Roku: The Next Frontier of Advertising

Have you found yourself streaming content more in the past few years? Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians have been leaning into streaming and away from traditional cable. On our TVs, our laptops, and even on our phones, we can stream almost anything anywhere.

But what does streaming have to do with marketing? Today, as marketers continue to find ways to reach audiences where they are, how do we tap into moments where many are already paying attention? Streaming platforms like Roku are now offering new ways for advertisers to reach audiences, and as marketers it’s time for us to lean into this opportunity.

In this episode Ken is joined by two experts from Roku, an APEX PR client, to discuss the state of streaming in Canada, including the rapid decline of traditional linear TV, and the streaming opportunities that are available to advertisers, marketers, publishers, and content producers.

Listen in and hear from Mary-Anne Taylor, Head of Content Distribution – Canada, Roku Inc. and Christina Summers, Regional Sales Manager, Roku Canada.

Since recording this episode, Roku is now the #1 Streaming Platform in Canada and has well over 100 FAST channels in TRC.

 

 

Guest Bio:

 

Mary-Anne Taylor, Head of Content Distribution – Canada, Roku Inc.

A seasoned entertainment executive with 20+ years of industry experience, Mary-Anne’s work has spanned broadcast, subscription, video on demand, and OTT platforms. She began her career as a production technician and project manager. Her passion for broadening Canadian content then led her to content acquisitions for Shaw Direct, chairing cross-functional teams responsible for launching channels at Rogers Cable, leading Affiliate sales for TELETOON and Cartoon Network, and most recently as Director of Content Distribution Canada for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  Mary-Anne has received scholarships to the Media Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School and Schulich School of Business and holds a degree in Radio & Television Broadcasting from Algonquin College, and a Theatre Arts degree from Sheridan College.

 

Christina Summers, Regional Sales Manager, Roku Canada

Christina helps drive successful strategies and measurable results for brand campaigns and content partners on the Roku platform. An accomplished and results-driven sales leader within Canada’s digital advertising industry, Christina has a successful track record of building relationships, designing winning sales strategies and driving teams to reach challenging revenue goals in highly competitive markets. She brings 15+ years of combined technology and telecom industry experience across digital, advertising, and sales. Christina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph, Canada.


From grass roots movement to social enterprise

Have you ever felt left out of discussions about important issues when you listened to the news? You’re not alone.

Samanta Krishnapilai was finishing a master’s degree in public health and working part time at Starbucks when the pandemic hit; working with the public every day she got the sense that there was no collective understanding of what was happening and what it might mean for different communities. This was the catalyst that drove her to found the On Covid Project, which would later become the On Canada Project.

In this episode of the Pivot, Samanta explains the issues she saw with communications from Canadian leaders throughout the Covid 19 pandemic – primarily a lack of compassion and accessibility. Armed with a formal education in public health and propelled by the desire to reach those who felt ignored, Samanta grew her project from a grassroots movement to a social enterprise, and a thriving online community with over 130 thousand members.

Together Samanta and The Pivot host Ken Evans explore what it means to truly reach people, and the difference transparency and a sense of connection can make when dealing with sensitive issues.

 

 

Guest Bio:

Samanta is a creative problem solver who actively challenges the status quo. She founded The On Canada Project while nearing the completion of a Master's degree in Health Information Science from Western University (London, Ontario) and serves as the executive director and editor-in-chief.

Her passions stem from her lived experience as a first-generation Tamil-Canadian and as someone who intentionally took time to focus on her mental wellbeing in her early 20s which fundamentally changed her perspective of the world. Samanta pairs this with her education in health equity, trauma and violence


Growing your brand with experiential marketing

In this episode of The Pivot, our host, Ken Evans, sat down with Sarah Krafman, Sr. Director of Brand Strategy and Communications from one of Canada’s favourite start-ups, Endy! Join us as we dive into the world of ecommerce marketing and learn what it takes to change consumer buying habits for big-ticket purchases like mattresses, traditionally bought in store. Sarah gives us an inside look in to how Endy came to be and how the brand captured their target audience’s interest through digital marketing, influencer content and subway ads. Endy has become a disruptor in its industry and is an excellent example of how a holistic marketing and PR approach can help brands shake up consumer expectations and become a fan favourite.

