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Summer 2018

Growth & Change Navigating and Maximizing the People, Tools and Resources That Drive Authentic Brand Experiences in an Ever-Evolving Digital Landscape

Spring 2018



s we start to settle into our new reality of being the only social media agency at the intersection of the largest brand

management and entertainment companies, I

continue to pinch myself at the expansiveness of our reach and access. We are leaning in and leveraging our resources to expand our capabilities, our knowledge and our teams!

As we look at GROWTH and CHANGE for us as agency, it’s about our new predictive trend analysis capability and our new influencer

data mapping resource. We hear from our clients that they are drowning in data and starving for insights, so these new specialized and proprietary tools help them understand and deconstruct the

Letter from the Founder

data so they can make strategic and informed decisions about their

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Chief Digital Officer, CAA-GBG

but also in London with our colleagues Rob Hughes, who joins our

businesses. We don’t have to shoot in the dark hoping it works, but can lean on the data coupled with the human brain and intellect to direct our actions, product launches and influencer partnerships.

Our team continues to GROW not only in New York and Los Angeles team from Adidas where he was the Global Managing Editor, and Arabella Temple! Kim Barbosa, a former colleague at Digital Brand Architects who then spent two years at Speakr, has joined the team as well to build our influencer database and direct our strategic relationship with CAA’s talent teams. We will also be returning to Cannes Lions in June hosting a round table discussion powered by Microsoft to focus on “Engaging Black

Consumers Through Social Media” (see page 18). With the GROWTH in the black community and their influence on spending, brands need to understand how to effectively engage this community.

Digital Around The World in 2018: Key statistical indicators for the world's internet, mobile and social media users. Source: Hootsuite

Now let’s look at the true GROWTH numbers in social media from the Global Digital Report 2018: •

The number of internet users is now 4 billion, up 7 percent yearon-year

The number of social media users is now 3 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year

The number of mobile phone users is now 5 billion, up 4 percent year-on-year

The more we GROW, the more we learn. We are excited to continue to evolve with the space and drive global impact for our clients. // 2 The BrainTrust Quarterly

BrainTrust CAA-GBG is a specialized digital marketing and social media agency at the pulse of culture and creativity. We partner with the world's most innovative brands, people and institutions to develop and execute data driven socially led strategies and campaigns that boost awareness, demand engagement and impact the bottom line. We are the future – nimble, fast, daring and mobile – mobile in location and mobile in technology. With a team of digital experts who have been leveraging both the social space and its consumers since its advent, we are fearless in our ability to trail blaze. We transcend the traditional agency model through the merging of our internal knowledge and extended braintrust that spans the entire marketing, communications and creative landscape. Our backgrounds combine the training and expertise of PR, Marketing and Advertising. From our leadership team to our managers and specialists, we leverage the practical application and day-to-day usage of social media and the digital marketing mix to create omni channel solutions for brands that are rooted in the evolution of consumer behavior, consumption and purchase de ined by cultural trends and global nuances. This cross pollination of execution provides a streamlined approach for our clients allowing us to push beyond the boundaries of siloed resources and one dimensional strategies. It is this foresight and forward thinking perspective that allows our agency and clients to Think Ahead and leave a mark on the world.


Summer 2018 3

Table of Contents 2

Letter from the Founder


Letter from the Editor


The Real Digital Natives: Gen Z and How to Master Their Market / by Kristi Bergeron


The Shadow Side of Change: Creating Excitement for the Inevitable / by Julie Flanders


The Rise Of Chatbots: Understanding the Personalized Artificial Intelligence of Digital Marketing / by Nicole Grossberg


Big, Bright and Delicious: Growing Social Media Trends for Food Brands / by Stephanie Dreyer


Sticking a Pin in 2018: How Luxury Brands Are Winning on Pinterest / by Danielle Garcia


New Faces at BrainTrust CAA-GBG: Kim Barbosa, Rob Hughes and Arabella Temple


How to Engage with Black Consumers through Social Media / by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

