A Top 10 USA Business & Marketing Podcast
Amazon One Concerns, VANS: Musicians Wanted, New Facebook CMO brings Credibility as the Election Nears and More of the Latest Marketing News!

October 02, 2020

Amazon One Concerns, VANS: Musicians Wanted, New Facebook CMO brings Credibility as the Election Nears and More of the Latest Marketing News!
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It's news time!!! Ryan and Reiley break down some of the biggest headlines of this week…

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In this episode, Host Ryan Alford and Producer Reiley Clark, break down the biggest marketing and business news this week... Here we GO!

  1. Amazon One: Pros and Cons of the new palm reader that will hold your credit card information
  2. VANS: Musicians Wanted
  3. New Facebook CMO: What does this mean for their credibility?
  4. Crocs in the Pandemic: Crocs saw a 52.4% digital commerce growth following their Free Pair for Health Care initiative
  5. Callaway and Kevin Nealon: FIX YOUR SLICE!

Follow our host here! | To stay updated on all things radical, follow us on Instagram @the.rad.cast


Ryan Alford[00:00:00]Hey, guys, what's up? Welcome to another episode of the Radcast. It is our weekly news segment. Hey, we do it as often as we can because sometimes work comes in. Hey, sometimes we have two or three episodes in a week. So yeah, it is the week. It's today, October 1st. 

Reiley Clarke[00:00:29] Can you believe it's October. I'm in shock.

Ryan Alford[00:00:31] Reiley Clarke, good to have you on as always. Thank you. I appreciate it. It is. It is. It's cool. Cool. Brisk here in Greenville, South Carolina. I came in today and took my son to school this morning. And he is fighting the jacket thing. He's four years old and he does not want to wear a coat yet. He still thinks it's 80 because it ends up being 80 by the afternoon here. Nonetheless, it was cool in the early to low 50s, I would say. 

Reiley Clarke[00:00:59]But a beautiful morning. Very beautiful. 

Ryan Alford[00:01:02] So we are well into e-commerce here. 

Reiley Clarke[00:01:06]So we are five episodes in. Yeah, we have our new episode that will be coming out on Tuesday, and that's with Khalilah Wright. That is the founder and CEO of Mess In A  Bottle. We recorded her earlier this week. How did you feel like that went? 

Ryan Alford[00:01:21]Cool, both inspiring. So we got there, we checked the boxes. We're getting both the radical box and the eCom box with Khalilah. Inspiring, really smart. It's just interesting how she started Mess In a Bottle. I don't want to give too much away, but it's a T-shirt and apparel company. She's expanding past the T-shirts, but interesting, which you'll hear more about. But I've often wondered, like, there are so many people starting T-shirt companies doing all the stuff, how do you differentiate yourself. She found a unique spin in the bottle and the messages. I mean, it's super simple. Oh, yeah. But she's a good writer, talented. The messages are cool and they cover a lot of gamuts, both empowering, you know, African-American girls and businesswomen to any entrepreneur. And so she's got a good thing going. And I enjoyed the sit-down. 

Reiley Clarke[00:02:16]Oh, yeah. When I was listening to you guys record it I just felt inspired. You just want to wear a T-shirt. 

Ryan Alford[00:02:24]She is just real too. Her son was there. She's doing everything that everyone else does with kids. Like myself with e-learning at home. Her son was doing homework or actually in middle school. Yeah, but then she was very authentic. 

Reiley Clarke[00:02:41]So that comes out Tuesday at noon and excited for that one. And then we have a couple more guests coming up. But we won't give everything away yet. So, you know, stay tuned. Stay tuned. 

Ryan Alford[00:02:52]It's been good. And there are things around the agency that have been good and busy and we're knee-deep in several e-commerce sites. So it's been kind of interesting, like hearing some tidbits here and there and applying them to some real-world things. And we're launching two or three major e-commerce sites in the next week or so. Well, now here's Riley with the news. 

Here is the Radcast news. 

