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Podcast advertising is one of the few media categories that are growing at a high rate, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. CNN Audio, the exclusive producer of audio content and podcasts for CNN Worldwide, ,is expanding CNN en Español’s podcast portfolio with the launch of “El Chapo: Two Faces of a Capo”. Narrated by journalist and CNN en Español anchor Fernando del Rincón, the six-episode podcast series follows the trial of Joaquin Guzman Loera, publicly known by his drug cartel alias “El Chapo,” and his reputation as a ruthless drug trafficker.

“El Chapo: Two Faces of a Capo” was released during the week of the first anniversary of El Chapo’s sentence (July 17, 2019), highlights new evidence and dramatic testimony through secretly recorded audio conversations, as well as through text messages and letters, that allowed the jury and the public to get an inside view of how El Chapo managed the inner workings of the Sinaloa Cartel. Audiences learn about the shocking details that came to light during his New York trial, his violent and unscrupulous methods, as well as other sides that, until now, have remained hidden. All episodes are now available to listen at http://www.cnn.com/elchapo, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart and Pocketcasts.

Podcast advertising is one of the few media categories that are growing at a high rate, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Cynthia Hudson, SVP and managing director of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy at CNN recently told Portada that CNN en Español’s  podcast ad inventory is sold out until July.
According to the IAB and PricewaterhouseCooper’s full year podcast ad revenue study, the category will grow  by 14.7% to US $ 1 billion in 2020. Media buying agency Omnicom and Spotify recently announced a  a deal worth US$ 20 million in podcast advertising.

Podcast Marketing: Among the Top Ten Podcasts

Regarding advertising monetization of the El Chapo podcast, sources at CNN tell Portada that they are “seeing healthy interest from our advertising partners across the WarnerMedia portfolio of podcasts. The podcast is supported by CNN Audio and WarnerMedia’s network of advertising partners.”

The podcast is supported by CNN Audio and WarnerMedia’s network of advertising partners.

They add that the they El Chapo podcast is among the “the top 10 of LatAm podcasts and has millions of downloads on a daily basis.” More podcasts series are in the offing, according to the source, as “several unnanounced projects are currently in development.”

Production: Storytelling Relying on the Presenter’s Voice

Fernando del RinconCNN anchor Fernando del Rincon, photo, tells Portada that it was an “exciting challenge to adapt the El Chapo story to a podcast.”  Regarding the differences between audio production and television production he notes that they are quite different from each other, especially when it comes to storytelling: “Storytelling in a podcast relies heavily on your voice, and the content and tone depend so much on how you narrate the story. It’s all about engaging listeners to draw them in. The original El Chapo documentary was produced for TV where there is visual support, so adapting the content into a podcast was not an easy task since it’s a complicated story to tell. But the end result that we produced is amazing.”

Storytelling in a podcast relies heavily on your voice, and the content and tone depend so much on how you narrate the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Media platform Teads recently launched  an  online content series centered around the many ways online creativity in the ad industry is evolving and has been accelerated by COVID-19.  Portada interviewed Jonathan Lewis, Global Head of Studio at Teads, to learn about the latest innovations in digital transformation and its implications for cross-divisional team work (e.g. creative and media) and organizational processes.

Jonathan Lewis on Digital Transformation
Jonathan Lewis, Global Head of Studio, Teads

Lewis, Global Head of Studio, Teads, is an expert who has been tasked with pressure-testing legacy creative processes and accelerate digital transformation within advertising. He notes that Latin America is the best playground for early adoption of initiatives including cross divisional team work and content testing. He claims that “there is without question a greater appetite for innovation and to a degree risk in Latin America.”

Digital Transformation and Cross Division Collaboration

Asked where he sees digital transformation within advertising going in regards to cross-division collaboration in the creative process, Lewis notes that “you certainly hear more about the convergence of creative and media teams, both within client and agency shops and In the main I think this is driven by client needs. At Teads our teams work collaboratively across the spectrum of the platform and the approach we have promoted with regard to our relationships with clients during the creative process is a reflection of this. For the last 2 years we have worked a cross-division, collaborative initiative that combines client
stakeholders, their creative and media agencies with our own creative Studio, data and media insights teams to deliver a specific campaign orchestration together in one (now remote) session. This working session, called L’Atelier is a powerful validation of the value of cross division learning and understanding.
This has been especially so during the current pandemic, where Covid-19 has acted as a reset button in the lives of many and faced, as we are, with an unfamiliar world our habits and needs and desires at any given moment are pretty fluid. So, the cross-collaboration across media, insights and creative functions is essential to ensuring we deliver sensitive creative experiences and give people what they need during this time. Ensuring tonality is on point and cut through to such collaborative approaches can achieve, learning and understanding from each division.”

Faced with an unfamiliar world our habits and needs and desires at any given moment are pretty fluid.

Appropriate Tonality: The Examples of KFC and LVMH

Lewis also stresses the need for the use of appropriate tonality in these challenging times. Digital Transformation also means establishing processes and cross-divisional teams for efficient tonality feedback loops. “Simply put, when we talk of tonality we are referring to what you say, how you say, when and where you say it (the context in which the ad appears is also an important consideration with regard to appropriate tonality) and maybe whether you should be saying it at all. Things can quickly become ‘tone deaf’ to the environment in which we find ourselves. In early stages of lockdown that would include content that had people celebrating, partying, holidaying or simply referring to things that we couldn’t do any longer.” As examples Lewis cites  KFC were unfortunately caught here with the outdoor campaign promoting (finger licking) good chicken.
Appropriate tonality would include messages that are showing support and action to help in the
crises. A good example here would be LVMH who very quickly pivoted to produce hand
sanitizer. “Of course there is a thin line between genuine help and being perceived as trying to
capitalize on a bad situation. So, referring back to the first question, the close collaboration
across teams provides a more stable and reliable way to test the temperature, assess tone and
adjust in a smart and agile way.”

The close collaboration across teams provides a more stable and reliable way to test the temperature, assess tone and adjust in a smart and agile way.

Digital Transformation: Best-In-Class Content Testing…

There are a number of ways a brand can test their content, Lewis argues. “One lifted from the world of TV, of which they should be familiar, is content pre-testing. Assuming your TVC will play out in the same way on a digital device is not advisable. So being able to pre-test that content for a mobile platform and using real time emotional tracking (via a panel and accessing the users web camera) to gage, frame by frame, how users, exposed to such a creative are reacting on an emotional level, is an excellent barometer for understanding how it is likely to perform. At what point during the creative are users happy? When are they surprised? When are they disgusted and how can we use that data to inform how we deliver this TVC as a digital piece fit
for mobile.

Tonality Pre-Testing

Lewis  also advocates for a ‘tonality pre- test: “During COVID via a survey to 300 respondents we are measuring aided brand awareness, reaction to creative (relevance, sensitivity to context) and impact on perception of the brand, ” he notes.

We are also advocating a ‘tonality pre- test during COVID via a survey to 300 respondents where we are measuring aided brand awareness.

Digital Transformation: Evidence based Approach Feeds Back into the Creative Process

Evidence generated from pre-test emotional studies can be a key driver for refashioning digital creatives by using  the positive peaks in emotion to accentuate the creative, Alternatively an evidence based creative process in order to drive actions could involve the use of campaign performance data, live in near-real-time, to identify what’s working, to design tests (AB), to validate a hypothesis and to iterate. Lewis asserts that “for this, you need something akin to a remote war room with your clients to initiate a more or less constant feedback loop. This of course can be a lot of work and time consuming, you will need agile and fast working teams with the ability to understand and redesign creative output, but the payoff is that it could provide the key to a deeper understanding of what resonates with people exposed to your creative on a mobile
device.

  You need something akin to a remote war room with your clients to initiate a more or less constant feedback loop.

Check out:

Marketing Technology 101: Everything You Need to Know

8 Ways AI is transforming Marketing Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What: Who are brands turning to in order to engage today’s evolving Hispanic Marketing audiences? Are Univision and Telemundo still the go-to networks? How are budget allocations shifting as new platforms and media emerge? We talk to industry insiders to find out.
Why It Matters: While digital platforms allow for more effective targeting and messaging, Univision and Telemundo remain referential to Hispanic marketers. Their market share and consumer demographics resources make them pillars of Hispanic communication.

Evolving demographics and new digital platforms and formats are keeping marketers on their toes. But while online video and social media are extremely popular, some things don’t change. Networks Univision and Telemundo continue to wield considerable power in connecting brands with Hispanic audiences.

 

Telemundo, Univision: a source of knowledge about consumer demographics in Hispanic Marketing

Multicultural marketers watch Univision and Telemundo closely. The industry leaders are an example on how to keep up with the increasingly complex Hispanic demographic. In many ways, marketers are comfortable turning to them as safe bets for reaching and truly engaging Hispanic audiences. Chris Ota, Marketing Manager, Confections & Global Foods at Nestlé USA said that their Multicultural COE, led by Margie Bravo, “works very closely with Univision and Telemundo as they bring great resources and knowledge about with consumers demographics.”

Margie Bravo, Multicultural Marketing Manager at Nestlé USA explains how the two powerhouse networks have seen the shifting Hispanic Marketing landscape evolve. “They are adapting the offering for the future as they more than anyone has seen their audience evolve as well.”

Larissa Acosta, Segments Integrated Marketing Lead at Wells Fargo, agrees. “Latinos are an important consumer segment for Wells Fargo, which is why Univision and Telemundo are key partners in our marketing mix. They both target the same audiences with similar programming. We don’t see one network as more effective than the other.”

Too few marketers cater to Spanish-Speaking Hispanics 

Lucia BallasTraynor, Executive Vice President, Client Partnerships at Hemisphere Group, supports both Ota and Acosta’s arguments in favor of Univision and Telemundo’s effectiveness. “Tell me what general market network can claim the type of share that Telemundo and Univision have. That’s what marketers and buyers should focus on,” she says. 

Tell me what general market network can claim the type of share that Telemundo and Univision have? That’s what marketers and buyers should focus on.

She also explains what it means that Univision and Telemundo still hold such a high share of Hispanic audiences. “It means that regardless of acculturation level or language proficiency, Hispanics are still largely underserved by general market choices.”

