Nielsen: Long-Term Growth Requires A Balanced Marketing Strategy

With marketers under extreme pressure to hit revenue targets, upper-funnel marketing efforts have taken a backseat. Yet the need to drive awareness has never been more important for brands, as consumers have greater access and choice and less exposure to logos on shelves and storefronts. Nielsen’s latest report makes the case for adopting a balanced marketing strategy that combines the right message and channel mix to create long-term growth.

The sales impact of lower-funnel marketing strategies materializes quicker but Nielsen’s analysis suggests that brand-building efforts are a lever to drive sales. In measuring how effective a financial services company’s marketing efforts were at driving sales across about 20 markets, Nielsen found that the correlation between the upper-funnel brand metrics and marketing efficiency was significantly strong—0.73. Building brand equity, then, not only benefits direct sales but also improves the efficacy of your activation efforts.

Marketing accounts for 10 percent to 35 percent of a brand’s equity, according to Nielsen. Given equity comes also from visibility, taking non-marketing sources of equity, such as regular product usage and seeing a product on the shelf, for granted is a mistake. For one, fewer shoppers are driving to stores, eliminating the chance that they’ll see logos. Plus, consumers have access to an infinite selection of brands online, making it difficult for single brands to stand out. Lastly, COVID-19 supply disruptions have affected product availability, forcing consumers to try alternatives.

This last point is evidenced by differences in brand retention and trial rates across traditional and digital channels. For example, data from Nielsen Commspoint found that in the US consumer packaged goods market, shoppers say that 4.3 percent of their brick-and-mortar purchases involve a brand they hadn’t bought before. For online purchases, this figure increases to 12.2 percent. That metric drops from 83 percent of brick-and-mortar CPG purchases to 72 percent of online CPG purchases.

Nielsen cautions against assuming you can directly apply benchmarks around which channel is best for equity building for your brand. Channel effectiveness across campaigns can be very diverse, as Nielsen found when measuring the impact of marketing by message strategy for an electronics brand and an auto brand in the short and long term. Upper-funnel messaging on the auto brand was 5 percent less effective than total media in driving short-term sales and 18 percent more effective than total media in driving long-term sales. To deploy the most effective messaging and measure your share of voice within each message strategy, brands can cut their competitive ad data by upper- and lower-funnel creatives.

Looking at the same comparison through the lens of specific channels, Nielsen found that with upper-funnel messaging, video and offline media are very efficient in driving short- and long-term sales. With lower-funnel messaging, non-video and online media are more efficient in driving short-term sales than they are in driving long-term sales.

If optimizing for just one objective was a viable option, Nielsen notes, there wouldn’t be instances where brands such as Gap and TripAdvisor admitted they made missteps in forsaking brand building in the name of a heightened focus on activation.

To optimize for both short- and long-term objectives, brands should consider optimizing their marketing mix for total sales if they’ve already measured short- and long-term return on investment. If a brand lacks the total sales impact, marketers can perform sequential optimization, later weigh those stimulation results together to create a hybrid plan and set targets for what that plan will achieve.

If the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s 2013 research is any indication, long-term efforts are true long-term business drivers. The firm suggests that the optimal balance between long- and short-term efforts is 60-40.

The bottom line: Marketers should consider what the minimum business requirements are in the short term and whether their business has the flexibility to wait for longer-term outcomes.

What We’re Reading—Week Of July 5th

A look at the articles we’re sharing internally this week.

Navigating Ad Fraud And Consumer Privacy Abuse In Programmatic Advertising


Some key steps business leaders can take to guard their reputation and programmatic ad spend include using sophisticated tools to reveal the types of ad fraud attacks affecting their budgets, analyzing their budget with quality versus reach in mind and acknowledging that the ‘age of privacy’ has arrived.

Why it matters: Programmatic advertising is a $200 billion global marketplace, with connected TV (CTV) being its most recent accelerant. While 78 percent of US households are reachable via programmatic CTV advertising, ad fraud rates are still high — 24 percent in Q4 2020.

