A Personalized Future, with Mike Barclay of MoEngage

Personalization in marketing is nothing new; since the dawn of the internet, brands have been able to customize messaging to specific groups or even individuals. However, we haven’t always used this engagement superpower for good. Many brands have been guilty of getting a little too personal and creeping out their customers in the process. But today’s guest says there’s a bright future for personalization as a cornerstone to modern marketing. Mike Barclay of MoEngage joined the pod to discuss the highs and lows of personalization, and what brands born before the dawn of the internet can do to get in on the personalization game.

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QR Codes: Are they Back for Real This Time?

QR Codes are an extension of the barcode, and were first introduced as a way for manufacturers to scan larger amounts of data quickly. By 2011, retailers and tradeshows were able to take advantage of smartphone technology to utilize QR codes in their inventories, badging, and check-ins — and slowly there emerged consumer usage in the form of online offers.
The process, however, was clunky and involved third-party app software to get QR Codes to work. Fast forward to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic raged, and the need for contactless interaction became paramount. It was during this time that QR Code technology could now exist on everything from packaging to OOH signage, and with a simple hover of a smartphone’s camera send consumers to microsites, check-in pages, and offers.
This has allowed marketers to take advantage of QR Codes in ways previously unthought of; however, like most technologies, there are privacy and safety issues to be aware of — and the current speed and ease of QR Code usage means large untapped potential for marketers in the future as well. Read on to see how marketers are using them and addressing issues with QR Codes.

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Pulse Issue 29

A Rose By Any Other Name: The Evolution of Brand Reputation and Accountability in the Era of Cancel Culture

May 2021

By Josch Chodakowsky, Senior Manager, Research & Innovation at Ask the Expert
By Josch Chodakowsky, Research Manager at Ask the Expert
No matter which side of the cancel culture debate you may fall on, the impact it has for brands hasn’t essentially changed from any other previous form of accountability companies have faced. Consumers expect brands to act, at the least consistently with the values they espouse, and studies continue to show that a brand’s reputation and trust amongst consumers increase when they’re doing good for society, whether that’s through sustainability initiatives or in the ways they’re helping communities. The proliferation of social channels and digital accessibility has only amplified consumers’ voices, and the power they yield today (made clear by how effective influencer marketing has proven to be how effective influencer marketing has proven to be) shows that brands can’t afford to ignore them. But if consumers are more aware than ever about a brand’s actions, then now as never before brands need to be more self-aware of how they interact with the world around them. The resources collected here aim to help marketers navigate this evolution in accountability:
The motivations behind cancel culture are not likely to diminish any time soon; in the last few years, consumers’ ethical standards for brands and the desire to hold brands accountable have only heightened. One of the biggest learnings from 2020 is that there will always be a “next normal” to challenge how people think about corporate social responsibility and brand ethics. As culture continues to evolve and change, so must brands. The brands that proactively adapt their business practices around the concept of accountability, instead of waging war on cancel culture, will be poised for the future.
Although the term “cancel culture” is still hotly debated, the rise of stakeholder accountability is undeniable. Today, brands must learn how to navigate this new norm before one misstep puts them in a social media firestorm. Sustainable Brands; webinar session featured research from Porter Novelli (first explored here) on how individuals are using the act of cancel culture to hold brands accountable, the mechanics of corporate cancel culture in society today, and how leading with Purpose can help mitigate future cancellations. A panel of experts from across industries also spoke  more about how organizations are addressing this cultural phenomenon – or at times – approaching hot-button issues head on.
In the era of cancel culture, one poorly thought-out message can do sudden and severe damage to a brand. But marketers today find themselves on the hook for more than just what brands say to the world. Bad executive behavior, supply chain issues, and poorly thought-out operational decisions (such as the dynamiting of sacred sites), can quickly damage brands, professional reputations, and the bottom line. For marketers, this means they can add mop-and-bucket duty to their existing long list of responsibilities. There is no shortage of brands that have faced consumer backlash for ill thought-out statements and actions. What has changed, however, is the speed at which that backlash can occur, and how far its impact can reach. In this article from IDG’s CMO imprint, marketers and thought leaders share how brand custodians need to rethink reputation and crisis management in the face of growing cultural and societal consumer expectations.
With cancel culture running rampant, customer care has never been more important. How do we stay atop of our constantly evolving technology to keep our businesses in sync? How can we make sure that the technology we are using is accessible, inclusive, and not extractive? Media Village was joined by Zendesk's Kathy Dalpes, an innovative vice president of global customer support with more than 20 years of experience driving operations success for industry leaders like Spotify, eBay, Skype, AT&T, outsourcing leader SITEL Corporation, and global leader in connectivity solutions, BELKIN. Zendesk makes customer service better keeping both internal and external customer bases happy.
Are you an ANA member with a research request? Contact Ask the Expert to submit your question.

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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