English or Spanish. What difference does it make?

Regardless of which language Hispanics speak primarily, Spanish plays a key role in their identity. For this reason, “reaching ‘Spanish-language Hispanics’ is still a priority for a select group of marketers, but should be part of every marketer’s strategy,” adds Traynor.

Nonetheless, Morgan admitted that Univision and Telemundo are far more targeted to the bilingual or Spanish-dominant Latino. They “still don’t address the English dominant ones, as the majority of their programming (95%+) is Spanish-language.” As the Hispanic becomes more acculturated and bilingual, Morgan, at least, does not see them switching to English: “Their core business is Spanish-language television, so the story they tell in the marketplace speaks to that.”

New digital platforms have allowed our marketing messages to be more targeted, measurable and culturally relevant. We have opportunities to experiment with new creative and content formats and test our way into optimized creative that drives business results.

Acosta of Wells Fargo seconds that sentiment, and adds: “Spanish language television has been delivering big ratings for a while now, so we are not surprised that the trend continues.” She also notes that much of the viewing for these networks is live, as streaming and time-delayed viewing become more common programming formats.

It’s complicated to address the Hispanic audience at the right level of inclusion. Marketers must understand that the Hispanic American today is complex. Bravo of Nestlé says that when Telemundo and Univisión started “[they] had a foreign-born population that didn’t speak English, but today the highest growth is coming from the second-generation of US-born Hispanics who are very proud of where they came from but want to also honor their American heritage.” For this reason, instead of focusing solely on Multicultural or Hispanics, many brands are opting for a Total Market approach.

More Brands Adopting ‘Total Market’ Approach

Nerds candy Hispanic Marketing campaign
Nerds candy Hispanic Marketing campaign

Nestlé is one of them. Their coffee Latino-oriented brands like La Lechera, Nescafé Clásico, and Coffee-mate communicate through both English and Spanish advertising. Bravo adds that “The Spanish creative may be slightly different to acknowledge the nuances of how the brand is viewed or used amongst Latinos.” However, a Total Market approach seems to facilitate more flexibility.

Bravo also mentions that Nestlé has introduced “exotic flavors inspired by Hispanic tastes across several categories,” like confections, frozen snacks, and beverages. For example, take the Nerds candy ¡Lucha Grande! campaign. “For Hispanics some of these flavors may be nostalgic. But for Non-Hispanic Millennials, these flavors may add a cool twist to their favorite Nerds candy,” says Bravo. And the industry recognized this effort, awarding it the National Confectioner Association’s (NCA) “Most Innovative 2017 New Product” award.

Are Facebook and Google alternatives to Univision and Telemundo? 

So what about the alternatives to Univision and Telemundo? Asten Morgan, Executive Director of Integrated Media at Latina Media Ventures, said: “Univision and Telemundo are Spanish-language television networks,” says Asten Morgan, Executive Director of Integrated Media at Latina Media Ventures. “Facebook, Google and now possibly Snap have more influence specific to Latinos, [but] those networks have small digital footprints.”

On the other hand, Acosta noted that new digital platforms do offer opportunities that television does not. “New digital platforms have allowed our marketing messages to be more targeted, measurable and culturally relevant…We have opportunities to experiment with new creative and content formats and test our way into optimized creative that drives business results.”

Acosta adds: “Both networks have recognized that media consumption is changing. They’ve set very interesting strategies in play to evolve with the times.” By acquiring properties like Fusion, The Onion, and The Root, Univision’s strategy seems to target not just Hispanic, but Millennial audiences. Telemundo, on the other hand, promotes within NBC’s properties. “They are both important partners, and are among many other Hispanic targeted vehicles that are part of our media mix,” Acosta said.

Multicultural and Hispanic Marketing: different but the same? 

While some people use the words “Multicultural” and “Hispanic” interchangeably, they most certainly do not mean the same thing. Still, many brand marketers do not have budgets for both types of targeting. Are media buyers and brand marketers starting to shift budgets away from Hispanic into broader Multicultural targeting?

Morgan of Latina Media Ventures asserts that he does see them as competing for budgets. “It’s about trying to tap into two buckets of money. Some brands just have one or the other, but it’s smart on their part if they can pull it off, as Multicultural blurs the color or ethnicity line.”

But Morgan does not believe that budgets will shift away from Hispanic to Multicultural. Hispanic “can be as specific as Spanish-language only. This means the exclusion of the fastest growing Hispanic segment, the acculturated Latino.” In his experience, “there are specific Hispanic initiatives and then there are Multicultural ones.”

Will both fuse? Will marketers have to choose?

Acosta of Wells Fargo agrees that both Multicultural and Hispanic marketing are evolving. This progress is thanks to demographic changes “combined with the growing influence of diverse cultures on the mainstream, particularly with younger, digital native generations.” She adds that they work closely with Association of National Advertisers, the Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing, and other industry organizations “so that the work is reflective of the growing influence and acceptance of diverse insights in business planning.”

Acosta asserts that, at Wells Fargo, they do not see any demographics or audiences as competing for budget.  Instead, they let “the business opportunity determine our segment strategies and budget allocations.” This means the company allocates budgets in segments that are driving business through studying campaign data and measuring performance. So, in the end, it always boils down to having the right data. It’s important to know your target in order to choose the right approach. 

 

Because of how wildly consumers’ worlds have changed in the last four months (COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter), this means they can engage with brands in endless ways and under their own terms. For marketers, this means coming up with effective strategies that address personalization at scale, new technologies, and omnichannel experience, among others. Learn how Portada Council System‘s leading brand marketers are leveraging opportunities and facing challenges around consumer engagement.

 

Kick-Off Facts

 

  • More than half (54%) of customers think companies need to fundamentally transform how they engage. (Salesforce)
  • Companies with initiatives to improve their customer experience see employee engagement increase by 20% on average. (McKinsey)
  • 61% of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences. (Think With Google)

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Tech Knowledge in Media Agencies: a Must or a Fad?

 

Three Consumer Engagement Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Problems of Definition: When Does it Really Count as Consumer Engagement?

Related comment: “What is consumer engagement? How is it defined? What does a consumer need to do for that to be considered engagement?”

Depending on the channel, sometimes it’s defined more easily, but it isn’t always easy to measure. It used to be just about exposure, but now the consumer has the power to build a relationship with your brand.

 

2. Trust Goes Both Ways, Can Brands Trust Consumers?

Related comment: “Reviews and comments aren’t accurate anymore because companies pay for reviews, it’s the same trend as fake news.”

People say one thing and then do another. Marketers know that when you do consumer research, respondents say whatever they need to make you happy, to impress others, to go with the flow…

 

3. It’s Impossible to Fully Measure Engagement

Related comment: “How do you tie engagement to other metrics down the consumption funnel? We don’t always know if we’re really changing someone’s behavior when they watch or share. Are they more connected than before?”

Engagement is just part of what we do, but ultimately what we want is people coming to our business. The lack of uniformity of the data we receive is a challenge for personalization.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

 

Portada Council System Members Also Identified Three Consumer Engagement Opportunities

1. Technology Can Help Consumers Relate With Brands

Related comment: “When new formats like live video come out, we tend to wonder if we are ready or how to be. Things like Facebook Live have helped people engage more and more with us, and when people engage, we can retarget. Technology allows you to measure and retarget consumers, as well as track when they make a purchase.”

Some marketers feel like they have to encompass every single touchpoint. Rather, you need to identify the right points for your audience and address those. It comes to affinity and targeting the right media.

2. It’s not All About Sales

Related comment: “Engagement translates into investment, not only economical (which is what we all strive for), but also emotional. Nowadays there isn’t time for anything, people invest time on your brand, which translates into loyalty. Brands today all have the same virtual space; as long as your consumers are engaged, you’re winning.”

Interactions between consumers are almost as valuable as interactions with the brand

3. Perhaps You Should Try Influencer Marketing

Related comment: “Influencers can be a positive strategy, but a lot of brands are not selective enough with influencers. Influencers should align with the brand and have credibility. Consumers are smarter than we think they are, they see right through it. When you have a true ambassador, they’re worth it.”

Influencer marketing is great at a local level because you can target your audience according to specific areas where your product is popular. That’s where you have local influencers that you can maximize by investing in trust rather than in reach.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

By Adam Solomon, Chief Growth Officer, Lotame

Despite rumors to the contrary, marketers, and agencies want and need a connected digital advertising ecosystem. To get there, savvy, growth-oriented publishers and media companies would be wise to embrace first, second, and third-party data. 

First-Party Data Is Superman But Even Superman Needs Help Once in a While 

Connected EcosystemNo one denies the power of first-party data. It has incredible value to publishers and marketers, and for good reason. First-party data was freely given by consumers to the sites and apps they love. I read a regional newspaper regularly and I happily log into my subscription every day. I want them to know who I am and serve me more of the content I’m interested in. First-party data is fantastic.

Like Superman, first-party data has its kryptonite and its scale. Marketers need scale to optimize their ad spend — and their media team’s resources in buying high-quality inventory. In a connected ecosystem, what provides scale for marketers is the ability to add third-party audiences.

You’ve seen the click-bait headlines that “Third-Party Data Is Dead.” It couldn’t be further from the truth for marketers and agencies who rely on these quality data sources to reach more relevant audiences everywhere they are. eMarketer projects digital ad spending in LATAM to continue its growth in 2020, as more consumers turn to digital due to the pandemic. As digital becomes the “channel of choice” for advertisers, they will need more signals, connections, and data points to understand the changing customer’s habits, interests, and behaviors. They’ll need third-party data to fill in those gaps.

Third-party data is the connective tissue everyone needs

Third-party data is the connective tissue everyone needs. If my newspaper wants to enrich its valuable first-party data, it can with third-party attributes and behaviors. Not only would that property learn more about its customers but with the right tools, they’d be able to package and pass those attributes and behaviors to the marketers that want to buy them. Go ahead and land that CPG or Auto brand with your data-driven audiences. Publisher grows revenue by maximizing inventory. The marketer connects with new audiences. Consumers discover products or services they didn’t know they needed.

