What the Minority Market Wants You to Know about Marketing to Them

Recently, I was asked to consult with a large conglomerate on how they could better reach the minority market — specifically the latino population in North America. This is a question I often hear from potential clients and from audience members after my keynotes — and for good reason. After all, the minority market, be it Latino, Asian, or mixed race, is becoming the fastest growing segment of the market that companies are trying to reach. To connect with these rising demographics requires a strategy with nuance.

In other words, language is not the only barrier. Companies also need to think about how they express their commitment to diversity, their understanding of cultural hybrids, and their willingness to adapt their offerings to the customers they’re serving.

When it comes to diversity, walk the talk.

It’s easy for a company or corporation to say that diversity is a value, but the bigger question is how that value is reflected in everything from employment policies to leadership. As the Instagram photo shared by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, in which 11 out of 12 partners were men, (or rather, the uproar it was met by when posted) revealed, people are paying attention to how brands “walk the talk.” Of course, this isn’t encouragement to hire “token” staff members to stand in for a real dedication to diversity. Rather, companies must take a holistic approach to ensure that their hiring policies and day to day procedures are inclusive.

And for companies who recognize that diverse perspectives and backgrounds are a strength, rather than an inconvenience, I always recommend that they make that a part of their public image…

Inside promotion: Chicago names CTO Danielle DuMerer as CIO replacement

After the exit of former Chief Information Officer Brenna Berman in May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed DuMurer to continue Chicago’s smart city and civic tech efforts.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially appointed Danielle DuMerer to be the city’s new chief information officer (CIO).

City council approved the appointment on Wednesday that replaces Chicago’s former CIO Brenna Berman, who left government after more than six years in the role. DuMerer began working for the city in 2008 as an IT project manager and has gradually risen through the ranks to serve as IT director, chief technology officer, and now CIO, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Among her accomplishments, the city praised DuMurer for work coordinating the city’s open data program and promoting digital inclusion initiatives that made technology and online connectivity more accessible to residents. Under the direction of Berman, DuMurer was also a driving force in…

This CEO Hopes To Rewrite The Code Of Compliance Management Software

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GAN Integrity CEO and Co-Founder Thomas Sehested
GAN Integrity CEO and Co-Founder Thomas Sehested

Photo courtesy of GAN Integrity

GAN Integrity CEO and Co-Founder Thomas Sehested

The market for compliance software has been growing at a rapid pace, projected to be worth $118.7 billion worldwide by 2020.

One significant cause of this spike is the overflow of fines, penalties and settlements companies have been forced to pay out due to regulatory violations. Following the financial crisis, banks had to pay upward of $160 billion in penalties in the U.S. alone.

Despite these staggering statistics, many of today’s biggest banks and top companies, manage their compliance efforts using outdated legacy technologies that often restrict different functionalities from interacting with each other another. Seeing the need for an all-in-one compliance management tool, one startup emerged with a blueprint to help corporations meet standards and save millions.

Founded in 2014, GAN Integrity is a fully integrated compliance management software company that syncs critical compliance systems, documents and data all into one connected platform. Their technology works to streamline tedious compliance tasks into automated campaigns, increasing accuracy and efficiency.

The GAN team is comprised of a growing collective of technology and compliance experts. This combination provides the startup with a competitive advantage, as their primary competitors represent either private equity rollups that don’t properly leverage new technology, or tech experts who that lack sufficient knowledge in the space.

To date, the startup has raised $9 million in funding, receiving a Series A round back in February of this year.

Thomas Sehested, GAN Integrity CEO and Co-Founder, shares the vision behind his company, disrupting the compliance industry, and his approach to building a future-proof business.

What specific void or opportunity did you discover that inspired the idea behind your company?

Thomas Sehested: In researching the compliance industry, it was very clear that this critically important business unit was grossly underserved. Compliance professionals tend to work with 5-10 technology vendors to achieve basic programmatic goals in compliance management. For such an important area for global business, it seemed clear that the compliance groups needed a more efficient and smarter tech platform.

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your company off the ground and what lessons did you learn from…

Is your culture what you think it is?

