Share Content From Real Customers And Your Audience Will Trust You More, Finds New Report

Influencers have proven highly effective for raising brand awareness and reaching new or targeted audiences but new findings suggest they’re becoming a nuisance to consumers.

According to EnTribe’s state of user-generated content survey, 63 percent of users say they see a sponsored influencer post at least every time they use social media. The problem: 85 percent find influencers to be inauthentic and/or not relatable, which is an interesting finding given relatability is the hallmark of influencers brands are investing in these days.

Worse, 29 percent told EnTribe that influencer content negatively impacts their perception of the brand.

Content from actual customers is what 85 percent of people would rather see brands share on social media. Here’s why:

  • 84 percent are more likely to trust a brand that uses content from actual customers versus paid influencers
  • 77 percent would be more likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if that brand shared content from real customers in their marketing
  • 65 percent of 18-44-year-olds would be more loyal to a brand if they were asked to submit a photo or video capturing their experience that was then featured in that brand’s marketing

“Consumers are now seeing through traditional influencer content and want to know that the recommendation for a product or service they’re considering is coming from somebody who actually has experience with it,” said Adam Dornbusch, CEO of EnTribe.

Dornbusch urges marketers to shift their attention away from micro-influencers and to a UGC marketing strategy. It’s more cost-effective and comes with one major advantage not offered by influencers—brands are not only engaging directly with consumers through UGC programs, but they are also building their own army of creators from their actual customers. Along the way, relationships with existing customers are strengthened while brand engagement and trust among new ones are improved.

Being A Category Of One With Morgan Stanley’s Alice Milligan

Alice Milligan, CMO of Investment Management giant Morgan Stanley feels that “your career is a marathon, not a sprint.” Her path as an integral part of marketing, UI/UX, and growth strategies for companies such as American Express, Citibank, and E*Trade, has given her the ultimate marketing tool belt to tap in her current role.

In this episode, Alice and I discuss how Morgan Stanley has been able to connect to a new younger wealth management audience, why being unique is your superpower, and why data and analytics are the lifeblood of marketing today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Morgan Stanley bridges the gap between their core clients and their new clients
  • How the use of Ambassadors drives the conversation for Morgan Stanley
  • The importance of workplace collaboration

Key Highlights

  • [02:26] Alice’s career journey
  • [06:55] How Alice’s role as is CMO defined
  • [08:45] Managing the complexity of Morgan Stanley’s portfolio
  • [11:00] Broadening Morgan Stanley’s appeal
  • [13:20] Balancing the need to serve core clients yet still connecting to newer, younger clients
  • [13:35] Ambassadors of Morgan Stanley
  • [17:03] How the use of ambassadors to drive the conversation
  • [19:02] E*trade bringing back the baby
  • [23:21] An experience that defines Alice
  • [25:24] Alice’s advice for her younger self
  • [26:40] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [28:34] Brands Alice is fascinated by
  • [31:37] The biggest opportunity and threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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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.

Report: Data Privacy Practices Impact The Bottom Line

A new report shows consumers are very much aware of data privacy issues and judge brands based on them. Ketch and Magna conducted a survey among 2,750 consumers across the US, 76 percent of which described themselves as the primary decision-makers for household purchases. 

According to the findings, 74 percent highly value data privacy and 83 percent say they understand the value in sharing data with brands under the right conditions, such as when they want to learn about new products.

Still, brands haven’t quite fully earned consumers’ trust. An overwhelming majority (82 percent) of consumers are highly concerned about how their data is collected and used, the report found, which is fueled by a lack of transparency and control. In addition, 57 percent worry that brands use their data beyond their intended purposes.

Brands have a lot to gain by remaining transparent with their data privacy practices. The survey shows that 49 percent of consumers would not only trust the company more but would also prefer it over others (43 perfect) if the brand was transparent and gave them control over their data usage.

