Hyundai Elevates Thomas Schemera To Global Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Hyundai promotes Thomas Schemera to global CMO, Array taps Jeff Tobler as CMO, IHOP appoints Kieran Donahue CMO, Pressed Juicery hires Michelle Peterson as CMO, MAC Cosmetics taps Aïda Moudachirou Rebois for SVP, global marketing and more.

Hyundai Motor Company Names Thomas Schemera As Global Chief Marketing Officer

Hyundai has promoted its EVP of product and strategy, Thomas Schemera, to global CMO.

Shemera first joined Hyundai in 2018 after working as head of BMW M and the BMW Individual Collection in the Americas.

Array Taps Jeff Tobler As Chief Marketing Officer

Array, Ava DuVernay’s film collective dedicated to amplifying films by people of color, has appointed Jeff Tobler as CMO, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Tobler joins from Warner Bros. TV, where he spent the last decade, most recently as senior vice president, worldwide television, publicity, communications and social media.

IHOP Taps Kieran Donahue As New Chief Marketing Officer

IHOP has named Kieran Donahue as its new CMO.

Donahue joins IHOP from Marriott’s Americas division, where she was vice president of brand, marketing and digital for five years.

Prior to Marriott, Donahue served as VP of marketing for Hilton Americas.

Pressed Juicery Names Michelle Peterson Chief Marketing Officer

Pressed Juicery has hired Michelle Peterson as CMO.

Previously, Peterson was global VP at Holiday Inn Express, as well as VP and general manager at LifeSpa. She also worked at General Mills for 13 years in various leadership roles across brands including Betty Crocker, Nature Valley Snacks and Pillsbury Frozen.

MAC Cosmetics Names Aïda Moudachirou Rebois Senior Vice President, Global Marketing

MAC Cosmetics has appointed Aïda Moudachirou Rebois to SVP, global marketing.

Moudachirou Rebois joins the company from Revlon, where she was SVP, global marketing for Revlon and Almay brands.

ViacomCBS Promotes Olivier Jollet To SVP Of Strategy And Business Development, Streaming And Mobile

ViacomCBS has elevated Olivier Jollet to the newly created role of SVP of strategy and business development for its streaming and mobile businesses.

Jollet was previously SVP of emerging business for ViacomCBS’ Europe, Middle East and Africa for eight months. 

Walmart Elevates Denise Incandela To Executive Vice President, Apparel And Private Brands

According to WWD, Walmart has promoted the SVP of its women’s group, Denise Incandela, to EVP of apparel and private brands.

Prior to Walmart, Incandela served as chief executive of Aerosoles for six months.

Adweek Taps David Saabye As Chief Product Officer

Adweek has elevated David Saabye to the role of chief product officer.

Saabye worked for nearly three years as Adweek’s SVP, customer experience. Prior to that, he was managing director, digital operations, for Digital Prism Advisors.

Shoppers Will Pay More For A Product Online From Brands They Trust

According to the latest Salsify Consumer Research Report 2021, nearly half of shoppers compared prices online across brands before buying something in the last three months. But an even greater amount–86 percent–are willing to pay more for a product online from a brand they trust.  

With 43 percent expecting to shop online more than previously, Salsify set out to uncover what it takes for digital brands to earn consumer trust, which came down to one factor: the quality of a brand’s product detail page.

The qualities consumers care most about when buying from a brand include high-quality ingredients, materials and craftsmanship (40 percent), corporate social responsibility (27 percent), good customer service (16 percent) and a brand’s support for charitable causes that the consumer cares about (12 percent).

In addition, 42 percent of shoppers said that high-quality images and detailed product descriptions were one of the top three reasons they trust a product online. An additional 31 percent said that a lack of information was the top reason they didn’t buy a product online.

When asked what elements help them decide whether to buy from a brand online, consumers cited customer reviews (62 percent), product images (40 percent), product ratings (38 percent), product size and material information (36 percent) and 360-degree or roll-over images (25 percent).

Other factors that influenced their decision include user-generated photos and real-life examples, videos, information about the brand values and company history and assembly instructions.