Not all third-party data is sourced or aggregated equally, however. What I’ve described above is an ideal scenario in which the quality of the data provider has been vetted and verified. It’s not fantasy though. These data enrichment use cases are happening right now, around the world. Reputable third-party data providers like Experian and MasterCard, for example, are transparent about provenance, collection, accuracy, and usage. Which is why marketers and agencies can’t get enough of third-party data to learn more about their customers and create addressable audiences that actually work.

There will always be bad actors, and third-party data is not exempt. But to dismiss the power of third-party data as a whole to marketers and publishers is not only nearsighted, it’s downright blind. And now more than ever, it’s painfully obvious that relying on first-party data alone is not enough for marketers — by the way, it never was enough.

Browsers Are Crashing the Party

Browsers have overstepped and broken customer relationships with cookie blocking. They are effectively crashing a party they weren’t invited to and trying to take over the music and block the door.

Connected EcosystemConsider that worldwide, Safari and Firefox account for approximately 22% of the market share. Thanks to cookie blocking, marketers cannot reach those customers and prospects. Those touchpoints are gone. Further, publishers are losing out on monetization opportunities. Does that seem fair? Marketers and publishers were not part of the conversation about their ecosystem, about their economy, about the free Internet that they support. Safari and Firefox made these decisions to serve their own needs and to disconnect marketers from consumers, although I’m sure they’d be loathe to admit it. At least Google puts on a public face that the industry will be part of a solution, although the jury is out on how much weight or voice they’ll have.

Is it the responsibility of Safari, Firefox, and Chrome to persist in consumer privacy choices? Or rather, is it the right thing for publishers and media companies to protect their users and honor their choices? I suppose you could argue both sides sufficiently, but I believe doing the right thing by consumers is giving them the choice and tools to interact with trusted brands on their own terms.

Consumers win on privacy, right? Remember who pays for the vast majority of free content online. Marketers. If publishers can’t monetize their content and marketers can’t reach their customers, you can expect some of your favorite niche sites and apps to close up shop. You can also look forward to more irrelevant ads as marketers try their best to reach the right audiences but hit and miss more often.

Growing your business and helping your marketing partners succeed requires finding your consumers across many platforms and channels, understanding more about them, and engaging them in smart, respectful dialogue.

Don’t forget, third-party cookies and third-party data are not the same. What cookie blocking accomplishes is making it more challenging for marketers and publishers to connect data in web environments. Isolating your first-party data and refusing to collaborate is a dangerous way forward. As I’ve said previously, “Growing your business and helping your marketing partners succeed requires finding your consumers across many platforms and channels, understanding more about them, and engaging them in smart, respectful dialogue.” In other words, what will lift all boats is a connected ecosystem in which everyone can operate under the same guidelines and rules and identify consumers with translatable IDs while persisting privacy preferences.

Connectedness Is Human Nature 

Connections couldn’t be more important at this point in history. We’re all experiencing a world in which our connections, near and far, are keeping us healthy, sane, and fulfilled as best as possible during the pandemic.

I see the light and it’s not at the end of the tunnel. I see a very near future where marketers, agencies, publishers, and media companies will find new ways to connect with each other, see more about their customers, and have the tools to strengthen those relationships and grow their businesses.

Find new customers, increase customer engagement, and grow revenue with first-, second-, and third-party data.

“Disconnect” as an operating system is canceled. Let’s embrace the joy of connecting in meaningful and relevant ways. Call me optimistic but there’s so much that both sides of the table are missing right now, and Lotame is just the innovator to solve it.

Find new customers, increase customer engagement, and grow revenue with first-, second-, and third-party data. Learn how Lotame Panorama can help you in today’s cookie-challenged web.

 While civil unrest has hit many U.S. cities, brands response to racism has often been unmindful.
“Brands have nothing real to say about racism’ is the headline of a recent Atlantic Monthly article. Is Corporate America ready to provide messaging that resonates with the consumer? How should brands respond to racism? 7 things to know.

1. Brands Response to Racism that has Resonated with the Consumer: Nike and Ben & Jerry

Nike was among the first brands to pivot its messaging. On May 29, Nike posted a text video in black and white, tracked to somber piano music, on its social-media accounts. “For once, don’t do it,” the 60 second video solicits, invoking the brand’s famous “Just do it” slogan. Later in the video, the command gets only slightly more specific: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.” Eventually, the “problem” is named as racism.

Ben & JerryIce cream and frozen yogurt company Ben & Jerry issued a corporate statement on its website and on Twitter that’s been widely shared and praised on social media. It begins by saying, “The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy.” The statement includes a four-point action plan for eliminating white supremacy in the U.S. and is accompanied by graphics that read, “We must dismantle white supremacy. Silence is NOT an option.” Over the last 10 days hundreds of companies, sports teams, and celebrities followed suit with posts of their own, many of them nearly identical in their vague phrasing and awkward execution. The social media noise and general lack of real commitment made by marketers, prompted Jeffrey Dunn, CEO of Bolthouse Farms, a vertically integrated farm company specializing in refrigerated beverages, to write the following in a LinkedIn post: “At Bolthouse Farms, we stand in solidarity with the black community and others who have faced social & racial injustice. To honor this, Bolthouse will be going dark on our social media channels this week to allow more room for thoughtful discussions to occur without the noise and distraction from less important topics. We hope these conversations can help us come together as a community to find long-term solutions for positive change in this country.”

Bolthouse will be going dark on our social media channels this week to allow more room for thoughtful discussions to occur without the noise and distraction from less important topics.

2. Are Companies “Opening their Purses” like Social Media Users Demand?

Social media users are saying “open your purse” to brands and celebrities posting messaging against racism in support of #BlackLivesMatter to demand action, not just words. An example of a company seemingly talking the talk but not walking the walk is L’Oréal Paris who spoke out publicly last Monday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and received much criticism in the comments of its social post after model Munroe Bergdorf posted about the brand on her Instagram, saying it had dropped her from a 2017 campaign for “speaking out against racism and white supremacy.”

3. Yes, Some Are: P&G, Beauty Brands…

Procter & Gamble announced a new US $5 million contribution to the P&G “Take On Race” fund that will go to support organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund.
In addition, over 60 beauty brands have pledged financial support for organizations including Black Lives Matter, the Minnesota Freedom Fund and the NAACP, according to a growing checklist of brands being compiled by industry watchdog account Estée Laundry. Unilever established a a $100,000 investment fund that will be provided to five activists working toward social change, and many of its brands including Axe, Tazo, Suave, Seventh Generation, Degree and Vaseline have pledged more than $1 million to organizations fighting for racial equality. Luxury makeup brand Glossier and YouTube both pledged $1 million each to related causes.

4. Brands Response to Racism: Donations are Not Enough; This is a Systemic Crisis

Let’s not forget that corporate donations can be more of a symptom of corporate racial injustice than a remedy. There are huge structural issues here. Black and brown Americans are extremely underrepresented in Corporate America; definitely in marketing departments. As Portada has written before, Multicultural and Hispanic Centers of Excellence that don’t have decision making power over budgets, are more of a lip service than a real commitment by corporations to market to the growing multicultural demographic. While thought leaders often claim that corporate diversity drives business benefits, Corporate America has not adjusted; black professionals today hold just 3.2% of executive and senior manager positions and less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEO spots, according to a report from the Center for Talent Innovation called “Being Black in Corporate America.”

Multicultural Centers of Excellence that don’t have decision making power over budgets are more of a lip service than a real commitment by corporations to market to the growing multicultural demographic.

5. Consumers will Vote with Their Wallets …

Consumers can play a crucial role in forcing corporations to really commit to diversity and racial justice. Consumers should increasingly reward companies who really commit to diversity and racial justice by buying their products and services. Shoppers, particularly white middle and upper class consumers, needs to go beyond price and quality purchase considerations and support a diverse and racially free society.

Shoppers, particularly white middle and upper class consumers, needs to go beyond price and quality purchase considerations and support a diverse and racially free society.

Millennials are already giving cause related factors a lot of weight when making purchasing decisions. Lewis Williams, EVP and Chief Creative Officer at Burrell Communications told Adweek. “that younger generations are “holding brands accountable. … They’re telling brands, you have to do more, you have to change the situation.”

6. Brands Who Recognize New Consumer Power will Benefit

Brands need to incorporate diversity and racial justice to their most important company objectives in order to reflect consumer preferences (see point 6 above).  This requires that company leadership and stakeholders first pause to think; L’Oreal USA  did have to pause and listen from members inside and outside its organization to decide both the multi-cultural division’s and larger company’s response, Erica Culpepper, general manager of multi-cultural beauty at L’Oréal USA, told Glossy. “On Friday, we paused all content that was beauty-specific, or around product or influencers, things that might seem trivial in the larger landscape… but elevating social justice as a company is something that is new for us, but part of our longer-term strategy,” she said. Let’s hope so.

7. Brands Response to Racism: MarTech can Help to Connect with the Consumer at Scale

Appropiately leveraged marketing technologies can help brands get closer to consumers in this time of unrest. “Time, Context, and Location are key to a successful marketing campaign. Given the global pandemic, and the current state of the country, every state and city is experiencing different things at different times. It is critical to talk to each audience differently,” says Oz Etzioni, CEO, of Clinch, an AI powered omnichannel personalization technology platform. According to Etzioni, “Personalization is now an essential. Customers increasingly expect ads to be personalized. Not in a creepy way, but in a way that fits with the way they see the world right now. Brands win audiences by creating connections based on empathy and relevance.” According to Etzioni, “70% of companies that use advanced personalization have already earned 200% ROI or more from it.”

The U.S. government has given tax payers until July 15 to file and pay 2019 income taxes. Major Tax Marketing efforts therefore have been extended for 90 days. We asked John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager at  TurboTax owner Intuit, (and a Portada Council System member) about how he has adapted TurboTax marketing to the new social distancing environment.

Sandoval tells Portada that TurboTax’s biggest priority is maintaining taxpayers informed on how the current landscape can impact their filing situation. “Government economic incentives like the recently passed stimulus also has had an impact on millions of Americans, who may not have all the information available to fully understand how they could benefit or what it means to them.”

