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Aprende Institute, an EdTech platform for the Spanish-speaking population, just closed an investment round of US $22 million. Portada talked to Martin Claure, CEO of Aprende Institute, about the Ed Tech company’s growth plans and the opportunities he sees in the high-growth U.S. Hispanic market.

Small business owners, so-called solopreneurs, are a key foundation of the U.S economy. This is, even more, the case for the U.S. Hispanic market, which over-indexes for entrepreneurship. Based on the U.S. Hispanic market growth potential, investors just closed an investment round of US $22 million in AprendInside Aprende Institute’s Financing and Expansion Planse Institute, a vocational training platform focused on professional development and economic advancement for the Spanish-speaking population.

Aprende Institute has enrolled more than 70,000 students in the last two years by providing a high-quality, flexible and affordable solution to learn high-demand vocational skills in Entrepreneurship, Beauty and Fashion, Gastronomy, Trades, and Wellness. Martin Claure, CEO of Aprende Institute, tells Portada that Aprende Institute learning programs provide practical 3 to 9 months programs that are developed for individuals who have a passion or interest and want to monetize it. “It’s all about economic advancement and personal growth in order to empower them to become an entrepreneur,” Claure asserts. These solopreneurs or future solopreneurs need hard and soft skills including knowledge about understanding costs, set price levels, use social media to build a customer base or management expertise.

According to Claure the new funding will enable Aprende Institute to attract top-tier talent across all areas, further improve educational offerings and expand services to businesses and institutions to boost growth.  “We are developing courses in marketing, sales, negotiation, finance, and other value-added services specifically designed for our student body to acquire the business and soft skills needed to run successful ventures,” Claure explains.

A Community College Online Experience

Aprende Institute’s classes are 100% online. “We produce the content and provide our students on-demand access to experts. Experts moderate conversations and there are also assessments across the curriculum where students are asked to do certain tasks. In addition, there are 200 live classes per month. According to Claure, these live classes foster a sense of community and peer-to-peer learning.

Aprende Institute
Martin Claure, CEO of Aprende Institute

Price classes range from US $30 to US $100 per month. Aprende Institute so far has enrolled 70,000 students, with 30,000 students currently studying. “In 2022 we want to enroll 150,000 students,” Claure says. The funding will allow Aprende Institute to continue growing in the U.S. Hispanic Market, its largest market.
Aprende Institute was launched in Mexico , and also has a substantial amount of students in Colombia, but between 70% and 80% of its students are in the U.S..
To gain even more U.S. Hispanic students, Aprende Institute, has partnered with Univision, who is also an investor in the new round of investment. Univision will make its product offering more widely accessible to the U.S. Hispanic community. “We will be building a learning channel with Univision, Claure notes. They will be advertising our products in their different platforms and we will be providing our experts for Univision to use in its programming.”

“Spanish-dominant Hispanics are the largest and most underserved demographic in the tech space. There are approximately 30 million Spanish-first consumers in the U.S.” All classes and content are in Spanish, although Claure notes that he is planning to partner  with an English -language content provider at some point.

Spanish-dominant Hispanics are the largest and most underserved demographic in the tech space. There are approximately 30 million Spanish-first consumers in the U.S.

Aprende Institute’s Marketing

Up until recently, Aprende Institute’s Marketing has revolved around performance marketing, mostly through the use of Facebook, Youtube, and Google. Now with the Univision partnership, Claure hopes to gain more brand recognition through offline marketing including the activation of TV spots. A key element of his marketing going forward, Claure asserts, is to build partnerships with companies who have small businesses as their key consumer target.
As an example, Claure cites a partnership with industrial tools and household hardware manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker. Aprende Institute will be building a training and advancement platform for Stanley Black & Decker’s ecosystem. The platform will include instructors and coaching. “Training is a tremendously powerful tool for companies to position their brands and increase loyalty among different participants in their value chains. It’s also a highly effective tool for organizations and institutions that promote social responsibility programs aimed at improving employability and entrepreneurial skills,” Claure notes.