Four Great Lessons In Human-Centric Marketing


In Mark Schaefer’s book, Marketing Rebellion, the marketing strategy consultant writes that the main idea of “human-centered marketing” is to create an emotional connection with consumers that’s helpful and personal. Like during the pandemic when Burger King UK posted a message encouraging customers to support other fast-food chains and when American Express surprised 100 Black female entrepreneurs with grants of $25,000 and 100 days of resources.

Why it matters: Today, the customer is the marketer and the pandemic has amplified the need for authentic human connection. As Schaefer writes, brands must abandon advertising scripts and make ads based on what normal people do, be vulnerable, put their money where their mouth is and activate all consumers.

From Surviving To Thriving: Reimagining The Post-COVID-19 Return

McKinsey & Company

Reimagining the post-pandemic return will require companies to fundamentally rethink their revenue profile; redesign operations and supply chains to prevent potential shocks; institutionalize forms of speedy decentralization such as small, nimble teams; and set an ambitious digital agenda then deliver it within two to three months, not within a year or more.

Why it matters: One example of how acting with urgency pays off in crises is a Chinese car rental company that invested in micro-customer segmentation and social listening to guide personalization after its revenues dropped 95 percent in February. The result: three new agile teams with cross-functional skills and recovery of 90 percent of its business year-over-year. Before the crisis, the company took up to three weeks to launch a campaign; now it’s down to two to three days.

4 Tactics Mobile App Makers Can Steal From Game Companies

Venture Beat

One key strategy mobile app makers can learn from game companies is leveraging engagements that make their ads more immersive, such as playable ads that hook users before they install the game.

Why it matters: For a fast-casual restaurant, this tactic might translate to a playable ad that invites the user to build their perfect burrito. When finished, they’re inspired to download the app and have that same burrito delivered.

3 Biggest Challenges To Successful Influencer Marketing


Instead of leveraging influencers to highlight product offerings, brands should partner with purpose-driven communicators who seek to change or impact the world in meaningful ways and through them, address the pain points of younger generations.

Why it matters: Recent Harvard research found that the rate of loneliness is particularly high among young people who feel as if no one cares about them.

The Financial Impact Of Customer Connection With Khoros’s Katherine Calvert

Katherine Calvert is the Chief Marketing Officer of Khoros, a digital engagement platform for social marketing, online communities, and customer care.

In this episode, Katherine and I discuss her path to become CMO at Khoros and her perspective on customer engagement. She also shares what platforms marketers should consider if they want to create great experiences for their customers and prospects.

Katherine believes “there is a real opportunity for marketing leaders to be the champion within companies to elevate CX,” saying customer experience should be the “north star” by which they lead. Studies show that over 60% of consumers stop doing business with a brand after just one negative instance. On the other hand, 80% of consumers say they will pay more for the same product or service if it comes with a delightful customer experience.

Listen to find out how customer experience is transformational to your company’s finances.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of staying connected 
  • The financial impact of having good CX
  • Utilizing platforms and channels

Key Highlights:

  • [01:22] Katherine’s brush with Kevin Bacon
  • [02:55] Katherine’s path to becoming CMO
  • [05:32] What you should know about Khoros
  • [09:15] Stay connected with your customers
  • [15:05] How marketers should think about channels and platforms 
  • [20:01] Katherine’s advice for customer engagement
  • [24:15] A defining experience that made Katherine who she is today 
  • [26:34] Katherine’s advice to her younger self
  • [27:29] A topic Katherine believes marketers should learn about
  • [30:24] The brands and companies Katherine follows
  • [32:35] What Katherine says is today’s biggest opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

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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 opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.’s CFO On The Company’s Expansion Plans Ahead Of IPO

We’re proud to say that by 2022, will be a publicly traded company. A company comprising great teams, great businesses and great operators. Under my purview as chief financial officer, there are two requisites for this monumental goal: vision and collaboration.