4 The BrainTrust Quarterly

Letter from the Editor Iana Kozelsky Editor-in-Chief, The BrainTrust Quarterly


very spring, I look forward to change. Nature blooming around us is a visual cue to turn introspectively. A quarter into the year, the spring months represent a checkpoint for us and our

resolutions. How have we grown since the beginning of this year? Have we been sticking to our goals? If not, what changed, and was it for the better? When we look extrospectively, we see the elements in the digital marketing and social media world evolving concurrently. We have new audiences we need to learn how to market to, we have new tools we need to learn how to use and we have new resources that we need to delegate efficiently and effectively to stay ahead of the summer heat. While this may be an unnerving cycle for some, these challenges bring uncontainable excitement for others. I am proud to boast that every single contributor in this issue of The BrainTrust Quarterly embodies the latter. How do you effectively market to Gen Z? What are Chatbots? And why are we not giving Pinterest a pass in our digital marketing strategies? You’ll find the answers to all of these questions and so much more in the following pages. Many, many thanks to everyone who has helped make our Spring 2018 issue an invaluable publication filled with unique insight, indepth analysis and secrets of the trade. Happy reading! //

Summer 2018 5

The Real Digital Natives Gen Z and How to Master Their Market by Kristi Bergeron, Vice President, Digital Strategy, BrainTrust CAA-GBG


en Z, aka. the Centennials,


the REAL digital natives and

way to curate and create identities that are Influentials and their role in helping brands

one of the most brand elusive

audience-specific and based on their needs see traction in the social space. These online

generations to-date, are the

at any given moment.

topic of marketing interests everywhere. Dominating discussions from boardrooms





a focused on deconstructing Deal-Seeking

advocates were able to influence purchase based on their followings. While the study







wasn’t focused on Gen Z, the learnings

to conferences, this powerhouse generation

identities: While millennials spend a lot of

around this influential pocket o the online

is primed to change the rules of, well,

time online curating a single identity, Gen

community were very similar. By 2020 it is


Z-ers leverage their innate knowledge of

highly probable that the average online

their audience to create multiple identities

Gen Z consumer will be just as valuable to

Why? Because their spending power - with

in the digital space. From their @insta, to

brands as a traditional influencer.

or without a bank account - is in the billions.

their @finsta, to other ancillary accounts

This creates a huge opportunity for brands

that let them play, create and be whoever

to not only capture additional market

they want to be, wherever they want to be

They are not Brand Loyalists: Perhaps the scariest thing to traditional marketers

share but to also change the way entire

it, Gen Zers are not afraid to be chameleons


households think about their products via

of self-expression and personal identity, and

fickle when it comes to the behavior of

their interests.

behave as such in the given space.

brand loyalty. They grew up on the heels






of fast fashion, a high-low mix and of course instant retail gratification via the

new audience, here are seven characteristics

They are the ultimate content creators: Gen Z-ers spend 74 percent of their free

embodied by the everyday Gen Z consumer:

time online, and as a result they are native

of brands and created a fundamental shift

creators to the space. Not only do they know

in the way they behave as consumers.

how to document their every move online,

Brands are no longer means of tribal

but they do it in ways that are original to

identity. Instead they are resources Gen Z-

the platform, taking advantage of up-and-

ers use to create, play and express their

of past generations when it comes to the

coming tools and curating content they feel

“best selves," whichever version they are

internet and privacy. They understand who

is relevant to their audiences. While this

into at the moment.

is watching them and where they are being

will create challenges for brands, it will also

watched, but that doesn’t mean they shy

create endless opportunities (...just keep

away from sharing. It doesn’t even mean


To help marketers better understand this

The need/love for privacy shapes their online identity: Gen Z-ers have the benefit of leveraging the mistakes and warnings

internet. This has democratized their view

24/7 Access = They are born woke: The internet has connected the dots for Gen Z both globally and culturally in a way that

that safety is their primary concern. It just means that they move and share differently

They are the ultimate influencers: Experian

than their predecessors. They leverage

released a marketing study in 2014 that

was not even possible for prior generations. Because of their digitally-native roots and 24/7 access, any information they need

