Damien Mahoney, Amazon, and how AI will affect user-generated content — VB Engage

This week, Travis and Stewart interview Damien Mahoney, who tells us everything we need to know about user-generated content, machine learning, AI, and what the future holds for consumer engagement.

In the news, we discuss the marketing implications of Amazon’s intention to buy Whole Foods, a new study that offers hope for competing ecommerce vendors, and blockchain for advertising.

By listening to this episode of the VB Engage podcast, you will hear:

  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 57! [00:10]
  • This week, Stewart was in Barcelona at the I Am Tomorrow conference, a conference focusing on women in tech. [01:15]
  • The conference included 95 percent female speakers and panelists. [02:05]
  • Congrats to Jenny Ham of Topeka, Kansas, who is the winner of our Huawei MediaPad M3 tablet! [02:45]
  • That’s right: We finally got an email response to the competition from a real life person! [03:15]
  • There were over 1,400 entrants in our contest! Thanks to everyone. [04:05]
  • Amazon’s stock rose $15B in market share, essentially getting Whole Foods for free! [04:55]
  • Amazon has purchased over 400 hubs around the U.S. [05:10]
  • One AI-powered solution uses CCTV cameras to identify which items you’ve taken off the store shelves, and it will bill you as you walk out the door. [05:35]
  • Machine learning + artificial intelligence + Whole Foods [06:30]
  • Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, chances are all Amazon purchases will be taxed locally. [07:10]
  • Don’t discount click and collect, which is very convenient in the UK, with packages delivered at the local corner shop. [08:10]
  • Amazon’s conversational UI, Alexa, and the new Wand. [09:25]
  • Interesting report out this week on the emotional triggers, based on research by Qubit. [10:30]
  • Scarcity, social proof, and urgency are the three triggers that most impact conversion optimization. [11:00]
  • Red buttons don’t work. [11:25]
  • This product is about…

5 successful B2B AdWords best practices for any company

AdWords is a brutal marketplace for many B2B businesses. There’s low search volume and high competition, resulting in extremely expensive CPCs — not good.

Instead of burning your cash on expensive and ineffective ads, consider these five AdWords tweaks and strategies that any company can implement immediately.

1. Start with negative keywords

Homing in on the keywords that work for you is the single most important step for running profitable advertising for your company. The best way to do that is by answering the question, “What were the keywords that actually triggered my ads?” using the Search Terms report, and trimming the nonsense using negative keywords. In this case, there are two important exclusion categories.

Irrelevant searches

Does the search have anything to do with your company? Depending on how broad your keywords are, you’ll need to exclude homonyms, pop culture references (see below), misspellings and NSFW searches.

Here’s a ridiculously hypothetical situation: You sell delicious homemade fig preserves, so you bid on the keyword “jam.” You then realize your ads aren’t doing so hot because most people who google the term “jam” are looking for Michael Jackson’s 1991 smash hit starring Michael Jordan. People then click your ad and leave disappointed, without making a purchase, because they had a glimmer of hope that Michael Jordan also came out with a delicious jam that no one knew about.

I mean, hey, people can be unpredictable sometimes. Spend enough time in the Search Terms report and you’ll know that all too well.

Unqualified traffic

The second type of exclusion is preventing…

Singular and Apsalar merge to create unified marketing analytics platform

Mobile marketing analytics firm Singular is merging with mobile app attribution and audience management firm Apsalar today so the two companies can offer a combined product line for businesses.

The combined enterprise will be known as Singular and will offer an important third-party source of mobile user data on the individual level, said Gadi Eliashiv, CEO of San Francisco-based Singular, in an interview with GamesBeat. The goal is to destroy silos of data and give marketers access to new insights into their customers on a more granular level, he said.

“Mobile attribution is one piece of the equation,” he said. “We are looking at marketing activities from an end-to-end standpoint. The reality is a few companies cannot catch all of the marketing activity of every company in the system.”

Singular is expanding beyond mobile apps to the web, offline channels, and other devices. The combined company will have 110 employees.

“We never could have imagined the crazy ride we’ve been having,” Eliashiv said. “When we talk to Facebook, Google, and others, they are really on board with our approach to the market. Third-party measurement companies are always going to exist, as there is always someone independent that you need to measure.”

Singular has deep-level reporting across marketing platforms — ad networks and life-cycle management companies and agencies — that report various kinds of data, said Singular chief operating officer Susan Kuo, in an interview.

“We’ve got an end-to-end marketing analytics platform,” Kuo said. “We think it will be a watershed for changes in the marketing ecosystem.”

Historically, marketers were forced to collect and connect siloed, non-standardized data from an ever-growing number of marketing solutions and channels. This has resulted in inaccurate data, scaling challenges, and, above all, has prevented marketers from exposing and leveraging the…

Pandora’s CEO, President And CMO All Step Down Simultaneously

Founder of Pandora Tim Westergren stepped down from his CEO position. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Columbia Records)

Streaming music giant Pandora has lost not only its CEO but also two other key executives in a moment of sweeping change for the American online radio company.