As the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the physical workplace, so too did it shift our outlook on how we work with others. The metrics and the avenues through which we collaborate have become hybridized, and so far it seems to be working out well. Where it was once the case that merging or partnering companies required the sharing of physical space, there are now systems in place that eliminate that proximity requirement. embodies the next phase in the evolution of the workforce and workplace given all our operations are rooted in collaboration—whether that collaboration happens in the physical, hybridized or digital space, it really doesn’t matter. What truly matters is that in the last 18 months, we’ve learned what it truly means to collaborate. Now we’re ready to implement that knowledge into a workable solution for growth.

It’s more clear to me now than ever that guidance and collective intelligence is far more important to smaller agencies who’ve potentially been jolted by the effects of the global lockdown and its aftermath. What can provide those companies is the opportunity to exist as a single or limited-discipline company while operating within our multidisciplinary network.

There’s strength in numbers. Those who were caught off guard or were not in the best position to service sustainably or even better during the pandemic, is the opportunity to shed that inability, thus future-proofing itself against the possibility of another global fallout. Just look at the defining features of companies that were successful in the post-pandemic world: solid infrastructure, great talent and financial backing—three components, along with collaboration and diversity, that can offer. This realization and our plan for implementing it as part of our road to an IPO is primarily exciting for like-minded companies for the three following reasons.


In order to have a successful and scalable company, the infrastructure must be conducive to sustainability and growth. has been investing in and working on its IT, HR and financial infrastructure for the last 10 years or more, and really intensively for the last six years.

Companies interested in coming under the umbrella are already successful, but they may just be starting out, they may be growing faster than they can keep up with and may need help with their infrastructure. Or they may not have the financial backing to invest hard dollars into infrastructure.

We’ve been fine-tuning our systems, not for the purpose of sustainability as we had when we first began, but for the purpose of scalability and adaptability. This means once the onboarding phase is complete, an incoming company will instantly be ready for take-off.


The second element of interest to incoming companies is the way values businesses within our infrastructure. provides the technology and the SAAS platform that network companies can bolt onto their name, thus increasing their valuation. Once they’re through the door, we provide them the technologies and data that will directly improve both their top and bottom line.

As an example, let’s say a service company is interested in joining and their valuation is six times its earnings. Not a bad business to be in. But as soon as that company has the access and ability to add technology and scalable infrastructures into their business model, the multiplier by which they’re judged on Wall Street is taken to new heights. 

That service company’s valuation may now be 10, 15 or 20 times its earnings.

In essence, by joining, what was once a relatively successful service provider is now a very successful technology and brand accelerator, in addition to a service provider. How do we know this? Because we did it. has evolved its business model over time from a pure advertising agency and consulting model to a technology and data-first digital marketing business.

Brick & Mortar

The last element is really two – revenue and operations. As a part of the network, we’d be able to service more revenue for incoming companies, and here’s a summation of how it works. The premise of our “Listen. Create. Share.” model is that no matter which door a company enters through, as a part of the network construct, we’re able to sell more in the other two doors. This is particularly intriguing to companies who’ve become successful for finding their niche market and sticking to it. Their particular discipline and how they operate within it is a part of their secret sauce. allows them to carry on with that vision while we offer the other two services, thus rounding out the network company and even insuring it against unforeseen disruptions to their business model. Needless to say, rounding out the services a particular company offers its clients will have a direct dollar impact on its revenue and growth.

The second portion of this is simple: operation. In financial terms, this translates into better profit margins. How am I able to make this kind of claim? Ayzenberg has been operating within for the last 10 or so years. We’ve gone through the journey of building infrastructure, investing in technology, valuing technology, creating and implementing the SAAS platform and learning how to service more revenue for our businesses with a better bottom line. None of these feats came overnight. Our hope for is that once a company comes on board, it won’t take them five, six, or 10 years to get to where we’re at today.

Once we really start approaching IPO, we’ll have an infinitely better story to tell because we’re valued at a completely different multiplier. And that’s one of the final elements that makes appealing to companies. As a result, we anticipate an IPO launching within the next two to three years.

And we’re taking participants with us. The forward-focused companies we partner with will receive a multiple-fold lift on their valuation—a result that would otherwise only be possible with an immense amount of time, investment and trial and error. What I know for sure, given that we’ve already gone through the process, is that those within the will get to that greater valuation faster with us than without us.

