Brands Invest In Experiential To Meet Demand For Consumer Experiences

Brands, especially in retail, are investing in experiential marketing to meet consumer preferences for experiences over possessions.

In the past week alone, several brands have announced plans to begin or grow experiential efforts. Recent studies have shown that a majority of young consumers value experiences over material possessions, and brands are feeling the pressure.

During NewFronts, Vice Media announced the acquisition of Villain, a company that produces over 300 events a year. Vice already hosts a number of events including its Noisey Nights concert series and Broadly women’s leadership event, but Villain—who has produced events for clients like PepsiCo and RockStar Games—will further the brand’s focus on consumer experiences.

Millennial female-facing publisher Refinery29 is continuing its experiential push, as well. During its NewFronts presentation, the company announced that it would double the number of locations for its pop-up event 29Rooms. This summer, San Francisco and Chicago will be added to its existing New York and Los Angeles installations. Refinery29 also announced a new touring event series that features battling DJs called “Beauty and the Beats.”

Travel brands are in a strong position to reach consumers through experiential efforts. The global travel market reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, according to Deloitte, attributing this upward trend to consumer preferences for experiences.

Moxie, Marriott’s hotel chain that caters to young travelers, is investing in partnerships that create experiences for both its guests and staff working on-site. Moxie has partnered with comedy improv theater group Upright Citizens Brigade, which will host improv workshops in the hotel bar as well as create custom employee training videos. The workshops will debut on May 20 at Moxy New York Times Square.

Concept stores are a staple in New York City, with brands like Sony offering spaces for guests to explore, interact with and share on social media.

Legacy department store brand Macy’s also plans to integrate experiences into its customer journey. Macy’s has acquired Story, a concept store in New York City that will refresh its theme and products every four-to-six weeks. Rachel Shechtman, Story’s founder and chief executive officer, has also joined Macy’s, Inc. as brand experience officer.

Report: Mobile Commerce Declines As Shoppers Prefer Ease Of Computers

Consumers are purchasing less physical items from their mobile devices and opting for desktop computers instead, says Forrester Research.

The percentage of online sales made via mobile phones declined from 43 percent in 2016 to 36 percent in 2017, according to a report called “Mobile Shopping Is Stalling, But Don’t Panic” made available to AListDaily.

Forrester Research found that US adults are increasingly turning to home computers to do their shopping instead of mobile phones, despite considerable investment by retailers in the platform.

In 2016, 21 percent of US online adults with a mobile phone said they purchased physical goods on mobile phones at least weekly, but in 2017, that figure fell to 16 percent. In fact, the percentage of US online adults who said they don’t even own a mobile phone more than doubled from five percent to 11 percent between 2016 and 2017.

When asked why US adults steered clear of mobile shopping, the most popular answer at 51 percent was that using a computer is “easier.” Respondents are also creatures of habit, with 46 percent saying that they are used to making purchases on a computer and therefore do not engage in mobile commerce.

“Digital business executives should carefully analyze the objectives that they have for their mobile investments and recognize the limitations of the mobile channel,” wrote Sucharita Kodali, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst for ecommerce and channel strategy.

Kodali attributes slow mobile commerce adoption to cumbersome mobile sites, requiring too many keystrokes to complete a purchase. The report also warns retailers not to assume that these trends will change as younger users become consumers.

“There are few ‘no PC’ households in the US,” Kodali said, “and we don’t anticipate that changing as young children are becoming accustomed to larger—not smaller!—screens.”

As for other countries, however, mobile commerce is anticipated to thrive. Less access to computers will most likely translate to mobile commerce, Forrester noted, especially in countries like India and China.

Fox Searchlight Pictures Promotes Roya Vakili To SVP Marketing, And Other Hires

This week: executive shakeups as Fox Searchlight Pictures Promotes a marketing vice president, Foresters Financial expands its global marketing leadership, Rosewood prepares to open a Hong Kong resort and Harrods finds a marketing and customer chief from A&E.

A study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that not only are women mostly excluded from executive positions at top-level companies, but that the problem is not likely to be solved anytime soon. Just 5 percent of the S&P 1500 have female CEOs, and only 11.5 percent of C-suite employees are women. Worse, their research found that women make up only 15 percent of long-term CEO candidates.

Fox Searchlight Pictures Appoints Roya Vakili Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Roya Vakili has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing for Fox Searchlight Pictures International.

“Roya has helped to build the campaigns for many of our most successful international box office hits,” said Rebecca Kearey, president of Fox Searchlight Pictures International. “She covers the whole gamut of marketing for our films, and her consummate creativity has made her an invaluable member of our team.”

Vakili, previously vice president of marketing, has been with the studio since 2006, managing marketing for both The Shape Of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Foresters Financial Hires David Longfritz As CMO

International financial services provider Foresters Financial has appointed David Longfritz as its global chief marketing officer.

