The Modern Retail Podcast

The Modern Retail Podcast

www.modernretail.co
The Modern Retail Podcast hears from executives in the retail space, from legacy companies to the buzzy world of DTC startups. Shareen Pathak, Digiday’s managing director of editorial products, hosts.


Pop Up Grocer founder Emily Schildt on rethinking the grocery experience
Aug 6 • 34 min
It took a trip to London for Emily Schildt to realize that American grocery stores could do better. “I came back personally really yearning for a grocery store experience like I had there,” she said on the Modern Retail Podcast. “They were just beautiful…
‘We’re humans, we’re aspirational by nature’: Reel CEO Daniela Corrente on what consumers are saving money for
Jul 30 • 31 min
Piggy banks aren’t especially in vogue, but the idea behind them sticks. By saving up a little over the long haul, you can pool quite a bit of money — enough, in Reel’s experience, to pay for a luxury handbag, furniture or some electronics. The personal…
Bacardi CMO John Burke on e-commerce and at-home drinking
Jul 23 • 33 min
Closed spaces, mingling strangers and loud music to shout over — bars seem purpose-built for spreading the coronavirus. According to Bacardi CMO John Burke, that means people will be doing their drinking, and less of it, at home. “This summer there’ll be…
Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst on scouting for business ideas in unlikely places
Jul 16 • 35 min
Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst thinks the investing landscape focuses a great deal on the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — in plainspeak, that’s stuff that isn’t really essential. Or, in Kunst’s words, the kind of product that answers the question: “what…
‘It’s completely inverted’: Sanzo founder Sandro Roco on the coronavirus’s effect on DTC demand
Jul 9 • 37 min
Before the pandemic, the zero (or low) sugar beverage brand Sanzo had all the scrappy upstart charm and aesthetic of a DTC brand. But, it still sold mostly through wholesale — 70 to 80%, in founder Sandro Roco’s estimate. That’s changed. “Since the…
How Brightland founder Aishwarya Iyer fashioned an olive oil company after beauty brands
Jul 2 • 40 min
Aishwarya Iyer started Brightland, an olive oil company, in 2018 with the idea of describing the products like wine and marketing it like a beauty brand. “Beauty leads the way in terms of talking about benefits, packaging — the shine and glimmer that…
‘An incredible return to activity’: StockX CMO Deena Bahri on how sneakerheads are still spending
Jun 25 • 41 min
Business lost to the pandemic has rebounded for StockX, an online marketplace where people selling and buying items — sneakers, mainly — negotiate on a price before StockX provides authentication and shipping. “We’ve seen an incredible return to activity…
Trade Coffee CMO Melissa Spencer Barnes on capturing the at-home brewing market
Jun 18 • 41 min
The professional world may have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but there is one thing that still powers our workday: coffee. The subscription-based Trade Coffee, for one, has seen its mail-in customer base go up by a factor of 10, alongside…
Cat Person co-founder Jimmy Wu on how the pet supplies industry could be pandemic-proof
Jun 11 • 38 min
As existing commerce companies adapt to survive a global pandemic, Jimmy Wu instead launched one. Cat Person sells cat food, toys, furniture and treats in a market that Wu sees as skewed toward dog owners. The coronavirus gave pause to Wu and his…
‘This year you won’t be buying DTC suitcases’: The Inside founder Christiane Lemieux on why home brands are seeing a boom
Jun 4 • 36 min
Retail stores are slowly reopening, but Christiane Lemieux, founder of the DTC furniture brand The Inside, still thinks people will want to invest most in the place they’re spending most of their time: the home. “What you will be doing is focusing your…
Homebrew’s Hunter Walk: The current crisis is a second punch for DTC, not the first
May 28 • 41 min
Looking to the past doesn’t always work. For one, many current founders or CEOs were “still in high school” during the last economic crisis, according to Homebrew partner and co-founder Hunter Walk. For another, even for those entrepreneurs who survived…
Grove Collaborative CEO Stuart Landesberg: A culture of expense discipline is key
May 21 • 35 min
For a time, Grove Collaborative was one of the rare places where you could order reasonably-priced hand sanitizer online. That availability wasn’t for a lack of demand. “Demand had been building, and all of a sudden for a week it was off the charts. And…
Coefficient Capital co-founder Franklin Isacson on investing in times of crisis
May 14 • 35 min
Coefficient Capital co-founder Franklin Isacson describes himself as a cautious investor, especially in times of uncertainty like today. That comes in handy during a time of crisis. For Isacson, this has been a good time particularly to invest in certain…
‘I don’t think anyone will ever be able to pay what they were paying before’: Lunya founder Ashley Merrill on the future of real estate
May 7 • 31 min
Biossance president Catherine Gore has always considered skin care as medically significant, and believes customers will be more inclined to share that thinking as coronavirus lockdowns continue around the world. “Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s…
Pattern co-founder Nick Ling: Marketing investments now can have very uncertain outcomes
Apr 30 • 33 min
If Nick Ling’s latest brand launch wasn’t so right for this moment, he would have delayed bringing it to market. “If I was launching a new brand I’d wait. There’s just too much change in consumer behavior,” Ling said on the Modern Retail Podcast. But Open…
