Acquisition Archives - Chief Marketer The Global Information Portal for Modern Marketers Mon, 01 May 2023 13:45:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2023 Market Like a Mother Honorees Revealed Fri, 03 Mar 2023 16:04:37 +0000 The editors of Chief Marketer present to you the industry’s only editorial listing of outstanding female marketers who are leading their teams—and their families.

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Meet the 2023 Market Like a Mother Honorees
In our third annual recognition program, we shine a spotlight on the working moms who are leading teams, running campaigns and chalking up more than a few wins at home as “mom.” Join us in celebrating and recognizing the incredible work and fortitude of the women who “Market Like a Mother” all day. Every day. All year long. A special thanks to all of the amazing finalists who submitted on behalf of themselves or their colleagues.

Here are the honorees:

Nimia Amaya, Demand Generation Director, North America, Younium

Obele Brown-West, Chief Solutions Officer, Tinuiti

Ekta Chopra, Chief Digital Officer, e.l.f. Beauty

Patricia Corsi, Global Chief Marketing & IT Officer, Bayer Consumer Health

Asmirh Davis, Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Majority

Christine Franklin, EVP, Octagon

Shachar Gillat Scott, Vice President of Marketing, Meta Reality Labs

Katy Jones, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, FoodLogiQ

Courtney Larson, Senior Director of Marketing, Doritos

Elizabeth Malafa, Senior Director of Experiential Marketing, Global Events and Entertainment, Under Armour

Monique Pintarelli, President North America, Teads

Edithann Ramey, CMO, Six Flags

Mercedita Roxas-Murray, CEO, Montage Marketing Group

Carrie Schonberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Ashton Woods Homes

Liz Tashik, RVP, Client Experience, Movable Ink

Kate Weidner, Co-Founder, CEO, SRW Agency

Click here for the full interactive feature with profiles of the 16 winners.

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CMO Corner: A Chat With American Lung Association CMO Julia Fitzgerald Fri, 10 Feb 2023 18:25:44 +0000 Our conversation with ALA CMO Julia Fitzgerald on measuring ROI, lessons learned from the private sector, marketing trends she's keeping her eye on, and more.

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With 20 years of experience leading marketing teams across a variety of business categories, from CPG to retail franchising to B2B2C to nonprofit, American Lung Association CMO Julia Fitzgerald is sure of one thing: Regardless of an organization’s business model, the fundamentals of effective marketing are essentially the same.

It all starts with knowing the narrative, she says. “What is your value proposition, what is it that you do, who do you do it for, and how do you do it differently than everybody else?” she told Chief Marketer this week. Then it comes down to branding, followed by evaluating—and optimizing—the team structure.

Below is our conversation with Fitzgerald, spanning a plethora of topics, including common marketing mistakes brands make when measuring ROI; ways to analyze and pivot your current strategy for more profitable outcomes; lessons learned from marketing in the private sector; and why consumer sentiment and AI are the trends she’s paying most attention to.

Chief Marketer: This is your first role in the nonprofit world. What have you learned from your experience working in the private sector?

American Lung Association CMO Julia Fitzgerald: I’ve been a CMO for just about 20 years, and I’ve spanned all types of different business models. I’ve been in CPG, retail franchising, B2B, B2B2C, and now finally not-for-profit. Yes, this is a new business model, but what I find in marketing is that regardless of the business model, what makes effective marketing work is essentially the same.

CM: What are those commonalities?

JF: It starts with with knowing the narrative. What is your value proposition, what is it that you do, who do you do it for, and how do you do it differently than everybody else? And next comes down to branding. How does your target market identify you in the marketplace? What does your branding say about you both visually, and your voice? My next piece is to look at the team structure. Is the marketing team set up to do the challenge for the organization? Marketing changes so frequently. So, do we have the right combination of people and agencies to do what we need to do?

And then it starts to get a little boring. I do a calendar audit. Because I frequently find that, especially with midsize organizations, you’re out of sync. If your really big get happens in January, don’t chase the semi-big win in November and then not be prepared to win in January. It’s looking at the calendar. Are we backed off enough to really make this happen? And then, you get to the part where everybody wants to start—and that’s the digital ecosystem and digital advertising. Whenever I come into an organization, [people say], “are we going to do a TikTok? Are we going to use influencers?” Right down to the delivery system, skipping all those other steps that I just mentioned. And while that is the sexy new stuff, it needs to come later—and it also needs to come after the content strategy.

The other part of marketing that I find ubiquitous from one business model to the next is “content plus the delivery.” You have to have the message, and then it’s how you’re going to get it out there. I tell my team that it’s the music and the words to make the whole song. You’re working on a content strategy. What’s the message? What do we want people to do? How does this need to sound before we decide if we need a micro-influencer or a TikTok campaign? And then the last piece is using KPIs and reporting to motivate that virtuous cycle. Is this working really well for us? Or, this is not worth the time of day—and taking it back to the beginning.

CM: Let’s talk ROI a bit. In your experience, what are some common marketing mistakes that brands make when they’re measuring ROI?

JF: I would say the first mistake is not to measure. Number one is not giving careful thought ahead of time to how would you measure success. The other part is inconsistent measurement of your KPIs. If you’re only going in occasionally and checking, and not looking at through lines and trends, it’s hard to understand what’s happening. I see that a lot when we look at organic traffic to our websites versus the paid traffic. If you only pay attention to it once in a while, you don’t get the whole picture.

And then the other one is staying attuned to where you’re spending big dollars. I think most marketers these days see that with digital advertising—understanding what’s happening to the cost-per-clicks, what’s happening on the investment side, and then what’s happening on the conversion side. Is this channel still working as efficiently as it used to, or did something shift and now I need to shift my mix?

CM: How do you recommend analyzing your current strategy to find out what’s not working?

