Finding The Right Person, Message, And Moment With PGA TOUR Superstore’s Jill Thomas

Some people see golf as a sport for the elite, but the truth is 75% of golf courses in the U.S. are open to the public. Golf players are more diverse than ever, and brands like PGA TOUR Superstore are committed to continuing to make the sport inclusive to all.

Jill Thomas is PGA TOUR Superstore’s CMO and leads her team in modernizing their marketing strategy as their audience grows. Jill has more than 25 years of senior leadership with a consistent record of growth at some of the world’s most admired companies, including The Walt Disney Company, Cinnabon, Yum! Brands, Edible Arrangements, and PepsiCo.

In this episode, Jill and I talk about the strategies that enable brand growth, Jill’s formula for marketing nirvana, and how to reach new audiences. Later, they discuss what endears brands to us and why you need to lean into evolving technology in your marketing strategy.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Empathy enables brand growth
  • How to achieve personalization at scale
  • Right person + right message + right moment

Key Highlights

  • [01:00] Two pivotal moments in Jill’s career
  • [03:30] The importance of a good mentor
  • [08:00] Reaching new audiences with golf
  • [15:30] Marketing strategies Jill’s team used to fuel growth
  • [20:00] Connecting with audiences through storytelling and humor
  • [23:00] How motherhood has contributed to Jill’s success
  • [25:00] Jill’s advice for her younger self
  • [26:30] Achieving personalization at scale
  • [29:30] Brands worth admiring
  • [32:30] The biggest threat facing marketers

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

Trend Set: Corona’s Natural Billboard, Poparazzi

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


Corona

Sunshine on a cloudy day. In “Corona’s Natural Billboard” campaign, the company channels all things sunny and 75 to capture a billboard ‘100 naturally.’ In Brighton, the out-of-home (OOH) stands out as the sun comes down, casting the iconic silhouette and hidden message: “Made from the natural world.” The campaign offers a different take from those involving hundreds of physical cutouts, papers, or items floating around cities to perform the perfect stunt. As sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers across the globe, brands must take note as sustainability is an expectation. According to Simon-Kucher & Partners Global Sustainability 2021 Study, seismic shifts are currently happening. One is that globally, 85 percent of people indicate they have shifted purchasing habits towards being more sustainable. Like the campaign above, activations will need to involve less waste and lean into more environmentally friendly executions. 

Duolingo

Talk about it. Duolingo, the language-learning website and mobile app, opens a taqueria that aims to help diners practice their Spanish. After opting into Dulingo’s “Espanol Challenge,” restaurant-goers can receive a discount. The tech company is biting into a new category that other companies have attempted to bridge. Whether through loyalty programs, discounts, or even free food, brands have missed the opportunity to marry their missions to their current or future models. Although gaining brand recognition and affinity, the efforts leave their sustainability in question. Carving out a creative niche and leaning into what may seem to be the impossible has served Duolingo well and showcases how brands can lean into their white spaces. 

Poparazzi 

Quick, take a pic. Another authentic photo-sharing application has popped up on the scene. Poparazzi, an app aimed at making your friends your paparazzi, came out last year with quite a buzz. This year, it is gaining traction once again. The catch, users are not able to post pictures of themselves, but their friends shape their social profiles by doing so. The ability to show up authentically, share meaningful moments, and the option to prioritize creativity are qualities that more and more consumers are looking for. That is where the app succeeds. However, the access to entire contact lists, photos, and more is where the app teeters across a line of privacy many do not want to delve into. Nevertheless, the app’s continued success indicates that more and more are craving cultivated social spaces, authenticity, and new digital outlets. Brands can take the opportunity to tap into the changing landscape of digital and create spaces to let audiences do what they do best: connect.

How To Skyrocket Your Social Growth With Banfield Pet Hospital’s Lisa Stockmon

Lisa Stockmon is the Chief Marketing Officer at Banfield Pet Hospitals. Lisa leads the development and execution of Banfield’s innovative integrated marketing strategy, ensuring it supports the organization’s strategic vision, aligns with its purpose, and drives revenue.

In this episode, Lisa and I discuss Banfield’s recent 400% growth in social followers and a 104% increase in content interaction on Instagram. Lisa also shares curiosity’s role in successfully engaging Gen Z in her marketing strategy.

Listen to learn how to adapt to the shifting market and skyrocket your social growth.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Ways the pandemic has changed brands’ customer bases
  • How to strategically leverage influencer marketing on social media
  • The importance of open-mindedness and curiosity in marketing

Key Highlights

  • [01:00] Lisa’s career journey and passion project
  • [07:00] Banfield’s “b here” marketing strategy
  • [09:00] Reaching new demographics of pet owners
  • [15:00] Strategically leveraging influencers on social media
  • [17:00] Experiences that define Lisa
  • [19:00] Lisa’s advice for her younger self
  • [20:00] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [23:00] The biggest opportunity 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.

