The Inner Circle Names Sanneke Boesveldt CMO

This week in marketing leadership moves, Domino’s UK sees the exit of CMO Emily Somers, Deschutes promotes Neal Stewart to VP of sales and the American Heart Association announces its new EVP of marketing and communications, Katrina McGhee. Stay tuned for more executive shifts as they happen.

Dating App The Inner Circle Names Chief Marketing Officer

Campaign Live reports that Sanneke Boesveldt is joining The Inner Circle, a membership-based dating platform.

Boesveldt began the lead position this month and was previously head of marketing for Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) at Vice. She also served as head of marketing for the same region, this time for Twitter, from 2015 to 2017.

Emily Somers Steps Down From CMO Role At Domino’s UK

Domino’s UK is losing its CMO, according to The Drum.

Emily Somers, who joined the Domino’s UK team from her previous role as VP of marketing and food development at McDonald’s UK, has stepped down from her role as chief marketer for the brand.

Domino’s UK will be announcing her replacement “in due course.”

Deschutes Brewery Names Neal Stewart VP Of Sales

Brewbound reports that Deschutes Brewery has promoted their VP of marketing to the position of VP of sales, effectively bridging the two departments.

Neal Stewart, who joined less than a year ago after serving as VP of marketing for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, will take on new responsibilities in a dual-role capacity, a suggestion Stewart passed along to Deschutes founder Gary Fish and CEO Michael LaLonde.

Katrina McGhee Named EVP Of Marketing At American Heart Association

Best-selling author and marketing executive Katrina McGhee has been named executive vice president of marketing and communications at the American Heart Association. 

McGhee’s remit as EVP of marketing and communications includes “leading the Association’s renewed focus on enhancing brand relevancy” as the association’s new brand ambassador.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 21. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

VP Of Marketing OperationsCalifia FarmsLos Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And CommunityCalibraMenlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Head Of MarketingAspyr Media, Inc.  Austin, TX
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

Burger King’s Moldy Whopper Campaign Spurs Reactions On Social Media

Burger King released a stomach-churning 45-second spot that shows the transformation of its Whopper over the course of 34 days go from picture-perfect and edible to extra moldy. The video is part of the fast food chain’s larger ad campaign and move to launch Whoppers made without artificial preservatives, which will be available at all Burger King locations in the US by the end of 2020. Currently, over 400 US Burger Kings and most European countries are selling Whoppers free of artificial preservatives.

“The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly,” Burger King wrote in its caption of the video. The decision to display its signature burger decaying resulted in mixed responses across social. One disappointed user questioned the food from Burger King she had previously been eating, “So this means that we have been eating artificial preservatives all this long…” while another more optimistic user wrote, “Oddly enough this could be considered as art.” While others questioned whether the video is a genius marketing ploy or just a bad idea.

A video spot that borders oddly satisfying and nauseating is in line with Burger King’s out-of-the-box marketing history. The tactic is on-brand, but it’s also just smart marketing. Studies show that emotions drive purchasing behaviors, and good marketing utilizes the concept that consumers must be engaged by an interaction with a brand. 

In his research on neuromarketing, author Martin Lindstrom found that consumers engage most with products and ads that utilize a sensory aspect. Burger King’s moldy whopper campaign might not induce the most enjoyable sensorial experience, but it definitely got a reaction out of people.

As consumers demand more transparency, an ad campaign highlighting the removal of artificial preservatives was expected of Burger King. In fact, for having been so inventive with its marketing thus far, the fast food giant is late to the real food game. 

In 2018, McDonald’s removed artificial additives from seven classic burgers and updated its Big Mac sauce. That same year, the Golden Arches introduced fresh beef for its Quarter Pounders across most US stores. The costly decision, which took over four years and cost its meat suppliers more than $60 million, resulted in McDonald’s selling 30 percent more burger during Q1 2019 versus the year prior and its regaining of market share for the first time in five years.