“Foresters is very fortunate to attract someone with David’s deep skillset and vast experience,” said Jim Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Foresters Financial. “He is a passionate, collaborative and strategic thinker who will provide strong leadership to our global marketing teams.”

Previously, Longfritz served as senior vice president of marketing and retirement services at National Life Group.

Rosewood Appoints Simon Gilkes Marketing And Sales Director

Simon Gilkes has joined Rosewood Hong Kong as its director of sales and marketing, part of its pre-opening team for the Rosewood Hotel and Resorts based in the city.

“Simon is a vital addition to the Rosewood Hong Kong team, and we are delighted to have his valuable global expertise to steer sales and marketing strategies for the launch of our newest ultra-luxury property in Hong Kong,” said Marc Brugger, Rosewood Hong Kong’s managing director.

Gilkes has worked in hospitality for close to two decades, joining from SBE London, where he served as regional director of sales and marketing.

Theresa Lawrence Joins ERP Maestro As CMO

Provider of cloud-based and automated access control, security auditing and reporting solutions for SAP ERP Maestro has appointed Theresa Lawrence as its chief marketing officer to drive market growth.

“We are on a high-growth trajectory, and our new executive team members bring the skills and experience to help us accelerate on our path to expand into new markets and increase adoption of ERP Maestro’s disruptive, SaaS-based solution to manage internal security risks in complex and susceptible ERP environments,” said Jody Paterson, CEO of ERP Maestro.

Lawrence most recently served as chief marketing and customer officer for Fridayd.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 4. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Harrods Signs Amanda Hill As Chief Marketing, Customer Officer

Retailer Harrods has appointed Amanda Hill as CM&CO, to lead the company’s brand strategy, marketing, communications and customer service efforts.

“We are delighted to welcome Amanda to Harrods, to take on this strategically important new role for the business. As we increasingly focus our business towards delivering unparalleled customer experience, Amanda’s vision as CM&CO will be integral towards building our strategy going forward,” said Michael Ward, Harrods’ managing director, to The Drum“Her experience and valuable insight into today’s modern consumer will help us build on Harrods strong brand identity amongst our global customer base.”

The appointment comes on the heels of the retailer restructuring its brand and digital teams to account or the new role. Hill most recently worked at A&E Networks as its chief marketing officer.

Riversand Brings On Katie Fabiszak As Vice President Of Marketing

Riversand Technologies, a data management company, has appointed Katie Fabiszak to lead its marketing efforts.

“Katie is a proven executor and disruptor. Her experience in the development and execution of go-to-market strategies and building high performing teams will have an immediate and substantive impact on Riversand’s growth, ” said Upen Varanasi, CEO and founder of Riversand. “Katie also shares our conviction that a new breed of data management solutions are needed to drive digital transformation for our customers.”

Fabiszak has been in the data management industry for two decades, joining Riversand from Informatica, where she served as vice president of marketing, strategy and planning.

Gulf Oil Hires Sue Hayden As CMO

Sue Hayden has joined Gulf Oil as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, a newly created role.

“I am excited to welcome Sue to our company,” said Johnson. “Sue’s extensive commercial and retail experience combined with her passion make her the ideal champion for our mission to drive change and develop the Gulf brand along with our partners.”

Hayden has worked in the oil industry for over 35 years, most recently as vice president of fuel sales for North America.

Diageo Ships Edward Pilkington Overseas To Fill NA CMO Slot

As top leaders of Diageo’s North America business retire, the alcoholic beverage manufacturer is shipping in talent overseas to replace them, transporting Edward Pilkington and Claudia Schubert from Europe. Pilkington will take over as chief marketing and innovation officer, while Schubert will assume the role of president for Diageo’s US and Canada business.

“We are delighted to welcome two of Diageo’s most talented and experienced senior leaders to North America,” said Deirdre Mahlan, president of Diageo North America. “Claudia and Ed have both played critical leadership roles in the recent transformation of our Europe business, and both bring world-class multi-market experience that will help drive their respective functions forward.”

Pilkington has spent over 24 years at Diageo, and has led the company’s marketing efforts at separate times for Australia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Cenergistic Appoints Luis Pajares As Chief Revenue Officer

Energy-conservation tech firm Cenergistic has hired Luis Pajares as executive vice president and chief revenue officer, where he will oversee the company’s strategic growth, sales and marketing teams.

“Luis has proven experience in executive leadership at some of the world’s leading technology companies; he’s a strategy guy who will focus our sales effort, expand our offering and grow our business in current and future markets,” said Ray Hood, CEO of Cenergistic. “As we continue to invest in software development, sales and marketing, Luis will be instrumental in our transition to intelligent building solutions to complement our existing offering for energy conservation in schools, universities, municipalities and healthcare.”