Reiley Clarke[00:03:23]So Amazon one is something that the company launched on Tuesday of this week, and it's a contact list,  a way to identify your credit card with your palm. Right. But it's when you go into one of those Amazon, Amazon ghost stories and essentially you're supposed to walk out of the store, put your palm on the reader, register your credit card that way, and then essentially you don't have to keep swiping your credit card or whatever it just read your palm and that kind of thing. Initial takeaways? 

Ryan Alford[00:03:57]You know, it's interesting. First, we were going to be led by eye scans, which I guess started with fingerprint scanning. Fingerprint scanning is how you open your laptop, you do anything like everything's going to be a fingerprint.  Then it was eye scans. You can use your eye like you scan your eye or whatever, facial recognition, you have facial recognition like the iPhone and other things. And then now it's the Palm and all. And I get that the goal is to be contactless. So fingerprints are not necessarily contactless. And I would have thought the eyeball scan would be contactless. The face is contactless. And now the palm, it's how fast these grocery stores are going to open? How many more are there other than New York and one or two other cities throughout. So this feels like, hey, great, we've got covid going on. We don't need to be touching every surface. Right. Fully supportive. But can we get one universal biometric scan? Is it the face? Is it the eyes? Is it the palm? If it's going to be the palm, great let's make it the palm. But let's make it universal. Mom is doing the elbow scan today. I mean, I get what you're saying. Samsung is going to have the elbow. Apple's going to have the face. Amazon's the palm.  

Reiley Clarke[00:05:21] One of the things that's kind of a concern with this is that it's going to create user education for how to then register your palm with your credit card, using the palm, making sure everything is correct there. But does this not low key creep you out? 

Ryan Alford[00:05:37]In the sense that is more data that they're collecting on you. It's that's the privacy concern. 

Speaker 2[00:05:44]Are we going to see concern? The other concern is where is this technology going to take us? Because some people were saying that Amazon was even trying to take this eventually into a stadium, read your poem, and then you go into the game like, is this going to become our way of identifying before you go into a place? Do you think it could go that way? Are we getting like the movies? 

Ryan Alford.[00:06:09] It's headed in that direction?  Like all these Orwell books, it's all coming true. It's a little like Big Brother. It is. I mean, and so we're giving up a lot of privacy for the sake of information. And we talked about ads last week on platforms. Everything would give way to not having to see ads or have ads. We accept ads in favor of content and other things. Here we're giving up another layer of privacy for covid is the excuse, is it? You know, look, no one's saying, oh, it's not real, but it's being leveraged in any way possible to press forward this kind of initiative that or one way or another for people to collect another form of personal identifying information about yourself. Yeah. And so, let's just streamline it. Make it one thing, though. I don't want it to be seven things. You know, don't turn me into a robot. So I was going to do that. I'm OK with it. 

Reiley Clarke[00:07:15]Well, I guess we'll see where it goes. That's something I'll be following up and I'll put it in the episode notes as well just to see kind of where it's going to be going. But that was an interesting one. Our next topic, musicians wanted, is a virtual concert that Vans is hosting, and the goal is to get regional musicians to be noticed, which I think is a nice initiative, especially when a lot of concerts were shut down. So this is a nice way, I think, to create more engagement for the musicians. But I do think it's interesting as far as branding goes for vans, because typically, at least from what I've always grown up around, it's very skater heavy, very well skater heavy. And now I feel like they're bringing in more of him. He's a musical musician kind of artist-audience. What do you think about that? 