These Brands Have Successfully Cracked The TikTok Algorithm

TikTok is a winner takes all platform—the brands that can crack its enigmatic algorithm are rewarded with a surge in followers and views. In other words, they go viral. This phenomenon has created a digital gold rush for market share within the short-form app, which is expected to reach 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) this year. 

Conviva’s third annual TikTok Benchmarks and Strategy Guide examined more than 1,500 verified brand accounts from 15 different industries and categories to determine how the most successful ones were able to add an average of 527,000 new followers from March 2021 to March 2022.

Data was collected using Conviva Viewer Insights and independent analysis of 150 news and media accounts, 75 sports leagues, 125 sports media accounts, 300 sports teams and 350 TV and entertainment accounts. Conducted between March 2021 and March 2022, the study looks at several industries, including beauty and fashion, technology and the Premier League. Together, these accounts boasted a following of 1.43 billion while the most successful of the lot committed to doing two things: posting quality content and doing so consistently

Conviva’s guide includes a number of key statistics that can help inform your TikTok strategy, including: 

  • Accounts posted more in 2022; 13 percent more frequently this year than they did in 2021 with an average of 189 times.
  • Posting consistently has a notable impact on growth. The 20 accounts with the highest follower count growth averaged about 7.1 times more posts over the past year than all accounts on average.
  • Newer accounts are experiencing a high engagement rate. The average engagement rate for accounts with under 100,000 followers is 28 percent, showcasing TikTok’s ability to offer new accounts the organic reach necessary to grow.
  • Between March 2021 and March 2022, sports leagues experienced the highest average annual growth at 970,000, followed by sports media at 825,000 and streaming accounts at 785,000.

According to Conviva, average followers increased in every category over the past year. The sports leagues category grew faster than every other segment in 2021, beating out sports media which had the fastest-growing accounts in 2020 and the second-fastest growing in 2021. Sports media is also the category with the highest average followers. Streaming accounts were the third fastest-growing category with 785,000 new followers in the last year.

Notably, the categories sports media (1.8 million), sports leagues (1.7 million), TV and entertainment (1.3 million) and streaming (1.1 million) each averaged over 1 million new followers gained since March 2021.

Social marketers seeking examples of effective strategies for growth should look to the TV and entertainment category. These accounts experienced the highest average shares (1,565), comments (548) and likes (79,621) per video, found Conviva. And though the brands category captured the highest average engagement rate of 17.3 percent, the category also had the lowest average number of followers (601,546). 

Sports leagues (60,602) and sports teams (39,494) had the second and third-highest average likes per video, respectively. In terms of shares per video, the news and media category came in second place with an average of 817 shares.

The average engagement rate by followers displayed a familiar trend. The more followers an account within this category had the lower the engagement rate was on average. The average engagement rate for brands with under 100,000 followers was uniquely high at 28 percent—twice as high as the engagement on accounts with between 100,000 and 199,999 followers (14 percent) and substantially higher than that of any other follower count. 

Accounts with about 300,000 followers experienced a 5 to 10 percent decline in organic reach until the account reached 1 million followers and then experienced less than 5 percent engagement on average: a new phenomenon that may be explained by concerns regarding relatability or perceptions of honesty. Conviva considers accounts with over 1 million followers with an engagement rate of 5 percent or higher a highly-engaged account. 

Frequent and consistent posting is an effective way to gain more followers. Conviva’s study found a very strong correlation between accounts that gained the most followers and those that posted the most frequently. On average, accounts posted 189 times in 2021—a 13 percent increase from 2020’s average.

The top 20 most-followed accounts averaged roughly 7.1 times more posts over the past year, with an average of 1,345. For the most successful of the bunch, that equates to about three or four posts every day. Comparatively, the average number of posts per day for top performers in 2020 was two or three. 

Accounts that posted more gained significantly more followers on average. Accounts that posted up to 250 times in the past year gained an average of 319,000 followers, compared to an average increase of 2.3 million followers for those that posted over 1,250 times. Notably, accounts that posted between 250 and 499 times and 750 and 999 times gained a similar number of followers.

According to Conviva, TikTok has more than doubled the number of brands it has verified in the past year, suggesting the power of its organic reach potential and ability to generate awareness for new products and services.

Here are some of the top TikTok accounts Conviva ranked based on follower count and growth across various industries.