JF: This is where you can look at the qualitative and the quantitative. When it comes to digital, the numbers start to tell you. Where this is a little bit harder is on the metrics that don’t move as quickly, such as awareness or consideration or participation or building up a certain market segment, because you can’t get a week-by-week KPI that tells you the direction that it’s headed. That’s where it’s incumbent on a marketer to have some feedback. Who else is really interested in this KPI? Is it your retail partners? Is it your board members? Is it some of your best customers? Having informal feedback circles to tell you: Are you hearing more buzz about this? Are more people inquiring about this? Are you feeling better about our position with your existing customers? That’s where you need to look at your whole ecosystem, from your customer to your clients, to decide who else can tell you if you’re winning on this or not.

CM: How would you go about pivoting to a more profitable strategy?

JF: First of all, are the people on your team nimble thinkers? When the conditions change, whether it’s the pandemic or inflation or one of the major factors that impacts your business, how good is your team? Have you staffed up with people who can do this? In a midsize organization that is especially important.

The second is staying aware of what the other options are for you. If you go back to digital, it could be channels. Our performance on Facebook was changing dramatically for a while as people were walking away from it. And Twitter… that really took a hit. Not that we do much advertising on Twitter, but we even had grants and people that we’re working with say, “Hey, do not use this channel.” So then all of a sudden you say, what channel can I use?

We get pushback, because as a public health organization, we do some work with partners who are federally-funded and now prohibited from having anything on TikTok. It’s understanding where else the target customer is consuming information and how you can still reach them. And being aware enough of your customer and where they show up, so that if one option is now off the table or not performing, you can look at the other options and meet them where they’re showing up.

CM: How does audience engagement differ in the nonprofit world compared to the roles you’ve had in the past?

JF: In some of my past roles, it was selling something very concrete, a product or a service. And what we’re providing [at ALA] is something that I don’t have to sell. It’s just information for people who can use it. That took me a while. My call to action is, “Here, I think this can help you.” Then the other part is selling the concept of what the American Lung Association does for public health, and finding people who care enough about it that they want to help us along our way and donate. That’s very different. The parts that are similar is finding motivators. What is it about our mission that would motivate other individuals to help us?

The other great thing about working for the American Lung Association: At every company I’ve been with, you drive to have the best possible bottom line. At the end of my first year, we made more money than we thought we had. And instead of saying, “There’s the bottom line,” my boss said, “I can’t believe we had this much more money. We could have funded another research.” I just loved that, taking whatever surplus win there is for the organization to push more good out into the universe.

CM: What are your greatest challenges as the CMO of ALA?

JF: Budgets. Typically, when someone asks me about marketing budgets [in the private sector], I could say, on a year of a new product launch, I have about 20 million, or 12 million… With American Lung Association and a lot of not-for-profits, that depends. So much of our budget comes from grants, from partnerships, from the ebb and flow. So while there is some predictability, it’s about, what does this year bring? It goes back to that flexibility and the ability to be resourceful with what is available each year to try to hit the goals.

CM: Lastly, what trends should marketers be focusing on this year? What do you have your eye on?

JF: AI. I wrote a book called “Midsize,” and I finished most of the writing in June or July. It takes a while to get these things fully made. I was writing about the future of this chat GPT thing and how that was going to come sometime in the future. And then on November 30th, it came in hard. So, the future’s here. The first thing I did was grab my team together. We are all writers. We produce content, so we have to figure out how we use this as a tool. It’s not going to stay free forever, but this is a game changer. It’s not going to replace writers, but the efficiency is amazing. And I don’t think we fully understand yet how this is going to change the whole landscape.

The other thing we should keep our eye on is consumer attitude. Coming out of the pandemic was a dark time. That might be the biggest understatement that we have today, but the tone was more somber, more serious. And as we’re emerging out of that, you are seeing that consumers are responding to more upbeat messaging, more solution-oriented messaging, versus darker and focusing on the problem. Marketers should keep their eye on the overall temperature of the public, and especially different segments of the public.

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Brands on Fire: TD Bank CMO on Sponsorship, Supporting Local Communities and CTV Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:56:03 +0000 We spoke with Schmidt about sponsorship, digitization of the customer experience, CTV and the brand's strategy for growth.

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Photo credit: Marcio Silva

TD Bank locked in a 20-year naming rights extension this month with Boston’s TD Garden arena, home to the Bruins, the Celtics and hundreds of mega entertainment events each year. From a marketing perspective, awareness is the obvious play here. But it’s one tactic out of many that supports community-building in specific markets.

“Our brand health is incredibly strong as a result of the fact that we are actually present in the community,” TD Bank CMO Tyrrell Schmidt told Chief Marketer. “And community is core to what we do from a sponsorship perspective.”

In addition to the naming rights, TD has a slew of activations and incentives designed to connect with fans and locals, including $15 million toward community programs, TD-themed events, concession discounts and rewards, and more. We spoke with Schmidt about the sponsorship, digitization of the customer experience, how the brand is using CTV to drive consideration in local markets and its overall strategy for growth.

Chief Marketer: What are the strategic marketing goals of continuing with the naming rights for TD Garden?

Tyrrell Schmidt, CMO of TD Bank

Tyrrell Schmidt, CMO at TD Bank: We extended our marquee sponsorship of both the TD Garden as well as Boston Bruins for a further 20 years through an early renewal. It kicked off in 2005, so it’s a 40-year partnership, which we think is historic for sponsorship. It solidifies our commitment to the Boston community and retains the beloved Garden name, which is something that we brought back to Bostonians in 2005.

There’s a lot of passion around that. It also gives us critical opportunities to engage with our customers, with our fans and with our communities, which are important stakeholder groups for both organizations. We have alignment in terms of strategic priorities, how we bring this to market, and who we bring it to market for. It also gives us an opportunity to be part of the fabric of the community, to drive engagement through our shared passion around two of the winningest teams in sports, and from a TD perspective, it gives us great visibility for our brand throughout our footprint.

