For the past 44 episodes of Insider Interviews I’ve put a lot of well-known media and marketing folks in the hot seat …And today’s guest is … E.B. Moss. Me. Because as we ring out the old and ring in the new I’ve got some news for you.
This nice round number, episode 45, will be one of the last for Insider Interviews for a while, as I embrace something really new. A brand new role as Senior Vice President of Content and Community for Brand Innovators.
I’m thrilled to join this company, which has done such a great job for the past 10 years of creating a community for marketers and helping build relationships between those marketers and media folks. They’ve done it through an incredible number of events and panel discussions, fireside chats, activations, tent poles, content articles, you name it. I will help further that community and also build new products. So, stay tuned as they say. And join us!
In looking back to look forward, as I wrote in The Continuum recently, I had some wonderful conversations. After launching with programming pro, Gary Krantz, talking about audio and the evolution of radio and podcasting my very next episode was in March of 2020 was Shelly Palmer, the pundit, who accurately predicted that we all better have our tech set up well to work from home. Check.
In episode 7, Claude Silver, the Chief Heart Officer of Vayner Media, emphasized the need in our increasingly isolated environment to build relationships. And then Arra Yerganian educated us in episode 22, about the social determinants of health as we’re so impacted by our surroundings. (I hope you’re creating a safe space for yourself and finding ways to bring joy into your world, even as we have to isolate a little bit longer now.)
On the DEI front Robyn Streisand, founder of The Mixx, is doing a terrific job at educating brands on how to embrace diverse communities and market authentically. And then, hats off to KoAnn Skrzyniarz, for building Sustainable Brands and emphasizing brand purpose and the business value of embracing sustainability and purpose-driven messaging.
Talk about influencers.
That’s what Danielle Wiley of Sway did and really informed us about how to manage what’s been influential and what hasn’t. And it all kind comes together with Joe Jackman in episode 37, talking about reinvention. Because that’s what we’re all doing these days. Marc Kidd and Anna Bager each talked about the out of home ad industry and their headaches during a time when nobody was traveling. Captivate, where Marc is CEO, specialized in elevator advertising, and no one was going into office buildings! So they figured out how to pivot — or reinvent — by expanding their signage to places where people play and live like golf courses and apartment buildings. Anna Bager talked about how out of home signage really helped move public service messaging forward, especially with the healthcare messaging that is so important these days.
There were also some really impactful conversations with women in marketing. I want to thank, for example, Melissa Grady, the CMO of Cadillac, as well as Heidi Zak, the co-founder and CEO of third love, as just two examples.
And I was able to do articles on both of them for The Continuum. That’s the publication where I was editor in chief for the past year. We published some excellent articles about the need for both brand and demand marketing. That publication will continue to embrace the future. And it’s a very worthy read.
But I think as I look forward, and look back, some of Ruth Steven’s words were exactly right and underscores why my move to Brand Innovators will be so timely. Ruth is one of the foremost experts in B2B marketing.
And she said in our interview,
“Today, the ability of the salesperson to guide a purchase in the buyer’s direction and really understand the needs of that buyer has been eroded. So the marketer needs to step in and provide the educational content.”
So my friends, I’m going to keep finding lots of ways to help marketers get their message out and to help connect the seller, the buyer, the media organization and the marketer, and I look forward to being able to continue delivering you that insider scoop. Just from a different venue.
With that, I wish you all the very, very best and a happy and especially a healthy 2022, and hope to maintain my relationship with all of you through various forms of content, as well as hopefully at in-person event sooner rather than later.
I thank you so much for listening.
Post Script: If you haven’t heard it yet, I will pick up my “passion podcast” soon – about my “friends in high places” so please subscribe to It’s Quite a Living now to not miss a forthcoming moment when that relaunches in early 2022.
PPS: You can STILL follow me at @mossappeal on social media!
For the past several years, Out of Home advertising (OOH) had back-to-back growth. Then, like so many changes in our daily habits, travel slowed, media habits shifted and signage became less of commodity. But, as Anna Bager, the CEO of the OAAA – the trade association for outdoor advertising recently shared:
Part of that is tempering excitement over new technologies with a focus on society’s heightened need for humanity and real connections. The right strategy helps brands ensure they’re reaching consumers where they are, providing an experience that’s contextual and relevant.