Investors in Aprende Institute

The US $ 22 million investment round was led by Valor Capital Group and included the participation of previous investor Reach Capital. Also participating in the round were strategic and financial investors such as ECMC Group, Univision, Angel  Ventures, Capria, Endeavor Catalyst, Artisan Venture Capital, Matterscale, Salkantay Ventures, 500 Startups, The Yard Ventures, Claure Group, and a select group of angel investors. The new financing brings the total raised by Aprende to date to US $27 million. “At Valor, we believe in the transformative potential of education. We have already invested in companies that have drastically changed not only markets but people’s lives through more inclusive education,” says Antoine Colaço, Managing Partner of Valor Capital Group. “Aprende Institute caught our attention for being a social business that, through technology, helps a wide number of people find their true vocation and reach for better opportunities,” he adds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V & V Supremo Foods, Inc., Hyundai, FEMA & Ad Council …. and other brands targeting the U.S. consumer right now. Check our prior Sales Leads columns. 

  • V & V Supremo Foods, Inc. 

Award-winning producer of Mexican cheese, crema, and chorizo, V&V Supremo® Foods, Inc., has announced a new inspirational video series, ‘Inspira.The series — a first of its kind in the industry — is broadcast across the company’s social media platforms and features interviews of prominent business patrons including restaurateurs, retailers, and distributors. The interviews were conducted remotely by Gilberto Villaseñor II, Chief Visionary of V&V Supremo Foods, Inc., during the Covid-19 pandemic. Villaseñor describes the ‘Inspira’ series as sharing hope and connecting the community from all sides — business owners, distributors, and consumers.The team at V&V Supremo Foods wanted to inspire the community with stories of those who overcame significant hurdles during their rise to success, especially during the pandemic, when entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes went through turbulent times.There are two main components to every ‘Inspira’ story: History and Community and Success Stories.Every patron shares some advice on success in the interviews, including Owner of Taxco Produce, Alfredo Duarte.The interviews also touch on the Covid-19 pandemic as business owners suddenly had to adhere to new restrictions and consider the health and safety of their guests and employees.

  • Hyundai

In an effort to further improve the online car-buying experience for prospective buyers, Hyundai and Amazon Ads have tied up to further improve the digital outlet which is called Evolve. Customers in the US can log on to Amazon shopping website and check out the models available from all participating dealerships and even begin the car-selection process on the Amazon website itself. A press statement from Hyundai reports that a customer in the U.S. can now check out models available on the company’s platform on Amazon, configure a chosen car, check its price, locate real-time inventory and even contact dealerships nearby to finalize the buying process. Hyundai’s Evolve has been present  on Amazon since 2018 but these new updates may further improve the process of both considering and buying a new model. “Our mission is to be the leader in a seamless, digital and transparent retail experience in partnership with our dealer body,” said Jose Munoz, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America. “The events of the last 18 months have made it clear that many consumers want a car buying process that aligns with how they purchase nearly everything else in their life. Amazon is a leading retailer and we’re excited to continue collaborating with them on digital retail experiences.”

  • Mercedes Benz

Mercedes BenzMercedes-Benz USA announced the launch of several interactive initiatives to educate consumers across the country about the brand’s first line of electric vehicles, Mercedes-EQ. Consumers in 20 U.S. cities will have the chance to test drive the first vehicle from the line, the all-new 2022 EQS Sedan, which officially arrives in the U.S. market later this fall. Later this month, the luxury automotive brand will also open the first of three Mercedes-EQ Experience brand centers in New York City, where guests will be able to learn more about its commitment to an electric future. The local test drives simultaneously kicked off in Las Vegas, NV and Orange County, CA on October 6. At the test drives, attendees will enjoy a complimentary 30-minute drive to experience the technology, design, functionality, and connectivity of the EQS Sedan. Each ride will be accompanied by a product specialist who will serve as a right seat passenger. Attendees will also have access to the Mobile Experience Center, a hub where they will experience the pinnacle of electric luxury, in addition to an interactive digital experience educating them on the charge and range capabilities of electric vehicles. On October 11, the Mercedes-EQ Experience will open its doors in the Meatpacking District of New York City, located at 60 10th Avenue, and will remain open through December 1. The Mercedes-EQ Experience will bring to life next generation innovations of Mercedes-EQ. A range of curated, immersive experiences will touch on the themes of a sustainable future, progressive luxury, and education on the vehicle’s charge and range capabilities. An additional Mercedes-EQ experience will open in Santa Monica, CA from November 15-December 15, with a final center opening in early 2022. “We are so excited to provide our U.S. consumers with a luxury electric offering with the new EQS Sedan. Through these local initiatives, we want to make it as easy as possible for drivers across the country to learn about the new Mercedes-EQ family of vehicles, and ultimately, feel comfortable going electric,” said Monique Harrison, Head of Brand at Mercedes-Benz USA.

