Survey: DTC Marketers Want A More Accurate Alternative To Click-Based Data But Most Still Rely On It

Last-touch data accuracy is a top concern for 69% of DTC Marketers, yet click-based data still reigns as their primary measurement tool.

Measured’s The State of DTC Marketing Measurement Survey 2022, produced in collaboration with Sequent Partners and released this week, reveals that for 69% of marketers, the accuracy of click-based data gives them cause for concern, but 80% still use it as a primary metric. In addition, based on responses from over 300 DTC marketing executives, the study showed that the average executive spent about a quarter of their time managing data reporting activities. Some respondents spent more than 25 hours per week wrangling reports. 

While 81% of marketers report that they can tie media spend to the business results that they’re after, that doesn’t mean that they are not ready for better ways to measure and test the success of their marketing plans.

Not surprisingly, the report also revealed that DTC marketers’ technology investment budgets were earmarked primarily for acquiring new data reporting and strategy testing tools.

Better The Data You Know? 

Compliance complexity and tech changes have kept DTC marketers hungry for alternatives but bound to legacy tools and methods, innovating when they can and sticking with what they know when they cannot find better tools.

“New privacy rules restricting user-level tracking and shortening attribution lookback windows have had a significant impact on measurement systems and capabilities for media platforms and attribution vendors,” said Alice Sylvester, Partner at Sequent Partners, in a press release. “These challenges, added to rapid shifts in consumer behavior caused by unpredictable global events, have kept marketers in reactive mode for the past few years.”

DTC marketers also shied away from incrementality experiments (4.7%) and multi-touch attribution (2.5%) as a primary measurement tool, due to compliance concerns, according to the report.

The study also revealed that, as in years past, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube are the most often used channels by DTC marketers, with Meta and Google holding over 63% of the average DTC marketer’s spend. 

The Big Four may do exceptionally well with US-based direct-to-consumer brands in the future, as they have outspent other types of companies in terms of the share of revenue directed to marketing for years—and revenues are rising. Currently, 1 in 7 sales online is through a D2C channel per an eMarketer study. In addition, US-based direct-to-consumer eCommerce sales rose from $36.08 billion in 2016 to $128.33 billion in 2021, with some analysts predicting the market will reach $212.90 billion by the end of 2024

The Takeaway:

As direct-to-consumer continues to scale, marketers will need tools that offer a broad range of attribution management features and compliant tracking and testing options. That’s an opportunity for enterprising ad tech companies and the Big Four to gain marketers’ loyalty and more of their ad spend and MarTech dollars.

Consumers’ Complicated Relationship With Brands Gets Hazier: ‘I Trust You, Just Don’t Exploit My Data’

Marketers have done a great job in encouraging a wary public to embrace brands again, but now it’s on marketers to make sure their use of consumer data doesn’t sabotage those good vibes.

With millions of Americans expressing low confidence in everything from the economy to the FDA, it is surprising that a slim majority of consumers—52%—now trust the brands they buy from, up from 48% in 2020, according to Salesforce. Even more surprising, the same study states that 77% of consumers believe that most brands make honest claims about their goods and services, and 75% care about their customers’ best interests. Both numbers show a respectable boost over 2020 levels (68% and 65%, respectively). While that sounds great for marketers, the win really isn’t really that linear. 

Consumers trust “good” brands – and good behavior means ethical data use

The ground rules for winning consumer trust have changed: Consumer trust is not based on successful marketing campaigns alone but on how well those claims align with brand behavior – out in the world behind the scenes when marketers handle consumer data. The Salesforce report found that 66% of consumers had stopped purchasing from a brand when they discovered it did not align with their values. While consumers are more comfortable than ever before with brands using their data (62% reported this), they value transparency in how their data is handled. In a 2021 study by KPMG, 86% of consumers surveyed were concerned about how companies were using their data – and that concern would likely increase over time, with 78% stating specific concern over the volume of data being collected about them.

