CONTACT

Mark Penn

Stagwell brought the Future of News to Cannes Lions, where our recent study showing that it’s safe for brands to advertise in the news was “the talk of the town,” according to Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times’ DealBook and on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In the June edition of Hitting the Mark, I’m bringing you the Cannes highlights of all things Future of News, including insights from my interview with Business Insider; a Future of News panel featuring the CEOs of The New York Times, CNN, and Business Insider; and a Business of News panel featuring the CROs of top publishers.

As a recap, Stagwell’s landmark 50,000-person News Advertising Study, released in May, found that 1 in 4 Americans are news junkies — an audience whom advertisers are not capitalizing on. We showed that brand safety concerns — the idea that brands will suffer if their ads appear next to the “wrong” story — were unfounded: Americans don’t judge brands based on what news stories their ads appear next to.

I brought our findings to CMOs of the world’s biggest brands and news executives at Cannes this month. Four overarching themes emerged across our discussions:

  1. News junkies are an under-tapped, highly desirable, and wide-ranging audience. As I told Business Insider, if you’re not advertising in news, you’re probably not targeting your optimal consumers, so you’re probably not maximizing the benefit you can get out of your budget. News junkies are curious and persuadable individuals who come to the news with wide interests, ranging from cooking and games to fashion and sports.
  2. The vicious cycle of brands abandoning news is harming democracy. At the end of the day, news runs on business models. But because of brand safety apprehension, brands don’t advertise on news, news revenue declines, news quality worsens, and democracy suffers. Instead, advertisers need to start a “virtuous cycle” of investing in the news, as I wrote about in The Current. In the Sport Beach Content Studio, Dow Jones CRO Josh Stinchcomb talked about concrete ways to feed this virtuous cycle, such as convincing brands to move away from extensive, outdated blocklists.
  3. The news business has to be global. On the Sport Beach mainstage panel about Future of News, the CEOs of top publishers discussed the strength of having a global audience and why they are investing in their international coverage as a competitive advantage. In the same vein, we are planning to bring our Future of News research and studies around the world, with London up next.
  4. Integrating AI into journalism can help both news and brands target audiences even more effectively. Just like everyone else, newsrooms are tackling AI, and publisher CEOs spoke at Sport Beach about the ways they are implementing it: from an AI-enabled paywall at Business Insider to an AI-powered ad product designed to target consumers beyond first-party data at The New York Times. Stagwell agencies are already at the forefront of helping newsrooms with this AI reinvention. Code and Theory, which was just named ANA’s B2B Agency of the Year, is building expertise in this area with major projects such as designing and engineering NBC’s “Big Board” — a reliable, data-driven storytelling device depicting the nation’s political landscape in real time.

 

Coming out of Cannes, the future of news is clear: advertisers have a unique opportunity to target a curious, cream-of-the-crop audience, and AI will only augment reach.

The responsibility to invest in democracy is urgent: free, independent journalism is under ongoing attack. Just this week, The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appeared in court for the start of an illegitimate and secret trial after 15 months of wrongful detention in Moscow. Share this letter from the Journal’s editor in chief to help elevate Evan’s story until he can tell his own.

We would love to have you on board our follow-up studies and summits as Future of News expands across the globe. Reach out to partner with the Stagwell team, and as always, please don’t hesitate to connect with any thoughts or questions.

Until next time,

Mark Penn

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

CONTACT

hello@stagwellglobal.com

SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

As we reflect on the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, it’s evident that while technology evolves, creativity remains the linchpin. Despite AI’s buzz on the Croisette, the actual impact in the Lions’ jury rooms was minimal. The focus instead was on diverse marketing transformations—from hidden consumer forces reshaping business strategies, to sports’ role in brand-building, to the power of entertainment-led advertising. 

Whether you’re winding down from the excitement of Stagwell’s SPORT BEACH or you’re absorbing Cannes’ big ideas from home, here are Three Quick Things you need to know. Find more Cannes insights here and here 

