What Was Trending in FMCG at Natural Products Expo West 2018

Our feet are screaming after covering more than one million square feet and 3,500+ exhibitors of natural food and lifestyle products at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., March 7 – 11.

But we lived to tell a few stories. Here’s what our Wellness and Cultivate teams collected along the way.

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Considering Values-based Marketing Programs? Make Sure your Brand has “Permission”

When you run an ad campaign that costs $5 million dollars, you’re looking for a big return on your investment, right?

Unfortunately, as brands look to increase their impact by touching on culturally relevant, and highly sensitive, topics, we are seeing both advertising and marketing campaigns miss the mark. When this happens, they are often described as “tone deaf” and brands are left to ponder how their best intentions created a PR catastrophe.

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Seven Trends From SXSW: A Future in Flux

Social responsibility has moved from the edge of a brand’s identity to the center.
And with that shift, the role of CMOs has evolved to also include advocacy. A lot of companies are playing catch-up in a culture where they can’t afford to NOT have a point of view.

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Ketchum and Room to Read CEOs Talk #PressForProgress on International Women’s Day

I had the honor of kicking off Women’s History Month and our efforts to support International Women’s Day’s #PressForProgress campaign by moderating a special conversation between two CEOs – Ketchum’s CEO Barri Rafferty and Geetha Murali, the CEO of our pro bono partner Room to Read, an organization that believes that world change starts with educating children. Both of these women happened to start their new roles in January and both are running organizations during rapidly changing and unpredictable times.

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Five Things I Learned from MIT’s “AI: Implications for Business Strategy” Certification Program

Here’s the thing; as marketers, you need to be pretty aware of the various ways AI is impacting our lives. A few prime examples of AI in action include social media and newsfeed algorithms, social listening algorithms, and natural language processing bots and assistants. AI is officially 2018’s hyped technology, and chatter about its proliferation has not yet reached its apex. In fact, as our CEO, Barri Rafferty, noted, one of the primary focuses of the 2018 World Economic Forum was the impact AI is starting to have on our society.

With all of this in mind, I decided to seek out some subject matter knowledge through a certification program with the MIT Sloan School of Management called, Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy. 

Here are some key lessons from the program…

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After 90 Years of Oscars, Why Does It Still Hold Our Attention?

It is hard to tell when something actually becomes a tradition but what is harder still, is to figure out why.

When Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel shared that the first Academy Awards presentation was held in 1929, it surprised me. The fact that it only lasted 15 minutes perhaps even more. No broadcast. Held in a hotel. Fifteen statues were given out.

Fast forward to last night – the show marked the ninetieth time the Academy Awards was held. The show was broadcast around the world and ran over three-and-a-half hours. I’m not sure how many awards were given out, but I know I was one of the more than 24 million people tuning in and soaking it all up.

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The Next Decade of Olympic Host Cities: A Path Paved with Gold

With the Olympic Winter Games officially drawn to a close, there’s scarcely a person in the world who consumes any type of media that doesn’t know the name of the latest Olympic host city of PyeongChang, South Korea. Images of the world’s greatest athletes shredding, jumping, racing, and spinning across the Korean ice and snow have reached billions. The local culture and customs have been showcased and spectacular new hotels, roadways and a high-speed train connecting the airport on the western coast to Seoul, and then the mountains and the eastern-coast resorts, has been put through their paces by thousands of visitors.

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Why Every Business Should Take Blogging Seriously in 2018

In the last decade, blogs have become an integral part of our online culture and an important tool for businesses. Even with the introduction of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, blogs remained a relevant tactic for businesses due to the measurable benefits they offer.

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Black History Month: Moss Hyles Kendrix

Growing up my grandmother would tell me, “An eagle can soar high, but it has it to come down for water eventually.” Meaning, no matter where life takes you and what you accomplish, never forget where you come from. Throughout his career, Moss Hyles Kendrix never forgot his roots and fought to uplift the Black community.

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Black History Month: The Legacy of Stuart Scott

One of the most important qualities a great communicator can have is authenticity. Being your authentic self will resonate with your audience much more than trying to fit a particular mold. When African Americans enter a new space, we often feel as though we need to assimilate into the culture that already exists. Stuart Scott did just the opposite.

“I’ll write that because I’m going to write like I talk.” – Stuart Scott

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