PULSE

Pulse pulls together the freshest articles, research, and insights on hot topics in the marketing industry. Curated and vetted by an ANA researcher, each issue includes only the most current and credible information available.

Building the Next Generation of AI, with Helixa

Artificial Intelligence touches just about every facet of our modern lives, and its effect on marketing cannot be overstated. So, when you want to learn about what’s now, new, and next in AI, who do you turn to other than the folks that are building it? Today we’re joined by Antonio Maiorino and Alberto Mario Pirovano of Helixa, to talk about the evolving world of marketing automation, from next-gen chatbots to natural language processing. The two shared a peek behind the curtain on new developments in the company and discussed what other innovations could come from cracking the code of processing natural language.

> See all episodes
Are Instagram's Reels... for Real? Exploring Options in a World Where TikTok's Time May Be Up

TikTok’s popularity quickly exploded on the mobile video app scene, and marketers followed suit. Recent controversies over TikTok’s data collection and privacy practices, however, have put the future of the app in the U.S. into question, and this poses a distinct loss for brands carving out a niche there. Amidst this chaos, Instagram launched a similar service – Reels – and while brands certainly want to include Instagram’s latest effort into their marketing mix, the question remains: will it be as effective as TikTok, whether it stays or goes? The resources here look at how lucrative Instagram’s Reels can be, and how to use them for marketing.

> See all issues

ISSUES

October 2020

TikTok’s popularity quickly exploded on the mobile video app scene, and marketers followed suit. Recent controversies over TikTok’s data collection and privacy practices, however, have put the future of the app in the U.S. into question, and this poses a distinct loss for brands carving out a niche there. Amidst this chaos, Instagram launched a similar service – Reels – and while brands certainly want to include Instagram’s latest effort into their marketing mix, the question remains: will it be as effective as TikTok, whether it stays or goes? The resources here look at how lucrative Instagram’s Reels can be, and how to use them for marketing.

September 2020

The ongoing pandemic has had a strong yet complicated impact on the development of ambient computing, which refers to the contextually aware software that can serve users without requiring explicit commands. Things like smart home, smart city, and other IoT-enabled experiences, based on technologies designed to fade into the background as part of the ambiance, are all building toward the future of ambient computing.

August 2020

When AI-based algorithms were introduced to the marketing world they were an immense game changer: they upped the ante on how brands could target their existing audiences, and they sped up the process of understanding how to build new ones. As machine learning grew exponentially, however, it also lost much of its human touch. Without a balance of human input and safety checks, algorithms can adopt human biases (including hate speech), and cannot adapt fast enough to real-time crises like COVID-19. The resources here discuss how marketers can best work with algorithms to ensure they reach desired targets with efficient, optimized results, and avoid communicating the wrong messages.

July 2020

Prior to the pandemic, adoption of virtual doctor visits was negligible (at just 11%, according to a McKinsey survey). Since social distancing and quarantine, however, those numbers have rocketed to 46 percent, and the comfort and ease both consumers and doctors are finding through telehealth, or telemedicine, indicate that it’s here to stay post-COVID. But the surge in telehealth begs the question: if some vital services like healthcare can be delivered virtually, what other traditionally physical industries may also find themselves delivering via cyberspace? For the moment, telehealth is ruling the space and the resources below discuss its growth, application, and future.

June 2020

Brands share a unique voice that consumers pay close attention to, and marketers can choose to amplify or mute that voice. Brand responses to the COVID-19 crisis have run the gamut from sensitive to tone-deaf, and consumer perception of those brands can change as a result of their responses. As the United States struggles with racial and policing issues, what can brands do to show they are fully allied to current causes, and not just toeing the line, or worse, throwing fuel on the fire?

May 2020

Organizations have undergone unprecedented changes in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses with the ability to do so have shifted to a work from home structure, which the firm Global Workplace Analytics forecasts may make up 25 to 30 percent of the workforce by 2021. But for many companies, productivity and essential tasks must be done in a physical office space. While it’s still uncertain when employees may return to their workplaces, it’s vital that leaders look into the precautions and adaptations that will be necessary in many cases to ensure the safety of their employees. The resources below discuss many of these coming possibilities.