6 The BrainTrust Quarterly

4 Principles for Mastering Gen Z Marketing is available to them in an instant. While marketers and internet memes love to assume this means their feeds are filled with Bottle Flippers, Fidget Spinners and YouTube beauty tutorials, in reality their capacity for information spans far beyond personal entertainment. When it comes to issues of real importance, they are educated, fearless and unafraid of people and cultures to which they don’t have realworld access. As a result, they demand and will continue to demand authenticity and progressive viewpoints from brands with whom they choose to engage. They






moment: Only a small portion of the Gen Z-ers can actually transact when it comes to purchases, but their buying power is strong via their influence of household purchases. Most importantly, their inability to swipe something with their name on it won’t last for much longer. At BrainTrust CAA-GBG we are committed to helping brands capture this rising target audience early. For more information on potential collaborations please contact Kristi Bergeron, kristibergeron@


Start now and think long-term: Because Gen Z-ers are native to both digital and social, their footprint is diverse and dispersed across a variety of platforms. As a result, finding and marketing to Gen Z-ers is more challenging than traditional targeting. This requires marketers to start early, research more, experiment often and spend their time and energy using short-form, quick content marketing to build long-term brand affinity among these up-andcoming consumers.


Think micro not macro: Micro audiences are something Gen Z creates and champions every day. Brands need a playbook for always-on micro-marketing strategies which allows them to be front and center with Gen Z in day-to-day online conversations.


Rethink brand loyalty: As advertisers and brands with a product to sell, it’s tempting to find this lack of loyalty intimidating and even discouraging. However, the brands who are able to grab the loyalty of this consumer will be the ones who learn to rethink what loyalty means. For former generations, brand loyalty has often come on the heels of the right message targeted to the right consumer at the right time. While these guiding principles may not change, Gen Z-ers are likely to be loyal to brands who are tapping into their wants, particularly as it relates to their desire to play and create on digital platforms. What does this look like in real life? Easy. Your products should be secondary to their need to create. Offering your products as tools will get you further faster and generate a deep love of your brand over time.


Quicker. Faster. Less Precious: Because they are instinctive content creators, Gen Z-ers' expectations of branded content are different from the generations that have come before them. Essentially, they can do anything you can do better. So don’t try. Give into the rise of ephemeral content and leverage UGC over brand created content for big wins, fast. //

Summer 2018 7

The Shadow Side of Change Creating Excitement for the Inevitable by Julie Flanders, Leadership Coach and Consultant


n theory, people love change. In practice,

1997: 36 percent of adults went online.

not so much. Witness Snapchat's recent

1998: 41 percent of adults went online

The majority of people take time

Now, we live online. It’s how we shop, how

work to create excitement rather

change of user interface and the terrible

backlash it caused.

we meet and mate, and how we vote. It’s

Not just Kylie Jenner's response, a single

how we learn. Just try to remember what it

tweet that caused a loss of $1.3 billion of

was like before “google” was a verb.

stock value overnight, but also the negative response of

83 percent of polled users

who essentially screamed “Give Me My Old Snapchat Back."

to catch up. So how can change than agitation? How can brands and companies adapt without alienating their customers or users? Here are

For most people, the pace of change and

some considerations:

deluge of disruption is overwhelming and


stressful, affecting every aspect of their dayto-day lives and economies. And it’s not the










company or customers to adopt or

Change, disruption, progress - whatever we

specifics of the rapid changes, necessarily,

respond to?

call it, technology has been accelerating the

but just the fact of change itself being so

pace at which we must constantly adjust,

unyielding toward uncertainty.

Why now? What should be the

adapt and reinvent.

Many changes are

positive and customers love them.

So much of change is very positive. Who


Why is it important? How can you

doesn't love having everything they want

test it?

