign, a key component of the automaker’s new brand identity in the US, was named the 2021 Best Non-Luxury Auto Campaign by EDO and its “Times Square Takeover” for the Kia EV6 was awarded “Best Interactive Execution or Campaign” by MediaPost

Email Still Beats Banner Ads, Social Media Ads, Organic Posts And SMS By Up To 108%

Email beats all other forms of customer outreach by up to 108 percent, with half of consumers reporting they have purchased a product directly as a result of an email they received in the last 12 months. 

That’s according to Cheetah Digital’s 2022 digital consumer trends index, which explores global attitudes and trends in personalization, privacy, messaging, advertising and brand loyalty based on ​​responses from 5,404 consumers across seven countries.

Looking at specific formats, email outperforms SMS by 92 percent, and banner ads by 39 percent. However, consumers interact with a brand on multiple channels, oftentimes unpredictably—on an average of six digital touchpoints to be exact. 

What these touchpoints have in common is they can all be directly accessed by consumers through mobile. With 52 percent of consumers saying they’ve purchased a product or service in-app, mobile is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a must-have. According to Cheetah Digital’s findings, here are some more reasons why:

  • 52 percent of consumers have purchased a product or service in-app.
  • 52 percent of consumers have used a mobile phone while in a store to research or help them decide on which purchase to make.
  • 47 percent have browsed for products in a physical store but made the purchase online.
  • There’s been a 19 percent year-on-year (YOY) increase in consumers who have brought something because of an email they viewed on their mobile phone

Above all else, 80 percent of consumers like consistent shopping experiences regardless of the channel. For this reason, marketers must listen and respond on all channels and ensure all of that data flows in and out of a single source of truth. This requires a unified customer profile that includes, for example, the customer’s most important identifying information, the channels and interactions they’ve had with your organization and their transaction history, among others.

When thinking about how their favorite brand communicates with them, the overwhelming majority of consumers want the relationship to go beyond the purely transactional, finds Cheetah Digital. Here’s how consumers view their favorite brands and loyalty:

  • 80 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it provides a consistent customer experience.
  • 78 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it rewards them for their loyalty.
  • 74 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it uses their data in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
  • 74 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it treats them like an individual.
  • 71 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it strives to develop a relationship.
  • 64 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it surprises them with unexpected rewards.
  • 58 percent of consumers have a favorite brand as it treats them like a VIP.

Consumers become frustrated when messages they receive from brands aren’t personalized or include irrelevant content or offers. As many as 41 percent are bothered by messages that don’t reflect their wants and needs and almost one-third don’t feel a brand has even recognized their shopping or loyalty history.

That’s not all they’re irritated about. Thirty-five percent of consumers are frustrated by messaging seemingly based on information that they didn’t share directly with the brand. Given that personalization is at the core of relationship marketing, marketers must deliver a number of indispensable elements when engaging customers—including value, relevancy and meaningful experiences based on information gathered respectfully and openly/directly. From now on, third-party or purchased data and any that may have been collected via tracking are out and transparency is in.

Despite the benefits and utility of messaging opportunities based on transaction data, marketers’ personalization and messaging strategies must be based on first- and zero-party data in order for those messages to be unique. Here are a few reasons why:

  • 49 percent of consumers were frustrated when they received irrelevant content or offers.
  • 41 percent of consumers were frustrated by messaging that didn’t reflect their wants and needs.
  • 35 percent of consumers were frustrated when they received messaging based on information that they hadn’t shared directly with the brand.
  • 31 percent of consumers were frustrated when they received messaging that didn’t recognize their shopping or loyalty history.

Overall, consumers are content with the amount of messaging they receive from brands regardless of whether they’re via email, apps, social media or SMS. Consumers feel they get just the right amount of messaging or would even be open to receiving more messaging about:

  • Treats (73 percent)
  • Free delivery offers (72 percent)
  • Loyalty programs (71 percent)
  • Discounts (70 percent)
  • VIP offers (68 percent)
  • Brand value (65 percent)
  • Sales (55 percent)

When it comes to feeling overwhelmed by messaging, the figures are, in the majority, positive. Consumers feel overwhelmed by the quantity of messaging regarding:

  • Sales (16 percent)
  • Brand value (12 percent)
  • VIP offers (12 percent)
  • Discounts (11 percent)
  • Loyalty programs (11 percent)
  • Treats (10 percent)
  • Free delivery offers (10 percent)

Brands stand to gain a loyal following if they’re able to connect with their customers on the right channel, with the right message and at the right time, says Cheetah Digital.