CM: What are the KPIs for this partnership?

TS: Sponsorship is an important part of our overall marketing mix. Firstly, it can be very local. We have over 750 local partnerships and sponsorships, and they all tend to meet the objective of driving brand and allowing us to engage with our customers, because sponsorship is one of those ways that you can come into contact with your customers. That’s critically important when we think about the TD Garden. We know that our brand health is incredibly strong as a result of the fact that we are actually present in the community. And community is core to what we do from a sponsorship perspective.

Through this deal, as an example, we will give $15 million back to local communities in and around Boston, which is important as we think about our community focus, about diversity and inclusion, and bringing our brand to multiple different segments across these communities. It allows us to deepen our business relationships. An example is our small business takeover, where we share our [ad] space for a night with a small business. Someone who we have a partnership or a relationship with will really benefit from that type of awareness and visibility.

We’ll also invest in what we call Access the Arts. One program under that is called TD Guest List, which gives complimentary tickets to events all year to groups that are nominated or individuals from an underserved or an underrepresented community. We also have the TD Garden House Artist program that commissions local artists from underrepresented communities to create transformative art in and around the TD garden.

CM: Can you talk a bit about your cause marketing strategy?

TS: Firstly, we don’t really think of it as cause marketing. We think about it as delivering on our purpose. And our purpose is around enriching the lives of our customers, our colleagues and our communities. We have a program that we call the Ready Commitment that serves to guide where and how we support our communities. For example, [with] diversity and inclusion, it’s making sure that we are building an inclusive future for all—things like housing for everyone. Giving access in communities where they might not have the same access to banking and banking products is critical to what we do in our communities. And sponsorship is just one way to do that, but it is a deeply-held belief at TD, holistically, that we are here to enrich their lives. That’s more than just selling products and services; it is about making sure that we are building that inclusive and sustainable future for all.

CM: How did the pandemic shift your marketing tactics?

TS: We’re in a rapidly changing world and environment. That is something we always pay attention to. We know that community needs change. We understand that consumers’ needs and expectations of banks and of other companies evolve regularly. Our customers tell us that they are looking for ease, for value and for advice.

From an advice perspective, 40 percent of consumers say that they are financially worse off than they were a year ago. We believe that we have a role to play there. That ties back to our brand, of being unexpectedly human and understanding that behind every transaction our customers have with us, there’s a story. That is what makes TD differentiated in the market: our focus on the human behind the story. We believe that people matter most.

One other important proof point around what’s changed is this: Consumers want to be able to access you when, where, and how they want to. Especially over the pandemic, when overnight everyone was doing banking online, we made sure that we were bringing our human proposition to bear, no matter how people interact with us. It’s not just in the person-to-person interactions.

CM: Following up on that idea, digital transformation has been necessary for most companies in the past few years. How are you digitizing the customer experience?

TS: We are looking at the digital experience, but looking at it within the context of an omnichannel experience. We know that consumers have different needs and they will use channels for different reasons. Historically, we were very much an in-person, go-into-the-branch environment. We still have customers who that’s really meaningful for, but increasingly we are seeing that people are doing less complex transactions, in particular online, and they want to be able to do that 24/7, at a time that works for them.

But if you talk to consumers, even younger consumers who we think of as digitally-native, they probably won’t [often] go into a TD store or a bank branch. Yet we know that there are times [that they will]. So if they’re getting ready to, for example, get a mortgage, something that’s a little bit more complex, or something they’re doing for the first time, they will want to come in and often seek advice in-person. We need to be able to serve our customers how they want to be served. And we need to make the experience feel more human.

For TD, one of the things that I think has made us stand out is our approachability. Regardless of how we’re interacting with our customers, we have what we call a conversationalist tone. Banking itself can have a lot of jargon; it can have some complexity. We aim to make the experience one that our customers find easy, that gives them advice, whether it’s what we call “big A” advice or “big wealth” advice, right down to needing a tip or some guidance.

CM: Are there channels you’re working with in the coming year that are new for you? What are you experimenting with?

TS: We’re constantly testing our media mix. There are more channels and different ways to reach consumers—and different consumers prefer different media. One example is CTV. It’s an interesting space for us. When I think about linear TV versus CTV, at the end of the day it starts with your objective. Increasingly, we are looking at local objectives, so looking at our core markets and understanding that in some markets we’re relatively new. We don’t have a big store presence, nor have we had a big marketing presence historically. So we need to focus on getting reach in those markets and building awareness.

But where we’ve been in a market for a long time, where we have a defined, prominent presence, we’re leaning into more consideration and further down-funnel activities, and connecting those. And evolving the media strategy to drive that. Something like CTV is great for a market where we have a lot of awareness but not as much consideration.

CM: What’s TD Bank’s growth strategy for the coming year?

TS: With the acquisition of First Horizon, TD will be a top six bank. We’re a top 10 bank currently, so growth in our core priority markets will continue to be critical. We see a couple of opportunities from a marketing perspective. One is to continue the growth that we’ve had in our core products across our customer base. And marketing plays a critical role in that. Internally, we’ve continued to work with our product partners in new and different ways through agile models, et cetera, to drive more and more growth through marketing where marketing is making an even bigger contribution than it has in the past.

Secondly, we’re a steward of the brand, and connecting that to customer experience. When customers do business with a brand that has values similar to their own, and then also delivers a customer experience in line with the brand promise, that drives loyalty and builds trust. Those are things that really matter to people as they look to deepen their relationship or expand their relationship with you. Marketing’s role is crucial in both of those areas. But it’s not just marketing who can own brand and the customer experience. It needs to live across the organization.

The third area for us is to move beyond customer acquisition and deepen engagement with our current customer base. Currently, we have a wide customer base. By understanding customer needs and being able to make seamless, connected, relevant personalized experiences, we will drive a better experience for our customers and be able to expand our relationship with them.