But change by its nature is a disruption of

"appear" from the touch of a button on

what is familiar, habitual, comforting. And

Amazon or being able to reach out and

What will happen if you don’t

humans are built to both seek and resist it.

communicate with most anyone, anywhere

The positive side of change is novelty, freshness, evolution, excitement. The shadow side of change is stress, feelings of loss and unpredictability.

any time by way of Twitter, Instagram, and, well, yes Snapchat? Who would want to live now without Zappos, Uber, Seamless or Rent The Runway? Change is inevitable and desirable. The

change? What are the possibilities if you do?

Who are the stakeholders in the

change? How might their interests compete?

What are the downsides of this change for those stakeholders?

Today, change is so fast, in just a couple

full impact of AI, VR, and AR are just on the

of decades the whole world can become

horizon. But those leading the charge tend

What are the upsides?

unrecognizable. For example, for a college

to adapt more easily than the ordinary Joe

How will you communicate the

graduate right now, a mobile device is a

or Jane.

change? How will you invite buy-in?

The majority of people take time to catch

What will your process for feedback

part of their body, whereas for their parents, most grew up in a house with a dial phone.

up. So how can change work to create


To give a sense of the speed of change,

excitement rather than agitation? How

How will you measure and incorporate

according to the Pew Research Center...

can brands and companies adapt without

1996: 23 percent of adults went online.

alienating their customers or users?

8 The BrainTrust Quarterly

what happens? //


hatbots are on the rise, and they will only become more and more prominent as we dive head-first into the digital revolution. Although this technology is still in its infancy, there are a multitude of brands that have adapted this technology. The concept of integrating artificial intelligence in online media began when Ray Kurzweil, an inventor turned machineintelligence futurist, originally met with Google's CEO Larry Page to discuss his book. Page ended up hiring Kurzweil to run the engineering department at Google and help develop their AI and Deep Learning software. What they are doing is essentially mimicking the capabilities of the human brain. According to a technology review by MIT, the idea is that software can simulate the neocortex’s large array of neurons in an artificial “neural network.� This incredible technology is actually decades old, but

The Rise of Chatbots Understanding the Personalized Artificial Intelligence of Digital Marketing by Nicole Grossberg, Senior Manager, BrainTrust CAA-GBG because of improvements in recent years scientists have made leaps and bounds with this development. What exactly does that mean for marketers? It offers the consumer a more efficient and favorable experience when they are online shopping. More e-commerce sites are increasingly embedding chat functionality into their websites, which means users can shop and talk with customer service all in the same place. Because of this one-onone personalized shopping experience, the consumer will be less likely to get distracted

and abandon their cart in the middle of their retail therapy session. In addition to e-commerce sites, social media platforms have also been integrating Chatbots into their customer service strategy. Users have almost become programmed to look to social media to amplify their voice when they have questions or issues with their purchases or experiences. Facebook Messenger especially has proven to be an effective resource, allowing businesses to develop AI code to seamlessly interact with consumers who engage with them.

Some examples of companies that are doing a great job with Chatbots are: Whole Foods: Users can search for recipes,

Aerie: Select products via This or That:

Starbucks: 2 words; Virtual. Bartisa. Now

products or gather food inspiration without

you're presented with two product images,

you can order completely customizable

having to leave Facebook Messenger.

and you select the one that most suits your

drinks, pastries and food before you even

body type and preferences. After a few

head to the store. You can pay through the

rounds, the bot is able to make personalized

app, jump the line upon your arrival to and

product recommendations based on your

head straight to the bar to pick up your


completed order.

At BrainTrust CAA-GBG, we believe brands have an unprecedented opportunity add a personal touch to their customer experience on social media with a fully-automated technology. For information on chatbot strategies and development, please contact Nicole Grossberg, // Summer 2018 9

Big, Bright and Delicious Growing Social Media Trends for Food Brands by Stephanie Dreyer, Senior Director, BrainTrust CAA-GBG


he world of food on social media is big, bright and delicious. From tantalizing

food porn to must-see Tastemade videos, the opportunities for food brands to engage with customers on social have only just begun to surface. These social media trends are critical for food marketers to leverage if they are going to win on social in 2018 and beyond.