Top drivers of customer brand loyalty include having a great product or service and good customer service. Beyond these, customers value a brand’s loyalty program and convenience.

90% Of Marketers Measure Success Differently Because Of Data Privacy Changes

In the digital-first era of marketing, marketers have had to assume two critical roles: the stewards of customer relationships and the engines that fuel growth. As technologies and marketing evolve, so does data, which plays a critical role in delivering personalized and trusted customer experiences and optimizing campaigns and programs to maximize return on investment (ROI). 

Despite the difficulties inherent in gathering, making sense of and utilizing the data, 33 percent of marketers strongly agree that they gain insights fast enough for impactful decision-making. But as rules around customer privacy shift, it’s increasingly more and more important to capitalize on the marketing data available to advertisers.

Salesforce’s third annual marketing intelligence report surveyed over 2,500 marketing decision-makers globally. The study addresses how marketers are utilizing data for growth, particularly by creating personalized customer experiences, navigating new privacy regulations and the trends shaping cross-channel marketing in a digital-first ecosystem. Here are the study’s four key findings. 

Today’s marketer has two areas of focus: nurturing customer relationships and growing revenue.

Roughly 50 percent of marketers report that customer satisfaction is their most important metric, followed by return on marketing investment. Less than 40 percent report feeling successful in evaluating any of these metrics definitively.

In addressing this challenge, marketers prioritize proving impact on growth and customer experience. To do so, they also emphasize data in the form of accurate, timely and consumable insights, according to Salesforce.

Privacy changes have led to shifts in marketing strategies and investments.

Privacy changes over the last few years have forced marketers to develop a consumer-first, consent-based approach to data collection. Marketers are simultaneously experiencing downstream effects in their analytics as performance metrics like email opens are now less relevant as privacy policies preventing tracking are implemented. As much as 90 percent of marketers believe that the recent data privacy shifts fundamentally changed how their marketing performance is measured.

In response, most marketers have turned to technology to provide them the means of measuring performance, understanding customers and offering individualized experiences. In fact, 90 percent of marketers plan to increase or maintain investments in marketing analytics while 88 percent plan to increase or maintain investments in customer data platforms. Eighty-seven percent plan to increase or maintain investments in real-time interaction and personalization.

Salesforce also found that about 50 percent of marketers have increased investments in paid social, mobile marketing and web experiences, unsurprising given that 58 percent of customers and 80 percent of business buyers expect to shop or conduct business online more often post-pandemic.

Data quality is paramount, but not universally accounted for.

Marketers require dependable data to demonstrate the value of their strategies. Roughly 80 percent of marketers report that high-quality data is imperative for driving marketing-led growth and customer experiences. Still, not everyone can obtain reliable data; and if they can, they may not have the tools to unpack it. Marketers responded to Salesforce’s survey by saying that employee resources and manual data integration are top challenges in efficiently evaluating performance. Only 51 percent of marketing teams currently have employees dedicated to analytics.

This gives marketers the opportunity to engage artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to stimulate manual data integration and analytics processes plus it enables marketing resources to be diverted to other pursuits.

Data-driven marketing cultures require a centralized view.

Marketers can’t give meaning to data-driven marketing efforts without a clear and holistic view of data. Salesforce’s report found that 98 percent of marketers emphasize the importance of having a complete, centralized view of all cross-channel marketing. Nevertheless, 71 percent continue to assess the performance of their cross-channel marketing in silos.

Marketers must not only integrate data across business units and sources—they must also share it. Doing so will create greater value, spark collaboration between and within teams and connect marketing programs to business outcomes. With data all in one place, marketers can better lead growth and engage their customers.

The Power Of Streaming Ads With Roku’s Jordan Rost

As the Head of Ad Marketing at Roku, Jordan Rost helps marketers understand shifting media behavior, re-imagine storytelling for the Streaming Decade, and make better ads. Prior to joining Roku, Jordan held leadership roles at Google, Nielsen, Adaptly, and Accenture.

On the show today, Jordan and I discuss why buyers should prioritize streaming in their ad strategy and why Roku expects this year to be the first truly streaming-first Upfront. They also dive into the ways media is changing and how to tailor ad experiences to your audience.