Burrow CEO Stephen Kuhl: ‘We’re re-forecasting on a weekly basis’
Apr 23 • 32 min
Through this crisis, Burrow CEO Stephen Kuhl is sticking to a piece of advice he got back when the furniture store was just another startup at Y Combinator. “The advice we got then was ‘just launch your first product. Get it out there into people’s hands…
Parachute founder Ariel Kaye: ‘Great businesses do come from difficult moments’
Apr 16 • 29 min
Americans may have more reason than ever to appreciate the comforts of home and the value of making theirs their own. But even a company like Parachute, a luxury linens and home goods company founded in 2014, is feeling the pinch from the downturn in…
Recess CEO Benjamin Witte: I reject the idea that being on Amazon hurts your brand
Apr 9 • 28 min
If Benjamin Witte talks about his beverage brand Recess as if it were a budding empire, it’s because he’s noticed the same broad ambitions among the sector’s big players. “Red Bull is a media company for the action sports community that monetizes through…
Rhone CEO Nate Checketts: The current crisis may act as a clearing house
Apr 2 • 29 min
Rhone CEO Nate Checketts said his company “saw the writing on the wall really quickly” in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies like his men’s activewear brand would soon be bloated with inventory and feel the pressure to boost e-commerce…
Resident co-founder Eric Hutchinson: ‘Uncertainty is the most difficult thing to manage to’
Mar 26 • 34 min
When people go shopping for mattresses, according to Resident co-founder Eric Hutchinson, they often know more or less what kind they’re after. “The person who wants a memory foam mattress opts into that category very quickly,” Hutchinson said on the…
ShopShops founder Liyia Wu on making a digital QVC for China’s livestreaming generation
Mar 19 • 31 min
Much has been written about the Chinese consumer that shops abroad in stores. But there is a growing movement among customers in China that, through livestreaming apps like ShopShops, are shopping at stores outside China, just through their phones.…
RSE Ventures’ Matt Higgins: We’re having a little bit of a backlash against DTC
Mar 12 • 34 min
Shark Tank investor and co-founder of RSE Ventures Matt Higgins thinks a change is coming to the DTC playbook. “I think it’s amazing that you can come along and challenge taboo thinking around ED, or you can go ahead and create an entirely new cereal…
‘Influencer marketing is the biggest thing’: What retailers need to know about WeChat
Mar 5 • 25 min
When it comes to financial technology, China has Silicon Valley beat. WeChat is a big part of that. What started as a messaging app in 2011 is now a mobile payments giant. “People use it for everything. For utilities, for gaming, obviously to communicate…
Hatch founder Ariane Goldman on the inevitability (and the dangers) of the DTC funding spree
Feb 27 • 28 min
The direct-to-consumer model didn’t exist when Ariane Goldman started her first clothing brand in the mid-2000s. But by the time her second company, Hatch, launched in 2011, “the only way to really start the business was DTC,” Goldman said on the Modern…
Studs CEO Anna Harman: DTC-only businesses pivot back into retail as a growth mechanism
Feb 20 • 36 min
Studs co-founder and CEO Anna Harman recently got a second piercing in her ears. One place she looked at would have charged her $500. The other, which she went for, was a tattoo parlor. “And while the piercing experience was great — they pierce with a…
How lawn care startup Sunday is trying to build a subscription business (and beat Home Depot)
Feb 13 • 33 min
Coulter Lewis got the idea for Sunday when he saw the state of his local Home Depot’s lawn care aisle. “You can smell it before you get there,” Lewis said on the Modern Retail Podcast. “It’s pallets stacked high with bags of chemical fertilizer, covered…
The Body Shop’s Andrea Blieden: Why Amazon search ads work better than Google
Feb 6 • 33 min
For the Body Shop, it’s about selling where the customers are — even if that means it’s not necessarily on your own sites or in your stores. “Stores for us are the bread and butter of the business, the biggest portion of the business, and will always be,”…
How Lo & Sons built a profitable DTC brand with no venture funding
Jan 30 • 31 min
Lo & Sons launched as a direct-to-consumer brand in 2010. That’s practically prehistoric as far as the recent crop of DTC companies is concerned. “We were kind of an accidental DTC company,” co-founder of the brand, which makes high-end handbags, Derek Lo…
Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin: Being on Amazon is a defense strategy
Jan 23 • 34 min
Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin is betting on a suite of “no or low” sugar drinks — sparkling teas, seltzers and lemon juices — and on a new way to sell them. “Every brand has a phone number,” Normandin explained on the Modern Retail Podcast. “When you…
Ro’s Will Flaherty: TV advertising gives you legitimacy
Jan 16 • 36 min
Roman launched in 2017 with a specific mission: Treating erectile dysfunction online, with doctor consultations and medication delivered right to customers. The company has raised $176 million in funding. It’s also changed its name to Ro and turned Roman…
Rebecca Taylor president Janice Sullivan: Retail’s future is in rentals and resale
Jan 9 • 32 min
Rebecca Taylor dresses aim to land between the feminine and something more irreverent. “Back in the day there was cool people and feminine people, but they didn’t really cross over,” the company’s president, Janice Sullivan, said on this week’s Modern…
