Weekend Reading


It seems fitting to start this edition of Weekend Reading by referencing the tumultuous events in Ferguson, MO. This week, they expose the echo chamber of our social channels  (via Quartz), and how much data we all create.

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How The Always-On Consumer Changes The Role Of The CMO: After Work at Vivaldi Partners, Munich

On November 20th, Vivaldi Partners and the Marketing Club Munich hosted an ‘After Work’ event to discuss the impact of new trends in customer behavior on the role of the CMO. About 35 guests enjoyed a great evening, focusing on digital topics despite the physical setting, Vivaldi Partners’ Munich office.

The session started out with Dr. Markus Zinnbauer, one of the authors of Vivaldi Partners’ “Always-On Consumer” study, explaining the new consumer behaviors: One in two consumers can be characterized as ‘always-on’ today, but there are still important differences between consumer groups. The study introduces five segments ranging from highly socially connected consumers, or “Social Bumblebees”, to retargeting-averse “Ad Blockers”. These types of new consumers illustrate why it is people, not technology, that is changing today’s markets.

The event’s participants, all marketing experts, then engaged into a lively debate on how to effectively target the Always-On Consumer in the future, when classical demographic-based media planning will not be sufficient anymore and context-based mechanics will become crucial.

Mirroring Vivaldi Partners’ broader outside-in view, Vivaldi Zurich’s Roland Bernhard then explained how marketing executives need to respond to those changes. The good news, he said, was that the new, digitally empowered consumer does not only bring about change but also new opportunities. In other words, as Prof. Kevin L. Keller (a member of Vivaldi’s advisory board) put it: “It’s not just the consumers who are empowered these days. Companies are too!” Roland elaborated on the three vital core capabilities, which he had previously outlined in our recent CMO study: Analytical Acumen, Collaborative Mindset, and Commercial Instinct. The latter especially led to a great discussion on how operational a CMO needs to become in order to provide added value for consumers beyond marketing communications.

A set of inspiring case studies from Vivaldi Partners illustrated how companies can leverage digital means in order to create added value for customers and consumers along the whole value chain from business model to actual delivery of services.

The presentation seamlessly fed into an open dialog for the rest of the evening, where members of the Marketing Club, friends of Vivaldi Partners, and the Munich Vivaldi team also enjoyed finger food and a selection of drinks.

We want to thank Norbert Gierlich, board member of the Marketing Club’s Munich chapter, for organizing and moderating the evening. He will also feature the CMO study in the next issue of the member magazine.

If you want to be our guest at one of our next events in Munich, please let us know.

Curious about “The changing role of the CMO”? The study is available free of charge here:


Which type of “The Always-On Consumer“ are you? Find out:




The thread of good reads keeps on streaming at Vivaldi and we’ve been collecting the highlights from around the globe. In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, the Internet’s buzzing about Pizza Hut’s rumored Super Bowl ad, Victoria Secret angels are now in your pocket, and industries continue to be disrupted.

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Maynard Owen Williams France Reading Nat Geo

Keeping Up With What’s Going Down in the World of Business and Brands: The Week of November 8

We’re going public with the best-kept secret of working at Vivaldi: the steady stream of good reads that gets shared by the team every week. In case you’ve missed these highlights, here’s your weekend reading: Twitter ventures into the loan business, LEGO and Tinder find similar inspiration, and more.

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Don't Believe Everything You Hear About Millenial Consumers Vivaldi Partners Group

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About Millennial Consumers

Every generation has a unique set of attitudes, values, and behaviors. Like a person or a brand, a generation has a collective, unique personality. Marketers today are interested in the Millennials–the generation of consumers generally born between 1981 and 2000–and they are perceived as important, highly influential, and worthy of considerable attention.

I agree. These consumers are indeed important and worthy to better understand. So, I decided to review a handful of the many studies and books that exist on Millennials. I must say it was an easy task since there is a great deal of analysis, research, and investigation on the subject. A quick Google search brings up quickly a dozen studies. My conclusion is that there is much to be learned about Millennials, and nearly every study is worth a great read, but in all practical terms, there are very few useful recommendations or practical guidelines for marketers. Here is why:

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