The time has come for us to propel ourselves into the future together. We’re looking for great businesses and operators with a vision to get there faster with our help and together rather than on their own.

How Much Does It Cost To Market A Game?

You created a concept for an indie game, poured blood, sweat and tears into it, and you’re ready to take it live. For anyone to ever know about it and play it, you must market it. The first step is choosing the correct marketing budget (which I go into here) for your game. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to budget and account for generating three important costs associated with marketing your game—paid media, owned media and earned media. Below I’m breaking down what indie game developers need to know about each, including what they are and how to budget for them. You can get a better sense of how they come into play in marketing your indie game with my fictitious forecast scenario at the end of this story.

Check back next time for a breakdown of all the publishing costs an indie game developer needs to consider when getting their game finished.

Paid Media

Paid media is, unquestionably, the most expensive type of media in the realm of game marketing. Coupled with the fact that it is typically the most understood and the most ignored form, it should be addressed first. Independent game developers often don’t believe it works because they don’t understand how to measure, evaluate, or optimize for it. Given that it is one of the core pillars of marketing, I vehemently advise my clients to prioritize it.

Indie and established developers alike must be reminded of the benefits of paid media, even if they cannot understand it. This is where an effective partnership comes into play. A partner who understands what your limitations are, perhaps a budget or experience as a limitation, who has produced and marketed games successfully, will educate and inform. This ensures that less mistakes are made. Ignorance is no excuse for doing all one can to make their game successful.

A primary challenge of other forms of marketing, whether influencer or social media, is that their results are not guaranteed, while one of the advantages of paid media is that it guarantees results, plain and simple – you get exactly what you spend your money on. It is the only one of the three pillars that is truly predictable. One should never underestimate the value in that knowledge. For example, if you’re purchasing impressions you know you’ll get them even before they happen. On the contrary, there is no such thing as a guarantee with word-of-mouth, buzz, social media, community, viral, or influencer marketing. It should be noted, though, that these forms have an upside potential that paid media does not – no ceiling or timeframe on the number of impressions possible

Paid media typically comprises roughly 80 percent of the total marketing budget. Developers and publishers should spend on media bought in CPM, CPC, and CPA. Other costs which should be taken into consideration include creative costs such as advertising agency costs, creative optimization costs, localization costs, and creative management platform costs.

There remains a type of cost that somewhat fits into the category of paid media worth mentioning, and those include direct influencer payments and non-digital spends like television, podcasts, affiliate spends, and platform spends (e.g., Xbox, PlayStation).

Owned Media

Owned media includes that which you create on your own; essentially all of what you’ll need to make in order for the other forms of media to function. These can be thought of as the assets you’re creating—whether those assets are websites, ads, social creative, videos, apps, brand assets like logos and key art, and even memes. Other forms of more cost-effective owned media include blogs, emails, push notifications, podcasts, dev diaries, social content, and forum communication on sites like Reddit and Discord. In order for owned media to operate/function, dashboards, email platforms, or the back end of your media buying technologies must be adequately funded.

Here, a decision must be made as to whether you hire and build an entirely internal creative services team to make these assets, or whether to outsource and hire an ad agency; either avenue produces an expense and absolutely must be accounted for and budgeted for. Only then will you be able to launch a campaign.

Generally speaking, and from what I’ve witnessed over my 20+ years of working in this field, the 80/20 split remains applicable in owned media, with 20 percent of your marketing budget allocated to owned media.

Earned Media

Earned media is all of the content generated by others. It is not necessarily paid for and is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, it can be one of the most effective marketing tools, if planned for. Think about earned media as viral content. Its budget is in the form of personnel hours, as companies typically have a team dedicated solely to maximizing earned media. This means it has a fixed cost barrier to entry.

Examples include editorial articles, user and editorial reviews, platform features, endemic content creation by influencers, as well as shared activity on social channels.

Fictitious Game Forecast

As a way to tie all of this information together, allow me to provide you with a real-world scenario. Let’s say we have a PC Steam game that targets core FPS fans and the financial team has forecasted $10 million in revenue in the first year – I don’t know if we’d call this indie, but it’s not a giant game either. Depending on which approach you take to derive a marketing budget, let’s imagine it’s set at $1.5 million or 15 percent of forecasted gross revenue.