    • FEMA & Ad Council

In recognition of National Preparedness Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, FEMA and the Ad Council released new Ready Campaign PSAs, developed specifically for the Latino community as part of FEMA’s approach to advance accessibility and cultural competency in boosting the nation’s preparedness. The new “Prepare to Protect” PSAs in Spanish and English inform people living in communities across the country how to prepare for natural disasters. These new PSAs represent a first for FEMA with the specific focus on the Latino community and will supplement the other elements of this year’s campaign’s work to reach all audiences around the nation.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latino community is the fastest growing community in the nation, growing by 23% over the last decade. This growth drove FEMA’s focus for this year’s Ready Campaign to help all residents better prepare for disasters.FEMA’s Ready Campaign PSAs were developed pro bono by Lopez Negrete Communications in coordination with the Ad Council. FEMA’s very own Hispanic/Latino Employee Resource Group was also tapped to help shape the ads. Throughout the month, Ready will emphasize unique aspects of preparedness, including making a communications plan, building a kit and teaching communities how to engage their families on emergency preparedness.FEMA is putting equity front and center and is committed to accessibility and leveraging cultural competency across the agency to better communicate with all cultures. This new, evolving approach builds on the work the agency is promoting to help the people FEMA serves and its workforce understand and practice emergency preparedness.These PSAs build upon the annual month-long Ready Campaign activities that kicked off with President Biden’s proclamation for the month. The Ready Campaign continues to release other creative content to engage communities  to promote the steps to prepare for disaster in a variety of languages to help everyone have access to critical and life-safety information.

  • Gayo Azul Cheese 

The makers of Gayo Azul, the delicious Hispanic cheeses with a Dutch influence, are giving away a Gayo Azul Blue Rooster-Inspired Chicken Coop. The giveaway is a nod to their Blue Rooster logo, which is the translation of Gayo Azul.Whether you already have chickens or have always wanted to invest in some feathered friends, now’s the time to join in on the fun and enter Gayo Azul‘s coop giveaway, hosted on their website: www.gayoazul.com/promotions/. Three grand prize winners will win a beautiful chicken coop from The Chicken Coop Company www.chickencoopcompany.com, some exciting egg-cessories, a gift card to get some hens, and delicious Gayo Azul cheeses valued at US$700. Giveaway entries will be accepted from until October 24th, 2021, until 11:59 pm EST. At the close of the program, three grand prize winners will be randomly selected. Consumers can increase their chances of winning by following us on Instagram and Facebook and by sharing the contest post on your social media channels so that your friends and family can join in on the fun!Gayo Azul‘s traditional premium cheeses draw on both the rich heritage of Dutch and Hispanic cheesemaking. With such an emphasis on authentic flavor and premium quality, it’s no wonder Gayo Azul has been a traditional staple in homes for over half a century. The Gayo Azul versatile assortment is sure to please any cheese lover, offering a range of traditional Dutch cheeses like Gouda, Edam, and European Swiss as well as fresh Queso Blanco, Queso Para Freir, and Cotija that are offered in convenient sizes.Gayo Azul will transport your taste buds to exotic places with their delicious, unique, and well-rounded cheeses. Some of the Gayo Azul varieties include: Gayo Azul Dutch Gouda, Gayo Azul Dutch Edam, Gayo Azul Sliced Swiss, Gayo Azul Queso Blanco , Gayo Azul Queso Para Freir and Gayo Azul Cotija.Gayo Azul is a brand of Royal FrieslandCampina

  • Toyota

Toyota Motor Sales USA has appointed Joester Loria Group to handle licensing services for both the Toyota and Lexus brands, Mediapost reports.Through merchandising and collaborations, JLG will be in charge of activating programs to engage Toyota and Lexus owners as well as consumers looking for innovative quality products that are hallmarks for the brands. Programs will range from collaborations with third-party brands to apparel and accessories, toys and games, electronics and interactive.JLG will work with Toyota and Lexus marketing teams to tap into each brand’s unique positioning to deliver programs that will increase engagement with consumer.