Brands can improve their product pages by providing the maximum number of allowable images, including details about their product materials or ingredients in feature bullets and description copy and regularly reviewing questions asked on the page then updating their product copy accordingly.

Despite the events of 2020, eMarketer estimates that worldwide retail ecommerce sales increased nearly 28 percent, or $4.280 trillion—a substantial uptick from the firm’s mid-pandemic forecast of 16.5 percent growth. Nevertheless, worldwide retail sales declined by three percent, to $23.839 trillion, reports eMarketer.

Salsify’s findings are based on an online survey conducted in December 2020 among 1,800 consumers who shopped online between June and December.

Improving Customer Engagement Strategies

Brands that message customers across multiple channels saw a 58 percent increase in 30-day retention, customers were 73 percent more likely to make a purchase and four times more likely to increase their lifetime value.

That’s according to Braze’s first annual Global Customer Engagement Review, which shows how marketers can improve their strategies, with case studies from leading brands like Headspace, the NBA, Grubhub and Goat.

In developing a Customer Engagement Index, Braze discovered what sets companies with mature engagement practices—which Braze refers to as ‘Ace’ companies—apart from the rest: they’ve mastered a culture of experimentation across a wide variety of channels.

Excellent customer experience is a requisite for building brand loyalty and improving retention. More importantly, Braze found there’s a direct correlation between the level of engagement a brand provides and business growth. Over half (56 percent) of brands who earned the highest ranking in Braze’s index surpassed their revenue goals. In addition, the brands that rated their practices as “excellent” were more likely than those who rated it as “poor” to reach their revenue goals.

A best-in-class customer engagement approach will leverage both in-product messaging channels such as in-app, in-browser and in-app inboxes or feeds, as well as out-of-product messages including email, push and SMS. Brands with a cross-channel approach experience more buyers, more purchases per user, greater retention and a higher customer lifetime value, according to Braze.

To reach Ace status, brands must harness both technology and teamwork. Braze notes that the companies excelling are more likely to trigger campaigns with real-time data via APIs, to use over three channels and to continuously export data to deliver deeply personalized experiences.

During the throes of the pandemic, the NBA aimed to increase subscriptions to its live game subscription service League Pass. To do so, it created in-app messages with custom HTML that updated daily with upcoming games. It also deployed personalized push notifications with each recipient’s favorite teams and interactive content that allowed fans to sync their calendars to the events. As a result, the start of the season saw a 9.5x increase in daily active users, 25x lift in sessions and a 17x increase in new users.

The NBA’s tactic is an example of how media and entertainment brands can stand out in a crowd, an issue that 40 percent of respondents cited as their top challenge.

For Grubhub, first-party data was critical for creating personalized year-in-review emails and features for each diner. Customized across 32 different attributes, the initiative led to a 100 percent increase in social media mentions year-over-year, and an 18 percent lift in word-of-mouth referrals to the app.

Seventy-four percent of companies are worried that their customer engagement metrics don’t translate into tangible business outcomes. Braze says the source of this concern could be due to their lack of a single, company-wide definition of success for customer engagement across all teams involved—which just 26 percent of marketers say they have.

Marketers plan to ramp up their customer engagement tools, with 60 percent reporting that their budget will increase over the next 12 months.

These findings are based on a Wakefield Research survey conducted between December 15 to December 23, 2020 among 1,300 marketing executives from B2C companies with annual revenue of over $10 million across 10 global markets, including the US, the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Braze’s customer data, aggregated from over 5 million global users, was also utilized for the report.

What We’re Reading—Week Of February 15th

A quick rundown of the marketing and advertising news we’re reading this week.

How To Make Shopping A Treasure Hunt For Consumers


Pandemic-induced grocery demand drivers include stress-relieving indulgence, immunity and hygiene. Given food shopping may be the only time consumers leave their home, they may be approaching the experience as a treasure hunt to discover new and exciting items. 