As stated previously, 80 percent of the marketing budget – here, $1.2 million – should be set aside for paid media. If you’re wondering how far this will go, you’re asking the right question. On Facebook, for example, with an average CPM of $7.19, that 167 million impressions. On Google Display (GDN), with an average CPM of $2.80, that’s 429 million impressions. And on Twitch, with an average CPM of $11.24, that’s 107 million impressions. As a side note, industry calculations show an average CTR of .7 percent and CTC (for a free-to-play movie or PC game) of 15 percent.

It should be noted that there is a certain skill level associated with earning the average .7 percent CTR. Spending the money, while necessary, is not the only requirement. Larger publishers, marketers and developers, whether alone or as partners, will consistently earn better-than-average results simply because of experience. Independent developers should not expect a 7 percent CTR given that it is largely dependent on the ability to produce good creative, strong copy and more. An independent developer must also take into account that a portion of their budget will be spent on resources that larger developers and publishers already have in place and have employed successfully in the past.

Clearly, GDN is the most effective network, yielding you roughly 3 million landing page hits and approximately 450,000 installs. Needless to say, this is not enough to hit your revenue forecast – you need more installs. Enter: owned and earned media.

The remainder of the budget must account for ad creative costs of between $20,000 and $40,000, a $50,000 website, $30,000 worth of social ad creative development, and a year’s worth of trailers at $75,000. Next, you must account for the ad serving fees, any localization costs, brand creative costs, emails distribution costs, affiliate spends, and more, which may add upwards of $50,000 to the total cost. 

Here’s a recap of how far $1.2 million goes on paid media:

  • Facebook average CPM = $7.19 = 167 million impressions
  • Google Display (GDN) average CPM  = $2.80 = 429 million impressions
  • Twitch average CPM = $11.24 = 107 million impressions

Some additional rough math (industry averages calculations):

  • Average CTR (click through rate) = .7%
  • Average CTC (click to convert) for a free to play mobile or PC game = 15%
  • So if you spent all that money on the most effective network (GDN) you could expect about 3 million landing page hits and approximately 450K installs. Is this enough to hit your revenue forecast? I would be very confident in saying no. So you will need more installs from owned and earned media.

You have 20% of the budget left or $300K:

  • Ad creative costs, if you hire an agency, might eat up $20k-$40K
  • Building a website: another $50K
  • Social ad creative development: $30K
  • Producing trailers for a year? Maybe $75K
  • Then you need to account for the ad serving fees, any localization costs, brand creative costs, emails distribution costs, affiliate spends. You see where I’m going—it gets tight.

About A List Games:

When it comes to executing marketing and publishing campaigns, our leverage is 25 years of legacy and expertise in game audience building under our roof. With the Ayzenberg Group’s support, A List Games can tap into the Ayzenberg network to execute world-class marketing executions.

We love breaking from convention and adore the unprecedented. We offer scalable publishing solutions and negotiate “win-win” deal terms based on total investment. Got localization and QA handled? Great. Need help with user acquisition and first-party promotion?

Yeah, we can do that.

Led by passionate people with backgrounds in marketing and development at both the developer and publisher level, we have more than three hundred hit game titles in our collective portfolio.

For strategic leadership, our brain trust hails from Xbox, EA, Blizzard, Riot Games and FoxNext. We also have strong relationships in place throughout the industry, including development services companies capable of Q&A, Localization, Customer Service, Monetization and Production.

Get in touch:

What We’re Reading—Week Of June 21st

A snapshot of the marketing and advertising articles we’re reading this week.

The New Future Of Work Requires Greater Focus On Employee Engagement


After more than a year of working remote, 87 percent of employees would prefer to continue doing so, according to a Prudential survey. But new flex and hybrid work models must focus on employee engagement if they’re to succeed. One way to do that is involve employees in the buying process of new technology. Taking their feedback into account to find the solution that best fits their needs helps maximize user adoption and can identify gaps where the transformation isn’t working well.