Culture

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In my career, there have been many things I am fortunate enough to be proud of. Yet one of the things I feel most strongly about is the culture we created during the ten years I was at Aetna, and its enduring impact. In my experience, it is the leader – the CEO – who plays the crucial role in creating and “owning” an organization’s culture, setting the tone, and executing on that consistently. We know a culture doesn’t just happen; it is the result of what you do every day.

I believe in the power of a positive, high-performance culture, which begins with strong ethical values at the core. When I was at Aetna, we worked to create the culture and values with input from our then ~40,000 employees. We felt having employee insights early and often in the process was critical to our long-term success.

The single most important business reason to create a positive high-performance culture is the level and value of information leaders obtain when people are willing to discuss issues and problems. We know failures happen. When they occur, the leader needs to know what happened and what to do. In a negative culture people may try to cover mistakes and problems, and that undermines any real shot at performance improvement. In a positive and supportive culture, people will be more open to having fact-based discussions about problems, thereby allowing leaders to address those issues head on. As I have said many times, people are much more interested in meeting expectations than demands.

Your corporate culture: is it what you think it is?

I was at Aetna during a time of massive change. We were losing $1 million per day on average, and rapidly losing the confidence of members, customers, brokers and investors. Doctors were furious with us. We had also lost the support of our employees. We soon learned that they were demoralized and beaten down because of the poor performance of the company, the strained relationships with our constituents and the constant negativity in the media. Many of our employees were embarrassed to work for Aetna. We could not be successful in rebuilding the company without employees who were engaged and committed to the company’s success. Employees were our most important assets on our path to rebuilding. My job, and the job of the entire leadership team, was to re-engage the employees. Part of that came from working to fix the company so that we could see performance improvements. But we also needed to understand what led to this dysfunctional state.

Something I realized early on in my career: if you ask a leadership team what the culture of a company is, you will get an answer. But the real answer is how the company’s employees answer that question. The CEO’s responsibility is to get alignment between those two answers.

We began a series of activities to communicate with employees, including educating them on the reality of our business and its substantial challenges. We also asked for their input. Working with an outside firm, we developed a survey that was distributed to the entire employee population. And we found that our employees had a lot to say. The first year we conducted the voluntary survey we achieved close to a 90% response rate. We also talked to our employees through focus groups and we took what they told us and created company values, which reflected the beliefs of employees at all levels of the company. We reinforced the legitimacy of the values by using them every single day, but also by incorporating survey action items within our business plans each year. Over time, our management team members were held accountable for improvement on survey action items, and their compensation was tied to their performance related to these survey action items.

We probed a number of areas in the survey, but as just one example, we asked whether employees believed that the company was acting in accordance with its values, and whether in fact their own department and their own leader was. We placed a high value on leadership capability, and for performance evaluations of leaders, it was weighted as important as their business results.

The surveys, among other programs, became a regular part of how we communicated about culture and values, as well as a marker for how and whether our employees felt the same as we did about our culture.

Setting the right tone at the top is key. Consistency makes it work.

Much of a leader’s responsibility in creating a positive high-performance culture is setting the right tone, and…

Third IPO Using Regulation A+ Lists, How This Worked For ShiftPixy

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Third IPO Using Reg A+ Lists
Third IPO Using Reg A+ Lists

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Third IPO Using Reg A+ Lists

ShiftPixie Lists On The NASDAQ:(PIXY), Completing The Third Regulation A+ IPO In Three Weeks.

ShiftPixy today listed on the NASDAQ: PIXY, marking the success of their Regulation A+ IPO. There have now been three Reg A+ IPOs in the last three weeks. On June 12thMYO listed on the NYSE through their Reg A+IPO, then on June 16thADOM listed on the NASDAQ having used Regulation A+ for their IPO as well.

At this point, it’s fair to say that the momentum of the Reg A+ industry is accelerating. These three IPOs demonstrate that Reg A+ is a viable method by which to take small-cap companies public. To see the advantages of using Reg A+ for IPOs to The Big Board and the NASDAQ Click here.

ShiftPixy has an innovative and disruptive business model. When companies become their client, ShiftPixie takes over the responsibility for employment compliance for their part-time and shift workers. The employees switch to become employed by ShiftPixy, with the advantage that they can work not as independent contractors but as employees, enjoying the protections of workers’ compensation coverage and get access to healthcare and 401K benefits as a result. The client company benefits from a less complex and lower overhead way to grow their business.

