“It is so fantastic that retailers, travel companies, and entertainment companies are all building these media networks, because… competition breeds innovation,” shares Nancy Hall, CEO of Matterkind.

Advertising Week 2022 kicked off earlier this year with a panel filled with dynamic insight into the future of digital marketing, hosted by Drew Stein, Founder and CEO of Audigent. The Retail Media Network “playbook” was front and center as a core trend, where data-rich companies are becoming media powerhouses, and how that trend was extending far past just retailers. The make-up and role of agencies in the future was a heavily discussed topic: “The media agency of the future still has to be expert at strategy and planning and buying…it also has to be expert in data, in tech, in measurement, in identity, in compliance…in order to future proof their brands’ business,” Hall said.

Watch the full panel discussed, originally posted on Advertising Week, and learn more about digital transformation, changes in advertising, and what a cookieless future will look like.

On September 22, Matterkind and Kinesso employees were invited to join the 2022 IMPACT Day. For this annual day of service across Matterkind and Kinesso global offices, we closed our offices to allow our employees to participate in local community service work. This year’s theme was Uplifting Our Communities, and our focus was on partnering with organizations that address needs amongst historically underserved communities.

Read on to learn more about the experiences Matterkind and Kinesso employees shared on their 2022 IMPACT Day!

Shwetha Srinivas
Account Manager, Kinesso

For our IMPACT Day, we visited an orphanage called Nele Foundation in Mysore to distribute education aids (bags, books, charts, geometry box, pens, etc.). Ten Kinesso Mysore employees volunteered and made this an incredibly successful event! The kids ranged from ages 8 to 18 years old, and it was such a wonderful experience spending time with them. They even allowed us to watch some amazing prayers and dance performances! Our day was well spent with these children and showed us how to lead a happy life with less facilities.

Alexandra Godown
Associate Trainee, Addressable Strategy and Activation, Matterkind

As an Associate Trainee at Matterkind, my mission is to learn and grow as much as possible. I have been striving to meet and connect with fellow employees at the NYC office as they are an incredible bunch of people. In July, an email was sent out asking for volunteers to lead IMPACT Day events, and I knew it would be a great learning opportunity. I spearheaded the project we did with the Battery Park Conservancy in lower Manhattan. A group of nearly 30 of us collaborated with the park to restore a 9/11 memorial garden to its former glory. We weeded and mulched the garden, a great bonding experience as we were all having fun getting our hands dirty. I am so happy I decided to lead this group! I got to meet incredible people outside of our office setting and we came together to make a difference on a local scale. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!

Reena Pandya
Account Manager, Kinesso

To recognize IMPACT Day, we provided underprivileged children with study aids, such as books, pencils, lunchboxes, etc., as well as cookies, snacks, chocolates, and other treats.

It was an amazing experience to see absolute purity and to briefly glimpse childhood through the eyes of these angels. They were all in the primary section (from kindergarten till 4th standard). We encouraged them to participate in some creative and engaging games, while simultaneously educating them on the significance and importance of education.

We were almost 18-20 people all together, and the school was a vernacular medium school, where the kids are coming for education in regional language. It was an experience where we learned that it feels so good to give back to the community and spread joy.

Gladis Moreira Crespo
Manager, Addressable Strategy, Matterkind

I participated with the Matterkind East coast teams in the 100 W 33rd office. While there were several organizations in the office, I spent the day packaging meals for the Rise Against Hunger organization. I was part of a group of five people whose responsibility it was to fill bags with multiple nutritious ingredients to be then weighed and sealed. My group consisted of both Matterkind and Kinesso folks from various teams. It was truly a rewarding experience coming together for such a great cause. I was able to meet and befriend so many Matterkind/Kinesso folks that I had never met before. My favorite part was when the Rise Against Hunger representative would shout how many meals we had packaged. He first shouted 2,000, then 6,000, and kept going until we reached 15,000 meals! Each time he shouted a new number our team looked at each other with smiles as we were both astonished and proud of what we were contributing to.

Priyanka Baram
Associate Director, Analytics & Reporting, Kinesso

“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give”
Winston Churchill

Twenty Kinesso volunteers from Mumbai, India brought smiles to innocent faces & those moments were priceless! For IMPACT Day, we visited a school with financially challenged children &and spread smiles by conducting fun games like book balancing, marble-n-spoon, candy race.

We distributed snacks and candies, school bags and kits among these children followed by a short session on the importance of education. We also met with the school trustees and discovered areas of contribution for their betterment. IMPACT Day gave us an opportunity to look within and reflect on how blessed we are.