Listen in to learn more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to achieve brand impact and measurability with streaming ads
  • The future of Upfronts
  • Ways to tailor experiences to your audience

Key Highlights

  • [02:30] Jordan’s guiding principle on his journey to Roku
  • [04:30] Orienting to consumers’ perspectives
  • [08:30] Opportunities for performance marketing on streaming platforms
  • [14:30] The future of Upfronts
  • [17:00] Delivering better audience experiences
  • [21:00] Incorporating brand stories in streaming naturally
  • [23:30] Experiences that define Jordan
  • [24:30] Jordan’s advice for his younger self
  • [25:30] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [30:30] The biggest opportunity for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

BRIDGE, First Independent DEI Trade Organization, Announces Inaugural Board Of Directors

Since 2020’s racial reckoning, consumers and marketers alike have demanded real change in an industry that mainly pays lip service to diversity. Financial donations were pledged and promises were made by corporations but for true diversity, equity and inclusion change to take root, a top-down and sustained approach is required. 

BRIDGE, the first independent DEI trade organization, aims to provide the global marketing industry with the knowledge and resources to drive meaningful and measurable change in bridging the gaps that have created inequities for underrepresented communities in the workplace, workforce and marketplace.

Founded by former MMA global chief strategy officer Sheryl Daija, BRIDGE—an acronym for belonging, representation, inclusion, diversity and equity—offers its member companies proprietary research, storytelling workshops led by marketing academics from Brown University and Bentley University, events and more to identify and dismantle the structures in place that currently contribute to DEI gaps.

“It is both a business and moral imperative that we shift from talk to action to create an equitable culture in our industry. DEI should not simply be a line item in an operating agenda, it needs to permeate through all aspects of a business—from the C-Suite through product development to customer service—internally and externally,” said Daija.

The organization’s first research report, Voices of Inclusion, will create an industry assessment tool that organizations can use to uncover any management systems that prevent progress in DEI, as well as identify successful policies that can be applied to advance their BRIDGE agenda. BRIDGE is conducting the research for the tool in partnership with an academic team from Emory University, Indiana University and the University of Georgia.

Executives from Campbell’s, Discover, NBCUniversal, IBM and more have been announced as members of BRIDGE’s inaugural board of directors. The full list includes:

  • Jonita Wilson, chief diversity officer, Discover Financial (chair)
  • Christine Escribano, senior vice president, head of One Platform marketing, NBCUniversal Media (vice-chair)
  • Tish Archie Oliver, head of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Unilever
  • Trixie Ferguson Gray, president, The Newsette  
  • Louis Jones, ​​media and marketing consultant, BSO in residence, Brand Safety Institute
  • Rebecca Messina, senior advisor, McKinsey & Co.
  • Lukeisha Paul, head of diversity, equity and inclusion, GroupM
  • Yin Rani, chief executive officer and chief marketing officer, MilkPEP
  • Deidre Smalls-Landau, US chief marketing officer and executive vice president, global business equity, UMWW  
  • Randi Stipes, chief marketing officer, IBM Watson Advertising
  • Jon Suarez-Davis, senior vice president, marketing, strategy and innovation, Salesforce
  • Leslie Waller, vice president of marketing, Campbell’s

BRIDGE chair Jonita Wilson is the first-ever chief diversity officer and woman of color to chair a key marketing industry trade group.

Each company that joins BRIDGE can choose a BIPOC- or LGBTQIA2+-driven start-up to gain full access as a BRIDGE member.

A study Meta conducted in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media earlier this year found that almost two-thirds of US consumers expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertising, but 53 percent said they don’t feel fully represented in online advertising today.

The study also found that campaigns on Facebook with more diverse representation tend to have higher ad recall compared with campaigns featuring a single traditional representation. These ads also had a greater brand lift.

“Our long-term goal is to create a comprehensive BRIDGE agenda for all companies and to subsequently certify against its implementation and measure its impact. We invite everyone to join us on this journey,” Daija said.

Instagram Expands Product Tagging In Feed To All US Users

This week in social media news, Instagram expands the ability to add product tags in feed posts to all US users, Snapchat adds 13 million more daily actives in Q1 2022, Twitter is testing a feature allowing users to set status updates, YouTube expands the visibility of Shorts videos on mobile and desktop and more.

