Microsoft Advertising Debuts A New ‘Marketing With Purpose’ Playbook

During the Advertising Week panel, “Marketing with Purpose,” Kya Sainsbury-Carter, vice president, global partner service, Microsoft Advertising, announced the company’s new “Marketing with Purpose Playbook.” At a time when people’s expectations of brands are in a state of constant flux, the guide aims to help marketers reimagine the brand experience through purpose and people, proven catalysts for trust, loyalty and brand performance.

Companies that lead with purpose are more trusted and loved. In fact, 85 percent of consumers say they’ll only buy from a brand they trust, according to a study from Microsoft Advertising and LRW Research, “Uncovering the Trust Drivers 2019.”

The key drivers of trust are responsibility, values and inclusion, Sainsbury-Carter notes. Consumers expect brands to protect their personal information, be honest about how their data is being used, support ethical practices, take an explicit stand on social issues and proactively solve issues if products or services don’t work.

But above all, the important attribute of consumer trust and loyalty is being genuine and authentic. Seventy-two percent of respondents are more likely to support brands that are authentic in their advertising, according to Microsoft Advertising’s, “The Psychology of Inclusion and the Effects in Advertising 2020.”

Inclusion in advertising is a prerequisite for authenticity. Ensuring people feel seen, heard and understood enables brands to naturally weave purpose into their strategies. For example, 63 percent of consumers say brands representing inclusivity in ads are more authentic and 64 percent consider them more trustworthy.

In addition to boosting a brand’s authenticity, inclusion in advertising drives purchase intent and increases a consumer’s likelihood to recommend. As a case study, Microsoft Advertising asked consumers to rank a variety of Tommy Hilfiger ads based on level of inclusivity. Thereafter Microsoft mapped that to purchase intent. Upon closer look, what they found is that the ad featuring a model in a wheelchair and a black model beat the non-inclusive ads with a 28 percent lift.

For a brand to genuinely become more inclusive, Sainsbury-Carter notes that marketers must shift their focus from being product-centric to people-centric. This requires long-term strategies meant to build trust and inspire customer advocacy but also equitable experiences, not merely compliance.

One brand that has successfully strengthened its commitment to purpose in recent years is Crocs. In March, the brand launched “A Free Pair for Healthcare,” a program that gave healthcare workers a free pair of Crocs, plus free shipping, through its website. Since launching the initiative, Crocs has given away 860,000 pairs of its Crocs Classic Clogs, valued at over $40 million in retail. 

In Q2, Crocs’ global revenues were $331.5 million, declining 7.6 percent from Q2 2019. The brand’s global ecommerce revenues saw 67.7 percent growth.

“Inclusion is not just a marketing campaign at Crocs. It is in everything we do. It is how we treat each other as employees and how we come to life every single day with our consumers and fans around the world. We like to think of them as a global tapestry and we love to celebrate what makes them all unique,” says Heidi Cooley, head of global marketing at Crocs.

How The Pandemic Is Transforming The Brand-Agency Dynamic

As brands try to keep up with changing consumer behavior, agencies are being met with demands for diversified services, forcing them to adopt a new business model. While there’s no one-size-fits-all playbook to address this new brand-agency dynamic, there are steps agencies and advertisers can take to align their goals and drive agency transformation.

During the panel, “Agency Transformation: Building for the Future, Now,” presented by Think with Google, at this week’s virtual Advertising Week, Matt Bush, Google managing director of agencies and partners, hears from Forrester principal analyst, Jay Pattisall, and UM Worldwide global chief client officer, Trish Chuipek, on the growth opportunities and barriers in driving agency change.

To help agencies understand how to best cater to clients’ evolving needs, Google commissioned Forrester to conduct research with 300 brand marketers and 500 agency executives across EMEA. The surveys were conducted in February before lockdowns and were conducted again in May with 30 percent of the original respondents.

As per Pattisall, the report found that brands need for their agencies to be strategic partners, the result of a growing disengagement in consumers’ online behavior, namely a ‘messy middle’ funnel where consumers skip ads online and jump across channels on the path to purchase. According to Forrester, 77 percent of brand decision makers are looking to agencies to provide customer-first strategies to address this new behavior.