  1. YOU CAN’T SPELL BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION WITHOUT CREATIVITY: The future of the CMO is always a hot topic at Cannes. Marketing leaders are tasked with driving initiatives as impactful as their C-Suite peers. Good news—CMOs’ creative problem-solving skills equip them well. Emerging from the Creative Business Transformation jury room, Michael Treff, CEO of Code and Theory, emphasizes: “Business transformation must work across most company functions, or it isn’t truly transformation.” Looking ahead, Treff says marketers will miss out if they assume AI is the only opportunity for business transformation. “There are seismic changes in human behaviors happening…and ontological questions for a lot of businesses in categories that are going through disruption. What is the meaning of a financial services institution? What is the role of institutional education? What is the future of media?” Hear more from Treff here.  
  2. ATHLETES AS RENAISSANCE ENTREPRENEURS: “As an athlete, I was always being told to just play basketball,” said NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony at Stagwell’s SPORT BEACH, discussing the challenges of breaking into the exclusive wine and spirits industry. Now, “I’m kicking the door down and saying…give us a chance, let us come in and be creative, and let’s make magic.” Athletes like Anthony are diversifying into industries such as fashion, media, and philanthropy, proving pivotal in creating new economic opportunities. “We’re not made to be one-dimensional, we’re human – we’re made to do so many things,” said LSU Tigers basketball star and rapper, Flau’jae Johnson. Athletes are not just being sponsored by brands; they’re shaping them, suggests alpine skier and Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin, who advised brands on stage that equity-based collaborations are “one of the most surefire ways to create a really authentic connection and partnership” with this new class of renaissance entrepreneurs. But don’t just chase the biggest names. Both Johnson and Mark Kirkham, CMO of Pepsi International, spoke on stage about the need for more “grassroots” partnerships, or brands partnering early with up-and-coming stars. Watch all sessions from SPORT BEACH here.
  3. DEBUNKING MARKETING’S EMERGING TECH PROBLEM: Entertainment is a reflection of culture,” says GALE Managing Director, Creative and Entertainment Lions Jury President Geoff Edwards. So as culture changes and moves, so entertainment changes and progresses, and the category evolves as well. With consumers rebelling against intrusive ads, the focus on branded entertainment at Cannes has been on the rise in recent years. “But getting entertainment right requires more than being entertaining,” Edwards reminds us. Successful entertainment finds narratives that are captivating and uniquely convey the brand’s message. And the impact of technology in this realm is profound, with each year introducing new platforms, partnerships, and ways to experience content. “When it’s done well, [entertainment] is the most powerful force on Earth. Plus, it changes every year, because the entertainment industry changes every year. Technology, film, episodic, documentary, live experiences, gaming and music make this an exciting and interesting category.” Learn more from Geoff here.

ALL THE ACTION, NONE OF THE SWEAT

Relive every moment from Stagwell’s SPORT BEACH at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – without moving an inch. Stream mainstage sessions and interviews from the Content Studio on YouTube here. 

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

Originally Released On

PRNewswire

U.S. Press:
Sarah Arvizo
pr@stagwellglobal.com








“The Contrarian’s Compass: Navigating Emerging Tech Hype” to run on the Innovation Track at Cannes

NEW YORK, June 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, today announced Chairman and CEO Mark Penn will take the main stage at Cannes Lions, the most prestigious awards show and festival in advertising, to present “The Contrarian’s Compass: Navigating Emerging Tech Hype”.

Penn’s keynote presentation on how marketers can navigate emerging technology to fuel brand growth will draw on his four decades of leadership across technology, marketing, and political organizations. As Microsoft’s former Chief Strategy Officer, Penn led a team to revitalize Bing, the company’s search engine, and conceived of and led successful initiatives like Microsoft’s award-winning Super Bowl 2014 ad “Empowering Us All.” Today, as Chairman and CEO of Stagwell, Penn has built the only global marketing services organization boasting majority digital revenue. At Stagwell, he launched the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a suite of SaaS and DaaS solutions spanning AI-enabled research, media, PR, and advanced media products in spaces such as augmented reality.

On the Cannes main stage, Penn will discuss:

The Contrarian’s Compass: Navigating Emerging Tech Hype

Join Penn as he reveals how nonconformist thinking can help brands navigate the complex landscape of today’s tech trends and find genuine ways to innovate, avoiding the traps that hinder long-term growth. Get practical advice for incorporating emerging tech into the brand creative mix.

Cannes Lions | Rotonde Stage, Rotonde | Monday, June 17, 4:45 PM CEST

Off the Mainstage

Penn will make several other appearances at Cannes Lions, including at Stagwell’s flagship sports business destination SPORT BEACH, to speak about the future of news and the balance between data privacy and consumer empowerment:

Future of News: Why News Audiences Matter as Much as Sports Junkies

News is the future – and represents a unique and complementary platform for brands to drive business results. How are news media preparing for the next thirty-six months? A C-Suite conversation discussing the path forward and opportunities ahead for journalists, brands and news junkies. Featuring:

  • Meredith Kopit-Levien, CEO, The New York Times
  • Barbara Peng, CEO, Business Insider
  • Mark Thompson, CEO, CNN
  • Moderated by Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO, Stagwell, and Sara Fischer, Axios

SPORT BEACH | Wednesday, June 19, 12:30 PM CEST

Empowering Consumers in a Data Driven World

Join industry leaders in an exploration of data privacy, consumer expectations, and the impacts of technology innovation. Gain a deeper understanding of how to build trust and propel innovative marketing strategies within the ever-evolving digital landscape. Featuring:

