The Five C’s Of Marketing With Emburse’s Grant Johnson

Grant Johnson is the CMO at Emburse, a spend management company offering solutions that help organizations manage employee expenses, process invoices and make payments.

In this episode, Grant and I discuss his journey to become CMO at Emburse and his philosophy of five Cs for a CMO’s playbook—culture, coaching, campaigns, category, and courage. 

Grant says that “the only constant in the market is change, and your ability to adapt to it is key to ongoing success.” Listen to the full interview to hear Grant’s advice for emerging marketing leaders and how being clear, compelling, and consistent plays a major role. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Category isn’t restricted to your product
  • The courage of conviction 
  • Adapting to the change

Key Highlights:

  • [01:22] Grant is a nationally ranked tennis player
  • [03:00] Grant’s career journey 
  • [05:34] Coming up with the five C’s
  • [07:34] Talking about culture 
  • [09:19] Where coaching is important
  • [11:05] Coaching the coach vs. coaching the employee
  • [12:15] How Grant thinks about campaigns 
  • [14:55] Thinking about category
  • [18:12] Having the courage of conviction
  • [19:56] Advice for first-time CMOs
  • [23:53] An experience that defines Grant, makes him who he is today
  • [25:10] Grant’s advice to his younger self 
  • [26:48] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [27:54] The brands and organizations Grant follows 
  • [29:06] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketers 

Resources Mentioned: 

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Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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

How CPG Marketers Are Facing Waning Brand Loyalty, Rising Prices And Stocking Issues

Consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and financial services dominate digital ad spending in the US. eMarketer anticipates the CPG industry alone is set to spend over $30 billion in 2021: about $7 billion more than in 2020. The only other industry that outpaces CPG in digital ad spending is retail, which spent $20 billion in 2018 and is projected to spend $57.2 billion by the end of 2022, according to the firm.

Overall digital ad spending in the US increased by $19.79 billion between 2019 and 2020 as ad spending in traditional formats (e.g., TV, radio and print) decreased by 18.1 percent. eMarketer predicts that digital ad spending will reach $191.09 billion this year, $38.83 billion more than 2020.

Mobile advertising is the preferred destination for digital ad spending in the US and globally, followed by connected TV. CPG, entertainment, computing products and consumer electronics, financial services and telecom will spend more than 70 percent of digital ad budgets on mobile, which is greater than the national average.

For its latest Industry Insights: Spotlight on CPG report, eMarketer spoke with CPG leaders from White Castle, The Vitamin Shoppe and Spice Cafe to understand how they’re pivoting their marketing strategies to keep up with current challenges including waning brand loyalty, rising prices and stocking problems.

Lynn Blashford, White Castle Chief Marketing Officer

Blashford tells eMarketer she seeks to optimize consumer loyalty by curating products specifically for fans of the brand who choose to celebrate it in different ways. The Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle film, for example, was written by New Jersey natives who were themselves White Castle fans.

The brand’s foray into the freezer section of grocery stores in 1987 followed consumers’ frequent requests for large amounts of sliders to take on cross-country road trips to freeze and reheat. White Castle’s third-generation president Bill Ingram was rejected by several prominent CPG manufacturers when he requested that they sell White Castle sliders in the freezer section. So the company took matters into its own hands. The majority of White Castle consumers have never been to a restaurant—a testament to the product’s merit.

White Castle has recently made changes to its CPG retail model. For example, to grow awareness and become more tactical, the company hired a shopper marketing agency. New customers who shopped in the freezer section but were not selecting White Castle emerged, especially as consumers stocked up their freezers during the pandemic. The company can now barely keep up with demand and has even had to reduce shopper marketing, according to Blashford.

White Castle continues to use traditional channels for the restaurant side of the business given that it is a regional chain. It engages with almost every channel, which means it has access to an abundance of customer data. One interesting insight the company discovered leveraging social listening is that its CPG product is regularly eaten in bed. The company took this information and depicted a couple eating sliders while kicking back at the end of the day in its recent round of campaigns for “Long Live Sliders.”