According to Jebbit’s 6th Consumer Data Trust Index (CDTI), to be released on Thursday, the way brand and online platform marketers collect and use data significantly impacts brand perception. Nearly half of consumers surveyed stated that irrelevant ads that targeted them based on past purchase data decreased their brand trust, while 49% said that companies that requested consent for emails and posted notices asking for permission to place cookies increased their trust. A recent Google study underscores Jebbits’ findings: 65% of consumers have had a negative experience with an irrelevant ad, and 74% want only ads targeted to their current needs. 

The Takeaway:

Brand trust is high and the good vibes about trustworthy companies should be encouraging to marketers. Yet that trust is fragile: Consumers associate the entire marketing campaign—from the claims made in the copy to how ads are targeted—with the brand. That means responsible marketing and good data hygiene are paramount, not just for campaign success but for brands seeking to keep consumers engaged (and non-compliance issues at bay).

Unlocking App Data With Apptopia’s Jonathan Kay

As consumer behavior rapidly changes during the pandemic and beyond, Jonathan Kay, Founder & CEO of app data insights company Apptopia, says the only way to success is to focus on the data to make fully informed business decisions.

In this episode, Jonathan and I discuss Apptopia’s data insights into various business sectors and how marketers can utilize this specific data creatively and effectively. As an entrepreneur, Jonathan also touches on the lessons he’s learned from building this business—whether it’s hiring or the potential backfires of reliance on systems.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of app data to marketers
  • What the current data says about the travel industry, the economy, and home delivery
  • Insights into Apptopia’s hiring strategy

Key Highlights

  • [02:49] Jonathan’s career path
  • [05:04] Biggest surprise of the life of an entrepreneur
  • [08:18] Driving the need for a better hiring strategy
  • [09:15] Apptopia and data use at scale
  • [15:10] Home delivery boom during COVID
  • [22:14] Data insights from the travel industry
  • [25:29] Economic data insights
  • [31:20] An experience that defines Jonathan
  • [32:55] Jonathan’s advice to his younger self
  • [35:40] What Jonathan, as a marketer is learning more about
  • [41:02] The biggest opportunity or threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

  • Jonathan Kay
  • Apptopia
  • Grasshopper where he was the “Ambassador of Buzz”
  • Apptopia Blog – where they dissect some of their data and trends
  • Companies and apps mentioned: GoPuff, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Klarna, AfterPay, Affirm, Costco, BJ’s, Kayak, Hoppr, Disney Perks, Royal Caribbean

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

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 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.

Meta’s Creator Economy Gamble, Snap’s Response To Naysayers

This week, Meta announced Music Revenue Sharing, a new monetization option for its Facebook platform designed to lure creators back to its ad ecosystem. In other news, Snap’s gloomy numbers proved that making money consistently from user-generated content is hard for billion-dollar platforms, too.

Meta announced today that it was launching a new program on its Facebook platform that would allow creators to use licensed music in their Facebook videos and earn a share of in-stream ad revenue. Creators using other artists’ music in popular videos is a tender spot for Google’s YouTube, which has faced backlash for its proactive approach to copyright enforcement, such as its removal of Lofi Girl’s livestreams. Removing friction from content monetization for new or less popular creators allows Meta to serve as a talent incubator for “micro” influencers: Those new voices will likely stay with the platform that helps them grow their audience—especially when they do not have to worry about music licensing conflicts and can earn as they build their community.

Why it matters:

Google may own search, but Meta, which also counts Instagram, What’s App, Messenger and Meta the VR platform, among its properties, still owns social. Meta reports that 77% of internet users (3.59 billion people) use at least one Meta platform or app every month. More people have joined Facebook this year, with monthly users standing at 2.91 billion, an increase of 6% over last year. That gives it an edge over YouTube, which has 2.6 billion active monthly users. 