April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an unprecedented era of change across all of humanity, from economies, governments, consumers, and businesses, to, of course, marketing and branding. While we cannot predict the state of the advertising industry once the pandemic has passed, we do know that it will be immensely changed. The resources below speculate on what preparatory measures and foresight can be taken as of today to prepare brands for an era of marketing post-COVID-19.

March 2020

Consumer privacy is at an ever-increasing pitch, and a plethora of ad blockers and similar apps have already handed consumers the power to control their online experiences, at least to a certain extent. GDPR, which requires websites to obtain consumer consent before tracking cookies, has further restricted marketers’ access to consumer data. The final blow came with the announcement that Google Chrome will eliminate third-party cookies completely by 2022 – something that other browsers have already done. While initially this jarring news left marketers wondering what to do next, it has also created new opportunities.

February 2020

Artificial Intelligence has already rapidly advanced automation tools, and is now taking things a step further by moving into autonomy. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reported that North American robot sales increased 5.2 percent, compared to 2018.  And while robots have already been used behind the scenes in auto and fulfillment industries, we’re now ready to see them working alongside their human counterparts. The resources in this Pulse issue explore the presence of robots in the retail space, and what marketers can expect.

January 2020

A new year is an ideal time for reflection as well as anticipation of the changes that lie ahead in the marketing world. A new year allows marketers to evaluate what has been most successful in the past, honing in and perfecting what has worked and dropping what hasn’t to try and prepare for the unexpected new trends that will find their way into consumer’s and marketer’s laps. No prediction is perfect, but these resources examine what marketers can anticipate in the year ahead, and analyze what didn’t work and what won’t work again.

December 2019

Our sense of belonging is considered a core attribute of human survival.  Social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn help fill that void – enabling people not only to find and connect with old friends, but also to discover new ones. However, a remarkable awakening is shifting user behavior: Consumers now recognize they are the product and that their engagement isn’t “free.” 

November 2019

According to drinks market analysts ISWR, global alcohol consumption has declined by 1.6 percent, especially in sectors such as wine and beer. Spirits and other specialty drinks are on the rise, however, and IWSR actually predicts 5 percent growth in the industry over the next three years. The takeaway? Like in so many other industries, disruptors are embracing change and taking over markets that have grown stale with sameness – and they’re doing so at a time when consumers are both seeking and facing constant change. Read on to discover more about these disruptor brands and shifting consumer trends in the alcohol space.

October 2019

The development of plant, seafood, or lab-based meat products – that is, “meatless meat,” – has grown notably over the past few years. Why the sudden change? There isn’t one specific reason behind the shift; rather, there are a number of health, ecological, economical, and emotional explanations for why consumers on both the vegan and meat-eating sides of the aisle are increasingly purchasing meatless foods. This issue of Pulse explores the mystery around meatless meat, examining what exactly it is, where it’s thriving, and its many future possibilities.

September 2019

TikTok is the newest of hot video apps in the tradition of Vine and Snapchat before it. It originated in China before rebranding and making it way to the U.S. and the rest of the world, where it now can comfortably claim more than 500 million users. Most are young people and early adopters, begging the question: should brands already be on TikTok, utilizing it before it becomes saturated like Facebook and Instagram?

August 2019

Cannabis Sativa has been used for generations in both practical and more… notorious ways. The strain that allows the creation of hemp products (textiles, food, fuel, insulation, etc.) has an increased amount of the chemical cannabidiol (CBD), while the psychoactive version has increased tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All science lessons aside, extracted CBD has been known to provide certain health relief without the effects of THC, but yet has remained barred by the FDA  -- until just recently. It now exists in flux as a saleable product in the U.S., with uses varying from state to state. It is a market exploding with potential; given a marketer’s savviness, it can become a viable product on its own, or as part of a retailer’s arsenal. Read on to discover more about the product, the market, the hurdles, and the strategies that can help marketers navigate the tricky CBD terrain.

July 2019

Big Data revolutionized marketing with the sheer volume of consumer insights that could be gleaned from massive data sets. For years this has aided marketers in their targeting and campaign design. While big data works fantastically on large consumer groups and demographics, it lacks the ability to understand and then target the individual with personalized information more reflective of the actual buyer. Enter small data, which takes the giant store of data collected and makes it easier to analyze, act upon, and uncover consumer trends. The resources here discuss how to successfully use small data, both on its own and in concert with big data.