CM: Being a CMO of a large bank, what kinds of trends are you looking at right now? What should marketers be paying attention to?

TS: Obviously from a bank perspective, constantly looking at the landscape, how it’s evolving, what’s going on in the macroeconomic environment is critically important. And making sure that you’re building product services and being there to help your customers as they navigate some fairly uncertain times. That’s important in banking, but it’s important beyond banking. It starts with understanding consumer insights, staying relevant and staying up to speed with those trends and with those insights, because customer behaviors are evolving faster than they ever have before.

There is also a trend toward a much more personalized experience. I don’t think customers look at one category any longer. They are judging every company by a “best of the best” [mindset] and defining who the best of those companies are. And then thirdly is purpose. Especially in an uncertain and evolving world, purpose really matters to consumers. Understanding what your purpose is, what gets you and your colleagues up in the morning, why someone should be a customer or come to work with you and stay, is crucially important. Increasingly, we all see consumers wanting to do business with companies who have aligned values.

CM: Lastly, what are some qualities or attributes a marketer aspiring to reach the C-suite should be honing?

TS: One of the things that I constantly talk about is being open to different and new experiences. Marketing is evolving pretty rapidly, so getting breadth of experience is important. Sometimes people think about their career in linear ways, like “I need to move to the next level.” It’s also about understanding what experiences you need to get to the C-suite. Be open, be willing to try new things. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stay in that role forever.

For me, in our culture at TD and at other companies that I’ve worked for in the past, I urge people to think about “the what and the how.” What you deliver is important. Taking accountability for your area is critical, but it’s also the “how.” I’m a big believer in building relationships. As companies look to build more agile structures, being able to work with different groups of people on aligned goals and aligned KPIs and outcomes is important.

And then, be open to change. We often talk about change like it’s something bad. Change can actually be so energizing and exciting. So, it’s not being afraid of it. We are always changing, we’re always evolving, and that’s not going away anytime soon.

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Marketers on Fire: Homedics CMO Kristen D’Arcy Wed, 30 Nov 2022 13:59:11 +0000 We spoke with D’Arcy about lessons learned from previous marketing roles, the rise of influencer marketing, trends to follow in the D2C world and more.

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When Kristen D’Arcy took over as CMO of D2C wellness brand Homedics six months ago, she inherited a brand refresh at its first stage. But it’s what she created from those assets that made a difference. Actions such as launching a full-fledged brand campaign with a diversified media strategy, updating online creative, and incorporating ecommerce best practices to ease online navigation and encourage conversions led to an 80 percent increase in sales on Homedics’ new website.

We spoke with D’Arcy about lessons learned from previous marketing roles held at PacSun, American Eagle and Ralph Lauren, how influencer marketing is feeding customer acquisition, trends to follow in the D2C world and her plans to leverage educational content to tell Homedics’ brand story.

Chief Marketer: Homedics experienced a huge increase in website sales following a brand refresh. What made the campaign a success for the brand?

Kristen D’Arcy, CMO of Homedics

Kristen D’Arcy, CMO of Homedics: There was a brand refresh in the works that I inherited–a new logo, new fonts and colors. So when I joined, it was about how to bring this to life in a campaign format. We focused on the idea of living well and being well. That means that Homemedics can stay with you all day. When you wake up in the morning, you can breathe more easily because our air purifier is next to your bed. Say you have pain in the middle of the day. We have massage guns that solve that. And then at the end of the day and in the evening, we can help you put your baby to sleep easier, faster and better because of our sound machines. It’s how we show the brand coming to life and supporting our consumers’ journeys to live better, healthier lives all day long.

Then we created an ad campaign off of that. We updated the website from a creative standpoint as well as from a user experience perspective. We made the site much more easy to navigate, compelling people to experience all of this new content, but also showcase the breadth of our products. And then there was getting this in front of the right eyeballs at the right time at the right place. We worked with an outside media agency that had a very different strategy, both for the brand refresh and our holiday campaign. It was much more diverse in terms of where we put our dollars. And we saw the campaign take off. When we looked at the performance pre the campaign being in market versus post, we saw a sales increase of double digits and continue that strength through the holiday season thus far.

CM: Did anything else contribute to the sales jump? The creative, the targeting, the ease of conversions?

KD: It was a little bit of everything. So, new creative in market that we were constantly optimizing based on what we were seeing. New media channels where we haven’t played before–a much more diverse mix. And then a great retargeting program. We flooded the market with lots of upper funnel media. In late October in particular, we wanted to push holiday sales. And that retargeting pool was so big that when they came back, the conversion was incredible.

The last piece was the website enhancements. A totally new site from a creative perspective. Lots of of different tweaks on the backend were made. Navigation was a little bit different. Promo boxes were added to the cart right before checkout to reinforce purchasing. There were a lot of little best-in-class practices from an ecommerce perspective that were put in place on the tech side of things to help conversions.

CM: You’ve previously held marketing roles in the fashion and apparel industries, including CMO of Pac Sun a couple years back. So this is a shift for you. What are some lessons learned from your previous brands that you’re applying to this position?

KD: Apparel retailers have incredible online businesses, like American Eagle and Aerie. When I left, the online business was over a billion dollars, for example. They really know what they’re doing in terms of site experience, inventory management and site merchandising. I took a lot of that rigor with me over the years. That means treating this like you would any other business. It’s looking back at the week prior and trying to understand on the website what happened, how are the units moving, compared to the forecast.

It’s also about then trying to understand things from a site experience perspective. As I mentioned earlier, we added a call-out in the cart section that reinforces why you should go to the next step and actually check out with us. Did that work? Did we see a lift and conversion on that page? Are we moving them better through the funnel? It’s dissecting everything that’s happening on the site.

CM: How do you specifically work with the marketing team on analyzing these results?

