Good morning, we made it through the weekend.

With coronavirus dominating the headlines, brands are navigating a delicate balance when it comes to messaging. Marketing is being done against the backdrop of the pandemic. Some brands are offering a sincere approach, while others have been quick to capitalize on the opportunity to reach audiences in a trying time. Our editor Greg Sterling breaks down the mixed brand motives on display amidst the chaos, from the email communications aimed at providing helpful information to the tone-deaf promotions flooding our inboxes.

Martech platforms are also contributing a voice to the global pandemic, offering services and tools for businesses already feeling the impact from the pandemic. Content management platform Box, for example, is offering a free version of its Business plan, and Alibaba has rolled out an e-commerce solution for retailers that have been affected. Here’s a quick list of the responses we’ve seen by martech brands offering solutions and breaks for businesses.

On a lighter note, Facebook confirmed last week it’s testing a new program that lets users link brand loyalty accounts to earn and view rewards directly from their Facebook newsfeed. Sephora will begin piloting the new program in the U.S. this week, a spokesperson from Facebook said.

It’s Facebook’s first major ad product focused on loyalty. Brands can reach customers who have already shopped with them to surface personalized information – like points or rewards – in a relatively frictionless way. In addition to targeting actively loyal members, brands can re-engage with past customers using dynamic, personalized ads and organic promotions as part of the program.

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


If we can't tear down silos, at least make them porous

Digital transformation, to me, isn’t something that happens over a month. With all the customer data we have — whether it’s in a CDP already or sitting in a CRM tool — we need to figure out how to leverage that across paid, earned and owned channels and drive conversions on the owned channels or in a marketplace. We need to articulate why the structure of a pre-digital marketing group needs to change.

There are a lot of silos in organizations today, particularly when we think about the larger brands that have decades of a structure and ways of working within our marketing groups between marketing and sales and sometimes brand groups. We need to help these groups recognize that to be effective at the speed we need to operate at for people’s expectations today, it requires these silos if not just to be torn down, need to be far more porous.

– Josh Campo is the president of Razorfish


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On the Move

Merkle Response Management Group gets a new CEO, Mazda CMO resigns

Digital marketing agency Merkle has announced the appointment of Bill Sayre to CEO of Merkle Response Management Group (RMG), a technology provider focused on nonprofit, government, and commercial sectors. Sayre previously held the role of president of the company and has played a substantial part in leading Merkle RMG with consistent growth, increasing profitability, and long-term retention of customers. Based in Hagerstown, Maryland, Sayre reports directly to David Williams, chairman and CEO of Merkle.

Dino Bernacchi, CMO of Mazda North American Operations, is resigning effective March 20, according to a statement by the company. Brad Audet, the leader of Garage Team Mazda, will temporarily lead the marketing team while a search for a permanent candidate is conducted. Garage Team Mazda is Mazda’s in-house agency.


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What we're reading

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

What Does it Mean to Be CCPA Compliant? – CMS Wire

How Agencies Are Adjusting Hiring Practices – Digiday

U-shaped Marketing Attribution for Ecommerce – Practical Ecommerce

Consumer spend via chatbot to reach $142B by 2024 – Retail Dive

YouTube Upgrades Trending Section with New Explore Tab – Gizmodo

Facebook commits $20M to UNF, WHO and CDC to tackle COVID-19 – TechCrunch

How to help your remote workers feel involved – The Verge