“Consumers easily navigate between our retail commerce, mobile commerce and desktop commerce, and it’s incumbent upon brands to think about this in a connected way that optimizes performance,” says Chuipek.

Another byproduct of this new brand agency paradigm is a discrepancy in perceptions of value exchange—agencies are expected to do more with less. While 77 percent of agency leaders expect agencies to prove commercial outcomes, agencies are facing financial struggles with delivering on client needs because of marketing budget reductions. For example, 72 percent of brand leaders reported having to downsize.

Forrester’s data show that both brand and agency leaders expect a shift from a fixed-free structure like retainers and project models to outcome-based fees such as performance- and commission-based models. In fact, over the next three years, between 51 percent and 63 percent of brand leaders expect to move to either a performance-based model or a commission-based model for most of their agencies.

To build compensation models around outcomes, Chuipek says agencies and clients must discuss the key performance indicators (KPIs) to which they’ll collectively hold themselves accountable.

Despite tightened budgets, 63 percent of brand leaders are ready to invest in agencies that can engage disconnected consumers. Nearly half, or 43 percent, of brand decision makers say the top expected benefit of enlisting an agency is to increase company profits, followed by to increase a return on investment of digital marketing tactics (41 percent) and the ability to keep pace and adapt to shifts in consumer behavior (37 percent).

Other enhanced capabilities brands expect from agencies include creating seamless digital/mobile experiences with visual and display media, building meaningful customer relationships via loyalty programs, safely leveraging customer data to its full potential and utilizing martech to streamline processes. In fact, 68 percent of decision makers expect to increase budgets for emerging martech—like voice/conversational marketing, automation and artificial intelligence—and will need support for those operations.

“Rather than being hyper-focused on driving down the cost of media, we have to flip the script and focus on accelerating growth. We’re coming out of the race to the bottom. The opportunity in front of us is the race to the top,” says Pattisall.

What We’re Reading—Week Of September 28th

Study: 26% Of Adults In The US Get News On YouTube


About one-quarter of all US adults say they get news on YouTube, 59 percent of which say it’s an important way for them to consume news, shows a new study from Pew Research that surveyed 12,638 US adults from January 6 to 20.

Why it matters: 44 percent of the 377 most popular YouTube news channels that Pew analyzed were oriented around an individual, namely a journalist or independent host.

Meet The Rising Stars Of Brand Marketing

Business Insider

Business Insider has released its inaugural list recognizing the rising talent reshaping marketing for brands like Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay, Uber, SkinnyPop and Walmart.

Why it matters: As The Hershey Company’s youngest VP, 36-year-old Kyle Banahan, SkinnyPop vice president of marketing, helped the brand’s ecommerce grow by 200 percent during the pandemic by promoting the popcorn as a healthy choice for remote workers.

LA Comic Con Is Moving Forward With An In-Person Event In December

NBC Los Angeles

LA Comic Con is set to hold its annual in-person event from December 11 to 13 at the LA Convention Center. The organizers say fans will receive a full refund or roll-over of their ticket if the event gets canceled.

Why it matters: To ensure guests maintain a six-foot distance, organizers have reduced headcount to 13,500, down from 42,000 in 2019. The event will still feature over 400 vendors, but to avoid bottlenecks, the aisles will be one way. Fans who attend are required to wear masks.

Reach Sees ‘Strong Recovery In Digital Advertising Growth’ After H1 Covid-19 Hit

The Drum

Between January and June, Daily Mirror owner Reach saw pre-tax profits plummet from £58.2m to £25.2m, while its revenues declined 18 percent to £290.8m.

Why it matters: Digital advertising helped the firm see a 12.9 percent increase, in addition to a 27.2 percent year-over-year increase in average monthly loyal users between March and August.

These 5 Leaders Are Transforming How America Works, Plays And Invests

Business Insider

Business Insider’s 100 People Transforming Business in North America includes activists, entrepreneurs and leaders shaping the future of investment.

Why it matters: After Hurricane Katrina, Rashad Robinson became president of Color of Change, an online civil rights advocacy organization that has over 1.7 million members today and spearheaded the Facebook boycott.