KD: We took it even a step further from a marketing perspective and decided that we wanted to look at our results across every single marketing channel every Monday morning. So, we’re looking at what’s happening on the site, we’re looking at what’s happening in PR. We do this in partnership with the agencies, but it’s also affiliates, influencers [to discuss] what happened in the market last week to look at the bridge between the marketing activity and the sales results.

And again, that rigor was borrowed from some of these really great online brands–Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, PacSun. We do the look-back and then we start to plan what we’re going to do for the next week. Of course, we have a plan that’s set in stone, but this helps after we do the read of the marketing to understand if we need to pivot.

In addition to that, where are we seeing a lot of goodness? There’s a little bit of a shell game that happens among the marketing leadership team where we say, wow, influencers are really taking off, the cost to acquire customers is pretty low there. So let’s take from Peter to pay Paul and fuel that, because for whatever reason, that seems to be working really well. I’ve tried to make marketing think of themselves as business drivers and people who can truly help grow the brand from a sales perspective, both on our own site as well as our retail partners.

CM: It sounds like you’re applying data to your marketing on a daily basis. How is the brand dealing with the fluctuating world of online measurement and privacy consent? Are you leveraging first-party data at all?

KD: Not to the degree that I think we could, and obviously that’s incredibly important as we think about the cookie-less world in the future. More broadly from a data perspective, people are willing to share if you get relevant information served back to you. If you think about the brand campaign of living well and being well, if you can give them information on health and wellness and how that ties to our products, and help make their lives easier, better, without drugs, pain-free, et cetera, then I think there’s an interesting value exchange there. That’s definitely something that we’re thinking about from both the data as well as a content perspective as we go into 2023.

CM: So you’re making content a bigger part of your marketing efforts–the education piece–going forward.

KD: That’s exactly right. Over the last 30 years this company has been successful and grown based on incredible products. Now as we think about the future, it’s how do you tie those products to health and wellness content that people want? We don’t have a singular competitor because we play in so many different areas. Yes, we have massage guns and perhaps there are competitors that focus just on massage, but we also have stretching mats. We have paraffin baths, for example. We have our product Drift. How do you weave all these different stories together from a health and wellness perspective, and then serve up our products as a hero or a solution as well?

CM: When considering the D2C space in general, any thoughts on what you think high-level marketers should be focusing on right now?

KD: We touched on it a few moments ago, but I think the conversation that I’m hearing in the industry is about the cookie-less world and how do you build up your first-party data so that you can learn a lot about your consumers’ market in a personalized way. That’s number one. Number two is social shopping. That’s something that a lot of people are discussing right now. And then three is, what is the role of influencers more broadly? Going back to our strategy, which was mass diversification in terms of where we put our media, what role do influencers play in terms of helping drive sales online?

CM: So they are playing a greater role at the brand?

KD: They definitely are. When you look at the cost to acquire a new consumer, we’re seeing a lot of benefit in the influencer space right now. Tying this back full circle, there’s a great opportunity not only to drive sales, but generate brand awareness and then content. We have an always-on influencer program, but we have two bigger sponsorships this year, and influencers have been helping us ignite both of them. The first is a partnership with iHeartRadio and Jingle Ball, and that was equal parts media play. And then also the content generation that comes from the influencers that we sent to three different Jingle Ball concerts.

We’ve been getting a lot of engagement with that on our social channels and are starting to put that content from a whitelisted perspective into ads to try to drive shopping. It’s showing how the brand can show up in culturally-relevant situations, and then use both that great content and the relevancy to drive back to shopping.

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General Motors Partners With NBCU, Advances First-Party Data Strategy Fri, 30 Sep 2022 17:42:40 +0000 How General Motors is making progress with its first-party data strategy.

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In the automotive world, General Motors is making progress with its first-party data strategy. By switching from a demo-based targeting approach to an audience-based one, it’s now able to construct media plans that are more efficient and produce better results. Read how the company is evolving its targeting strategies, diversifying messaging and refocusing campaign attribution, according to a piece in AdExchanger.

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Marketers on Fire: Broadridge Financial Solutions’ Global CMO Dipti Kachru Fri, 12 Aug 2022 16:45:20 +0000 The former J.P. Morgan Chase CMO discusses her growth strategy, marketing tactics and investments CMOs should be prioritizing, trends financial marketers should be following, and much more.

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The future of marketing depends upon two critical functions, according to Broadridge Financial Solutions’ Global CMO Dipti Kachru.

“You’ve got to obsess over your data strategy and your tech stack to be able to optimize and automate,” she told Chief Marketer this week. “That foundation is what’s going to help you deliver value, help you measure and prove that value add, and help you know what’s working and what’s not working.”

In addition to that, it’s important for companies—particularly those with brand marketing stories that are less obvious—to harness the power of storytelling. “We’re spending a lot of time with the team on how to break through the complexity of our business and make it more intuitive to people—because we have a significant role in driving the markets, but most people don’t realize that,” Kachru said. “We’ve got to work a little bit harder to be able to define how and why we are relevant, not just to the people buying our products, but to the industry at large.”

The former J.P. Morgan Chase CMO discusses her strategy for growth since joining the company seven months ago, the marketing tactics and investments CMOs should be prioritizing amid economic headwinds, how the democratization of investing is influencing the firm’s insights and solutions, and more.

Chief Marketer: Who do you count as your customers, and where are you looking to expand?

Broadridge Financial Solutions’ Global CMO Dipti Kachru

Dipti Kachru, Global CMO of Broadridge Financial Solutions: We’re a global fintech that provides technology infrastructure and communication solutions, so we primarily sell our solutions to asset managers, wealth managers, capital markets, firms, hedge funds. We’re talking to technologists, to operations and to the front office, because of our range of products, [which are] technology solutions as well as data and insights to help make better decisions around business strategy distribution. We’re also doing a lot of innovation on the client communication side and now talking to CXOs, chief digital officers and marketing leaders to think about how essential, critical communications, or even regulatory communications, can be leveraged as touchpoints to add value with our customers. We’re also doing a lot of work in healthcare now from a communications perspective.

