Digital Marketing

Casper Influencers Move Mattresses, but the IPO Filing Says They’re Not All Sweet Dreams

Online mattress seller Casper Sleep filed for an initial public offering with an unusual warning for potential investors: It uses influencers for marketing. Influencers, people with large online followings whom Casper pays to test and talk about its mattresses, “may materially and adversely affect our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties,” the company said in a prospectus on Friday. Because Casper derives the majority of its sales from internet marketing, it relies on influencers on Instagram and YouTube to spread the word about its products. But influencers are often marketing amateurs, posting without a brand’s direct approval over their work. They may fail to properly disclose payment for a post—a lapse that has caused the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to fine other bran...

Adtech told to keep calm and fix its ‘lawfulness’ problem

Six months after warning that the real-time bidding (RTB) component of programmatic online advertising is wildly out of control — i.e. in a breaking the law sense — the U.K.’s data protection watchdog has marked half a year’s regulatory inaction with a blog post that entreats the adtech industry to come up with a solution to an “industry problem.”  Casual readers of the ICO’s pre-Christmas message for European law-flouting adtech might be forgiven for thinking it looks a lot like the regulator telling the industry to “keep calm and carry on regulating yourselves.” More informed readers, who understand that RTB is a process which (currently) entails systematic, privacy eviscerating high-velocity trading of people’s personal data fo...

Why D2C holding companies are here to stay

Alex Song Contributor Share on Twitter Alex is CEO and co-Founder of Innovation Department, a tech-empowered platform building the next generation of consumer brands. Previously, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Pershing Square Capital Management. It wasn’t that long ago that digitally-native, vertically-integrated brands (DNVBs) were the talk of the startup world. Venture capitalists and founders watched as Warby Parker, Casper, Glossier, Harry’s and Honest Company became the belles of the D2C ball, trotting their way towards unicorn valuations. Not long after, the “startup studio” was unmasked as the elusive unicorn breeding grounds (think Hims). Today, there’s yet another buzzword that’s all the rage and it goes by the name “D2C Holding Company.” And it’s not going away anytime soon. What...

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Share on Twitter Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” has been welcomed as a thoughtful and statesmanlike contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s greedy acceptance of “political ads that lie.” While the 240-character policy sounds compelling, it’s both flawed in principle and, I fear, counterproductive in practice.  First: like it or hate it, the U.S. political system is drowning in money. In 2018, a non-presidential year, it is estimated that over $9B was spent on the...

Breaking Silos: Passive Consumption + Active Engagement FTW!

Today something complex, advanced, that is most applicable to those who are at the edges of spending money, and thus have an intricate web of internal and external teams to deliver customer engagement and business success. The Marketing Industrial Empire is made up of number of components. If you consider the largest pieces, there is the internal (you, the company) and the external (agencies, consultants). If you consider entities, you’ve got your media agency, your creative agency, your various advertising agencies, your website and retail store teams, your analysts, marketers, advertising experts, the UX teams, campaign analysts, fulfillment folks, the data analysts who are scattered throughout the aforementioned entities, the CMO, CFO, and hopefully your CEO. And I'm only talking a...