Top three accounts by a total number of followers:

  1. Flighthouse – 28.1 million total followers
  2. PSG – 25.2 million total followers
  3. ESPN – 22.9 million total followers

Top three accounts by follower growth YOY:

  1. Tottenham Hotspur gained 12.9 million followers to reach 14.5 million total followers.
  2. Champions League gained 12.5 million followers to reach the same number of total followers given that it launched its TikTok account last year.
  3. Manchester United gained 11.8 million followers to reach 13.6 million total followers

Top three TV and entertainment accounts:

  1. Nickelodeon has 12.5 million total followers, 2.4 million followers gained YOY, 2,539 total videos, 608 videos posted in the last year and a 0.8 percent engagement rate.
  2. Wildnout has 11 million total followers, 3.3 million followers gained YOY, 364 total videos, 236 videos posted in the last year and a 5.4 percent engagement rate.
  3. AFVofficial has 9.5 million total followers, 1.1 million followers gained YOY, 1,991 total videos, 361 videos posted in the last year and a 1.6 percent engagement rate.

Top three news and media accounts:

  1. LADbible has 8.4 million total followers, 1,841 total videos, 645 videos posted in the last year and a 2.8 percent engagement rate.
  2. Complex has 5 million total followers, 300,000 followers gained YOY, 3,437 total videos, 950 videos posted in the last year and a 1.2 percent engagement rate.
  3. NowThis has 4.4 million total followers, 1.9 million followers gained YOY, 1,160 total videos, 549 videos posted in the last year and a 3.1 percent engagement rate.

Top three streaming accounts:

  1. Netflix has 22.4 million total followers, 10 million followers gained YOY, 1,158 total videos, 645 videos posted in the last year and a 0.9 percent engagement rate.
  2. Netflix Latinoamérica has 13.7 million total followers, 7.3 million followers gained YOY, 1,202 total videos, 615 videos posted in the last year and a 1.2 percent engagement rate.
  3. Prime Video has 10.8 million total followers, 7.4 million followers gained YOY, 3,550 total videos, 1,716 videos posted in the last year and a 0.7 percent engagement rate.

Top three brand accounts:

  1. Guinness World Records has 19.1 million total followers, 7.8 million followers gained YOY, 795 total videos, 275 videos posted in the last year and a 2.4 percent engagement rate.
  2. Roblox has 7.9 million total followers, 4 million followers gained YOY, 243 total videos, 182 videos posted in the last year and a 1.9 percent engagement rate.
  3. Fortnite Official has 7.7 million total followers, 4 million followers gained YOY, 208 total videos, 166 videos posted in the last year and a 3 percent engagement rate.

Top three technology accounts:

  1. Xbox has 3.8 million total followers, 1.8 million followers gained YOY, 224 total videos, 171 videos posted in the last year and a 3.8 percent engagement rate.
  2. DuoLingo has 3.4 million total followers, 3.3 million followers gained YOY, 128 total videos and 125 videos posted in the last year. 
  3. Breathwork has 3.1 million total followers, 777 total videos, 328 videos posted in the last year and a 2.4 percent engagement rate.

Top three fashion accounts:

  1. SHEIN has 3.7 million total followers, 2.3 million followers gained YOY, 1,558 total videos, 919 videos posted in the last year and a 0.5 percent engagement rate
  2. Gymshark has 3.5 million total followers, 1.1 million followers gained YOY, 470 total videos, 369 videos posted in the last year and a 3.3 percent engagement rate
  3. Fashion Nova has 3.2 million total followers, 1,440 tota videos, 783 videos posted in the last year and a 0.5 percent engagement rate

Traditional Advertising Is Headed For Growth. These 7 Trends Are Driving It

For the first time in a decade, traditional advertising is headed for growth, bucking the prediction that it would fizzle. Though the 28th edition of the CMO Survey found marketers’ traditional spending decreased annually by 1.4 percent between February 2021 and 2022—compared to an annual increase of 7.8 percent for overall marketing budgets during this same period—recent evidence shows a shift is underway. In August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that traditional ad spending would increase by 1.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Leading this shift are companies that earn all of their sales through the internet; they’re predicting an 11.7 percent increase in traditional ad spending over the next 12 months. Business-to-consumer (B2C) service companies are predicting a 10.2 percent increase while B2C product companies forecast a 4.9 percent increase.

In a recent Harvard Business Review op-ed—with insight from founder and director of the CMO Survey Christine Moorman and academic experts from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the London School of Business—the authors outline seven factors driving this trend, including the ability of traditional ads to cut through digital clutter, the decline in third-party cookies and more.