CM: How are you are approaching brand marketing? What are the challenges there?

DK: A lot of people know us from being a premier player in the corporate governance space. We’re reframing the brand to be relevant to some of the newer audiences we’ve been talking about. It’s not this big brand effort that you expect to see in B2C, but rather a very surgical effort to continue to refine how we talk about ourselves, how we tell the stories around what we do and how we do it.

CM: Can you provide an example of that fine-tuning?

DK: Our wealth management business has multiple facets, where front-to-back platform providers help broker dealers and financial advisors operate in their roles. In the broker dealer ecosystem, what an advisor needs on their dashboard to help serve clients and how that connects through the processing and the back end is something we’re a market leader in. We’re being very specific in how we showcase what we do to that audience. It’s not just, “these are the set of products we offer.” It’s to help visualize what benefit that brings to market and to see it from the point of view of the user. In this case, our products are helping the financial advisor engage in more personalized ways with their client and use data to make better decisions to how they’re spending their time. The visualization of that is part of our journey of storytelling.

The other place where we’re starting to make a lot of inroads is in our insights business and how we’re using thought leadership specifically to bring through the intellectual capital that resides within the firm, given our unique vantage point within the industry and the amount of data we see through the clients we interact with. How we package those insights to then reach out to the audience is another way we’ve continued to harness the power of the firm.

CM: How does that thought leadership come through?

DK: It’s multichannel. You clearly find it on our website. We’re partnering with our PR firms to make sure that we develop the intellectual capital and it is being distributed in the right way. Social is a big strategy for us, which is something we’re building more muscle around, to distribute our content both from an organic as well as a paid perspective. The last thing is, we’re really building out our martech stack and our data capabilities to be able to understand both interest and intent from our customers to deliver more personalized communications to them, whether it’s relevant insights, news about what we’re doing or case studies we can share.

CM: How does sustainability factor into your messaging and the products that you offer?

DK: It’s a large part of it, as we play a significant role in the investor empowerment process. With the democratization of investing, more and more investors are coming into the market and want to know what they’re investing in. They’re very actively engaged around ESG topics. So, we are creating both solutions as well as insights for our clients. Whether it’s issuers or asset managers, we’re designing new products to understand what some of those critical data points are, what investors care about and how you deliver on those.

CM: What are the marketing tactics and investments CMOs should be prioritizing amid economic headwinds?

DK: I’ve been in the marketing business for 20 years, and there’s always ups and downs. Here’s the three things I think CMOs need to focus on. One is to have the ability to optimize and really understand marketing performance. It gives you the capability of being surgical when you need to pull back, and you need to know what’s working, what’s not working and be very aware about the strategic priorities of the moment. You’re not making sweeping changes; you’re being very specific.

The second is being agile as a marketing organization—being very planful in how we go to market, but building in the agility to be able to pivot and turn when you need to so you can capture both the moment as well as the opportunity, whether it’s to lean in or pull back.

The last thing I’d say—and we tend to do less of this, especially in headwinds—is to lean in to places where we can better deliver on the customer sentiment at the moment. So, by keeping your ear to the ground, very close to the consumer, whether it’s through individual interviews with clients, which we often do with pulse surveys, or just spending more time with the sales force. You start to understand how your clients or your customers are feeling and the role the brand can play that’s associated with their values, and being more empathetic versus being tone deaf. Also, when other brands and your competitors are pulling back, it creates white space for you to go in and establish or reestablish a connection with your most critical audiences.

CM: How are data and analytics reshaping the customer experience? And what role does privacy play?

DK: Data is critical to driving an improved customer experience. What we do with our clients, especially on the communications side, is about helping them harness the power of data to make the communications more relevant and engaging. Going the direction of more privacy-oriented rules is not in conflict with that. I think it actually gives organizations an opportunity to engage with the customer in a more authentic fashion. It creates greater trust when it’s the customer that’s giving you access to information. It reinforces that data belongs to the end user versus the organization. And by acknowledging that, it opens a channel of communication with the customer where, by earning their trust, you are on the hook for delivering value. And that drives more connectivity, and if you can deliver on it, certainly more loyalty. It’s a great opportunity for firms to continue to use data to better serve clients in more personalized ways.

CM: From your perspective, how has the pandemic has reshaped the B2B2C customer journey?

DK: The pandemic has been horrific for a lot of people. But as a marketer, one of the silver linings I’ve seen is the acceleration in digitization and digital adoption. In my current role, I see that happen everyday; we send about seven billion touchpoints of communication in a year. We’re seeing that migration from print to digital. It’s something we’re actively helping our clients through. Our data also reinforces that people are willing to go digital as long as it’s not just a replication of the print experience. You need to be able to rewire that experience to make it more engaging and add more value. There’s an acceleration in organizations investing in the transformation of their stacks, their data architecture, to be able to deliver that quality of engagement.

CM: You were recently CMO of J.P. Morgan’s Wealth Management division. What have you taken from that experience that you’re applying to your current role?

DK: I’m a big believer that marketing is a driver of growth for the firm. If you think about traditional B2B, that hasn’t always been the central driving reason that people fund a marketing organization. But my experience at J.P. Morgan only reinforced and strengthened that. I had a great privilege of leading marketing teams in the wealth space, the asset management space and in the consumer banking space, where we could take a lot of B2C principles on how you use data and automation to deliver value to the customer through the sales cycle and apply that to B2B.