Lerer Hippeau investor Caitlin Strandberg: Venture funding isn’t to be spent on Facebook ads
Jan 2 • 43 min
Before startup founders woo thousands of customers, they often try to convince investors to get onboard with their company’s mission. As a principal investor at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage venture capital fund based in New York, Caitlin Strandberg is on…
Modern Retail Podcast: 2020 will bring a DTC shakeout — and a better understanding of the human cost of growing a brand
Dec 19, 2019 • 31 min
This week, it’s a look ahead at what 2020 may have in store for retail. Modern Retail reporters Cale Weissman and Anna Hensel join host Shareen Pathak for a roundtable discussion about the beats and developments they know so well, from how Walmart and…
Lalo co-founder Michael Wieder: We’re not sticking with the old DTC playbook
Dec 12, 2019 • 33 min
Michael Wieder, the co-founder of Lalo, is betting on the baby stroller market. “We know that you’re putting your most precious belonging in our products,” Wieder said on this week’s episode of the Modern Retail Podcast. “They have to be safe, they have…
Haus co-founder Helena Price Hambrecht: ‘We’ll see an adjustment’ to the venture capital going into DTC
Dec 5, 2019 • 40 min
For Helena Price Hambrecht the abundance of alcohol at every after-work event meant that hangovers seemed inevitable. “I knew that I had a problem. I knew that everyone else I knew had a problem where we were like ‘god, are we supposed to do this forever…
Making Marketing: the making changes special
Nov 21, 2019 • 24 min
Making Marketing is making some changes. Starting with our very next episode, we’ll be the Modern Retail Podcast, bringing you conversations with people innovating in retail, including the oh-so-buzzy world of DTC. But before that, this episode rounds up…
How Equinox Media CEO Jason LaRose is using workout videos to create a media business
Nov 14, 2019 • 30 min
Equinox took the gym and turned it into a premium product. Now the company is looking to do the same with the fitness instruction videos you watch online — think high-end camera work instead of vertical video shot on an iPhone, featuring some of their…
Rhone’s Nate Checketts: DTC is a misnomer
Nov 7, 2019 • 33 min
Working at the NFL gave Rhone CEO Nate Checketts a pretty good lay of the land as far as men’s activewear went. And what he saw was a big hole in the supply-side of the market. “Lululemon was really leading the charge” in marketing premium workout clothes…
Audible CMO John Harrobin on marketing audiobooks and making their own content
Oct 31, 2019 • 30 min
Amazon doesn’t just dominate the market for paperbacks and e-books. Through its subsidiary Audible, they’ve got the audiobook market (worth $2.1 billion, according to Bloomberg) cornered, too. They’re also not limiting themselves to putting existing books…
Kiva Confections co-founder Kristi Knoblich Palmer on reforming cannabis’s image
Oct 24, 2019 • 32 min
Even in states that have legalized marijuana, opening a business that sells it can be hard. Some of it, according to Kristi Knoblich Palmer, the co-founder of Kiva Confections, which makes edible THC products, is just down to people not wanting cannabis…
Reddit’s Roxy Young on growing the site’s user base (especially among women)
Oct 17, 2019 • 28 min
Reddit bills itself as ”the front page of the internet” with more than 300 million average monthly active users. But from a marketer’s perspective, much of it represents an untapped audience “We’re very lucky in that we have seen our top-line awareness…
DTC holding company Pattern’s Emmett Shine: ‘Brands have become tribes’
Oct 10, 2019 • 34 min
Gin Lane was the ad agency behind some of the most well-known digitally native brands that have sprung up in the past few years. And co-founder Emmett Shine helped create the look, feel, and digital interfaces of modern brands like Harry’s, Recess, and…
MetLife U.S. CMO Hugh Dineen: ‘Our customer is dynamic, and so must we be.’
Oct 3, 2019 • 29 min
MetLife is as opposite to a start-up as any company you can imagine. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t think like one, says the company’s U.S. CMO, Hugh Dineen. “How does a 150 year old company stay in the game? It’s the same thing in terms of how you…
Atoms founders Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali: Physical retail makes customers feel like you’re adding value to their lives
Sep 26, 2019 • 25 min
When’s the last time a shoe company made you feel all warm inside? Atoms is looking to do that. Its two founders moved from Pakistan to the United States to craft shoes with a personal touch, not solely in their customization — they come in quarter sizes,…
ThredUp president Anthony Marino: ‘Facebook’s not getting any cheaper or easier for advertisers’
Sep 19, 2019 • 36 min
At any given moment, millions of articles of clothing are coursing through ThredUp’s logistics behemoth. Founded 10 years ago, the company will send you an empty bag for you to fill with clothes that you want to cash in on. Then they’ll take them off of…
The Laundress co-founder Lindsey Boyd: Retaining customers is more important than acquiring new ones
Sep 12, 2019 • 29 min
You’d be hard pressed to find a more beautifully packaged product than The Laundress’s detergents. The company, which was acquired by Unilever in January for a reported $100 million, started off as a special-care laundry brand, and now makes a line of…
The Inside’s AJ Nicholas: ‘DTC has become this umbrella term for startups’
Aug 29, 2019 • 27 min
Direct-to-consumer is coming to furniture. The Inside, a one-year-old startup, is going down the path of companies like Burrow, by selling furniture online. The twist: It’s also customized.