  • Navaneeta Das Skinner, Global Client Lead, Publicis
  • Eva Simone Lihotzky, GM AI Hub, Serviceplan Group
  • Mark Penn, Chairman & CEO, Stagwell
  • Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Reckitt

Microsoft Beach House | Monday, June 17, 1:00 PM CEST

About Stagwell

Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW) is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com

CONTACT: 
Sarah Arvizo
pr@stagwellglobal.com  

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

CONTACT

hello@stagwellglobal.com

SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

Bonjour! Team Stagwell is headed to Cannes Lions, ready to cover the Palais, fringe stages, and maybe even a yacht or two, bringing you the latest insights from the Festival. We’ll also be bringing sports and business icons like Carmelo Anthony, Sue Bird, Joe Burrow, Jason and Travis Kelce, Megan Rapinoe, and JuJu Watkins to SPORT BEACH for some exciting action.  

Ahead of the Festival, we’re sharing three predictions to track as the programming unfolds. While AI will undoubtedly be a hot topic, in this edition we’re focusing on everything else – though you won’t want to miss our Monday mainstage session on “The Contrarian’s Compass: Navigating Emerging Tech Hype.”

Let’s dive in,
Beth Sidhu
Chief Brand Officer, Stagwell

  1. ALL ROADS WILL LEAD BACK TO SOCIAL: At Cannes, two key discussions will shape future investments in the social media space, where ad spend is set to surge in 2024, led by TikTok (anticipated to grow 38%) and Instagram. First is the future of social video. As the popularity of bite-sized videos diminishes and Gen Z gravitates towards longer-form content (although this mainly just means 90-second videos), expect significant discussions about new monetization and creative opportunities in social video. We’ll also be keeping an eye on how marketers view the viability of “challenger platforms like TikTok, which have built incredible momentum in recent years but face a shifting regulatory and consumer landscape in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about what social-savvy brands can do to prepare for the future in this blog from Movers+Shakers CEO Evan Horowitz 
  2. BRANDS WILL GET SCHOOLED ON THE RIGHT ATHLETE SPONSORSHIP PLAYS: Today’s athletes are multi-hyphenate leaders and aspirational figures who excel in business, media, nonprofits, and more, far beyond their achievements on the field. As the Cannes spotlight turns to sports, be sure to attend SPORT BEACH panels such as “It’s a Win-Win: Why Sponsorships Make Sense” with Channel Factory and Relo Metrics, and mainstage events such as “The Rapid Evolution of Athletes as Brand Builders” with the NFL. These sessions will guide brands on shifting from a brand ambassador approach to a true partnership mindset when collaborating with athletes. By involving athletes in product development, marketing strategies, experiential initiatives, and impact-driven projects, brands can benefit from their unique perspectives and vast audiences. Brush up on this shifting dynamic by streaming our SXSW 2024 talk, “Athlete as a Brand: Creating Authentic Connections.” 
  3. MARKETERS WILL TRULY PLUG INTO GAMING: Marketers are no longer overlooking gaming and e-sports, which boast 3.3 billion gamers globally and will reach $4.3 billion in global ad revenue this year. With immersive consumer experiences now a priority for brands, gaming is the perfect market. Keep an eye out at Cannes for insights emerging from campaigns that win big at the Entertainment Lions for Gaming and Brand Experience & Activation categories. Their success will demystify the nascent big-C creative and performance media opportunities. You also won’t want to miss Stagwell’s GALE in conversation with Lenovo, Activision Blizzard, and the National Women’s Soccer League at SPORT BEACH on Tuesday on the future of consoles and community. One other thing to track: 2023 was a big year for the convergence of gaming, marketing, and branded entertainment, as massive titles like the Super Mario Bros. movie and “The Last of Us” translated into branding opportunities galore. Brush up on the insights with National Research Group’s whitepaper, “Why Video Games are the New Frontier for Hollywood.” 

Follow the Buzz from SPORT BEACH

Join us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as the Stagwell network hits the ground at Cannes Lions and brings to life SPORT BEACH, our flagship activation home to 50+ of the most renowned athletes, brands and cultural icons coming together around the power of sport and its massive global impact on business and culture. 

Learn more and register at https://www.sportbeach.com/

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

CONTACT

Beth Sidhu, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, Stagwell
hello@stagwellglobal.com

Insights for the C-Suite

Enjoyed these insights? View more commentary from our global marketing, technology, and creative experts in Stagwell’s “C[x]O” series for the C-Suite. Click here to explore more.

SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

Generative AI is changing the marketing game. In April, Stagwell headed to Google Next to discuss that change, and what it means for Chief Marketing Officers and other C-Suite leaders in the next year.  

The event also marked Stagwell’s first software release via its Google Cloud partnership, introducing a data clean room to securely enhance client data with Stagwell’s extensive resources. More on that here.  

For now, hear from our at Stagwell Marketing Cloud and Left Field Labs about the three biggest takeaways from Google Next. 

The Sky’s the Limit But Use Cases are the Target

At Google Next – and at several marketing and technology conference this year, including CES and SXSW – the clear challenge to attendees was the two-step from theoretical implementations of AI to hard use-cases that provide value to consumers (and reasons for investment). It’s no wonder companies in attendance debuted over 101 real-world use cases for generative AI, spanning applications to consumer experiences, back-end-operations, insights, and more.  

Some common themes emerged as to where AI is providing the most immediate value:  

  • AI to accelerate the curation of essential business insights: AI21 Labs showcased how they use a BigQuery integration called Contextual Answers to allow users to query data across their businesses conversationally.  
  • AI to put the power of storytelling in everyone’s fingertips. Google unveiled Google Vids, a new AI-powered video creation app in its Workspace suite that can do everything from generate a storyboard, piece together first drafts of videos from stock multimedia, and do voiceovers.  
  • AI to bring real-time tracking to the customer experience: UPS is constructing a digital twin of its entire distribution network that will enable customers to see where their packages are at any time.

 

AI Will Mean a Rewriting of Every Customer Interface – Here’s Where to Begin

Artificial intelligence represents a quantum leap for creativity and productivity.  As a network on the beat of marketing, we know that AI’s rise will mean a rewriting of almost all customer interfaces as companies race to deliver consumers the personalized experiences they’ve desired since the dawn of the internet. At Google Next, Stagwell CTO Merrill Raman and Stagwell Marketing Cloud CTO Mansoor Basha emphasized that the first step brands should take to reap the benefits of AI should be assessing their organization’s data infrastructure to ensure it is primed for AI.  

Tactically, that may mean deep clean-up of existing first party data sources using data science best practices to get the information organized in a manner that AI can extract useful insights from. Or it may mean partnering with a third-party data provider who can supplement your view of existing and prospective consumers. 

AI Can Be the Bedrock for Trust, When Implemented Appropriately

As Left Field Labs CEO Sarah Mehler shared at Google Next: with growth in AI utilization, a critical question to consider is how do we build trust with audiences when considering AI implementation? Striking the right tone in AI-enabled communications is a primary step. And remember that communication that reflects cultural and demographic nuances is what ultimately resonates with audiences and builds trust in new systems. Well-practiced organizations will apply sentiment analysis to better understand the emotions of a user and provide appropriate responses (thus driving traction and building more successful outcomes).  

Attention to detail is also crucial for building trust in AI implementations. A “Chain of Verification” is one of several methods that can be employed to enhance the accuracy of information provided by AI systems. This process involves multiple steps to validate information before it is conveyed to the user. For instance, after our language model generates a response, we can employ a separate validation model to scrutinize the facts within that response. This secondary check helps to identify and correct any inaccuracies or ‘hallucinations’—instances where the model generates false or misleading information. By systematically verifying data through multiple layers, we can provide more reliable and trustworthy outputs. 

Wondering where to begin with AI implementation in your organization?

Email Beth Sidhu, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Stagwell, to discuss how we can support your organization’s digital goals. 

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

SXSW 2024: Pulse on Culture for the C[x]O

As an essential convergence point for marketers anticipating the future, SXSW helps businesses unveil the trends at the intersection of culture, commerce, and digital transformation that will shape a new age of consumers. As our teams emerge from SXSW, here are five consumer trends that demand attention, offering insights into what lies ahead. Connecting each trend is an opportunity to build fandom with consumers around your business.

ATHLETES AS BRANDS; A NEW FANDOM HOOK?

Brandon Marshall, former 12-year NFL wide receiver and host of I AM ATHLETE, says today’s athletes are multi-hyphenate leaders – building businesses and nonprofits, and creating identities that go well beyond the field, court or track. For brands, this offers a major opportunity to write a new playbook for partnership that positions athletes as multi-dimensional ambassadors to reach consumers who are hungry for authentic connection. For Kalen Thornton, a former NFL player and current senior PepsiCo executive, the three things to consider are authenticity, connection and distinction. Authenticity is especially crucial in today’s marketing landscape; consumers appreciate genuine connection, and it can make or break whether they transition to long-term brand fans. If CMOs can build stronger partnerships with athletes that reflect that, they’re in a better place to activate athletes as brand storytellers – in turn creating fandom with customers.