Nadina Guglielmetti, The Vitamin Shoppe Vice President And General Manager Of Marketing 

eMarketer spoke with Guglielmetti to find out how The Vitamin Shoppe is balancing the needs of IRL shoppers with a growing online customer base and how social media, loyalty programs and partnerships are advancing growth as vitamin and supplements sales grew 24 percent last year.

The company’s target audience online is younger and more value-oriented than its retail audience, according to Guglielmetti. Online, customers seek promotions and shop across every vendor whereas in-store, the individual has already committed and decides between brands as opposed to between platforms or retailers. The Vitamin Shoppe has attempted to make shopping between its stores and website seamless by improving its in-store pickup and curbside capabilities. It also communicated its value message of being quality-driven and that it holds expertise in health and wellness, while also offering more competitive pricing and promotions. Sales increased with very little disruption.

The Vitamin Shoppe seeks to convey its credibility by working with micro-influencers who are passionate about health, wellness and fitness. It also works with mid-tier athletes and quality-focused Olympians. Last year, it partnered with Instacart, which boosted brand awareness.

Guglielmetti measures the success of the company’s content marketing by looking at how people engage with it and asking whether it’s driving people to the website’s blog, inspiring conversation, inspiring customers toward becoming healthier, and whether it’s presenting itself as one that cares about quality and innovation. 

The company’s loyalty program has been critical in customer retention. Ninety percent of its customers engage with its loyalty program. As a result, it has acquired plenty of first-party data, including frequency of shopping and products purchased, that it uses to tailor how it communicates with customers and surfaces promotions or content to help customers.

Guglielmetti isn’t concerned with new marketing strategies or partnerships, but rather how the company can improve its communication across the channels it currently has and how it will operate in a cookie-less arena. It’s in the process of launching SMS and learning about TikTok, a sign that it doesn’t try to be everywhere at once.

Sameer Malhotra, Cafe Spice Chief Executive Officer And Co-Founder

Cafe Spice produces ready-to-eat meals sold at grocery stores around the US after starting as a family-run restaurant in New York City. The shift occurred when Whole Foods opened a market in Columbus Circle, tried Malhotra’s food and began selling his products at several of its locations. Malhotra recognized his desire to expand the business as a wholesaler rather than as a retailer. So, instead of supplying college campuses with grab-and-go meals, he supplied Whole Foods with them.

Since 2018, the company has been selling through Amazon Fresh. What started out as a slow source of customers has blown up in the last year as people began working and eating at home more often. Cafe Spice’s marketing strategy shifted to include more social ads and keyword searches through Amazon.

The company leveraged a large keyword marketing campaign through Instacart. It also launched with Kroger and its online platform. Additionally, Hungryroot recently began selling Cafe Spice chicken burritos and potato samosa small bites.

Given that one of Cafe Spice’s core pillars is a healthy lifestyle, the company says it uses as many fresh and Hudson Valley-grown ingredients as possible. And in order to build brand awareness, the company has engaged direct-to-consumer more than any other channel. Malhotra says Cafe Spice is inundated with questions about where to find its products and has seen its grab-and-go sales triple.

Helping Build Careers Without Loneliness With COOP Careers’ Kalani Leifer And Wpromote’s Daniela Toledo

Kalani Leifer is the Founder of COOP Careers and Daniela Toledo is the Senior Account Manager at Wpromote. Daniela is also a graduate of the COOP Careers program.

In this episode, Alan, Kalani, and Daniela talk about COOP Careers, Daniela’s journey through the program as a diverse, first-generation college grad, and what motivated Kalani to start this initiative. Kalani says, “Building a career is hard, but it shouldn’t be lonely,” and part of their mission is to help fulfill the broken promise of a college degree.

As you listen, you’ll hear more about what the program entails and why marketers, CMOs, and marketing organizations should look to programs like COOP Careers. Both Daniela and Kalani believe it helps not only to augment their talent pipeline but a partnership can help diversify their talent.