The details: 

Facebook’s advantage isn’t just in the numbers: It has an arsenal of channels for consumers to create, share and earn from videos shared in their social circles: Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, and the ever-evolving Meta platform. Presently, the company claims that over one billion stories are shared each day through its platform networks. If Meta can convince users that they don’t have to leave the Meta-verse to easily monetize their niche videos by allowing them to benefit from Facebook’s powerful search tools to tag their content along with popular music titles, they may be able to gain an enduring advantage over YouTube, which cannot replicate Meta’s ability to integrate its community features with new video monetization possibilities. 

Nonetheless, YouTube viewers spend an average of 18 minutes watching videos on the platform. While Facebook users spend an average of 33 minutes on the site, their engagement time is divided between social interactions and content consumption. YouTube’s status as the premier social video platform is not going away anytime soon, and its legacy as the home of the original video influencers like Markiplier means that it can mine its own universe of megawatt talent to create new branded content viewing opportunities for users. Because viewers go to YouTube specifically to watch videos, not chitchat with grandma or send snark to their high school nemesis, it offers brands an opportunity to deliver content designed for deep, un-distracted engagement.

Big Picture: Snap makes it clear it knows what it is doing

Matt McGowan, country leader for Snap Canada, posted this on his personal LinkedIn page regarding the company’s recent numbers:

“We all know Q2 2022 was a challenging quarter. Given this tough operating environment, I must say I am nothing but proud to (1) work alongside such a strong, transparent and thoughtful team like Team Snap Inc. and (2) to be able to share the following strong growth story

  • User Growth: We saw strong 18% year-over-year daily active user (DAU) growth.
  • AR: We continue our leadership in augmented reality, as over 250 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day.
  • Content: In Q2, overall time spent watching content globally grew year-over-year, driven primarily by growth in total time spent with content on Discover and Spotlight. 
  • Discover: More than 40 Discover channels reached over 25 million global viewers each.
  • Spotlight: Total time spent watching Spotlight content grew 59% year-over-year. Spotlight monthly active users (MAU) grew 46% year-over-year to reach more than 270 million in Q2.
  • Content & Age 25+: The daily average number of Snapchatters aged 25 and older engaging with shows and publisher content increased by more than 40% year-over-year.
  • Snap Map: Engagement with our Map continues to grow, with over 300 million Snapchatters engaging with the Map each month.
  • Revenue: Global revenue grew 13% year-over-year to $1.11 billion.”

While McGowan’s full-throated defense may seem a bit generous to the company, ad revenues are down for other big names too, not just Snap. Brands and investors are juggling worries about the global economy with the need to engage audiences, and that puts newer kids on the block like Snap on the defensive, even when their overall user numbers are up along with user engagement rates. Meta and Alphabet (owner of Google) and other companies dependent on ad revenue lost around $80bn in combined stock market value on Thursday, per The Guardian. While investors remain skittish, brands still have to put their ad dollars somewhere. That means platforms that can prove their worth to users and advertisers have a chance to gain market share.

Bottom line:

Meta, Google and Snap are fighting for the same prize: Users’ engagement and advertisers’ trust. As advertisers become warier of where their ad dollars are going, they will likely have less tolerance for monetization tools that are not user-friendly, clunky UI’s that distract users from content, or business models that impede creators’ ability to draw eyes to their content. That means platforms must provide advertisers with creative ways to not only get and keep audiences engaged but also ensure that fan-favorite creators—like Lofi Girl and others—stay happy and online.

Streamer Sponsors Bring Immersive Activations To Comic-Con 2022

Everything old is new again, especially if you’re a member of Gen Z—just ask Kate Bush, who is enjoying a career refresh due to Stranger Things. Content brands are again showing up at conferences and pulling out all the stops for visitors with experiential activations.

While the pandemic kept fans away from San Diego’s Comic-Con for two years, it maintained virtual events. Yet this year’s roster of supporters is vastly different from last year’s virtual event.

