Ready to move your business forward? Here’s what you missed at ADTHINK last week!

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Photo Courtesy of Evol8tion: George Smith, Director, Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo; Lauren Fleischer, Global eCommerce Brand Manager, Mondelez International; Lynn Power, President, J. Walter Thompson New York; Taylor Valentine, Chief Invention Officer, Horizon Media; and Joseph Jaffe (ADTHINK moderator), Co-Founder & CEO, Evol8tion.

Last Wednesday, we heard from our wonderful moderator Joseph Jaffe, Co-Founder & CEO, Evol8tion, along with three impressive startups Enplug, Graphika and SLED Mobile who pitched their companies to our wonderful panel of industry experts. The panel included George Smith, Director, Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo; Lauren Fleischer, Global eCommerce Brand Manager, Mondelez International; Lynn Power, President, J. Walter Thompson New York; and Taylor Valentine, Chief Invention Officer, Horizon Media. These startups discussed the intersection of advertising and technology, examining social analytics, cyber-social geography, and the next phase of native advertising.

Thank you to our amazing moderator, panelists and startups who all took part in what was an exciting night of exchanging ideas, hearing from industry veterans and networking, and thank you to Redbooks and our wonderful ADTHINK venue at the Offices at J. Walter Thompson!

Missed ADTHINK last week? See the recap and key findings below!

When Creativity Meets Technology

The cornerstone of startup culture is creativity and innovation, and ADTHINK’s panel emphasized the importance of these traits when combined with technology. When most people think of big data and technology, creativity is not the first association that they make. But when defining creativity as productive originality, the ties between marketing and technology, data and creativity become more apparent.

“The actual definition of innovation is doing things differently, then achieving substantial and credible results,” said Moderator Joseph Jaffe, Co-Founder and CEO of Evol8tion. “You cannot be creative today without technology, and particularly technology combined with innovation.”

Startup/ Brand Collaboration

For huge brands, the freewheeling inventiveness of startup culture is more difficult to achieve. That’s why many brands are beginning to take a close look at how they can bring entrepreneurship into a large company.

Lauren Fleischer, Global eCommerce Brand Manager of Mondelez International, defines herself as an entrepreneur within her company. To her, that means actually launching startups within Mondelez.

“It’s been really exciting to have the hat of a brand owner and a client, and also the hat of the scrappy startup founder,” she said. “It’s also a great learning experience to view business problems from both sides.”

Social Engagement: Are you really measuring it?

Two startups addressed the metrics issue in advertising, particularly online advertising—how do advertisers know who is actually engaging with their ads? Nanxi Liu, CEO and Co-founder of Enplug, pitched a software that gives her clients crucial analytics to reaching target audiences. With an open platform and a large app market, the software creates a social environment that has seen a 50% increase in a number of social interactions. The panel appreciated the idea of creating more immersive experiences, where brands are finding ways to be inviting towards consumers rather than intrusive.

Startup SLED Mobile has developed a platform that seeks to stay ahead of the curve with native advertising and measuring impressions by the time spent with the ad. SLED has also has developed a new format for native ads, creating a platform where audiences consume the ad in the same way that they consume the content.

Mapping Your Audience: Influencers and Segmentation

Graphika, a social media-mapping platform, provided a solution for brands looking to pinpoint key influencers and segment audiences effectively. The platform allows brands to tie into the social-sphere, providing content specific to a micro-community. It gives social context to messaging, ensuring that advertisers are gaining the whole picture before pushing out content.

Check out Evol8tion’s ADTHINK recap, “3 Simple Rules For Startup Collaboration,” for more from ADTHINK!

The FORTUNE Knowledge Group and gyro’s new study says culture takes the lead as primary driver of long-term business relationships

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Excited to share that our friends at The FORTUNE Knowledge Group and gyro have just released a groundbreaking global study that shows how culture has taken the lead as the primary driver of long-term business relationships. Five hundred global execs (director level or higher) were polled last month, and the key finding they found was that decision makers place a huge value on a business partner’s culture, what the company stands for and whether or not they back up their values.

In this study, they found:

  • 60% of respondents said knowing what a company stands for is much more important than innovativeness and market dominance.
  • 60% prefer a partner’s intent on doing what’s right even if it doesn’t maximize revenue.
  • 81% agree that companies successful at long-term relationships make a direct correlation between their beliefs and the way they conduct business.