Cofounder and CEO Tim Westergren has officially stepped aside from his role running the power player in the music industry, though this isn’t the first time he has done so. Westergren first served as the company’s top executive for two years between 2002 and 2004, eventually sliding into another role. He then rose again in his duties when former CEO Brian McAndrews recused himself last year.

In addition to Westergren, both President Brian Herring and CMO Nick Bartle have also vacated their positions, which currently appear to remain empty. Pandora CFO Naveen Chopra will fill in for Westergren…

Leverate CMO: “Banners Are A Passé Primary Acquisition Channel”

Leverate CMO: “Banners Are A Passé Primary Acquisition Channel”
Photo: Nicc Lewis Share this article

Leverate is a well-known technology and online trading platforms provider. In an interview with Finance Magnates, Nicc Lewis, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, gave his two cents regarding which marketing mediums are effective when approaching client, while others are a thing of the past. Additionally, Lewis spoke of binary options brokerages crossing over to forex to draw in more clients, as well as expanding to include more local markets.

The London Summit 2017 is coming, get involved!

In terms of cost vs. value, which local market would you define as the most appealing for brokers in terms of marketing (acquisition costs, localization costs, ease of audience segmentation, etc.)?

There is no simple answer to the question. Firstly, each business should look at its strengths in terms of networks and capabilities. If you have a strength, such as a strong IB or affiliate and the language skills and offering, then this is the strongest market. It is possible that the jump to nearby regions can be exploited by the same skill sets and partners. An example could be Germany – if you have German capabilities and networks the jump to Austria and Switzerland may be relatively easy. However, if you are strong in Italy, the move to German speaking countries will be much harder. In terms of expansion, market price for acquisition is usually equitable. The UK has a strong and large market but is by far the most expensive to acquire. You will also need to adjust your offering to suit local trading methods. In general, EU countries are competitive and expensive, which is why many businesses are looking east.

Many binary options firms are now targeting forex traders. What advice would you give them from the marketing side? How do the audiences differ?

First, have a full forex solution in place. Offering limited trading options without full trading platform functionality, like advanced charting for example, will not appeal to traders. Forex traders invest more overall but over a longer period of time. Binary options tend to have a high turnover, making conversion the main focus of sales. In order to extract maximum user value, the first mind switch is to think about retention over a longer period of time. The days of big bonuses and huge leverage seem to…

Pandora Rising: CEO Westergren Departs along with President, CMO

[Updates with executive departures, stock price rise at bottom of story.]

Following a report over the weekend that streaming Internet radio pioneer Pandora (P) may see its CEO step down, shares of the stock have been halted this morning in pre-market trading for over an hour, apparently for some pending news. There’s no indication on Nasdaq what time the shares will resume.

The possibilities could include some move by SiriusXM (SIRI), which just took a stake in Pandora, or SiriusXM owner Liberty Media (FWONA), who some think will end up buying Pandora.

Update: Pandora has announced, as rumored, that CEO Tim Westergren has decided to step down immediately from the job, and…

C-Suite Radio Adds New Shows To Its Summer Lineup

C-Suite Radio, the premier source for the world’s leading business podcasts for c-suite leaders, business executives, and entrepreneurs, is announcing six additional business shows to their summer lineup, making C-Suite Radio the first business only podcast network.
C-Suite Radio offers audiences premium content throughout a series of shows, in a variety of business topics — from sales, marketing, social media, leadership and management. As part of the C-Suite Network umbrella, C-Suite Radio looks to provide its audience with the knowledge and understanding needed to succeed in today’s business world.

Read the full article.

Executive Briefings: Extraordinary Leadership

Dr. Tony Alessandra CEO of Assessments 24×7
April 20, 2017

Dr. Tony Alessandra is two speakers in one… a professor and a performer, or as one client put it – “he delivers college lectures in a comedy store format.”

Tony offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy themselves while learning practical, immediately applicable skills that positively impact their relationships with prospects, customers and co-workers.

He focuses on how to create instant rapport with prospects, employees & vendors; how to convert prospects and customers into business apostles who will “preach the gospel” about your company and products; and how to out-market, out-sell and out-service the competition.

Executive Briefings: Creating Market Leadership

Donovan Neale-May, Founder & Executive Director of the CMO Council
March 23rd, 2017

Technology moves quickly, thus understanding marketing trends that make an impact is critical in creating market leadership. This edition of C-Suite Executive Briefings features top thought leader Donovan Neale-May, Founder and Executive Director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, Executive Director of the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The SABLE Accelerator (South African Business Link to Experts).

Donovan discusses how keeping pace with the latest digital marketing trends is challenging, at most. He shares his thoughts and insider business trends for creating market leadership.


The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council.

What is the role of a Chief Marketing Officer?