Listen to the full episode to hear how COOP Careers has changed the lives of many young professionals and how the organization can help your business. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why diversification matters
  • The power of community support 
  • How to help the broken hiring system

Key Highlights:

  • [01:52] Daniela’s journey
  • [03:40] How Daniela found the program and what it taught her
  • [06:33] Daniela’s advice to young business people
  • [08:01] Kalani’s story
  • [12:04] How the program is structured
  • [18:58] Where COOP is headed
  • [23:50] Advice for companies wanting to diversify
  • [28:21] How companies can partner with COOP
  • [32:06] An experience that defines Daniela
  • [33:11] An experience that defines Kalani
  • [36:11] Daniela’s advice to her younger self 
  • [36:45] Kalani’s advice for his younger self 
  • [37:41] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketing 

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.

Investing Deeply In Your Customer With GoDaddy’s CMO Fara Howard

Fara Howard is the CMO of ​​GoDaddy where she oversees all marketing strategies and works with their internal creative team. 

In this episode, Fara and I talk about her career background and GoDaddy’s brand evolution over the last several years. One of the several charges Fara led has been their experimentation on branded entertainment, launching their docuseries “Made in America”. She describes the experience as truly inspiring, and she shares how it’s performing as well as what they’re learning from the project.

Later in the show, they also discuss GoDaddy’s branded pandemic campaign “Open We Stand” and how they were able to launch it so quickly through their internal creative agency. Fara’s short answer? “The closer you can bring a creative organization to your business and to your business strategy, the better the work is.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more about how to keep and retain talent within a creative function inside your company as well as how to work with them effectively.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The value of knowing your customer
  • Creating gritty, authentic stories
  • How to work with creative teams effectively

Key Highlights:

  • [01:36] Fara’s first job
  • [02:47] Fara’s path to CMO
  • [05:32] Tips for changing the industry you work in
  • [06:58] GoDaddy’s strategic journey of transformation
  • [09:45] The docuseries “Made in America”
  • [12:37] Investing deeply in your customer
  • [14:54] The “Open We Stand” campaign
  • [18:07] Generating content during the pandemic
  • [20:31] Finding and retaining creative talent 
  • [25:07] Where GoDaddy is going
  • [28:37] An experience that defines Fara, makes her who she is today
  • [32:23] Fara’s advice to her younger self
  • [33:50] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [35:00] The brands and organizations Fara follows 
  • [38:55] The biggest threat to 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.

The Value Of Leading With Service With Author Drew Neisser

Drew Neisser is the founder of Renegade and CMO Huddles. Most recently he’s added author to his list of accomplishments with the publishing of his book Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands.

In this episode, Drew and I discuss the concepts in his new book, what makes B2B marketing great, and what makes great marketers in B2B marketing. Drew firmly believes to be distinct in the industry and transform your brand it starts from the inside out. He says, “If you don’t have your employees behind [the initiative] then you don’t have your customers behind it.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more about what it takes to stay distinctive in marketing and how to sell through service.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to radically simplify B2B marketing
  • Using artfulness for ideation and distinctive marketing
  • The value of leading with service

Key Highlights:

  • [02:02] Drew’s go-to drink 
  • [03:30] Drew’s latest book, Renegade Marketing
  • [05:14] The CATS framework
  • [10:28] Why new products or marketing initiatives fail
  • [13:47] What marketers are doing to stand out
  • [16:22] Being distinctive 
  • [18:30] Leading with service
  • [22:09] Radically simplify your metrics 
  • [25:13] What a culture of experimentation looks like
  • [30:04] An experience that defines Drew, makes him who he is today
  • [32:41] What is the “Huddle” concept?
  • [33:49] Drew’s advice to his younger self
  • [35:16] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [36:34] The brands and organizations Drew follows
  • [38:47] The biggest threat to marketers

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.

What We’re Reading—Week Of October 26th, 2021

YouTube Gets Serious About Podcasting

The Verge

Google has hired Kai Chuck to manage its “large volume of existing podcasts and relationships across the YouTube platform,” a spokesperson told The Verge. Chuk has been at YouTube for nearly 10 years, focusing mostly on media partnerships.

In addition, Bloomberg reported that Canada’s YouTube Music app is going to support background music listening for free users.

Why it matters: Given podcasters already upload and host videos on Google’s servers and Google monetizes those videos for them based on user data, it’s yet to be seen how YouTube’s possible podcast plans will be changed or managed. YouTube also already sells audio advertising for when listeners are running videos in the background.