Snapchat’s VP Of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion On Disrupting Bias In Tech And Media

This year, Snapchat released its first-ever Snap Inc. Diversity Annual Report. Among things like how the company has driven diversity in recent years and its plans for the future, the 36-page report revealed that black workers and Hispanic workers comprise just 4.1 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, of Snapchat’s US workforce.

The company addressed its efforts to bridge that gap and others in an Advertising Week panel, “Disrupting Bias at Scale,” featuring Oona King, Snapchat vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and Ed Couchman, Snapchat regional general manager, DACH, Netherlands, Nordics and UK.

King, a former Google exec and the second black woman elected to British Parliament, shares the lens through which Snapchat sees the way forward in eradicating systemic racism in tech and media. That vision, she says, requires a plan to increase the diversity of Snapchat’s workforce, increase the inclusivity of Snapchat’s culture and increase the inclusivity of Snapchat products. Snap’s success in DEI depends on three pillars: leadership, accountability and inspiration. 

The app’s first step toward greater diversity was collecting inclusive data reflective of its global workforce. King says companies should appoint someone with a diverse background to own this project, but cautions against relying solely on that individual to change the company culture.

Everyone across industry level, including C-suite, must be involved. For leaders, that means identifying their privilege where they have it and then actually using it for the people who lack it, King says. Snapchat, for example, has implemented channels of communications between leadership and employee resource groups (ERGs). For example, executives sponsor ERGs and partner with them on initiatives executives work with ERGs to pilot partnerships aimed at increasing product diversity.

According to King, dialogue creates transparency and helps leaders stay accountable to their beliefs and plans around DEI. Since launching its first employee resource group in 2016, Snapchat now has 20 chapters around the world. Still, Snapchat’s report notes, “the burden of advocating for important DEI initiatives and accountability often has fallen on [ERGs] — rather than on our whole team.”

Another area Snapchat has ample room to grow is representation in tech roles, where the lack of diversity is most pronounced. A whopping 91 percent of Snapchat’s team members in these roles are white or Asian. According to King, the way to increase representation of racial minorities in such roles doesn’t start with hiring—it starts with improving the company culture.

“There’s no point in bringing women or underrepresented racial minorities into a tech work space that is very white. In a work culture, people get thousands of signals everyday as to whether they’re welcome or not. It’s those signals that determine if they stick around,” she says.

What King found at YouTube and Google is when they put specific measures in place to address retention, doing so had as much of an impact, if not a bigger impact, than addressing hiring.

Other ways Snapchat is fostering diversity include building a diverse group of employees to create inclusive machine learning systems; launching the first-ever formal audit of its content mix to understand its baseline for demographic representation; and instituting a living wage of $70,000 annually for all its US team members.

At the end of the day, it comes down to internal work and ensuring your diversity goals are managed the same way other business-related endeavors are. For Snapchat, King says this meant making diversity the heart of its business strategy.

“You can have all the most brilliant plans in the world for systems of accountability, but if the human beings with roles of leadership within those systems aren’t inspired to make diversity a top priority, nothing happens. And I know that. I’ve seen it time and again,” King says.

Niche Is The New Broad

(Originally aired September 29th on LinkedIn Live.)

On today’s episode of Listen In, Matt Bretz chats with Amber Kazalbash, senior strategist at R/GA. Amber explains why brands are departing from a “biggest, broadest reach” approach and focusing more and more on niche audiences.

Amber’s influence online as a second-generation Pakistani American Muslim woman has given her personal insight on the marketing and professional opportunities of embracing varied identities in a connected space. She explains her background as an alumnus at Ayzenberg Group and her experience as a senior strategist, which she defines as understanding and building the connection between brands, their products and consumers. 

Amber also explores her work with legacy crafts retailer Michaels and explains how COVID-19 impacted her team’s ‘Made by You’ campaign in addition to describing the opportunities available to brands by acknowledging niche segments. Ultimately the conversation touches on the notion that indicators of unique expression have taken precedence over a focus on broad segments. Behavior is personalized and individualistic and we can lean on our own experiences to see this. 