Before joining Cenergistic, Pajares served as group vice president for Oracle Communications, handling the company’s worldwide sales operations.

Samantha Yanks Joins Douglas Elliman As CMO

Real-estate broker Douglas Elliman has hired former Gotham editor Samantha Yanks as its chief marketing officer, a role in which she will expand the firm’s sponsorship, such as Art Basel Miami, and magazine marketing efforts.

“She is a powerful marketer and branding expert, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team,” Howard Lorber, Douglas Elliman chairman, said to Page Six.

Mattress Firm Hires Scott Thaler as CMO

Set to lead the specialty mattress retailer’s brand marketing and consumer engagement operations, Scott Thaler has joined Mattress Firm as its chief marketing officer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Scott Thaler to the Mattress Firm family. He brings a well-rounded marketing and business perspective and fresh, bold ideas that will help tell our story and demonstrate the value of a good night’s sleep,” said Steve Stagner, executive chairman, president and CEO of Mattress Firm. “He understands our culture, our industry and our customer, and will play a pivotal role in driving our continued retail transformation across all marketing channels.”

Prior to signing with Mattress Firm, Thaler spent 14 years at Zimmerman Advertising, serving at times as chief interaction, digital and client officers.

Keith Belton Joins Phynd As Marketing Vice President

Phynd Technologies announced a number of executive appointments today, including that of Keith Belton as vice president of marketing and Cathy Jones as vice president of sales operations.

“Phynd is pleased to bring aboard customer-facing leaders of Cathy and Keith’s caliber,” says Tom White, CEO of Phynd. “Together they bring a collective 40+ years of health care sales and marketing leadership to Phynd. We are counting on that experience and leadership to continue accelerating our growth as the leader in provider information management.”

Belton most recently led Nuance Communications’ Dragon Medical line of business, which during his tenure grew from $6 million to $180 million in annual revenue.

Intex Technologies Appoints Rajiv Bakshi CMO

India-based consumer electronics company Intex Technologies has tapped Rajiv Bakshi as its chief marketing officer, The Economic Times reports. In the role, Bakshi will oversee the company’s go-to-market strategy across its over 25 product verticals.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Bakshi amidst us and are certain that his diverse experience will go a long way in contributing to the growth of the company in India and international markets,” said Keshav Bansai, Intex Technologies’ director, in a statement. “His immense expertise in strategic marketing and brand management will augment Intex’s growth and profitability.”

Previously, Bakshi served at Discovery Networks for 13 years, rising to the level of vice president and head of marketing and products for the India and South Asia regions.

Scott Heimes Joins Zipwhip As CMO

Business-texting cloud platform Zipwhip is expanding its marketing suite, appointing Scott Heimes as its chief marketing officer.

“We are thrilled to have Scott join the Zipwhip team,” said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. “His track record in B2B communications technology and proven results propelling startups to the next stage comes at the right time for Zipwhip.”

Before joining Zipwhip, Heimes served as CMO for SendGrid, a digital communications platform, where he helped drive the company’s 40 percent growth during his tenure.

Shangri-La Hires Irene Lin As Executive Vice President Of Marketing

Joining the company as its first-ever executive vice president of marketing, Irene Lin will oversee the hospitality brand’s global marketing efforts, Marketing reports.

Lin joins the company from Marriott International, where she served as vice president of digital, loyalty, partnerships and portfolio marketing.

Job Vacancies 

Events Producer AList Pasadena, CA
Director, Global Strategic Marketing Johnson & Johnson Irvine, CA
Senior Director And VP Of Marketing And Communications adMarketplace New York, NY
VP, Digital Marketing And Analytics Herbalife Los Angeles, CA
VP, Marketing And Communications Yamaha Buena Park, CA
VP, Digital Marketing Channels  Capital Group Los Angeles, CA

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

Brandless Opens L.A. Pop-Up Shop That Doesn’t Sell Anything

Beauty and lifestyle dark-horse brand Brandless only sells its products online, for $3 apiece. But, between May 1 and May 13, the company has a single physical location, a small pop-up storefront in Los Angeles, with one catch: none of the products on display are for sale.

For a brand that (until now) exists exclusively online, overcoming consumer incredulity over their products is a major hurdle, Lee Anne Grant, head of business development & partnerships at Brandless, told AListDaily on a tour of the shop. Especially since Brandless’ brand focuses on unobtrusive labeling and unflashy packaging, the company has taken a handicap on selling its own products as part of its brand mission.

“We have over 300 products: [our community] want to understand what they taste like, how big they are, touch, try it, et cetera,” Grant said. “[Opening the pop-up] was to help them experience the actual products.”

Called a “Pop-up With Purpose,” the physical location aims to address these issues: visitors may not be able to take the boxes of products home with them but there are a number of sampling stations, letting potential customers try out the products firsthand, and order them later, if they choose.