In the age of transparency, a strong corporate culture has become the primary driver of long-term business relationships, according to a new global survey of 500 executives (director level or above) conducted by the FORTUNE Knowledge Group in collaboration with global advertising agency gyro.

The report, entitled “Beyond the Brand: Why Business Decision Makers Buy Into Strong Cultures,” has found that business decision makers are placing greater significance on a business partner’s culture than ever before.

The key findings include:

  • Stand for something: Sixty percent of executives say that knowing what a company stands for is much more important in choosing a corporate partner than whether it is innovative (21%) or dominates its market (20%).
  • Dial up the soul of your business: Eighty percent of respondents agree that a successful company’s biggest idea is often the one upon which it was built. Losing your culture and original sense of purpose may mean losing your customers.
  • Live by your principles: Eighty-one percent of executives feel that companies that are successful at building long-term relationships make a direct correlation between what they believe in and the way they conduct their business.
  • Share your goals: Eighty-five percent of respondents say they are sharing their company’s purpose and values with key stakeholders more than they did five years ago.
  • Strong relationships are worth the sacrifice: Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that it is worth making short-term financial sacrifices to cultivate long-term relationships.

“Those on FORTUNE’s lists of Most Admired Companies and Best Companies to Work For have a strong corporate culture in common,” said Eric Danetz, Publisher of FORTUNE. “Employees aren’t the only people who benefit from such an environment; customers, vendors, shareholders, even regulators, appreciate great companies. They tend to do business with integrity. They inspire high levels of trust. They strive for excellence.“

“As builders of cultures, our own included, we know that businesses that apply an inside out approach to marketing are the businesses that are winning,” said Christoph Becker, ceo+cco, gyro. “People vastly underestimate the external value of culture. They tend to focus on the internal benefits – the ability to keep people and improve performance. But, culture has huge external benefits. So much so, that the vast majority of respondents in this survey say that culture is the key factor not only in deciding whom to do business with, but also how long the relationship will last.”

To download the executive summary of “Beyond the Brand: Why Business Decision Makers Buy Into Strong Cultures,” visit gyro.com/beyondthebrand.

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About FORTUNE Knowledge Group

The FORTUNE Knowledge Group (FKG) is a custom business intelligence division of Time Inc., publisher of FORTUNE. FKG develops proprietary research and analysis on a range of issues, such as management, regulatory compliance, innovation and strategy. The views expressed by FKG do not necessarily reflect the views of FORTUNE editors.

About gyro

As a global ideas shop, our mission is to create ideas that are humanly relevant. gyro is the 2015 and 2014 BMA Global B2B Agency of the Year and an Advertising Age Top 50 agency. Our 600 creative minds in 14 offices work with top companies including BlackBerry, Cars.com, DuPont, eBay, FedEx, HP, John Deere, SAP, Tate & Lyle, TD Ameritrade, Time Inc. and USG. www.gyro.com

Missed The VERTICALS: Travel last week? Here’s a recap of all things Travel marketing!

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From left to right: Lisa Kauffman, VP, Marketing at Celebrity Cruises; David Elkins, Senior Director of Advertising at TripAdvisor; Stacey Pear, Senior Director, Travel Category Sales, YAHOO; and Avi Mannis, SVP Marketing, Hawaiian Airlines.

At the AD Club’s The VERTICALS: Travel event last Tuesday, Stacey Pear from YAHOO, Lisa Kauffman from Celebrity Cruises, Avi Mannis from Hawaiian Airlines and David Elkins of TripAdvisor gave their insights about how the travel industry is moving towards an even more seamless experience, which includes making interactive mobile and social content a huge priority. They also discussed the opportunities for providing consumers with extensive, in-depth brand experiences, touching on the growing importance of differentiating travel brands.

We want to thank our lovely panel of speakers and our event sponsor YAHOO for making this all possible! We couldn’t have done it without you. Missed it? Don’t worry – we’ve gathered the key takeaways from our experts who know best!

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Mobile is growing, but it’s only part of the picture

In the travel industry, roughly 25% of all digital bookings are now mobile. Consumers are more and more comfortable with booking an entire vacation, flights and lodging through their phones.

However, many travel brands recognize that they still need to develop mobile strategies within the context of an overall device strategy. Consumers generally choose travel options with care, taking the time to carefully research and plan their vacation. This process means that there are usually multiple devices involved in the path to purchase. According to Avi Mannis, SVP of Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines, devices like the tablet have emerged as one of the primary platforms for reaching their target audience.