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

What We’re Reading—Week Of September 21st

Here’s a look at what we’re sharing internally this week.

Uncle Ben’s Becomes Ben’s Original In ‘Brand Evolution’

Food Dive

Uncle Ben’s is renaming its brand to Ben’s Original, a move that’s part of its larger efforts to increase diversity and inclusion. In addition, through a partnership with National Urban League, Ben’s Original is launching a community outreach program to provide underserved communities with nutritious meals and help culinary entrepreneurs of all colors gain exposure.

Why it matters: The move comes three months after Uncle Ben’s came under fire for perpetuating systemic racism through its brand identity, along with brands like Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth’s.

Instagram Extends Maximum Length Of Reels To 30 Seconds


Instagram is doubling the maximum length of Reels videos from 15 to 30 seconds and rolling out editing features that let users trim and delete any clip.

Why it matters: The CMT Awards will become the first major US awards show to use Reels to exclusively announce this year’s nominees.

That Was A B2B Ad? How The Pandemic Forced Business Marketers To Pivot Forever

The Drum

Business-to-business marketing has shifted from methodical and boring to emotional and engaging, a trend triggered by two key factors—the syncing of our personal and professional lives and the accelerated adoption of digital among B2B marketers.

Why it matters: Research from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute shows that establishing a strong emotional connection in an ad is paramount, and even more so during turbulent times. In addition, ads with humor or established brand characters scored even higher in 2020 than they did in years past, while 75 percent of B2B ads tested this year achieved only one star out of five in ad effectiveness scoring tests.

Remembering PepsiCo CEO Donald Kendall, Who Aggressively Grew The Brand


Donald Kendall, who served as PepsiCo’s chief executive officer for 23 years from 1963 to 1986, has passed away at the age of 99. When Kendall took the reins from his predecessor, Herbert Barnet, Pepsi’s share of the soft drinks market was stuck at 30 percent.

Why it matters: During Kendall’s tenure as CEO, PepsiCo’s revenues increased almost 40-fold, from $200 million to $7.6 billion, according to a company-written obituary.

Brands: Don’t Underestimate Your Narrative Power To Create Change

Ad Age

According to head of basketball, sports marketing at PepsiCo, Charece Williams Gee, in order to eradicate the prejudices and perceptions entrenched in society, “It is important that people believe in both the mission and the messenger. It helps when the marketers are leaning in and bringing their personal passion and sizzle to each project.”

Why it matters: Brands have a responsibility to amplify marginalized voices. A path forward requires a complete understanding of the past, and the only way to fully understand the past is to tell the full story.

Why HBO Max’s Branding Guru Built His Own ‘Anti-Racist’ Agency: Uncomfortable Conversations

Ad Age

Larry Adams, CEO and founder of LVA, a media agency centered around anti-racism, is attempting to transform the way marketing campaigns focus on and target black Americans.

Why it matters: Despite the plethora of new data on black audiences, some large marketing and advertising agencies continue to target them by relying on outdated studies and sometimes, on the “trendier parts” of black culture.

Microsoft Just Spent $7.5 Billion To Give Gamers A Major Reason To Buy A Next-Gen Xbox Instead Of A PlayStation 5

Business Insider

Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax Media and its games publisher Bethesda Softworks in order to incorporate some of the world’s largest video game development studios–and their game franchises–into Microsoft’s Xbox Studios, a move that will likely result in Sony’s loss of popular games like Doom, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.

Why it matters: Instead of continuing to struggle in its competition with Sony’s gaming platform Playstation, Microsoft’s acquisition will strengthen the viability and success of Xbox Game Pass, a “Netflix-like library of games” that boasts 15 million paid users as of this month.

How Important Is An Influencer Marketing Data Platform?

The Drum

An influencer marketing data platform gives brands that are running large influencer campaigns access to unique insights based on historical data from previous creator partnerships, the ability to compare creators and specific insights on audience actions.

Why it matters: According to psychometric impact studies, influencer ads are 277 percent more emotionally intense and 87 percent more memorable than television ads.