For Q4 2019, Burger King’s parent company reported net income of $257 million, down from $301 million a year earlier.

Planet Fitness With New CMO Jeremy Tucker

During this 195th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Jeremy “JT” Tucker, the new CMO of Planet Fitness. Tucker has worked for world-renowned brands such as Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Disney and Nissan.  

We discuss JT’s background and his first few weeks at Planet Fitness, including his strategy for jumping headfirst into big changes at a new company. Jeremy shares what changes he made quickly after arriving, the actions he saw others taking in the fitness space, and what inspired the successful “Bull Fit” campaign.

Tucker also addresses the importance of approaching marketing from a human and emotive space. He remarks that as they collected research, “We really just wanted to understand the perceptions that kept people from actually coming into a club.” 

When describing the exhilaration of kicking off their ad campaign in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, he advises, “There are a lot of crowded big moments out there. It’s so hard to break through, but if you’re authentic, and it makes sense, you can nail it.” 

Tucker also reflects on the creative aspects of his work when he says, “Good ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.” Tucker’s optimism and leadership will inspire you to approach your work with curiosity and joy.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”: 

  • JT’s background and how he ended up at Planet Fitness. (01:34) 
  • JT describes opportunities he had to work for brands where brand drives business decisions. (04:51) 
  • JT describes jumping into Planet Fitness during their busy season and the challenges of jumping in headfirst. (06:23)
  • Learn about the changes JT made very quickly upon joining Planet Fitness. (08:58) 
  • Why JT believes in the business and how he feels Planet Fitness can break down barriers to support regular Americans. (10:59) 
  • Learn about the research that went into the Bull Fit ad campaign. (12:13)  
  • Some of the best social content they’ve ever created was when they had kids scrub fitspo accounts on Instagram. (14:37)  
  • The importance of addressing marketing from a human and emotive place. (15:54) 
  • They discuss the eight and twelve-minute circuits at Planet Fitness for people who want quick workouts. (16:51)   
  • The rewards of marketing that attempts to change behavior in meaningful and purposeful ways. (19:27)  
  • JT tells us about the experience of kicking off their ad campaign on New Year’s in Times Square. (21:51) 
  • What’s coming next for JT in 2020? (23:51)  
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? (26:15) 
  • What advice would JT give his younger self if he had to start all over? (28:02)  
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that JT follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? (30:15)
  • As a marketer, what does he feel the biggest opportunity or threat that is facing marketers? (32:45) 

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Making The Case For Native Advertising

Originally published at AW360 by Kathleen Petersen.

Article Takeaways

  • What a native ad is and why they cause confusion in the consumer journey.
  • Some examples of when you should use native advertising in your campaigns.
  • How to test, learn and improve the efficiency of your native advertising efforts.

Consumers see native ad units all the time. A native ad is paid content disguised as editorial content, called “native” because it appears to be a natural part of the page it’s on. So, you can be scrolling down your favorite news site and see what appears to be another story, but it has a “sponsored” note in the corner. Or underneath an article you’re reading, you may see small images with attention-grabbing titles encouraging you to click. Even ads we see in Facebook feeds are native.

These ads can spark interest and lead consumers down a rabbit hole of information, but they can also make consumers wary that they’re spam. And we can all agree there’s nothing worse than clickbait that brings you to a site you didn’t want to go to. So, what’s the case for native advertising?

With no clear place along the consumer journey, it’s the channel we love to hate (and hate to love). It’s also one that advertisers dove into before they knew what to use it for.

When native ads gained popularity, advertisers saw it as a great way to drive site visits. Native networks offered ease of execution with a low price point, boasting an ability to drive visitors to your site or provide specific written content about your products. In other words, it was finally another channel intended to drive clicks besides paid search, and at a low cost per contact to boot.

Drive clicks, yes. But drive last-click conversions? Not the case.