This conversation with Anna expresses the “what’s old is new again” value of OOH and its ability to offer that “where they are” connection with consumers and provides an experience that’s contextual and relevant, privacy-compliant AND hyper-local!
NOTE: It’s a terrific complement to Epi 43 with the CEO of Captivate which focused on how their form of digital place-based advertising — in-elevator media — also had to shift its “place” and pivot during the pandemic. In both cases you’ll hear about the value of both digital engagement and innovation and good old purpose driven messaging. (And if you want to learn about the IAB — Anna’s previous home before her focus on out of home — check out Epi 20 with David Cohen!)
The evolution of OOH from static hiway signs (think Burma Shave!) to interactive digital takeovers (think Times Square!)
How the medium survived the downturn in travel during the peak pandemic months by doubling down on its track record asa public service tool…
How OOH supports both “brand and demand” marketing.
We wrap with Anna’s personal preferences for cool tools of the future!
Marc Kidd, CEO of Captivate, lost sleep thinking about the lost foot traffic in office buildings when the pandemic hit. After all, his company specializes in programming the video screens in elevators. But, this son of famed NCAA football coach, Roy Kidd (as in Roy Kidd Stadium), is not one to panic at fourth down. In our conversation for Epi 43 he shared how Captivate evolved its Digital Out of Home (DOOH) offerings to include home and play locations, with an upswing in results for sales and marketers alike.
“There was a high stakes game on a really bad weather day and I said, ‘Dad, it’s raining, the wind’s blowing. What decision are you going to make about the coin toss?’ He said, ‘You don’t worry about the things you can’t control.’ It has always reminded me that there are things in life you have no control over … like a pandemic.”
Marc is not a stranger to having to pivot. Hear what happened when his college plans to work alongside his dad got waylaid… and he briefly considered accounting for a career! Luckily, he found his footing in sports marketing…then broadcasting, giving him the foundation for a storied career that included helping create the NCAA corporate partner program and the Breeders Cup’s World Thoroughbred Championships, WAC corporate partner programs and iHigh.com.
Now at Captivate, he had some tough calls to make in the past two years for the greater good, but like all boats when the tide rises he ultimately helped the elevator advertising business stay the course through more innovation.
Listen and learn about:
How Captivate transfigured awkward social spaces!
The evolution of DOOH (Digital Out of Home) itself and its use in brand and awareness marketing
The guiding path to advertising effectiveness and strategizing content
QR codes and other ways of building real attribution
How COVID-19 disruption prompted forward-thinking repositioning
Captivate’s 2022 plans, including re-engineered programmatic platforms
You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at email@example.com. We’re “hear” for you!
Podcast pro Steve Pratt, VP and Co-Founder of the multi-award winning Pacific Content, told me his company no longer makes branded podcasts. They haven’t for a few years. They make “original podcasts with brands.” And win awards doing it for brands like Ford Motor Company, Rocket Mortgage, Morgan Stanley, Slack, and Red Hat.
The difference? These are no “thinly veiled infomercials. Instead, Pacific Content works together with their partners to “make a show that’s designed as something that only that brand can make; you give a gift — or create a significant amount of value — for the people that the brand wants to have relationships with.” And that, says Pratt, is how and why a brand makes a show that solves for their specific business problem, AND makes them into “media companies,” too.
But don’t forget about the marketing. Good content that isn’t salesy has to go hand in hand with good marketing that doesn’t just try to “interrupt.” So, excuse me (!), but marketers should listen to this informative conversation all about connecting the dots between business objectives and audience preferences via podcasting. Steve should know: his company of “50 passionate podcast nerds” is focused exclusively on original podcasts that promote brands with authenticity and without compromising quality.
Steve and I also discuss:
How Dell Technologies’ podcast, Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson, became a “masterclass” on disruption and innovation, and sold listeners on Dell without selling products (and you can hear Dell Global Marketer, Rachael Henke, talk about this in Epi 6 from 5/20!)
Creating a branded podcast strategy like a Venn Diagram between business goals and listener interests
How podcasts drive loyalty
Opportunities for “brands as media companies”
Branded podcasts vs. Advertising in another podcast: What’s the litmus test? (And when Steve suggests brands call Bart Roselli at VeritoneOne, per episode 41 on effective ad campaigns!)