“We’re not doing a pop-up to drive revenue or be in retail,” Grant said. “We’re doing a pop-up to give our community an experience. We wanted to focus more on creating social moments for them.

And indeed, the other activities hosted at the pop-up were consistent with Grant’s stated goal. Over the two weeks the pop-up is running, Brandless is hosting a number of events at the location, ranging in subject from gluten-free cooking tutorials to kid-friendly activities to meditation seminars—customers can shell out $9 for a ticket for the events and in addition 10 meals donated to the company’s charity partner, Feeding America, in their name.

Grant identified Brandless’ target audience as two separate groups: anti-establishment millennials seeking out non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free home and beauty products (a group Grant identified as “belief buyers”), and “heads of household” buying for larger families, looking for convenience and to avoid the higher cost of brand names, something Brandless calls a “BrandTax.” The e-commerce startup’s social media presence around the pop-up is designed to reach both groups in their own ways.

“We wanted to try an event space where we could bring thought leaders and community members to interact and talk about everything from living celiac disease and being gluten free to how to give more back to nonprofits,” Grant stated.

The store features a number of branded Instagrammable items, such as a floating box exploding out Brandless products, a wall of do-it-yourself empowerment phrases (contributed to by Beyoncé) and a huge bottle of maple syrup.

For the older and out-of-town, Brandless has been live-streaming many of its live events on Facebook for free, reaching the former group on their preferred platform. Additionally, the company will soon debut a pair of national television ad campaigns, focusing on the brand’s consistent pricing through the lens of both an overworked mother and younger consumer testimonials.

The pop-up focuses much more on exposing the still-new Brandless brand to the largely ignorant public—for as much the company appears both in print and social media, it is only 9 months old. “We’re barely a toddler,” Grant was quick to remind. The intent behind the pop-up’s strategy comes from Brandless’ belief that for consumers to be convinced to buy in, they need only see the products in action.

Study: Google And Hershey’s Top List Of America’s Most Loved Brands

America’s most loved brands include Google, Betty Crocker and Campbell’s Soup, according to a recent survey by Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, but consumer favor depends on community, age group and gender.

Morning Consult conducted roughly 250,000 interviews between January and March 2018 that asked US adults to rate a randomized set of brands on areas such as favorability, community impact and purchasing intent. Favorability ratings are then calculated by subtracting negative favorability from positive scores.

Based on the survey results, Americans love technology and food. Eight of the top 25 brands are related to food and five include technology brands. According to Morning Consult’s methodology, “The final rankings were determined using surveys conducted online among a national sample of adults. Between 2,500 and 50,000 adults rated each of the over 1,000 companies from January through March 2018.”

Google topped Morning Consult’s list as America’s most loved brand, with a net favorability rating of 78.7. Hershey’s came in at a close second with 78.6. Rounding out the top five are Pillsbury at 76.1, with Amazon and UPS tied for fourth place with a favorability score of 76.

YouTube was the only social media brand to top the list. The video sharing site holds the number nine spot with a favorability score of 73.8.

Brand views vary by where Americans live, the survey found. For example, Carhartt scored 52.1 with respondents from rural areas, compared to a general population score of 39.8. In urban areas, BET ranked 26.7 compared to 14.9 overall.

Americans making $75,000 or more with at least $50,000 invested in the stock market had varying opinions, as well. Boeing, for example, received a 64.6 favorability score from this demographic compared to 39.6 when combined with the general population.

Young adults between the ages of 18-29 have their own brand views, as well. This age group likes Wells Fargo more than the general population, scoring the brand 13.1 and 2.8 respectively. The biggest gap goes to Red Bull, which received an overall score of only -1.3 but 19.2 with young adults.

Most Loved Brands Are:

  1. Google
  2. Hershey’s
  3. Pillsbury
  4. Amazon
  5. UPS
  6. Kellogg’s
  7. Sony
  8. Betty Crocker
  9. YouTube
  10. Campbell’s Soup

3 Hot Trends For Retail, CPG, QSR And Auto Marketers

New technology is emerging on a daily basis, with the rise of mobile first consumers and younger generations existing entirely in a “always-on” world, agencies are constantly being pushed to find captivating and innovative ways to better engage with their consumers. From AR/VR to voice, from IoT to the new Snapchat shoppable lenses, find out how the best brand and agency marketers are adopting new technology to increase efficiency and challenge conventional ideas at MMS Chicago on May 23. Below we’ve outlined three trends we’re hearing about that are top of mind for retail, CPG, QSR and auto marketers.

Content And Commerce

There’s a lot happening in this space, but the latest is Snapchat’s launch of shoppable lenses, including a buy button and advertising within lenses—one of their most popular features. Similar to Instagram’s “buy now” ads, the new Snap feature has the potential to reach more than a third of Snapchat’s daily users, according to a recent Mashable article.