Part of earning trust requires that brands allow consumers to decide how much and what kind of personal information to share with the brand. The report echoes this sentiment; most said that instead of cookie notices, they want personalized preference centers with clear and easy-to-understand privacy options they can manually set.

Data storage practices and data minimization have the greatest impact for consumers and trust translates to 23 percent higher purchase intent. To build trust, the data retention period matters the most for retail, travel and finance while data minimization matters the most for telephone companies. 

Key takeaways for marketers:

  • Control data across its lifecycle
  • Clearly communicate with people about how their data will be used
  • Allow people to change their privacy at any time
  • When people make a choice, ensure it’s reflected in all the data systems that store it and use their data as well as with downstream partners that receive it
  • Ensure legal, technology, marketing and data teams all have a say

Nintendo Appoints Devon Pritchard Executive Vice President Of Sales, Marketing And Comms

This week in leadership updates, Nintendo names Devon Pritchard EVP of sales, marketing and communications, Burger King appoints Thibault Roux chief digital officer, Dave & Buster’s hires Ashley Zickefoose as chief marketing officer and more.

Nintendo Of America Appoints Devon Pritchard Executive Vice President Of Sales, Marketing And Comms

Nintendo has named Devon Pritchard executive vice president of sales, marketing and communications, according to Venture Beat.

This year marks Pritchard’s 16th year with Nintendo. She most recently served as the company’s executive vice president of business affairs and publisher relations.

Burger King Taps Thibault Roux As Chief Digital Officer

Burger King has hired Thibault Roux as chief digital officer of US and Canada, the company announced on its parent website.

Under his belt, Roux has years of experience in digital leadership roles such as senior vice president digital at Optum and vice president of product, experience and accessibility at UnitedHealthcare.

Dave & Buster’s Hires Ashley Zickefoose As Chief Marketing Officer

As part of a string of new executive leadership hires, Dave & Buster’s has appointed Ashley Zickefoose as chief marketing officer.

Zickefoose joins Dave & Buster’s from Main Event, where she was chief marketing officer. Prior to that, she served as CEC Entertainment’s chief marketing and concept officer.

Nickelodeon Names A New Marketing Chief

After a three-year stint as chief marketing officer of Nickelodeon, Jenny Wall is stepping down, reports Deadline. Sabrina Caluori—who has been promoted to executive vice president and head of marketing and brand strategy for Nickelodeon—will succeed Wall.

Previously, Caluori was president of a firm she founded, Theia Communications, and prior to that spent over 12 years at HBO in a variety of marketing executive roles.

St Kitts Tourism Authority Names Mia Lange Chief Marketing Officer

Mia Lange has been appointed to the newly created role of chief marketing officer for St Kitts Tourism Authority.

Lange has more than two decades of Caribbean destination marketing experience, most recently serving as executive director, global communications of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

TikTok Launches Program To Help SMBs Achieve Their Business Goals

This week in social media news, TikTok launches a six-week program to help small businesses grow on the app, YouTube rolls out updated analytics in Shorts, Instagram tests a Live Producer tool and more. 

TikTok Launches Six-Week Program To Help Small Brands Drive Results

TikTok is launching a new multi-channel educational program called Follow Me to help small and medium businesses build community on TikTok and achieve their business goals.

Why it matters: TikTok says it’s heard from several small businesses that the app helped them launch or build their business, with some saying it helped them survive the darkest days of the pandemic.

TikTok recently partnered with Hello Alice to survey 7,000 small businesses and 43 percent of owners said they’re now likely to join TikTok because they’ve heard reports of efficacy from fellow business owners. The survey also found that at 67 percent, TikTok gets top marks as a storytelling platform.

The details: TikTok’s Follow Me program will offer businesses a six-week email series that will outline different learning roadmaps based on visitors’ goals and best practices for running their first-ever TikTok campaign and integrating their brand’s story into their videos. 

This will include a guide to setting up a free business account, access to the creative center for content inspiration and insights into how TikTok’s ads manager and promotion features can be leveraged to further reinforce campaign outcomes.