  • Century 21

Century21 is furthering its commitment to expanding opportunities in real estate leadership for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and populations, now offering the industry-first Inclusive Ownership Program. Celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary in 2021, the industry leader is now offering entrepreneurs who represent diverse populations including Women, LGBTQ+, Veterans and Ethnic and Racial Groups the opportunity to grow their business. By affiliating with a global brand that provides access to an innovative productivity platform, world-class marketing, agent learning and coaching, and industry-best quality service ratings, these companies are able to deliver what home buying and selling clients deserve—and demand—an extraordinary real estate experience.Launched in 2020 by parent company, Realogy, the Inclusive Ownership Program offers franchise owners affiliated with the CENTURY 21® Brand business and financial incentives that support growth and productivity, exclusive education and business mentorship opportunities such as a tuition discount to enroll in Realogy’s exclusive Ascend: The Executive Leadership ExperienceSM program, diverse market coaching and consulting, discounted brand leadership development experiences, and assistance to attain a Certification by National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Franchise owners affiliated with CENTURY21 Brand also receive a complimentary membership and conference registration to an industry partner organization of choice, including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB®), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.Over the past year, the CENTURY 21 Brand has welcomed six new companies via the Inclusive Ownership Program adding to its roster of more than thirty U.S.-based affiliated brokerages owned by veterans, women, Hispanic, African American, Asian-American Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ industry leaders.  To qualify for the Inclusive Ownership program, a brokerage must have one or more individuals with majority ownership (51% or more) in at least one of the following segments: Ethnic and Racial (Hispanic/Latino, African American/Black, Asian American Pacific Islander), Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Veteran. 

The “The New Face of Local” report by Uberall & MomentFeed finds that consumers prefer a mix of online and offline experiences with a business, in a hybrid customer journey. Consumers prefer a consumer purchase journey that blends physical and digital experiences in a non-linear fashion.

Uberall, a global leader in ‘Near Me’ Marketing SaaS solutions, and MomentFeed, an Uberall company, released a new report, titled “The New Face of Local.” It explores how COVID-19 driven digital acceleration has given birth to a hybrid customer journey that mixes online and in-person behavior when shopping locally.

“Our report shows that as economies re-open, consumers are much less likely to distinguish between online and offline, and instead prefer a customer journey that blends physical and digital experiences in a non-linear fashion,” said Nick Hedges, Chief Strategy Officer & EVP North America, Uberall.

The report features survey responses from over 1,000 U.S. consumers and analyzes the local online performance of nearly 80,000 business locations.

Customer JourneyGoogle #1 for Local Business Information

The overwhelming majority of consumers (69%) use Google to find local business information, including reviews. However, more than 20% also use Apple Maps, Yelp and/or Yahoo to find information about nearby businesses. Industry-specific websites and apps (e.g. travel, real estate, restaurants) are also important, with one out of five using these platforms.

“Google is the center of gravity for local search but it’s not the only site consumers turn to for local information,” said Greg Sterling, VP of Insights, Uberall. “People use a range of directories, sites and apps, which often change by industry or category.”

Customer Journey: Local Stores Remain Important

Despite the significant growth of e-commerce over the past year, less than 18% of US consumers prefer to research and buy products exclusively online. By comparison, 74% rely on stores at some point during their purchase process, even if the transaction ultimately happens online. Indeed, a little-understood fact is that stores support e-commerce: 66% of consumers are more likely to buy something online if they can return it to a local store.

66% of consumers are more likely to buy something online if they can return it to a local store.

“This is a strong indicator that consumers want a real-life experience in their customer journey – whether to evaluate the physical product in a store and/or the convenience of being able to take it home the same day,” said Hedges. “Though the internet is having a profound impact on consumer decisions, both enterprises and SMBs need to understand the relationship between online and offline behavior to succeed going forward.”

Non-Branded Searches Initiate More Customer Journeys During Covid

Already the majority of searches, Uberall found that non-branded search queries became even more dominant during the pandemic. Non-branded search is the what (“bookshop near me”), before the who (e.g. “Barnes & Noble near me”).

“The increase in non-branded local searches is a complex phenomenon, largely driven by the value consumers place on proximity, immediacy, and convenience,” said Hedges.

Customer Journey

Engagement with Online Business Listings in 2020 was Flat; 2021 Data Indicates Rapid Recovery

COVID disrupted normal consumer activities in 2020 and the customer journey. Safety protocols and related restrictions dramatically reduced or eliminated in-person business visits in the U.S. That led to a 1% decrease in click-to actions on business listings in search (calls, clicks, directions). However, Q1 2021 saw a big uptick in engagement and actions, an upward trend that will likely continue throughout 2021 as businesses reopen.