US Navy Taps YouTube Creators For Sailor VS Recruitment Campaign


The US Navy has launched a campaign called “Sailor VS” to highlight the diversity of jobs available throughout the Navy, tapping YouTube influencers to aid its recruitment efforts.

Why it matters: As per YouTube, the Navy has found it increasingly difficult to reach young adults via traditional media such as television ads.

Walmart Launches Fashion Essentials Brand Free Assembly


Walmart is launching a 60-piece fashion brand named Free Assembly that will be available at some 250 Walmart locations and online for around $9 to $45 per piece.

Why it matters: Denise Incandela, senior vice president of Walmart Women’s Group, said the company has been working to bolster its ecommerce efforts to establish Walmart as a fashion destination as it’s taken over 1,000 brands online.

What We’re Reading—Week Of September 14th

A rundown of what we’re sharing internally this week.

Brand Equity – History Matters


Nurtured over several years, brand equity can provide its holder with tremendous staying power. Some have withstood the test of time and lasted over 100 years, becoming household names in the process. Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, L.L. Bean, UPS and Carhartt are spotlighted for their ingenuity, adaptability, utility and most of all–their entrepreneurial spirit and vision.

Why it matters: Some companies are able to utilize their original, timeless vision as fuel to propel themselves through decades of social change, economic highs and lows, changes in consumer behavior, market volatility and changes in marketing strategy. This evolution is written into the brand’s history, and builds upon its DNA, creating a molecular structure, or brand equity, that provides insight on how to market honestly and organically.

Youtube Appeals To Advertisers With More Performance, Prediction Metrics For TV Ads


Youtube is attempting to harness some of the ad money that would normally go to traditional television networks were it not for COVID-19-induced production delays, by expanding its unique reach metrics to television viewership–showing how many unique users within particular demographics, rather than devices, viewed an ad. The platform has also added programmatic deals into its forecasting tool, predicting what type of reach a campaign is expected to have.

Why it matters: Viewers of YouTube television currently watch over 450 million hours of content daily. With YouTube’s new programmatic deals, advertisers will know who’s viewing ads and how much they can expect to increase a marketing campaign’s reach.

McDonald’s App Offers Mock Insurance To Drive Trial Of New Spicy McNuggets

Mobile Marketer

McDonald’s aims to appeal to the younger generation of spice-lovers with its first McNugget flavor change ever–Spicy McNuggets. The marketing campaign driving the new release includes a 40-minute reading of “Spicesurance,” a mock insurance offering mobile orders free McNuggets by former NFL player Anthony “Spice” Adams.

Why it matters: The “Spicesurance” marketing campaign points to the possibility that big chains may be returning to pre-pandemic approaches to advertising—leaving behind the emotional, empathetic messages that dominated ads beginning in March, in favor of humor.

Applebee’s Gets Back to Its Grill-And-Bar Roots. An Interview With CMO Joel Yashinsky


Joel Yashinsky of McDonald’s came on as CMO of Applebee’s during a turnaround period for the casual-dining chain and just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit–with the task of re-establishing the restaurant’s “neighborhood” roots. With its customer base equally divided between millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers, Applebee’s believes it can reach each cohort through loyalty to its comforting and simple, bar-and-grill identity.

Why it matters: After COVID-19 hit, 85 percent of Applebee’s business disappeared as dining rooms were ordered to close. The company adapted by driving business toward its patios; implementing pandemic safety protocols; incorporating brand-appropriate communication points; shutting down all national marketing campaigns; going completely local; and utilizing the Applebee’s app, Google search, Facebook and its virtual brand Neighborhood Wings. 

Here’s What Facebook’s New Future-Facing AR Glasses Look Like

Ad Age

Facebook has unveiled Project Aria, a research program that’s developing the platform’s new augmented reality (AR) glasses, designed in partnership with EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses. The data gathered by the glasses will support the development of head-tracking, eye-tracking and audio algorithms as Facebook’s Silicon Valley staff tests the specs before they are available for sale in 2021.  

Why it matters: On the benefits of wearing the glasses, Facebook said, “If you’re at a grocery store, the front-facing cameras might scan the room and identify the store’s contents, while the eye-tracking cameras recognize your gaze has fallen on a fruit, and the display function pops up with an identification, its price, its nutritional value, potential recipes, and so on.”