John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager at  Intuit
John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager,  Intuit

TurboTax was recently featured in Google-Youtube ads leaderboard as one of the 12 most-watched ads that encouraged consumers to stay at home. These brands adapted their message to help flatten the curve and fight the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. The 12 ads on the platform’s list have generated more than 32 million views.  The English-language ads were created by Wieden & Kennedy and media was planned and bought by both Camelot and Wieden and Kennedy.

Latest Tax-Marketing Initiative: Stay Home PSA Ads

Sandoval feels proud of this communication initiative and particularly about the fact that it was aired and communicated in Spanish supporting Turbo Tax multicultural marketing initiatives (see ad below).

Sandoval adds that wile he has “seen some great companies run ads addressing the current situation on English-language TV, many of them have not complemented their efforts in Spanish-language TV.” “Our efforts speak to our commitment to the Latino consumer segment. In addition, we have a robust content strategy that provides in-language relevant information to all Spanish speaking customers, so they are up to date with all recent tax changes.” “Knowing that our consumers are doing so many things for the first time at home due to the current environment, we wanted to empower the community that “doing taxes” could be one of them.”

New Approach to Day-To-Day Tax Marketing

Sandoval tells Portada that his approach to day-to-day marketing has changed over the last few months. “What we have learned during the current health crisis is that consumers expect brands to tap into their humanitarian side and give back to consumers in this unprecedented time. It has been very uplifting to see companies like Zoom donating video communication services to schools so that children can continue learning; or Gap pivoting its resources so that their factories can focus on producing surgical masks as opposed to clothes; or Anheuser-Busch making hand sanitizer alongside their beer.”

What we have learned during the current health crisis is that consumers expect brands to tap into their humanitarian side.

Messaging in Times of Social Distancing…

“Our messaging has always been connected to offering the ability to file at your convenience, while leveraging the expertise of our credentialed bilingual CPA’s and Enrolled Agents to file with confidence. During social distancing, this message has become more relevant than ever before. Many consumers will have to file their own taxes this year for the first time ever, and others will still need the support and guidance of tax experts, ” Sandoval asserts.

It has been very uplifting to see companies like Zoom donating video communication services to schools; or Gap pivoting its resources so that their factories can focus on producing surgical masks as opposed to clothes; or Anheuser-Busch making hand sanitizer alongside their beer.

with Changing Patterns in Media Consumption.

“Media consumption is also shifting given the change in consumers’ daily routines, cancellation of live events, and greater need than ever before to stay connected to one another”, Sandoval claims.At Intuit, we are constantly evaluating the different channels we use to communicate with consumers. Having real-time data allows us to be nimble and adjust our strategy and message to ensure we are being a valuable partner and a resource to all Americans, while being sensitive to the current situation we are all living. For example, with many Americans turning to linear TV news more frequently and for longer duration to stay abreast of the constant changing environment we’ve made sure our properties flex to meet our customers where they are.

With many Americans turning to linear TV news more frequently and for longer duration to stay abreast of the constant changing environment we’ve made sure our properties flex to meet our customers where they are.

Feature Image: Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

E-commerce marketing – the practice of converting website traffic into sales – is simple in definition. But shoppers, digital platforms, and algorithms evolve constantly, and so must your strategy. Studies claim that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040, and online shopping already accounts for 10% of retail sales in the U.S. alone. The numbers leave it crystal clear: brands can no longer afford to avoid the digital marketplace.

For the most part, brands are embracing the opportunity – there are 12-24 million e-commerce sites online, and according to eMarketer, e-commerce sales are expected to hit $27 trillion in 2020 (Note:
COVID-19 impact on consumer behavior will substantiallz accelerate this trend). But to succeed, brands must be strategic and consistent about e-commerce marketing, and how they use the tools that the digital era affords them.

E-commerce marketing involves balance of paid, unpaid efforts

In contrast to shopping in person, e-commerce offers customers a far more personalized, convenient experience. It gives shoppers access to almost any type of product from anywhere in the world and, similarly, gives brands access to platforms with a global reach and a myriad of tools to empower their brand. A recent study found that the #1 reason people shop online is that they’re able to shop at all hours of the day.

Putting your products in front of the right audience requires a balance of marketing efforts that can generally be broken down into paid and unpaid efforts. Unpaid strategies involve drawing the right audiences to your brand “organically” through campaigns that generate audiences and sales through offering relevant, captivating content. SEO falls under the unpaid category as well, enabling better search rankings for those willing to navigate search engines’ ever-changing algorithms.

Paid media typically involves buying a space for advertising across different digital platforms. Common formats include display ads, banner ads, and sponsored ads, and they typically live on platforms like search engines (Google, Bing), social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), and typical websites.

Brands must be thoughtful about how they employ a mix of paid and unpaid marketing strategies, responding to their target audiences’ online preferences and behavior.

E-commerce shoppers are global, young, and skew female  

While each brand is responsible for understanding the particularities of its target audience, statistics on global e-commerce shoppers reveals a number of notable trends. E-commerce is increasingly global:cross-border e-commerce now accounts for 20% of total global e-commerce.

E-commerce is also increasingly generational: A recent study found that Millennials and Gen-Xers spend 50% more time shopping online than their older counterparts: 6 hours versus 4 hours, respectfully. And 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen-Xers prefer to shop online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. Breaking e-commerce down by gender reveals another interesting trend: Men spend 28% more than women shopping online.

Social media continues to drive effective e-commerce marketing

It’s no surprise that today’s social media platforms offer brands a myriad of ways to connect with today’s shoppers. While they can be selective about which platforms they use based on their audience and goals, those that forego a social media presence altogether are missing out. A recent study found that brands with a social media presence experience sales that are 32% higher than those that do not. This when considering the results of a study that revealed that 74% of consumes rely on their social media networks to make purchasing decisions.

Luckily, brands can turn to data to inform their decisions surrounding which platforms to invest in. For example, Shopify reported that the average order value for customers referred from Instagram is $65.00, followed by Facebook ($55), Twitter ($46), and YouTube ($38). Brands are already spending big money to promote their products on social media: eMarketer reported that Worldwide ad spending on Facebook and Instagram combined will reach nearly $95 billion annually in 2021. But other platforms are growing, too: The number of marketers sharing video content on LinkedIn is set to rise to 65% in 2021, for example.

Email marketing allows brands to be proactive in reaching audiences

While consumers actively seek compelling content from brands on social media, email marketing allows brands to initiate a kind of proactive engagement that keeps them top of mind with their audiences.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Wolfgang Digital, “Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks 2016”

A recent study found that email marketing contributes to 20% of traffic that drives eCommerce sales, and OptinMonster reported that email marketing yields $44 for each $1 spent for a 4400% ROI.

Smart brands use a number of tactics to take full advantage of email marketing. Segmentation – diving groups of consumers into groups based on common characteristics, traits, or behaviors – is key to ensuring that the content a brand delivers its audiences is relevant. Depending on who they are and what they are looking for, consumers will seek different kinds of information and products during their buying journeys. Campaign Monitor reported that segmented campaigns to email subscribers drive a 760% increase in revenue.

 Shoppers increasingly turn to mobile for online shopping

An essential element of any e-commerce marketing strategy involves recognizing the different devices that shoppers use. 85% of customers start a purchase on one device and finish it on another.

Today, a significant portion of e-commerce activity occurs on mobile devices. This is true for all stages of the journey: 93% of Millennials have compared online deals using a mobile device. Shoppers even turn to their phones while in physical stores: 65% of consumers look up price comparisons on mobile while in a physical store, and 32% of shoppers changed their minds about purchasing items after checking out product information on their mobile devices within a physical store.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Source: Outerbox

They feel as comfortable making important purchases on mobile as they do on desktop devices: In fact, conversion rates from mobile apps are 3x higher than mobile websites, and 40% of all online purchases made during the holiday season are done on smartphones.

What does this mean for e-commerce marketing strategies? Most importantly, brands must design mobile-friendly websites. 73% of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier, and people who have a negative experience in your mobile store are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. Brands that want to take it a step further can engage shoppers on brand or company-specific apps. According to a study from Invesp, 53% of smartphone and tablet owners will shop on company-specific apps.

AI set to transform shopping experience

While AI is still a nascent technology, it is quickly becoming a useful tool in e-commerce marketing strategies. It is primarily useful for deriving insight from large volumes of data. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce marketers that want to find patterns in shopping behavior and form a 360-view of customers as they give us clues about their preferences through interactions and engagements with your brand.

AI is also immensely useful in delivering better customer experiences. Chatbots represent one of the most popular applications for AI today. While nothing can fully replace the human touch, shoppers are starting to recognize the value that AI-powered customer service tools offer. A recent study found that almost half of consumers are open to the idea of purchasing an item from a chatbot. 57% are interested in getting information sent to them by a bot when visiting a business’s website.

What not to do: additional fees, complicated checkouts 

Shoppers go online for convenience, and if they can’t find what they want easily, or if it won’t be delivered efficiently, they are likely to abandon their journey with a brand. According to a study by Metapack found that 45% of online shoppers abandon their carts when they are unhappy with delivery options, and 69% feel the same about shipping fees.

Similarly, complicated checkout processes, websites that load slowly, and sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will leave the site without making a purchase. The consequences for this can be drastic: 73% of consumers will leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.

But there are ways to bring users who abandon back in. Email recovery strategies allow brands to send emails reminding users to return and complete a purchase. They are surprisingly effective, with a study claiming that almost half of recovery emails are opened, and that almost a third incentivize a sale.

Smart e-commerce marketing means automation, personalization, and convenience

Online shopping habits will continue to evolve as technology enables more and more ways to make e-commerce easier, faster, and more personalized. Smart brands can win in this space by staying attune to the devices and platforms that people are using, using technology to complement (and sometimes replace) the human touch, and building the tools to keep transactions as smooth and seamless as possible.

 

In an exclusive interview Cynthia Hudson, SVP and managing director of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy at CNN, explains how COVID-19 has moved her company to build new offerings in tune with audiences new content needs as well as to optimize content delivery across different screens.

In Q1 2020 CNN en Español’s linear TV audiences have seen triple digit growth rates compared to Q3 2019. The growth has been buoyed up because last March CNN en Español was included in the basic DirecTV package, which helped boost the channel’s overall audience to 22 million households. April 2020, was CNN en Español’s third highest month on record in terms of linear TV viewership by the 25-54 year old demographic.