Save for Showtime, the industry’s biggest streaming channels were not listed as brand sponsors. This year, streaming services are facing the challenge of standing out in a world awash in lookalike content, and Gen Z, one of the most attractive consumer demographics, holding $360 billion in disposable income, watch as much long-form content online as short-form according to recent research. That’s led some of the world’s most recognizable content brands to partner with the most famous nerd culture conference: Comic-Con.

Legacy streamers and channels with multi-format fan favorites are marquee sponsors of San Diego’s Comic-Con

Streamers and new Comic-Con 2022 sponsors like Prime, Hulu and ABC must fight for a piece of a hyper-competitive market while tangling with the likes of TikTok and YouTube for Gen Z’s attention. Streamers like Hulu must make their platforms seem worth paying for in a landscape that offers popular forever free, Gen Z-targeted alternatives like Paramount’s Pluto TV. Pluto TV provides access to popular TV shows and movies on-demand via dedicated “super fan” channels that run a single show 24/7; that’s a critical detail. As much as 66% of Gen Z still uses a TV set to watch their favorite shows each day, 96% subscribe to at least one streaming service and 76% of households reported in one study that they own a smart TV. That means traditional channels like ABC with a strong digital presence and legacy streamers like Hulu (home of global anime megahit Attack on Titan) have a chance to craft a new, self-replenishing audience from 13-24s. Digital natives are content super consumers; they are not likely to abandon their favorite superheroes and Anime characters once they grow up and are out of college. It also means a new layer of competition for streamers: Gen Z is as likely to binge-watch anime on one of Pluto TV’s dedicated channels as they are to turn to a paid streaming channel.   

A yearly pilgrimage for influencers and nerd culture superfans, Comic-Con is where channels with the most substantial offerings (and the most to lose) are A/B testing innovative marketing strategies, including social watching through private label platforms. For example, Amazon Prime is livestreaming a cast Q&A session for its upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on YouTube, while Marvel is doing so directly from its website in addition to YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. Livestreams are useful for streaming content brands because it ramps up on-site engagement, ensuring that visitors, already fans, will activate their own social networks during the event. Bringing non-attendees to livestreams makes it easier for targeted ads to work as they should — driving casual viewers to the platforms to discover related content.

Comic-Con, superfans and IRL social watching

Gen Z, just like any other demographic, has distinct characteristics that make them appealing to advertisers. For example, back in 2017, Hulu asserted that Gen Z would define the future of television in an internally published whitepaper. It found that:

  • 70% of Gen Z respondents equate “watching TV” with watching via an online source.
  • Gen Z is less likely to actively avoid watching advertising and over 50% said they don’t mind or even enjoy watching TV ads.
  • 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer to “binge” a show, watching multiple episodes at a time – compared to just 40% of Gen X.
  • Gen Z is motivated by a need to be “in the know” about TV to be part of the social conversation. 20% have posted about a show… without actually watching it.

Now that all demographics tend to binge-watch and consumers can find the same shows and movies on numerous platforms, networks like Apple TV and Peacock TV are looking for new ways to inspire brand loyalty. 

These brands likely see appealing to Comic-Con attendees as key to building their reputation as a source for unique, superfan-worthy content organically and important as they roll out new engagement tools like series-specific AR apps. That’s especially true for prestige drama networks like Apple TV+, which brought the cast of its hit Severance to the San Diego conference.

Like Attack on Titan, Severance is a cross-over content phenomenon that appeals to the young Gen Z fans, Millennials, and older Gen X parents who tend to form the bulk of Apple TV+’s subscribers.

In the case of HBO, 20% of its subscribers are devoted to a single program, which drives their engagement. While that’s a minority of viewers, these superfans can be powerful influencers within their social circle, especially when it comes to drawing friends and family to subscribe to a streaming service: ‘It’s worth it’ means a lot more when it comes from a loved one or friend.

