Agency network MDC Partners has continued to solidify its leadership team approximately three months after Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group acquired a minority stake and the former WPP executive took over as CEO.Today, Seth Gardner joined the company as its first chief operating officer, effective June 17.This announcement follows the appointments of Frank Lanuto and Jonathan Mirsky earlier this month to serve, respectively, as evp, chief financial officer and evp, general counsel and corporate secretary.It also hints at the priorities of Penn, who has effectively revamped the executive suite at MDC.Last month, Penn resolved an ongoing dispute with activist investor FrontFour Capital by agreeing to appoint two new board members in the form of former WarnerMedia and Snap executive Kristen O’Hara and an as-yet-unnamed individual described as “a Canadian resident chosen by the Company with significant industry experience.”Gardner was an attorney who specialized in corporate restructuring before he joined private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
“What if you had 5 million videos with 5 million unique people signing with you, instead of 5 million YouTube views?” That question is how founder and CEO Jeff Smith pitches his social music application, Smule, to labels and artists.Smule has about 40 million users, and Smith said the nearly 11-year-old company brings in some $150 million in annual revenue, with investors including China’s Tencent and India’s Times Bridge.“I wanted to go be a professor of music, but fate had something different in store for me this time,” he said.Smith created the company while earning his doctoral degree in computer music at Stanford University.He says that he wasn’t planning to start another company, but he began creating music with a whole network of people via the then-new iPhone, and that initiative evolved into building prototypes of products running on iPhones.“I started the company with a mission to bring music back to its roots as more of a participatory creative medium,” Smith said, “to build a fabric kind of like Facebook but mostly anonymous—the music becomes the bridge.”
Amazon shareholders voted down two proposals impacting its facial analysis technology, Rekognition, during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle on Wednesday.They sought to restrict the sale of Rekognition to government agencies, stemming from concerns the company “is enabling a surveillance system readily available to violate rights and target communities of color.”The first proposal requested the board prohibit sales to said agencies outright unless it concluded the technology “does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.” In particular, it asked the board to assess the extent to which the technology may violate privacy and rights and disproportionately impact people of color, immigrants and activists, as well as the extent to which it might be sold to repressive governments.The second proposal asked the board to commission an independent study on the extent to which Rekognition may violate rights, the extent to which it may be sold to authoritarian or repressive foreign governments and the financial and operational risks associated with those human rights issues.“The recent failures of Facebook to engage in sufficient content and privacy management and the resulting economic impacts to that company should be taken as sufficient warning: It could happen to Amazon,” the proposal noted.There were also notes in all caps after each proposal, noting the board recommended a vote against it.
Twitter confirmed that it is testing changes to ad loads in its feed with certain users.A spokesperson for the social network said, “We are always running experiments with our ad experience, including with the various aspects of ad frequency and targeting.We welcome feedback on how people feel about the ads they see via the down arrow on tweets.”The spokesperson emphasized that this is just a test for a subset of users.Much in the same way other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram operate, not all Twitter users see the same ad load, and factors including how ads influence their use of the platform help determine how many ads they see.
Brands looking to win customers for life should consider their emotional states and incorporate that data into all relevant touch points along the path to purchase.That’s according to a new study from Deloitte Digital on how emotions impact long-term customer loyalty.Here are the top takeaways:Based on a survey of 1,000 consumers, Deloitte found emotional factors are key to building an audience of loyal, enthusiastic customers.In fact, 58% of participants cited feelings like “love,” happiness and adoration to describe how they feel about their favorite brands.Values and perks only last so long
In the four and a half years that BuzzFeed’s chief revenue officer, Lee Brown, has worked with the company, he’s seen the publisher transform from a one-stop shop for listicles and quizzes to a massive media behemoth.“I saw what Jonah Peretti was thinking when I first joined on: a modern media company that was kind of a challenge and didn’t necessarily have a playbook or a defined right answer,” he said.“It gave me a really good opportunity to grow and develop the team here and turn it into something that’s diverse, global and always evolving.”And the site has certainly evolved.Thanks to a financial boost from NBC in late 2016, the past few years have seen BuzzFeed massively scale up its content and its ad-tech roster, to boot; in 2017, the once-vocal programmatic naysayers in the company had finally come to embrace the ease of scale that comes with automated advertising.Lee Brown: We really had no display ads on our site until October of 2017.
From Hulu’s new ad format targeted at binge watchers to YouTube’s move to make its original content free and ad-supported to Xandr’s new marketplace for premium video, this year’s presentations show that the convergence of digital is upon us.Traditionally, NewFronts has catered to the audience-first targeting approach and measurability of digital mediums while Upfronts has focused on specific programming and establishing value in the content they are pitching.The content of both events is converging today, with Facebook looking for upfront commitments and WarnerMedia addressing targeting and measurability via Xandr this year.Buyers will need to look past the lines of how they buy and focus on who they are tasked with reaching.While linear TV is clawing to maintain their upfront sales strategy, digital pure-plays like Hulu and YouTube are desperately looking to partake in this model while addressing the changing dynamic of video viewership.The fear of losing linear inventory may set the pace for true linear and digital TV convergence.