Participating brands will learn the latest tips from TikTok’s small business ambassadors, Cassie Sorensen, owner and founder of Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, owner and founder of Feel Your Soul. Cassie and Jacob will share their TikTok journeys and provide tips on how to best tap into the power of community and entertainment to drive real business results.

YouTube Updates Analytics For Shorts

YouTube has made some changes to its Shorts analytics and added comparative audience tools in the performance stats section, as announced in its latest Creator Insider video.

Why it matters: As of now, updates primarily benefit creators and brands looking to maximize their engagement but advertisers may soon be able to throw ad money at Shorts. During its Q1 earnings call, YouTube chief financial officer Ruth Porat said:

“We are experiencing a slight headwind to revenue growth as Shorts viewership grows as a percentage of total YouTube time. We are testing monetization on shorts, and early advertiser feedback and results are encouraging,” she said, adding that the team is working on closing the gap with traditional YouTube ads over time.

The details: YouTube has updated the visual display of its Shorts data with the inclusion of more specific stats.

The platform is also adding more advanced audience behavior data into YouTube Studio to help creators and brands better understand how their audience is discovering their channel.

Instagram Tests Live Producer Tool To Enable Desktop Streaming

In an effort to provide more opportunities to its creators, Instagram is testing a new Live Producer tool that’ll enable in-app broadcasters to go live using streaming software such as such as OBS, Streamyard and Streamlabs.

Why it matters: Livestreaming has become an increasingly popular way of consuming online content. Research from Livestream shows that 80 percent of consumers would prefer watching a brand’s live video to reading their blog post. So Instagram’s tool in testing could be a major game-changer for brands and creators aiming to create more polished, organized livestreams.

The details: Instagram says that you can view, share and download your completed broadcast within the Live Archive but that you can only share and download a completed live video from within the Live Archive if you have it enabled. The Live Archive can be accessed on Instagram mobile from your profile.

The tool is currently only available to a small pool of beta users, Instagram told TechCrunch

Meta And Google’s Ad Spend Projected To Dip Below 50% In 2023

By Insider Intelligence’s estimates, Meta and Google’s ad spend duopoly will dip below 50 percent to 48.7 percent in 2023 amid rising competition from TikTok.

Why it matters: The increase in the number of companies vying for total ad spend is reducing the share Meta and Google enjoyed for so long, with Walmart and Apple trying to secure a larger share of the ad spend market. Walmart is one of nine new platforms that’s expected to have a billion-dollar advertising business by next year. The other eight include Spotify, Roku, Snapchat, Instacart, Pluto TV, Yelp, IAC and Tubi.

The details: Meta and Google’s ad share will decline even further to 47.7 percent by 2024, according to Insider Intelligence.

TikTok Launches New Brand Safety Solution

TikTok is hoping to help brands better manage the environment where their ads show up with a new brand safety solution. The TikTok Inventory Filter will give advertisers more control over the content that appears adjacent to their in-feed ads on the For You page.

Why it matters: As TikTok notes:

”TikTok’s Community Guidelines are built with the safety of all of our users in mind, though sometimes content that is not violative still might not resonate with a particular brand’s identity. For example, a family-oriented brand might not want to appear next to videos containing even mild or comedic violence, whereas an advertiser promoting an action movie could benefit from showing up in that environment.”

“Enter the TikTok Inventory Filter, a proprietary solution embedded directly in the TikTok Ads Manager, that empowers advertisers with more control over where their ads appear on TikTok.”

The details: TikTok says that while all content on its app goes through careful moderation, the TikTok Inventory Filter offers additional layers of content filtration to help brands achieve their own unique goals by choosing the type of user-generated content (UGC) they’d like adjacent to their branded content.

Powered by advanced machine learning technology, the brand safety solution offers advertisers three distinct types of video inventory—full, standard and limited—which are informed by TikTok’s own policies and the industry-standard GARM Brand Safety Floor and Brand Suitability Framework. Brands can choose their desired tier within the TikTok ads manager when setting up a campaign.