Hint’s Kara Goldin: ‘It’s not all about Facebook’
Aug 15, 2019 • 37 min
When Kara Goldin founded Hint in 2005, she was searching for a way to get herself to drink more water. Her solution: adding chopped fruit to pitchers of water, to offer flavor without the sweeteners of traditional flavored beverages. Thus, Hint was born.…
Accenture’s Amy Fuller: ‘Talent branding is not just important, it’s central’
Aug 9, 2019 • 33 min
Amy Fuller, CMO of Accenture, is overseeing an expansive list of functions throughout the company, and she likes it that way. For a company that seems to offer an endless list of services to its clients, this isn’t much of a surprise. Accenture hosts an…
Daily Harvest’s Rachel Drori: There is a cycle of torching cash in the DTC space
Aug 1, 2019 • 32 min
Rachel Drori started a company because she was hungry. But once the seeds of Daily Harvest were planted in her head, she dove in, and started trying to build a brand. Now, with a cushion of VC funding, Drori is looking towards the next evolution of her…
Foot Locker’s Jed Berger: ‘The marketing industry is in for an evolution’
Jul 25, 2019 • 31 min
In the past few years, Foot Locker has been making headlines for its aggressive push to modernize, and according to the company’s CMO, Jed Berger, that innovation has pushed their marketing department to start thinking about their customers in a new way.…
Quip’s Shane Pittson: Being in physical stores makes us more accessible
Jul 19, 2019 • 32 min
Electric toothbrush DTC brand Quip wants to grow up, and it is doing so by going beyond DTC. As is common with many direct-to-consumer brands looking to scale, Quip participated in a pop-up, took to the New York City subways, and recently began selling…
Buffy’s Paul Shaked: There’s Facebook-first mentality in the marketing industry
Jul 11, 2019 • 37 min
When sustainable bedding brand Buffy, launched in late 2017, it looked like the archetypical direct-to-consumer company: online presence, purpose-driven marketing and no middlemen. However, that didn’t last very long. In one of their earliest rejections…
Leesa’s David Wolfe: We have to find more efficient channels than Facebook
Jun 27, 2019 • 37 min
When David Wolfe co-founded premium mattress brand, Leesa in 2014, he already had almost two decades of experience in the DTC world. Throughout that time, he says, he’s learned to keep an eye firmly planted on technology. In the years since its launch,…
Vuori founder Joe Kudla: You don’t want a VC running your business
Jun 13, 2019 • 33 min
Vuori clothing, an athleisure brand launched in 2015, is a rarity: The company, which does do most of its business direct-to-consumer, has a healthy wholesale operation, a few physical stores of its own and has raised only a small angel funding round to…
DTC furniture brand Burrow’s Alex Kubo: Facebook still has some value but it’s become more challenging
Jun 6, 2019 • 40 min
Burrow is a digital-born luxury furniture company, that, like most DTC brands, put most of its marketing eggs in the Facebook basket. But it soon realized that it can’t simply rely on social media to drive sales. Burrow’s head of intelligence, Alex Kubo…
Patron and Grey Goose CMO Lee Applbaum: We’re fighting for our share in the luxury category
May 30, 2019 • 32 min
As the traditional lines of luxury blur, luxury marketers are competing for attention and consumer spend across categories. Lee Applbaum, CMO of the high-end spirits brands Patron Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka, part of Bacardi Global Brands Limited, is…
Omnicom’s Peter Sherman: We want to connect, not collapse our agencies
May 23, 2019 • 31 min
In the past year, the agency world has been rife with news of consolidation. Most executives have explained this as part of a longer-term plan to create less siloed organizational structures and pitching more efficient, integrated solutions to clients.…
Salesforce’s Stephanie Buscemi: Brand purpose is important for your business to do well
May 16, 2019 • 29 min
Brand purpose has become the go-to phrase for chief marketing officers. Stephanie Buscemi, CMO at Salesforce, claims brand purpose is imperative for every brand and it’s even expected by the employees.
Shopify’s Hana Abaza: Direct-to-consumer is a mindset, not a business model
May 9, 2019 • 29 min
Shopify has emerged anew in the direct-to-consumer era. The 15-year-old e-commerce platform that powered the small business segment is worth $25 billion. Now, it’s setting its sights on the larger brands. Hana Abaza, director of marketing at Shopify Plus,…
Liberty Mutual’s Emily Fink: Our customer’s expectations are being shaped by DTC brands
May 2, 2019 • 29 min
The direct-to-consumer era is changing consumer behavior and expectations across categories, be it retail or insurance. Liberty Mutual has felt this shift, and in its new products as well as marketing is attempting to change in line with those…
‘We think of our category as comfort’: Brooklinen CEO Rich Fulop on expanding beyond sheets
Apr 25, 2019 • 34 min
The direct-to-consumer playbook at this point is well known: Launch online with one product, expand to physical stores, and stretch into new products and even categories. For Brooklinen, the online-born bedding brand, it’s no different. The company, which…
Athleta CMO Sheila Shekar Pollak: Moving creative in-house was not out of frustration with agencies
Apr 18, 2019 • 31 min
In the last year, Athleta, the women’s workout wear brand owned by Gap Inc., has taken its creative in-house for its content creation efforts. Athleta CMO Sheila Shekar Pollak discusses the marketing mix for the brand that is on its way to becoming a $1…
Mizzen and Main’s Kevin Lavelle: The DTC space will see ‘a lot of carnage.’
Apr 11, 2019 • 38 min
There is no lack of success stories in the direct-to-consumer markets. But there are also questions being asked of how long the industry can sustain itself. With a plethora of new brands launched every day, built on VC money with tall growth targets, it’s…
Visible CMO Minjae Ormes: Phone service can be a ‘lifestyle brand’
Apr 4, 2019 • 27 min
A few months ago, Verizon launched Visible, a new brand that sits within the multi-billion dollar company. Launched invite-only, Visible is a digital-only phone carrier with no stores and e-commerce only service. And the telco brand is taking cues from…
MM. LaFleur’s Sarah LaFleur: To grow, you have to diversify away from Facebook