June 2019

Others motivating consumers to buy products is far from a new concept: from family and friends, celebrities, mascots, ambassadors, and spokespeople, all have contributed to the success of product sales and awareness. With the ubiquity of social media, “influencers” have become the nom du jour for these groups. For years, celebrities and users with millions of followers (macro-influencers) have held court; however, a saturation point has arrived to make way for a new class: micro-influencers, who have a smaller group of followers but a more loyal pre-existing fan base to share. Read on to see how micro-influencers are changing social marketing and how you can use them.

May 2019

There have been a number of innovations in online retailing – free shipping, sponsored auction listings, exclusive membership privileges, bundling, etc. – but because of this, traditional retailers have suffered a hemorrhage of store closings, bankruptcies, and decreased sales (despite increasing omnichannel tactics). Hope remains on the horizon, however, as many retails are now adopting a new tactic – the Buy Online and Pickup In-Store (BOPIS/BOPUS/BOSS/BORIS…) method, AKA Click and Collect. Read on to see how retailers are using it, and how marketers can adopt this innovation.

April 2019

Wearables have come and gone like offbeat inventions in a sci-fi movie, never quite grabbing a firm hold in consumer’s minds. However, with the explosion of Fitbit trackers, the Apple Watch, and voice assistants like Siri, the promise of integrating clothing and accessories is no longer the stuff of fantasy. This month’s Pulse looks at the future of wearable devices.

Issue 3
March 2019

Direct-to-Consumer brands and marketing has existed for years, but as whispers rather than shouts; now they are fully disrupting not only ecommerce markets but also brick- and -mortar as they move into physical realms. What are the best ways to approach marketing a D2C product? As a "legacy" brand, how does one survive amidst the disruption? The pieces here offer some perspectives.

February 2019
Over-the-top (or OTT) media services are those that bypass traditional television to deliver content. OTT leaders include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube (amongst other smaller players), and later this year, media giants such as Disney and Viacom. Navigating this unfamiliar terrain can cause marketers to shirk from the field and stick to what they know, possibly missing the opportunity to succeed in what will certainly grow to not replace but exist aside television. Read on to discover the OTT ecosystem, how consumers feel about it, how it can exist effectively aside pre-existing TV ad plans, and more.
The way consumers shop – and retailers sell – are rapidly changing as new technological advancements allow for greater flexibility and reach. In the past, these have taken the form of beacons, QR codes, mobile wallets, etc. Now tech like augmented reality, virtual reality, and hyper-specific targeting are leading the pack, providing an increasingly seamless shopping experience between retailers and consumers.

PULSE

Pulse pulls together the freshest articles, research, and insights on hot topics in the marketing industry. Curated and vetted by an ANA researcher, each issue includes only the most current and credible information available.

ISSUES

TikTok’s popularity quickly exploded on the mobile video app scene, and marketers followed suit. Recent controversies over TikTok’s data collection and privacy practices, however, have put the future of the app in the U.S. into question, and this poses a distinct loss for brands carving out a niche there. Amidst this chaos, Instagram launched a similar service – Reels – and while brands certainly want to include Instagram’s latest effort into their marketing mix, the question remains: will it be as effective as TikTok, whether it stays or goes? The resources here look at how lucrative Instagram’s Reels can be, and how to use them for marketing.

The ongoing pandemic has had a strong yet complicated impact on the development of ambient computing, which refers to the contextually aware software that can serve users without requiring explicit commands. Things like smart home, smart city, and other IoT-enabled experiences, based on technologies designed to fade into the background as part of the ambiance, are all building toward the future of ambient computing.

When AI-based algorithms were introduced to the marketing world they were an immense game changer: they upped the ante on how brands could target their existing audiences, and they sped up the process of understanding how to build new ones. As machine learning grew exponentially, however, it also lost much of its human touch. Without a balance of human input and safety checks, algorithms can adopt human biases (including hate speech), and cannot adapt fast enough to real-time crises like COVID-19. The resources here discuss how marketers can best work with algorithms to ensure they reach desired targets with efficient, optimized results, and avoid communicating the wrong messages.