Instagram Expands Product Tagging In Feed To All US Users

Instagram recently announced that it’s expanding the ability to add product tags in feed posts to everyone to make it easier to share products on the app.

Why it matters: While creators and brands have been showcasing their favorite products on the platform for a while now, everyday users haven’t been able to. The feature will allow for brand awareness and social media marketing efforts to reach new heights—especially considering how often Instagram users favor product and brand recommendations from friends and family compared to celebrities and mega influencers.

The details: Instagram users in the US can create a post and tag a product or brand by clicking ‘Tag people’ and then clicking ‘Products’. Users who then view the published post will see detailed information about the product on the product detail page. The viewer can then purchase the product directly via Instagram or through the brand’s product detail page.

The feature only works for public accounts and Instagram says it’s also working on ways for users to tag products in Stories.

Twitter Tests Feature Letting Users Set Status Updates

Twitter has been spotted working on a feature that allows users to set a status on profiles and tweets.

Why it matters: Though nothing has been confirmed, a Twitter status function could allow people to inform others that they’re currently busy, out of the office, at a specific conference and more. While some Twitters users use their display name to indicate specific things, the status feature could be a way to indicate this in a more straightforward way.

The details: Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong and one other reverse engineer recently spotted Twitter working on a “set a status” feature that the social media giant has codenamed “vibe.” 

Through the new feature, users will have the option of setting a profile-level status or a status for a specific tweet. Twitter declined to comment on the new test, and it still isn’t clear whether the platform will be moving the idea beyond the testing phase.

YouTube Expands Shorts To More Surfaces On Mobile And Desktop

YouTube is expanding the visibility of Shorts videos by adding them to more places on mobile and desktop, including a dedicated carousel in the trending section.

Why it matters: The new expansion will magnify Shorts’ reach as they become more easily discoverable throughout the YouTube website and app. Apart from improving discoverability, one of the goals of the update is to improve the overall experience of the trending page and to create a more consistent experience for Shorts across surfaces including desktop, tablet and mobile web.

The details: YouTube Shorts launched in 2020 before a series of updates throughout the following year. Since then, updates have slowed. 

As a part of the new update, YouTube’s trending page will now have a ‘Shorts shelf’, a carousel dedicated to short-form videos. These short videos will be filtered out of the list of trending videos according to a user’s location and will appear at the top of the page in their own carousel. This will be rolled out in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, France, Indonesia and MENA (Middle East & North Africa).

Additionally, YouTube Shorts will be able to be viewed more easily on desktop and mobile browsers with the addition of a new tab and homepage carousel.

Meta Quest Gaming Showcase Presents Announces New Games And Updates

Meta recently hosted its second annual Meta Quest Gaming Showcase where it shared news and updates for a dozen games, including NFL Pro Era, Resident Evil 4, Ghostbusters VR and more.

Why it matters: The event showcased how far virtual reality (VR) has come in gaming on the Meta Quest platform and where it’s headed in the future. In 2021, 11.2 million units of augmented reality (AR) and VR headsets shipped globally. The dramatic growth was largely thanks to Meta’s strong Quest 2 volumes, which accounted for 78 percent of the combined AR/VR worldwide market. 

The details: First up, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Ghostbusters VR, published by Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR) and developed by nDreams (Phantom: Covert Ops). The game lets you strap on your very own proton pack and step into the Ghostbusters universe.

StatusPRO revealed NFL PRO ERA uses NFL game data to create the most authentic on-the-field NFL VR experience to date while Beat Games announced their next release, the upcoming Electronic Mixtape, featuring tracks from artists Deadmau5, Marshmello and more.

And lastly, Resident Evil 4: The Mercenaries is out now as a free update for those who own Resident Evil 4 on Meta Quest 2. Meta said The Mercenaries has been entirely rebuilt for VR by Armature Studio, in partnership with Oculus Studios and Capcom. 

Meta Introduces First Physical Retail Space, Meta Store

Meta will open a 1,500-square-foot retail store on May 9 on its campus in Burlingame, California to offer visitors a hands-on experience with its hardware products.

Why it matters: Meta’s goal with the Meta Store is to help people discover what’s possible with offerings like the Quest 2, Portal and smart glasses Ray-Ban Stories. Meta’s hope is that once people experience the technology by interacting with it physically, they’ll gain a better understanding of and appreciation for it—which, in theory, will contribute to wider adoption and more sales.