Why it matters: Given this new normal, brands have the opportunity to find ways to delight consumers, including promoting grab-and-go meal kits, placing products in less traditional locations and creating a product mash-up with another consumer packaged goods company.

Chief Meme Officer: Possibly Marketing’s Best Force Multiplier Right Now

Marketing Dive

Considering that a larger segment of the world’s population may be working from home in 2021 than ever before, that smartphone usage has increased exponentially and that social media usage has spiked, brands are in the midst of a prime opportunity to accelerate engagement with their target audiences. As more brands compete aggressively for share of voice, there might be no better way to grab a slice of the pie than by employing a chief meme officer.

Why it matters: Companies wishing to thrive in increasingly saturated markets should approach their next strategy with a think-outside-of-the-box attitude. Embracing memes as the next potential arsenal of influence campaigns may be what sets the innovators apart from the rest.

Experts From AB-InBev, Havas & Unilever Share Ad Industry Predictions For 2021

The Drum

In U7’s 2021 Predictions white paper, experts say that this year, brands will determine which data sets are truly adding value, media consumption will be even more fragmented, consumers will seek publishers they can trust and companies will need to focus on giving employees a powerful sense of purpose.

Why it matters: Instead of returning to business as usual, brands must use data to develop a deeper understanding of changes in consumer behavior and reflect those learnings in their communication, products and supply chain.

TV, OOH And Radio Set To Drive Return To Media Inflation


ECI Media Management’s Annual Media Inflation Report anticipates a three percent inflation in media globally, with a similar level in the UK, at 3.4 percent. With the exception of print, all offline media is forecasted to experience a reverse in the deflation seen during 2020. In the US, offline media will return to inflation at about one percent compared with four percent in digital. Digital video will see a five percent level of inflation. 

Why it matters: Rising media inflation typically means higher costs for marketers, but it also signals confidence in the sector and the economy. Marketers should wait to see how measures against the pandemic progress, and understand the transparency and effectiveness of their investments.

Maryland Passed A Tax On Digital Advertising. What Happens Next?


In violation of the Permanent Internet Tax Fairness Act, on February 12, Maryland became the first state in the US to enact a digital ad tax to snub Big Tech. The tax is forecasted to generate $250 million in its first year.

Why it matters: Should the discriminatory Maryland digital ad tax survive Constitutional muster, it may give rise to a wave of similar taxes in other states. Although Big Tech is the target, the higher costs of conducting digital ad business will be passed along to Maryland residents, the alleged benefactors of the tax.

Forget 2020? Party City And Julie Roehm Have Made The Best Of It And More

On this 247th episode of“Marketing Today,” I speak with Julie Roehm, the chief marketing and experience officer at Party City. More than most, Party City had to make a massive pivot in response to the pandemic, as parties became all but outlawed.

We start our conversation talking about Roehm’s unusual path to where she is today, actually beginning with a degree in environmental engineering before moving to finance and ultimately marketing. Roehm then explains how each industry taught her to view challenges “as opportunities rather than an obstacle.” Next, Roehm dives into the beginning of her marketing career at Ford Motor Company, stating, “that’s where I started to get the taste for this out-of-the-box, different way of thinking about marketing.” As she made the jump from company to company, Roehm stayed true to her No. 1 rule, “culture eats strategy for lunch.”