Prior to the pandemic, adoption of virtual doctor visits was negligible (at just 11%, according to a McKinsey survey). Since social distancing and quarantine, however, those numbers have rocketed to 46 percent, and the comfort and ease both consumers and doctors are finding through telehealth, or telemedicine, indicate that it’s here to stay post-COVID. But the surge in telehealth begs the question: if some vital services like healthcare can be delivered virtually, what other traditionally physical industries may also find themselves delivering via cyberspace? For the moment, telehealth is ruling the space and the resources below discuss its growth, application, and future.

Brands share a unique voice that consumers pay close attention to, and marketers can choose to amplify or mute that voice. Brand responses to the COVID-19 crisis have run the gamut from sensitive to tone-deaf, and consumer perception of those brands can change as a result of their responses. As the United States struggles with racial and policing issues, what can brands do to show they are fully allied to current causes, and not just toeing the line, or worse, throwing fuel on the fire?

Organizations have undergone unprecedented changes in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses with the ability to do so have shifted to a work from home structure, which the firm Global Workplace Analytics forecasts may make up 25 to 30 percent of the workforce by 2021. But for many companies, productivity and essential tasks must be done in a physical office space. While it’s still uncertain when employees may return to their workplaces, it’s vital that leaders look into the precautions and adaptations that will be necessary in many cases to ensure the safety of their employees. The resources below discuss many of these coming possibilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an unprecedented era of change across all of humanity, from economies, governments, consumers, and businesses, to, of course, marketing and branding. While we cannot predict the state of the advertising industry once the pandemic has passed, we do know that it will be immensely changed. The resources below speculate on what preparatory measures and foresight can be taken as of today to prepare brands for an era of marketing post-COVID-19.

Consumer privacy is at an ever-increasing pitch, and a plethora of ad blockers and similar apps have already handed consumers the power to control their online experiences, at least to a certain extent. GDPR, which requires websites to obtain consumer consent before tracking cookies, has further restricted marketers’ access to consumer data. The final blow came with the announcement that Google Chrome will eliminate third-party cookies completely by 2022 – something that other browsers have already done. While initially this jarring news left marketers wondering what to do next, it has also created new opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence has already rapidly advanced automation tools, and is now taking things a step further by moving into autonomy. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reported that North American robot sales increased 5.2 percent, compared to 2018.  And while robots have already been used behind the scenes in auto and fulfillment industries, we’re now ready to see them working alongside their human counterparts. The resources in this Pulse issue explore the presence of robots in the retail space, and what marketers can expect.

A new year is an ideal time for reflection as well as anticipation of the changes that lie ahead in the marketing world. A new year allows marketers to evaluate what has been most successful in the past, honing in and perfecting what has worked and dropping what hasn’t to try and prepare for the unexpected new trends that will find their way into consumer’s and marketer’s laps. No prediction is perfect, but these resources examine what marketers can anticipate in the year ahead, and analyze what didn’t work and what won’t work again.

Our sense of belonging is considered a core attribute of human survival.  Social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn help fill that void – enabling people not only to find and connect with old friends, but also to discover new ones. However, a remarkable awakening is shifting user behavior: Consumers now recognize they are the product and that their engagement isn’t “free.” 

According to drinks market analysts ISWR, global alcohol consumption has declined by 1.6 percent, especially in sectors such as wine and beer. Spirits and other specialty drinks are on the rise, however, and IWSR actually predicts 5 percent growth in the industry over the next three years. The takeaway? Like in so many other industries, disruptors are embracing change and taking over markets that have grown stale with sameness – and they’re doing so at a time when consumers are both seeking and facing constant change. Read on to discover more about these disruptor brands and shifting consumer trends in the alcohol space.

The development of plant, seafood, or lab-based meat products – that is, “meatless meat,” – has grown notably over the past few years. Why the sudden change? There isn’t one specific reason behind the shift; rather, there are a number of health, ecological, economical, and emotional explanations for why consumers on both the vegan and meat-eating sides of the aisle are increasingly purchasing meatless foods. This issue of Pulse explores the mystery around meatless meat, examining what exactly it is, where it’s thriving, and its many future possibilities.

TikTok is the newest of hot video apps in the tradition of Vine and Snapchat before it. It originated in China before rebranding and making it way to the U.S. and the rest of the world, where it now can comfortably claim more than 500 million users. Most are young people and early adopters, begging the question: should brands already be on TikTok, utilizing it before it becomes saturated like Facebook and Instagram?