Mar 28, 2019 • 33 min
As DTC brands grow up, they begin to look a lot like traditional brands. The challenge then, is differentiation. The solution: better data management. MM. LaFleur, the “bento box” pioneer of women’s workwear is one of those brands that uses data to…
Deloitte Digital’s Alicia Hatch: We are ready to put skin in the game
Mar 21, 2019 • 26 min
Consultancies are turning into agencies as agencies grapple for a seat at the table. Alicia Hatch, CMO of Deloitte Digital, the $1 billion ad agency that sits within Deloitte, has insight into why consultancies are built for the modern CMO. On this week’s…
Gravity Products CEO Mike Grillo: DTC is not a business model
Mar 14, 2019 • 29 min
Born online direct-to-consumer brands are increasingly turning to traditional physical retail models to find new places for growth. Mike Grillo, CEO at Gravity Products, thinks DTC is just a launch model and not a sustainable business model for the longer…
Thirty Madison’s Steven Gutentag: DTC brands risk being dismissed as an ‘Instagram brand’
Mar 7, 2019 • 33 min
Thirty Madison, the parent company behind men’s hair loss treatment Keeps and migraine treatment company Cove, which just raised a little over $15 million in funding, is using the wellness and health momentum in the DTC industry as it looks to disrupt a…
American Express’s Elizabeth Rutledge: Customer advocacy is the best marketing
Feb 28, 2019 • 32 min
At a time when brands everywhere are turning to digital marketing to connect with customers, American Express is taking a much more human approach. For Rutledge, her motto has always been, ‘Customer first,’ so it felt natural to try and find a way to…
Shiv Singh: When it comes to platforms, marketers have messed up
Feb 21, 2019 • 35 min
For Shiv Singh, most of the industry’s current problems come down to trust. That’s the focus of the former PepsiCo and Visa marketing executive’s new book, co-written with psychologist Rohini Luthra. The book, called “Savvy: Navigating Fake Companies,…
Hims’ Andrew Dudum: A DTC shake out is coming
Feb 14, 2019 • 33 min
One year old men’s healthcare DTC brand is attempting to disrupt healthcare. The company, which is centered around removing the friction from treating common health issues such as erectile disfunction and hair loss, uses a combination of affordable…
Orange Theory’s Kevin Keith: ‘Wellness is here to stay’
Feb 7, 2019 • 30 min
Orange Theory, a fitness company founded in 2010, is now making $1 billion in revenue and is on track to open 2,500 studios by 2024. The brand is riding the wellness wave, which means more than just fitness. Kevin Keith, chief brand officer at Orange…
Ro’s Rob Schutz: Facebook remains the most effective customer acquisition channel
Feb 1, 2019 • 32 min
Ro, a healthcare direct-to-consumer company that began with a product to treat erectile dysfunction, has a different set of marketing challenges to worry about compared to other DTC brands. Regulation in marketing pharmaceutical products differs from…
‘How Hill City affects Gap Inc. is TBD’: Eric Toda on incubating a brand within a retailer
Jan 24, 2019 • 31 min
Late last year, Gap Inc. launched Hill City, an activewear line that is its version of Athleta, but for men. It’s also the retail giant’s new opportunity to keep growing in activewear. Eric Toda, head of marketing at Hill City, says the advantages of…
Parachute’s Luke Droulez: I don’t want to be known as a Facebook brand
Jan 17, 2019 • 30 min
Born online, so-called DTC brands are growing up. Retailers that were once solely e-commerce are now turning to a more traditional playbook for growth. Rolling our physical retail stores is the first step in the way. Parachute, a digitally-born bed and…
Intel’s Teresa Herd: In-house agencies have ‘invaluable’ access to the business
Jan 10, 2019 • 20 min
The road to in-house certainly isn’t smooth. As the industry gets more and more excited about brands building their internal agencies, a bit of a rude awakening came in December last year when Intel announced it would be shuttering its internal agency,…
SAP’s Alicia Tillman: The focus of B2B marketing has gone from decision-makers to consumers
Jan 3, 2019 • 39 min
B-to-B marketing is not a bubble. The rise of influencers and direct-to-consumer businesses have presented marketers with new challenges with whom to market to and which tools and channels to use. Inside SAP, chief marketing officer Alicia Tillman is…
Karmarama’s Ben Bilboul on working with a consultancy
Dec 27, 2018 • 25 min
Consolidation is the name of the game and one of the big players in the M&A space are consultancies. Karmarama CEO Ben Bilboul discusses the merits of being acquired by Accenture, why he is wary of holding companies and more.
Marketing drives the business again and agencies consolidate: The best of Making Marketing podcast in 2018
Dec 20, 2018 • 9 min
On this episode of the Making Marketing by Digiday, we recap the big themes that emerged for marketers this year, from agency consolidation to marketing evolving as a driver of business.
GoPro’s Nick Woodman on building a media brand that sells cameras
Dec 13, 2018 • 22 min
For GoPro, it never considered itself as solely a camera maker. Rather, it was a media brand, according to founder Nick Woodman. He discusses reshaping the brand over the years, how GoPro’s media team operates differently and more.
iCrossing’s Anne Bologna: Brands will take more marketing in-house in 2019
Dec 6, 2018 • 24 min
Big mergers resulting in new entities like Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R have set the tone for 2019: It’s going to be the year of consolidation. Anne Bologna, chief strategy officer at Hearst-owned agency iCrossing, says there is too much continued…
Deutsch’s Mike Sheldon: The advertising agency business is not growing
Nov 29, 2018 • 27 min
The big shift in this year has been in the marketers’ demands from an agency. It’s not just about the advertising anymore. Agencies are increasingly being called on to solve business problems — and it’s showing. Mike Sheldon, Chairman and CEO of Deutsch…
IBM’s Michelle Peluso: Marketers need to be retrained on new skills
Nov 22, 2018 • 31 min
Blockchain and AI are IBM’s big bets to take the company back on the top as a leader in innovation and technology. Michelle Peluso, chief marketing officer at IBM, discusses how the technologies will change the craft of marketing.