Why it matters: Gallup says that disengaged employees make mistakes 60 percent more often than engaged employees do, and just 21 percent of employees consider themselves to be “very engaged.” Even before the pandemic, US companies faced the risk of losing up to $550 billion per year in things like greater turnover and lack of employee productivity.

The Art Of Persuasion Hasn’t Changed In 2,000 Years

Harvard Business Review

Over 2,000 years after Aristotle revealed the formula to becoming a master of persuasion in Rhetoric, the same formula holds up. Some of the rhetorical devices he identified include egos, or character. In order for your audience to trust you, you must establish your credibility. Then, Aristotle suggests using data and facts to make a logical appeal to reason, or logos. Given humans are moved by emotion, or pathos, Aristotle recommends transferring emotion from one person to another through storytelling.

Why it matters: The ability to persuade is a fundamental skill for gaining a competitive edge in the knowledge economy and selling an idea. Some economists believe that persuasion is responsible for producing one-quarter or more of America’s total national income.

Building Trust Through Transparency On Social Media


In March, Klarna launched its Influencer Council with the aim of creating a best practice guide for influencers and brands in the financial services sector. The council recommends that these brands should only work with influencers aged over 21 and move away from misunderstood hashtags.

Why it matters: A survey of over 2,500 social media users in the UK found that only a quarter understand the use of advertising hashtags on influencers’ posts.

L’Oréal Taps Pinterest Creators In Expanded Push Into Content Marketing

Marketing Dive

L’Oreal USA just launched a new Pinterest campaign that will see over 20 Pinterst creators develop branded content covering beauty tutorials and trends for seven of L’Oreal’s personal care brands using Pinterest’s new short-form video feature, Idea Pins.

Why it matters: The new campaign comes as Pinterest is seeing an uptick in beauty searches, with queries including “white eyeliner” and “soft makeup” reaching record highs. Similarly, L’Oreal has experienced a surge in interest in its products, particularly from countries where vaccination rates are growing.

Wingstop Introduces Thighstop, A Virtual Brand That Sells Chicken Thighs


After finding success in a concept that shifted chicken wings from an appetizer to the focal point of the plate, Wingstop is launching a virtual brand called Thighstop through its over 1,400 locations nationwide. Foodies can order bone-in and breaded boneless thighs via and DoorDash.

Why it matters: Wingstop chief executive officer Charlie Morrison said the move is a “strategic supply chain plan” that will help stabilize prices. Morrison added that there’s a limited amount of chicken and it takes 280 million chickens to satisfy Wingstop’s each year. The brand is stimulating trial very quickly with its chicken thighs to ramp up the volume of products and enable suppliers to implement that volume.

What We’re Reading—Week Of June 14th, 2021

A look at the insights we’re sharing this week from various marketing and advertising publications.

Ad Industry Awards Haven’t Addressed The Racial Reckoning


Just as black football players in the 1960s and ‘70s were relegated to certain positions due to the belief they weren’t smart enough to run the team, today’s black creative directors are facing an uphill battle against negative stereotypes when it comes to awards and juries.

Why it matters: Since agencies hire creatives who produce award-winning work, awards matter. Yet award shows aren’t taking accountability for recognizing and rectifying jury room equity. Jurors must ask if their unconscious biases are affecting how they view the work otherwise they’re holding back people of color from career opportunities.

Jack In The Box Duets With Jason Derulo On Virtual Restaurant Brand

Marketing Dive

Jack in the Box and Jason Derulo are launching a virtual restaurant called One in a Milli that Los Angeles diners will be able to exclusively order from via Uber Eats from June 14-28. The concept is inspired by Derulo’s “Milli Meal” tradition of using bizarre ingredients to celebrate each million follower milestone on TikTok.

Why it matters: The partnership marks Jack in the Box’s entrance into the virtual restaurant trend, which the pandemic popularized as consumers flocked to take-out and delivery. It will enable the brand to reach Derulo’s 46 million-plus TikTok followers as well as collect first-party data through a mobile component wherein those outside of Los Angeles can order from the virtual restaurant via the Jack in the Box app.