Keeping up with Jarvises: The Race to Bots with Benefits

There were few explicit sessions in the advertising track at SXSW on AI –  but of those on the agenda, sessions like “Navigating Advertising Hype Cycles” made it clear marketers are over the buzz, and in the mood for clear use-cases. Here’s one to noodle on. Generative AI is ushering in subtle yet impactful changes in consumer interactions with products and services. The focus extends beyond convenience; whether stated or not, we are now in an arms race to create realistic versions of popular sci-fi bots like Iron Man’s Jarvis. In this “age of anticipation,” as Code and Theory Chairman Dan Gardner calls it, brands must stay ahead by developing or integrating with the best personal assistants available to link their consumer experiences to a broader ecosystem of value. Already, we’re seeing global brands like L’Oreal and Walmart take steps to infuse AI assistants into their brand proposition, whether by providing beauty advice or enhancing moments across the retail experience. Gardner emphasizes the imminent digital transformation of customer experiences, fueled by vast data and AI’s ability to anticipate needs rather than merely reacting. This is an opportunity for every sector, and one that requires keen collaboration between CEOs and their marketing and technology leaders.

“For too long, we’ve been looking at ‘personalization’ as the answer. That was just targeting. Now, we will begin to see industries disrupted by a reimagined approach to delivering value. We are finally at the point where AI plus data can anticipate customer behaviors. This will boost sales in the near term as well as build affinity in the future,” says Gardner.

Adulthood Canceled? Gen Z’s Mid-Life Crisis as an Experiential and Commerce Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered seismic shifts in digital transformation, giving rise to entirely new consumer behaviors and sectors. For Gen Z, already wielding significant global purchasing power, the pandemic resulted in missed rite of passage moments, impacting independence and income security. 38% of Gen Z women feel like their lives were ‘canceled,’ and 61% of Gen Z say the pandemic has increased their feelings of loneliness, per Stagwell’s Harris Poll.

At SXSW, conversations in the advertising track like “Building Brands in the Unhappiness Era” converged around the opportunity to create positive and delightful experiences for consumers – a bulwark against the bad vibes COVID left behind. Whether that’s adopting a play-centric approach to brand expression or leaning into branded entertainment, the challenge and opportunity are clear: the most active purchasing group for the next decade is eager to make up for lost time. How will brands help them conquer this opportunity? Strategies that cultivate equity and fandom by incorporating community, connection, and experience into marketing will dominate.

Navigating the New Consumer “Political Brain”

In a polarized landscape, brands risk losing support if they enter politics improperly. Activating consumers’ “political brains” divides the base and diminishes brand support. Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn says:  “At best, politics splits this country 50–50. If you get involved in politics in any way, whatever your popularity is, it [gets] cut in half. For brands like targeting mass market consumers, you cannot win. You can only win if you’re a smaller niche brand that has a group of customers that would be very compatible with your values or political values, or you’ve expressed those values during a prolonged period of time, so they’re already baked into your brand.”

To insulate themselves, Chief Communications Officers must tread carefully, avoiding making consumers feel like they’re casting a vote with each purchase. They must seek, as well, counsel from perspectives across the political spectrum, acknowledging their consumers are diffuse in their ideology as well.

Beyond the ‘Shop’ Page; Will AI Transform E-Commerce?

“Brands are at a pivotal moment in time when it comes to e-commerce,” says Lauren Kushner, CEO, Kettle. “Many retailers had a booming few years followed by some softness in their conversion funnel and they are taking a hard look at how e-commerce can work harder for them. Enter tools and experiences powered by AI.”

AI is poised to elevate e-commerce by forcing brands to rethink their online interactions, moving beyond the push to a push-and-pull cycle with their customers. With tools and experiences powered by AI, brands can create contextualized and innovative online experiences that anticipate consumer needs. Hyper-personalized recommendations and streamlined purchase flows promise to forge more meaningful connections with brands and drive conversions.

Bring Community to Commerce

As Redscout CEO Ivan Kayser tells it, a modern approach to the marketing mix places community, advocacy, and content at its core. “We are just starting to dig through the rubble of the DTC reckoning, beginning to draw lessons from rule-breaking brands that are operating from a completely new playbook. Brands that are deepening value for and with their existing customers rather than focusing solely acquisition should be watched closely.” Per a new study from Assembly and Dotdash Meredith, unveiled at SoHo House at SXSW on Monday, communities provide marketers with the chance to talk, explore, and support the motivations and values that drive consumer behavior.