For Apple TV+, however, the stakes may be just as high as for HBO Max in terms of reaching younger demographics. The much newer streamer is close to approaching HBO Max’s global market share (7%) at 5.6%. That makes immersive brand activations an important marketing opportunity for the streaming service to gain an advantage with new audiences.

Apple TV+’s immersive fan experience for the show, Welcome to Lumon, takes visitors through a maze of orientation scenes drawn from the drama’s Emmy-winning season. Designed to introduce non-viewers to the series while inspiring fans to post to Apple TV+’s social channels, #welcometolumon does double duty for Apple TV: Raising awareness of an often overlooked streaming service while introducing its strongest drama to a new generation of viewers who might not otherwise search for a dystopian office drama.

An old-school spin on social media

Shifting demographics to include the next generation of young adults currently requires streamers getting everyone watching together via a watch party or sharing content where users are the stars via social media. 

Enter immersive social media: it means pulling consumers into branded content, literally. It’s an idea that has been embraced by the granddaddy of them all, Marvel, which is streaming live from Comic-Con on Marvel.comYouTubeTwitterFacebookTwitch, and Whatnot. Marvel is streaming but also connecting with fans onsite while building anticipation for live reveals of the upcoming MCU slate and immersive exhibits.

While that’s not a huge shift in Marvel’s marketing strategy, it reflects how the home of the world’s most lucrative youth-targeted content next to Disney is willing to remind its audience (and platforms) that streaming networks rely on the studios for binge-able content.

For example, HBO’s House of the Dragon immersive experience featured seven themed stages allowing fans to walk through a virtual set. In addition, attendees could download a preview of HBO’s new augmented reality app, DracARys, which lets users hatch and interact virtually with an AI-powered dragon in real life. Watch the video here.

Game of Thrones activation at Comic-Con 2022.
Picture: HBO/Twitter

The Takeaway:

As networks and streamers present new ways to engage conference attendees online and onsite, they also create gram-worthy content that influencers and mere mortals would share. The in-person angle is an old-school way of creating brand ambassadors – but in the age of Instagram and TikTok, cool immersive experiences can go much further to drive consumer awareness and online engagement. With immersive marketing, the sales funnel can be entered anywhere – and brands like Marvel and HBO are happy to spend millions to bring consumers along for the ride. 

Trend Set: Social Shopping Health Check, Minecraft Blocks NFTs

It’s that time again—Ayzenberg’s Ashley Otah looks at three trends this week and what they mean for brands.

Social Shopping

Shop till you drop. Social shopping was seen to be the next phase for all things online. Many platforms, from TikTok to Pinterest, Facebook, and more, added features to support shopping while surfing the web. However, according to the 2022 McKinsey report, 45% of consumers say social media influences their shopping, and only 11% have purchased directly through social media. This low conversion rate has platforms limiting or ditching social shopping altogether. Discernment with the addition of data is a powerful tool for brands to harness.


Buy, buy, buy. Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feature that allows users to buy products directly in Instagram DMs. After purchasing with Meta Pay, users can track their items until delivery. The new feature comes as many brands are attempting to make social more shoppable. Digital storefronts can be a massive benefit for small and large businesses alike, but the lack of knowledge of these features proves itself a barrier. Continuing to not have a clear delineation or direction for features creates confusion and stops brands from succeeding in otherwise successful endeavors.


All mine. Minecraft, the game series platform, has notified users that NFT usage and integration is not allowed or supported. Minecraft states that NFT supports exclusivity, which the company does not stand for. Other reasons for the ban include the safety and protection of users. According to Tim Sweeney, Epic Games will not be banning NFT games. Clearly stated guidelines and concise statements allow consumers to make calculated decisions regarding affiliation and proximity to brands.

40% Of Gen Z Choose Social Media For Search Over Google

This week in social media news, Google’s top search engineer admits the company can’t convince nearly half of Gen Z that it is good at its main value prop—search.