Reiley Clarke[00:08:03]You know, I think Vans as a brand, over time, has transmitted just to the skater. It's certainly that is the core, that's the original, whether that is skater BMX or biking or whatever. I think it plays into the brand promise of off the wall. Yeah, that's kind of their, I think, overarching statement. And so I think this plays into the segment nicely. Because when you think about skating or surfing or BMX and all those things, music is hand in hand. Oh, yeah. It's like I almost hear when I watch a skate video, I hear a soundtrack in my head. When I watch a surf video, I figure I hear it. So it feels like a natural progression for them. And look, they're an iconic brand now. I did skate when I was younger, but I'm none of these things now. So I have a pair of Vans like I don't wear them every day, but they're right there in the arsenal and, the very limited arsenal in the closet. And so they've transcended those sports with just the brand and just kind of the notion of Casual sportswear I guess, the walking around gear, as I call it. Yeah, but the music play makes a ton of sense for me. It's great that they're using innovation to bring it together with covid going on. You can't get people together to do the virtual side of it. So I think it's a smart play for the brand. 

Reiley Clarke[00:09:44]I agree. I'll put a link again to the musician wanted in case any of our listeners are like, oh, OK, OK, I want to enter into this as the winner. I like all the different kinds of prizes you're going to get. The winner will get twenty-five hundred dollars of music, video production, and promotion. Share the stage with Anderson House of vans and then, of course, it's pending covid. You'll be featured on Van Spotify audio ads and musicians want customized Fender guitars and a drum kit. And then there are top finalists. So if you don't win, there are other things you're going to get a bunch of. We'll link all those. But I think I like this initiative. And, you know, as far as I hope, you know, we can all see the concert because I miss going to things like that. So I like the virtual concert. 

Ryan Alford[00:10:32]Yeah, it's going to be interesting. Looks like they're going to have the top five do like a virtual concert, probably each band or musician, you know how it plays out. I could see it being both know individual solo talent or full band maybe entering how that kind of comes together like. A few of these, like I thought I watched the ACM awards, the country music, I thought it was produced nicely a few weeks ago, was all virtual, like they played at different locations and things like that, the different bands. So, you know, it'd be interesting in a non-professional environment, I guess they're going to professionally produce it and maybe send crews out for the top five or something, probably. But it seems like it takes a lot of coordination to kind of pull these things off and not feel a little janky. Yeah. You know, so I mean, some of that organic is great. But I don't know what the consumer expectations are for this kind of production value. That's fair enough. So we'll see. But it makes tons of sense for the brand. Oh, yeah, that's for sure. 

Reiley Clarke[00:11:40]Oh, for sure. For some new CMO at Facebook. And I think this is cool in terms of Facebook needing to get some better credibility out there, especially. I like it in the sense it's very smart for them to do this right before the election because obviously, we know four years ago there was propaganda pretty much everywhere, both ways. And Facebook got a lot of people upset with misinformation. And so I think that having this new CMO of Schultz, who originally was vice president of product growth and analytics, now to be the CMO, what are your thoughts on that as well? 

Ryan Alford[00:12:23]I think he's been with the company for a couple of years, so it's a promotion for him. He's a smart guy. I think that if he can, the biggest thing, the biggest opportunity for Facebook is they've been very I'll call it product technology focus with, as I've said the day, it's just gotten so complex, the app and everything you could do from marketplace to groups to shopping to, every time they add something. I can only imagine the complexity they go through because you can see all things all have to talk to each other. And now, you know, they've had Instagram for how many years of that. And the Messager now finally talking to each other. So they've been very product feature-focused. You see some brand messages. I do see their TV ads here and there. Now I see the video that's more branded. But it'll be interesting if Alex can start to tell more of those brand stories and to soften the kind of backlash that's been out there for them in a meaningful way. So blending both the product, the innovation with that brand story and starting to promote more of the good, because, I mean, look, it's an amazing platform that does a lot of good. There's no question. Yeah. And this isn't hate on Facebook, though. I know that. And whether deserving or not, I think a lot of it has been deserved, has taken a hit, especially with larger brands that we call them and other things like that. I just don't know if one hire is going to make this happen. It's got to start from the top and it's got to be. I think they've been in this growth at all costs mode in some ways with ads and in technology and all those things. And can they slow the ship a little bit while staying ahead of Tik Tok and other competitors that are biting at their ankles while improving their brand persona and how they're viewed and that's going to become more than a message. They're going to have to kind of put their money where their mouth is with getting this information off the platform and taking a stand and not being seen as just, I think a lot of it, too. They get seen as, maybe supporting one side or the other sometimes, too. Right. And so we'll see. It's not an easy task with as bloated as the number of people there on the platform. But good hire like Alex, sort of like what he's done, and a smart guy. So we'll see. 