The balancing act moving forward is seeking strategies that genuinely benefit the business bottom line – while engaging customers in a manner that doesn’t scream transactional. While on the ground at SXSW, Kayser has been on the lookout for measurement approaches focusing on differentiation, consumer preference, and margin. And for brands that treat every aspect of the business as an expression of the brand, greatly expanding the opportunity to build fandom with each touchpoint. If you can advance short-term revenue goals while building a cohort of customers that will follow, and purchase with you, in the future, you can crack the fandom code. 

Follow Along

In the dynamic realm of SXSW, these trends provide a glimpse into the future, challenging marketers to adapt and innovate in the ever-changing landscape of commerce, culture, and consumer behavior. Follow along with Stagwell on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram as SXSW continues.

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

For realtime insights, follow us on LinkedIn

 Kicking off this International Women’s Day, we’re taking a look at how Stagwell and its agencies are championing women, from marathons to consent education. Below, the network spotlights impactful women-focused initiatives happening today, during Women’s History Month, and throughout the year.

Allison

Lisa Rosenberg, global partner & president of consumer brands at Allison will sit on the Culture Equity and in Women’s Sports panel at SXSW. This panel will explore the relevant media and cultural influences impacting efforts to level the playing field for girls and women in sports – from grassroots, to collegiate to professional athletes. Learn more about the event here.

Susie Hughes, EVP of Allison London sat down with PR Week to share what advice she’d give to her younger self — “Approach new challenges as opportunities, rather than as things that could go wrong. When things do go wrong – or not as expected – the details quickly fade into funny stories, and the experiences become lessons that make the next challenge easier.”

Assembly

Assembly is producing a panel at its “Metamorphosis” event on March 11th at SXSW. “Money Mavens” aims to democratize finance for the next generation of women, and will feature an all-female panel: “finfluencer” Amanda Wolfe (@Shewolfeofwallstreet), Podcast host and CEO of Scaling Retail, Syama Buntin, Founder and CEO of Wealthbuild.ai Ramona Ortega, Esq., and Editor-in-Chief of InStyle, Sally Holmes. These esteemed experts are changing the face of finance by sharing knowledge and know-how to help women clear debt, manage money, and build wealth – one investment at a time. 

Assembly Europe in partnership with Goodstuff, KWT Global and Stagwell kicked off the International Women’s Day celebration with an engaging panel discussion about “The Power of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.” During the panel, leaders explored what it means to embrace emotions and how to leverage them for success, particularly in the workplace, in the hopes of creating awareness and fostering an environment where everyone feels supported in expressing their own emotions.  

Code and Theory

This International Women’s Day, Code and Theory asked creatives and technologists to share thoughts on womanhood, their best industry advice and the change they’d like to see. Explore what female leaders within the agency had to say here.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky London

One in five UK adults think ‘no’ can mean ‘yes’ when it comes to sex – to address national confusion on consent, CPB London launched the “I’m Asking For It” campaign in partnership with Right to Equality. This multi-agency effort led by CPB London, Assembly Europe, Goodstuff and KWT Global raises awareness for consent and asks individuals to join in demanding the UK adopt the Affirmative Consent Standard.

GALE

GALE, Vox Media, and MilkPEP announced an expansive media partnership focused on spotlighting female athletes. The contract is an extension of a longstanding partnership with MilkPEP which aims to break the coverage gap in sports and elevate female athletes of all levels along the way. To celebrate the launch, the companies hosted an inspiring run for allies at SXSW, followed by a panel discussion.

KWT Global

KWT Global asked women within their organization to share their take on what ‘inspiring inclusion’ means. Envisioning a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination – a world where diversity, equity and inclusion are top of mind, female leaders share their vision for the future.

Left Field Labs

Sarah Mehler, founder and CEO of Left Field Labs authored a piece, “Inspiring Disruption: Women Redefining Authentic Leadership,” featured in Little Black Book. Mehler shares career advice and reflects on her experience defining her own path as a female leader.

“On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the strides we have made towards a more inclusive and humane approach to leadership and technology. Let us also renew our commitment to being agents of change, pushing forward with courage and a deep belief in the power of human connection.”

Stagwell

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

Connect with Stagwell at CES 2024

Stagwell will return to Las Vegas for CES 2024, where we will host a series of conversations at the intersection of business, marketing and impactful technology. Join us for interactive briefings, hands on experiences, and shared discourse to level up your experience at the world’s biggest technology show.

CONTACT
SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

Boot up! The U.S.’ biggest technology show, CES, is just around the corner and Stagwell is headed to Vegas with our eyes peeled for the technology that will drive marketing and business transformation in 2024. CES is inspirational, no doubt. But for modern business leaders, finding focus on the convention floor can be tricky.