We then discuss the challenges presented by the pandemic to her current company, Party City, during a time when “pandemic and party were not synonymous.” Roehm explains how she was able to set up a same-day delivery service with Hertz in just eight days as her team made an attempt to “get people to see celebration around every corner.” People need something to be happy about during the pandemic, and Party City is trying to give it to them. Finally, Roehm talks about the importance of knowing “yourself and the kind of environments you’re going to thrive in!”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Julie created The Conversational Podcast in her free time after she successfully flipped an auto body company. 1:27
  • Throughout her career, Julie has been able to know some incredibly successful people on a personal level. 2:26
  • Julie’s Holy Shit moments have given her direction throughout her life, leading to her greatest success. 3:18
  • Born in the Midwest as the oldest child, Julie’s family moved around a lot before attending Purdue for college. 5:22
  • Upon finding out that engineers were paid well, Julie decided to go into engineering at Purdue. 6:26
  • After her first year in college, Julie chose civil engineering to buy more time to figure out what she wanted to do. 7:00
  • Julie ultimately chose environmental engineering and being accepted into a co-op program. 8:36
  • During her time in the co-op program, Julie learned that she did not want to be an engineer, but she did want to be a businesswoman. 9:10
  • Once she began attending business school in Chicago, Julie worked for American Airlines as an intern in the New Business and Marketing area. 9:55
  • Julie ultimately chose to work in marketing for Ford Motor Company right out of business school. 11:05
  • Back in 1999, Julie helped launch the first Ford Focus in the United States. 11:36
  • After Mercedes bought Chrysler, Julie made the jump and created the Grab Life by the Horns campaign. 12:00
  • Spending under a year at Walmart, Julie decided to start her own consulting company that lasted for five years. 12:56
  • Julie was excited to work as CMO for Abra Autobody & Glass because of the incredible culture that had been built. 14:00
  • After flipping Abra, one of the board members extended an offer to Julie to come to Party City. 15:50
  • Before agreeing to join Party City, Julie made sure to spend time with the executive board to make sure the correct culture was there. 16:33
  • With enough skills, training, and confidence, you can do anything, but the culture will be what ultimately launches you to success. 18:10
  • Party City Holdings Inc. designs, produces and manufactures around 80% of what is sold in Party City. 19:00
  • When the pandemic hit, Julie’s team adopted the fail fast forward strategy to thrive during a time where parties had disappeared. 21:03
  • Utilizing Hertz, Party City started its same-day delivery service, something that was vital to the survival of the business. 23:15
  • Julie’s team went deep to understand the customers’ needs, focusing on virtual celebrations and parties. 24:20
  • Once summer hit, Party City created camp itineraries for their customers who had jobs and kids at home. 26:07
  • Party City leaned in heavily to influences, how-to videos, and other forms of content to make fun accessible and easy. 27:00
  • Now, we all have a language to celebrate with others that aren’t in the same room as us. 28:50
  • Party City celebrated the end of 2020 with its “F U 2020” campaign, that being Forget You 2020. 30:10
  • In 2021, many people and organizations look to redo or blowout in honor of missed celebrations from 2020. 32:27
  • The role of digital services in the shopping industry has exploded as a result of the pandemic. 34:39
  • Party City has positioned itself well to succeed in the post-pandemic world with many locations and a solid online presence. 36:36
  • Julie attributes her childhood of constantly joining new schools and making new friends to her success in multiple industries. 39:00
  • Looking back, Julie would trust her gut more when prioritizing culture over strategy. 41:47
  • Big tech, pharmaceuticals, and environmental protection are three areas that Julie is interested in moving forward. 44:43
  • For Julie, experience is just what marketing is now, whether from the customer or the employee. 47:28

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.

Listen In: Ad Council And The Evolution Of Social Good

Ayzenberg’s VP of brand integration, Bill Buckley, leads a wide-ranging conversation with Ro Patrick, senior vice president at the Ad Council. Questions answered include: What are the critical issues being tackled today that we need to create communications for and how can brands get involved? How does research empower strategy for the Ad Council when developing the right approach, message and audience?

Patrick explores the origins of the Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that develops the advertising for public service announcements, or as she puts it, uses “the power of communications to do good.” As SVP, Patrick leads the development of these public service campaigns for national nonprofits and government agencies.

“We believe in everyone coming together to do good,” says Patrick. She shares the content development and deployment process that ultimately led to 77% of Americans seeing at least one form of a PSA around COVID-19 from the organization. “We got that message out there and it’s really thanks to the industry coming together and not having an ego.”

Patrick also discusses how there’s room for anyone in the industry under the “really big tent” that is the Ad Council. She shares how the pandemic galvanized the Ad Council’s core mission established over 80 years ago. “We were wired for crises,” says Patrick. She also reflects on the Ad Council’s role in externalizing and internalizing racial equality. “As an industry… we’ve got to do better.”