Looking Beyond The Pandemic: Could The World Economy Gain More Than It Lost To COVID-19?

McKinsey & Company

According to Mckinsey’s latest analysis of mortality and economic growth, no country kept its economy moving well without also taking control over the virus spread. How McKinsey’s proposed twin imperatives of safeguarding lives and livelihoods translate into reality is based on three beliefs: that 3 to 4 percent global economic growth is achievable with available technology; we don’t have to choose between sustained and inclusive growth; and the possibility that with pandemic-induced medical advances we can spark a renaissance in public health innovation.

Why it matters: If global leaders act on these outcomes, the world could be on the cusp of a new age of prosperity, namely an economic recovery that will add 30 to 50 percent to GDP over the next 10 years.  

TikTok Launches #CreativityForGood Campaign To Highlight Creators And Causes On The Platform

Social Media Today

TikTok has launched its own Cannes Lions awards-inspired hashtag challenge called #CreativityForGood, which will invite its users to create a TikTok-style campaign or ad for one of four partnering international non-profits or another cause they cherish. The non-profits include the Malala Fund, It Gets Better Project, IFRC and One Tree Planted. TikTok will donate $50,000 to each.

Why it matters: Given TikTok videos aren’t allowed to compete in the Cannes Lion competition, this new purpose-led promotion could be the platform’s small way of carving out a spot in the awards in the future.

Consumers Are Hungry For Live Events. Here’s How Brands Should Respond.


New global research from Momentum Worldwide found that while 74 percent of people found a new passion during the pandemic, another 50 percent are ready to try new experiences.

Why it matters: Consumers are now pickier about where they spend their time, with 21 percent of people thinking it’s necessary to feel like a VIP during events. With 87 percent of respondents willing to use technology while attending live events, hybrid events offer an appealing solution.

Are Influencer Exhibition Fights The Future Of Boxing?

Los Angeles Magazine

Following YouTuber Logan Paul’s exhibition match with Floyd Mayweather, a new Miami-based event called “Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms” has emerged, featuring a fight between TikTok stars and YouTube influencers.

Why it matters: In a recent press release about the event, which occurred on June 12, executive producer Paul Cazers called the fights “the perfect storm of celebrity, social media, technology, digital marketing, pop culture, and, at the end of the day, good old Hollywood 101 celebrity and industry magic.”

Over Two-Thirds Of Consumers Prefer To Communicate With Businesses Over The Phone

Last year witnessed a rapid migration to digital technologies and yet new research shows people prefer to call a business. In fact, sixty-eight percent of shoppers prefer to communicate with businesses over the phone versus 13 percent of those who prefer to do so via chatbot, according to Invoca’s inaugural “Buyer Experience Benchmark Report.”

Invoca’s 2020 research echoes a similar sentiment. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said talking to a person on the phone to answer questions made them feel more confident in making high-consideration purchases—which one-third of people did during the pandemic—versus buying directly online.

These conversations, if done right, can leave an overwhelmingly positive impression on consumers, as Invoca’s research suggests. Half of consumers actually believe that agents are more helpful now than before March 2020. And based on these positive interactions, Invoca notes, 44 percent of respondents feel more positively about these brands and 45 percent feel their business is valued.

The primary reason consumers prefer calling a business is to gain more information about a product, as 44 percent of consumers noted. For another 30 percent, they feel most comfortable completing high-stakes purchases on the phone.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they’d most likely purchase travel-related services over the phone, while just 18 percent would buy a car on the phone. Nevertheless, 60 percent of shoppers will call a business at some point during their car-buying journey, Invoca found.

Thoughtful, detailed product pages, FAQ sections and a strong website overall should be top of mind for brands as 33 percent of consumers said they’re most likely to call a business because they couldn’t find what they were looking for online during their automotive search; the same number of shoppers of financial services expressed that frustration. Thirty percent of those shopping for healthcare services had the same complaint.

Other factors driving away customers? Long wait times, transfers and repetition. According to Invoca, 75 percent of consumers hang up after hearing a message about long wait times. A callback option isn’t viable for just 5 percent trust in the automatic feature.