Reiley Clarke[00:15:08]Yeah, definitely be following up with that one as well. A nice topic. I love this topic because this is about crocs coming into the pandemic space. And they initially were following the initial play of covid in March. They came out with free pairs for health care and they ended up donating 40 million dollars worth of free shoes to health care. And this was awesome because when I was back in West Virginia, the couple I was living with, they're both on health care. And he's a nurse. And Croc sent him a free pair of shoes. And like, that was so cool, and he was like sporting them around the house and everything. But I think it's great that this is something that they are doing because as a result, I like how they were talking about by listening to customers on the onset of coronavirus. Crocs wasn't able to adapt to 52.4% percent growth in their e-commerce space. That's crazy. 

Ryan Alford[00:16:06]Yeah. You know, when I read that stat, I want to know what was their retail brick and mortar loss with that, with the 52% incurring.  It’s a good start. What’s been the impact of their brick and mortar store sales? They are sold everywhere, in every major retailer. I would love to know how that was all set up just to see the numbers. That said it’s a great cause in the Canada model of Tomes, buy a pair give a pair, it makes a lot of sense. It also makes sense for the brand. I am sure they have seen some growth because people are at home and want to be comfortable. If you consider the desk with just your shirt and tie on and have your gym shorts below it, these shoes can most certainly be comfortable. I think they were in a prime position to leverage that. And people were claiming for this and they delivered. There is nothing to sneeze at 40 million dollars worth of shoes at retail value. Even their cost is in the tens of millions. So put your money where your mouth is. I know it’s building brand loyalty and I know people want to buy from brands that do this. I do want to see more brands doing this, not because you shouldn’t do it but because it is right. So I am curious what is the net net? Is it more karma than business? Karma is good too or it can be. It is good to do good, but is it endearing to their customer base as much as you assume? I would like to see a measurement on that. I am not suggesting that they shouldn’t have done it if they don’t get the measurement. My marketing analytical side is more like ok, what is this? I would love to see a survey from both avid and non-avid fans post six months after this to see if the brand affinity has gone up. That's just me from a marketing standpoint wanting to understand the outcome of certain things.

Reiley Clarke  [00:18:47]   That will be very interesting to follow up on as far as what that looks like. That’s something I can enquire about. Let's see what we can do here in the ecom series. Our last topic is Calloway and Kevin Nealon's tee up as… Let me restart, golf apparently during covid, and this makes sense, more golfers were going out during covid, and people were getting interested in golf during covid but I guess more people are showing that certain shot, golf wise. There was this team effort with Calloway and  Kevin Nealon and guess they are showing the solution to not have this problem anymore.

Ryan Alford [00:19:38]  As a golfer who plays a fade,  but when I am not playing well it is very much a slice. If you are a right-handed golfer this means your balls go from left to right and this happens when your hand gets ahead of the club. You leave the clubface open on impact and the ball spins hard and loops right. When I am playing well instead of you  I can go five to 8-yard fade, a lot of big hitters are now playing the fade on the tour. Mine will start going hard right if I am not playing well, because my hand gets ahead of the ball. There is your golf lesson for the day. It is what plays more amateur golfer than anything and I love that Kevin is hilarious and it's again leveraging a way to create content in these unusual ways, surprising and delightful. There have been countless articles and videos by pros on how not to hit a slice. As a golfer, I have googled it myself at some point. There are millions of articles and every golf digest has on how to not do a slice. So how do you take something that's been talked about a lot and make it more interesting for your fan base? So you bring in a comedian and you tell it through that story in that lens and make it fun and it is great content.