Why it matters:

Gen Z, famed for its trust issues with everything from the media to government to big business, has a keen awareness of who is behind the data that they find when they type in a search term. For nearly 40% of Gen Z, according to Google’s SVP, Prabhakar Raghavan – SVP, Search, Assistant & Ads, Google’s powerful algorithms offer them results that they believe are anything but organic. As an alternative, Gen Z is going old school—turning to user-generated content on TikTok to find everything from advice on restaurants to answers to life’s big questions.

The details: 

Rabhakan, a world-renown computer scientist, who literally wrote a textbook on optimizing search algorithms, is apparently really good at his job – so good Google paid him $55 million in salary and stock last year to share his insights and help them remain a nation-state-sized actor in the digital ecosystem. So Gen Z’s disdain for all of that engineering genius and fine-tuned search results is not likely because Google did not actually work for them when they need to find something, but because they don’t care if it works or not. 

Gen Z consumers are searching – but not necessarily the way other groups do. They tend to use more long-tail search terms than any other generation, according to a recent report by HubSpot, and that means they have specific ideas about the results that they want – they don’t want cluttered results or generalized information.

Big Picture:

To wit, Gen Z is actually very interested in good quality search results – and tends to be open to new things to buy or experience.

According to recent research from Salesforce, Gen Z is the most likely to want to hear about new products and services (56%), and the most interested in sponsored digital experiences from brands (76%). 

Gen Z consumers are values and belief-driven—some 70% will always fact-check what brands say in ads and will unfollow them if they spot a lie, according to recent research from Edelman. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z is the least likely to trust brands (only 42% do, according to Salesforce). That’s a missed opportunity for brands, media companies, and Google. What makes Gen Z trust search results – and by extension – ads? A recent survey showed that 65% of Gen Z consumers trusted recommendations from friends and family more than any other influence – groups that are often found on social media. 

Bottom line:

Gen Z consumers prefer hearing from peers, even strangers on YouTube and TikTok, to trusting a faceless algorithm to deliver insights that are peppered with sponsored content and results when it comes to how they should spend their money or time. Part of the issue may be trust: Gen Z’s issues may be rooted in their need to trust what they’re seeing – and how likely an entity is to fudge the results.

While Gen Z is more than twice as likely to engage with a brand that is recommended by an influencer than other groups, information (including ads) that answers a specific question or need in a way that is clear and truthful – just like a friend or family member would – sees the highest level of engagement from Gen Z consumers.

Nordstrom Appoints Deniz Anders As CMO, Hires Nina Barjesteh As President Of Nordstrom Product Group

This week in leadership updates, Nordstrom promotes Deniz Anders from VP of marketing to CMO and hires Nina Barjesteh as president of Nordstrom Product Group. At Vimeo, Lynn Girotto was appointed as CMO and Ashraf Alkami as Chief Product Officer. Bob’s Red Mill added a new hire, Allyson Borozan, as SVP of marketing, along with Tractor Supply, which hired Volkswagen’s Kimberly Gardiner as CMO, and BlueConic, which brought on Mastercard’s Patrick Reynolds as CMO.

Retailer Nordstrom Appoints Deniz Anders As CMO, Adds Nina Barjesteh As President Of Nordstrom Product Group 

Deniz Anders, who has been with Nordstrom for 22 years, was named CMO after three years as VP of marketing. She will lead brand programs, digital marketing strategy, creative and corporate affairs. Nina Barjesteh, previously SVP at Dick’s Sporting Goods for five years, was tapped as president of the company’s private label, The Nordstrom Product Group, where she will lead business strategy.

Natural Foods Brand Bob’s Red Mill Hires Allyson Borozan From Kelloggs As SVP Of Marketing

Bob’s Red Mill, an employee-owned natural foods brand, has hired Allyson Borozan as SVP of marketing. Borozan was previously Senior Director of Salty Snacks Innovation and Marketing at Kellogg’s, where she worked for 12 years in branding, innovation strategy and marketing. Borozan will be responsible for the company’s marketing, new product development and customer engagement departments.