The company raised $12 mill of capital at a pre-money valuation of $159 mill at $6 per share, from approximately 450 investors, with a minimum investment per investor of $600 and with an approximate average investment amount of $26 k. This indicates that most of the investors came through the efforts of the broker-dealer syndicate. Scott Absher, CEO, and Founder told me that the syndicate assembled by WR Hambrecht included more than 15 broker-dealers. When investors inquired about the offering at the company’s website Scott’s team referred them to members of the broker-dealer syndicate – a good way to gain the attention of their account representatives.

The company plans to introduce an App in the fall of 2017 for employees to find work with other ShiftPixie clients. The capital raised will enable ShiftPixy to…

CMO Today: AMC Launches Ad-Free Service; Disney’s Upfront; Alibaba’s Marketing Push

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a scene from the final episode of AMC's
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a scene from the final episode of AMC’s “Mad Men.”

Good morning. As we head into the holiday weekend, how about celebrating the only way I know how: sitting back, putting my feet up and watching some ads. Budweiser has a Fourth of July spot starring actor Adam Driver, who surprises a military family. Meanwhile, Ancestry.com has recreated John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence” painting. No newsletter on Monday and Tuesday, folks. See you on July 5.

AMC is launching a commercial-free service called AMC Premiere that will cost $4.99 a month, The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint reports. The new service, which will also include some exclusive content and movies from the network’s library, will be an add-on for Comcast cable subscribers, and they won’t be able to get any sort of refund for the AMC standard channel. AMC’s logic is that some customers will do anything they can to avoid ads and $4.99 a month is cheaper than downloading individual shows. Still, given all the other subscriptions consumers have to handle to get access to their content at the moment, five bucks seems steep for just one channel. I can imagine churn will be high when subscribers’ favorite series come to a close.

Disney is so pleased about the way its upfront negotiations played out, it’s shouting about it from the rooftops, Variety reports. Disney said the volume of upfront ad commitments was up by a “high single digit” percentage across broadcast, cable and kids TV. Variety estimates that ABC could have shored up anywhere between $1.84 billion and $2.13 billion in commitments for its prime-time schedule. Disney said it pushed up its CPM (the cost to reach 1,000 people) by “low double digit” percentages for late-night and kids-TV. It’s extremely rare for a TV company to release a public statement about its upfront achievements. As Variety’s Brian Steinberg tweeted: “The last time a company made a public statement about TV upfront results was June 2005 — when ABC made a press statement and filed it w/…

LinkedIn Leader Shares How to Build a High-Performance Content Marketing Team

linkedin-leader-build-high-performance-content

The content marketing industry is flooded with “rock stars,” and this has led many to think a content marketing strategy is about individual prowess. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Peek behind great content marketing efforts and you’ll nearly always find a driven, well-organized team.

Jolie Miller, content strategy and acquisitions leader at LinkedIn, has spent much of her career leading the quiet, disciplined work of high-performance content teams. Here are her practical tips for what it takes to build, manage, and drive them.

CCO: Can you paint a picture of your personal content journey? When did you first take the creation of content seriously, and what about the process did you find (and do you still find) interesting?

Miller: I started in the content business over 10 years ago in the publishing world, where our product was educational content. One of the things I was most excited about then and have only grown more passionate about now at LinkedIn is the idea of over-delivering on value with the content you share. It’s content that truly exceeds users’ expectations that creates those moments of delight with a brand.

What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second or for a day or forever. Great content creates space for people to pause and reflect, and that space is where transformation happens.

CCO: Not all teams are high-performance teams. In your mind, what’s the difference?

Miller: A high-performance team has members that show up for each other because everyone wants to work together to deliver value. People do the small, little extra thing and the big, hard, amazing thing, and obsess about the details because they’re creating relationships and outcomes they’re willing to own. I’ve been fortunate to be on many teams like this.

In my experience, a team that’s not high-performing is a team that’s in it for the transaction – one project or one piece of content or one interaction, not the longer play of strong, healthy relationships, open communication, trust, and creating a better company together. It’s more about how quickly can I cross this off my list or get through that conversation and back into my day; it’s not about building something together with and for people. Needless to say, these teams quickly get toxic for people and can benefit from a fresh start and some turnaround leadership.