How To Manipulate Customers… Ethically

Harvard Business Review

Born from the field of behavioral economics, nudges are changes in how choices are presented to influence people to take a specific action. While nudges can be very effective, business leaders must examine critically how they nudge users to understand whether they’re truly acting in their best interests.

Why it matters: The following three principles should be used to design and evaluate nudges: one, preserve and protect user autonomy—namely leaders should consider mechanisms to obtain the user’s consent before influencing their behaviors, even if it’s for their benefit. Next, leaders should secure users’ wellbeing, or minimize risks to participants and maximize benefits to both participants and society. Lastly, leaders should evaluate whether nudges are negatively impacting one group over another.

What’s Your Return On Visibility?

MIT Sloan Management

Growth in management’s ability to track what and how workers are doing increases the risk of institutional and interpersonal conflict, as well as challenges cultural norms. With the convergence of performance analytics and cultural analytics, leaders are looking past legacy KPIs to assess how well employees align with espoused values. In doing so, they must rethink how they balance principles and productivity.

Why it matters: Visibility is a company’s asset that requires purpose, policies and management. Return on visibility—the belief that measurable value can be had from ethically monitoring people and processes—is a credible KPI. Ensuring that greater visibility enhances work and empowers employees is now leadership’s duty and obligation.

How Out-Of-Home Execs Are ‘Battling’ Client Fears As Ad Budgets Lag Other Channels

The Drum

According to the latest IPA Bellwether report, UK marketers will see the biggest boost to budgets in four years, while one outlier will be out-of-home (OOH), the only main media category to record a net cut.

Why it matters: Alistair McCallum, Kinetic Worldwide UK chief executive, believes that some clients need to be convinced that OOH audiences are there, especially amid the prevalence of remote work. McCallum also wonders if OOH ad spend anxiety could be the result of anxiety about future lockdowns, but adds that the sector now has protections in place for clients.

Mastercard Wants To Engage All Consumers—And Their Senses


Mastercard’s latest Touch Card launched in the US was designed to serve the roughly 252 million people in the world who are either blind or significantly visually impaired. The development of the card started in mid-2019 and includes a series of three cards for covering debit, credit and prepayment formats. The designs rely on a system of different shaped “notches” on each card type’s side to help consumers identify the correct one.

Why it matters: Touch Card is part of Mastercard’s broader effort to demonstrate that inclusiveness and addressing discrimination across race, sex or degrees of ableness is as good for business as it is for social marketing. Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer, told Adweek: “Financial inclusion is a big part of our business strategy. We have a responsibility to ensure that the digital economy is enabled for all.”

Understanding Customer Journey Analytics


According to Beth Sanville, senior vice president of analysis for Merkle, the six steps of the customer journey execution cycle should connect and influence each other. Those steps are: identifying, collecting, synthesizing and acting upon multiple dimensions of data; forging insights into actionable business strategies; creating a test design and contact strategy; putting the data into action; applying real-time decisions and optimization, and lastly, measuring.

Why it matters: Great, relevant customer experiences attract customers and build locally and advocacy, thereby driving interactions and revenue. As Sanville notes: “Building and delivering optimal customer journeys is a business discipline and process that must start and end with data.”

What You Missed At Advertising Week New York 2021

Advertising Week New York has officially ended but the wealth of insights shared during the four-day event is still accessible and available to watch on-demand until November, 30.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite content from the week below, including sessions on moving from talk to action with inclusive marketing, betting on culture as opposed to ads, maximizing CTV reach and more. Next month, on November 23, the event will continue with a return to global events, starting with the digital-only Latin America Advertising Week.


Diversity, Equity And Inclusion: Perspectives On Authenticity

Anjelica Ortega Kempis, senior enterprise account executive at GlobalWebIndex led a discussion about data being used as “unique and beautifully diverse as the people it represents” and what that means for businesses. Kempis offered an overview of a diversifying population, identity at the intersection and the necessity of a mindset shift.