10 The BrainTrust Quarterly


Photogenic Food: It goes without saying that food brands must deliver Instagram-worthy food with every photo, but with the

growing influence of social platforms, the importance of presentation


Live Video Content: Video already dominates on social media channels (with no signs of stopping), but live video

specifically is on the rise. With recent statistics demonstrating that

has been taken to the next level. Food brands are now challenged

YouTube alone receives over 30 million visitors a day, consuming 5

with producing content that not only tastes great, but also enhances

billion videos daily, brands are being challenged to engage with their

the brand’s social media presence and aesthetic. These images are

customers with new tools and content. Facebook Live, mini YouTube

part of the brand’s story and consumers are watching closely for the

documentaries, and Instagram Story videos are all ways brands are

next bite.

using video to personalize their consumer relationships and engage in new ways.


Ephemeral Content: Short-lived, fleeting content that is available on social channels for only a short time continues to

grow. Brands are leveraging Snapchat and Instagram Stories, while discovering unique ways to share content. The ability to publish videos and photos in real time is a powerful tool that has only begun to be explored by food brands.


Food Journeys: As eco-conscious consumers eagerly look for opportunities to improve the health of their bodies and the

planet, urban farming and sustainable living are concepts that are demonstrating their presence in the food social media landscape. The “farm-to-table” concept isn’t new, but the importance of how

Good-looking food from Breville's Instagram aims to promote the kitchen appliance company's product that peels and dices food.


Experiential Content: As critical as food shots are, food brands are also stepping up their lifestyle game. Social stories are

shifting to not only share products, but also to create an experience with those products. Although it is all about the food, it is also more than just the food. Food brands must discover ways to use their products as a backdrop to create social-worthy food experiences.


“Day in the Life” Partnerships: As a focus on experiential

Café Gratitude, a chain of restaurants serving organic plant-based food, boasts its local farm-fresh ingredients on its social media channels.

content rises, brands are collaborating with influencers to

brands bring consumers with them to the table is increasing. Sharing

showcase slices of their lives. Companies are looking to influencers to

the food journey will be just as important as the finished plate. This

lead their content strategy by sharing Instagram Stories, live content,

opens the door to new and undiscovered content as brands create

and video about how they realistically use their products. They

new ways to share their product story.

want authentic and organic content that captures the influencer’s experience with the brand.


Chatbots: Consumers prefer directly messaging brands and expect businesses to be open 24/7. Customer service is critical

in this social media world where you are “always on.” To meet the demand, brands have begun to incorporate AI-powered chatbots to automate and personalize their marketing funnels. The technology is more accessible than ever before with Facebook’s Messenger Platform. Brands can now develop their own chatbots to assist with lead generation, customer service, and product feedback. Beyond

Instagram Stories by Tastemade, a video network that produces viral food programming for online audiences, offers its followers a quick glimpse into lunch for the day.

this critical role as a business tool, the opportunities for food brands to engage with their consumers are just beginning to develop. Customized menus, curated recipes featuring the brand’s products, wine pairing recommendations, and suggested grocery lists are just a few examples of the possibilities for food marketers. // Summer 2018 11

Sticking a Pin in 2018 How Luxury Brands Are Winning on Pinterest by Danielle Garcia, Associate Manager, BrainTrust CAA-GBG

12 The BrainTrust Quarterly


want to let you in on a secret: luxury

window shopping and researching luxury

brands are winning on social and it’s


thanks in a large part to Pinterest. It is one

of the most underrated social platforms, and integral to social media strategies for brands reaching millennial customers. This year alone Pinterest has refined its search engine, offered new trend forecasting tools, and armed brands with savvy insights to

Just ask Hunter Boots. When the high-end rain boot and outerwear brand launched its Core Concept collection on Pinterest, it saw a 30 percent increase on platform branded searches. This campaign included short and long form video content that received

maximize audience reach. No longer a

incredibly high view results — on average,

into a visual search tool with a keen

Thanks to Pinterest’s expanded interest

visual social network, Pinterest has evolved

viewers watched 47 percent of each video.

understanding of audience behavior.

targeting capabilities, brands like Hunter

Why are luxury brands leveraging Pinterest?

moments that warrant big ticket purchases.