Nestle’s Pete Blackshaw: It’s challenging for a company our size to pivot
Nov 15, 2018 • 30 min
There’s a lot of talk around “nimbleness” inside big companies. But the legacy internal red tape stands in the way of operations and the lessons of traditional marketing behavior are difficult to unlearn. That’s been the responsibility of Pete Blackshaw,…
Rothy’s president Kerry Cooper: The challenge for DTC brands is to figure out a path to profitability
Nov 8, 2018 • 31 min
Instagram has long been touted as a haven for direct-to-consumer brands. The case has been the same for Rothy’s, a women’s shoe brand that recently surged in popularity after actress and royal family member Meghan Markle, wore the label on the day of her…
MedMen’s David Dancer: Regulations need to catch up with the business of cannabis
Nov 1, 2018 • 32 min
Cannabis has succeeded in going from being stigmatized by society to now capturing the imagination of retailers, investors and consumers. MedMen, a publicly traded company out of California, is at the forefront of the developing cannabis industry.…
MullenLowe Group’s Alex Leikikh: There are too many agencies
Oct 25, 2018 • 32 min
The agency world is shrinking. Alex Leikikh, global CEO at MullenLowe Group, thinks there is an oversupply of agencies in the U.S. market. He believes that as more clients start to go in-house, there will be more mergers and more agencies will go out of…
Citi’s Jennifer Breithaupt: People are turning away from traditional advertising
Oct 18, 2018 • 28 min
Citi has doubled down on music as it tries to become a more emotional part of its customers’ lives, Citi’s Global Consumer CMO Jennifer Breithaupt said in the latest episode of Making Marketing. Breithaupt discusses how experiential made Citi’s marketing…
Droga5’s Neil Heymann: We have to remind ourselves that data represents people
Oct 11, 2018 • 28 min
Independent agencies are having a moment in the competitive advertising agency landscape, but it’s not all rosy. On this episode of Making Marketing, Neil Heymann, Droga5’s new chief creative officer, discussed how tough it is to be an indie creative…
VMLY&R’s Jon Cook: Agencies take the client relationship for granted
Oct 4, 2018 • 35 min
Last week, Midwest digital shop VML was merged with old-school legacy agency Y&R, one of the first moves under WPP’s new CEO, Mark Read. It’s part of a larger plan to create a slimmer, less siloed holding company that’s better suited to face the…
Equinox’s Vimla Black Gupta on data, influencers and turning Equinox into a lifestyle brand
Sep 27, 2018 • 26 min
When it comes to lifestyle brands, Equinox makes a pretty good case for itself. What started out as a luxury gym has evolved into a hospitality brand, talent agency, digital magazine, and more. Leading the lifestyle charge is CMO Vimla Black Gupta, who…
R/GA’s Bob Greenberg: ‘If I see enough pushback, I’m on the right track’
Sep 14, 2018 • 34 min
In 1977, Robert Greenberg, also known as Bob, and his brother, Richard, decided to combine both their creative powers and initials to create R/GA. Since its creation over 40 years ago, R/GA has evolved many times, and that, according to Bob, played a…
Verizon’s Andrew McKechnie: ‘The agency model is pretty flawed’
Sep 6, 2018 • 39 min
In the Spring of 2017, Verizon brought on Andrew McKechnie to run its new, in-house creative agency after a long career at Apple and a handful of other agencies. In this episode, McKechnie talks about why creatives actually do want to work with brands,…
Heineken’s Jonnie Cahill: Bringing data and advertising in-house isn’t always sustainable
Aug 30, 2018 • 33 min
Jonnie Cahill, the new CMO for Heineken USA, is charged with marketing one of the world’s largest beer brands in one of the largest beer markets. In this episode, Cahill discusses Heineken’s global focus, the specific challenges of the U.S. beer market,…
Publicis’ Nick Law: Big agencies don’t take creativity seriously
Aug 23, 2018 • 36 min
Since joining Publicis Groupe as global chief creative earlier this year, Nick Law, a longtime agency veteran, has been on a mission to help reinvent the agency holding company. On this episode, Law discusses how the internet has changed the way that ad…
Group M’s Susan Schiekofer: We need to understand where impressions are coming from
Aug 16, 2018 • 28 min
Susan Schiekofer, Chief Digital Investment Officer at Group M, runs digital investments at the world’s largest media agency where her focus is purely on the brands. On this episode Schiekofer discusses the ins and outs of the pitch process, helping the…
The reality of dying ad agencies
Aug 9, 2018 • 31 min
Adapt or die. It’s something most business say they practice but rarely do. An exception is Tracy Wong, the founder of Wongdoody, a 25-year-old creative agency whose acquisition by Indian IT and consulting giant Infosys was announced in April. On this…
VC Eric Hippeau: Marketing is at risk of being commoditized
Aug 2, 2018 • 21 min
Eric Hippeau, managing partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, has invested in many entrepreneurial projects over the years. When looking for his next investment, one of the first things Hippeau considers is the passion and life experience of its founders. He…
Dentsu’s Nick Brien: Performance based compensation deals are the future
Jul 26, 2018 • 35 min
Nick Brien, CEO of the Dentsu Aegis Network, talks about holding the agencies to a higher standard on accountability, the impending consultancy competition and procurement.