Do you have a friend or family member with a signature style, an often used saying, or a dish that’s requested for every holiday meal? Just reading that question likely brought back fond memories of that person. Memories you’ll forever associate with them because their style, catch phrase, or grandma’s signature mac & cheese recipe has become part of their personal brand.

In marketing, the job is to build a similar feeling between people and our brand. People should have an affinity for products and services and for their experiences doing business with specific organizations. But building a brand people know and trust isn’t easy. As the world accelerated into a more digital space, people have grown weary of being marketed at, with random social media ads that aren’t relevant or meaningful to them. They also won’t tolerate disconnected experiences or those that don’t feel authentic.

Marketers need to turn marketing upside down. Instead of marketing to and at people, brands should be marketing with and for people. It requires a paradigm shift, where brands move away from “trying to find people” to marketing in a way that helps people find their brands.

Brands that build affinity – and grow as a result – are the ones that create marketing for people on their terms, with experiences that are familiar and can be trusted. When people find those brands, they stick with them. The relationship grows; value grows; the brand grows.

IPG companies Kinesso, Acxiom and Matterkind have come together to create the IPG Marketing Intelligence Engine (MIE), the solution for helping people find their brands. MIE is a complete, connected platform for conscious marketing – the kind of marketing that puts people first. Through connected data and technology, MIE enables a higher standard of data-driven marketing. It delivers greater understanding of your customers, allowing you to engage with people on their terms. And MIE enables marketing that is ethical, respectful and conscious through strong data governance, bias mitigation and the ability to put real spend behind underrepresented communities.

MIE gives marketers incredibly accurate and actionable customer understanding. It delivers the widest and deepest data, unrivaled identity capabilities and the data science and analytics expertise to create insights. MIE provides insights that can improve every moment of the commerce journey experience. From the marketing experience aspects of the creative you use for ads to the places you activate your messages in the market, all aspects improve the commerce and the customer experience.

Kinesso is the architect of the MIE platform and enables connected intelligence through integrated technology. Acxiom’s customer intelligence gives MIE the power to help brands understand people to deliver experiences that matter most to their audiences. And Matterkind’s activation intelligence ensures the brand can engage with people respectfully, and across all channels.

By marketing in a way that allows people to find your brand, you’ll quickly become a company that’s changing the marketing game for the better – and reaping the rewards. To learn more and tap into this solution, visit here.

September 15th marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of Hispanic culture, tradition, and LatinX-identified communities around the world. Through October 15th in the United States, we take time to recognize the deeply rooted and rich cultural legacy of Hispanic communities, as well as the independence anniversaries of several Latin American nations.

We strive to honor the culture and history of our LatinX employees, as well as share their experiences as members of these communities. Read on to learn more about their unique backgrounds and diverse heritage.

Valentina Patino
Senior Associate of Addressable Strategy, Matterkind, a Kinesso company

As someone born and raised in Colombia, something that really represents us is our kindness and happiness. I grew up in the city of Pereira, where the motto is, “nobody is a foreigner,” welcoming and helping everyone in the city no matter where they came from. We are also best known for our celebrations—we celebrate everything that happens!

Although I moved in 2012 , nothing much has changed in terms of how proud I feel to be Colombian. I truly embrace my culture more than ever; at every event I go to, I bring a little dish or drink for my friends to try, and sometimes I am even the DJ, because let’s be honest, Latin music makes you wanna dance!

Currently, in my efforts to keep helping others, I am serving in the US Army National Guard. This is my way of continuing to help my community while showing my gratitude for everything this country has given me.

I recently joined Matterkind, and I feel I am finally at the right place! My team is extraordinary, they are patient, kind, and always offering their help. The company culture is also great. Matterkind gives me the opportunity to not only do my regular work, but they also offer ways to continue serving the community with “Impact Day,” where I am one of the site leads, and I am excited to bring our office together and do some good.

Lastly, when I can’t travel to Colombia to visit my family, I feel closer to home by drinking some good Colombian coffee, walking the streets of Jackson Heights in Queens, and enjoying some arepas.

Brianna Rascoe
Associate Director of Graphic Design, Kinesso

Hispanic Heritage Month is hugely important to me. Creating spaces in work and in life for celebrating Hispanic heritage means ensuring people feel pride in their heritage and feel comfort in expressing and being their authentic selves, especially at work. It bolsters a passion for sharing language, recipes, style, and culture not only with friends and colleagues, but with the next generation as well.