Retail Chain Tractor Supply Hires Kimberley Gardiner As CMO

Tractor Supply, a retail chain, has hired Kimberly Gardiner, former CMO, and SVP at Volkswagen of America, as CMO. For two years, Gardiner led brand strategy, media planning, and retail content for Volkswagen. Gardiner came to Volkswagen after holding lead marketing roles at Mitsubishi Motors North America and Kia Motors America.

Customer Data Platform BlueConic Hires Mastercard’s Patrick Reynolds As CMO

Customer data platform BlueConic has announced that it has hired Patrick Reynolds, former SVP of Data and Services at Mastercard, as the company’s first CMO. At Mastercard, Reynolds led global demand generation strategy. Previously, Reynolds served as CMO at SessionM and held executive roles at several agencies, including Publicis and Hill Holliday. Reynolds will be responsible for leading the company’s global marketing efforts.

Vimeo Appoints Lynn Girotto As CMO And Ashraf Alkarmi As Chief Product Officer

Video hosting, sharing, and services platform Vimeo has brought on two new hires to lead marketing and product divisions: Lynn Girotto was named as chief marketing officer and Ashraf Alkarmi as chief product officer. Girotto served as CMO at product analytics company Heap, after holding positions at Tableau, Starbucks, and Microsoft during the past 30 years. Alkarmi is the former general manager of Amazon streaming service Freevee and, before that, led product development for Facebook Watch at Facebook (now Meta). 

Brand Building And Revitalization With Ferrero’s Mark Wakefield

Mark Wakefield, senior vice president of marketing of Ferrero premium chocolate at Ferrero is obsessed with the emotional benefit that brands bring to their consumers. That’s why, in this episode, Mark gives us a masterclass in brand building and revitalization. Get out your pens, you’re going to want to take notes.

Mark and I also talk about his career path to Ferrero, how sales and marketing should always go hand-in-hand, and his work on a number of interesting campaigns and brands like Tic Tac, Kinder Joy, Baby Ruth, and the premium chocolate, Ferrero Rocher.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Steps to revitalizing a nostalgic brand
  • How Ferrero is capitalizing on the “premiumization” trend
  • The importance of understanding customers’ social and psychological motivations

Key Highlights

  • [04:00] Mark’s career journey
  • [10:09] All about Ferrero
  • [12:48] Steps to brand stewardship and revitalization, including acquisition of Baby Ruth
  • [19:07] Capitalizing on the “premiumization” trend
  • [24:48] Advice on finding a pathway to new growth
  • [31:17] An experience that defines Mark
  • [32:28] Mark’s advice for his younger self
  • [32:52] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [35:03] Brands Mark is fascinated by
  • [37:15] The biggest opportunity and threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

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 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.

Stream Hatchet Report: Brands In Gaming And Esports

To help marketers understand the most effective way of attracting audiences on gaming platforms, Stream Hatchet’s latest report, Brands in Gaming and Esports, analyzed the presence of nearly 2,000 brands in video game streaming across the top 500 channels on Twitch. 

The most popular campaign activations used by brands in esports and livestreaming, it found, include esports tournaments, team organizations where brands utilize jersey patches to capture impressions or create sponsored content around the team and in-game activations where brands are creating characters or virtual versions of their product. 

Key takeaways include:

  • Advertising in livestreaming and esports is quickly growing yet still provides advertisers with somewhat untapped potential to reach the elusive 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
  • The best livestreaming campaigns are those in which the advertisements are creative and engaging, so making connections with content creators around authentic activations is key to earning the trust of gamers and gaming fans.
  • As opposed to simply adding a logo where livestream viewers will see it, brands should work with livestream influencers to activate on their social media platforms and have them use the product live whenever possible.
  • Chatbots offer context to viewers who are interested in learning more about a product. Utilizing QR codes, surveys and banners can usher potential customers to the right pages.