The details: Meta’s first physical retail space will offer interactive demos of Quest 2, Portal and Ray-Ban Stories. The store’s interactive Quest 2 display wall and demo area will allow visitors to explore the hardware, accessories and breadth of content currently available on the platform including Beat Saber, GOLF+, Real VR Fishing and Supernatural.

Visitors will also be able to learn about Ray-Ban’s first-generation smart glasses, which can be tried on in an array of styles, colors and lens variations.

The store will also feature a demo area dedicated to Portal where visitors can place video calls to a retail associate who will share its capabilities and features.

Meta is also making it easier to shop with a new Shop tab on its website.

Instagram Launches Live Test Of Pinned Posts On User Profiles

Instagram recently launched a live test of a new option that allows select users to pin images in feed.

Why it matters: The new test feature could give creators and brands greater control over highlighting their best-performing content or promote a post that includes an announcement, special offer or product display. 

The details: Some Instagram users are now able to dock a total of three chosen posts to the top of their post grid on their profile display by selecting a ‘Pin to Your Profile’ option on posts. Instagram has been working on this option for quite a while and released an earlier variation in January with an update in February.

The platform is also still in the testing stage of an ‘Edit Grid’ option that allows users to rearrange their profile gallery, regardless of the date the post went up—further boosting creative control, especially for Instagram marketers.

Instagram has not yet discussed a timeline for a full rollout of these new options.

Facebook Adds Music Clips In Comments To Add Context To Replies

The Facebook app is now allowing users the option to insert music clips into their post replies.

Why it matters: The new Myspace-like feature allows for yet another way to promote artists and songs in the chat section of the Facebook app, in addition to jazzing up remarks.

The details: The process, which is appearing only for some users currently, is powered by the same system as the music sticker in Stories, which gives users the option to search for tracks by tapping on the music note icon. Users can then select a segment of the song to offer as a sample.

Instagram Allows Copying Formats From Other Reels With Templates Test

Instagram is currently testing Templates, a feature that lets Reels creators use the same format as other videos.

Why it matters: As Instagram—along with Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat—attempts to compete with TikTok with its own version of short-form video features, the new Reels test aims to make Reels easier to create. Presumably, Instagram is hoping that the feature incentivizes users to stop uploading TikTok videos into Reels, which users have been opting for.

The details: The feature, which is currently in beta testing with a limited number of users, is similar to TikTok’s Templates, which gives users the option to incorporate their own photos into a preset format.

Snapchat Adds 13 Million Users in Q1 2022, Sees Increase In Revenue

In its Q1 2022 earnings update, Snapchat said it added 13 million more daily actives for a total of 332 million and saw a 38 percent year-over-year (YOY) increase in revenue to reach $1.06 billion.

Why it matters: The positive news comes as Snap builds upon its Lens Studio and other creation initiatives—which help keep it on top of the latest trends and make it a contender with the other big AR players.

Over 250 million Snapchatters are now engaging with its AR elements daily and 250,000 creators have built more than 2.5 million Lenses. According to the company, users played with Lenses more than twice as much in Q1 2022 when compared to Q1 2021. And, despite having fewer resources than Apple and Meta, Snap has consistently shown that it’s better than the biggest players at staying in touch with key trends and building AR features that appeal to its user base—as showcased by the fact that most of the viral AR trends over time have stemmed from Snapchat.

The details: The majority of Snapchat’s user growth in Q1 2022 derives from its ‘Rest of the World’ category, especially in India where its massive population continues to increase mobile adoption. Its revenue growth, on the other hand, mostly derives from North American users. 

Snapchat says its Discover and publisher content has continued to see strong adoption, with total daily time spent by Snapchatters aged 25 and older engaging with such increasing by more than 25 percent YOY.

Zappos Hires First Marketing Chief In Company’s 20-Year History

This week in leadership updates, Zappos names Ginny McCormick its inaugural chief marketing officer, RentPath hires Kathy Neumann as chief marketing officer, Nextstar Digital appoints Dennis Cook as senior vice president of sales marketing and more.

Zappos Names First Chief Marketing Officer In Its 20-Plus Year History

Zappos appointed Ginny McCormick as chief marketing officer, marking the company’s first marketing chief in its 20-plus-year history.