The data shows that Americans are willing to go out of their way in many cases to support local businesses that they trust.

The data shows that a return to in-person shopping is slowly but surely reaching pre-pandemic numbers,” said Hedges. “Furthermore, the importance of local stores can’t be understated. The data shows that Americans are willing to go out of their way in many cases to support local businesses that they trust.”

Some Industries Fared Better than Others

As consumers reduced or stopped visiting stores and indoor venues in 2020, industries like finance, retail, and government fared better in terms of click-to actions on local listings. They were able to deliver alternative customer experiences over the phone or through their websites.

  • Government saw the biggest increase in local listing engagement, with a 93% overall increase in actions taken from local listings, and a 115% increase in clicks to websites. This suggests citizens were seeking information from government officials on the latest regulations and restrictions, testing and vaccinations, unemployment, and more.
  • Retail saw a 58% increase in clicks to websites, indicating a big e-commerce marketing shift.
  • Financial and leasing services grew by 10% with the largest shift going to click to call.

In the restaurant, entertainment and travel categories, which were heavily impacted in 2020, there was a decrease in listings engagement and online actions across the board. Conversions for many of the companies in these industries depend on in-person experiences that are difficult to directly replicate online.

  • Travel saw the greatest decline in actions at -47% year-over-year, not surprising given extensive travel restrictions in 2020.
  • Social and entertainment industries were also greatly impacted with a -32% year-over-year decrease.
  • Restaurants fared better, given the ability of many to pivot to online ordering, takeout and delivery; however, there was still a decrease in actions of -18%.

Customer Journey

‌As more people incorporate hybrid shopping behaviors into their customer journeys, in an evolving and unpredictable environment it’s critical for businesses to bring more of the in-person experience online and to integrate online and offline assets to deliver consistent customer experiences across channels.

For more information and to download the report, please visit this link.

In contextual  targeting, advertising media are controlled on the basis of the content of a website using linguistic elements. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the context of what a user is looking at. Contextual advertising helps a brand understand what a consumer might like without needing personally identifiable information. Results of a new study show that digital advertising campaigns that employ contextual targeting are more cost-efficient than behaviorally targeted campaigns.

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Amidst a wave of data privacy regulation and third party cookie phase-outs that have digital advertisers scrambling for solutions to maintain campaign efficiency and scale, contextual targeting has frequently been touted as a data privacy-friendly alternative to behavioral targeting––but until now the viability of that claim has gone largely untested. Tech and media firm GumGum published a case study called Understanding Contextual Relevance and Efficiency: A Comparison of Contextual Intelligence Vendors and Behavioral Targeting. Findings seem to give credence to the promise of contextual as results indicate that digital advertising  campaigns that employ contextual targeting are more cost-efficient than behaviorally targeted campaigns. The study was sponsored in partnership with Dentsu Aegis Network and conducted by an independent third-party researcher.

Contextual Targeting
GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder.
It is fabulous to finally see a head-to-head contextual-behavioral match up and get hard data behind contextual targeting’s value.

“Machine learning-backed contextual targeting has been a central tenet of our offering since the get-go, so to some degree, from our perspective, this study states the obvious, but it is fabulous to finally see a head-to-head contextual-behavioral match up and get hard data behind contextual targeting’s value,” said GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder. “There are plenty of doubting Thomas’ about contextual as an answer to the cookie’s death and this ought to give them some faith.”

While the study was principally designed to better understand the overall effectiveness of contextual intelligence in comparison to behavioral, it also sought to benchmark four of the top contextual intelligence vendors in the industry. For the study, Dentsu Aegis Network ran live campaigns for four of its major brand clients, including Sephora, across four contextual intelligence vendors, as well as by leveraging behavioral targeting. The campaigns utilized the same brand safe inventory. The campaign served 1M impressions, which were measured for cost efficiency and content relevance.

We needed to gauge the effectiveness of the numerous emergent contextual intelligence offerings.
Contextual Targeting
Brian Monahan, Global Client President and Head of US Ventures for Dentsu Aegis Network.