Key Takeaways:

  • Americans are becoming older, more urbanized, more open-minded to diversity and inclusion (D&I), and are recognizing that identity goes beyond race.
  • Americans’ connection with their heritage is changing and intersectionality shapes how Americans experience the world, therefore a mindset shift toward greater D&I is necessary.
  • Social justice and D&I are driving consumers’ demands of brands as 33 percent of consumers want brands to support D&I, 31 percent want brands to be respectful and 28 percent want brands to be inclusive.


Inclusive Marketing: Moving From Talk To Action

Imani Ellis, the founder of CultureCon and The Creative Collective NYC, hosted a discussion with Barry Wade, managing director of cultural partnerships and identity at OMD, and God-is Rivera, director of culture and community at Twitter, that addresses inclusive marketing and how marketers can break the cycle of “talk without action.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The responsibility to create more inclusive marketing lies with all of the players within the advertising ecosystem.
  • Brands, agencies and platforms are doing more to better represent and connect with consumers from historically excluded communities.
  • There are actions everyone can take to hold ourselves accountable to ensure this effort is long-lasting and creates meaningful change.


Bet On Culture, Not Ads With Triller CEO, Mahi De Silva

Marketing Dive reporter Peter Adams spoke with chief executive officer of TrillerNet Mahi de Silva about how Triller is owning sustained cultural moments, its acquisition of Verzus founded by Timbaland and Swizz Beats, Triller TV, and how the creator economy is shaping the future of marketing.

Key Takeaways:

  • As government pressure mounts, companies are increasingly turning to Triller for its unique method of empowering creators to create culture, not ads.
  • In order to create a cultural phenomenon through content, brands must recognize that tastemakers need a platform upon which to thrive creatively and to use short-form content as a gateway to more long-form experiences (where the monetization ought to be).
  • A creator-friendly ecosystem matters for brands and marketers.
  • Cross-media brand activations are the future of content.

Is Precision Possible? Making CTV Measure Up

Beau Ordermann, head of advanced TV sales and strategy at Yahoo, hosted a panel with Lisa Herdman, senior vice president and executive director of strategic investments at RPA, and Ken Norcross, senior director of data strategy at Vizio, about how the pandemic elevated connected TV (CTV) from an emerging channel to a leading one. The trio discussed how advances in CTV planning, data and measurement have helped advertisers utilize the medium to maximize reach.

Key Takeaways:

  • Develop a best-in-class, full-funnel CTV strategy to reach your audience, regardless of category.
  • The consumer experience is influenced by lots of media touchpoints across various devices and formats. That coupled with data showing that CTV helps drive lift when combined with other digital channels point to the importance of an omnichannel approach.
  • The biggest needs or issues in the industry, according to Herdman, include the intersection of privacy and how that affects contextual targetability and, as a more immediate innovation, the industry’s collective ability to predict inventory for certain target groups.
  • According to Norcross, the most exciting innovations Vizio is bringing to advertisers are its innovation team’s improvement on interactivity with the TV and the mobile device, in addition to unique content with brands tailored specifically to certain segments of Vizio’s audience.

Building Brand And Business Value Through Multicultural Community Engagement

Seraj Bharwani, chief strategy officer at AcuityAds Inc., and Ariela Nerubay, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Curacao, discussed culturally relevant marketing, Curacao’s role in the Hispanic community, building brand trust and privacy. The two shared strategic business advantages that derive from strong customer relationships that nurture future growth opportunities—such as Curacao’s partnership with AcuityAds—and help the brand resonate with a diverse, multicultural community.

Key Takeaways:

  • Broadly, it takes authentic engagement and participation in the community to establish trust. More specifically, Curacao has offered their “neighbors” access to items through their stores and has taken chances on them by offering financial guidance and lines of credit to immigrant families and underserved communities who need that jumpstart in life. The most important element in building trust has been the direct assistance program in partnership with Hispanic and multi-cultural non-profits where Curacao donates furniture and appliances to the most impoverished families in the community.
  • Curacao wrote the playbook on how to attract Hispanic audiences through focusing on building relationships with community. Here, trust is the key factor. Doing so has secured a lifetime value with its customers. 
  • Curacao has multiple rules that keep its customers returning for 20 years or more, such as one that limits the prices and interest customers pay to those offered by competitors.
  • Curacao nurtures its relationships by incorporating community center elements into its stores, for example by playing music the locals enjoy, by offering creative kid zones for little ones and cooking classes or education seminars for older children.
  • The brand views the data it collects on customers as an asset that provides it with insights needed to help better serve those customers on their own terms; such as how well a customer pays, when they shop and whether they’d rather shop in-person or online. 