“There’s a lot of work to be done for us to become a more inclusive and diverse industry. For us, at the Ad Council, we launched a host of new commitments and processes to really ensure we have a foundation to foster inclusivity.” 

Patrick states that to become an anti-racist organization involves continual public accountability and involved leveraging the Ad Council ‘machine’ to elevate existing BIPOC social justice movements.

Other topics include how the Ad Council is fostering STEM education among young girls and women with Dare To STEM, approaching sensitivity around retirement messaging (especially in light of the current economic uncertainty) and efforts around vaccine education informed by public health research.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg will 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 February 8th

Accelerating Post-Pandemic Data Strategies In 2021

MarTech Series

A recent McKinsey & Company report found that ecommerce deliveries in the US increased as much in eight weeks as they had in the previous ten years, while telemedicine grew tenfold in just 15 days.

Why it matters: During these unpredictable times, brands must organize and activate their data in near real-time to understand who their audiences are, what they desire and how best to reach them as their preferences shift.

CSR Reaches A Tipping Point


In August 2019, a group of nearly 200 of the most powerful CEOs in the US, known as the Business Roundtable, declared that businesses should act in the benefit of all stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and communities. As a result of the events of 2020, companies are playing a more active role in environmental, social and economic issues—a move that would be unfathomable a decade ago.

Why it matters: As companies continue to shift their focus and become more purpose-driven, the bar for corporate responsibility will continue to rise. Companies that have developed their “purpose strategies will thrive in this new world” as research shows that companies that have acted with purpose outperformed markets by 42 percent in 2018.

How To Support The New Generation Of Creative Talent

The Drum

Despite concerns regarding lack of motivation, discipline and experience, young individuals are an asset to any company, in part, because they bring with them creativity, perspective and enthusiasm. Ensuring young talent is utilized requires a unique approach to conducting business, including being value-driven, prioritizing authenticity and transparency and providing opportunities for them to develop their skill set.

Why it matters: Companies that establish an environment conducive to nurturing young creatives will experience growth and evolution. A few ways that brands can do this is to listen more, show care for their mental health, communicate authentically and provide both positive and constructive feedback.

Target’s New Activewear Brand Generated $1 Billion In Just One Year, Cashing In On Americans’ Pandemic-Driven Shift To Athleisure

Business Insider

Capturing the work-from-home market, Target’s in-house athleticwear brand, All in Motion, is one of 10 Target brands out of over 30 that reached at least $1 billion in sales during 2020.

Why it matters: Target attributes the brand’s success to both the timing of lockdowns and to its mass-market appeal. All in Motion’s advertising features a variety of sizes and body types, and most of the line costs less than $30.

Comparatively, competitor brand Lululemon reached $1 billion sales 14 years after launching, and Athleta almost hit $1 billion nine years after Gap acquired it.

Opinion: Why Brands Need A Chief Entertainment Officer

Ad Age

As collaborations between the entertainment business, brands and technology platforms continue to grow in 2021, brands need a chief entertainment officer to build out their business in new, exciting ways—be it through content creation, events, licensing, influencer marketing or capitalizing on major cultural moments.

Why it matters: Chief entertainment officers differ from chief marketing officers in that they’re solely focused on securing strategic entertainment partnerships that enhance the product experience for artists, brands and consumers alike.

TikTok E-commerce Could Harness Hyper-Engaged Gen Z

Vogue Business

TikTok is rolling out new ecommerce capabilities like self-service advertising, affiliate links and in-app brand catalogues, the company confirmed to Vogue Business.

Why it matters: The new features give fashion brands the opportunity to showcase their products in what could become viral challenges—which Gucci and JW Anderson benefited from last year—that reach its 1 billion monthly active users.

Universal Music Group Partners With TikTok for Artist Collabs, Data & More


Universal Music Group and TikTok inked a global agreement to compensate artists and songwriters when TikTok users feature their music in clips. Under the agreement’s new licensing deals, TikTok users can incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music across its expansive network for the first time.