Agency partners say that clients are asking them what it means for marketing, and wanting to strategize ways to test it.

“More than a handful of clients are wondering how it will impact engagement with audience,” says one advisor.

According to a recent survey by Narvar, consumers use their devices for a few things, including: researching products (51 percent), adding to shopping lists (36 percent), tracking a package (30 percent), making a purchase (22 percent), providing ratings or reviews (20 percent), contacting support (18 percent) and reordering items (17 percent). One of the biggest questions is brand loyalty—will consumers ask for your brand specifically, or will they just ask for “toilet paper?” How will your brand rise to the top? And when it comes to advertising and marketing, who will incorporate brands in a non-invasive way? How do you provide a useful and interesting experience in voice?


There is a lot of potential for augmented and virtual reality. From Rebecca Minkoff’s connected store of the future with smart walls, smart mirrors in dressing rooms, etc… to Amex’s shoppable AR experience in this year’s Coachella app. In auto, Nissan has embraced the tech a few times over with Battle Test: A Nissan 360-Degree Virtual Reality Experience for the Samsung Gear VR and Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay for the HTC Vive and Samsung Gear. So far, we’ve only seen a taste of what’s in store.

Augmented reality is a growth market, and smart marketers should take note. AR & VR are the perfect platforms to create deeper engagement, fandom, and next generation product stories that illustrate how technology can win the game.

MMS Chicago: Consumer Activation is coming up on May 23, 2018!  Join us as more than 20 of the most recognized names in marketing take the stage at Downtown Chicago’s Mid-America Club to discuss how they’re utilizing the latest marketing platforms and evolving ad tech to drive consumer activation relevant to their consumers and brand. Check out the agenda and speakers you’ll meet at MMS here, and use the code “AListChicago” for 20 percent off your pass to MMS Chicago!

CMO Council: Under-Delivering Martech Platforms Threaten CMO Job Security

The joint necessity and difficulty in relating customer experience initiatives to the company bottom line is causing many chief marketing officers to worry about their job security according to a new report by the CMO Council.

“The State of Engagement: Bridging the Customer Journey Across Every Last Mile,” released on April 30, done in partnership with RedPoint Global, found that while 76 percent of marketers view revenue growth as the primary measure of success for their customer experience strategy, 80 percent are either unable or only sometimes able to connect their strategy to its impact on their business.

This isn’t just an academic issue, either. According to the CMO Council’s findings, 52 percent of marketing executives say that they may lose their jobs if their customer experience strategies fail, and 48 percent say the same if their technology investments don’t deliver.

“CMOs have picked up the mantle of owning the development and execution of the customer experience strategy and are fully aware that their jobs depend on the success of these initiatives,” stated Liz Miller, Senior Vice president of marketing for the CMO Council, in a press release. “But many are rightfully questioning the patchwork assembly of point solutions that have been amassed in the marketing technology stack.”

Of the marketers the CMO Council surveyed, 65 percent agreed that their organizations need a single data record per customer in order to best engage their audience, but 26 percent doubt that such a “golden record” is even possible.

“While marketers have sought a “golden record” for years, there has been little movement toward data and intelligence unification,” the report states. “In reality, the path to resolution has typically been paved with technology implementations that have added complexity, cost and fortified silo walls separating pools of data.”

This data siloing has very real consequences for marketers: only 5 percent of the marketers surveyed believe that their organizations are doing an “exceptional” job at providing a quality customer experience, while 47 percent rated their companies at “not very good.”

“The failing grade that marketers are giving to the current state of engagement is, in some part, based on their struggles to connect individually developed and deployed campaigns into a connected and cohesive customer journey,” the report reads. “This is further exacerbated by an organization’s challenges specific to their ability (or inability, as the case may be) to collect the most valuable data about the customer that can be leveraged to craft journeys and improve the state of engagement.”

The difficulties marketers are encountering are not due to a lack of effort, either. According to the CMO Council, 47 percent of marketers have replaced their martech platforms in the past because of failure “to connect data and channels in the way that was promised.”

The CMO Council’s findings align with multiple surveys conducted earlier this year by OnBrand, Bynder and PointSource, which found that the vast majority of marketers it surveyed identified their greatest challenge going into 2018 as their difficulty in finding the proper martech platform for their needs.

Pepsi Increases Marketing Budget To Win Favor Over Coca-Cola In North America

PepsiCo has announced that it will increase its marketing budget in order to remain competitive against Coca-Cola, especially in North America.

Despite reporting higher-than-predicted earnings of $12.56 billion, revenue for PepsiCo beverages in North America fell one percent in the first quarter of 2018.

In response, PepsiCo will invest in additional marketing, including its “Pepsi Generations” campaign that debuted during SuperBowl LII. The company previously announced in February that it would invest its GOP tax cut savings in ecommerce and digital capabilities.