“In a world with diminishing access to audience targeting, as responsible partners to our clients, we need the most robust understanding of potential best practices and tools available for success,” explained Brian Monahan, Global Client President and Head of US Ventures for Dentsu Aegis Network. “Beyond value-testing contextual, we also needed to gauge the effectiveness of the numerous emergent contextual intelligence offerings. This study gave us both of those things––and the results are compelling.”

Indeed, the study found that, taking into account CPMs, the contextual Intelligence vendor in-demo impressions (eCPM) cost 29% less than behaviorally targeted in-demo impressions, with GumGum Verity™ impressions costing somewhat less (36%)––and overall that for CPC and vCPM the costs of using contextual targeting were lower than behavioral (48% and 41% respectively).

 

For the study, Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings Reporting, Xandr, GumGum, MOAT provided the cost efficiency measurement of impressions. Appen, a third party vendor specializing in human annotation of urls, measured content relevance.

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Jordan Gnat, Robin Chhabra, Andy Clerkson, Loida Ruiz….People invest in companies, change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it. Check out last week’s Changing Places here.

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Jordan Gnat, Robin Chhabra and Andy Clerkson Invest in Futbol Sites

Futbol SitesDigital sports media group Futbol Sites announced that it is joining forces with Jordan Gnat, Robin Chhabra and Andy Clerkson, who together have acquired a significant interest in the Group, as well as appointing Mr. Gnat as Vice-Chairman of Futbol Sites. The terms of the investment were not disclosed.
Federico Grinberg, CEO of Futbol Sites tells Portada that a “key element of the company’s strategy going forward will be to accelerate growth in the U.S., both in the U.S. Hispanic as well as the general market. Futbol sites recently launched a new website catering to the U.S. general market. ”
Grinberg adds that online sports betting has had a significant advance in the United States and Futbol Sites also aims to be a major player in this sector. Jordan Gnat is a Senior Business Executive with over 25 years of leadership experience and over 17 years in the global gaming and media industries. Most recently Jordan was the Group Senior Vice President of The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars, FOX Bet, PokerStars
Casino, SkyBetting and Gaming and Oddschecker Group Media. Robin Chhabra is an experienced executive in the online gambling industry and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of FOX Bet, a landmark partnership between Flutter Entertainment and FOX Sports in the USA. He was previously on the Executive Committees of The Stars Group, William Hill and Inspired Gaming Group where he focused on strategy, business development and M&A and expanded the global footprint of each of these companies. Andy Clerkson has spent three decades building brands for media, sports betting and gaming companies in the USA, UK and Europe. In 2019, he helped The Stars Group and FOX Sports set up FOX Bet, for whom he is a senior advisor. In 2007 Andy founded influential digital marketing agency Grand Parade, which specialized in sports betting and was acquired by William Hill in 2016.

 

Loida Casares

Loida CasaresLoida Casares has taken on a new role as Account Manager for Houston Public Media and Market Enginuity. She manages an account desk and sells corporate sponsorships for KUHF 88.7 NPR, Channel 8 PBS, digital media and podcasts for Houston Public Media and Market Enginuity. She also sells multi-market campaigns that include any of the other 17 markets that Market Enginuity represents. She will report to Millie Adan-Garza, Director of Sales and Corporate Sponsorships. Casares began her professional career in advertising 27 years ago at the Houston Chronicle. Until recently, Casares worked as a Senior Account Manager at the Houston Chronicle.

Charles Gabriel

Charles Gabriel

WildBrain Spark, the digital media division of WildBrain—one of the world’s largest independent kids’ and family entertainment companies—has appointed Charles Gabriel to the newly created position of Vice President and Head of US Advertising Sales. WildBrain Spark builds brands through the management and creation of preschool and children’s entertainment content on platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Video Direct and ROKU. WildBrain Spark’s branded YouTube network is one of the largest of its kind, featuring more than 260,000 videos for more than 800 kids’ channels in over 30 languages. Every 90 days, one in every three kids worldwide with access to YouTube watches video content on the WildBrain Spark network, which has over 168 million subscribers, and approximately 4 billion views per month.
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Dear Members of the Portada Community,

We hope this message finds you healthy and safe. We know that the coronavirus crisis is bringing up many until very recently unthinkable challenges for the marketing community.  We deeply appreciate the relationships we have built, and we understand this is also a difficult time for your brands and businesses. We want to tell you that we are here to help. Please, let us know if you have any inquiries or if there is anything we can do for you at this time.