The filter is now available in 25 countries and in more than 15 languages.

Trend Set: Highsnobiety’s Gucci x Adidas, Twitch ‘Channel Switcher,’ McDonald’s x OfflineTV

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts the past week’s most significant trends.


Testing, testing. In a twist, Twitch tests out channel surfing. The company hopes to breathe new life into what seems like a pattern of the past. ‘Channel Switcher’ will allow users to check out different streamers quickly. Rolling out to a select group of users, Twitch intends to take stock of the success before expanding. In a bid to keep audiences captivated, brands must explore integrating features that meet the demands and expectations of consumers.

Highsnobiety, Gucci X Adidas

Ahead of its anticipated drop, Highsnobiety has released a spot highlighting the power of love and togetherness. Brands have been working overtime to create collaborations that resonate with audiences far and wide. Unfortunately, some miss the mark by casting a wide net and creating inconsistent storylines that are not meaningful to either niche. In a world full of half-baked takes and brand back-and-forth, the video solidifies that there is a way to uplift two brands at one time through proper partnership.


Eyes on the price. With its sight set on expansion, McDonald’s is venturing into in-app experiences such as Camp McDonald’s, which includes merch drops, free food, and lower price points. Now, it is targeting gamers with OfflineTV creators. The franchise notes how big the gaming playing field is, especially as the 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry states over 215 million people of all backgrounds play video games. Within those numbers, three-quarters of the players are over 18.

Nielsen: Underspending In 50% Of Media Plans Jeopardizing Max ROI

About half of marketers aren’t spending enough in a channel to get maximum return on investment (ROI), according to Nielsen’s inaugural ROI Report. The report identifies the factors that influence a brand’s ROI, how to measure these metrics with precision, as well as strategies for improving them so that campaigns are set up to secure as much value as possible.

If marketing teams committed the ideal amount of resources, their ROI could surge 50 percent, the report says. To understand how advertisers should allocate budgets, Nielsen analyzed its database of nearly 150,000 observations of marketing ROI and database of client-supplied media plans. Here’s what it found:

  • Media spend needs to be between 1 percent and 9 percent of revenue to stay competitive
  • The median brand reinvests 3.8 percent of revenues into media
  • Overspending isn’t as problematic as underspending 
  • Over half of global display and digital video campaigns are underspending

To take the guesswork out of understanding the impact of new media, Nielsen conducted over 1,000 studies on podcast advertising, branded content and influencer marketing. The study found:

  • New media can drive over 70 percent aided brand recall after ad exposure
  • Podcast ads drive familiarity and affinity gains
  • Influencer and brand marketing also drive big familiarity and affinity gains

Nielsen’s 2022 study of 15 brands and 82 digital campaigns in the US showed there’s a very strong relationship between target reach and campaign ROI. For the analysis, Nielsen sourced in-flight target reach metrics from its Digital Ad Ratings and its outcome metrics from Nielsen Attribution, which determines ROI at the impression level. When combining these measurements on a consistent set of campaigns, one clear takeaway emerged: Campaigns with strong target reach delivered better sales outcomes.

The firm’s research also revealed that only 63 percent of ads across desktop and mobile are on-target for age and gender in the US–which means that in the channels with the most exhaustive data coverage and quality, about 40 percent of ad spend doesn’t hit the mark.

View the full report here.

Birkenstock Is Baring It All In ‘Ugly For A Reason’ Campaign

The latest campaign for Birkenstock—in collaboration with The New York Times’ T Brand Studios—is taking cues it appears from Adidas’ recent campaign when it comes to baring skin and highlighting body diversity.

Only, of course, instead of an array of bare breasts to sell sports bras, Birkenstock is showing us feet. Called “Ugly For A Reason,” Birkenstock’s campaign includes a three-part documentary, How Feet Made Us Human, on the NY Times site as well as their own which explores the evolution of our feet and how they are frequently put to the test through dancing, running and more. 