Native can be powerful if you’re using it for the right thing, but unfortunately, a last-click conversion is not one of those things. People clicking on native ads aren’t normally in the mindset of making a purchase–instead, they’re more likely looking for information on a particular topic. So even if your ad targeting is right on and you get in front of a user who would value your content, don’t expect them to stop what they’re doing and convert. Expecting this is like expecting someone who sees a banner ad to immediately click and purchase a product. It’s just not how the tool works.

But approached correctly, native has its place. Here are examples of when to use it:

Awareness, Education And Consideration

Native is great for achieving high-funnel goals related to awareness, education and consideration. Using content to inform people about a topic and subtly introduce a brand as either a thought leader or a solution is native’s true superpower. Because of this, it should be measured as a high-funnel tactic and not seen as a failure if it doesn’t drive last-click conversions.

And because it can be used to efficiently drive users to your website (again, to visit, not convert), it’s a great way to add new users to your retargeting pool. If an individual is interested enough to click to read your content, you’d be remiss not to message them again to increase consideration and be top of mind when they’re later looking to convert.

Test And Learn

Native is also a great way to test and learn. Flexibility with written copy and imagery allows you to learn not only which “reasons to believe” your audience find most compelling, but also which copy and image combinations spark the most interest. Findings from tests like this can then inform larger, more costly ad units.

To maximize success, be sure to take the following into account:

  • Have a variety of copy and images available for rotating and testing. Use these learnings to inform your other channels, and vice versa.
  • Ensure ads drive to rich content that informs, educates, or entertains; this content should not be geared toward driving a hard sale.
  • If you aren’t using your agency’s internal trading desk for placing media, make sure the partner you’re purchasing ad space through uses websites/placements/creative that align with your goals. Some partners are known for a spammy, widget, bottom-of-page placements, while others offer quality in-feed placements. It’s crucial to remember that not all native is a good native.
  • Use engagement metrics to measure performance and gauge success (for example, how much time users are spending immersed in your content?). Native is a channel that introduces and educates and should be measured as such.

At the end of the day, there are many benefits to running native ads–as long as the channel is planned and measured correctly. With the right implementation and management, native ads can introduce precisely targeted audiences to the benefits of your product or business, begin a relationship with new prospects, and offer a wealth of knowledge that can be used to optimize your overall media mix.

What We’re Reading–February 10th

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of February 10th.

5 Ways To Boost Customer Loyalty
Business Of Fashion

Customer retention demands that brands build customer loyalty, which in turn means that consumers feel that they have a relationship with the brand.

Why it matters: These helpful suggestions gear the reader toward building a loyal base of repeat-shoppers, with aspects from measuring loyalty to building programs around it and developing a sense of community covered. The time is right, now that “It’s harder than ever to hold onto customers, who can shop online with any brand at any time.”

Why Purpose Means Nothing If You Don’t Extend It To The People Who Run Your Business

If you’re outwardly positioning your brand as a force for good, you’d better walk the walk internally, too.

Why it matters: Brands whose values are more than mindless accrual are successful when the goal isn’t simply just touting brand-purpose, but rather, baking it into the operational structure of a business and extending purpose to employees. The results can be manifold, including the ability to attract better talent and retain it.

The Shelf Life Of Creative Is Getting Shorter For DTC Brands
Modern Retail

A muddled DTC market and the quest for fashionable freshness mean more differentiation in branding and design. And that means more creative assets generated.

Why it matters: Good design creates copycats. How are you differentiating your DTC brand design from others in its category?

Kraft Heinz To Boost Media Spending By 30% While Cutting Agencies
Marketing Dive

Kraft Heinz is boosting their media spending by 30 percent (see: Super Bowl commercials for Planters and Heinz ketchup) while “narrowing its number of creating agencies,” reports Marketing Dive.

Why it matters: Kraft Heinz’s latest moves could be a bellwether for the CPG industry at large. More popular Kraft Heinz brands, or those with marketing momentum, will see a boost from the media increase. Note also that creative agencies they are working with have dropped from 36 to 19 in an effort to improve efficiency.