McCormick joins Zappos from the brand’s parent company Amazon. She served as marketing director for Amazon Hub, the division that runs the company’s package pickup and returns lockers.

Previously, McCormick was head of global media at Hasbro and chief marketing officer for Funko.

Kraken Hires Mayur Gupta As Its First Chief Marketing Officer

Kraken named Mayur Gupta its inaugural chief marketing officer, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Gupta was recently chief marketing and strategy officer at Gannett; before that he held marketing leadership roles at Freshly and Spotify Technology SA.

AB InBev Appoints Marcel Marcondes Global Chief Marketing Officer

Anheuser-Busch InBev named Marcel Marcondes global chief marketing officer, according to a press release

Marcondes was previously global president of AB InBev’s Beyond Beer division.

The move is part of a larger corporate restructuring at the company, which also includes the appointment of Ricardo Tadeu as chief growth officer, a new role for AB InBev.

RentPath Appoints Kathy Neumann Chief Marketing Officer

Redfin-owned RentPath tapped Kathy Neumann as chief marketing officer.

Neumann most recently served as a vice president of marketing at Chewy as well as vice president of marketing at Carter’s Inc.

LendingPoint Taps Ryan Scully As Chief Marketing Officer

Ryan Scully joined LendingPoint as the company’s chief marketing officer, reports Valdosta Daily Times.

Previously, he was chief revenue officer at Liberty Lending. Prior to Liberty Lending, he spent 20 years at Discover Financial Services, most recently as senior vice president of brand, media and consumer insights.

Nextstar Digital Names Dennis Cook Senior Vice President Of Sales Marketing

Nextstar Digital hired marketing veteran Dennis Cook as senior vice president of sales marketing. Cook joins from Gamut, where he was VP of marketing.

Cook has also held leadership roles in consumer marketing, affiliate distribution and ad sales marketing at Sony Pictures Television, The Walt Disney Company, CBS Television, Showtime and ESPN.

Iron Hill Brewery Appoints Joyce Polsenberg Cremin VP Of Marketing

Iron Hill Brewery named Joyce Joyce Polsenberg Cremin as its vice president of marketing, according to the Full Pint. 

Polsenberg Cremin joins Iron Hill Brewery from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, where she was senior director of restaurant and bar marketing.

Manulife Elevates Lay Ean Goh To Senior Director Of Brand And Marketing For Asia

Lay Ean Goh accepted a promotion as Manulife’s senior director of brand and marketing for Asia.

Goh has been with Manulife since January 2019. Before joining the company she was marketing manager for AXA’s Asia regional office.  

Deloitte Consulting Promotes Scott Mager To US Chief Marketing Officer

Deloitte elevated Scott Mager to US chief marketing officer of its core consulting business.

Mager most recently was principal at the consultant’s marketing services division Deloitte Digital, which he founded in 2012 and helped grow with more than 20 acquisitions, including those of agencies Heat and Madras Global.

In his new role, Mager will oversee all marketing for Deloitte’s core consulting business, which also includes Deloitte Digital.

Altar’d State Hires Cristina Ceresoli As Chief Marketing Officer

Cristina Ceresoli has been named chief marketing officer of Altar’d State.

Ceresoli joins from Soma, where she was vice president of marketing.

LPGA Appoints Matthew Chmura Chief Marketing, Communications And Brand Officer

The LPGA has tapped Matthew Chmura as chief marketing, communications and brand officer, according to Golf Week.

Chmura comes to the tour from Leader Bank where he was chief marketing officer.

Trend Set: Doja Cat x Mexican Pizza

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts this week’s trends.

Doja Cat x Mexican Pizza

Pizza party. Doja Cat drops huge news during her set at Coachella weekend 1: Taco Bell is bringing back its Mexican Pizza. The partnership rollout worked seamlessly as Doja Cat was a devout stan of the item. However, Taco Bell’s next move gave it the extra boost to make the announcement more enticing. Loyalty members received access to the food item on 5/17/22 compared to the nationwide 5/19/22 release. Individuals had to download the Taco Bell app to become loyalty members, which helps convert everyday bystanders into loyal customers and even superfans. Sourcing true champions of a brand is not always complicated; however, releasing and informing people of an authentic partnership is a much larger undertaking.