A lot of what I spend time on with the team now is how are we building our data strategy and our technology to be able to facilitate the right outcomes in partnership with our sales teams. A large part of my focus is building that deeper bridge with the sales organization, not just philosophically aligned and in the trenches together and understanding what customers need, but importantly, does our technology work together? Are we able to power them with critical signals and beacons that help them be more effective at their jobs? And can we capture critical signals that they’re capturing as part of the sales process to make our marketing better?

The second one is the brand storytelling side. As a B2B brand, and a very complex one that serves many different clients with many different solutions, how are we strengthening our storytelling and going beyond just the words of what we do to better showcase what we do, whether it’s in video, whether it’s in the demonstration of our capabilities, whether it’s product demos. The third is bringing a sharper lens on the activation of digital strategies across the firm and how we go to market. There’s a strong foundation with incredible work that’s been done, but as we’ve grown and gotten more complex, we’re on a journey of marketing maturity as well.

CM: What are your goals for the company in terms of growth?

DK: We’ve got some work to do in building out our measurement infrastructure to be a little bit more predictive in the value we add. We look at performance as a marketing organization across three different areas. There’s work we’re doing on the brand side to drive perception of various critical segments that we are newer in. Are we engaging with certain customers more? Are they engaging with us through our content and our intellectual capital? Are we showing up with the right share of voice compared to our competitive sets?

The second one is enabling demand generation. We’ve got a demand generation ecosystem and we’re trying to light that up even more by understanding the connectivity of where the demand is being driven and how the demand is being converted so we can start to optimize. The third one is defining the scorecard around the sales nurture process. Marketing can help make the sales cycle more efficient by delivering relevant communications to complement the sales organization.

CM: Lastly, what are the trends that financial marketers should be following right now?

DK: It’s an evergreen trend you’ve got to obsess over: Will your data strategy and your tech stack be able to optimize and automate? Those are the two critical functions and the way I think about the future of marketing. That foundation is what’s going to be able to help you deliver value, help you measure and prove that value add, and help you know what’s working and what’s not working.

Second, while I’m obsessing over our segmentation strategy, targeting and tech stack to be able to get smarter and more effective, I also love the storytelling side of it. We’re spending a lot of time with the team on how to break through the complexity of our business and make it more intuitive to people—because we have a significant role in driving the markets, but most people don’t realize that. We’ve got to work a little bit harder to be able to define how and why we are relevant, not just to the people buying our products, but to the industry at large.

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Liquid I.V.’s First National Brand Campaign Taps Legacy Media Channels and Media Mix Modeling Fri, 05 Aug 2022 16:03:13 +0000 Unilever brand Liquid I.V. has launched its first-ever national branding campaign across TV, OTT and out-of-home media channels.

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Unilever brand Liquid I.V. has launched its first-ever national branding campaign across TV, OTT and out-of-home media channels to drive awareness and educate consumers about its hydration product. AdExchanger explores the company’s new approach to measurement, which taps media mix modeling, and its unique marketing journey from a Facebook and Instagram-based company to a successful business now primed to achieve scale.

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Four Chief Marketers Dish on Challenges and Opportunities Within Their Businesses Fri, 22 Jul 2022 17:18:09 +0000 CMOs from Qualcomm, Boardroom, Cheribundi and the Drone Racing League chat about marketing solutions to their brands' greatest challenges.

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What are the greatest challenges to your business from a marketing perspective, and what solutions are you implementing to meet them? CM asked four CMOs, leading marketing departments at a tech company, a wellness brand, a sports league and a media hub, to share their thoughts this week on the above. We learned that differentiation from competitors, leading with empathy and collaboration, and crafting immersive content to keep pace with younger audiences’ appetites are among the solutions making headway for their brands. Following is what CMOs from Qualcomm, Boardroom, Cheribundi and the Drone Racing League had to say. 

Qualcomm CMO, Don McGuire:

Our innovation cycle is very quick—almost every six months across many product and technology categories. Things are moving so fast and so it’s really challenging to keep up with the concentric circles of influence on our brand. So, we have to be nimble and flexible because the feedback loop isn’t linear anymore. There’s also so much divisiveness and so much polarization that threading the needle has become very difficult.

A big challenge right now for brands and marketers is how to lead through an era of psychology, attitudes and behaviors. If you lean too far one way, you alienate a part of your potential audience, and if you lean too much the other way you alienate another percentage of your potential audience. If you stay too neutral, you alienate everybody. Right now, we’re living in a time where we need to lead—and lead with empathy. We need to bring people together. Brands that lead with empathy, drive collaboration, cohesion and goodness will win with customers and consumers. I really feel like you can you can dive into a conversation from a pragmatic, logic-based and empathetic way by creating dialog around a core issue to the problem everyone can agree on without getting extreme on in either side.

Right now, we’re driving marketing initiatives and brand awareness for two brands, one more on the B2B side and the other on the B2C side—Qualcomm and Snapdragon. Qualcomm is our company name and we have a long and rich history working within the technology sector. Snapdragon really has a life and personality of its own and has much higher end-consumer awareness globally.

About a year ago, we decided to separate the marketing initiatives around these two brands to better communicate the core aspects to targeted audiences, while still intertwining the brands where it appropriate. Through this initiative we have seen significant traction. Our campaign to educate technology enthusiasts about Snapdragon’s premium technology capabilities, Snapdragon Insiders, has grown from 0 to 5.9 million in a year, while we are seeing more awareness about Qualcomm’s full offerings among a more targeted B2B crowd.

For more from McGuire, here’s a conversation from when he first landed the role of CMO.

Drone Racing League CMO, Anne Marie Gianutsos:

Gen Z wants competition so fast it happens in an instant. The days of sitting through hours-long, slow-paced games are mostly gone. That’s why drone racing is so well-positioned as a global mainstream sport—it’s thrilling action in the blink of an eye. In the Drone Racing League, the world’s best pilots race high-speed drones through spectacular courses during minute-long heats. We stream immersive videos captured from a camera on the drone, so fans tuning in genuinely feel like they’re flying. We cut this content for quick mashups on social, which is especially loved by our nearly five million TikTok fans.