This country is a place of opportunity for so many, especially those who escape hard times in surrounding countries to benefit their families and children. While we still have a long way to go collectively, we’ve come a long way in terms of embracing the cultures that have built and run this country. How we treat folks regarding their culture brings great impact beyond the individual. Historically, in many spaces, LatinX folks have felt compelled to try to hide an accent or work incredibly hard to appear as if English is their first language. This contributes to the erasure of cultures both Hispanic and beyond.

Growing up, my grandmother had to cloak her Cuban heritage in order to have an easier time assimilating as a first-generation citizen. She changed her name, and spoke for her mother, who only spoke Spanish. She was made to feel so shameful for not being white, that she changed herself, and as a result, the oppression she experienced swallowed up the culture she should have been able to embrace without consequence. She stopped speaking Spanish and decided not to pass the language down to her children, who were unable to pass it down to theirs.

I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish, nor was I handed down recipes, or coveted calderos. I naturally gravitate towards the food, music, and culture, and while the ropa veija I make is absolute fire, I still feel robbed of a sense of identity in regard to my Cuban heritage. This is why LatinX Heritage Month and all public recognitions of heritage are so important to me: if we support the creation of spaces for people to celebrate who they are and where they come from, that pride becomes the catalyst for their culture to live on.

Kiki Lovelace
Graphic Designer, Kinesso

Growing up, I didn’t speak Spanish, but instead I began learning in my late teens. In my past roles, I wasn’t given the opportunity to explore more programs, positions, or internships that could give me the exposure to enhance my career and speak to my heritage at the same time. I feel like those who didn’t grow up in Spanish speaking households, or speak limited Spanish, sometimes feel they have been ostracized, and are now looking for more opportunities to learn and explore their backgrounds. Working at Kinesso has given me the exposure and chance to feel more connected to my Hispanic heritage than ever before.

Last month, members of our Matterkind team attended the eTail 2022 conference in Boston, where eCommerce and omni-channel leaders were able to network and share new solutions, strategies, opportunities, and challenges. There was quite a bit of excitement at the event, as it was one of the first face-to-face networking events in the last two years.

Over the three-day conference, top speakers gave keynote sessions featuring action-packed stories and disruptive strategies to level up a company’s digital business game. Here are three key takeaways from eTail 2022.

  1. People want authentic, conscious marketing from brands
    One of the key conference themes centered around the importance of being authentic, honest, and purposeful in a brand’s marketing. More than 90% of individuals value authenticity from brands, and 66 percent of people agree businesses should take a key role in solving issues in society and culture. When discussing marketing campaigns that addressed sustainability, such as the session Tackling Sustainability Initiatives For Retail, there was a focus on making sustainability a part of the brand experience. Brands now have the perfect opportunity to create real conversations about the world around us.
  2. Building retention programs that work
    As customer acquisition becomes more costly, many retail brands are making the shift toward marketing strategies that rely on owned channels, first-party data, and custom experiences. Focusing on the customer experience and staying efficient with spend will be crucial to brand success. During the panel discussion, Creating A Customer-Focused Retention Strategy, three retailers shared how they are prioritizing customer retention and developing strategies to drive brand advocacy and increase customer lifetime value. These ideas included creating a feedback loop to listen to what customers are saying and building it into your retention strategy. Building customer tailored emails, such as asking for feedback and empowering the customer to help create “what’s next” (i.e., new suggestions, new colors for a product), and being adaptive with content based on customer feedback help to build strong customer acquisition

    In fact, retention was such a key focus, eTail has dedicated an entire day focused on email and retention at the West Coast edition of the event: eTail Palm Springs, happening February 27 – March 2, 2023. Download the agenda here!
  1. Create Value Brand Partnerships
    Whatever size the business, brand partnerships are incredibly valuable assets. Brand partnerships are a tried and tested way to hack growth for newer organizations, but with unlimited partnership options, and so many potential matches out there, where one begin? In the keynote session, How To Create Brand Partnerships That Transform Your Business, insider tips and info were shared on how to find the perfect match, guiding the creation of a winning partnerships strategy, shortlisting potential partners, creating compelling concepts and pitches, and much more. Creating brand partnerships that have value isn’t just important, but vital to diversifying the success of your brand. Building partnerships that align with brand strategy and deliver measurable, guaranteed outcomes is key to brand growth.