JCPenney Avoids Liquidation, But Hard Work Remains


Mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group are purchasing JCPenney in a stalking horse asset purchase agreement for $1.75 billion in cash and debt. The move will allow for the company to avoid liquidation and keep as many stores open as possible. 

Why it matters: Along with JCPenney, Simon and Brookfield have bought themselves time in determining how to address a string of vacancies they anticipate in the coming months and years—vacancies that could have potentially caused serious trouble for the mall operators given co-tenancy clauses in lease agreements requiring certain minimum levels of occupancy.

Listen Carefully, You’ll Hear The Fraud In The Details


Las Vegas-based fraud prevention startup NS8, hydrogen-electric automaker Nikola, Outcome Health and a number of other companies are being investigated for fraud. In addition, Wirecard’s former CEO was arrested for a scandal surrounding the disappearance of $2.1 billion.

Why it matters: After a string of fraud cases have come to light, it has become more important now than ever to ensure agencies and ad tech vendors are held accountable, and that companies entering into business with them protect themselves.

How Has The Coronavirus Outbreak Impacted Consumer Purchase Behaviors And Intentions?

The Drum

Roughly one third of American consumers report shopping online more frequently post-pandemic and say they’ll continue to do so after things return to normal. Driving this trend isn’t only safety, but convenience as well. Food and grocery products, household essentials, personal care products, clothing and personal electronics are among the sectors that have experienced the greatest boost in sales. 

Why it matters: This phenomenon has reinforced the importance of social media content creators in connecting consumers with new products and recommendations, as a study from Influencer and GlobalWebIndex found the sectors that are particularly ripe for content creator influence include: beauty/personal care (52 percent), fashion (39 percent), entertainment subscriptions (31 percent) and food delivery services/cooking kits (28 percent).

Don’t Just Lead Your People Through Trauma. Help Them Grow.

Harvard Business Review

Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most common outcome after experiencing a traumatic event, but for most, resilience is the natural response. In 54 studies analyzing thousands of individuals, many responded to shocking events with a “fresh start” attitude and a reconsideration of their values—also known as “posttraumatic growth,” or PTG. In a study of roughly 10,000 trauma survivors, about half of them experienced at least some PTG. 

Why it matters: When the pandemic is over, rather than anticipating recovery, leaders must affirm values in order to boost morale, allocate resources for employee mental health and encourage community.

Millennials Are Killing The ‘Ethnic Aisle’ — And Insiders And Experts Say That’s A Good Thing

Business Insider

Products that don’t fit into standard conceptions of mainstream American cuisine are collectively labeled as the grocery store’s “ethnic aisle,” an outdated approach that doesn’t align with consumer behavior. 

Why it matters: What’s considered traditional, mainstream or ethnic is in constant flux as American palettes’ expand. White millennials are open-minded and outgoing in their consumption, and ethnic minorities in the US have increased buying power. For ethnic food companies not to have to fight for limited shelf space, and in order for more Americans to experience a wider array of cuisines, grocery stores might want to disperse these products throughout the store and next to more “mainstream” items that could complement them.

Recipe For Brand Refresh With King Arthur Baking’s Bill Tine

On this 225th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Bill Tine, the vice president of marketing at King Arthur Baking Company.

On the show today, we talk about Tine’s refresh of King Arthur Baking’s brand, including the process and research that went into the refresh. We also discuss the impact of the current months on his business and the explosive growth that they’ve had.