Because 57 percent of U.S. millennials use it to research, plan, and now purchase directly from the platform. More than a quarter of these users have a household income of or above $150,000, positioning Pinterest as the optimal platform for social-savvy luxury brands.

can reach shoppers during important life

In addition to interest targeting, Pinterest has recently launched several other tactical solutions for brands to reach millennial audiences. It’s a contrast from 2016, when the platform was heavily focused on awareness. When Pinterest’s Global Head of Sales Jon Kaplan spoke to eMarketer in

Did you know that millennials now represent

2016, he said “Pinterest search happens at

the largest group of luxury shoppers in the

the earliest stages of the person’s decision-

U.S. and account for nearly half of upscale

making process. We see search activity in

shoppers? There is probably a joke in there about millennials spending too much

a number of categories well before search activity happens on traditional search

on avocado toast, but I digress. Luxury

engines. People may ultimately convert on

shoppers are using Pinterest as a search

Google or other places, but we hope we

engine for their shopping hauls, helping

can be a place where the initial discovery

generate 2 billion searches each month,

of ideas can happen." Now two years later,

according to eMarketer. 67 percent of users

Pinterest is closing sales and, as Shareaholic

say they have discovered new brands and

and Hootsuite report, the platform is

products on Pinterest, and those searches

responsible for approximately 5 percent

are luxe. In 2017 alone, 101 million luxury

of all referral traffic. Facebook still drives

Pins were saved by 29.7 million people with

about 25 percent of all referral web traffic,

the most popular saved categories included

but Pinterest is second in ranking. Other

handbags, shoes, and jewelry.

social networks (including Twitter, Google+,

Millennials are especially receptive to branded content on Pinterest because

and StumbleUpon), bring in less than 1 percent of referral traffic across the web.

they approach the social network looking

Pinterest has grown and developed into

for inspiration and brand guidance. Unlike


other social media platforms where user

experience since its launch in 2010. As

objectives vary, Pinterest is a designated







social and

space for future-oriented aspirations. 75

offers more strategic insights for marketing

percent of millennial Pinners say they like

partners, socially-inclined brands should

when a brand inspires them to reach their

continue investing in the visual search

potential, and 63 percent say Pinterest

platform, and consider it a key player in

helps them discover new brands or products

the marketing mix alongside the likes of

to buy — and there is an opportunity for

Facebook and Google.

brands when millennials begin online

continued on page 14...

Summer 2018 13

Here are three of the newest tools Pinterest has rolled out for brands to reach their customers:


Possibilities Planner: Pinterest recently launched the Possibilities Planner, a tool for brands to see what life moments are most important to Pinners and when they begin their searches. Early tests reveal that advertisers are seeing 50 percent

increases in their click-through rates thanks to these insights, and 20 percent more cost-effective clicks. Pinterest reports they see "robust customer engagement" with the fashion, beauty and wedding categories in particular.

14 The BrainTrust Quarterly


Lens: Pinterest made headway in 2017 with the launch of Lens, the camera search tool optimal for

assisting online searches of offline discoveries, but 2018 is seeing the fruits of that labor. Over 600 million visual searches are made every month (140 percent growth from last year) with Lens. This tech is evolving into a category expert on Pinterest searches, which means optimal data and learnings for clothing, culinary, and home brands. “The visual search technology now understands more than five times as many things as it did a year ago. This means that you can now search for recipes, clothes, and countless objects for your home with increasing accuracy," according to the online forum Search Engine Watch. Pinterest has become more than a destination for wedding inspiration. It has grown into a shopping tool for the moments when traditional search is not enough.