To help the C-Suite parse the fads from the frontiers at CES, Stagwell is launching the first edition of a new insights series, C [×] O. Across some of the biggest creative, technology, and marketing events this year, we’ll bring our brand of smart, quick insights to focus the C [×] O in your organization on the most valuable transformations to track. At CES, we’ll be looking out for trends for the CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, and C(Communications) Officers.

Still getting your plans together for Vegas? Meet our experts here and read on for their predictions of what to expect on the ground.

CEOs: Remember the VCR
David Sable, Vice Chair, Stagwell

CES can be the equivalent of watching a focus group with a loud and polarizing participant who creates a dynamic around one POV that suits their purpose. I refer you, with caution, to the years where we heard that drones would take over the world; AR/VR would change everything we did; Climate issues would be core to all that we buy: TV screens were dead and gone: and of course, AI will rule the world.

In 1970, at CES, Phillips introduced the consumer VCR, bringing a $50,000 TV studio product to our homes…which evolved to the Streaming we have today. Keep your eyes open and your minds free. Think about that VCR, ignore the group think, and see if you can spot what actually might be next. Contrarian thinking may unlock an unpopular or unexpected path to transforming your business. More to come from the floor.

CMOs: Look Out for The Age of Smarter Creativity
Maggie Malek, President, North America, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

CES 2024 will be another chapter in the narrative of finding the balance between technology and people. AI will, of course, be the champion as it’s top of mind for virtually everyone, but 2024 will be about how companies utilize the tech to enable even smarter marketing. CMOs will continue to have to find the right magic middle of leveraging AI for efficiencies while re-investing those savings into areas to drive their business. AI will allow dollars to be spent towards smarter creative; more access to creators as advertisers; reduced media waste with AI-enabled adtech; revitalizing purpose-driven investments from equity to sustainability; and stronger digital experiences to drive personalization in a cookieless world. Life post-pandemic has always been about efficiency, but we’re optimistic 2024 enables brand building to re-emerge even smarter than before.

CTOs: The Quantum Era Puts the CTO-CMO Partnership in Focus
Justin Lewis, Chair, Constellation

Technology transformation surged in 2023 with the adoption of consumer-friendly GenAI. This shift mirrored the early days of social media, swiftly evolving from initial skepticism to a rallying cry for global businesses and tech leaders. CES 2024 promises to chart AI’s continued trajectory as we are treated to tangible results from a year of experimentation across various sectors.

CES will be a pivotal moment for tech leaders, emphasizing the imperative collaboration between Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). Expect organizations to rekindle focus on this partnership, which is essential for transforming innovation into category-defining opportunities. On the ground, I’ll be tracking how immersive tech like AR and VR gains traction, infiltrating education, fitness, and business applications; how industries expand blockchain’s applications, especially in healthcare; and how quantum computing, a game-changing tech, takes the spotlight for its problem-solving prowess and security enhancements, demanding collaboration between tech experts and the government to navigate associated risks.

CCOs: With Mis/Mal/Dis-Information Afoot, 2024 is the Year of Responsible Tech
Ray Day, Vice Chair, Stagwell

For Chief Communications Officers at this year’s CES, “responsible tech” needs to be a major theme. While AI was THE headline of 2023, adopting it – as well as other game-changing technologies – responsibly and ethically will be job one for those of us trusted with stewarding an organization’s reputation. Comms leaders need to be focused on technology and its role in misinformation – especially leading up to the U.S. General Election; polarization and how to use technology to bring people back together; and better anticipating the ever-increasing reputation risks technology will pose in the year ahead.

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

CONTACT

Mark Penn

As the year comes to an end, it’s time for business leaders to take stock and realize the recession many of us feared this year did not hit. In fact, with consumers still spending healthily and sitting on lots of disposable income, now marks a bigger marketing opportunity than ever. In the December 2023 edition of Hitting the Mark originally published in Barron’s – I share what leaders need to learn from the recession that never came.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please reach out to me.

Companies Cut Marketing as If a Recession Was Coming. It Didn’t.

Fears of a recession drove too many companies’ executive decisions this year. They hunkered down and cut marketing spending and maybe digital innovation, too. Then the news came that there was no recession—in fact consumers were spending on all sorts of consumables. Companies that bet on recession lost out.

The old, trusted brands faced little competition, since their nemeses pulled back. Consumers turned to familiar faces, and so the big companies pocketed market-share gains. Those chief financial officer-driven orders looked good on paper—in reality they cost businesses tremendously. Consumer timing outside of a recession is as impossible as stock market timing. Consumers often defy logic and expectations – and this year they were spending.

Pulling back wasn’t entirely irrational. This time last year just about everyone was scared of a looming recession. Reuters polled economists in Oct. 2022 and found 65% thought a recession would occur within the next year. In Dec. 2022, 80% of Americans thought the country was either already in a recession or would be in the following year, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

But the recession never came. After steady growth all year the economy grew by 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023, driven primarily by consumers. Consumer spending increased 4% for the quarter and was responsible for 2.7 percentage points of the total GDP increase—signs of a strong economy.

