Good morning, Marketers, are D2C brands the future of retail?

In the modern age of retail, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have found a way to penetrate almost every vertical of the market. From delivering personalized product offerings to reimagining new levels of consumer convenience, D2C is transforming the ways retail brands approach loyalty, customer engagement, and the brand experience as a whole.

Our own editor Greg Sterling explored the evolution of D2C businesses in an interview with Rich Philip, co-founder and CEO of Brooklinen; Arianne Goldman, founder and CEO of Hatch Collection; and Justin Hughes, chief product officer of M.M. LaFleur. The interview speaks to the nature of retail brands today, how marketers should be looking at brand loyalty, what marketing channels are most effective, the value of brick-and-mortar, and the best advice they’ve received. Read the full interview via the link above.

Media software conglomerate Cision has entered an agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Platinum Equity. The transaction is valued at approximately $2.74 billion, said Cision, and the company will go private once the deal is closed. While shareholders may reap the benefits of the all-cash transaction, it remains unclear how the deal will impact Cision’s communications, marketing, and public relations customers. Many of its customers came via acquisitions, and privatization could bring strategic changes to Cision’s products and services – along with the company’s sales needs.

Facebook is launching Facebook News, but advertisers hoping for new ad placement opportunities will have to look elsewhere. Facebook has confirmed it will not be distributing ads to the new section of its site. However, publishers whose articles are placed on Facebook News will still be able to monetize their content through referral traffic and Instant Article ads ­– but the new tab dedicated to news stories will not include ads from advertisers, for now.

There’s more to read below, including a Soapbox feature on how dopamine fuels the golden rule of content marketing.

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


Influencing behavior starts with dopamine

Anticipation is marketing gold – and dopamine is the currency that leads to a richer bottom line. As a marketing professional, you’re interested in influencing behavior to help your business succeed – and that starts with dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in goal-directed behavior. Whether you’re eating your favorite food, purchasing a product that makes you happy, or engaging in a hedonistic conquest, dopamine drives your behavior forward. Put succinctly, dopamine helps you take action.

Do you want people to open your marketing emails? Of course, you do. As you already know, the first step is to provide value. But that’s not enough. You need your audience to anticipate value.

If your emails contain rewards, such as insightful information or humorous content, your name becomes a cue for the reward, thereby informing your audience that a reward is on the way. For your next campaign, determine what type of reward you plan on using – and be consistent to ensure your name becomes associated with the reward inside of the message. As soon as you’re able to create anticipation of what’s inside a message, you’ll not only see a spike in dopamine, but you’ll also see a spike in your open rates.

– Jade Bunke is the director of marketing at National Technical Systems


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On the Move

New agency executives at ZD3, SDI Marketing and BrandStar

Jeff Herzog has been appointed chairman and CEO of the digital marketing agency ZD3. “I am excited to be back in the industry as the CEO of ZD3 and grateful to my team and clients that continue to support our innovation and drive forward into rapidly expanding and changing digital landscape,” said Herzog. Prior to being named CEO, Herzog founded ZOG Digital in 2011. That agency was acquired by Inventis Digital in 2017. He is also the founder and former CEO of iCrossing before it was purchased in 2010 by Hearst Magazine.

Toronto-based agency SDI Marketing has named Tom Sorotschynski vice president. He will be tasked with driving the agency forward and report to Senior Vice President Kim Harland. “His passion for emerging technologies and understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape allows him to create programs that are all-encompassing and truly connect consumers to brands,” said Harland. Sorotschynski most recently served as the vice president and general manager for Traffik & 5Crowd agencies owned by Sgsco, a global collective of brand agencies.

BrandStar, a full-service production and marketing agency, has hired Bradley Saveth to fill the newly created VP of strategic partnerships role. “Saveth joins BrandStar with a wealth of relationships, experience, and expertise to match clients with strategic opportunities and expand the agency’s global footprint,” said BrandStar CEO Mark Alfieri. Before joining BrandStar, Saveth launched two startups: goCharge and Vital Motion. He most recently was the president of Big Salad Consulting. During his career, Saveth has worked with a number of consumer brands, including Verizon, Wells Fargo, Wendy’s and more.


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What We're Reading

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

How To Use Analytics to Plan Better Sales Forecasts – CMS Wire

Why the Facebook News tab shouldn’t be trusted – TechCrunch

Shoppers to spend more than $700 during the holidays – Retail Dive

4 Ways to Protect Your Brand’s Reputation on Amazon – Practical Ecommerce

Facebook won’t call users ‘undesirable’ in ad rejections anymore – The Verge

Inside R/Relationships, the Unbearably Human Corner of Reddit – The Atlantic

Jack Dorsey Criticizes Zuckerberg Over His Free-Speech Argument – Bloomberg