Hudson tells Portada that CNN en Español’s audience is growing at a very high rate, particularly in digital channels including video and podcast. April 2020 surpassed March 2020 as the biggest month on record in terms of unique visitors at https://cnnespanol.cnn.com, with 50 million unique users and 123% year on year growth, and 123 million video starts (130% year on year growth).

Advertiser Response

The high growth rate of  digital audiences has enabled CNN en Español to substantially increase its programmatic advertising sales, particularly for video. “Advertising in video-programmatic has been three times higher year-to-date, compared to the same period last year,” Hudson asserts. “Our podcasts are sold out until July,” she adds. Regarding overall advertiser response in the current COVID-19 health crisis, Hudson notes that “advertisers are interested in finding ways to reach people with different messaging. They are conscientious about what the consumer really needs. Right now the consumer needs to know that he is not alone.”

Advertising in video-programmatic has been three times higher year-to-date, compared to the same period last year.

At least part of CNN en Español’s audience increase can be attributed to the high credibility of CNN en Español’s information. Hudson emphasizes that it is precisely in times of crisis that audiences crave for “real news, facts and reliable sources.”

Content: Everything Changed …

“COVID-19 changed everything. We are trying to address the new questions: News that impact your life, your CNN en espanolfuture and your family,”Hudson notes. “We are finding we need to grow where the people are and are developing new ways to engage with the audience,” Hudson says. As one example she cites the podcast “COVID19 con el doctor Helmer Huerta”, which has had an audience of more than 1 million listeners. To reinforce its connection with its audience CNN en Español recently activated the “Aquí estamos Campaign.” The campaign stresses that in times of uncertainty, the facts reported by CNN provide clarity and comfort. The campaign is being promoted internally at CNN as well as through CNN en espanol’s digital and linear TV channels.
A new podcast analysing Latino issues and voting trends for the 2020 November election is in the offing. Called “Voto Latino” it will be led by journalist Juan Carlos Lopez. According to Hudson the podcast will address topics such as where Latino politics is going to and what is happening with the political season. “It’s important to take into account that however we manage politics in this country, it reverberates across the world,” she notes.

COVID-19 changed everything. We are trying to address the new questions: News that impact your life, your future and your family.

…including Content Delivery

CNN en Español has been implementing a strategy of delivering content on specific topic areas over linear TV and digital vehicles (desktop, ipad, mobile phones etc.). These include anchor Xabier Serbia led programming on business/finance as well as “Vive la Salud”, a health and well-being show aired every Thursday after CNN’s global town hall. Some segments are specifically built for digital and are broadcast via the Facebook live platform.

Regarding 2021 programming, Hudson notes that the lessons learned during this process are going to continue in 2021. Hudson, who oversees all aspects of CNN’s Spanish-language media businesses, including newsgathering, and editorial content, plans a three pronged evolution of programming. First supporting the ongoing evolution of content delivery across different platforms. Second several documentaries and new series will air next year. Finally, CNN en Español is going to continue to build out content from its bureaus including its offices in Mexico and Argentina (e.g. CNN Primera Manana con Nacho Giron and all news format from CNN’s Argentina office.).

COVID-19 is already having a huge impact on marketing, advertising and media.  How are advertisers reacting to COVID-19? How will different media types ad revenues be impacted by the coronavirus health crisis? Portada got insights from brand and media agencies of the Portada Council System in order to gain some clarity. The answers to 7 crucial questions.

1. How are advertisers reacting to COVID-19?

“In this period, we know that consumers focus on basic needs and expect brands to supply and deliver them reliably. Consumers don’t want brands to stop advertising, but it must not be exploitative or insensitive,” Joseph Kiwanuka, Senior Manager, Cross-Cultural Connections, at UM tells Portada.  A CPG brand marketer in the Portada network says that since the start of the coronavirus crisis, “marketing practices have remained consistent, one insight consistently being practiced is empathy. Messaging reinforces reassurance and value,” he adds.

2. How are brand marketers adjusting marketing expenditures?

Some corporations are freezing or postponing their plans  (e.g. Turbotax as the tax deadline has been postponed to July 15). UM’s Kiwanuka notes that,some of our clients are being tasked with pausing media campaigns and/or turning back media dollars to their corporations to help alleviate the impact to sales. Many matters regarding media budgets are still up in the air and it is still unclear as to the direction that media budgeting for the rest of the year will go. We are taking things a day at a time.”

Many matters regarding media budgets are still up in the air and it is still unclear as to the direction that media budgeting for the rest of the year will go.

3. How are different ad-categories being impacted?

The impact on business and marketing activity will vary across industries, depending on how much demand How are Advertisers Reacting to COVID-19?and investment will be delayed as opposed to destroyed during this crisis. MAGNA, a centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that develops intelligence,  expects the impact to be severe for the travel, restaurant, and the theatrical movie industry, significant for retail (check out Macy’s announcement to furlough 130,000 employees), finance and automotive, moderate for packaged food, drinks, personal care, insurance and pharma, and potentially positive for e-commerce and home entertainment. While the overall impact of the coronavirus on advertising will undoubtedly be negative (more details below), some sectors are actually starting to profit from the increased demand of families for home entertainment.  “We are in a unique position during this crisis since we are the market leader in providing families online education at home. Day to day efforts include accelerating campaigns/creative to be in market sooner and even revising some original copy to align with current events,” a brand marketer in the online education sector tells Portada.

We’re in a unique position during this crisis since we’re the market leader in providing families online education at home. Day to day efforts include accelerating campaigns/creative to be in market sooner.

4. Advertiser COVID-19 Reaction

MAGNA released its revised March 2020 Ad Forecast last Friday and expects all-media full year ad sales to decrease by -2.8% this year as the spending cut from most industry verticals will be mitigated by the incremental political spend ($4.9 billion, up +26% vs 2016), and a V-shaped rebound in the second half (Magna). It remains to be seen if this forecast is realistic, as there is a significant downside risk (see question 7 below).

5. Which media types will be particularly hard hit?

How are Advertisers Reacting to COVID-19?Linear ad sales will suffer the most.  MAGNA released its revised March 2020 Ad Forecast last Friday and it expects media suppliers’ total linear (National and Local TV, Radio, Print and OOH) ad sales to decline by -12% (-20% in the first half, -2.5% in the second half). The decline forecasted by MAGNA would be larger were it not for the political advertising revenues (2020 elections) to be obtained by linear TV, radio and print outlets later this year. Media vendors’ linear ad sales will shrink by -12% (incl. political) this year compared to approx. -4% per year in recent years. The decrease in advertising sales will reach -13% for national TV, -12% for OOH, -25% for print and -14% for radio. The outlook will be slightly more positive for broadcasters and publishers when including digital ad sales. Local TV’s non-political ad sales will also decline massively but political spending (almost US $5 billion, +26% vs 2016) will stabilize full year revenues (+1%).
The sharp decline in ad dollars is not necessarily a reflection of lower linear media usage in the last few weeks. In fact, the opposite is true: for instance in the multicultural space, Spanish-language news viewing increased as much as 50 percent last week among Hispanic adults 18-34 compared to the week prior and 123 percent versus last year. Hispanics over the age of 50 are already heavy news consumers, but their viewing has increased as well (29 and 46 percent, respectively). In addition, for the week of 3/16 -3/22 linear TV usage had as much as 182 percent increase among Asian American teens, compared to the same day the prior week.

The other major loser is experiential marketing as mass gatherings are out of the picture in the next few months. One brand marketer interviewed by Portada who wanted to remain anonymous told us that  “investment is mantained in all channels except experiential.”

Investment is mantained in all channels except experiential.

6. Digital Advertising: More Resilient

How are Advertisers Reacting to COVID-19?At this stage, the total market decline anticipated (-3% or -$6.2bn vs 2019) remains less severe than the decline experienced in 2008-2009 (-20% or -$33bn vs 2007), mostly because of the weight and resilience of digital advertising today. Magna expects digital advertising to be more resilient at +4% (-2% in the first half, +10% in the second half). Digital media ad sales will grow by +4% this year and re-accelerate to +7% next year. Search will slow down to +4.5% growth while social and digital video (including Connected TV) will continue to grow by high-single digits. 

It has to be said that at least in the short term digital advertising, see above  -2% in the first half of 2020,  will be negatively impacted. Third party revenue generating platforms have begun altering their payment processes. Altice-owned Teads and ad tech company GumGum Inc have sought changes to their payment arrangements with publishers, with Teads invoking force majeure on contractual arrangements and GumGum proposing extended payment terms.

Search will slow down to +4.5% while social and digital video (including Connected TV) will continue to grow by high-single digits.

7. Is the advertising forecast realistic? “V” vs “U” shaped recovery

According to Magna, “at this stage, both the macro-economic outlook and the corresponding advertising forecast present a high degree of uncertainty and significant downside risk for 2020. The key question is how long the social distancing imposed demand shutdown will be. The U.S. economy has never been through a period like this in modern economic times. Right now, governments are substantially repressing economic demand through social distancing rules.

Right now, governments are substantially repressing economic demand through social distancing rules. The key question is how long the social distancing imposed demand shutdown will be.

While in Europe substantial efforts are being made to make sure  that companies don’t go bust and employees don’t lose their jobs, that is not true for the U.S. despite the recently signed U.S. 2 trillion fiscal plan. This will become even more of an issue should the shutdown be expanded beyond April 30. Should the social shutdown be expanded to the late spring and summer, the economic and advertising recovery will be U shaped rather than V shaped. Therefore, the 2020 decline in advertising will be larger than the one in the Magna forecast.

Once the virus  is under control the economy needs to be available to hit the ground running and that means that most employees need to remain employed to keep processes and know-how at their companies.
Another caveat poised by analysts is about the quality of the data regarding economic activity (and advertising demand). Most economic data is based on surveys. Are consumers and businesses going to be filling out surveys in this environment? Will data be reflecting accurate information or meaningless noise?

 

According to Comscore, Impremedia’s digital properties, along with Univision and Telemundo, have by far the most audience among Spanish-language news publishers in the U.S. Portada talked to Iván Adaime about opportunities in Spanish’-language publishing in the U.S., programmatic ad sales, SEO, social and more.