With the goal to highlight the importance of foot care and how the over two-centuries-old footwear brand has made it the heart of its mission to do that, the campaign seems to be part of a larger trend of shedding light on body parts that are frequently hidden and have, for some reason, carried the weight of a culture of shame. 

The response for Adidas’ “Support Is Everything” campaign has been especially polarizing, with many users taking offense to the images of breasts and causing quite a stir in the comment section. 

“​​So what’s next? Butts need support too! Men’s testicles don’t all hang the same way as well! Adidas bares all!” reads one reaction to the campaign, while a majority of the comments centered around the double standard of why its taboo to see breasts of one gender but not the other, or why Adidas still had to blur out nipples to meet Instagram’s community guidelines.

Are feet just as taboo? They are certainly not used to being in the limelight but (so far) not subject to the whims of Instagram censorship. But unpacking the so-called “ugliness” of the nature of our bodies is certainly a step forward.

The Comeback Program With Danone North America’s Surbhi Martin

Nearly 1 million women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic in February 2020. This staggering statistic is why Surbhi Martin, vice president of greek yogurt and functional nutrition at Danone North America, and her team have launched The Comeback Program.

In this episode, Surbhi and I discuss Danone’s Light + Fit yogurt brand and their focus on helping women reacclimate to their careers after taking a break. Being one of the biggest B Corps in the world, purpose-driven marketing leads the charge for Danone’s marketing strategy. The Comeback program aligns not only with its purpose but with the mission and values of the company’s consumers.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • All About Light + Fit’s ‘The Comeback’ program
  • What a B Corp is
  • The importance of purpose-driven marketing to connect the dots between company purpose, product, and consumer needs

Key Highlights

  • [01:35] Surbhi’s career path
  • [03:20] What is a B Corp?
  • [04:25] What Surbhi’s role entails
  • [05:16] Light + Fit’s The Comeback program
  • [06:47] Origination of the program
  • [08:11] Partnership with Women Back to Work
  • [10:10] Previous partnership with Dress for Success
  • [13:31] Impact and throughline of overall marketing efforts of Danone through purpose-driven marketing
  • [19:32] An experience that defines Surbhi
  • [23:06] Surbhi’s advice to her younger self
  • [23:41] What Surbhi as a marketer, is learning more about
  • [26:10] Books Surbhi is reading now
  • [30:13] The biggest opportunity or 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.

Trend Set: Yeat X Minions, Reels and Twitch

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts the past week’s most significant trends.


The devil is in the data. Meta is testing making every video a reel. Much like TikTok, platforms have seen significant differences in usage after implementing short-term content, infinite scrolling, and similar app-like features. However, assuming users will enjoy one feature on an app to the next can prove to be a bust as some go to different platforms for different experiences. As the battle for attention continues, bidding on short-term vs. long-term content is becoming a gamble. However, sifting through data and sentiment can be the perfect setup for success.


Talking heads. Twitch, the live video streaming platform, is announcing ‘Guest Star,’ a feature that allows creators to pull in guests in what feels like a talk show. Guest Star will allow anyone with a Twitch account to be looped in by creators. First, the feature will be launched with a select group, with future rollouts coming in the foreseeable future. Having multiple options to operate on platforms, whether through sound, visuals, the combination of the two, and more, gives creators a runway to get creative. Ultimately, this allows brands to connect with larger audiences and create more enjoyable experiences for all.

Yeat X Minions

Yeat on the beat. Yeat enters the Minion universe with his song “Rich Minion” for Minions: The Rise of Gru. Yeat, the American rapper, rose in popularity in 2021 and has not looked back since. With songs like “Sorry Bout That” and others that have since blown up on TikTok, the rapper has cemented his own lane. With the addition of the Minions franchise, the two make a very different duo most have seen. Unlikely partnerships and collaborations can make the mark and fuel collaborations people not only look forward to but accept with open arms.