How Marketers Can Improve Their Impact And Influence
Marketing Week

How can we elevate marketing’s reputation when it has been in a decades-long decline?

Why it matters: Marketing’s positive influence is on the chopping block and the CMO role is looked at with skepticism and criticism. It’s an existential crisis for the position, but all is not lost: it’s time to regain consumer (and C-suite) trust.

How Marketers Can Future-Proof The CMO Role
Forbes Council

CMOs should complement their marketing skills with technical and analytics chops due to the data deluge organizations are facing as technology advances.

Why it matters: The often-discussed evolution of duties associated with the CMO position necessitates that marketers have a grasp of data collection and analysis practices.

What Brandless’ Downfall Says About Brand Building In The Digital Era
Marketing Dive

Hard-earned lessons from the demise of DTC darling Brandless.

Why it matters: Legacy brands adopting DTC tactics should heed the recent failures of brands in that category.

Personalisation Must Focus On The Meaning Rather Than The Method

As marketers, simplification is a necessary heuristic. Seeing the patterns shouldn’t obscure the complete picture, though. Here’s a handy guide for keeping the human front-and-center of what you do.

Why it matters: On the other side of the work of marketing, beyond the morass of data and the diet of buzzwords and acronyms is ultimately a human interaction.

AdQuick Raises $6M To Conquer An Advertising Market Google And Facebook Won’t

OOH is having a moment and AdQuick is evidence of renewed investment in a space where brokers are needed.

Why it matters: OOH is picking up as brands spend offline due to Google and Facebook’s duopoly of dominance when it comes to online channels.

Global Brand, Local Market: 5 Ways To Put ‘Glocalization’ To Work
Chief Marketer

Chief Marketer shares five ways to help global brands succeed in diverse local markets.

Why it matters: Don’t let your brand get lost in translation when marketing internationally.

‘Everything We Do Is About DTC’: Inside L’Oreal’s Tech Hub

L’Oreal is investing in tech incubation to develop new ways for consumers to personalize products, moving the beauty brand toward a more direct relationship with consumers and giving them greater domain over user data.

Why it matters: “Traditionally, store retailers have held consumers’ data and shared it with manufacturers only on a need-to-know basis.” Data is powerful and L’Oreal has accounted for owning that power, not ceding it to retailers as has been the case in the past.

Tiffany’s Flagship Next Door Brings Iconic Brand To Luxurious Life

Tiffany’s is experimenting with installations and partnerships in their new test space, a vacant spot next door to Tiffany & Co. while the flagship store space undergoes a 2-year renovation.

Why it matters: “One of the great things about doing the temporary space is we can learn, trial and test—and build some of those learnings into the flagship store.”

With Sluggish DTC Growth, Under Armour Lowers 2020 Expectations
Modern Retail

With shipping delays and unsatisfactory 2020 first quarter earnings, it’s not looking too hot for Under Armour.

Why it matters: A major sore spot for the brand is its DTC strategy (not to mention shipping woes blamed on the spread of coronavirus) which has yielded less growth than expected.

Does The Rest Of The C-Suite Have Confidence In Marketing?
Marketing Week

Deloitte finds that there’s a lack of communication and trust between CMOs and the rest of the C-suite.

Why it matters: Who “owns” the digital transformation conversation? Who is responsible for customer experience? Deloitte’s survey results may give you pause when questioning whether your colleagues in the C-suite have a good understanding of where you fit on the team and what you are responsible for as chief marketing officer.

The Rise Of Experiential Marketing: Beyond A Buzzword
Marketing Profs

The ins and outs of experiential marketing: what it is and why it works.

Why it matters: Experiential marketing is an effective tool if used properly. Get a ground-floor explanation of the concept and how it’s being used by brand marketers to move the needle today.