Intel’s Yogiraj Graham: Brands should own the creative process
Jul 19, 2018 • 25 min
Yogiraj Graham is the global director of the creative content labs at Intel. Through its in-house shop, Agency Inside, Intel has for years exercised comparatively firm control over its marketing. Yogi leads Intel’s team of 111 people globally, that serves…
Northwestern Mutual’s Aditi Gokhale: ’ I’m not a big believer in outsourcing everything to agencies’
Jul 12, 2018 • 26 min
Aditi Javeri Gokhale, the CMO of Northwestern Mutual, crafted her own job description as the first-ever CMO of the company and overhaul Northwestern Mutual’s brand awareness and practices. On this episode, she discusses her plan of action and where the…
Ogilvy’s Tham Khai Meng: Data without ideas is worthless
Jul 6, 2018 • 13 min
Tham Khai Meng is Ogilvy’s worldwide chief creative officer. He thinks ‘Westworld’ is right. What is the difference between fake and real anymore? AI is blurring out all the definitions. On this episode, he discusses how the tech world has aggressively…
Anheuser-Busch’s Marcel Marcondes: Marketing is moving from being a ‘support function’
Jun 28, 2018 • 28 min
Companies have to be more than buildings — they have to stand for something. It’s a tall order, especially if you sell products like toothpaste or deodorant. On this week’s episode of Starting Out, Anheuser-Busch U.S. CMO Marcel Marcondes discusses his…
Richard Edelman: ‘We would have been choked by the holding companies’
Jun 21, 2018 • 26 min
Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, inherited the family business from his father 40 years ago. Since then, he has expanded the company to 29 different countries, while remaining independent and family-held. Edelman discusses growth, challenges…
Wongdoody’s Tracy Wong: We’re living the reality of dying ad agencies
Jun 7, 2018 • 23 min
Adapt or die. It’s something most business say they practice but rarely do. An exception is Tracy Wong, the founder of Wongdoody, a 25-year-old creative agency whose acquisition by Indian IT and consulting giant Infosys was announced in April. On this…
HP’s Antonio Lucio: ‘Most data is commoditized’
May 24, 2018 • 30 min
In the year of the pivot to reality, marketers are rethinking their reliance on agencies and relationships with platforms. The General Data Protection Regulation has forced companies to reconsider business approaches, but good businesses are resilient.…
‘Advertising’s a weird industry’: Wieden+Kennedy’s Neal Arthur on stumbling into a career
May 17, 2018 • 30 min
As managing director of Wieden+Kennedy, Neal Arthur is an independent spirit who grew up as the only black kid in his California neighborhood. At Wieden and Kennedy, his independence found a home. On today’s episode, Arthur talks about stumbling into…
Verizon’s Andrew McKechnie: ‘I’ve always been experimental’
May 10, 2018 • 31 min
Andrew McKechnie is the chief creative officer at Verizon, where he’s building the company’s in-house agency, 140. McKechnie, who last served as global group creative director at Apple, spent years on the agency side, which he says left him frustrated and…
‘I felt like a fraud’: PJ Pereira on proving yourself in advertising
May 3, 2018 • 27 min
PJ Pereira is the founder and creative chairman of Pereira & O’Dell. He also wrote a trilogy of West African myths. On this episode of Starting Out, Pereira discusses how writing helps maintain his business and creative acumen, and he talks about the…
TBWA’s Nancy Reyes: ‘When you earn something, it’s the best feeling you have’
Apr 26, 2018 • 23 min
Nancy Reyes is the managing director of TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York. Reyes grew up in Long Island City in New York amid rundown houses and warehouses. Her mother was a housekeeper, and her father drove taxis. On this episode of Starting Out, Reyes…
Leo Burnett’s Mark Tutssel on applying lessons from sports to advertising
Apr 19, 2018 • 26 min
Mark Tutssel is the executive chairman at Leo Burnett. Early on, he learned to watch people to understand them and the value of their attention. On this episode of Starting Out, Tutssel talks about the cruel yet kind decision of an agency executive in…
Essence’s Christian Juhl on growing companies and selling reptiles
Apr 12, 2018 • 25 min
Christian Juhl is the global CEO at Essence. Juhl, who majored in political science in college, sees modern work as being inherently political — from running a company to building consensus and avoiding factions. On this episode of Starting Out, he…
‘In careers, you make bets’: GE’s Linda Boff on taking chances and hiring with her ‘spidey sense’
Apr 5, 2018 • 28 min
GE CMO Linda Boff has been in business for years. As a manager, she has developed what she calls a “spidey sense” about hiring. On this episode of Starting Out, Boff discusses how this sense has helped her decide which candidates to take chances on.
OMD CEO John Osborn: Allow yourself flexibility to explore opportunities
Mar 29, 2018 • 17 min
John Osborn recently made a major leap when he moved to media agency OMD after 25 years at creative shop BBDO. But the seemingly sharp turn in his career was the result of an organized mind. On this episode of Starting Out, Osborn discusses being an…
Ogilvy & Mather’s John Seifert You’re only as good as others give you permission to be
Mar 22, 2018 • 23 min
From college dropout to the worldwide CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, John Seifert’s career seems like the plot of a movie. Seifert joined the agency for a summer job during his sophomore year at the University of Southern California 38 years ago — and never…
Big Spaceship’s Michael Lebowitz: ‘Half of all success is serendipity’
Mar 15, 2018 • 29 min
Michael Lebowitz is the founder and CEO of creative agency Big Spaceship, which has grown to over 100 employees since he started it in 2000. In this episode of Starting Out, Lebowitz talks about the importance of creating a framework for creativity and…
Razorfish co-founder Jeff Dachis on his days of being a provocateur
Mar 8, 2018 • 29 min
Jeff Dachis is the founder of diabetes management app One Drop and co-founder of Razorfish. On this episode of Starting Out, Dachis discusses his career path, from his days of being a self-described provocateur in downtown New York to starting a new…
DigitasLBi’s Michael Kahn: Sustainable leadership is a ‘marathon at a sprint pace’
Feb 22, 2018 • 19 min
Michael Kahn went from multiple entrepreneurial stints to a long-term leadership role at Performics before arriving at DigitasLBi as its global brand president. In this episode of Starting Out, Kahn discusses the challenges of switching gears from…
Barton F. Graf CCO: ‘90 percent of a creative person’s life is rejection’
Feb 15, 2018 • 25 min
Gerry Graf is the chief creative officer and a founder at creative agency Barton F. Graf, who’s worked at major creative shops like Goodby Silverstein & Partners, BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi. On this episode of Starting Out, Graf discusses how rejection —…
Omnicom’s Jonathan Nelson: ‘As you run a larger company, it’s harder to say we’re all equal’
Feb 8, 2018 • 25 min
Jonathan Nelson is the CEO at Omnicom Digital, a global marketing and communications holding company that employs about 84,000 people around the world. Nelson is a true veteran of digital. He founded Organic in 1983 and has seen some serious highs and…
McCann’s Harris Diamond: Hire people who are better than you
Feb 1, 2018 • 23 min
McCann Worldgroup CEO Harris Diamond has taken the IPG network to new heights since he came on board in 2012. In this episode of Starting Out, Diamond talks about work-life balance and an important lesson he learned in management.