Reiley Clarke [00:21:21]   There is an 8-minute video that pokes fun at this, but I will put that in the episode as well.

Ryan Alford [00:21:27]  And I think if you are listening and you are thinking how to do content and how to do marketing? We often get paralyzed by thinking someone has already done this. And it doesn’t always mean you have to hire a comedian or a professional, but how can you make it more interesting?  How can you tell it through your lens that makes it a little different? And so Calloway has a large budget and can hire to do this, but if we think out of the box we can tell the same stories in different ways. That makes it interesting to your audience.

Reiley Clarke [00:22:10]  And people might resonate more with a different perspective. Do you think about how many different types of learning there are? So even though someone may have said it before, to your point put your perspective on it and you may be touching so many more people that had no idea that they can take in that information that way.

Ryan Alford[00:22:27]  Again Calloways has a new set of clubs that helps people with that slice. So again a common problem, they have a funny way of telling it and they have a solution with the clubs.  It's a winning formula.

Reiley Clarke  [00:22:43]  There you go. This came out last week; What is your opinion on Linkedin stories?

Ryan Alford  [00:22:50]   I think it's a game-changer for the platform. I posted this. The cynical side of this, some of the reactions that have been online, another medium. I'm already doing Instagram, I'm doing Facebook, I'm doing Tik Tok depending on who you are and I'm doing LinkedIn content, now I have to do a LinkedIn story? It can be overwhelming, but when you put that aside and you go,  what are some of the core challenges for LinkedIn of getting more interaction?  People are still sitting on the fence because they don’t know what to post and when to post it. And a post feels very overwhelming versus a story.  You feel like it's going to live there forever, stories are 24 hours. So even if people have gotten better at shooting videos, people still feel that trepidation of a post. What am I going to say in it again? Caption, what am I going to put in the video? What am I going to Image? Is it smart? Is it not smart?  It's just over analysis. Number one; stories make that easier. Number two; it also allows us to get to know our connections a little better and a little closer. I think that is what stories have done for the other platforms. In that same vein, you can portray a certain image and a certain aspect with just a post. In a story, especially like with videos with people getting on and talking a little more casually, you can get to know your connections on a deeper level. And if you are a recruiter and you are going after a certain talent you can go look at stories on the people. You get to know them a little more than maybe their post show or if you are someone that's looking for a job you can showcase yourself better.  I do think it's a game-changer for the platform. I think it's positive from my side of it.

Reiley Clarke  [00:24:54] Have you had positive responses to your stories yet?

Ryan Alford  [00:24:55]  I get engaged. I don’t know what else I want. Great engagement.

Reiley Clarke  [00:25:02]  I guess we will see as it goes on how it can go.  Initially, there was a lot more fear of what you put on the stories that don't make it feel social because some people were like, this is a funny example, I don’t want to go; I desperately need a job. Do you share the same thing that you would put on your Instagram story but target it more towards business?

Ryan Alford [00:25:34]  I think it's more like and I have not cracked this code definitively yet, I have been repurposing some content that we use for Instagram and other things. Most people even with covid are working, unemployment is high but most people are still working jobs from 9 to 5. And so this is a natural outlet to show every day what you are doing at work. Instead of the fun lifestyle stories of the moment; I am knee-deep in this document and you are filming yourself. It gives a natural way to show when you are at work. You know you don’t want to be taking up too much of your work time but shooting a small video here and there, Ild rather they are promoting than talking. I support it and again showcasing what happens during a workday is an opportunity for content.

Reiley Clarke[00:26:43] Can be a more authentic business perspective versus purely social and it's not supposed to be funny it can just be for your business. Those are our topics today. Is there anything else you want to discuss, talk about, closeout on?

Ryan Alford[00:27:03]  I think that’s it for this edition of the Radcast. Follow along at theradcast.com or on Instagram on the.rad.cast and we’ll see you next time.