 

 Iván Adaime Discloses Impremedia’s Secret

“Not a single news publisher —U.S. based or foreign-based— has more digital Spanish-language audience in the country than Impremedia, Telemundo or Univision,” Iván Adaime, CEO of Impremedia, tells Portada.

Having and monetizing owned-and-operated digital properties has its advantages versus the offerings of advertising networks and other intermediaries in the ad market. According to Adaime, “a publisher like us has an audience of its own. It’s an engaged audience that we reach by creating unique content that appeals to the U.S. Hispanic population. Being a publisher also gives you the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale. An ad network, on the other hand, is just a collection of unconnected foreign-based websites that you can buy directly using any programmatic channel, so its unique value proposition is, unlike in the past, becoming less appealing.”

Content is the main reason behind the 50% year-over-year growth of Impremedia’s audience in the last few years. “The main reason is our content. That’s the key investment on our end. Then you would have to add a clean and fast user experience to the mix. We do not use any interstitial and intrusive ads for example. Finally, we pay close attention to data and analytics. ”

Being a publisher gives you also the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale.

 

Programmatic: the Main Source of Digital Revenues

Ivan Adaime
Impremedia CEO Iván Adaime

If you have an audience at scale and the right ad quality metrics like viewability, programmatic is great. Actually, it is our main source of digital revenues”, Iván Adaime notes. With that said, Adaime still sees an opportunity for direct sales as there are a lot of clients that still prefer to do it this way, and some advertising categories that do not transact well in programmatic.

 

Spanish-Language Publishing is the Largest Opportunity

Impremedia produces content in Spanish for U.S. based audiences because this is where it sees the most opportunity as it is an underserved audience. “We see a bigger opportunity with content in Spanish. We haven’t seen the model ‘English with cultural nuances’ working at scale.”

 

Spanish-Language SEO in the U.S.

As a publisher of Spanish-language content in the U.S, how does Impremedia navigate the SEO space? Is there less competition than for English-language keywords both in terms of SEO and SEM? According to Iván Adaime, search engine optimization is something that he pays close attention to. “There are very few US-based publishers but there’s plenty of competition coming from foreign publishers. We do not do any SEM because we do not pay for traffic. We only invest in creating quality content.”

 

Social: 2 Million Fans and 300,000 Newsletter Subscribers

Impremedia has close to 2 million fans on social media, who are a good source of the company’s traffic. Iván Adaime notes that Impremedia “does not pay to acquire fans, nor do we pay to promote our stories in those platforms. We only invest in creating the type of quality content that attracts our target audience. Newsletters are also a product that we pay a lot of attention to. We have over 300,000 subscribers that are actively engaged.”

 

Mitú, a mlti-channel YouTube network targeting the LatinX consumer has been sold to Latido Networks. How much did Latido pay after investors poured more than US $50 million into Mitú over the last 8 years? What is the rational for the acquisition? And what does the transaction say about the growing LatinX advertising market?

1. To whom was Mitú sold to?

The company that has bought Mitú is a relative newcomer to the media sector: Latido Networks is  a multiplatform media company that creates content for LatinX millennial and Gen Z viewers, it owns the Latin music-focused YouTube multi-channel network VidaPrimo, and recently acquired a minority stake in the double digits in podcast company reVolver Podcasts. GoDigital Media Group — Latido’s parent in audio also owns the indie label Cinq Music, digital rights management company AdShare, and digital supply chain company ContentBridge. After the acquisition, Mitú will coexist alongside Latido Networks — the company’s media division that comprises a 24-hour connected TV channel called Latido Music.

2. What is the price of the transaction?

Sources at Latido did not want to disclose the price of the acquisition. However, its a safe bet to say that this has been a fire sale that provides Mitú a lifeline of sorts. Mitú has had difficulties finding profitability over the last years, in fact there are reports that it had been failing to pay YouTubers that were part of its multi-channel network their earnings as far back as last August and September, although creators now tell that payments have restarted in recent weeks. Multi-channel networks were very hot from the early years to the mid years of the last decade (e.g. Warner Media’s acquisition of Otter TV for US $ 1 billion and Verizon acquiring Awesomeness TV in 2016 for US$ 650 million). However, these companies were able to scale at a rate Mitú has not been able to.

3. What is the rationale for Mitú’s sale?

“It’s very much a “zipper” concept, meaning they provide much of what our other brands (most specifically Latido) were seeking to build, and we have the infrastructure and media impressions that will help Mitú get even more out of its brand reach”, a source at Latido Media tells Portada. Mitú has an engaged audience in the U.S., in English, a strong sales and sales support team. Latido has a Spanish-speaking audience that skews towards Latin America, (not U.S.), wide media distribution particularly in connected TV and global content production. Un-deduplicated audience numbers are 16 million U.S. monthly for Mitú, while Latido and Vida Primo YouTube network have more than 25 million in the U.S.

4. How much money did investors put to work in Mitu since 2012?

More than US $50 million. The high growth rate of the online video (advertising) market has been luring investors for the last decade. also in the multicultural space. In 2012, MItú got funding from a group of investors led by the Chernin Group.Then in November 2018, the company got an additional US$ 10 million in new funding led by San Francisco-based LEAP Global Partners along with participation from prior investors including Upfront Ventures. Previously, Mitú had raised $42 million from investors including Upfront, Comcast, WPP, Verizon Ventures, AMC Networks, Chernin Group and Awesomeness (now owned by Viacom).

5. How large is the LatinX Digital Advertising Market?

“Media companies simply cannot be relevant going forward without a strong foundation in the United States LatinX community,” Jason Peterson, the CEO of GoDigital Media Group — Latido’s parent company — said in the press release which announced the acquisition. Portada estimates,  that digital advertising in English-language media targeting Hispanics (predominantly the LatinX market) rose to US $1.07 billion in 2019. Approximately 80% of that amount is sold by Google and Facebook, leaving approximately  US $210 million for the other players. The changing profile of the identity of U.S. Hispanics is reflected in the evolving structure of advertising expenditures (check out our recent Insights Report-How brands engage U.S. Hispanics: New segmentation approaches),  digital advertising in English-language media targeting Hispanics is growing at a high rate,  while advertising in Spanish-language media is decreasing at a higher rate than overall advertising targeting Hispanics.

Last week, the Justice Department finally approved the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. The combined company spent more than U.S. $2.7 billion in advertising in 2019 and will certainly take new marketing decisions. This will impact vendors (media, agency, sponsorship and other marketing service providers) who support the telco giant with marketing strategy, planning, and execution.  An analysis by Portada’s editorial team: 5 thinks you need to know…. 

1. T-Mobile and Sprint Merger = One of the Three Telco Juggernauts  

After the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, the new company now is officially one of the three U.S. telco giants. The merged entity will manage around 100 million direct customers  (excluding  wholesale users), around the same level as Verizon (116 million) and AT&T (93 million). Retail store wise , T-Mobile-Sprint has approximately 9,300 stores (Sprint 4,000 and T-Mobile has more than 5,300 stores.)

… Competition (Need for Marketing) Continues to be Huge…

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile-Sprint will very likely face a fourth major player: Dish. Part of the reason why the DOJ (Department of Justice) approved the merger is that Dish may be able to join AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as a fourth player, therefore increasing competition (and marketing dollars). The DOJ, in seeking to create a viable fourth wireless carrier, insisted Dish be allowed to sell a 50 percent stake to strategic investors as long as they do not include T-Mobile and Sprint rivals like AT&T, Verizon or cable companies including Comcast, sources explained. As importantly, the DOJ approved the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, because Dish, recently bought Sprint prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

… Currently: US $2.7 Billion in Advertising Expenditures

Both Sprint and T-Mobile spent approximately US $2.7 billion in advertising together in 2019, according to their annual reports. In 2019, T-Mobile U.S. spent approximately US$ 1.6 billion on advertising, while Sprint expenses totaled $1.1 billion, $1.3 billion, and $1.1 billion for each of the years ended March 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. (Competitors Verizon and AT&T spent US $ 2.64 billion and US $3.52 billion in advertising last year.)
With US $8.56 billion, Telco was the third largest ad-category after retail and automotive (Statista). The U.S. telecom industry was expected to increase its digital ad spending by 16.2% to $13.45 billion in 2019. (E-Marketer). In 2018,  AT&T was the second-largest U.S. advertiser, Verizon the 10th largest with T-Mobile (23) and Sprint (39).

2. Sponsorships: Expansion of Sponsorship Portfolio with Emphasis on Local Properties

Sports and entertainment event sponsorships are another extremely important channel for telco marketers. In 2017, AT&T spent between US $195 and US $200 million in sports and entertainment sponsorships, according to sponsorship.com. Similarly, Verizon spent between US $160 and US $165 million, and T-Mobile between US $50-55 million. Sprint did not make it to the top 50 sponsorship investors in 2017. While Sprint was a 2019 Super Bowl advertiser, it did not advertise in the last Super Bowl two weeks ago. T-Mobile did with its spot promoting its nationwide 5-G network (see below).

Portfolio Expansion with stronger local ties
We expect the combined company to expand its sponsorship portfolio (Major League Baseball, T-Mobile Arena, American Music Awards, etc.) with ties to local properties in new and underperforming markets.

3. Marketing Growth Drivers: 5G, Retention and Enterprise

T-Mobile, unlike Sprint,  has excelled at adding new subscribers to its network. Mike Sievert, President and Chief Operating Officer at T-Mobile, said during the company’s Q4 2019  earnings call that T-Mobile not only added a million postpaid phone net adds, leading the industry significantly, but 1.9 million total net customers joined the Un-carrier movement in Q4. “That makes 27 quarters in a row we’ve had more than 1 million total net customer adds per quarter,” Sievert stated.
Where does the combined T-Mobile-Sprint see growth (and the need to allocate marketing dollars) going forward? Here are three areas:

Customer Retention Marketing
North America will reach 313 million mobile subscribers in 2020 or an 84% penetration. With many subscribers owning more than one connected device, the total number of connections will be higher, at 585 million by 2020. With the saturation of the subscriber mobile market, customer retention (and retention marketing) will be crucial for operators P&L. The way customers are retained will become more and more important and will no will no longer be primarily through simply offering telecom services but instead via combining those with non-telecom services and third-party offers.