CCO: You’ve built high-performance content teams at all stages of a company’s growth. Can you walk us through the crucial first steps a leader of any company size should take to begin building a world-class content team?

Miller: It really starts with knowing what markets you want to win and what kind of content, delivered in the right way, will help you win those markets. What the business is aiming to do and do well is at the heart of starting your team. Then you’ve got to find people who want to join the cause with you. I often tell candidates that this isn’t a job, it’s a calling, and we’re looking for people who want to own and share that vision with us – people for whom it’s not going to feel like work. Creating good content is about passion.

I also often tell candidates that it comes through in the content you make if you had fun making it – the company’s culture bleeds through, and it has to be solid. So you’ve got to find folks who want to have fun growing a business with you.

Look for the people who you know will challenge what exists and what could be, and always seek out folks who will want your job. They’ll drive hard toward company wins with you.

CCO: Once the core team is in place, what are some simple project management strategies that will help the team keep driving forward?

Miller: The first project management strategy for any team is communication. Notice people. Notice things that are going right. Say something about those things, often. Have the tough conversations with candor and empathy, and have them earlier than you think you need to.

I’m…

GOVERNMENT IT REPORT VA Gives Thumbs Up to Commercial IT Software

veterans-affairs-electronic-health-records

A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decision to pursue a new direction in processing health records has created a highly visible endorsement of the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information technology by federal agencies. President Trump cited the VA’s action as an example of the administration’s commitment to vastly improve federal IT management.

The VA earlier this month awarded a contract to Cerner to develop an electronic health record (EHR) system for the department. The Cerner program will replace the existing VA patient data system, known as “VistA,” which was developed in-house and has been in use for at least 30 years.

The sheer size of Veterans Affairs, which serves 8.7 million veterans through 1,700 facilities, makes the decision to use an outside contractor noteworthy, as federal agencies strive to meet recently introduced initiatives promoting the outsourcing of information technology.

For vendors, the policy turn indicates more potential in the federal market. VA did not immediately disclose the value of the Cerner contract, but it could amount to several billion dollars. The U.S. Department of Defense in 2015 awarded a similar medical records contract to a consortium of companies including Leidos, Cerner and Accenture, which was valued at US$4.3 billion. DoD noted that the eventual cost of the program could reach $9 billion.

Time for a Change

The VistA system, which VA personnel designed in their off hours decades ago, has been heralded as a pioneering effort in EHR management. The program became a template for both government and private healthcare providers.

However, VA Secretary David Shulkin recently decided that it would be more appropriate for the agency to concentrate on healthcare and leave data processing to commercial specialists.

The department’s system “is in need of major modernization to keep pace with the improvements in health information technology and cybersecurity,” Shulkin said.

“Software development is not a core competency of VA,” he added.

“I said recently to Congress that I was committed to getting VA out of the software business, that I didn’t see remaining in that business as benefiting veterans,” Shulkin said, “and because of that, we’re making a decision to move towards a commercial off-the-shelf product.”

In addition to the need for modernization, the shift to the Cerner offering was triggered by the VA and DoD’s shared goal to create a seamless health record that would follow service personnel from active duty through veteran status.

After spending hundreds of millions on the effort, the agencies abandoned the project, largely because of the inability to provide proper interoperability functions, according to Shulkin. DoD then engaged the consortium of Leidos, Cerner and Accenture to provide EHRs for the military.

The prudent course for VA would be a similar approach based on the same technology, Shulkin concluded. As a result, the Cerner contract was issued as a sole source, noncompetitive transaction that potentially will assure compatibility by way of Cerner’s Millenium offering as the core technology for both the DoD and VA.

Another benefit of the sole source award is that it will save time, given that the DoD competitive process took more than two years from the initial Request for Proposals to the final contract award, Shulkin noted.

The emphasis on commercial off-the-shelf…

Content Marketing Industry: What’s Happening in Hiring [Research]

content-marketing-industry-hiring-research

Hiring a new member for your content marketing team seems like a great thing. After all, whether you’re expanding the team or replacing a departing employee, you’ll have more resources to execute a successful content marketing program.