Why it matters: TikTok’s viral dance challenges have helped break new songs and revive old ones. The platform says that more than 70 artists who broke on the app have since signed major label deals, including Priscilla Block, Powfu and others.

The Rising Value Of Industrial Brands

McKinsey & Company

Of the more than 5,300 industrial brands that McKinsey studied, the top five percent capture 95 percent share of voice, enabling them to charge price premiums of five to 10 percent, thereby generating higher return on invested capital (ROIC).

Why it matters: The top quartile of companies that improved visibility the most grew five-year ROIC by about three percentage points more than the bottom quartile, namely those whose visibility decreased the most.

Finding Direction When You’re Feeling Lost

Harvard Business Review

According to executive coach and psychoanalyst Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, when people transition from “time to live” to “time left to live,” a new sense of urgency emerges about identifying their purpose of existence.

Why it matters: The five pillars that define how we experience the meaning of our existence include: investing in affectionate interpersonal relationships, finding a clear sense of purpose, being utterly immersed in our unique talents, feeling like we have control over our choices and connecting ourselves purposefully to our community and society.

Skipping The Super Bowl, Budweiser Is Donating Its Ad Dollars To Covid-19 Vaccine Awareness Efforts


Budweiser is donating its Super Bowl ad dollars to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccines. In lieu of a game-day ad, it released a 90-second video set to the song “Lean On Me” featuring moments characteristic of lockdown life, including a dog appearing on Zoom, NBA players kneeling while wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirts, masked grocery shoppers and people getting vaccinated.

Why it matters: Anheuser-Busch US chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes says several of the company’s other brands will still air ads during the game, but they “won’t have quite the same tone as usual.”

Why Did Companies Take So Long To Divest From White Supremacy?

Harvard Business Review

Brands are speaking out or withdrawing funding to politicians and organizations that played a role in fueling the US Capitol raid because appearing to support a president who challenged the election could cut into earnings.

Why it matters: Many US companies proved they’re willing to profit off of racial inequality until the political costs of doing so were judged to be too high. To make good on their efforts to reduce racial inequality, businesses can rid their company of practices that help produce the very racial inequality they claim to disapprove of.

Consumers Trust UGC More Than Content Created By Brands


According to TINT’s ‘State of User-Generated Content 2021’ report, brand messages were reshared up to 24 times more when distributed by employees versus the brand.

Why it matters: To ramp up their UGC, 75 percent of marketers say they’re currently working with influencers who have less than 1,000 followers to create engaging content.

“You Lead: How Being Yourself Makes You A Better Leader” With Author Minter Dial

On this 246th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Minter Dial, the author of “You Lead: How Being Yourself Makes You a Better Leader.” Dial shares what it takes to use your authentic self to lead a successful brand.

We start our conversation by talking about how the ongoing global pandemic has taken away Dial’s source of energy, that being, talking and communicating with other people. Dial then dives into his new book, “You Lead: How Being Yourself Makes You a Better Leader,” and how he hopes it will “change the way we lead, not just in business, but within ourselves.” Inside each and every individual, Dial feels “that everybody has leadership potential,” but before a person can lead, they must come to terms with their authentic self.