Cannabis Sativa has been used for generations in both practical and more… notorious ways. The strain that allows the creation of hemp products (textiles, food, fuel, insulation, etc.) has an increased amount of the chemical cannabidiol (CBD), while the psychoactive version has increased tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All science lessons aside, extracted CBD has been known to provide certain health relief without the effects of THC, but yet has remained barred by the FDA  -- until just recently. It now exists in flux as a saleable product in the U.S., with uses varying from state to state. It is a market exploding with potential; given a marketer’s savviness, it can become a viable product on its own, or as part of a retailer’s arsenal. Read on to discover more about the product, the market, the hurdles, and the strategies that can help marketers navigate the tricky CBD terrain.

Issue 7

July 2019

Big Data revolutionized marketing with the sheer volume of consumer insights that could be gleaned from massive data sets. For years this has aided marketers in their targeting and campaign design. While big data works fantastically on large consumer groups and demographics, it lacks the ability to understand and then target the individual with personalized information more reflective of the actual buyer. Enter small data, which takes the giant store of data collected and makes it easier to analyze, act upon, and uncover consumer trends. The resources here discuss how to successfully use small data, both on its own and in concert with big data.

Others motivating consumers to buy products is far from a new concept: from family and friends, celebrities, mascots, ambassadors, and spokespeople, all have contributed to the success of product sales and awareness. With the ubiquity of social media, “influencers” have become the nom du jour for these groups. For years, celebrities and users with millions of followers (macro-influencers) have held court; however, a saturation point has arrived to make way for a new class: micro-influencers, who have a smaller group of followers but a more loyal pre-existing fan base to share. Read on to see how micro-influencers are changing social marketing and how you can use them.

There have been a number of innovations in online retailing – free shipping, sponsored auction listings, exclusive membership privileges, bundling, etc. – but because of this, traditional retailers have suffered a hemorrhage of store closings, bankruptcies, and decreased sales (despite increasing omnichannel tactics). Hope remains on the horizon, however, as many retails are now adopting a new tactic – the Buy Online and Pickup In-Store (BOPIS/BOPUS/BOSS/BORIS…) method, AKA Click and Collect. Read on to see how retailers are using it, and how marketers can adopt this innovation.

Wearables have come and gone like offbeat inventions in a sci-fi movie, never quite grabbing a firm hold in consumer’s minds. However, with the explosion of Fitbit trackers, the Apple Watch, and voice assistants like Siri, the promise of integrating clothing and accessories is no longer the stuff of fantasy. This month’s Pulse looks at the future of wearable devices.

Issue 3

March 2019

Direct-to-Consumer brands and marketing has existed for years, but as whispers rather than shouts; now they are fully disrupting not only ecommerce markets but also brick- and -mortar as they move into physical realms. What are the best ways to approach marketing a D2C product? As a "legacy" brand, how does one survive amidst the disruption?

Over-the-top (or OTT) media services are those that bypass traditional television to deliver content. Ott leaders include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube (amongst other smaller players), and later this year, media giants such as Disney and Viacom. Navigating this unfamiliar terrain can cause marketers to shirk from the field and stick to what they know, possibly missing the opportunity to succeed in what will certainly grow to not replace but exist aside television. Read on to discover the OTT ecosystem, how consumers feel about it, how it can exist effectively aside pre-existing TV ad plans, and more.

The way consumers shop – and retailers sell – are rapidly changing as new technological advancements allow for greater flexibility and reach. In the past, these have taken the form of beacons, QR codes, mobile wallets, etc. Now tech like augmented reality, virtual reality, and hyper-specific targeting are leading the pack, providing an increasingly seamless shopping experience between retailers and consumers.

Pulse serves as an extension of the ANA’s Ask the Expert Service. ANA members are invited to submit marketing questions to our team of researchers who will respond with curated reports outlining research, data, and expert perspectives.

About ANA Marketing Futures

Knowing that marketers are increasingly challenged in their efforts to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) tasked itself with creating a program designed to help marketers anticipate—and prepare for—the future of marketing.

 

ANA Marketing Futures is what emerged. With a focus on innovative topics and emerging trends, ANA Marketing Futures provides resources that will influence and inform via member cases, research studies, and insight from industry innovators. Check back often to learn about emerging trends and become inspired to take steps toward the growth of your business.

 

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Email: marketingfutures@ana.net

 

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