 

 

Guest Bio:

Sarah Krafman was most recently Sr. Director of Brand Strategy and Communications at Endy, the Toronto-based mattress brand revolutionizing the way Canadians sleep. Since exploding onto the e-commerce scene in 2015, Endy grew to become Canada’s leading online mattress brand, and one of the country’s fastest-growing retail brands — ever. With a diverse background in digital marketing, public relations, influencer marketing, content creation, copywriting, editorial, and brand partnerships, Sarah joined the Endy team from Indigo in 2017 to spearhead the company’s influencer marketing strategy and took over the communications portfolio shortly thereafter. As an innovator and thought leader in digital PR, building several cross-channel influencer programs with proven ROI, she has grown Endy’s influencer network into one of Canada’s largest and effective roster of content creators, seeing over 400+ content creators advocate for the brand each month.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.


Understanding the Intersection between Cybersecurity, Communications, and Public Trust

Our host, Ken Evans, was joined on The Pivot by Digital and Cybersecurity expert, Ritesh Kotak, to explore the intersection between cybersecurity, communications, and public trust. 

This episode delves into how technology has progressed to provide communicative and connective solutions to accessing key institutions and information with an emphasis on why cybersecurity should be baked into product development rather than treated as an afterthought. Organizations that experience cybersecurity breaches never quite recover their reputations and the public’s trust so it’s essential to have preventative measures, as well as a crisis communication plan. 

Ritesh also quickly realized there is a gap in the public’s knowledge on how to protect themselves from cybercrimes. In the episode he shares with us some of the key considerations we should incorporate to protect ourselves and maximize the benefits of technology. As our society relies on technology more than ever before to facilitate connections between communities and institutions, whether that be through online education, telemedicine or accessing legal support digitally, we must learn to build a digital first infrastructure focused on the safety of users. 

 

 

Guest Bio: 

Ritesh Kotak started his career within policing in Canada where he co-led the creation of the cybercrimes unit and the research and innovation portfolio focusing on digital transformation. He then transitioned to the private sector where he worked with various Fortune 500 tech companies on global projects related to Cybersecurity, Investigations and Next-Generation IoT applications for Smart Cities projects. In 2018, Ritesh was selected by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for their Emerging Leaders Executive Program. In 2017, he completed an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and holds a BBA from the University of Toronto. Ritesh is currently pursuing his J.D. at the University of Ottawa. 

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.


Image of Toronto city councillor Brad Bradford. Title on image is connecting with constituents in a digital world.

Connecting With Constituents in a Digital World

Brad Bradford began his career as an urban planner, involved in the politics of the city of Toronto, but always behind the scenes. Now, as a City Councilor, Brad must find different ways to address the key issues facing his community.

He does it by harnessing the power of social media to actively listen to, and engage with, his constituents daily. As community meetings move from church basements into online spaces, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively using all of the platforms available is more critical than ever. However, without careful planning, complex issues can become oversimplified and polarizing online.

Tune in to the latest episode of The Pivot to hear how Brad's modern approach to city politics has helped him address the unique needs of his constituents and create real positive change in his community.

 

 

Guest Bio: Brad believes that as our City grows and prospers we must work hard to ensure the benefits are felt by everyone. By bringing a pragmatic, non-partisan approach to local government, Brad supports community-led change throughout Beaches East-York. With experience as an urban planner, he has a passion for addressing local issues, advocating for those typically left out of the process and making neighbourhoods more accessible. Whether it’s through the regular community meetings or the bi-weekly newsletter, Brad wants to engage with all residents and work with our local leaders to support the communities that make Beaches East-York special.

 


The Pivot – Tony Ayala

In 2018 Tony Ayala's best friend asked him to leave his successful career in finance, take a pay cut, and help him grow his gluten-free bread business. Three years later Queen Street Bakery products are found in over a thousand Canadian grocery stores and are quickly spreading into the US market. Still, the company manages to maintain its "small business" feel by being candid about their products, maintaining a friendly rapport with customers, and keeping community at the center of their message. Tony shares his story and advice on finding a universal message that will resonate with your audience.

Tune in to The Pivot to hear Tony, along with our host Ken Evans, discuss how companies can stand out amidst fierce competition, and find unique ways to align with the causes that matter.