We start this episode by talking about some of Tine’s favorite recipes. We then dive into our discussion about King Arthur’s rebrand, which emphasizes their identity as a baking company. Tine shares insights from the rebranding process, including what they learned from consumer research and the value of their core team. Then we learn about how King Arthur has experienced significant growth during the pandemic. Reflecting on this moment, Tine says, “Baking has become at times a new national pastime.” He shares how the company keeps its audience engaged. He says, “It’s really the core of our approach that we want to help and inspire.” He talks about the importance of building your audience so that you can reach out directly to your consumer. This discussion highlights how a company with a long history can rebrand effectively.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Bill’s favorite recipe. 01:24
  • Bill’s path to King Arthur. 02:13
  • King Arthur’s name change and a new identity. 04:09
  • Rebranding while staying true to a long heritage. 05:30
  • The rebranding process and insights along the way. 07:05
  • The consumer research that went into the rebrand. 08:41
  • Insights from consumer research. 09:50
  • The effect of stay-at-home orders on their business. 12:41
  • Ways they had to adapt to react to shifts and demands. 15:09
  • Engaging with customers on their baker’s helpline and beyond. 17:21
  • Focusing on driving category growth. 20:28
  • Advice for marketers who want to engage customers during this challenging time. 22:11
  • Bill reflects on an impactful experience. 23:28
  • Bill reflects on advice he would give to his younger self. 26:45
  • Bill shares about an impactful purchase he made in the last 6-12 months. 27:59
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Bill follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 29:21
  • Bill’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 31:45

Resources Mentioned:

Subscribe to the podcast:

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.

Get Out Of The Experiential Business And Into The Emotion Business

(Originally aired September 15th on LinkedIn Live.)

On the show today, we’re featuring a conversation between Ayzenberg’s Matt Bretz and head of entertainment at Unit 9, Davide Bianca.

Davide and Matt discuss the concept of experiential marketing and why emotion lies at the foundation of these experiences. Davide shares his ‘futurist’ approach to content creation and how various types of experiential are still viable despite the limitations imposed by physical distancing. Ultimately, the show is a call to arms for marketers to think more about the emotions they are creating with consumers rather than the experiences their campaigns provide.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

What We’re Reading—Week Of September 7th

We’re tracking the most important news for marketers making the rounds the week.

‘Retailers Are Media Owners In Their Own Right’: Why E-commerce Is Driving More Of Unilever’s Media Spend


Claire Hennah, Unilever’s vice president of ecommerce, says the company has created digital hubs in the majority of its markets that focus on data-driven marketing opportunities through reseller collaborations, in addition to thinking about how Unilever ads can be used to encourage someone to shop online even from within its own stores.

Why it matters: In 2019, Unilever made $3.7 billion from ecommerce sales and $2.6 billion in the first six months of 2020. 

This Campaign Encourages Voters Of Color To Cast Their Election Ballot From Home


Grassroots organization Vote From Home 2020 is sending mail-in ballot applications to people of color who are “most likely to contract and die from Covid-19 and the least likely to request mail-in ballots” in swing states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. To promote the campaign, Vote From Home 2020 will run ads on Buzzfeed, Pandora, Vevo and Entertainment Weekly.

Why it matters: People of color have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, polling location closures, long wait lines and voter ID laws.

COVID-19 Will Be Remembered As The ‘Great Accelerator’ Of Digital Transformation


A new consumer study from FIS Global shows most consumers are spending more of their money online. For example, a quarter of consumers are subscribing to new digital streaming services and almost half of consumers are more frequently shopping via their mobile devices.

Why it matters: Ecommerce is on the rise and consumer behavior is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels, so if a business is to thrive, it must quickly become digitally-enabled.

Taboola, Outbrain Merger Collapses, Ending Bid To Form Rival To Walled Gardens

Marketing Dive

Taboola and Outbrain have cancelled plans for a $850 million merger after Taboola attempted to change terms of the deal and pay less than half of the initial agreement.

Why it matters: Since the pandemic began, digital advertising is performing better than traditional media and will grow 6 percent in the US in 2020, as compared to an 8 percent decline for the broader ad market. Additionally, the merger could have possibly produced a player in Google and Facebook’s ad duopoly, especially given that Google’s total advertising revenue in 2020 fell 8 percent (its first ad revenue decline in its 26-year history).

Diversity In Advertising: The Art Of Being Self-Aware And Giving A Damn

The Drum

Criticized for its lack of intercultural sensitivity, Volkswagen’s now-withdrawn ad that ran in May 2020 proves that visible diversity in advertising doesn’t necessarily mean a brand is being representative, inclusive or nondiscriminatory.  

Why it matters: Diversity in advertising starts with being aware, empathizing and speaking up.