Taste Graph: Trend forecasting is making strides with Pinterest’s Taste Graph. The company boasts

they hold the world’s largest collection of curated clicks. With more than 100 billion Pins, it can see purchases are planned 2–4 months in advance of sale. This timeline is far ahead of other social media platforms, and allows brands to shift and optimize their content strategy for key selling periods like Black Friday and the Back to School season. These understandings are identified based on a yearover-year interest gain, (50 percent or higher), critical mass (more than 250,000 saves), and an upward trend during the final 3–6 months of the year (sans seasonal spikes). // The team at BrainTrust CAA-GBG is committed to developing strategies for brands to maximize their presence on Pinterest. For more information, please contact Danielle Garcia,

Spring 2018


Why did you make the transition to BrainTrust CAA-GBG? The BrainTrust team is an amazing group of innovative thinkers, creatives and leaders in the social media space. Having worked for Kendra in the past, I know her drive and trust her instincts. I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the team to impact the business and help develop the influencer relations department. How do you stay on top of digital and social media trends?

Kim Barbosa

Senior Director, Influencer Relations, CAA-GBG Los Angeles Office


im leads the influencer team at BrainTrust CAA-GBG with a focus on data and an audience-first approach

to content. She joins the team from Speakr, the global influencer enterprise solution, where she facilitated top talent and brand partnership deals as the head of the Influencer Development department. With a career that began at Ogilvy & Mather, Kim has almost a decade of experience working in the digital and social media landscape. She has created and executed programs for a variety of top brands such as Microsoft, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Ascena Retail Group, and The Madison Square Garden Company.

Our industry is rapidly evolving so my morning





latest updates from industry blogs and newsletters, and listening to podcasts. I’m a member of Women In Influencer Marketing (WIMM) as well as various other networking groups, where I connect with like-minded individuals to discuss emerging trends in the space. On top of relevant industry news and networking, I stay on top of what’s happening in art, fashion, culture, as well as the world and how it shapes our industry. What trends are you seeing in influencer marketing? 2017 was the year we began to integrate micro-influencers into campaigns. It stopped being just about reach, and the industry refocused on authenticity and analytics. Today, the focus continues to be more performance driven and about integrating across all marketing campaigns for a more personal

She continues to stay on the forefront of

approach. Paid social is now a crucial

digital trends by creating effective influencer

component. Brands who promote influencer

marketing campaigns and leveraging data

content are seeing a stronger ROI from

to guide conversations between influencers

influencer-generated content. Another trend

and consumers.

is brands forming longer relationships with

New Faces at BrainTrust CAA-GBG 16 The BrainTrust Quarterly

a small and dedicated group of influencers, establishing consumer trust. In addition, another huge focus has been on social responsibility. Both brands and influencers want to make sure they are collaborating with like-minded and socially-conscious partners.

Why did you make the transition to BrainTrust CAA-GBG? To setup a leading global digital practice. What are you most excited to do at BT? Explore messenger and BOT technology on behalf of our clients. What is a past project that makes you proud? I’m really proud of the video project my team did with Weight Watchers during my time at another agency. I ran that project from start to finish, and it came out amazing!

Rob Hughes

Director, PR & Digital, CAA-GBG London Office


How do you stay on top of digital/social trends? Twitter, largely. Most news and trends break via this platform first.

he European division is led by Rob




What are some of the top social media

Managing Editor for Adidas who

trends you are seeing in the UK and Europe?

previously worked across all categories

Dark social and messenger apps. These

for the brand including two FIFA World

are the future of the industry and it’s very

Cups, two Olympics, two UEFA European

interesting to see how progressive, early

Championships and multiple high-profile

adopter brands are using this space to

icon campaigns including Leo Messi, Paul

communicate with their consumers.

Pogba and Kanye West. Since leaving the brand Rob has worked with a wide variety of

Who is your social media spirit animal?

talent including David Gandy, Maro Itjoe and

Peter Crouch. He is refreshingly funny…

Naomie Harris to support their needs from a PR and Digital perspective.

