Introducing, Marketing Trends!

Branded is a daily curated list of industry news designed to help executives in marketing and branding create ROI producing media, stories, and campaigns that deliver long term results.

7 Minute (Marketing) Abs

Each episode of Branded is a quick, 7 minute read to help you stay updated and aware of the latest news, trends, lessons learned, industry insights, emerging technologies, actionable strategies, and opportunities from the leading companies in our industry.

Branded also offers an interactive Q&A (we’re literally on standby to help you solve your problems in real time). Each episode of Branded also has a “Spotlight” and “Opportunities” section to let you know about new job opportunities, corporate initiatives, campaigns, and cutting edge startups.

And if you are working on a cool marketing campaign, we can give you a shoutout!

Branded is brought to you by our team at The Mission. We create original content, shows, and series for brands and distribute them to our audience of millions. To learn more, connect with us here. Or email me anytime at Ian(at)

The Outline of Each Episode of Branded

Each episode of Branded has 7 parts:

  1. News that Matters
  2. Lessons Learned
  3. Original Content, Series, and Shows
  4. Storytelling
  5. Marketing Q&A
  6. Spotlights
  7. Opportunities

Let’s jump into today’s episode!

The FTC, first principles of influencer marketing, and AR for brands

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. –David Ogilvy

News that Matters

This is MUST know news to help protect the job of every single marketer. The FTC has modified its definition of what constitutes an ad, sponsored content, and a partnership. The updated rules aren’t that clear, and we’re not attorneys, but you might want to print them out, bookmark them, or send them to your general counsel and ask to translate into English. We just did all of the above.

Lessons Learned

“We know that they’re [influencers] the new tastemakers. And ultimately we’ve got the potential to reach millions globally. And what we’re finding is it’s not all about YouTube: it’s about how we get the right piece of content, the right personality and the right story to the right audience.” –Beth Appleton, Warner Music Group’s senior VP of global marketing, on influencer marketing from the Musically blog.

Original Content, Shows, and Series

It seems like every tech company is pouring resources into creating original content. The CEO of Linkedin, Jeff Weiner is on the ball, and beginning to explore the space. He recently came out and said that Linkedin is considering finding a company to create original content, or possibly creating more of it at their studio.


Love this article from Andy Raskin in The Mission:

In fact, virtually every CEO, sales exec, and marketing VP in attendance seemed suddenly overwhelmed by an urgent desire to change the way they worked.

The reason?

They had just been on the receiving end of the best sales pitch I’ve seen all year. –Andy RaskinThe Greatest Sales Pitch I’ve Seen All Year

Marketing Q&A

Each day, I answer and break down the best question I’ve received from colleagues, or field from potential clients. If you have one, feel free to ask away on the Twitters @ianfaison, or email ian (AT) As a rule of thumb, I post them anonymously, but if you want a shoutout or your name or company featured, I’m happy to do that, (just let me know when you ask the question).

Q: Will buying the SEO optimized sponsored stories with the publisher hurt our content team’s chances of ranking on page one for the same phrases?

A: I’ll answer that with a movie quote. In the movie Contact, one of the characters asserts: “Why buy one, when you can buy two for twice the price?”

SEO changes constantly and there is a lot of real estate on page one for a search phrase. So if the publisher you’re buying a sponsored story from can rank for #3, and your content team can rank for #1, you’re on your way to selling more stuff. However, I would challenge you to slightly change your view of SEO. Seth Godin recently said in his blog: “SEO specialists tell you how to write a blog post that Google will like.” Our job is not to write the post that Google will like, but rather write the content that is the most helpful (and that Google also likes). The publisher is writing from their perspective, which is probably different than your internal team. My recommendation is to have your content team work with the publisher so that both articles are different, yet complementary. Bottom line: Be as helpful as possible, and try to rank for as many of the page one results that you can. Twice as many, for twice the price.


CorporateAmazon is racing into AR in a big way, allowing users to see what a product would look like in their home before they order it.

Startups: The Holo App from 8i Reality is paving the way for AR, and it’s already in the top 10 of the iOS AppStore for the new iPhone X.

Talent & Free Agents: The CEO of Hulu is leaving to run Sony Pictures TV.


Our friends at Athos are hiring! Specifically, they’re looking to hire a marketer with a background, expertise, and obsession with sports. If you’re interested, email me with your resume for an introduction.


Email newsletters are the OG’s of influencer marketing. Email newsletter sponsorships have been around for almost as long as email (even back when it was called E-Mail) but unlike most traditional internet advertising, the strength and reliability of excellent email newsletters have only grown over time. This article breaks down how you or your team can go about sponsoring one, and what metrics to consider when you do. –How and Why to Sponsor an Email Newsletter

That’s it for today’s edition of Branded! Love it? Clap it up and share it!

Hate it? LMK why in the comments.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition!


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