As the ecommerce world continues to evolve, marketing and advertising efforts will need to adapt as well. Marketers need to stay on top of industry-wise and retailer developments in order to keep their brands relevant, relatable, and conscious. Follow Matterkind on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for more info on intentional, sustainable, high-performance marketing that delivers guaranteed outcomes.

New Balance and Matterkind took home the 2022 Gold Award for Best Multi Channel Campaign Strategy: Modernized Partnerships to Drive Cross-Channel Collaboration at the inaugural US Partnership Awards.  The two companies worked together to bolster New Balance’s affiliate program and diversify partnerships; the results are outlined in one judges commentary, “[The campaign] demonstrates the ability to use data to optimize across various channels and how affiliate marketing should be viewed in the media mix.” 

The Partnership Awards recognizes the best of the best in partnership, affiliate, performance, and influencer marketing.  For more information on the awards, click here for US Partnership coverage and here for coverage from PerformanceIN.  

Read our full case study with New Balance below.

New Balance recently embarked on a journey to elevate and reinforce its position as a premium lifestyle & performance brand. As part of this journey, New Balance realized it needed to reinvigorate and modernize its affiliate marketing program. Historically undervalued and misunderstood at New Balance, affiliate programs were largely dependent upon a handful of lower-funnel, discount and coupon-focused tactic and partners that underperformed. The programs suffered from lack of performance insight and transparency in large part due to challenges with the existing platform capabilities and setup. This left the affiliate channel siloed from other marketing channels and its strategic significance weakened.

To address the challenges of this channel, Matterkind helped New Balance focused on the following: 
Audit Partners to Diversify Partner Mix and Lower Underperforming Dependencies 

Establish New Strategic Partnerships That Better Aligned with Brand Strategy and Highly Indexed with Desired Audiences, including:  

Provide Measurement and Transparency to Align with Cross-Channel Teams and Drive Visibility, Collaboration & Long-Term Brand Strategy  

Matterkind educated leadership on recent innovations with new partnership categories improved technology and measurement and how competitors were utilizing the channel for business growth. By working together, New Balance and Matterkind completely revamped their affiliate and partnership programs to drive outcomes that aligned with the premium lifestyle and performance positioning.

Connected TV has become a powerful performance channel for brands looking to achieve specific outcomes with greater attribution. As connected TV viewership has increased, and advancements in ad tech allow for better, more unique experiences, marketers need to incorporate CTV more thoroughly into their marketing strategy. Through CTV, brands can connect directly to business results, feed the brand funnel with new, fresh prospects, drive retention and acquisition rates, and allow brands to diversify from search, social, and display. There are many ways in which retailers can best capitalize on connected TV and drive successful results.

During the pandemic, the growth of connected TV viewership and new advertising technologies gave rise to this powerful performance channel, not to mention it is immune to the depreciation of third-party cookies. Now, brands see that CTV can drive acquisition and help deliver on sales goals. Research shows that CTV is…

With recent advancements in CTV technology, there are more emerging T-commerce shoppable formats than ever before. With the ability to switch between devices using QR technology, on-screen browsing options, and send-to-phone from device capabilities, more brands are harnessing the power of these valuable CTV advertising tools. The benefits of these tech advancements are clear to see.

CTV advertising also allows for real-time measurement that shows the immediate impact of CTV campaigns with a cross-device graph that ties TV exposure to online action. Real-time tracking also means brands can better conduct real-time optimization, such as budget fluidity to shift top performing partners and remove poor performers, adjust advanced bidding strategies on audience and brand value, manage frequency, and increase reach. Brands can then accurately score each impression in order to deliver highest ROAS.

Capitalizing on the CTV wave means following best practices, like:

CTV is a powerful channel to help deliver business goals. Marketers are reallocating budgets into CTV from linear TV, Social, and Web Display—don’t let your brand fall behind the curve.

Right now, working in marketing is about finding ways to meet people where they are and engage them authentically. Millennials led the shift toward online shopping, digital activism and achieving work-life balance, while Gen Z is full of digital natives who can spot a grift from a mile away. Both generations value diversity and inclusivity and want to know brands’ stances on social issues.

To adapt to these new expectations, Kinesso’s Matterkind has implemented “conscious marketing” and launched Outcome Navigator (ON) — a suite of applications to help marketers navigate the changing landscape of the industry. Outcome Navigator’s offerings help focus marketing efforts on creating more thoughtful, respectful engagement with customers to achieve several key business outcomes vital to a marketing professional.

