Good morning, is your Pinterest content reaching the people who want it? 

Pinterest rolled out a new “Home Feed Tuner” setting on Tuesday, giving users more control over the content they see in their home feeds. The tool displays the boards, topics, followed accounts and recent history activity that determines content recommendations.

For brands on the platform, the new setting could enable higher engagement from users interested in a brand’s Pins. If users are able to adjust the signals that impact their home feed recommendations, Pinterest’s algorithm will more accurately surface the types of content users actually want to see. 

In email marketing news, DigiCert, Inc. has issued the first Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) to ­– a move that will enable the company to participate in upcoming trials of the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). VMC is a new digital certificate that validates the authenticity of the brand logo attached to an email sender’s domain, providing marketers with the ability to increase their brands’ online presence, increase brand recognition and establish trust amongst email recipients. While the BIMI standard requires validated logos, it currently does not use VMC. The Verified Mark Certificate is expected to become a requirement for brands adopting the BIMI email standard.

There’s more to read below, including a Soapbox on why a solid marketing strategy is essential for good creative. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


Hope is not a marketing strategy

Building a corporate, product or service brand – or planning any go-to-market activity in support of that brand (campaign, website, content, etc.) – in the absence of a strategy is like building a house without a solid foundation.

Creative must be grounded in a sound strategy, underpinned by a singular insight about the audience. This means going deeper – figuring out the intrinsic human need that’s driving the consumer, and showing how you’ll meet that need or solve that pain point. Look at the data available to you, get the data that isn’t, and plan things out in a way that makes sense.

Why bother? Strategy empowers creativity. When you give a creative team a strategic, authentic and singular insight, they’ll push the creative that much further. Creative teams need a defined sandbox to work in; otherwise, the unlimited choice and scope can be paralyzing and actually stifle great work. Context is always king. Without a sound strategy upfront to inspire the creative, you often get – at best – mediocre, unsuccessful creative tactics in search of a strategy. At worst, you get a poor buyer’s journey and a brand experience that ticks people off. And once you lose someone’s interest, it’s very hard (and expensive) to win it back.

When it comes to effective marketing, a big spend and eye-catching creative isn’t enough; spending time and money on strategic planning is the key to success and worth the investment.

– Theresa Forman, President of McMillan

Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share their observations and opinions about our industry. Read more Soapbox features – and submit your own.


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On the Move

New agency hires at Marketing Architects, Liquid Omnicommerce and Marketsmith Inc.

The Minneapolis-based TV ad agency Marketing Architects has hired Marin Suska as its new VP of client growth. Suska was the agency’s former director of media services and is now returning after serving in various marketing roles at multiple agencies, including Haworth Marketing + Media, The Nerdery and Digital River. “Marketing Architects is a different agency than the one I knew working on the media team years ago,” said Suska, “The strategic nature of how this agency does business with clients, the colossal shift from radio to TV, and the greater goals lying ahead all played a role in my interest in returning to be a part of something big.”

Richard Nicoll has been named chief commerce officer and managing director at Liquid Omnicommerce, a Dubai-based retail consultancy. In his new role, Nicoll will be responsible for driving regional growth and enhancing the agency’s offerings. “He is the real pioneer of shopper marketing in the UAE,” said Liquid Omnicommerce Founder Sachinnn Laala, “With a wealth of experience in highly competitive global markets, the insights he will bring will benefit our clients tremendously.” Before joining Liquid Commerce, Nicoll served as the chief shopper marketing officer for Publicis Communications in Asia. 

Marketsmith Inc., a woman-owned marketing agency in New Jersey has added three new hires to its executive team this month. Jo Maggiore has joined the agency as Creative Director, Samantha Foy has been named senior director of digital media and Rachel Schulties is the new VP of client performance. “We have brought in strong, accomplished women who each bring something unique to us, but all embrace data, analytics and modeling,” said Marketsmith President Rob Bochicchio, “More importantly, these leaders have made their mark with great clients and bring that expertise to Marketsmith to take outcomes for our client partners to a whole new level.” Before joining the agency, Maggiore was the director of digital creative at GNC. Foy previously worked at Active International and Schulties was in managed services at Digital Media Solution. 


Behind The Scenes At SMX East

Search Marketing Expo – SMX East – is coming to NYC November 13-14! This show features the BIGGEST agenda we’ve ever assembled. With 100+ search marketing presentations covering SEO, SEM, agency operations, multi-location search, video, content, analytics, and beyond, picking one thing to be excited about is no easy task. But that’s exactly the question we asked the Search Engine Land editors and SMX agenda programmers…

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What We're Reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

The Art of Audience-Driven Marketing: Stop Selling Products, Start Building Audiences – CMS Wire

Advertisers are pushing the limits of how they make money from agencies – Digiday

Why Focus On Customer Experience? Here’s Why. – Forbes

Facebook Said Politicians Can Lie In Ads. It’s Taking Down Ads From Warren, Biden, And Trump For Other Reasons. – BuzzFeed

Twitter is thinking about how tweets can become more ephemeral – The Verge

TikTok taps corporate law firm K&L Gates to advise on its U.S. content moderation policies – TechCrunch

Multichannel Attribution: How to Measure the Unmeasurable – ConversionXL Blog

Can Contextual Targeting Replace Third-Party Cookies? – AdExchanger