Aimé Leon Dore

Passion for fashion. Aimé Leon Dore, the men’s streetwear and accessories boutique, collaborates with New Balance to support a community gym. Unlike most partnerships, the duo does not lean into the typical collaboration category, serving limited drops or exclusive moments. Instead, the two lean into the heritage and shape a new history with the ‘Masaryk Community Gym.” Going above and beyond short-term and flat partnerships and moving into long-lasting moments that support and uplift communities can help brands create a name for themselves while genuinely giving back.

Instagram Reels

Doubling down. Adam Mosseri announces new features, including new ways to tag and improved rankings. The improved rankings allow people to be rewarded for originality and get the credit they deserve. From TikTok to Twitter, memes and trending content are born every day. The content then migrates from those platforms to Instagram. Now, rankings will stop allowing cross-platform content to rise to the top as the evolution of the app continues. The changes interfere with meme accounts that are cross-posting on both apps and not being fully aware of how to use reels correctly. The dedicated push showcases the power of in-app experiences that trump time spent on other applications.

Video Podcasting

Lights, camera, action. Spotify rolls out video podcasts in select markets. There are many outlets to choose from with social-based audio, video-based audio, and audio-only mediums; the undertaking depends on what is suitable for each company’s needs. Youtube acts as a search engine, and podcasts are often consumed while handling other tasks. Only 17% of podcasts are video-based. The marriage between the two allows brands to take a mixed-medium approach so content can live on any platform.

Kendrick Lamar

No Shade. Kendrick Lamar announced his latest album using a tweet from a fan that sparked a larger social conversation. The tweet outlined that the rapper, songwriter, and producer was “retired,” and Kendrick responded with a tweet to his new site, which then led to a press release. The response sparked a trend of social users stating their favorite artists too were “officially retired” in hopes of getting them to post about upcoming releases. Unconventional but on-the-mark marketing can help brands and talent stand out without detracting from who they are and what they stand for.

Deloitte Digital Media Trends Survey 2022

Deloitte’s latest digital media trends survey found that streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services face greater pressure to attract and retain subscribers who have become more cost-conscious and savvier about their subscriptions.

Over the last 15 years, screen-based entertainment has expanded beyond TV and movies as streamers and studios struggle to attract and retain younger generations who flock to their smartphones, social media and video games for immersive experiences. Although SVOD has disrupted TV and movies, the medium itself hasn’t evolved sufficiently enough to attract the new subscribers needed to continue growing the way social media has, according to Deloitte’s findings.

Social media has evolved into a form that delivers an array of personalized content in a variety of forms. It’s also shoppable, playable, and, perhaps most attractively, free. As if social media isn’t engaging enough as is, top services are constantly generating new lines of revenue, boosting features and innovation and in turn, increasing engagement and consumer dollars.

As more major media providers launch their own streaming video services, two things have happened: competition among them has intensified and their value proposition to audiences is deteriorating.

The growth of leading SVOD services’ subscribers has slowed in the North American market—something those services may experience as they pursue the ever-maturing global markets. Meanwhile, consumers are experiencing their own challenges—as they get their entertainment through the increasingly fragmented SVOD landscape, the amount of effort and money to do so grows. For example, consumers in the US said they experience frustration when they have to manage multiple subscriptions, receive poor recommendations and lose content to other services.

And that’s when consumers churn: they cancel, or add and cancel, a paid SVOD service. The average churn rate in the US has remained consistent at about 37 percent across all paid SVOD services. In the UK, Germany, Brazil and Japan, the overall churn rate is roughly 30 percent, Deloitte found.

Despite how attracted people are to SVOD content, they often leave due to cost—especially Gen Z users. And because it costs money to acquire subscribers, losing them too quickly hinders providers’ ability to recoup acquisition costs. Nevertheless, losing them doesn’t mean it’s permanent—roughly 25 percent of US consumers and about 22 percent in the UK, Germany, Brazil and Japan have resubscribed to a previously canceled streaming video service within 12 months. Younger generations are more prone to churn and return than older generations.

Deloitte says the reasons for this phenomenon vary according to age; for some, a new season of their favorite show was released or their desired content moved to the service, and for others, a free period or discounted rate lured them back. About 25 percent of respondents to Deloitte’s survey cited cost as a consistent cause of their canceling and resubscribing. 