Over the past year, brands have been breaking down barriers in the content marketing sphere and finally allowing creativity to take center stage.Moving away from the foundational, basic interviews, conferences and status report-style videos, brands have been experimenting with the likes of documentaries, feature-length movies and interactive episodic content, transforming their marketing efforts from informative, brand-led communications to entertaining, user-first content that really shows their personality.It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the basic illustrated explainer video has received its own innovative makeover, with some brands deciding to adopt a more cinematic approach to their content creation, combining their animation with emotive, compelling storytelling in a similar fashion to the work of renowned film studios like Pixar and Disney.Here are three examples of brands that have taken their animated content to the next level and what lessons content creators can learn from their efforts.Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Pip: A Short Animated FilmSoutheastern Guide Dogs teamed up with Quatre Animation Production to create a four-minute animated short film following Pip, a real-life puppy with a big dream of becoming an elite guide dog.
Each week, taxpayer money is spent shuffling hundreds of Brazilian politicians back and forth between their hometowns and the country’s federal capital.Are these taxpayers compensated for said miles or rewarded in any way?While this isn’t technically illegal, it’s not a great look in a country where people struggle to purchase flights for crucial things like health treatments and education opportunities.In partnership with Reclame Aqui, Brazil’s leading consumer protection organization, Grey Brazil recently found a way to get some of these miles back into the hands of those who actually earned them.Via a platform called “Miles for the People,” the agency tracked the flight expenses of elected officials and converted them into airline miles.In cases where there are multiple matches, decisions are based on urgency (i.e.
Amazon has mercilessly crushed bookstores, department stores, big-box retail and malls—and may wipe out shipping companies before all is said and done.It is certainly not a company to rest on its laurels, so analysis firm CB Insights crunched some data to determine what industries are most vulnerable.Here are the seven industries it thinks Amazon could conquer next:Since its 2018 acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack, tongues have been wagging about Amazon’s plans for the healthcare industry.According to CB Insights, Amazon is well-positioned to improve the sometimes painful process of filling prescriptions, thanks in part to its expansive fulfillment network.“As Amazon continues to put its money and influence to work acquiring distribution licenses and potentially acquiring another mail-order pharmacy or two, it’s laying the foundation for an Amazon-branded fast prescription drug delivery system,” the study said.
Most companies in one survey undervalued content as a lead-generating tool.Related: How Content Marketing Can Help Your Company Do More For LessOnline marketing expert Neil Patel came up with some possible answers by studying 208 companies’ marketing efforts; he found that nearly 60 percent of those companies' marketing budgets, on average, went into Google Adwords campaigns.Meanwhile, almost 20 percent of those budgets went to Facebook Ads.Although Google Adwords and Facebook Ads had the highest conversion rates by far, content marketing had over a 600 percent return on marketing spend.Finally, they scan the content vertically on the left side, typically glancing at subheads.
While nearly nine in 1o marketers say they have used artificial intelligence in some form to do their job better, a number of challenges still prevent them from tapping the technology’s full potential.That’s according to a new survey from Forrester Research and marketing AI platform Albert in which 156 marketers with decision-making power over their respective companies’ tech purchases offered their takes on the current state of the AI hype cycle.While marketers have rushed to bolster operations with AI to keep pace with a rapid advancement in the field—adoption has jumped from 43% in 2016 to 88% today—many have reported being hampered by inertial institutional problems like a lack of uniform data or outdated systems.Past reports have claimed that as much as 80% of the average data scientist’s time is spent on menial data organization tasks.Forrester’s researchers blamed some of the difficulties with AI on the limited scope of brands’ use of it.The paper says the vast majority of marketers with AI capabilities use it to surface campaign insights.