Over the next weeks we will be closely monitoring the situation and are looking forward to soon continue providing you:

  • Year-round participation in 24 virtual and in-person brand decision maker workshops belonging to 6 different units of the Portada Council System.
  • More than 800 1:1 meetings with pre-screened brand marketers annually.
  • Thought-leadership opportunities on topics chosen by brand marketers based on their needs.
  • Best-in-class digital marketing solutions through Portada media.


Throughout these challenging times, we will also continue providing marketing information, insights, and industry updates you rely on to drive your business forward on our website www.portada-online.com and mercadotecnia.portada-online.com.

Stay safe! We look forward to seeing you in the near future once the coronavirus is behind us.

Your Portada Team

Short term it will likely have an impact and it may also  accelerate trends that are already under way. How will the coronavirus impact marketing? Four things to take into account.

1. Short term: Uncertainty and Risk Aversion…

The coronavirus may soon be contained and ultimately not have a major impact on economic activity levels, similarly to the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak. In the short term, however, things are likely going to get worse before they stabilize. That’s because virus outbreaks, by definition, initially have a very high growth rate of positive cases.  Uncertainty rules.  “I think the reason we were not specific was just because I think at the moment, it’s really just unknowable,WPP CEO Mark Read, said during the company’s earnings call last Thursday February 27, when asked about the business impact of coronavirus on WPP’s China business. “It’s more unknowable today than probably it was Friday, if we had this meeting Friday of last week, we may [have] given you a different answer then we give you today.” As COVID 19 cases grow outside of China, the uncertainty is also increasing in the rest of the World, including the rest of Asia, North America and Europe (the main marketing hubs).
Not surprisingly, all major agency holding stocks have taken hits along with the broader market last week. With WPP’s shares falling 15%; IPG is down 5%; Omnicom is down nearly 4%; Dentsu Aegis fell 2.5%; and Publicis Groupe down 5.6%. In the real economy,  global tourism and retail have been hit particularly hard, as Chinese tourists provide a major source of income for many markets.

2. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: More emphasis on Virtual – Digital Marketing

In the short term companies are starting to restrict travel and encouraging remote work (e.g. Amazon told its employees to avoid all non essential travel for now including within the U.S.) Facebook, on its part,  last week cancelled a global marketing conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Activations and sponsorships at live events may be impacted negatively as marketing, including event marketing will become more virtual. This is not good news in a year where analysts were expecting to see an uptick in media investments from marketers eager to capitalize on events like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The virus may also accelerate a trend that was happening anyway. Executive meetings and virtual events over hangouts will increase. For an example check out Portada’s Council System of brand marketers, which conducts 12 brand decision maker virtual workshops a year.

3. Driver for E-Commerce…

In parts of China, major retailers like Starbucks, Uniqlo, Nike and Apple have temporarily shuttered their stores, while small and medium-size retailers are being hit particularly hard as foot traffic dwindles. This may happen in the U.S. in areas that have been particularly negatively affected by the outbreak. Reduced in-store activity will be a driver for increased e-commerce activity and e-commerce marketing. The big caveat here is if the outbreak creates serious supply chain issues (at producers, shipping and overall logistics e.g. Apple and Microsoft warning of supply chain problems last week), therefore limiting the amount of goods that can be purchased by online buyers.

…particularly Online Grocery…

Housebound consumers in China are turning to online groceries for their daily food supply. According to French retailer Carrefour, vegetable deliveries increased by 600% year over year during the Lunar New Year period. Chinese online retailer JD.com reported that its online grocery sales grew 215% year over year to 15,000 tons during a 10-day period between late January and early February. Concerns about food delivery due to possible food contamination have spurred recent innovation in contactless pickup and delivery services by companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. McDonald’s has implemented contactless pickup and delivery of Big Macs, fries and other menu items across China as the outbreak has unfolded. Customers order remotely – on mobile phones or by computers in store – and employees seal the meals in bags and put them in a special spot for pickup without human contact, McDonald’s says on its website.

4. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: Boost to At-Home Entertainment, Video Streaming and Gaming

If employees are forced to stay at home more, it will also impact how consumers spend their leisure time as they may have to avoid public gathering spaces, like movie theatres, concerts and gyms, leaving more time for them to binge on home entertainment and video services. Advertising revenues of companies that heavily bet on video content and advertising ,e.g. Roku, Youtube, Netflix and others should benefit from a public that’s stuck at home.

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