“The overwhelming driver is that, despite moderately increasing our media on trademark Pepsi over the past three years, our share . . . has fallen dramatically relative to our key competitor, who has substantially stepped up their media spending on colas over the past two years,” PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi told investors on Tuesday.

That “key competitor,” of course, is Coca-Cola, whose rebranded Diet Coke products drove volume growth in North America during Q1.

“Although we continued to face challenges in North America Beverages, the sector had sequential improvement in top line momentum since the fourth quarter of 2017,” said Nooyi. “We continued investing in and growing share in a number of faster-growing, future-facing categories. However, competitively we recognize the need to step up investments in core carbonated soft drinks, which we intend to responsibly do.”

Pepsi reported that it saw “improved sales performance and trajectories,” for Gatorade. It recently launched Gatorade Zero, a version without carbohydrates as the company reacts to consumer demand for healthier options.

PepsiCo may not increase ad spending across all divisions, however. The company reduced advertising and marketing expenses in the snack category during Q1 to offset rising freight and commodity costs and may continue to do so. The snack division, which includes Doritos, reported growth in Q1 despite under scrutiny over snacks that were being designed for women. Dubbed “Lady Doritos” by the internet, Pepsi quickly backpedaled against public outcry and mockery.

Fusion Bank Appoints Charlotte Luer CMO, And Other Hires

This week: executive shakeups as Nintendo’s president retires, Facebook appoints a new public policy lead, Mars promotes advertising inclusivity, Life Fitness prepares to split from Brunswick and others.

Fusion Bank Taps Charlotte Luer For CMO

Cannabis-operator financial manager Fusion Bank has hired Charlotte Luer as its chief marketing officer.

“We are exceptionally excited and privileged to have such an experienced and capable marketing, PR, and investor relations professional on our team,” said Kendell Lang, Fusion Bank founder and board chairman. “We have great conviction in our choice for CMO and look forward to watching Ms. Luer work her magic.”

Luer has spent a quarter-century working in finance marketing, and will retain her current position of CEO of LJH Financial Marketing Strategies.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 27. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima Retires

After rising to the role of president in 2015, Tatsumi Kimishima will be retiring at the end of June.

Replacing him will be Shuntaro Furukawa, currently the company’s general manager of its corporate planning department. Furukawa has been with the company since 1994 and earned control of the game company’s global marketing efforts in 2016.

Facebook Appoints Keven Martin US Public Policy Head

Opting to pare down her responsibilities as both chief privacy officer and vice president of US public policy, Erin Egan has stepped down from the latter role. Former FCC chairman Keven Martin will take her place in the position.

“We need to focus our best people on our most important priorities. We are committed to rebuilding people’s trust in how we handle their information, and Erin is the best person to partner with our product teams on that task,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, said in a statement provided to The Hill.

Martin first joined the social network in 2015 as vice president of mobile and global access policy. He will serve in the new role on an interim basis, as the company seeks a more permanent solution.

Supreme Poaches Julien Cahn, Converse CMO

Julien Cahn has departed from his position at the Nike-owned shoe brand, Bloomberg reports, setting up shop at streetwear brand Supreme.

Cahn had resigned from his position back in February, though neither company commented on the move. He will be replaced by Sophie Bambuck, who currently serves as Nike’s brand director.

Mars Names Michele Oliver Brand And Purpose Director

In an effort to improve its advertising inclusivity, Mars is promoting Michele Oliver to the role of global corporate brand and purpose director, a newly created position.

“There is room for every market to be more inclusive, it’s just a case of where you focus first, and in the US [diversity] is very top of mind at the moment, they are in a similar situation to the UK,” Oliver told The Drum.

Oliver has been with the confectionary company for over two decades, serving before her promotion as vice president of marketing.

Life Fitness Appoints Judith Toland CMO

As the fitness equipment manufacturer prepares to split from Brunswick, its parent company, Judith Toland joins as its chief marketing officer.

“Life Fitness is leading the digital transformation in fitness and that requires the continued transformation and adaptation of our business to support that change,” said Jaime Irick, president of Life Fitness. “Judith will play a crucial role in fulfilling our vision and leading Life Fitness into the future.”

Toland most recently served as CMO at Wells Fargo’s commerical distribution finance division.

Versace CMO Stephen Croncota Joins Ambrosus

Blockchain firm Ambrosus has named Stephen Croncota as its chief marketing officer, where he will oversee all aspects of the brand’s marketing and PR efforts.

“I am proud and pleased that Stephen joining us and bringing his wealth of experience and networks to turn Ambrosus into a globally recognized brand,” said Angel Versetti, Ambrosus CEO.

Croncota most recently served as CMO of Versace, and before that held senior marketing roles at Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures Television.