Consumers Keep Spending…and Spending

Consumers turned out to have more money to spend than ever. Thanks to Covid-era stimulus bills and shutdowns, median net worth rose 37% from 2019 to 2022. Americans still have an estimated extra $1.7 trillion in savings. Even in the third quarter of 2023, disposable net income grew 3.8%, nearly triple what economists were forecasting. With the economy mostly returning to a post-pandemic normal, consumers are eager to spend on experiences.

Consumers went on a shopping spree this summer. Spending at movie theaters, restaurants, sporting events, and casinos all rose in August. Spending on international travel and airline transportation shot up in September. Overall last quarter, the consumer spending increase was spread almost evenly across goods and services.

It’s not just wealthy consumers who are opening their wallets. Retail sales have risen six months in a row. The holiday season is already off to a good start. Online spending for Black Friday was up 7.5% this year, according to Adobe. That’s right in line with a forecast of 7-9% for e-commerce holiday sales growth this year. Overall holiday season sales are estimated to rise 3-4%, less than the pandemic years, but that’s still a healthy increase.

The Challenger Imperative

So challenger companies that pulled back on spending wasted a whole year not getting their name out there and putting up a fight for new customers. Smaller brands suffer disproportionately when everyone cuts their marketing budgets. People will fall back on what they know rather than try new, unfamiliar things.

Companies need to recognize their mistake of pulling back in fear of the recession that wasn’t. The lesson for 2024 is to resist that fear again and think twice about cutting back on marketing and other engines of growth. Consumers are still sitting on lots of disposable income and the percentage of Americans who think the country will avoid a recession entirely has nearly doubled in the past twelve months. The Fed is holding rates steady and is hopefully done with its policy of economic blood-letting.

The established companies want the upstarts to keep doing nothing and giving away market share for free, but challengers must keep their foot on the gas pedal. They have even more ground to make up after this lost year. The recession never came, but the consequences were real and serious. Hopefully those trying to predict consumer trends will learn the lesson that many stock-market timers have learned—you pull back from advancing in the marketplace at your own peril.

Until next time,

Mark Penn

 

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up

CONTACT

hello@stagwellglobal.com

SIGN UP FOR OUR INSIGHTS BLASTS

The holiday swirl is in full swing, and just as consumers fine-tune their wish lists, brands and retailers are thinking about how they can market and promote during the busiest time of year. One key insight from GALE retail media director Dan Maguire: the key to staying on consumers’ nice, not naughty lists this season is unifying AI services, retail media platforms, and shopper experiences. 

Dive into this edition of The Well to learn more about this year’s holiday landscape, from how much consumers expect to spend on big days like Black Friday, to how social storefronts are becoming the preferred point-of-sale for multiple generations of consumers. 

— Beth Sidhu, Chief Brand and Communications Officer

Smart Spending & Spirited Selling 

It’s not enough to promote holiday deals; brands and retailers must take a more inquisitive approach and understand consumer behaviors and the economy. According to Allison’s “2023 Holiday Retail Landscape,” consumers have set budget limitations this holiday season, with 49% planning to spend less than $1,000. However, retailers should still expect an uptake in sales compared to 2022. Read the report to discover why a “back to the basics” approach will serve brands best this year. 

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice 

Does Mariah Carey kick off the holiday season, or does it happen earlier, when Pumpkin Spice lattes hit the shelves? It’s tough to say, but one thing is for certain: the flavor has cornered the market and culture year after year. Stagwell Marketing Cloud leveraged proprietary data from its Harris Quest brand tracking platform to discover the public’s true feelings about the iconic fall flavor (hint:85% still love it), and how brands should look to the pumpkin spice phenomenon as a model for making a lasting impression among consumers. Read the report.

Staying on Trend & Standing Out 

It’s out with the old and in with the new. Traditional shopping perks are still effective, but evolving consumer preferences point to new purchasing incentives, according to research by The Harris Poll and Nogin. Consumers want their shopping experience personalized – email promos and brand recommendations – all tailored to their specific wants and needs. Learn more about what consumers are looking for before they hit “buy” here.

Transforming Marketing This Holiday Season

Social media has encapsulated consumer shopping habits, so it’s up to brands to come up with clever ways to stand out and stay on target. Assembly’s “Influencer Marketing: Holiday Trend Report” captures top trends and considerations for planning your approach to holiday campaigns. Explore different ways brands can leverage influencers and nail consumer messaging here.   

Related

Articles

Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail

Newsletter

Sign Up