Many respondents that consider canceling a paid SVOD service globally report being likely to keep their subscriptions if they could get a discount. In the US, respondents considering canceling a paid SVOD service report being willing to stay if they would be offered access to first-run movies (37 percent) or a loyalty program (34 percent). For Gen Z and millennial subscribers, roughly 51 percent report being willing to stay if the subscription included a gaming or music service or an additional SVOD service.

According to the survey, watching movies and TV at home continues to be respondents’ overall favorite entertainment activity, particularly for older generations. In the US, the UK, Germany, Brazil and Japan, playing video games was rated as the favorite entertainment activity. 

Although SVOD audiences are larger than they ever have been, social, interactive and shoppable experiences are taking up more of consumers’ time and money. Retention for SVOD services is also challenged by social media and gaming. For many, social media is a form of entertainment, a way to connect with others and a source of information. 

Social media content, unlike SVOD, is bite-sized, can be very personalized, and easy to engage with for one minute or one hour. In the US, for example, nearly 80 percent of social media users report using social media at least daily and 59 percent use it several times a day. 

Roughly half of US respondents watch more user-generated content (UGC) than they did six months ago while half say they always end up taking in more UGC than they had planned to. For Gen Z consumers, that number jumps to 70 percent. Additionally, about 40 percent of US respondents, and 60 percent of Gen Z and millennials, watch more UGC than TV shows and movies on video streaming services. 

Gaming competes for screen time, too. Over 80 percent of US men and women report playing video games while 50 percent report that they have taken time away from other forms of entertainment. Half of smartphone owners say they play games on their phones daily and these figures increase for younger generations.

Gaming and music also appear to be closely linked. Roughly half of the respondents to Deloitte’s survey said they discovered new music while playing video games. Part of that discovery involves the increase in live in-game events—for example when rapper Travis Scott performed in Fortnite for tens of millions of viewers globally. 

Live in-game events offer unique opportunities for brands and performers to reach fans in countries or socioeconomic conditions that would otherwise prevent them from attending. Deloitte research found that as many as 25 percent of US gamers—particularly millennials and men—have attended an in-game event within the last year.

With large, global audiences tuning in to top gaming platforms, advertisers are working to reach and influence them by way of greater personalization. As Deloitte notes, digital clothing, skins and gestures increasingly include branded virtual goods. For example, as the metaverse becomes developed, the ability to enhance your avatar’s appearance with a pair of your favorite brand of sneakers or buy a designer purse you’ve always eyed will be a real possibility. 

On where digital media is headed, the report said:

“A major shift is underway, one that could radically recompose internets and economies . . . For now, streaming video, social media, and gaming are all very successful without full immersion, tokenized economies, and universal interoperability. But the twin engines of capital and human behavior may be moving irrevocably toward that kind of unlimited reality. Media and entertainment companies may need to collaborate more to create a future where they remain at the center.”

Pivoting Well With Meetup’s David Siegel

David Seigel is the CEO of Meetup, author of Decide and Conquer, Professor of Management at Columbia University, and host of Keep Connected podcast. He’s served as an influential leader at many organizations, including Investopedia, Seeking Alpha, and 1-800-Flowers. David and his team at Meetup are working to cure the loneliness epidemic by connecting people to each other. They’ve navigated major pivots throughout the pandemic as an in-person-first organization, and David has a lot to share about what he’s learned.

On the show today, David and I talked about how Meetup adjusted its tactics while remaining true to its mission. Later, we discuss the power of community in our individual lives and at a business level. David also explains how an engaged community can decentralize your marketing for the better by serving as your most valuable brand ambassadors.

Listen in to learn more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The most important aspect of pivoting
  • How to decentralize brand marketing
  • The power of community

Key Highlights

  • [03:00] David’s journey to Meetup
  • [06:30] How 9/11 led to the creation of Meetup
  • [08:45] Navigating the pandemic as an IRL-first organization
  • [12:30] Pivoting in the pandemic and beyond
  • [15:30] The benefits of virtual Meetups
  • [18:00] What you’ll find in Decide and Conquer
  • [21:00] Lessons David has learned about community
  • [24:00] How to decentralize brand marketing
  • [30:00] An experience that defines David
  • [33:00] David’s advice for his younger self
  • [35:00] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [38:00] The biggest opportunity for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.