Over half (53 percent) of consumers said they need to repeat their reason for calling to multiple agents. It’s in a business’ best interest to reduce transfers because it makes 35 percent feel frustrated and 45 percent feel the business is effective when they catch the right agent the first time.

After a phone call, people prefer to communicate with businesses via email (55 percent), in person (40 percent) and via live agent chat (33 percent). Chatbots are a last resort (13 percent).

Invoca’s findings are based on a survey of 500 consumers about purchases in automotive, financial services, healthcare, home services, insurance, telecom and travel.

‘Live Recovery’ Index Indicates Progress On Safely Resuming In-Person Events

After a year of social distancing and lockdown, new research shows US marketers are getting closer to resuming live events. In an effort to help brands and consumers determine when it’s safe to host such events again, Jack Morton has launched a proprietary index called “Return to Live” that follows the factors contributing to the rate of recovery in the US. These include virus spread, vaccination rates, market demographics, consumer mobility and sentiment at the national, state and county level.

According to the index, the nation is halfway there, scoring a 4.78 out of 10 in its progress toward resuming in-person experiences. Some states may be able to begin hosting live events sooner than others. The data show that the top five states closest to recovery scored an average of 8.68 and include Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Minnesota. At an average score of 2.0, the worst performers are Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The high average scores gleaned from the data reflect new case rates below the national average and vaccination rates of 50 percent or above. Nationally, consumer mobility to recreational and retail areas is -5 percent below pre-pandemic levels, reports Jack Morton. However, top states are seeing consumer mobility figures equal to or greater than pre-pandemic levels. Low scoring states, on the other hand, report higher than average case rates and lower vaccination numbers.

“The data and the empirical evidence are trending in the right direction, but we still need to carefully review location and context. There is still a lot of disparity as you zoom in on the map,” said Scott Varland, senior vice president and head of Jack X North America.

Additionally, the index revealed a positive correlation between states with high recovery scores and mask mandates still in place or recently lifted. States with poor recovery scores never had a mask mandate or lifted it before or shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask recommendation in May.

Looking ahead, Jack Morton found that in Q3, 63 percent of brands plan to host in-person events, 19 percent plan to stick to virtual events and 18 percent will adopt a hybrid approach. In Q4, 71 percent of marketers are committed to throwing live events, while 16 percent will utilize a hybrid model and 13 percent a virtual model.

Upcoming live events include the Mobile World Congress in late June; the Chicago Auto Show; Lollapalooza and the Bonnaroo Festival. Among the virtual events planned for the remainder of 2021 include E3 and San Diego Comic-Con.

Driving Results Through Reinvention With Joe Jackman

Joe Jackman is the CEO & Founder of Jackman Reinvents, the world’s first and foremost reinvention company. He’s also the author of The Reinventionist Mindset where he talks about principles that help businesses succeed. 

In this episode Joe and I discuss, you guessed it: change – specifically reinvention. What it means, and why people resist it. Joe says, “Change is hard. Not only just being comfortable with it but embracing it and then getting good at it.” Throughout the interview you’ll hear him speak on how business leaders can make change more acceptable – a positive for their business – and avoid becoming irrelevant. 

After listening to this episode, you’ll realize that the future is now. Marketing leaders need to adapt before the wave is gone and they’re left behind. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why people resist change
  • The danger of doing the math
  • What’s necessary to be successful at change

Key Highlights:

  • [01:52] Joe’s transformational summer
  • [06:30] Becoming a reinventionist  
  • [10:35] The roots of resisting change
  • [14:35] Pushing the status quo
  • [17:20] Being a part of creating the future
  • [19:08] Don’t do the math 
  • [23:24] How to become successful at change
  • [28:07] Companies who are embracing change
  • [32:32] The benefit of a non-linear path
  • [35:45] Where does it come from? 
  • [40:37] A defining experience that made Joe who he is today 
  • [42:12] Joe’s advice to his younger self
  • [44:16] Joe’s impact purchase
  • [46:10] The brands and companies Joe follows
  • [49:35] What Joe says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for 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 opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.