Cycle Media’s Jason Stein: ‘You can’t succeed if you’re not delegating to great people’
Jan 25, 2018 • 19 min
Jason Stein, founder and CEO of marketing service agency Laundry Service and media company Cycle, pushed himself to the extreme while founding two companies and learned to step back and lead once they were established. On this week’s Starting Out, Stein…
‘If I do this one more day, I might be doing it forever’: Ian Schafer on leaving the agency business
Jan 18, 2018 • 17 min
Longtime agency veteran Ian Schafer recently announced his exit from the agency business following a midlife crisis that motivated him to try something new. On this week’s Starting Out, Schafer talks about learning to manage a business and pivoting to a…
P&G’s Marc Pritchard: ‘We needed to start having a discussion about unconscious bias’
Jan 4, 2018 • 20 min
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, made waves in the marketing industry by starting a conversation about unconscious racial bias, a step aligned with the principles that define his leadership — humility and transparency. On this…
Best of 2017: Marketing experts share their best tips for success
Dec 28, 2017 • 13 min
This year, Digiday launched a new podcast called “Starting Out.” We invited some of the biggest names in marketing to share the secrets of their leadership and success. Here are the five best pieces of advice that our guests swear by.
‘Lucky doesn’t happen by accident’: Brandless’ Tina Sharkey on finding opportunities
Dec 21, 2017 • 23 min
Tina Sharkey, co-founder and CEO of Brandless, thought she would follow in her mother’s footsteps and run a fashion company. But after graduation, her plans changed — thanks to her mother. On this week’s Starting Out, Sharkey talks about growing up in a…
‘Anyone can be an entrepreneur’: VC Eric Hippeau on diversity in startups
Dec 14, 2017 • 21 min
Eric Hippeau, managing partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, has invested in many entrepreneurial projects. For him, an important part of deciding whether to say yes to a team is to look for educational or experiential diversity in the founders’ backgrounds.…
‘My biggest fear is inertia’: DDB’s Wendy Clark on having a doer mentality
Dec 7, 2017 • 29 min
Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB North America, has won many awards during her years of leadership in the agency world. For her, it boils down to being a doer — something that her upbringing and her love for volunteering at nonprofits have fostered. On this week’s…
‘I always wanted to put on a show’: Y&R global CEO David Sable on being in the public eye
Nov 30, 2017 • 28 min
David Sable, Y&R global CEO and chairman of the board, is a pillar of the Madison Avenue set. The former Wunderman executive is known for his love of magic tricks and showmanship — something that’s been ingrained in him from the start. On this week’s…
‘I wanted to see if I could be really, really happy’: Rei Inamoto on his life goals
Nov 16, 2017 • 23 min
On this week’s Starting Out, Rei Inamoto details his childhood in Japan, his experience as a twin and his five-year plan.
‘I had shitty mentors’: Bryan Wiener on learning to lead
Nov 9, 2017 • 34 min
360i Chairman Bryan Wiener has a pretty simple formula for success: old-fashioned hard work. Wiener, who has had a long career in the ad business and watched the digital ad industry quite literally grow up, joined this week’s Starting Out to talk about…
‘In our industry, we wring our hands a lot’: Jaime Robinson on getting back to basics
Nov 2, 2017 • 27 min
Jaime Robinson is one of the industry’s best-known creatives. The former Wieden+Kennedy executive now runs her own shop, Joan, which she co-founded last year with former Refinery29 exec Lisa Clunie. But she sees her job — and that of anyone in advertising…
‘There weren’t people talking about the things I wanted to say’: Ogilvy Noor’s Shelina Janmohamed on changing narratives
Oct 26, 2017 • 20 min
Shelina Janmohamed is the vp at ad agency Ogilvy Noor, Ogilvy’s Islamic consultancy, where she teaches brands how to sell to the Muslim customer. This aligns seamlessly with her personal brand as the author of “Love in a Headscarf,” a book that began as a…
‘You gotta show up’: Katrina Craigwell on introverts at work
Oct 19, 2017 • 23 min
Katrina Craigwell, GE Digital head of marketing innovation, has become a force in the marketing industry for her championship of women and women of color in the field. In this week’s edition of Starting Out, Craigwell, a Canada native, tells us how she’s…
‘Instinct gets you money, instinct gets you power’: Dany Lennon on using her gut
Oct 12, 2017 • 26 min
Dany Lennon has done it all: From music to advertising to agency life, Lennon, now the founder of recruiting and coaching company Creative Register, is fondly known among agency executives as the “original connecter.” She’s placed some of advertising’s…
‘When you get fired it sticks with you’: Jeff Goodby on the hardest part of his job
Oct 5, 2017 • 31 min
Jeff Goodby, the chairman at Goodby Silverstein and Partners, has built a storied career in advertising. Goodby founded the agency along with Rich Silverstein, who he met at Ogilvy in the early 1980s. The agency has grown, kept growing, and more recently…
‘It meant more when I finally achieved something’: Sarah Thompson on life as an outsider
Sep 28, 2017 • 16 min
On the first episode, Sarah Thompson, the global CEO of Droga5, joined us to discuss the value of keeping it simple and what it’s like to try land a job in the hyperconnected world of advertising without connections.
Introducing Starting Out
Sep 27, 2017 • 0 min
Starting Out is Digiday’s latest podcast. A show where we find out how the industry’s biggest movers and shakers made it, what’s their special power and what makes them tick. Starting Out will talk shop but also throwback to how it all began. Subscribe…