Armen Najarian Drafted For Agari CMO

Cybersecurity firm Agari is appointing Armen Najarian as CMO to strengthen the brand’s worldwide presence.

“Armen has consistently demonstrated an ability to grow revenue and company valuation through a best-in-class marketing and communications strategy,” said Ravi Khatod, CEO of Agari. “As Agari continues its global expansion and explosive momentum, Armen will be a fantastic leader and addition to the executive team to accelerate growth.”

Najarian joins the company from ThreatMetrix, where he also served as CMO.

Grad Conn Joins Sprinklr As Chief Marketing, Experience Officer 

Joining the customer experience management platform from Microsoft, Grad Conn spent the last 7 years as its US chief marketing officer.

“At Microsoft, Grad wasn’t just one of Sprinklr’s most forward-thinking customers, he was one of the world’s most forward-thinking marketers,” said Ragy Thomas, founder and CEO of Sprinklr. “With his rare combination of B2B, B2C, and startup skills, I can’t think of anyone better suited to help us bring the customer-first future of marketing to life for Sprinklr and our customers.”

Before joining Microsoft in 2007, Conn served in the positions of CMO and CEO for a variety of startups.

Rolling Stone Appoints Andrew Budkofsky Chief Revenue Officer/Publisher

Officially joining the company on May 1, Andrew Budkofsky will lead Rolling Stone‘s sales and marketing departments as the company works to relaunch its magazine, website and live media businesses.

“Andrew brings with him an outstanding track record in growing significant revenue,” said Gus Wenner, president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media. “His skill and knowledge in the media marketplace, specifically in digital media, will set a high bar for what Rolling Stone will deliver for our partners.”

Budkofsky brings 15 years of media sales experience to the role, most recently from his tenure as CRO at Digital Trends, a consumer electronics lifestyle digital media brand.

Seven Stars Cloud Hires M. Chad Arroyo As CMO

In a move to expand the blockchain financial technology company’s US-based management team, Seven Stars Cloud has brought on M. Chad Arroyo for his eclectic set of management leadership experience.

“Chad’s passion for and expertise in marketing, global interoperability, advanced computing platforms and blockchain technology reflect the disruptive qualities that make him the ideal candidate to build the SSC brand and drive value across our ecosystem and partner network,” said Robert G. Benya, SSC’s CRO.

Prior to joining SSC, Arroyo worked at Deloitte as a technology strategy consultant, and spent 7 years in active duty service in the US Navy.

Rick Bradberry Signs On As Community Brands’ CMO

Seeking to broaden its customer base among NGOs and schools, software developer Community Brands has appointed Rick Bradberry as CMO.

“We’ve made significant progress during this past year, focusing on product and integrating our businesses,” said Jean-Paul Guilbault, Community Brands’ CEO. “Rick’s passion for enabling meaningful connections between brands, their customers and their communities will be important as we complete our next phase of growth.”

Formerly the CMO of Pegasus TransTech, a Florida-based software provider, Bradberry brings two decades of marketing strategy and product management experience to the role.

Codewise Taps John Malatesta For Company President

AI-powered ad exchange Codewise has recruited internally for its first-ever company president, promoting Dr. John Malatesta, currently the company’s chief revenue and marketing officer.

“The exponential growth of Codewise’s revenue, pioneering new innovative technologies and the progressive expansion into new geographies now calls for the deployment of a state-of-the-art operational management structure,” said Robert Gryn, CEO of Codewise. “John’s delegated responsibility for the effective management of all operations will enable me to dedicate even more of my time and resources to high-priority strategic decisions and to breakthrough and visionary technological enhancements of the adtech ecosystem.”

Malatesta has been with the company since its inception in 2012, and is a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

Patra Corp Brings On Bob Murphy As CRO

Insurance-technology firm Patra Corp is filling its recently created chief revenue officer slot with Bob Murphy, who will oversee the company’s sales, marketing and strategic direction.

“The addition of the CRO role, and Bob, to our leadership team will ensure we remain at the forefront of the InsurTech revolution as we continue to apply technology and expertise to the industry’s processing needs,” said Patra CEO and founder, John Simpson. “Bob and I have a great relationship and have worked together previously, and I’m excited to be working with him again.”

Before joining Patra, Murphy served as CRO for Cloud Lending Solutions.

Snow Burns has joined Columbia Sportswear Company to serve as global vice president of marketing for its Mountain Hardware brand.

“We are excited to have Snow bring her expertise to our brand and industry,” said Joe Vernachio, president of Mountain Hardwear. “We feel there is a more modern way of communicating that outdoor brands fail to tap into. We think Snow brings just the right mix of ‘Silicon Valley know-how’ with a personal passion for the outdoors.”

Burns most recently led strategy, social media and analytics for John McNeil Studio, a digital marketing boutique.