We then break down the disconnect that exists between being authentic and professional, a lesson that he learned when bringing life to L’Oréal’s brand. “Too often, there’s no real link between who you are legitimately…and what you’re doing professionally.” Ultimately, Dial believes that “if you can dial into the kind of person you want to be, then every decision should be orchestrated around making that happen.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Minter has hit a point where his energy isn’t always the highest, something he is trying to stay self-aware of. 1:19
  • The motivation for Minter’s most recent book is his desire to help others be authentic to themselves. 2:33
  • Minter hopes to change the way that we lead in both business and within our own lives. 3:12
  • After writing 30k words in Croatia, Minter hit a wall when PBS reached out to put his story on TV. 3:55
  • Telling a friend about his book idea while on a walk acted as a catalyst to reignite the book. 4:48
  • The initial premise of Minter’s book was getting to know who you are before chasing who you want to be. 5:15
  • Once you have established who you are, you can become the kind of person that works better with others. 6:18
  • Many people want to be authentic without knowing why they do these things besides that they are good to do. 6:45
  • Originally, the name of Minter’s book was supposed to be “Brand NEWS,” as in North, East, West, and South. 8:50
  • The ability to tell a story turns takes people from a professional into someone who can spread a real light. 11:14
  • In reality, on both a personal and brand level, we aren’t doing enough work on authentically connecting to our story. 12:25
  • Beyond life-altering experiences, it takes time to make that connection with your brand or story. 14:30
  • With L’Oreal, Minter learned how to take the brand and bring it to life from the inside out. 15:42
  • In order to move forward, there are some things that brands need to unlearn, but stay practical with what they choose to unlearn. 17:26
  • It was a challenge for Minter to unlearn the thought that home life has no impact on work. 19:08
  • Whether you’re the top person or middle management, everyone should carve out some time to figure out who they are. 20:52
  • Without a clear vision of who you want to be, it’s very hard to get where you want to go. 22:37
  • Chief Marketing Officers must face the challenge of aligning the way the company works internally with how it operates externally. 23:43
  • You must make policies within your company that align with how efficiently you want it to operate. 26:00
  • It’s safe to say that if you haven’t done the work on establishing who you are, then you’ll find yourself on the fast track to mediocrity. 28:10
  • Finding out who you are is a tough process that could take a lifetime of experiences to achieve. 29:27
  • Take a look at who you want to be and make the connection with what you are doing at work. 31:00
  • Think about your top 3 values out of the roughly 75 to choose from and making those specific to you. 33:33
  • Until you’ve established your true North, your authentic self, bad events will always throw you off course. 35:23
  • Having conversations with other people, whether in big or small groups, gives Minter great energy. 36:30
  • Lunch club is Minter’s favorite way to meet new people and set valuable appointments. 37:45
  • Clubhouse is something that piques Minter’s interest as it is based on adding value through solely audio. 40:18
  • The United States of America has forgotten what it is supposed to be united around. 41:41
  • Minter believes that the biggest threat to marketers right now is burnout, as he sees it all the time. 43:13

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.

Trends That Will Shape The Future Of Commerce

According to Future Commerce’s latest report “Vision 2021,” maximalism, influencer marketing and the convergence of online and offline worlds are among the top trends that will shape the future of commerce.

Starting with consumer trends, Future Commerce found that 51 percent of people miss going shopping as a way to socialize. With retail stripped of the opportunity to build relationships with customers on a daily basis, brands will have to leverage relational and engaging social commerce to enhance the isolating online shopping experience.

Twenty-five percent of respondents say they regularly tune into video shopping channels like QVC or HSN. As the report notes, DTC-QVC can only survive if it’s more Pinterest than it is Shopify.

“Social shopping isn’t necessarily social-media shopping. We’ve dubbed this ‘Communal Commerce’. It will happen in Roblox and Minecraft, rather than on Instagram and QVC. Brands are testing the waters here with digital goods, especially luxury digital. Think: Gucci digital fashion in Fortnite. Balenciaga released their FW21 collection in a web video game called Afterworld,” Phillip Jackson, co-founder of Future Commerce, tells AList.

While streaming video shopping is already happening among Gen Z, Jackson notes that the social nature of video games presents new opportunities for “Communal Commerce” to occur. He says that payments tech like Venmo that allows shared purchasing power will help drive this trend.

The events of 2021 have crystallized that brands cannot remain neutral, inspiring brands to engage around topics of racism and sustainability, especially at the executive level. Consumers now look to support brands that also support their causes and commit to real and lasting change. While consumers aren’t convinced that brands will always act in their best interest, 57 percent of respondents consider Facebook, Amazon and Google essential services, while 47 percent believe the internet should be totally free and unregulated.