‘A System That Is Out Of Alignment’: Online Ad Industry Faces Its Identity Crisis At IAB’s Annual Meeting

Audience-based advertising is in crisis and contextual advertising may not be enough to fill attribution gaps. Where do we go from here?

Why it matters: “How long have we seen the regulation freight train coming? Twelve years? Now it’s here, and all behavior has to change.”

Why Catalogs Are Making A Comeback

What’s old is new (or at least effective) again.

Retail campaigns with catalogs outperform those that only rely on email due to a number of factors including cluttered, competitive inboxes and the vividness of a product’s potential use-cases within the glossy pages of a real-to-life catalog.

Why it matters: “Based on our research, we recommend that e-retailers that sell products that people purchase for fun, pleasure, and excitement to consider investing in aesthetic designs and experimenting with the catalog mailings.”

A Call To CMOs To Be Responsible

Lisa Macpherson’s research is centered around technology’s divisive impact and the force of the advertising business model on empathy and connection.

Why it matters: It’s important to examine the industry we inhabit, especially given the strong connection between society and digital technology.

Why Cadillac’s CMO Has Literally Rewritten Its Brand Manifesto
The Drum

A look behind the work that Cadillac’s CMO is doing to widen the brand’s target audience with a new manifesto.

Why it matters
: Cadillac’s reimagined manifesto laid the groundwork for its 2021 “Make Your Way” campaign.

The New Rules For Going Direct-to-Consumer
Business of Fashion

BoF shares an analysis of four DTC brand launches.

Why it matters: While what DTC is exactly has been a topic for debate, this much is true: Direct-to-consumer marketing has altered retail and is being changed itself. Learn from four brands launching into a world where the model has “lost some of its lustre.”

Amazon Maintains Convincing Lead In US Smart Speaker Market

Around 70 percent of total US smart speaker users are expected to use an Amazon Echo device, according to the latest estimates from eMarketer.

Why it matters: eMarketer’s principal analyst, Victoria Petrock, notes that despite market expectations for Google and Apple, Amazon’s Echo device remains dominant in the US through continuous Alexa feature updates and affordability.

10 Steps To Creating A Data-Driven Culture
Harvard Business Review

The biggest hurdles to dealing with data on a foundational level are cultural, not technical.

Why it matters: Companies may have mountains of data, but that matters little if they don’t have the culture to use it effectively.

What’s Next In Marketing: Rise Of The Experiences

“Integrated, experiential marketing is the next era. Let the rise of the experiences begin.”

Why it matters: HBR’s projection about what’s next in marketing takes stock of the evolution of thinking in the industry from “billboard philosophy,” to accounting for digital technology and finally, to focusing on experiences.

After 127 Years, Abercrombie & Fitch Tries New Marketing Approach: Body Positivity

Abercrombie & Fitch is changing its image by taking a divergent approach in their new fragrance campaign: body positivity.

Why it matters: Abercrombie & Fitch, as far as their branding has been concerned heretofore, have not been historically accepting of less-than-sculpted body types. But that doesn’t mean the 127-year-old brand can’t evolve with the changing times.

Sympathy For The CMO

Hear from other CMOs about their top concerns as well as advice on tackling these challenges.

Why it matters: You’re not alone out there. It’s imperative to put an ear to the ground and take note from industry peers to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 14. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at

Starbucks Names Brady Brewer As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in marketing leadership moves, McDonald’s loses its CMO for Australia, Del Taco, Starbucks and Tailored Brands name new CMOs while Ryanair’s chief marketer steps down.

Starbucks Names Brady Brewer CMO

Brady Brewer, who has been with Starbucks for close to 19 years, has been named chief marketing officer according to Adweek

In Brewer’s 19 years of service to the brand he has served as SVP of digital consumer experience, COO of Starbucks Japan, SVP for the Asia-Pacific region and a range of other marketing roles within the company. He began his journey as their marketing manager way back in 2001.

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Appoints Nicola Lutgert To CMO

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has promoted Nicola Lutgert to chief marketing officer from her previous position as VP of marketing, reports Sarasota Magazine. She joined the brokerage in 2015.