But finding and attracting quality creative content team members is a job unto itself. It’s a challenge faced by 45% of advertising and marketing executives, according to a survey of 400 U.S. industry leaders by The Creative Group.

In this post, we dive deeper into the data about content marketing hiring. We will explore talent costs, regions with highest demand, and how companies work to retain employees.

Hot markets

Which U.S. cities have the greatest number of content marketing jobs? Here are the top 20 with the greatest number of content marketing jobs, according to Conductor’s Inbound Marketing Jobs Salary Guide 2017:

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Boston
  6. Seattle
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Atlanta
  9. Austin
  10. Dallas
  11. San Diego
  12. Houston
  13. Philadelphia
  14. Denver
  15. San Jose
  16. Miami
  17. Phoenix
  18. Minneapolis
  19. Charlotte
  20. Orlando

Compensation figures

Starting salaries for content jobs are on the rise, as reflected in The Creative Group 2017 Marketing Jobs Salary Guide:

Screenshot 2017-06-19 21.42.50

Content skills in highest demand

Data analysis, and content writing and editing are the most important skills companies are looking to hire this year, according to 2016 Digital Content Survey, Altimeter, a Prophet company.

Here’s how respondents who were asked the four most important skills they were looking to hire in 2017 listed priorities:

  • Data analysis – 67%
  • Content editing and writing – 59%
  • Program/project management – 53%
  • Graphic design – 50%
  • Coding/development – 50%
  • Video production and editing – 47%
  • Marketing automation/software expertise – 42%
  • Social media expertise – 18%

Multiple talents needed in one role

Roles in content marketing blend creative, technology, and analytics so companies seek individuals with more than…

Neal Richter Joins Rakuten Marketing as CTO; Verve Acquires German Push-Marketing Company matchinguu

ExchangeWire rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European digital advertising space. In this week’s edition: Neal Richter joins Rakuten Marketing as CTO; Verve acquires German push-marketing company matchinguu; BillFront announces financing facility for Fyber; Forward3D launches in Dubai; and ADYOULIKE releases ‘Native Creative 2.0’.

Neal Richter joins Rakuten Marketing as CTO

Neal Richter, CTO, Rakuten Marketing

Ad tech pioneer, veteran, and ex-Rubicon CTO Dr. Neal Richter has been appointed as the new CTO of Rakuten Marketing, the marketing subsidiary of Rakuten, the Japanese ecommerce behemoth.

A man with a large stake in the development of the future of programmatic, Richter helped pioneer the OpenRTB standard and the new IAB Tech Lab initiative to spell the end of domain spoofing, ads.txt. As well as being known in his role as CTO of Rubicon Project, which he held for seven years, Richter also serves as technical advisor for ad tech platforms, such as Metamarkets.

For those that found Richter’s latest move surprising, given his position on the top table of ad tech and programmatic, Richter confirms in an interview with AdExchanger that he was looking for a company with ‘some large engineering problems to go after’: “My background has been at two large companies that were fairly acquisitive, so I’m familiar with how you integrate disparate engineering teams and create common objectives for what the technology needs to evolve to be.”

Richter wants to bring his technical skills in the world of engineering, programming, machine learning, and AI into ecommerce, believing this is where the future of ecommerce lies. An interesting move and one that will be watched intently to see how Richter makes his mark.

Verve acquires German push-marketing company matchinguu

Location-based marketing platform, Verve expands its footprint across Europe, with the acquisition of matchinguu for an undisclosed sum. The German company, with its proximity-based push and in-app notification product will be integrated into the Verve Velocity platform to enable Verve’s clients to expand reach across European audiences.

matchinguu commands a 25% penetration rate of the German smartphone market, allowing for integration of Verve’s software development kit (SDK) into major apps across Germany, enabling clients to deliver richer and more engaging mobile advertising based on real-time consumer behaviour, according to the press release. The New York-headquartered Verve open its first UK office in 2016 and is committed to further expanding its reach across Europe.

Ian James, general manager international, Verve said of the acquisition, “[It] came naturally, thanks to the complementary technologies and both parties having similar missions: enabling great storytelling through location-powered data. We are opening the doors to Germany’s foremost push technology; working together will make our offering even stronger for our clients and bring Verve firmly into the heart of Europe….