Dunkin’ Donuts is expanding its loyalty team, appointing Stephanie Meltzer-Paul to the position of vice president of digital and loyalty marketing in the United States. Meltzer-Paul will focus on further developing the donut distributor’s DD Perks and On-the-Go Mobile Ordering platforms.

“Stephanie is a talented business leader who has excelled at delivering exponential customer growth, retention and revenue generation through best-in-class marketing strategies, and we are thrilled to have her head up our digital and loyalty marketing efforts,” said Tony Weisman, Dunkin’ Donuts’ CMO. “This is a very exciting time in the evolution of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand, and we believe Stephanie is exactly the right person to help us further engage with our customers, including building on the strength of our DD Perks program, one of the fastest growing loyalty programs in the quick service restaurant industry.”

Meltzer-Paul joins the company from BJ’s Wholesale Club, where she led the brand’s My BJ Perks loyalty program.

Mobile user data profiler Ogury has appointed Elie Kanaan as its chief marketing officer.

“Elie and his team will play a strategic role in fueling our hyper growth and enabling us to gain our rightful recognition as one of the hottest mobile data and marketing company on the planet,” said Jean Canzoneri, cofounder and CEO of Ogury.

Kanaan has a quarter century of marketing experience, most recently as executive vice president of marketing for Criteo.

Debra Berman has joined toy manufacturer KidKraft as its chief marketing officer.

“Debra’s keen ability to strategically align an organization to build its brand, engage the consumer and drive results is a critical addition to our growth,” said Lawrence Writer, KidKraft’s CEO. “Her focus on the intersection of data and creativity to drive brand will play a pivotal role in how we further engage and optimize the KidKraft brand globally.”

Berman previously served on Yahoo’s senior marketing leadership team.

Treasury Wine Estates has promoted Michelle Terry to the position of global CMO, following the departure of Simon Marton. Terry has been with the winery for a decade, most recently as marketing chief for the Americas region.

Job Vacancies 

Events Producer AList Pasadena, CA
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Systems IBM Austin, TX
Senior Brand Manager Mondelēz International East Hanover, NJ
Experiential Marketing Manager Nestlé Solon, OH
Sr. Direct Marketing Manager, App Store  Apple Santa Clara, CA
Marketing Manager MarketMuse New York, NY

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

Social Media News: AR Games, Diverse Beauty And Fighting Fakes

This week in social media, Facebook draws the line for political ads, Twitter cracks down on spam, Pinterest makes its searches more diverse and Snapchat upgrades its camera glasses.

Facebook: Saving Face

Facebook released a video ad this week that addressed—but does not take responsibility for—the site’s decline from social network to spam, clickbait and fake news platform. Facebook refers to these changes as “something” that “happened,” but promises to address the issues.

The video, called “Facebook Here Together” will run through July on TV and movie theaters, as well as select NBA playoff games.

In an attempt to curb political manipulation on its platform, Facebook now requires political advertisers to disclose who they are, where they live and the source of their funding.

Despite rising public concern about data privacy, advertisers still pour money into Facebook. The company reported a 50 percent year-over-year increase in advertising revenue in Q1 2018, reaching $11.8 billion.

Twitter: Swabbing The TweetDeck

Twitter is waging its own battle against spam, bots, harassment and misinformation campaigns. In February, the platform banned automated mass retweeting across multiple accounts. In March, the company made changes to its API and TweetDeck that curb such activity and in its Q1 letter to investors, Twitter said 142,000 apps, accounting for 130 million tweets, have had their API access revoked.

Overall, Twitter is finally seeing hope in its finances, reporting its second profitable quarter in a row. Twitter reported $655 million, an increase of 21 percent year-over-year (YoY) and exceeding Reuters estimates of $608 million. A majority of that income was generated through advertising revenue, which totaled $575 million—an increase of 21 percent YoY.

Snapchat: Spectacles For Summer

Ahead of its Q1 earnings call on Monday, Snap, Inc. announced a new version of Spectacles that are water resistant and lower profile. The wearable camera also features upgraded audio and the ability to press and hold a button to take a photo.

On Wednesday, Snapchat debuted augmented reality games called Snappables that can be controlled by touch, motion and facial expressions. Games include joining a rock band, fighting aliens, playing basketball and more. Some Snappables feature multiplayer and high scores for competitive play.

Pinterest: More Colorful Searches

Pinterest has created a way to search for ideas by skin tone, allowing people of color to find images that better represent their beauty and hair needs. Now when someone makes a search related to beauty, a filter appears under the search bar that invites users to pick one of 16 skin tones to narrow the results.

Speaking of color, Pinterest has updated its color contrast sensitivity settings for those users with sensitivities to bright colors or low vision.

Pinterest partnered with the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to audit the site’s accessibility overall and created accessibility best standards for engineers and designers. The company updated its iOS and web platforms to meet the majority of accessibility standards and will bring these changes to Android in the near future.