Aon Marketing Vet Hired As CMO For Johnson Controls International

PR Week reports that Phil Clement joins Johnson Controls International as chief marketing officer after three years without a CMO. Clement’s previous role was CMO for insurance broker brokerage and consultancy Aon, which he left for an advisory position with the company in 2017.

Bandai Namco Names New VP Of Marketing

Ross Borden has been appointed VP of marketing for Bandai Namco Entertainment America. Borden, an industry veteran who held roles with Namco, NCSOFT, and Robot Entertainment, begins immediately. 

The announcement, as reported by Esports Observer, comes as the developer and publisher begins its focus on games-as-a-service.

Jenni Dill Departs From McDonald’s Australia CMO Role

Jenni Dill, who served as chief marketing officer for McDonald’s Australia, is stepping down to pursue other career opportunities. 

Dill had been with the brand since 2016. Prior to this position, she served as senior marketing director at PepsiCo Australia.

No replacement has been named yet.

Nextdoor Names Former Hyatt Hotels Global CMO As Head Of Marketing

Neighborhood-based social platform Nextdoor has named Maryam Banikarim as head of marketing. 

Banikarim joins the company as their first chief marketing officer after serving in that position for Hyatt Hotels and Gannett Corp.

Del Taco Brings On New Chief Marketing Officer

Del Taco announced the return of Tim Hackbardt today. 

Hackbardt will be serving as CMO for the QSR brand and most recently served as a marketing consultant for a number of restaurants. He returns to Del Taco having previously led marketing for a period of four years for the brand.

Tailored Brands Names New CMO

Tailored Brands, the parent company of retail brands including Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G. has announced the hiring of Carolyn Pollock as chief marketing officer.

Pollock, who consulted for Tailored Brands in mid-2018, helped shape the current marketing strategy for Jos. A. Bank and grew new customer acquisition channels for the brand.

Ryanair CMO Steps Down

Kenny Jacobs is leaving his position as CMO for budget airline Ryanair after six years in the position, according to Marketing Week. Jacobs will leave at the end of April.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 14. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

VP Of Marketing OperationsCalifia FarmsLos Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And CommunityCalibraMenlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Vice President, Marketing StrategyParamount PicturesLos Angeles, CA
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

Chanel Ties Horticultural Exhibit To Its Beauty Products

Chanel is hosting an immersive botanical exhibit at Paris’ Natural History Museum’s Mineralogy Gallery called “La beauté se cultive” to highlight certain sustainable ingredients used in its skincare products.

The exhibit will pay homage to the brand’s open-sky labs around the world, where Chanel grows and studies plants that are considered for use in its skincare formulas.

According to WWD, in 2002, Chanel opened one of its open-sky labs in Madagascar to study Vanilla Plantifolia. In 2010, Chanel opened another lab in the southern French Alps to house medicinal plant sources that had been overlooked since the second half of the 20th century. 

The two-day exhibit, open from March 28-29, will focus on rare plants from its botanical collection and take place next to the Jardin des Plantes, a 400-year-old botanical garden in France created by Louis XIII as the royal garden of medicinal plants.

Chanel’s horticultural exhibit follows a string of experiential events from the brand, ultimately an effort to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive digital environment and enhance personalization through human interaction. 

In January 2019, the beauty giant opened its beauty concept store The Atelier Beauté Chanel in Soho in New York City, where consumers can take beauty lessons, explore skin regimens with experts and try their favorite perfume at the store’s scent garden.

In December 2019, Chanel hosted an experiential ski lodge inside The Standard High Line in New York inspired by its No.5 fragrance campaign. Open free to the public, “Chanel No.5 in the Snow” was full of Instagrammable moments including an ice skating area and augmented reality-enabled snow globe filter.

Chanel’s parent company LVMH posted its fourth quarter earnings, showing a 12 percent rise in revenue and eight percent organic growth in the first nine months of 2019.