The Integration Of Acting And Film In Marketing With Variety’s Dea Lawrence

Dea Lawrence is the CMO of Variety, where she oversees public relations, media partnerships, creative communications, live media, virtual events, video development, and custom content.

In this episode, Dea and I discuss her role as CMO, her previous acting career, and how it helped shape her approach to marketing. Dea says, “we always have to think of what we are going to do next and what’s new and different to meet the competition and keep our brands going.”

Later in the conversation, we talk about how Variety kept customer interest during the pandemic and virtual events and how film and the TV industry integrate with marketing.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How acting prepares you for business
  • Keeping customers interested during virtual events 
  • How film integrates with marketing

Key Highlights:

  • [01:24] Dea’s acting career
  • [04:44] From actor to CMO
  • [09:55] How acting prepared her for business
  • [13:11] Who is Variety
  • [15:00] Transitioning from in-person to virtual events 
  • [21:30] Why being CMO at Variety is different than most CMO positions
  • [23:17] Variety’s content studio
  • [29:52] Achieving growth in publishing
  • [31:20] An experience that defines Dea, makes her who she is today
  • [33:32] Dea’s advice for her younger self 
  • [34:50] What marketers should learn more about
  • [36:03] The brands and organizations Dea follows
  • [37:58] The biggest threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned: 

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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

Advertising Week: Building Your Future-Proof, Privacy-First Advertising Strategy

As industry standards change and increasing regulatory scrutiny forces media publishers and advertisers to adapt, organizations are either expressing a lack of concern over the death of cookies or busy implementing tools to activate their data in a post-cookie world. 

Many of the latter have adopted Snowflake, a leader in cross-cloud computing and one of the fastest-growing software companies. Snowflake aims to improve the efficacy of advertising by empowering organizations to collaborate with any data set across any cloud and essentially allows entire industries to share data and drive innovation.

During an Advertising New York panel about building a future-proof, privacy-first advertising strategy, Bill Stratton—Snowflake global head of media and advertising industry—shared why businesses are adopting Snowflake to securely share, protect, and activate their data to promote growth in a cookie-less climate; how data enrichment, identity, measurement, activation and analytics data partners connect in near-real time; and how leaders leverage the Media Data Cloud to future proof their data foundation, protect consumer data and drive advertising growth.

According to Snowflake chief executive officer Frank Slootman, privacy laws are preventing new players like Disney from enriching and weaponizing their data for advertising purposes and competing with Google, Facebook and world governments. Snowflake seeks to overcome such constraints and allow companies to enrich and share data by engaging its data cleanroom capabilities while maintaining compliance.

We’re in the golden age of content and consumers have more programming to choose from than ever before, offering new levels of personalization and relevancy. Advertisers are able to develop new approaches to measure marketing performance and reimagine their marketing strategies altogether. 

However, the industry is in a unique position. Though the element of security and privacy is becoming stronger, there’s now a greater demand for data collaboration and transparency. Privacy legislation such as GDPR is on the rise yet advertisers and publishers are expected to leverage data matching and enable a single view of the consumer or measure media campaigns across multiple platforms. 

Traditionally, privacy and data collaboration have opposed one another. Enter: Privacy Sandboxes, the industry’s initial approach to providing anonymity to user data while allowing advertisers to use behavioral targeting where only the tech platform governed the rules of how data operated. While a step in the right direction, this measure lacked the level of true, two-way transparency advertisers sought.

Snowflake has sought to provide any company with the technological means to essentially design their own Privacy Sandbox for any purpose—without having to store the data in a silo or be sent to several different platforms. 