“Consumers use the tablet for shopping and researching, and the desktop and laptop are still where people transact,” he said. “The phone has specific use cases for the day of travel, notifications, flight disruption, and check in.”

To effectively connect with consumers at each stage of the purchasing journey, travel brands must develop content and user experiences geared towards each platform at various times while their customers are booking their travel arrangements.

Lisa Kauffman, VP of Marketing at Celebrity Cruises, believes that mobile use will trend towards on-board experiences in the future. “When you’re on board, that’s the holy grail, and we’re heading into that territory. That means staying connected while on board, sharing experiences and connecting with other guests,” she said.

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Travel means an in-depth brand experience

For travel brands, the lengthily nature of travel provides a unique opportunity to interact with consumers. Consumers are willing to put money towards an experience, so developing a meaningful, engaging experience is crucial for travel companies. Brands have their audience’s attention for the duration of the flight, the hotel stay, or the cruise. Many consumers plan and book vacations months ahead of time, giving brands even more time to create a positive, interactive experience.

“The average time to be on board (a cruise) is nine days, which is a long time to experience a brand,” Lisa said. “Consumers are also the happiest because they are on vacation.”

Experiential messaging and authentic branding should be priorities for travel brands, with content ideally created by the user community.

“The affluent consumer is all about experiences, meaning spending money on experience versus things,” Lisa said. “People are willing to spend on travel, so positioning ourselves as modern luxury is all about creating unique, immersive experiences.”

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An extensive brand experience equals an extensive social experience

This in-depth brand experience highlights the importance of social through each stage of travel. Consumers choose airlines or cruise lines based on recommendations from friends, research travel brands via social, and use social to interact with other guests during the trip.

“The purpose of social channels is to entice people to come back, research, and immerse themselves from a content perspective,” said David Elkins, Senior Director of Advertising at Tripadvisor. “Organic is best, but we also have a team focused on putting ideas out.”

The executives’ primary focus in social is engagement and conversations with consumers, not simply social content marketing. While content is important, for the brand experience to be completely immersive and authentic, consumers need to be participating in the social conversation.

Avi measures the success of social by “looking at the basics of metrics. Looking at the tone and substance of what people say. From a corporate standpoint, we want consumers to be engaged in the conversation. We don’t just want impressions—we want conversations we are building with customers.”

Defining your brand is vital

Travel advertisers are recognizing the importance of clearly defining and differentiating their products. Because consumers are spending so much money on travel, they are looking for the exact experience they want.

Celebrity Cruises is differentiating itself as a modern luxury travel brand. According to Lisa Kauffman, “The first leap is to see ourselves as a vacation brand and not just a cruise brand. Then, it’s important to look at the vacation universe and segment our audience based on vacation experiences, how they spend, and what leisure activities are relevant to them. The sweet spot is international travelers who dine out and who are into culture.”

Segmentation is moving the industry closer and closer to one-on-one marketing, and developing specific target audiences based on data is a priority for these travel brands.

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View of The Freedom Tower from The VERTICALS venue, the Manhattan Penthouse.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos from our Travel event, and follow us on social media for the latest on all of AD Club’s events at @ADClubNY and #ADClubNY!

 

Imagem’s Steve King & 1Band1Brand’s Brady Sadler on the future of music and advertising!

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Advertising and music have joined forces in creating some of the most iconic brand stories our world has seen thus far. In fact, it’s impossible to ignore music’s growing prominence in advertising as it’s a natural storyteller, where the right song choice can transform a good idea into a great one. This is also a great way brands can connect with a broader audience that they couldn’t have before.

Before our first ANDYs Redefining Music event next week on July 28th, we wanted to sit down with our friends from 1Band1Brand and IMAGEM, our event partner, to talk about where they feel like the future of music and advertising is going, examples of the best brand campaign told through music, which devices are where marketers should be focusing on, and more.

1Band1Brand is also hosting 1Band1Brand Live on July 22, an event series dedicated to creating authentic relationships between artists and brands. RSVP here today!

See what Steve King, Vice President, US Creative Services at Imagem Music Group, and Brady Sadler, Co-founder of 1Band1Brand and EVP, Growth & Innovation at GYK Antler had to say about where the future of music and advertising lies, where they think the best music-powered campaign really is, and more!