 

 

Guest Bio:

In 2019, Tony Ayala made the leap from finance to food—plunging into the deep end with entrepreneurship.Leaving his full-time career in finance, the now President of Queen Street Bakery—an allergen-free functional food startup—took a 180 in life and hasn’t looked back since.With his extensive background in finance, Tony has leveraged his experience to build the next generation bakery alongside the founder, and his best friend, Giovanni Angelucci. Since coming on board, Tony has taken the business from 50 stores in Toronto, to over 1,000 across Canada. Now, the Queen Street Bakery team has launched in 200 new stores south of the border and is continuing on its US expansion.


A Deep Dive Into the Craft of Storytelling

Ever been afraid of your audience falling asleep during an important presentation?

Colleen Stewart, President of Perfect Pitch and author of The Story Compass has quite literally had her audience fall asleep, leading her to pursue a career in storytelling! Colleen has spent years diving into the importance of storytelling and why leaders should care to develop this skill. She realized presenters were often too quick to jump into the “what” of a presentation before establishing the “why”. Great leaders know answering the “why” is the key to having your audience pay attention to the “what” and “how”.

Tune in to hear our host Ken Evans and Colleen Stewart discuss how leaders can make the shift from being afraid their audience isn’t listening to confidently knowing they’ve got the room where they want.

Guest Bio:

Colleen Stewart has a bachelor’s in journalism from Carleton University and over a decade of experience teaching the art of storytelling in business communications. She is the Co-founder and Creative Director of Perfect Pitch Consulting Group where she helps businesses connect with their target audiences by telling their unique business stories. Perfect Pitch works with some exciting clients like Bayer, The Home Depot, Big Rock Brewery, Husky Energy, ATB Financial, and Avon. Colleen is also the author of The Story Compass: Navigating Through Uncertainty in Your Business, now available on Amazon.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.


A Deeper Dive into Real Estate Marketing with Branick Weix, Co-Founder and CEO of Aryeo

The Pivot – Branick Weix

In this episode we speak with Branick Weix, the founder and CEO of Aryeo, a leading Boston-based content management platform for the real estate industry.

The unknowns brought on by the pandemic required those in the real estate industry to quickly pivot their business practices to adapt.

Join us in this episode to hear Ken and Branick discuss marketing strategies in the real estate industry and how Branick and his team are successfully finding their niche in this industry and finding new ways to help brokers, agents, and photographers.

Guest Bio: After years spent learning the ins and outs of real estate photography, Branick co-founded Aryeo in 2019 with former real estate photographers Matt Michalski and Brendan Quinlan. The team is focused on streamlining real estate content for photographers, agents and brokers through effective business and content solutions. As a tech entrepreneur and 2021 member of the Forbes Technology Council, Branick is on a mission to bring fresh innovation to the world of real estate technology.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.


Fostering Inclusion and Diversity, Anne-Marie Pham, Executive Director, CCDI

Fostering Inclusion and Diversity

In this episode, we’re joined by Anne-Marie-Pham, Executive Director at Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).

Events over the past year have brought inclusion and equity to the forefront of many of our hearts. Now, organizations are working towards adopting an approach that ensures that all employees and their audiences feel like they belong, especially BIPOC professionals Creating a workplace that is not only collaborative but is also a safe space to share inputs and insights is the need of the hour.

Tune in to hear Ken and Anne-Marie discuss how organizations can work towards inclusivity, diversity and equity and better their understandings of the essence of this very important work.

Guest Bio: Anne-Marie-Pham is the Executive Director at Canadian Center of Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). She has worked with diverse communities and workplaces for over 20 years and has a deep understanding of issues and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion. Anne-Marie specializes in mobilizing, educating, and sharing the latest research and promising practices on equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.


The Pivot - Lisa Covens

The Pivot – Lisa Covens

In this episode, we’re joined by Lisa Covens, Vice President at Canadian owned market research and analytics company, Leger.

In recent years there has been a growing demand for data driven marketing solutions, which has only increased with the societal shifts triggered by the pandemic crisis. To build effective marketing strategies and successfully reach target audiences, it’s essential to know how research trends are changing and how to find quality data.

Tune in to hear Ken and Lisa discuss how the rise of AI has changed data collection and what marketers can expect working with market research and analytics companies in the months and years to come.

Guest Bio: Lisa Covens is Vice President at Leger, the largest Canadian owned market research and analytics company in Canada. With over two decades of experience focusing on research for the purpose of public relations campaigns, Lisa shared her insights on changing trends in research and analytics.

Hear from Canadian senior marketers on The Pivot, talking about our CMO Lab research and how they, like you, are adapting.