Author, consultant and TV host, Bonin Bough, is our Adweek Advisory Board chairman.He will be spotlighting three Advisory Board members per month on relevant industry news and trends.I spoke with some of our Advisory Board members about this year’s upfronts and what they thought some of the challenges might be this year.For large brands, it is a time to rethink how these things fit in the ecosystem.They can learn a lot from the fast-paced growth of DTC businesses who, despite being digital-first, are now buying outdoor and TV.Because they understand that buying across the entire ecosystem—true connections planning—is still the most effective way to build a strong brand.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.What if you could get paid for who you are instead of what you do or what you know?Do you want to experience what it feels like to be treated like a celebrity or influencer, and own a business category?Well, it’s completely possible -- and can happen faster than you think.In this free video of an Entrepreneur Insider workshop, Mike Koenigs reveals several strategies that he has created alongside celebrity clients including Tony Robbins, Paula Abdul, Tim Ferriss, Richard Dreyfuss, Dave Asprey, JJ Virgin, John Assaraf, Brian Tracy, XPrize founder Peter Diamandis, Jorge Cruise, Harvey Mackay, Daniel Amen and Darren Hardy, as well as non-celebrity business owners who have had massive success increasing their prices and growing their customer base at the same time.Related: Entrepreneur Insider Video of the Week: Nick Cannon Breaks Down His Keys to Success in Business and Life
Pandora’s algorithms think DJ Khaled’s new album will be a hit this summer.For its new “Sound On” campaign, the streaming music service analyzed its data to see which hits and artists would be the most listened to during the hottest months of the year.Topping the list was Khaled’s “Just Us” featuring SZA, followed by his “Wish Wish” with Cardi B and 21 Savage.To help literally illustrate—and to promote—the summer sounds, Pandora commissioned an interactive mural of Khaled in New York’s Lower East Side neighborhood.The mural, painted by street artist Lexi Bella, also includes a QR code, which when scanned, directs visitors to the album for an audio-visual experience.The company also created a longer 41-song playlist of what it thinks will be the top hits.
Did you know that Snapchat allows you to turn on Story notifications for specific friends and/or accounts you follow?When you turn on Story notifications for a specific account, the application will notify you when they post a new Story.Our guide will show you how to turn on Story notifications for a specific account.Note: These screenshots were captured in the Snapchat app on iOS.Step 1: On the Friends screen, tap and hold on the friend you wish to receive Story notifications for.Step 3: Tap the toggle to the right of “Story Notifications” to turn this setting on.
Roku, looking to capitalize on the continued swell of advertiser interest in streaming, is giving marketers another tool to measure ad campaigns’ reach and effectiveness across its OTT offerings.The streaming platform is rolling out new tools to let advertisers review their linear TV campaign performances and model the possible streaming audiences they can reach if they shift advertising budgets to Roku.The tools, called Activation Insights, model what happens to a campaign’s reach and effectiveness if advertisers reallocate different percentages of their budgets to OTT, and they provide advertisers with an “optimal budget spend” estimate to recommend the dollar amount that advertisers should shift to Roku’s OTT platform.Alison Levin, Roku’s head of global ad sales and strategy, said the goal is to show advertisers how OTT can benefit them and their media campaigns.“When we meet with clients, one of the largest questions that always comes up for us—and one of the larger reasons the shift [to OTT] hasn’t happened quicker—is because brands haven’t been able to understand or haven’t had the data to know how much of their budget they should move from linear to OTT,” Levin said.“We’ve been completely focused on helping to solve this industry question.”
LinkedIn’s quarterly update to its Sales Navigator lead-management dashboard features a redesigned homepage with a focus on alerts, among several improvements.Vice president of product management Doug Camplejohn said in a blog post that the redesign will make it easier for teams using Sales Navigator to identify changes at companies, locate relevant prospects and determine the next steps in their relationships.He wrote, “When we changed the homepage experience from a feed to alerts, we didn’t want to just re-create everything that was there before: We wanted to give you more controls to filter the signal from the noise, and action buttons so you could quickly jump to the next step.”A lead started a position at a new company.Someone at a saved account viewed your profile.A lead was mentioned in the news.
Are you still waiting in line at the supermarket?French retailer Monoprix goes back in time—way, way back—to show us the inherent misery in queuing up and the way one opportunistic Early Man tries to game the system.(It involves a number of underhanded tactics including a poisonous snake, fake pregnancy, Pterodactyl attack and strategic pantsing, the loincloth version).To promote the app called “Monoprix et Moi,” agency Rosapark created a cinematic two-minute video filled with sight gags and guttural chatter that follows one determined Neanderthal as he methodically (and hilariously) picks off the Cro-Magnons ahead of him in the chow line.“Really, who hasn’t tried to get out of standing in line?” the brand asks, noting that Sapiens of yore had to be cunning and clever (and ruthless) to get ahead.Or at least, we know how to download a fast-pass app by which we can pay directly from our smartphones and skip the whole checkout process.
Sloppy mistakes in your sales listings equal low sales on Amazon.Image credit: Michael Short | Getty ImagesOpinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.But people who settle for this spend much of their time being disappointed, frustrated and poorly compensated as a result.The range of quality is vast: from product listings with a single, grainy photograph, a few vague bullet points and zero reviews to highly optimized, lengthy listings with professional photographs, extensive and highly descriptive copy, and thorough technical details.The more expensive or technical your product is, and providing the market volume exists for it, the more you’ll want to increase the time and effort you pour into these listings.