Hours watched of sponsored video game streams grew 211 percent over the last two years. There were 1.2 million sponsored streams in 2021 and 571 minutes watched. Additionally, 2.34 percent of Twitch’s hours watched were of sponsored streams. There were 153 million sponsored streams in Q1 2022 and 130 million in Q2 2022. 

As livestreaming and esports have grown, brands have started to take notice and as a result, the number of content creators sponsored by brands has increased substantially since Q1 2020, the report found. 

Given gamers and streamers use computers and peripherals to play games, electronic hardware brands have become active advertisers in the livestreaming space. The top categories on Twitch by logo presence in Q1 2022 were electronic hardware (8.8 percent) with 3,000 appearances, followed by apparel (7.3 percent) with 2,500 appearances, household goods (4.3 percent) with 1,500 appearances, beverages (4.2 percent) with 1,400 appearances and automotive (3.3 percent) with 1,100 appearances.

The top categories on Twitch by chat engagement tell a somewhat different story of the top brand categories on the platform in Q1 2022. Electronic hardware (22.4 percent) maintains its position in first place with 20.3 million mentions, marketplace (18.7 percent) with 17 million mentions, web browser (7.3 percent) with 6.6 million mentions, beverages (6 percent) with 5.5 million mentions and payments (4.4 percent) with 4 million mentions.

Gamers and streamers often resort to fast food during long nights in front of their computers. Brands like KFC and Wendy’s have activated with gamers in the past, creating in-game characters and events, and the former even building its own console. During Q1 2022, McDonald’s led the way with 1.3 million mentions, KFC with 878,000 mentions, Subway with 381,000 mentions, Wendy’s with 360,000 mentions and Burger King with 151,000 mentions.

Long hours of gaming and streaming require constant fuel. For gamers and streamers, that means a consistent supply of snacks. In Q1 2022, Doritos (42 percent) held the top spot as the most-mentioned brand with 458,000 mentions, followed by Cheetos with 273,000 mentions, Pringles with 212,000 mentions, Cheez-it with 53,000 mentions and Ruffles with 40,000 mentions. 

Doritos stood out with a mix of highly produced esports tournaments and the creation of a custom chip emote that streaming fans are able to use when talking about snacks. According to Stream Hatchet, there’s still plenty of room in livestreaming’s snack category for more brands to activate and nurture greater brand affinity.

The automotive industry also increased its gaming presence dramatically over the last few years. Many of the more prominent streamers have used their new incomes to purchase luxury vehicles that they discuss with fans on the platform. Esports teams and creators have also partnered with car brands for promotions around upcoming events.  

Along with fast food and snacks, comfortable clothing ensures gamers and streamers can be online for several hours per day. Sportswear brands have recognized and capitalized on this, positioning their logos onscreen for livestreaming audiences around the world to notice. Some brands have even embarked on creative collaborations such as Cloud9’s lifestyle clothing line with Puma. The brands mentioned most on Twitch in Q1 2022 were Nike (45.5 percent), Adidas (23.4 percent) and Puma (15 percent).

In the last year and a half, NFTs were increasingly discussed on Twitter with 290 million mentions. Coinbase partnered with esports league Blast Premier to engage with Counter-Strike players and fans, a collaboration that saw 141 minutes of exposure time and 676 million impressions. 

Sponsoring streamers to promote a new game or chapter release is a surefire way to increase awareness on livestreaming platforms, according to Stream Hatchet. The top three in-game event streamers, the report found, were: Nickmercs (57,815 hours watched), Swagg (48,642 hours watched) and JusKerrs (21,417 hours watched). 

Call of Duty aimed to drive engagement for its Warzone game by releasing a King Kong vs. Godzilla crossover event on Twitch. From May 11 to May 18, 2022, “Godzilla” was mentioned on Twitch over 30,000 times, while “King Kong” was mentioned 17,800 times.