Gen Z, Millennial Trust Friend And Family Recommendations More Than Influencers

Originally published on ION.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the influencer marketing landscape, click here.)

Influencers affect the shopping habits of Gen Z and millennials more than any other generation. An August 2019 survey from GlobalWebIndex confirmed this when it found that 22 percent of Gen Z and 20 percent of millennial respondents in the US and UK were inspired to make a purchase after seeing an influencer or celebrity’s post on social media while 16 percent were inspired to shop after seeing an Instagram stories ad.

Gen X and Boomers don’t rely as heavily on influencers to make purchases as 16 percent of Gen X and six percent of Boomers, respectively, bought something after seeing an influencer or celebrity’s post about it.

Influencers play a huge role in brand discovery worldwide as 31 percent of global internet users said one of the primary reasons they use social media is to research and find products to buy, up 23 percent from 2015. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of Gen Z who used social media to research brands and products jumped nearly 40 percent. 

During that same time, video sites as a product research tool increased by 32 percent, while vlogs grew by 38 percent. For brand discovery, about 16 percent of global internet users said they use social media posts or reviews from expert bloggers versus 14 percent who use vlogs. 

More than increase brand discovery, influencers drive action: 33 percent of respondents said they have shopped directly via an influencer’s social media post that led them to a retailer’s website. 

Despite the aforementioned, younger generations trust product reviews and recommendations from friends and family more than they do influencers. When asked what inspired them to make a purchase in the last month, 48 percent cited a discount on a product followed by recommendation from friends and family (39 percent), an online ad (28 percent), an email or newsletter from a brand (20 percent), a social media ad on the news feed (17 percent) and an influencer or celebrity social media post (17 percent).

The survey also found that consumers don’t perceive big follower counts as the most credible. Amid the unchecked influencer fraud problem, 48 percent of consumers cite trustworthiness as the most desirable quality for influencers to have. Consumers actually trust smaller influencers more—56 percent of US and UK respondents think that influencers with up to 50,000 followers are the most credible. A Morning Consult report in November 2019 also found that only 10 percent of younger generations ranked having a large following as very important.

GlobalWebIndex interviewed 2,767 respondents in the US and 3,568 respondents in the UK. The findings mentioned here reflect a mixture of the researcher’s bespoke study in the US and UK as well as global data from its ongoing quarterly global research.

Historic Ad Fraud At Uber With Kevin Frisch

During the 194th episode of “Marketing Today” I interview Kevin Frisch, who was recently the CMO of Wag and before that the head of performance marketing and CRM for Uber. Before Uber, Frisch served as chief marketing officer of GSN Games and Snapfish. Frisch was named to Forbes’ CMO Next List 2019: 50 Game-Changing Marketing Leaders. 

Frisch discusses the largest ever fraud case, a case between Uber and its suppliers of performance marketing and advertising. Frisch shares what happened, what was the trigger that launched the investigation, how they diagnosed what was going on, and several measurement challenges along the way.

Frisch shares the revelations on ad fraud and the difficulty of finding it only after you have the detailed data, “Until you do that, if you’re just relying on the higher-level reporting, you just don’t catch it.”  He advises that “you should start by assuming that half of what’s on the display channels is fraud.” “You can’t sort of out-source, and say, here’s an anti-fraud tool, let me just run it through that.” There is still so much to learn about fraud. Frisch shares a much-needed perspective on how to approach and avoid issues.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Kevin Frisch’s background and pivotal twists along the way. (01:46) 
  • Kevin’s path with a series of B2C companies. (04:10) 
  • The culture within Uber during the controversy. (06:17) 
  • The role of “Head of Performance Marketing.” (07:30) 
  • The intriguing story surrounding the fraud case between Uber and advertising providers. (08:13) 
  • The discovery and definition of “Attribution Fraud.” (11:37)  
  • Actions every marketer should be taking right now, to avoid ad fraud. (16:36) 
  • Should you be using programmatic? (18:06) Advice on picking better partners and people to help along the way. (19:49)  
  • Uber’s purpose and approach to the “Moving Forward” campaign. (20:49) 
  • Defining “Addressable TV” and its usage at Uber. (23:00) 
  • The Results and reactions for “addressable tv.” (27:59)  
  • Unique challenges for marketing towards driver-partners. (29:20) 
  • What performance marketers should be doing differently in 2020. (35:45)  
  • An experience of Kevin’s past that makes up who he is today. (38:06) 
  • Advice Kevin would give his younger self. (41:19) 
  • What drives Kevin and keeps him going daily. (42:44) 
  • Brands, Companies, or Causes to take notice of. (44:06) 
  • Kevin’s vision for the future of marketing. (46:01) 