Steve King, US Creative Services at Imagem Music Group

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What’s the best example of an outstanding brand campaign powered by great storytelling through music?

I would have to say that the best example of this is Coca-Cola’s ‘Hilltop’ campaign, which used the song “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke”.  The campaign was so successful, that the song was later re-written without the brand name, commercially released and began charting around the world. The single sold close to 100,000 copies in a day, and about 12 million in total. These are numbers that any songwriter would be happy with.

I was fortunate to work with Jonathan Mildenhall (formerly at Coke) and his team several years ago to try and recreate something similar with the “Open Happiness” song. The idea was not just to create a jingle, but also a song that would have appeal on it’s own.

How has technology changed the game with social media and music platforms like Spotify, etc.?

I believe music discovery is the biggest change. For years, people discovered music primarily through radio and word of mouth. Now, with social media, word of mouth has a much bigger voice.

A person now has a world of music at their fingertips, with today’s technology. For example, someone can Shazam a song that they hear on an Ad or even just playing in the background. Then with the click of a link, it can be purchased instantly on their phone. People can share music and bands, that they are interested in, through social media, and even follow someone’s Spotify playlist from across the world. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the music industry. Technology has changed so many things, in a relatively short period of time, and I look forward to seeing how the next few years play out.

With more and more music/brand partnerships, which devices do you think marketers should be targeting to create the best overall user experience? (Mobile, desktop, TV, etc.?)

 With about a 16% growth rate in smartphone shipments over the next 5 years, my opinion is mobile. People are always connected these days and use their phone for everything from shopping and gaming to social media. Via mobile and through data collection, brands can truly deliver customized services and products to the consumer.

Brady Sadler, Co-founder of 1Band1Brand and EVP, Growth & Innovation at GYK Antler: @BradySadler

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What’s the best example of an outstanding brand campaign powered by great storytelling through music?

My favorite recent example comes from the healthy food chain, sweetgreen. To celebrate their annual sweetlife festival, the brand launched the “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe Salad” in collaboration with the festival’s headlining artist Kendrick Lamar. Promotion included restaurant signage, branded tee shirts and a portion of all product sales were given to a youth charity. This demonstrated how to extend the impact of a music partnership in a very clever way. It also showed the brand’s sense of humor, their pop-culture sensibilities and their corporate values.

We’re seeing more platforms adding content that is new to their standard repertoire (i.e., Spotify adding video content, Google adding in music-terms to their search results, etc.). Are there any platforms that you think are ripe for adding music as content in the near future?

I think every social network is ripe for additional music content because it provides a compelling opportunity for marketing and advertising. Facebook is definitely one to watch, as they continue building their video offering, and strategic partnerships, to compete with YouTube.

Do you think there will be resurgence in radio and radio storytelling with advances in the music and marketing relationship?

There’s definitely an opportunity for resurgence in radio storytelling with the help of brands. However, I believe marketers will increasingly look at non-traditional formats like streaming and podcasts that eschew traditional ad units in favor of native advertising.

What are the biggest trends in music that marketers should be aware of?

I think both industries can agree on one major trend and that is data. Most marketers have been on top of this, but the music industry is catching up. Smart artists are building the infrastructure to support their interactions with fans in a way that mirrors corporate CRM systems. This will allow artists to build increasingly strong relationships with fans and then reach out with unique campaigns and offers. Ultimately this will increase the influence they have and the effectiveness of any brand partnerships.

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You don’t want to miss our first ANDYs Redefining Music event happening next Tuesday, 7/28 at 6pm – register today! http://bit.ly/1BEcmON

Follow ANDYs on social media at @ANDYAwards and use the hashtag #ANDY2015!

MEC @ Cannes: Key trends and takeaways from Cannes 2015!

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Cannes lived up to its legacy as the center for innovation and creativity, inspiring people and brands. But this year, what really stood out was how technology is transforming the marketing landscape. This was most visible with the launch of a new two-day festival celebrating the coming together of data, tech and creativity: Lions Innovation, with MEC as a founding sponsor.

MEC compiled the 4 key takeaways every successful advertiser and marketer needs to know from this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity: 

1) Technology, A Mother of Invention

2) Gender Equality on the Agenda

3) Doing Good Is Doing Well

4) Creativity Adores Restrictions

Want to learn what each of them mean to you and the advertising industry? Click here to check it out!