For marketers to get the most out of Snowflake’s offerings, they must invest in a future-proof data strategy to drive advertising growth while taking a proactive approach towards privacy. Further, Statton implored advertisers to recognize that future-proof data strategy mandates the capacity to maintain strict data governance while accessing all relevant data from a single source and sharing it with ecosystem partners. 

Snowflake’s Media Data Cloud provides advertisers and media publishers the means to recognize and accomplish adaptive goals by allowing them to leverage Snowflake’s platform capabilities, tailored solutions and an increasing amount of data natively available. Through this, advertisers can plan campaigns, collaborate with partners and measure effectiveness in a governed and secure environment. 

The Media Data Cloud also offers identity and enrichment services that enable businesses to execute without managing fragile, complex and expensive pipelines. In turn, those businesses can accelerate advertising growth, increase subscriber acquisition and retention and deliver differentiated advertising technology solutions.

Social Media Advertising Strategies For Top Challenger And Leading Brands

This week the industry convenes at New York’s Hudson Yards for Advertising Week New York, which has returned to host live in-person events. On-demand videos online will also be offered and altogether the event will feature more than 200 hybrid sessions and 500 speakers.

At a panel today led by Alon Leibovich, co-founder and chief executive officer at BrandTotal, Leibovich shares the metrics that exist for optimizing the top and middle of the funnel, including how top challenger and leading brands are using these tools to strengthen their social media advertising strategies.

Holding a Master’s in organizational behavioral psychology, Leibovich likens marketers’ inaction toward optimizing every stage of the buyer’s journey to the feeling dogs exhibited during psychologist Martin Seligman’s experiment on learned helplessness, which is defined as behavior exhibited by a subject after enduring repeated aversive stimuli beyond their control.

In accepting that they can’t understand what tactics their competitors are using at any particular moment, marketers have struggled to clearly understand how their messaging, positioning and ads are truly resonating with consumers.

Despite the advent of social media, which has enabled a two-way street and instant feedback, marketers are stuck in the frame of mind when TV and after-the-fact campaign metrics were their only option.

To evolve beyond siloed measurement that only compares your current top and middle of the funnel efforts to your previous efforts, Leibovich suggests following these three steps.

Step 1: Measure and Benchmark

First and foremost, keep tabs on what your direct competitors are doing while also comparing yourself to the industry average. Leibovich emphasizes the importance of ongoing measurement to assess your and competitors’ share of voice, media mix, ad formats, the volume of messages being used and campaign themes.

This includes tracking and predicting pre-click buying intent during the awareness and consideration stages. If, for example, you’re a luxury brand attempting to persuade consumers to pay more than the category index for your goods or services, look to other luxury brands to see how they’re achieving that success. Leibovich cites Lululemon in the apparel category and Ray-Ban in eyewear as standouts.

Step 2: Look At Creative Critically

Social comprises four key components—the copy, the visuals, the theme and the call-to-action. As Leibovich notes, these are levers brands should be adjusting based on what their competitors are doing. He suggests marketers apply the same level of precision and science to creative as they apply to media.

By finding the right balance between data and creative “spark,” brands can optimize their impact and drive creative strategies to elicit the type of engagement that leads to a higher conversion rate.

Step 3: Metrics

Lastly, Leibovich said to measure engagement rate and positive consumer net sentiment to correlate top- and mid-funnel activity with bottom-funnel purchase metrics. At BrandTotal, he noted, social share of voice and engagement rate are two metrics that have a bottom-of-the-funnel correlation.

When Gillette received backlash for its ‘The Best Men Can Be’ campaign, competitors including Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s capitalized on that moment and experienced positive net sentiment while Gillette’s was overwhelmingly negative.

Final Thoughts

Implementing the aforementioned strategy will also require brands to understand which brands are doing better than the industry benchmark currently—their brand or one of their competitors. If a competitor is over-indexing in engagement rate, that should serve as an alert to understand by how much they exceed the benchmark and spur a deep dive on their creative. Then comes time for changing and optimizing your creative because as Leibovich noted, all marketing is performance marketing.

“There’s no dichotomy between brand marketing and performance marketing. It’s up to us to make all marketing performance marketing. This is how it should be,” said Leibovich.