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

The Enduring Power Of Like

Originally published at AW360 by Christian Barnes.

Article Takeaways:

  • Why we like some brands and not others
  • Some insight into how our brains emotionally choose brands
  • Emotion beats rational choices…all the time

“I just like them. They’re a good company.”

I came across this in some research recently. An online survey of two thousand retail investors carried out by the market research company Opinium had asked what made investment firms different from one other. For nine of the ten brands featured, most people who knew of them had very specific ideas. But for the tenth, the majority just couldn’t put their finger on it.

It was the cause of much hand-wringing at No10 brand’s HQ. “We’re ambiguous.” “People don’t know what we offer.” “If people struggle to explain how we’re different, we’ve nothing to stop them from choosing others with clear messages and benefits.”

The truth was, they had something way more valuable than fickle rational difference. When the brand’s initial allure falls away, the same rational positives can become negatives and rejection can quickly follow. But brand No10 had the power of “like.”

We humans involuntarily use our ancient, animal, “limbic” brains first to respond emotionally to stimulus. We then rationalize that stimulus, using our more recent and sophisticated “sapiens” neo-cortex. That instinctive “limbic” response can be very powerful in making choices.

Anyone who has, or has had, a significant “other” in their lives knows this. It’s the experience, from the first spark and thrill to the ensuing familiar reality of continued interaction that builds a unique attachment –way beyond mere aesthetics.

So that’s good for an understanding of how we make initial choices. But behavioral scientists can also explain why we might stick with that choice. It’s another of those “biases” like “proximity” or “familiarity.” This one’s my all-time favorite: “IKEA bias;” if you’ve assembled something yourself, you’re likely to value it more than if it was assembled for you. We’re less likely to make lasting decisions based on what we’re told or what others think–and more on what we’ve concluded for ourselves. So making sure that our brands’ behavior is true to their character is logically more important than artificially building and managing their reputations to widen their appeal.

Just as we all like some people more than others, brands that are honest in their behavior are unlikely to appeal to everyone they might commercially want to. But businesses are exposed today more than ever before; customers increasingly see their true character. When manufactured reputation jars with actual experience, it’s betrayed as false. And false equals distrust. In some sectors, such as financial services, trust is both the most important–and currently the most absent–aspect of a customer relationship.

Whether a brand is everyone’s cup of tea or not, the way human brains work means we have more chance of people responding to it if we prioritize the emotional over the rational. In The Long and Short of It, a report by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, analyzing over 1,000 campaigns across all sectors, “emotional” responses beat the “rational” two to one.

Even in the tangled, highly regulated and intermediated ecosystems of asset management, FB50 2017, found “…a shift in favor of groups with a brand personality.” Elsewhere, Broadridge’s data also shows that a fund selector’s perception of which provider they “most used” and the one they “most prefer” are strongly correlated.

So perhaps we should focus less on the “what” or “how” of our brand offer–and more on “who” the brand is. Understanding our customers and prospects so that we can build good, enduring experiences for them remains essential. But we should keep investing in flat-pack furniture.

And above all, never forget that simple, spontaneous driver of human choice. The power of like.