When we started the CMO Council back in 2003, the CMO was more of a Chief Branding Officer. The title has evolved dramatically with new requirements on the job, new alignments within the C-suite and a proliferation of the Chief titles.

The CMO today has to be the real architect custodian champion of customer experience, which is driven through a data-centric strategy that has a lot of technology underpinnings to it. But, more importantly, is one that aligns the organization across the multiplicity of disciplines.

What new challenges do today’s CMOs face in relation to leveraging technology to create a great customer experience?

It goes back to the issue of data and the multiplying sources of data. There are thousands of applications across all areas of interaction, operation, and campaign execution. The challenge is determining which ones to deploy, where to deploy them, and then how to take the data that each application generates and unify and integrate it, and pull out actionable insight that can help decision support from a marketing standpoint.

CMOs are overwhelmed with data sprawl. Data tends to reside in different repositories and siloes across different functional areas, which is a problem when you try to deliver an omni-channel experience.

CMOs today have got to forge a strong tie or linkage with the CIO and with IT organizations. Many CIOs are hiring IT professionals and bringing them into the marketing department.

We have heard that big data is the answer to creating a more focused customer experience. Do you think it has

created more problems than it has solved?

Today it is about APRs, and how you can connect into different data streams and data sources to have a seamless view and add value to the front-line information gap, to the back office disconnect gap – to the things that, typically, irritate or bother customers. From an experience standpoint, it has mostly to do with the fact that you have disconnected channels of engagement and touch-points that don’t have real-time, up to the minute, insight into the customer.

The cognitive computing model is going to be transformational because it takes technical complexity away.

What is the future of customer loyalty programs?

Customer loyalty is going to be embedded in the digital wallet, however, most customer loyalty programs do not work that well. If you look at the retail world, there is a lot of data being generated by loyalty rewards programs, however people use them only to get a discount. Therefore, you’re actually cannibalizing your business because it’s not value added, it’s just savings on a purchase.

The question then is, how do you take that insight, the transactional history, and leverage that in a granular way to cross sell, up sell, and get a competitive switch? Many marketing companies track millions of transactions a week from thousands of retail outlets, however it is generally historical purchasing. It is not necessarily going to predict what those customers are likely to buy in the future.

The loyalty rewards programs are good if they are fortified, well supported, implemented effectively, and people don’t have a hustle redeeming… getting value back from signing up to participate.

Come Fly Away with C-Suite TV

March 13, 2017 11:25 ET

C-Suite TV announces partnership with ReachMeTV and the launch of C-Suite Insights at the Airport Revenue News Conference in New Orleans

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Mar 13, 2017) – C-Suite TV, a web-based, digital on-demand business channel, is announcing their partnership with ReachMeTV, a multi-channel digital TV network, as well as the launch of their new show, C-Suite Insights, at the Airport Revenue News Conference in New Orleans on March 14. C-Suite TV is now the exclusive business-to-business content channel in airports and hotels in the US.

With over 1 billion passengers going through airports in the United States each year, C-Suite Insights will offer in-depth interviews with executives and thought leaders in the concessionaire industry. The show will be accessible via a portable over-the-top (OTT) platform to passengers throughout the top fifty airports in America. C-Suite TV programming can also be seen in over one million hotels across the country, including the Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham, among others.

Airports make up the largest captive market and passengers spend millions of dollars at concessionaires, which include shops, restaurants, and bars. The airport concession industry is $14 billion in size and the largest market of high net worth people in the world — 1.3 billion people in the U.S. and 3.3 billion people globally. This partnership gives audiences exclusive access to business executives and industry leaders who are running multi-billion dollar concessionaire companies.

“We are excited to be partnering with C-Suite TV and adding their specialty programming to our lineup. We believe this is the perfect opportunity to showcase both our extensive network and their wide array of business programs, giving travelers a chance to catch up on the latest business news — whether at the airport or at their hotels,” said Lynnwood Bibbens, ReachMeTV’s CEO and Co-Founder.

All episodes of C-Suite Insights will air on demand on C-Suite TV.

“I’m thrilled to launch this partnership with ReachMeTV because it gives C-Suite TV programming additional visibility and an audience looking to stay informed about the latest business news,” said Jeffrey Hayzlett, chairman of the C-Suite Network. “As a frequent traveler myself, it is important to me that our audience reaps the benefits and use the platform to gain a competitive advantage.”

For more information, visit www.csuitetv.com.


About C-Suite TV:
C-Suite TV, an entity of the C-Suite Network, is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and entrepreneurs providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives Live and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.

About ReachMeTV
ReachMeTV is a multi-channel, digital TV entertainment network and integrated global distribution platform, built from the ground up, to reach modern viewers on the go. Today our network reaches over 100 million viewers. Our fully-integrated distribution platform connects thousands of screens in high-value, high-traffic public places into one dynamic entertainment network, and delivers multiple channels of world class entertainment to every screen on a screen by screen basis.