An interview with

Mashable's Stacy Martinet

Oct 26, 2015

One way to stay up-to-date with emerging digital media trends is to cater to the Digital Generation – aka today's new media enthusiasts and super-sharers. As CMO of Mashable, Stacy Martinet regards just about every innovation as a potential opportunity to better engage Mashable's community.

Mashable's design feels more like Pinterest than the New York Times or Buzzfeed. What's the thinking behind it?

Mashable's overall design is heavily influenced by audience consumption and distribution. Mashable's homepage has been through many changes, and in 2012 we re-launched our site to be fully responsive. The current homepage design is driven by social and mobile consumption, and the rapid growth of visual and video storytelling.

Prior to Mashable, you were at the New York Times. How have your role – and the marketing landscape – changed in the last few years?

When I started in this role at Mashable, CMOs weren't prevalent in media companies, and if they did exist, it was to drive subscriptions. Today, marketing departments are fully integrated to cover all aspects of the funnel and are responsible for building brand as much as they are for growing the audience. Technology has played a role in this transition. Actionable data has made the role of marketing more essential, both day to day and in the development of long- term strategies.

Mashable is quite successful with native advertising. What's the future of it?

The rise of mobile has certainly influenced the prevalence of branded content, both on Mashable and in the industry. As 21st-century publishers, it's our job to figure out how to tell stories in a new format and a new voice, branded or not.

Mashable has long embraced branded content. We're one of the first digital media companies to experiment with the format, both on Mashable.com and across social platforms, and that will continue to be the case. Our goal is to provide the Mashable community with engaging, informative, and entertaining content, whether Mashable's editorial team or a brand partner creates it.

What does Mashable do to create strong affinities with younger audiences, particularly Millennials? And how important will platforms such as Snapchat be for that strategy?

Our social strategy is to live where our audience lives and to provide value specific to our communities on those platforms. Mashable's community is social, and it always has been. We create custom content for every platform, from 'traditional' social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, to ephemeral apps like Snapchat, as well as Meerkat, Periscope and other emerging platforms. To ensure continued innovation in the social space, we've created the Mashable Collective, a creative group within marketing that's tasked with experimenting with emerging platforms, creative tools and technologies.

How do you address viewability and other performance metrics for video campaigns?

Viewability certainly is a hot topic, and it's important that the industry gets it right. However, we shouldn't be tied to only one metric when analyzing video performance. At Mashable, we use a range of KPI's to measure the life cycle of our video content and we measure results in the context of individual campaign goals.

What excites you about the future of digital marketing?

The ability to utilize both data and creative to adjust campaigns in real time, and to make content more interactive. Traditionally, the options for marketers were limited, and campaigns took months to plan and even longer to analyze. Today, feedback is immediate and marketers gain instant insights into what resonates with their target audiences. 

What makes Mashable distinct among publishers?

The Mashable community. Our audience is the Digital Generation. They're early adopters and super- sharers who immerse themselves in technology and digital culture. Mashable readers regularly participate in social challenges and “IRL" Meetups to connect with our brand both on and offline. Our community truly cares about the content they engage with and they want their voices heard.

How can programmatic tactics help marketers build their brands?

Programmatic can be a huge resource for brands that want to reach a targeted audience. It allows marketers to clearly identify key demographic groups and serve content directly to those consumers. And it provides results that can be reliably tracked.

Facebook has shown that short-form video content is both highly engaging on mobile devices and a strategic way to monetize. What is Mashable's strategy around video?

Our audience has always had an appetite for short-form video, which is why we've wanted to master the format early on. We've seen great results with it across platforms and plan to make varied and complex videos, including documentaries, original series, and news updates on hot stories.

What book are you currently reading?

Right now I am reading The End of Power by Moises Naim. It's a fascinating analysis of how power has and is shifting in all aspects of global culture, from politics to gender. I definitely recommend it!