“The constant barrage of young digital activists create pressure campaigns and force PR teams to respond, and we’re now seeing projects like the 15 Percent Pledge which are holding them accountable in perpetuity. The corporate response to the de-platforming of the Trump Campaign was proactive to meeting this emerging consumer expectation. Furthermore, corporate accountability is being tracked by a growing number of consumer labels like Climate Neutral and Good On You. This allows customers to vote with their wallets for brands that represent them more fully in their values,” says Jackson.

The turbulence of the year has spurred consumer desire for more, not less, with 52 percent saying that being with their “stuff” makes them happy. Sixty percent note that surrounding themselves with things they love makes them feel safe and in control, and 22 percent say they’re collectors. When asked to name a purchase in the past year that was extravagant or absurd, answers included: a gold toilet, a rare skin in Fortnite, a completely new smile makeover and an insane amount of Fabletics clothes.

The notion that content creators and virtual influencers are our generation’s performance artists has also emerged, highlighting the importance of influencer marketing. Forty percent say they’ve bought something promoted by someone they follow on social, but don’t know personally. On the other hand, just 37 percent are following top-ranking influencers. 

Sustainability and the rise of the circular economy will also impact the future of commerce, as many consumers increasingly care what happens to their product after it dies. Future Commerce found that 81 percent of people have actively secured a second life for their items. Brands like Patagonia, Levi’s, Ikea, and Girlfriend Collective have already implemented programs to help consumers resell, recycle or upcycle their products.

As the digital world influences traditional spaces, 62 percent feel that online and offline have converged, and that they project their whole/authentic selves at all times. In addition, one in three consumers consider themselves gamers, and one in five say they would prefer to interact with people on Fortnite rather than in-person at a coffee shop.

“The concept of place is of diminishing importance in the post-COVID world. Offices are remote, ghost kitchens offer up virtual restaurant brands. Being in a place at a time is no longer a constraint,” Jackson notes in the report.

A heightened focus on self means that digital beauty, augmented reality and artificial intelligence will evolve to meet the new demands of digital interaction. Fifty percent say they’re more aware of their appearance as a result of increased FaceTime/Zoom, and 26 percent say they upgraded their tech for increased on-screen time.

With investments becoming accessible to a broad populace, consumers can now own small pieces of anything. Fifty-three percent report investing in non-traditional securities in 2020, including wine, luxury goods and fine jewelry.

65 Percent Of Marketers Plan To Increase Marketing Spend Through 2021

Marketers are ready to tackle the new year, as evidenced by a new CMO Council report in which 65 percent of marketers say they plan to increase marketing spend through 2021. Just 10 percent will reduce their budgets, while 24 percent expect no change.

Spend will focus on key areas that help marketers embrace automation and a digital-first environment as consumers increasingly favor digital interactions. According to a recent CMO Council consumer poll, in 2019 only 10 percent of consumers said they preferred interacting with brands in a digital-only environment; in 2020, 21 percent said they no longer had a need for in-person interactions.

Marketing leaders will seek to improve their customer journey, acquisition and conversion (50 percent), digital growth strategy planning (36 percent), campaign, execution and measurement (35 percent), demand generation and pipeline (32 percent) and actioning on customer data insight (26 percent).

Sixty-nine percent of respondents will ramp up investments in marketing technology (MarTech) to fill in gaps along the customer journey. Marketers’ top three MarTech priorities are: sourcing and using analytics, insights and intelligence (53 percent), executing campaigns more effectively (36 percent) and improving operations and performance (35 percent).

Half of respondents’ top organizational priority is working more effectively with lines of business. Additionally, across company sizes, regions and industries, marketers aim to save costs through efficiencies (40 percent). Doing a better job of both globalizing and localizing marketing campaigns (36 percent) will also

Just 25 percent plan to downsize or restructure their marketing organizations in 2021, while 64 percent will not.

The report notes that while smart tech investments will help marketers reduce inefficiencies, striking a balance between digital advancements and authenticity will be key. Through artificial intelligence and chatbots, marketers should create digital experiences that let customers self-serve, but still give them the option to escalate to a live person. 

These findings are based on an audit of nearly 200 CMO Council global members.