Establishing marketing effectiveness in podcasting
Success measurement tactics and KPIs
And, since Pacific Content gives good content themselves, don’t miss Steve’s own musings on the future of podcasting, how he did on his 2021 predictions made in our friend James Cridland’s show…and what he’s projecting for 2022!
Bart Roselli of Veritone One has seen the audio space grow exponentially in his over 15 years of media, marketing strategy, and account management experience. Now, as SVP Growth, he leverages his breadth of knowledge to enhance agency-media vendor relationships and help ensure client goals are set smartly for the space, and fulfilled across multiple channels of audio opportunities…including having an eye towards integrating Veritone AI technology to enhance performance.
After comparing notes on our common ground of NJ to CA lives, in Episode 41 Bart explains the evolution of audio ad tech to how audio is also bought, sold and marketed differently these days.
“It’s not a one size fits all media world anymore. It used to be radio, print, and tv. Then digital started to evolve and now you have different tracking elements as we’re moving towards a cookieless space. So marketing has evolved.”
Hear how to keep up with all the changes as Bart and I also discuss:
How audio marketing has completely evolved in via multi-touchpoints
Following the dollars via advances in digital tracking
From compliance to engineering, how the backend of Veritone’s digital infrastructure “takes a village”
The changes in how people consume media – including the impact of the pandemic on podcasts – and how brands need to fit into lives and attention spans differently
Embracing change (a la 37 with Joe Jackman) but why Bart says, “If you’re reading about it in the trades you’re behind”
Utilizing artificial intelligence and synthetic voice to super-serve clients (while avoiding “deep fakes!”)
Bart’s stance on the brand and demand continuum
Tapping data as the modern version of a crystal ball to navigate millions of shows to pick up and coming winners and properly message in the right podcasts
The difference between embedded and digital ad insertion – and use cases for each (You can take a deeper dive into ad sales from Bart on the Podcast Advertising Playbook episode with Heather Osgood.)
The reality of CPM pricing and measurement
And overall remembering:
“If you’re not thinking of channels – plural, you’re thinking of audio and your marketing incorrectly and you’re missing a big chunk of audience.”
And big news! You can watch the unedited version of this episode now as video on YouTube!
(Don’t judge my kitchen.)
You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I met Pearl Servat three years ago, Visible was brand new in the world of wireless carriers, and Servat was generating content about it. Now she is fairly new in an elevated role as Head of Brand Marketing and Demand Gen for the disrupter division of VerizonWireless, and gives good content herself in our conversation about driving customer connections.
Servat honed her PR chops in the entertainment and brand world under the mentorship of marketing heavy hitters like Pat Kingsley (PMK-BNC), but made the switch, as they say in the world of carriers, to helm “brand and demand” marketing. In Epi 39, she discusses both her own evolution, and that of Visible. Hear how she leverages partnerships with like-minded brand ambassadors and ensures the first all-digital wireless carrier in the US doesn’t forget its mission of kindness and transparency:
“I essentially sit at the intersection of where I’ve always loved to be. Between brand building and conversion and acquisition, driving and growth.”
Mission First, Marketing Next.
Servat explains that Visible’s mission drove her to lead efforts to connect people during some of the scariest days of the pandemic.
Hear how a simple email campaign that Visible sent asking how customers were holding up during the pandemic had unexpected impact.
Staying true to its DNA, the brand launched the #VisibleActsofKindness campaign and garnered over 2 million organic interactions.
Hear her perspective on the importance of both brand and demand marketing, as her title implies, AND experiential marketing — such as when they turned Los Angeles bus stops into mock living rooms, and even ski lifts settings giving customers a tactical connection with the all digital brand in lieu of physical retail locations.
“It’s beyond just retaining the consumer for us…We truly try to be as intentional as we can at every touch point with the brand. So, it doesn’t just start and stop with marketing.”
Partnerships that Matter
Partnerships and brand ambassadorships help extend the reach of the brand.
Servat emphasizes the importance of partnering with people who live by the same mission as the company.
Potential partners have seen the work Visible is doing and reached out to the company, interested in collaboration—the mission drives these kinds of partnerships.
Staying on trend? Servat credits her team, modestly saying she’s not “nearly as hip and cool as they are.”
And on working with marquee names like Kevin Bacon and Dan Levy? Well…
“When it comes to talent partnerships, we do a significant amount of research…And we only work with talent who walk the walk when it comes to social impact, what they stand for on an ongoing basis, [and] how they connect with their own communities.”