And if you want to see how #MecAtCannes unfolded, MEC unveiled two new innovations #EmotiCannes and MEC Velocity. Check it all out here: https://storify.com/MECideas/mecatcannes

“We are in this together”: A recap from i’mPART’s First Diversity Mixer!

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On June 18, we hosted our first i’mPART Diversity Mixer and we couldn’t more excited about it! As you know, i’mPART, AD Club’s diversity and inclusion initiative, was created to rally the community around a shared goal that creates awareness, action and change in the advertising, media and marketing community.

We first heard from Sandra Sims-Williams, Chief Diversity Officer of Publicis Groupe, who kicked off the Mixer as she spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion not only in our industry, but in the world in which we live. Sandra and our president Gina Grillo also thanked the people who made the mixer and i’mPART a reality.

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“We started this movement to let everyone know that we are in this together.”

We recently updated the definition of diversity, Gina said, since it isn’t just a number, percentage, race, gender, sexual orientation, a box to check or a right thing to do. It’s about inclusion and different perspectives and how that reflects the consumer marketplace that we serve.

AD Club’s partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a 10-year commitment to track the industry’s progress with effective diversity and inclusion programs, where for this year’s survey, 369 professionals participated.

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Gina then welcomed the PwC team who presented the long-awaited results coming from this year’s Diversity Diagnostics Survey. They conducted a 2013 survey study to establish the baseline in diversity in organizations, so when they did it again this year, they found more interesting results.

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What they found was that the industry is maturing, but how do we measure this?

We learned that diversity goes beyond demographics – it’s not only important to articulate the value or diversity inclusion, but that your partners, employees and clients understand it, as well.

Below are the 5 key findings from PwC’s Diversity Diagnostics Survey that we hope you share with your fellow co-workers, employees, and friends:

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Stay tuned – the full survey results will be released in July!

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We want to thank all of our sponsors, without whom this would not have been possible. Also, thank you to all who came out to support i’mPART, and those who have been there from the very beginning. We can’t wait for next year’s Diversity Mixer to see what new insights we can share on diversity and inclusion in the workplace!

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Want to see more photos from our Diversity Mixer? See them all here on AD Club’s Facebook Page!

Young Professional Committee’s 2nd Annual Summer Speed Networking Event on July 15!

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The AD Club of New York’s Young Professional Committee is planning the 2nd Annual Summer Speed Networking event this summer on July 15 at Publicis Healthcare Communications Group.

Come join us to support young professionals and grant them access to industry professionals in a casual setting – Register Here!

Want to know what it’s like to attend? Hear what Gillian Derario, Assistant Account Executive, McCann had to say about her experience and how she landed a job opportunity from last year’s Summer Speed Networking event:

How did you hear about Ad Club’s Speed Networking event?

After graduation, admittedly I had no job or internship lined up. In my spare time, I knew I would need to start meeting people, because as they say, “It’s all about who you know.” I began looking online for advertising groups and organizations in NYC to join for mentorship and networking. Among many other groups in the city, I found AD Club of NY, and saw that they were hosting a speed networking event for young professionals. After having attended several networking events by that time, and reading the description of this event, I had a feeling this one would be better tailored to someone in my position.

Please share your experience after attending this event:

During the event, I reconnected with an alumni from my college. We chatted about the agency he was working at (McCann Erickson), and he was impressed by my knowledge of their new business acquisitions. During our conversation, I also mentioned that I was still looking for a full time position. After the event, he connected me with a Human Resources Specialist at the agency, who offered me an incredible internship working on one of the pieces of new business.

If you were to recommend this event to someone, what would you say are the benefits to attend?

I recommend this event to any young professional or aspiring young professional in advertising. It’s one of the few spaces for younger people to network with others close to their age – others who know what it’s like to be new to the work force. This is also a great outlet for learning about all of the different positions and career options in the advertising world and learning about them from the ground up. And there’s always the potential for HR reps to be scouting out some good entry level candidates!

What did you like the most about the speed networking event?

Networking can be intimidating at times, but what I liked most was that the setup of this event truly makes you feel at ease while you network. They remove the awkward introductions and conversation enders by having you move around to new people every five or so minutes, and provide questions as conversation starters. This event is the best way to grow your network and feel comfortable while doing it.