First, the authors maintain that as consumers spend more time online, they’re becoming increasingly numb to conventional digital ads and engagement. HubSpot research found that 57 percent of shoppers disliked ads that played before a video and 43 percent didn’t even watch them. 

As marketers look for a way to cut through the noise, traditional ads are seeing greater engagement while the costs associated with them have fallen. A report from MarketingSherpa found more than half of consumers often or always watch traditional TV ads and read print ads they receive in the mail from companies they’re satisfied with.

Another trend driving the uptick in traditional ad spending is consumers’ trust in the format. The same MarketingSherpa survey found that the top five most trusted ad formats to drive purchases are all traditional: print ads (82 percent), TV ads (80 percent), direct mail ads (76 percent) and radio ads (71 percent).

With the imminent demise of third-party cookies, marketers will need to rely on segmentation methods that hew closer to traditional ad models, the authors suggest. The CMO Survey found that 19.8 percent of companies invested more in traditional ads as a result of Google and Apple’s forthcoming changes.

Marketers have also started tapping into the growing medium of podcasts, which saw a 51 percent increase in available inventory, a 53 percent increase in new podcasts and an 81 percent increase in podcast ad impressions, according to Ads Wizz. The reason for the medium’s growth is their on-demand approach is akin to traditional radio and listeners trust their podcast hosts. Edison Research’s Super Listeners 2020 study shows that 45 percent of podcast listeners believe the hosts of their favorite podcasts actually use the brands mentioned on their shows.

The authors also emphasize exploiting the digital lift of traditional media, like pairing mailers with QR codes, as well as precision targeting viewer segments across on-demand and live-streamed TV through addressable TV solutions like Finecast.

Lastly, digital effectiveness is being revisited. While the CMO Survey found that 54.8 percent of marketers track digital marketing performance in real-time, they’re becoming skeptical of digital media’s hyped returns. This is raising concerns related to ad fraud and bringing the effectiveness of digital ads under scrutiny.

The authors conclude that traditional advertising is “alive and well” and when used with digital marketing, it can reach more audiences, build and maintain trust and motivate buying from consumers who might otherwise ignore marketing messages.

Trend Set: Close Friends On Twitter

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


Close Friends

Come closer. Much like BeRealfinstas, and throwaway accounts, the new Twitter feature allows users to connect with a select group of people of their choosing. Tired of perfectly curated and cluttered feeds, social users look to dive deeper with the people they connect with the most. The reaction differs from previous years when individuals desired a clean-cut and aspirational outpouring of content. Now, brands must lean away from the tailored ad-like posts and shift to a more inclusive, insightful, and human-centered model. Although touted as buzzwords, the attributes are what society is heavily leaning into. 

Tiny Bee Effect 

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The trending TikTok effect created by Eddy Adams has over 300,000,000 views. Paired with the “and the best part of this plan is, no one can stop me.” sound makes it an interactive, easy, and fun way for people to connect in a relatable manner. The effect is a perfect example of how brands can utilize augmented reality to connect with new demographics.  

Spotify x Roblox 

Sound the alarm. Spotify enters the world of Roblox with “Spotify Island,” making it the first music streaming brand to do so. The virtual universe will now allow artists, friends, and fans to interact like never before. The introduction underscores a much larger shift as users demand immersive, interactive, and interconnected experiences after continually navigating a pandemic. Making new playing grounds that are intuitive yet new will continue to rise, and brands must find and expand their niche accordingly.

Bad Bunny x Marvel 

Marvel madness. Marvel will have a Latino hero in the upcoming ‘El Muerto’ film for the first time ever. Slated to hit theatres in January 2024, the hero will be Latin music icon and artist Bad Bunny. The continual convergence between fashion, film, music, and technology is an avenue to be explored in the era of cultural globalization. Regardless of industry, powerful players can bring big ideas to life and widen audiences like never before. 

Meta

Let’s get physical. Facebook-owner Meta gives an early look at what its store set to open on May 9th will look like. While focused on the Metaverse, brands are losing sight of the now. As much as consumers would like to buy into the idea, they need something tangible and current to cling to. Physical stores may become obsolete as the world dives deeper into the metaverse, web3, and beyond. However, for now, a  scaled brick and mortar model serves as a positive attribute that can reel consumers in and give a better understanding of the brand before they buy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data quality is paramount, but not universally accounted for.

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

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

Data-driven marketing cultures require a centralized view.

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

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

The Power Of Streaming Ads With Roku’s Jordan Rost

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

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

Listen in to learn more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

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

Key Highlights

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

Resources Mentioned:

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pivoting Well With Meetup’s David Siegel

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

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

Listen in to learn more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

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

Key Highlights

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

Resources Mentioned:

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.