Growth Driver: Entering the Enterprise Market
T-Mobile share of the enterprise market is below 6%. It’s improved distribution footprint coverage will provide significant opportunity to penetrate the enterprise market. Expect increases in B2B marketing and advertising dollars.

5G: Mobile competes with home broadband
Albeit still developing, customers with a 600 MHz 5G capable device will be able to access T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network. It will be marketed as a premium service based on increased speeds. This will open opportunities for T-Mobile-Sprint to take on the home broadband (cable) market in 2020.

4. Sprint and T-Mobile Brands: Which brand(s) will survive?

T-Mobile brands
The vast majority of T-Mobile subscribers are served by the main brand: T-Mobile.  MetroPCS —now Metro by T-Mobile—, still operates as a secondary prepaid brand. (In 2013 T-Mobile announced an expansion of its newly acquired Metro PCS to 15 markets, some of them heavily populated by Hispanics in Texas and California.)

Sprint brands Boost Mobile and Virgin (both sold to Dish)
Sprint prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile were sold to satellite TV provider Dish Network to facilitate the acquisition from a DOJ perspective (see above). Dish paid US $$1.4 billion to acquire Sprint’s Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid services, with a combined total of around 9 milion customers.

The new brand will “lean pink”
It’s is very likely that “T-Mobile” will emerge as the unified overall brand. Already according to the April 29, 2018 merger announcement, it seemed most likely that the combined company will lean pink (per T-Mobile’s branding), given that it will keep the “T-Mobile” name. Like its network, the Sprint brand probably will be folded into T-Mobile’s in coming years.

5. Media Agencies: Consolidation likely.  Who Will Win, Who Will Lose?

Sprint: Horizon Media/Droga 5/In-house
In May 2017 Sprint Corp. moved its (at the time) US$700 million media account from Publicis Groupe’s Mediavest Spark to independent media agency Horizon Media, Although it later took some of its media duties in-house. Droga 5 is Sprint’s Agency of Record.

T-Mobile: WPP’s Essence/In-house
Similarly, T-Mobile, took “some key responsibilities” related to its media strategy, search and analytics in-house and formed a new partnership with WPP’s Essence to help.

Consolidation: In-house increase likely with external support
With T-Mobile increasing its in-house capabilities and the company’s overall view of the crucial importance of first party data management and protection, it is likely that T-Mobile will build out its in-house media planning buying capabilities but still lean on an agency partner for expertise and execution support.  Will it be Horizon Media, Essence or someone else? Honestly, we don’t know yet…

Multicultural marketing may be officially dead (or more important than ever), but one thing is certain: smart marketers focus on culture. Three things they know and you should too…

Smart Marketers Keep Culture on the Front Burner
J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer, Brand & Marketing, Kantar

Sometimes people have the view that with enough data you can target anyone effectively, thereby removing the need to appeal to the audience’s culture. How can we continue to recognize the importance of culture in this technology-driven age?  “Culture influences commerce.  There is a recurring tendency among business leaders to take culture for granted.  But culture is embedded in everything, and thus when culture changes everything is affected,” J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer, Brand & Marketing at Kantar Consulting tells Portada.
“Culture is how people live.  Technology is simply a tool people use to engage with culture.  Technology is not unimportant.  It’s just not the context of life that is the root source of aspirations, expectations, and values.  That’s culture.”

 Periods of change are when culture gets noticed most, but it never goes away.  The smartest marketers keep culture on the front burner.  Lagging marketers ignore culture, so they are always behind change and new opportunities.

3 Things Brand Marketers Who Focus on Culture Know About

“Periods of change are when culture gets noticed most, but it never goes away.  The smartest marketers keep culture on the front burner.  Lagging marketers ignore culture, so they are always behind change and new opportunities, ” Kantar’s  J.Walker Smith adds.
Savvy marketers who focus on culture make sure to take into account the below three key considerations.

1. It’s Decision Science (Not Data Science)

Smart marketers who keep culture as a key priority know that ultimately data insights are there to base decisions on. That is why it is crucial that data scientists work in close coordination with brand marketing decision makers (who ultimately have the budgeting power.)

2. Marketers who Keep Culture on the Front Burner Run a Business Unit (NOT a Center of Excellence)

Data teams and cultural intelligence teams need to be embedded into the overall marketing organization. They should not act as consultants who have no real decision-making power (e.g. the Hispanic Centers of Excellence that some companies have set up are commendable initiatives but often don’t impact real marketing decision-making). The best is to integrate cultural insights into overall data analysis and marketing decision-making. For example, Curacao, a department chain store with locations in California, Nevada and Arizona which ranks among the top 100 electronics and appliance retailers in the U.S., makes sure to take  into consideration cultural insights as part of the whole marketing mix. Curacao has a team of data scientists that look at purchasing behavior and take into account culture by looking at consumers in the following way:
– Spanish-dominant
– Bilingual – Hispanic
– English-General Market

Another alternative to make sure that data insights and marketing budgets are aligned is by creating a business unit. Pepsi created a Hispanic Business unit in 2018 (a move somewhat contrary to overall U.S. marketing trends).  Esperanza Teasdale, VP & General Manager at PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Unit, tells Portada, that her Hispanic business unit independently determines strategy , commercial tactics and, most importantly has a dedicated advertising and marketing budget. Teasdale is responsible for the overall Hispanic strategy, engagement and sales for the Hispanic business within Pepsi North America Beverages.

Smart Marketers Keep Culture on the Front Burner
Esperanza Teasdale, VP & General Manager, PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Unit

We also have our own data team, which is responsible for analyzing the Hispanic business today. That is how we measure performance. Another part of the team analyzes consumer insights. E.g. segmentation. Their worked helped to provide a perspective of Hispanics that goes beyond years in the country and language and is more in the mindset of  the target, ” Teasdale adds.  This helped Pepsi to come up with “Es lo que quiero“, the Hispanic adaptation of the recently released tag “That’s what I like”.

Marketers in the Portada Council System voted for the topic “Why data scientists need to be culturally sensitive; A brand marketer’s perspective”  as the keynote topic for the upcoming Portada Los Angeles, April 2 conference. The topic selection highlights how important it is for brand decision makers understand the cultural implications of the data insights process.

 

3. Marketers who Focus on Culture Check Data Quality (DMP’s and DSPs)

The smartest marketers who keep culture on the front burner also know that data quality is key, particularly when it comes to cultural insights. Data management platforms (e.g. Blue Kai, LiveRamp and others) and demand side providers do not always provide solutions that capture cultural nuances. “For DSP’s and DMPs to have data on particular consumer targets, they need to identify and code them separately. Only this way you can get information/insights back,” an industry insider tells Portada. The issue is that DMP’s and DSP’s often don’t do that extra mile, because they are not paid to do it.

DMP’s and DSP’s often don’t to that extra mile, because they are not paid to do it.

Americans’ interest in soccer both as active participants in soccer matches as well as in fandom is growing at a high rate. Therefore, the brand marketing community is taking notice and considering more soccer sponsorships. What is the best strategy for marketers to engage with the Hispanic population through the soccer passion point? International leagues and clubs such as LigaMX, English Premier League and La Liga are alluring propositions. Here’s why.

 

A 2018 Gallup poll shows soccer ranks second in popularity only surpassed by football among the coveted 18-34 demographic. Soccer ties with basketball at 11% and is ahead of baseball at 6%. Undoubtedly, soccer, including beach soccer, is a substantial alternative for brands to reach out to this coveted population segment. These are two reasons why European and Mexican soccer sponsorships can be viable alternatives.

1. High Name Recognition of European Clubs and Stars

Lionel Messi – Photo Property of Futbol Club Barcelona

The high name recognition of European clubs among U.S. audiences, and even more among U.S. Hispanic audiences, explains why brand marketers prefer these marketing platforms over MLS. Thus, more American brands are closing soccer sponsorships with clubs including Futbol Club Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich. Moreover, the fact that global soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are household names makes maximizes opportunities.

Partnering with European Leagues can be alluring to major U.S. consumer brands. As an example, LaLiga North America  —a joint venture between LaLiga, Spain’s top-soccer league, and Relevent Sports Group- recently partnered with Allstate for Soñando con LaLiga, which details the experience and progress of the best 17 players from the Allstate Sueño Alianza National Showcase while they traveled to Spain and competed against LaLiga academies and in front of LaLiga coaches and scouts. (Check out the partnership of Paris Saint German with Nike subsidiary Air Jordan.)

2. LigaMX Soccer Sponsorships Speak Closer to Hispanic Consumers than MLS

The Mexican LigaMX can be a much better soccer marketing vehicle to engage U.S. Hispanics than the MLS, Nick Kelly, Head of U.S. Sports Marketing at Anheuser-Busch, said at last fall’s Portada New York conference. The fact that 70% of Hispanics are of Mexican origin explains the high popularity of the Mexican National Team and LigaMX clubs (e.g. América, Guadalajara, Toluca, and Cruz Azul) among U.S. Hispanics.

soccer sponsorships expert
Nick Kelly

All our world cup campaigns were about the Mexican National Team (not the U.S. National Team)”, said Nick Kelly, a member of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board. Anheuser-Busch partners with the LigaMX particularly for soccer sponsorships and activations in the Southwestern U.S., an area with a very large Hispanic population. In particular, he mentioned Texas, Arizona and Nevada, as well as cities like Houston, Dallas, and surprisingly, Nashville.

Toyota is another company that is betting on Mexican soccer for its Hispanic outreach. Tyler McBride, Engagement and Events Marketing Manager at Toyota Motor North America, told Portada that he is partnering with Club America because they are the top club and most successful team in North America. The team is recognized internationally with a storied history and winning tradition in Mexico’s Liga MX and they are the most-watched soccer league in the United States. “Our partnership with Club America allows us to engage with Liga MX fans year-round across multiple touchpoints,” he said.