Arabella Temple

Why did you make the transition to BrainTrust

Associate Manager, CAA-GBG London Office

CAA-GBG? To work on more digital based projects. What are you most excited to do at BT? Explore different social platforms, and


rabella moved to London from New York, where she was studying Interna-

tional Trade & Marketing at Fashion Institute of Technology. She was born and raised in Hong Kong and has always had a passion for talent, brands and all things digital. Arabella has been working at CAA-GBG closely with global talent in PR & Digital.

working with new global talent and brands. What are some of the top social media trends you are seeing in the UK and Europe? The use of Youtube and messenger apps. Who is your social media spirit animal? Jesse Jo Stark. Her style is everything.

Summer 2018 17

How to Engage with Black Consumers through Social Media by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Chief Digital Officer, CAA-GBG


lack buying power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to a report from the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. That’s well north of 300 percent growth since 1990 when black buying power was $320 billion.

There is no question about the impact, value, and role black customers have in shaping and driving the growth of our economy. However, the audience still seems elusive to so many brands. An important question is: How do you engage this audience effectively without turning anyone off, dabbling in misappropriation, or alienating other customers? The key is social media, which has propelled black consumers into the spotlight and epicenter of culture. And this has been fueled by their dominance online.

Here are some foundational tips to most effectively engage this vital demographic: Identify your key black consumer

listening campaign to hone in on consumers’ behaviors online and

Just because someone is black does not mean he or she is your target

where they show up.

customer. Trying to draw a bulls-eye on the entire black consumer market is unrealistic and antiquated. Strategize about exactly whom

Content is king, but only if it matters

are you trying to reach. Black millennials? Gen Z? Baby boomers?

Long form, short form, videos, memes. What’s in your marketing

Urban or city dwellers? Hone in on those key attributes, first and

arsenal to target black consumers? Consider this: high-income


African-American consumers are also much more receptive to mobile advertising than high-income white consumers.

Black consumers come in many forms and are a multifaceted consumer set. The objective must go deeper than “I want to

Nielsen reports that black households making more than $100,000

reach black customers.” Apple bought Beats by Dre to target a

are significantly more likely than white households with similar

specific black customer, one of the 71 percent of African-American

incomes to think mobile advertising provides useful information

consumers who own a smartphone. P&G’s My Black is Beautiful

about both new products and bargains. Your content must represent

campaign targets girls and young women. Coca-Cola’s The Kitchen

your target customer. Putting a black model that has no relevancy

Table seeks to reach black mothers.

to the product or campaign in an ad for the sake of checking a box doesn’t work.

How do you do this? Create a social audit and develop robust archetype mapping by customer target.

Know your target consumer’s social footprint

Sally Beauty leverages an African-American Influencer and licensed cosmetologist, Monica Stevens of Mo Knows Hair, to create content and attend events on its behalf to specifically speak to the needs of

Where is your customer online? What is his or her primary social

their customers with natural hair. The brand’s ads reflect real people,

network? What online content is he or she consuming the most?

store employees, and influencers to bring a level of authenticity and

Focus your marketing dollars where your target is. Activate a social

organic connectivity with their products.

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Your content matrix should be equal parts of the right media mix and alignment with the correct visual representation of your customer. You have to test, measure, and expand your messaging and content across various media formats. Track, listen, and learn what content drives the most engagement and conversion.

A few more helpful things to remember Presently,










on and


white consumers, according to Pew Research Center. 55 percent of black millennials say they spend an hour or more daily on social networking sites, according to Nielsen. 63 percent of African Americans use Facebook to communicate with family at least once a day and 60 percent do so with friends, compared with 53 percent and 54 percent, respectively, of the entire U.S. population, according to AdWeek. Black consumers will continue to amplify their reach and relevancy across social media. As cultural trendsetters and inormed shoppers, their influence and importance in our economy is stronger than ever. As such, brands have to sharpen their strategies to best engage them. //

BrainTrust CAA-GBG invites you to a special round table conversation and breakfast to create a dialogue that further explores “How to Engage Black Consumers Through Social Media". Moderated by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, the discussion will take place at Cannes Lions on June 20th 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM in the Microsoft Lounge. To attend, please RSVP to as space is limited. This article was originally published by Earned Media Rising in February 2018.

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BT Quarterly - Summer 2018  
BT Quarterly - Summer 2018