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STEVE SMITH

Steve Smith is Editorial Director of Events for MediaPost

Meet Steve at MediaPost Events

  • Steve is attending Brand Insider Summit Retail, August 21, 2022
    The Resort at Squaw Creek Lake Tahoe, CA

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • Summer Rerun: PepsiCo's Gaming ZEN: Be the Ball in Brand Insider on 08/13/2022

    Gaming is as huge as it has been hard for marketers to crack. Advertising traditionally is all about interruption and distraction, but players engage their favorite shooter or tile-match app specifically to avoid distraction, to immerse their senses, to focus attention. PepsiCo is among the true pioneers marketing into this space. Paul Mascali, who leads that effort, tells Brand Insider this week that enhancing gameplay, not distracting from it, remains the simple rule of marketing into game experiences. The goal is not just to be in the game, but to think like a game designer.

  • Meaningful Analytics: Walgreens Rethinks the Customer as Patient in Brand Insider on 08/05/2022

    Walgreens is fundamentally changing its relationship to the people it serves. The prescription customer has become the healthcare patient, and Walgreens has had to marshal its data and communications to craft personalized interactions with a massive base, who have often been invisible to the healthcare economy. At MediaPost's Pharma and Health Insider Summit last month, we explored with Walgreens-Boots Alliance's VP of Customer Experience Fauzia Somani how the company is making this transition from pharmacist to healthcare provider.

  • Broadcasting Providence: Podcasting as a Brand Strategy in Brand Insider on 07/22/2022

    When brands truly embrace audio as a persistent content market strategy, there is an opportunity for making a mark. At this week's MediaPost Pharma and Health Insider Summit, Providence St. Joseph Health's Mary Renouf outlined the company's ambitious project for providing a full-blown health information audio station on Internet radio and podcasting. An initial "Future of Health" program blossomed into a full-blown network of shows featuring expertise not only from one of the nation's largest hospital networks, but with that company's own business partners. Yes, this is a case where a branded content program in turn started a business creating branded content for its own marketing partners. It is a remarkable case study not only in the brand building potential of audio, but in turning marketing into a profit center itself.

  • Building GSK's Social Listening Post: It's More Than 'Engagement' in Brand Insider on 07/29/2022

    To get the most from brand presences on social you need sophisticated listening protocols, data and analytics infrastructure and a plan for democratizing that intelligence so that brand leaders can use it. Those were just some of the key takeaways from one of the highlights of last week's MediaPost Pharma and Health Insider Summit. Danny Gardner, GSK's Analytics Manager, US and NA Social Intelligence Lead brought us inside how GSK cultivated its consumer brand social listening post in house. Engagement - the "What" people are interacting with, does not tell you "Why." For that you need the tech, infrastructure and analytics that ask the right questions. Danny showed a smart listening post evolving to produce unforeseen insights about how consumers really interact with products and where brands have a shot at adding genuine value to their customers' lives.

  • 'Healthcare is the Stinky Taxi': Can Laso Uber-ize the Doctor/Patient Transaction? in Brand Insider on 07/15/2022

    For most Americans, doctor's visits can be frightening from both a health and financial perspective. As Laso CEO Tim Kaufeldt tells Brand Insider this week, out-of-pocket costs in the high deductibles world of health "underinsurance" has left an opening for a true digital marketplace for ad hoc care. The Laso app matches patients with doctors in an Uber-like way - providing a flat up front cost for most procedures. Kaufeldt's marketing challenge is a bit like Uber's in its early days - getting people to realize that riding in a stranger's car may be preferable to the more familiar but wildly imperfect and "stinky" taxi/shuttle system.

  • Summer Rerun: Walgreens Rethinks Pharmacy Customer As Healthcare Patient in Brand Insider on 07/08/2022

    Walgreens played a critical role in vaccinating America during the Covid-19 crisis, and so, suddenly, pharmacy "customers" also became "patients." And many of those patients, often underserved by the overall healthcare system, came with complex histories and relationships with that system. When we spoke with Walgreens' Senior Director, Media Strategy & Planning Jennifer Peelle this spring, she explained how the company had to leverage data sets and predictive modeling in new ways to reach the underserved and hesitant audiences in very specific places and with precisely targeted messaging.

  • Following the "Better-Seeker" Demo: Genexa Aims to "Clean" Up OTC Meds in Brand Insider on 07/01/2022

    Is "clean" the new sexy? If you are a mom or dad put off by the treacherous-sounding "Inactive ingredients" in your kid's Acetaminophen or OTC allergy elixir, then you are the kind of "better-seeker" Genexa's co-founder David Johnson wants to talk with. Hell, he even puts his phone number on every OTC med he sells across tens of thousands of retail outlets.

  • Lessons from Vagina Academy: Bayer Wants Creative To Be Creative Again in Brand Insider on 06/24/2022

    Most pharma and healthcare marketing is anodyne or laughable...usually both. Bayer's Global CMO Patricia Corsi is on a crusade to make ad creative live up to its name again. Her team has executed one of the few major marketing campaigns I have seen in recent years that authentically earns the otherwise empty buzzword "purposeful branding". Starting in a test in Brazil, the Vagina Academy used data to drive a key cultural insight and then addressed it with consumer-driven creative energy that broke harmful taboos.