Featured image by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

 

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

The fate of multicultural marketing is a hot-button topic, with some saying it’s officially “dead” and others arguing that it should be more important today than ever. As minority ethnic groups shaped the evolution of the U.S. population in recent years, multicultural marketing became a hot topic in every corporate marketing department. Smart brands started to invest significant effort in strategies to reach ethnic groups with distinct cultural and ethnic behaviors and values. Best practices emerged, but marketers often stumbled and struggled to get it right. 

Today there is a wide range of views on multicultural marketing among industry leaders. Here, we look at a range of perspectives on how brands can form genuine, long-lasting connections with diverse audiences.

Ethnic minorities playing an increasingly important role in U.S. demographics

Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. Hispanic population grew by 43%, or four times the growth rate of the total population, according to the Census Bureau. And they’re not slowing down – the U.S. Hispanic population is expected to double in the next 40 years. In 2020, the country’s population of 17-years-old’s and under will come from a minority background for the first time.

In fact, diverse ethnic groups are so significant to the makeup of the U.S. population that the Census Bureau recently launched a $500 million marketing campaign in 13 different languages aimed at reaching multicultural audiences. For the first census to go digital, the U.S. government is making a massive effort to reach 99% of the population. In today’s America, that requires significant effort to reach niche ethnic audiences.

While this year’s census is sure to provide important insight on population trends, the government predicted that by 2020, U.S. Hispanics will make up 29 percent of the growth in real income and are expected to add more than $1.3 trillion in buying power. Despite all this, multicultural ad spend only makes up 5% of marketing budgets today.

America’s shifting population sparks debate over multicultural marketing

Latinx, Asian and African American populations now have a combined population of 130 million, making up almost half of the population. With the massive growth of these demographics came a shift in the marketing world. The big question was this: How do cultural differences among ethnic groups shape different lifestyles, preferences, and values? And how can marketers better target these different groups with tailored products, messaging, and campaigns?

Multicultural marketing became both a buzzword and a real concept: Entire departments and agencies dedicated to targeting diverse audiences emerged. But as ethnic minorities become the new “majority” in the United States, some have argued that the term is obsolete.

After all, if such a significant slice of the American population is multicultural, then what exactly is the general market if not a mix of diverse cultures? Some marketers have begun to argue that in a “minority-majority” country, treating different cultural groups as separate from the general market no longer made sense. Today, the fate of multicultural marketing is a hot-button topic in the industry, with some saying it’s officially “dead” and others arguing that it should be more important today than ever.

Some marketers have begun to argue that in a “minority-majority” country, treating different cultural groups as separate from the general market no longer made sense.

Minorities don’t believe they are being represented in ads

Brands’ failure to reach diverse audiences is reflected in the attitudes of minorities themselves. A recent study by Adobe found that nearly three in four whites (74 percent) believe their race/ethnicity is represented in the ads they are served, compared to 26 percent of blacks and only 10 percent of Hispanic/Latinos.

Some argue that multicultural is the new general market

Those that argue that multicultural marketing is dead focus on the fact that there are now so many ethnic minorities shaping the U.S. population that they have become the new general market. They argue that treating ethnic minorities like distinct audiences reflects an attitude that pits assimilation against multiculturalism and provokes cultural boundaries instead of inclusion.

This attitude would imply that diversity and multicultural departments, multicultural agencies, and segmentation by ethnicity are all unnecessary. At the same time, it would lead to new approaches to marketing that look at the general market with an appreciation for how cultural forces and fusions shape trends and consumer behavior. Concepts like cross-cultural and poly–cultural marketing are emerging. Some find this exciting, not discouraging.

Diversity and Inclusion important, but not the same as multicultural marketing

Given the country’s ongoing demographic evolution, backlash against multicultural marketing is surprising to some. Many veteran marketers have issued a warning to those who minimize the importance of multicultural marketing. To them, a “minority-majority” America offers smart marketers enormous opportunities for growth.

Despite the growth and purchasing power of multicultural populations, corporate America tends to look for blanket approaches to addressing diversity. There has been a recent increase in the number of “Diversity and Inclusion” programs in corporate offices. This is an important effort that is effective in creating an inclusive space for diverse voices in the workplace, but it is not the same as maintaining multicultural marketing practices.

Corporate brands need multicultural marketing departments because representing diversity in the office through “Diversity and Inclusion” programs is not the same thing as investing in strategic initiatives to better market to multicultural audiences. The former looks inward to shape corporate and workplace culture, and the latter looks outward to grow business.

U.S. Hispanic identity tied strongly to culture of origin

According to a study by Kantar Consulting, 92% of Hispanics believe that it feels natural to live in the U.S. and connect to its culture but  retain the culture of their country of origin.  57% of Hispanics believe that the Spanish language is more important to them today than it was just five years ago. And 62% of younger Hispanics – the ones who feel particularly unrepresented in the market – reported becoming more interested in the Spanish language. Brands looking to connect with emotions and themes that truly connect with Hispanic audiences should look to their cultural roots for sources of inspiration.

Smart brands are turning to multicultural to reinvigorate, strengthen image

Some marketers have identified and built strategies around these opportunities. Large brands across the country are betting big on multicultural to transform their brands and, in turn, lead to significant growth.

Denny’s “See You At Denny’s” Campaign

Fast-food chain Denny’s is one example. The brand is looking to target young, multicultural diners with their campaign “See You at Denny’s,” which focused on illustrating a diverse, relaxed, and comfortable brand.

John Dillon, Chief Brand Officer at Denny’s, explained to Forbes: “It was important for us to tell our story to multiple audiences and to make sure we’re speaking to the cultural nuances of African-American consumers and Hispanic consumers, as well as the total market. Working with these three agencies executes those nuances and allows us to share who we are as a brand and the inclusivity and diversity that we stand for. We are a family brand and always have been and we are recognizing that the American family has evolved.”

Procter & Gamble is also betting big on multicultural after discovering that they record top performance among African American and Hispanic consumers in market share. Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, told the audience at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference that if P&G’s brands could match their general-market performance with multicultural audiences. “The size of the prize is big – up to $1 billion in extra sales just by achieving market shares equal to the national average on all of our brands,” Pritchard said.

Whatever your view on multicultural marketing, inaction is irresponsible

While reasonable marketers can disagree about multicultural marketing, all comprehensive marketing strategies must account for today’s increasingly diverse population. Whether you adopt the “minority majority” attitude, focus on cultural fusion, or embrace segmented targeting, successful marketing means recognizing and elevating a wide range of voices and cultures.

The podcast advertising market is becoming a force to be reckoned with. In fact, marketers are projected to spend over US $1 billion by 2021 according to the IAB and PwC. One recent transaction in the podcast M&A space caught our eye: the strategic investments in reVOLVER Podcasts by Latido Music.

 

Latido Music Partners Up with reVOLVER Podcasts

Latido MusicA source at Latido Music, a digital platform for Latin music fans, has told Portada that “for now, it is a minority stake in the double digits, but we are both optimistic about reVolver’s long-term success and ambitious, so you can draw your own conclusions.”

For now, it is a minority stake in the double digits.

The source adds that this was a strategic investment in every sense of the word. “We see reVolver as having a leadership position in its segment, and we like that its consumer base overlaps substantially with that of Latido Music.”

As with most target audiences in the digital age, the digital media industry for Latinx is very fractionalized. That is why, according to the source, ” a strategic investment in reVolver is something of a ‘horizontal integration’ strategy. We try to capture a greater mind share of this important audience across devices and content types, rather than trying to own the entire value chain of a single content type – which in this day and age is effectively impossible anyway.”

 

Graduated Investment

The amount of the investment has to remain undisclosed. However, the source adds: “that it is a graduated investment, meaning our stake in the company will grow over time.”

 

Check out previous Insider columns

Insider: Snackable Content, Multicultural as Something Organic, Amazon Ad Sales and More…

 

 

Shopping habits on and offline, brand loyalty, and mobile technology on fire this 2020! A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop-shop. Check out the previous consumer insights roundup here.

 

  • According to a new consumer survey from TD Bank, millennials made nearly four major purchases in the past year on average. In comparison, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers averaged 2.8 major purchases combined. Millennials not only spend more, but they are also more thoughtful about their purchases. According to the survey results, they spend more time, on average, researching major purchases than any other group. Compared to baby boomers and Gen Xers, millennials are also more likely to research products through a retailer’s website, social media, and third-party websites. Also, they’re more likely (39%) to research financing options than their elders (22%).

 

  • The 2020 Deloitte Global Automotive Survey, which questioned more than 35,000 consumers in 20 countries, found U.S. consumers are not very enthusiastic about paying for automotive technology. For instance, 60% of U.S. consumers are unwilling to pay more than $500 for advanced safety technology. In a similar way, 66% of surveyed Americans said they wouldn’t pay for advanced connectivity, 75% for infotainment, 58% for autonomy, and 54% for alternative engine solutions.

 

  • Valassis has released the findings from a study conducted with Kantar, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers about their shopping habits. The study, The Future of How People Shop, found that 68% of consumers believe they have become better equipped to make informed purchase decisions compared with five years ago. Thus, 60% of consumers often research products online before making a purchase, and 62% said they closely read product labels. Many of them also rely on advertising, as 43% of consumers said targeted advertising should be able to guide them through the store to locate products.

 

  • Research by Soti, published by Mobile Marketer, has found that mobile technology is important for better retail experiences. More than three fourths (78%) of U.S. consumers said retailers that implement mobile technology for both shoppers and store employees enable a faster shopping experience. Almost half (45%) of shoppers said they prefer sales associates to use mobile devices for checkout on the sales floor rather than heading to the traditional cash register. In addition, Soti’s data shows 53% of consumers use credit and debit cards, while 23% prefer cash and only 11% use mobile payment apps.

 

  • According to a Criteo study which surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers, 73% of shoppers are willing to try new brands they have heard positive things about. Discounts and offers often drive consumers who decide to check out a new brand, agree 93% of respondents. Criteo found 57% of U.S. shoppers rely on apps to look at products and get ideas, 55% use them to check out ratings and reviews, and 58% to make purchases. Overall, Criteo found 52% of shoppers look forward to shopping in stores when they have time. On the other hand, 41% enjoy shopping in stores to understand what’s in style or new, and 37% prefer to do as much online shopping as possible.