  1. Affiliate Outcomes
    Outcome Navigator analyzes existing affiliate programs to identify potential opportunities and partnerships. Matterkind recently did this for a premium lifestyle and performance shoe brand’s affiliate program. The ON audit enabled the client to decrease its dependency on underperforming affiliates, onboard new partners and connect with publications, influencers and thought leaders who could increase brand awareness and impact purchase behaviors.
  2. Commerce Outcomes
    The commerce outcomes capabilities within Outcome Navigator enable companies to use purchased based data to reach potential customers. ON uses retailer first-party data, not third-party cookies, to help brands measure total sales and understand what’s driving in-store and online sales.
  3. Qualified Lead Generation
    With the end of the use of third-party cookies looming, establishing direct relationships with people is important. The ON-qualified lead generation capability allows companies to grow their databases in a way that incorporates privacy by design.

Learn more about Outcome Navigator’s full suite and how it can help your business connect with customers.

This editorial was originally posted on Afrotech.

Every day, Matterkind strives to recognize and acknowledge the hard work of our team beyond just saying “thank you.” Our hard working, dedicated employees are what enable Matterkind to be a thriving, diverse global community. In order to acknowledge the efforts of our employees, Matterkind spotlights individuals from across the globe who have gone above and beyond every month. These employees are known as our Ascenders of the Month, and you can learn a little more about them below.

Kiki Chan, Account Manager, Addressable Strategy & Activation
What is your favorite thing about working at Matterkind?
At Matterkind, we are encouraged to be a part of the conversation regardless of role or seniority. It makes me feel valued by addressing the challenges and opportunities together as a team.

What is one word that your coworkers would use to describe you?

Describe your team in three words.
Positive, flexible and fun

Mary Barou, Manager, Campaign Management
What is your favorite thing about working at Matterkind?
There is more than one, but I’ll share the top three that come to mind: a strong supportive company culture, excellent teamwork, and the opportunity to grow within the organization.

What is one word that your coworkers would use to describe you?

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
I believe that everything in life should be viewed in a positive way, even in difficulties we can look for the bright side. My superpower would be to make people smile more often and think more positively.

Justin Broome, Associate Director of Addressable Activation
What is your favorite thing about working at Matterkind?
The people. We all hold each other to a high standard, so we are constantly striving to do better while also having fun. There is a strong bond within our team that makes the work atmosphere fun, and people are always willing to help one another when someone is in need.

What is one word that your coworkers would use to describe you?

Describe your team in three words.
I would describe our team as fun, smart and collaborative.

We believe in the strength of every employee, and the initiative of every team. Here at Matterkind, we are much more than the sum of our parts, and our culture is built on lifting each other up, caring for our communities, and making a positive impact. Interested in joining our collaborative environment? Check out our open positions now.

At its heart, advertising is about people, and as such, it must reflect, honor, and include the beauty and diversity of the world around us. It’s what people expect – they want brands to be socially responsible, morally ethical, and altogether trustworthy.

This is not new news, but it has never been more important than it is right now. There is a global chorus of voices moving us toward a world where everyone is accepted and respected for who they are – regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or abilities. Advertising can provide the steady drumbeat.

As our research finds, one of the most important reasons to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in advertising is the role that advertising plays in shaping modern society and addressing social issues. It’s a reflection of who we are, but perhaps more importantly who we want to become.

When we think of DEI in advertising, we often think of the creative, no doubt a critical part of the equation. But if we are truly going to change the industry we love, we need to look at DEI in all aspects of our advertising. We must ask ourselves, are we:

As you’ll see in the research, a successful, holistic approach to DEI includes asking all these questions. And it’s not something owned by one part of the organization; it is a function and responsibility that is distributed throughout the entire advertising process, including creative, marketing strategy, media planning and buying, and even our internal organizational support structures.

The best marketing and advertising creates great customer experiences and delivers an even value exchange for the money and time people spend with brands. It’s respectful to people, while at the same time performing for brands. It’s balanced. Have we as industry arrived? Absolutely not, but I am pleased to see that we are headed in the right direction.

We were humbled to undertake this research, to truly understand what is and isn’t working, and where we can improve. To talk openly and honestly about the fear of getting it wrong, but the beauty of getting it right. DEI in advertising takes focus and commitment at all levels – from brands to agencies, from leadership to the front lines. It takes willingness to question the status quo. It takes willingness to analyze the results – to understand what is and is not working. And most importantly,
it takes willingness to continue to adapt.

As the founders of conscious marketing movement, it’s what we believe all brands must demand of their advertising and their advertising partners – marketing that is relevant and respectful to people while still delivering for brands.