  • PepsiCo's Gaming ZEN: Be the Ball in Brand Insider on 06/17/2022

    Gaming is as huge as it has been hard for marketers to crack. Advertising traditionally is all about interruption and distraction, but players engage their favorite shooter or tile-match app specifically to avoid distraction, to immerse their senses, to focus attention. PepsiCo is among the true pioneers marketing into this space. Paul Mascali, who leads that effort, tells Brand Insider this week that enhancing gameplay, not distracting from it, remains the simple rule of marketing into game experiences. The goal is not just to be in the game, but to think like a game designer.

  • Rapid Testing: Ro Takes On Covid With Segmentation and Engagement in Brand Insider on 05/28/2022

    The telehealth company that built its brand on ED and hair loss treatment was an unlikely destination for rapid COVID tests. But by making smarter use of marketing segmentation that prioritized engagement over demographics, Ro pivoted its CRM engine towards test distribution as the Omicron variant peaked late last year. Senior Director of CRM, Amy Heir explores what the company has learned about maintaining deliverability and open rates when the spam filters, and customers, are on high alert.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • 'B2B Marketing Is Dead': NI Rebrands In D2C Style by Steve Smith (Brand Insider on 09/09/2020)

    So true, Bart. I would love to heare about more b2b brands that are taking a b2c approach. 

  • 'Mad' Magazine's Famed Cartoonist Mort Drucker Dies At 91 by Melynda Fuller (Publishers Daily on 04/09/2020)

    Drucker's style was our childhood entryway to American TV and film for many of us. Everyone both at MAD and at all of its imitators tried to imitate Drucker. But even as a kid I could tell the real thing from the copycats. No one tutored us more effectively in how not to take these media industries too seriously. Like Jack Davis, Wally Wood, John Severin, Drucker's pemcil and brush had an outsized power in our lives and culture. Thanks Mort.

  • Obit: Pioneering Magazine Publisher Hugh Hefner, Dead At 91 by Joe Mandese (Publishers Daily on 09/28/2017)

    Malcolm X, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Jimmy Carter, Alex Haley (who originally interviewed Malcolm X for Playboy), Erica Jong, Germaine Greer, Bella Abzug, David Bowie - just a few of the interviews that still resonate for me decades later becasue they went deeper.and got closer to the figure's voice than anything else available. All of it sat within a package that was also irredeemably sexist and unapologetically wedded to the shallowest material pleasures of consumer culture. Somehow they were all of a frightening, contradictory, delusional, brilliant, craven, dazzling, piece that was America itself in the last half of the 20th Century.       

  • GenerationVexed by Bob Garfield (Garfield at Large on 04/10/2017)

    This is the fake news we need more of.

  • The Trump-ification Of 2016: The Super Bowl Implodes by Steve Smith (Mobile Insider on 02/08/2016)

    Luke. Thanks for that. Nice evolution of the argument. Although post-mass culture is more manageable than post-mass politics. Democracy still demands majorities to move forward. Mutli-party systems worldwide have long had to rely on coalition-building among varied three and four parties. One argument goes that the American two party system is already now based on coalitions of unlike-minded segments, and have been since the late 60s and the original Nixon Southern Strategy. Reagan's coalition of the blue collars, evangelixals and country club has always been an uncomfortable marriage. We are now seeing the seams show.  

  • The Trump-ification Of 2016: The Super Bowl Implodes by Steve Smith (Mobile Insider on 02/08/2016)

    Thanks Jon, Peter and both Georges for your comments. But take heart. I may sound depresssed, and this may all seem very depressing. But I think there is a real hunger for creative thinking in both commercial and political fields. History shows (American Renaissance, Civil War, Progressive Era, Great Depression, Modernism, post-WWII pop and high art in America) that it takes a loss of faith in old institutions to make us receptive to new ideas.  

  • Remembering A Legend We Lost In 2015: Joe Franklin by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 12/15/2015)

    The WOR TV show was integral to my own passion for pop culture and respect for the troupers who hoofed, crooned, astonished and touched us from the stage. Joe had a humbling envy/respect of performers. His hospitality to performers of all stripes was an object lesson for budding media critics like myself that the people we wrote about were putting themselves out there in ways we never would. 

  • A Mass Medium Without Mass Media: Live TV Losing Default Status by Steve Smith (Data and Targeting Insider on 07/27/2015)

    Hi all. I agree with your reticence over trusting self-reported data, which is why I mentioned that caveat. The research is a tracking study of 1200 US TV viewers with broadband access, so there is a skew built into the sample. But what I found most interesting in this research was the attitudinal implications - the ways in which users admitted to watching TV with different levels of engagement and attention according to situation and source. This part of the research I find very recognizable in my and my household's own behavior has to do wil how and why we choose different sources. OTT video is chosen much more deliberately I think and is my default source for content I am ready to pay attention to. On the other hand, most live TV is on because I have made a choice not to pay close attention while I peruse books or a second screen. 

  • Verizon's 'No Cord Required' Mobile Video Service Launching Soon? by Steve Smith (MoBlog on 07/26/2015)

    @JS Oops. Missing work. The phrase should read "an OTT video market that will not lack players." Corrected. 

  • A Modest Proposal: Truly 'Native' Mobile Advertising by Steve Smith (MoBlog on 07/16/2015)

    DanielYes some vendors tried on their own to do this, which is why I am suggesting it needs to be done at the OS level or as a common standard within the infrastructure. Single players trying to make it happen won't 

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