For more from Gianutsos, enjoy this Marketers on Fire piece with the chief marketer.

Cheribundi CMO, Rob Willey:

The greatest challenge and most important responsibility of marketing is to inform innovation and creatively bring products to market that consumers want. It is our job to be the voice of the consumer and the reflection of culture to create real differentiation. In categories like wellness, there is so much marketing noise that we address those challenges by partnering with creators who used (and loved) our products far before we paid them to do so. Not only do they showcase the true benefits of tart cherry juice, they inform our innovation to make the next big thing in sports nutrition.

Boardroom and 35V CMO, Sarah Flynn:

The greatest challenge in the media industry as a whole is that for legacy brands, there’s not a lot of growth and innovation opportunity; for more niche or newer media platforms, the challenge is breaking through the noise and gaining, first, eyeballs, and secondly, a dedicated audience.

Boardroom lives in a niche between sports, business and entertainment media, which is an incredible spot to occupy but necessitates that we always understand where our point of view and our voice differentiates from other outlets’ coverage. As a newer media brand, keeping that voice and continuing to cultivate our dedicated audience is what is going to help us grow and cut through the aforementioned noise.

For more from Sarah Flynn, check out our Brands on Fire piece.

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It’s Business—And It’s Personal: CDK Global CMO on Delivering Omnichannel Marketing Fri, 17 Jun 2022 16:22:56 +0000 How connection, influence and experience deliver outstanding omnichannel marketing.

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How connection, influence and experience deliver outstanding omnichannel marketing

By Barb Edson, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at CDK Global

Businesses talk a lot about digital retailing wanting to “provide an Amazon-like experience.” From cars to cookies, shoes to showers, practically anything can be purchased online. However, consumers still want to see, touch and try out many things on their wish list before making a purchase.

Today’s omnichannel marketing approach re-engineers yesterday’s linear strategies into multi-dimensional campaigns where consumers stay connected with the brand.

Build a Relational Resource

Let’s face it, digital retailing is a revolution. Need socks? Plates? Dog toys? They’re one tap away. But most likely, those items won’t leave consumers excited or nervous about their purchase. However, emotionally-charged experiences such as buying a car—the second largest purchase a consumer can make—is quite different.

Especially with significant purchases, remote communication is only one piece of the purchasing pie, and despite evolving innovations, people still expect that personal touch. While online sales are growing faster than offline, brick-and-mortar stores still make up the majority of U.S. retail sales.

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), online sales only account for about 15 percent of all retail sales in the nation. Even with the high value placed on digital retailing, digital is best used as a complement, not a replacement, for human interaction. Consumers expect an omnichannel experience that lets them transition seamlessly between online, store, or moving back and forth between the two.

According to recent research with prospective car buyers, 86 percent of consumers transacting online also interact with someone at the dealership through phone, email, text or chat. While 87 percent of consumers are satisfied with their remote interactions, they still want the face-to-face experience of visiting the dealership in person. While doing so, they rely on the knowledge and support of the onsite company expert to help them make their decisions and coach them through the process. Mindfully generating marketing strategies that keep messaging congruent between the store and online content provides the seamless interaction the consumer craves.

Keep Them Connected to Your Brand

As we know, brand loyalty doesn’t just come from the product, or information shared online. It also comes from the exceptional consumer experience around that product. Consumers are online as a first-stop to arm themselves with information before throwing down money on a big purchase. But face-to-face is needed to fill in the gaps. Even of those shopping online, 94 percent will still be visiting a dealership in person at multiple points for test drives, to get a first-hand view, and to pick the brains of the experts on the showroom floor.

And it’s not just automotive locations consumers visit. Department stores continue to rebound, post pandemic, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse, which predicts a 13 percent increase YOY in revenue.

Developing comprehensive marketing campaigns that tie together the in-store experience with online messaging is key. The National Retail Federation (NRF) states that, “despite the growing share of ecommerce … the role of the store is evolving to support buying across all channels.” Ecommerce and in-store retail complement each other and often create a “halo effect” by increasing traffic to the retailer’s website.

While in store, buyers rely on the coaching of those on the floor to decipher product pros and cons. Turns out, that team has quite a bit of influence. For example, when it relates to the automotive industry, it’s well-known the future is increasingly focused on electric. In fact, 37 percent of future shoppers will consider an electric vehicle.

Data indicates that dealers have to be included at the center of EV adoption because they play an essential role in increasing demand and building a positive experience around the product. Last year, 41 percent of people shopping for gas-powered vehicles were persuaded to consider electric vehicles largely because of a dealer’s guidance and recommendation. Driving a consumer from online where they are doing the research to in store allows the ability to leverage relationships that can influence the purchase of one brand over another—or in this case, one type of car over another.

A Rethink, Not a Revolution

Today, global forces and the rise of new technology have marketers and business leaders looking at a number of ways to take advantage of such unique circumstances. And supply chain issues met by high demand have afforded some companies the luxury of charging higher-pricing while making easier sales.

That may be adequate for “right now,” but a “right-for-the-customer” marketing approach that intentionally integrates a personal connection and consistent multi-channel messaging provides a stronger, more sustainable sales model while bolstering customer satisfaction.

Barb Edson is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at CDK Global.

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Listen Up: Five Audio-Centric Experiences From FX, Valspar, Mercedes-Benz Fri, 10 Jun 2022 15:54:26 +0000 How five brands stimulated attendees’ senses to create more compelling and memorable experiences.

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In the world of experiential, audio-centric activations and events are on the rise. Event Marketer covers how five brands have stimulated attendees’ senses to create more compelling and memorable experiences, from FX’s interactive sound sculptures to Valspar’s wellness-based sound baths to Mercedes-Benz’s “sonic tonics.”

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