Emarketer: 131 Million People Will Grocery Shop Online This Year

As consumers become more reliant on digital touchpoints during the pandemic, grocery ecommerce is continuing to balloon. This year, eMarketer expects online grocery sales in the US will grow by nearly 53 percent in 2020, reaching $89.22 billion—an increase of $30.86 billion from a year prior.

There will be 131 million digital grocery shoppers in the US this year, a 42 percent increase from 2019. By 2023, that number will grow to 147.4 million, according to eMarketer.

By 2023, eMarketer anticipates online grocery sales will reach nearly $130 billion, accounting for 10 percent of total grocery sales.

The age of COVID-19 marks many shoppers’ first experience with grocery ecommerce and the habit is likely to stick. As reported by eMarketer, research from Aki Technologies and TapResearch found that 68 percent of new online grocery buyers said they’d continue to shop online in the future.

“We’ve got growth coming from new customers and growth coming from existing buyers who are either spending more frequently or more per trip. When you add these two factors together, what you get is astronomical growth,” said Cindy Liu, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence.

For consumers who are avoiding in-store grocery shopping and don’t want to pay fees associated with online grocery delivery, curbside pickup has become the holy grail, surging 208 percent during April.

According to data from CommerceNext and CassarCo Strategy and Analytics, 43 percent of US internet users said they tried curbside pickup for the first time during COVID-19 whereas just 27 percent said they bought online and picked up in-store.

The online grocery boom comes as US ecommerce sales are set to reach $794.5 billion this year, up 32.4 percent year-over-year—a level not previously expected until 2022.

Ford Appoints Suzy Deering As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Ford names Suzy Deering as CMO, Pinterest taps Celestine Maddy as head of consumer marketing, Korg USA elevates Morgan Walker to director of marketing communications, Sperry brings on Elizabeth Drori as CMO and Reddit appoints Paula Price to its board of directors.

Ford Names Suzy Deering As Chief Marketing Officer

Ford has appointed Suzy Deering, former global CMO of eBay, as its new CMO, according to Forbes.

Prior to eBay, Deering was chief executive officer of Moxie.

She replaces Joy Falotico, who’s been serving as both CMO of Ford and president of Lincoln Motor Company.

Pinterest Taps Celestine Maddy As Consumer Marketing Head

Pinterest has named Celestine Maddy as head of consumer marketing, as reported by Adweek.

Maddy joins Pinterest from The Wing, where she worked as senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Prior to The Wing, Maddy served as VP of marketing and communications at Foursquare, VP of marketing at Reddit and marketing director at Quirky.

Korg USA Elevates Morgan Walker To Director Of Marketing Communications

Korg USA has announced the promotion of Morgan Walker to director of marketing communications.

Walker has been with Korg for nearly six years, having joined in 2014 as senior marketing communications and events manager.

Sperry Names Elizabeth Drori As Chief Marketing Officer

Sperry has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Drori as CMO. 

In her new role, Drori will oversee Sperry’s global brand strategy.

Drori most recently served as head of marketing for Walmart’s fashion business. Prior to Walmart, she worked in a variety of leadership roles at Converse.

Reddit Appoints Paula Price To Its Board Of Directors

According to TechCrunch, Paula Price has been named the newest member of Reddit’s board of directors. She has served on the board of six public companies, including Deutsche Bank and Accenture.

Price’s appointment makes her one of two black directors on Reddit’s board.

Twitter To Relaunch Verification Program Early Next Year With Help From User Feedback

This week in social media news, Twitter is asking users to share their feedback on a new verification policy it plans to relaunch in early 2021, Snapchat debuts a vertically scrollable feed called Spotlight and Twitter slows the launch of its new Stories-like feature Fleets over back-end issues.

Twitter Looks To Revive Account Verification Process With User Feedback

Twitter is calling on users to share feedback on an updated verification policy it’s testing, which it’s looking to relaunch early next year.

Why it matters: Three years ago, Twitter paused its public verification program due to user complaints that the process was “arbitrary and confusing.” A year later, it set the verification process aside to prioritize content moderation ahead of the election. Up until now, Twitter has been mum about who can become verified and when and why an account might be unverified.

The details: In early 2021, Twitter will launch an updated version of its verification process and a new public application process. Per the proposed policy, a blue verified badge indicates that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive a blue badge, an account must be notable and active, according to Twitter.

To start, Twitter has identified six types of accounts that would be eligible for a blue badgem including: government, companies, brands and non-profits, news, entertainment, sports and activists, organizations and other influential individuals.

Grounds to revoke the badge include an inactive or incomplete profile, as well as changing your account name and being demoted from a position you initially were verified for.

Twitter says the policy draft is just a starting point and will expand the categories and criteria for verification significantly over the next year. Users can take this survey to share their feedback on the policy draft.

Snapchat Adds Vertically Scrollable Feed Called Spotlight

Snapchat has launched a dedicated section in its app called Spotlight where users can browse short, entertaining videos in a vertically scrollable feed similar to TikTok, reports TechCrunch.

Why it matters: Spotlight comes on the heels of Snapchat’s music feature, “Sounds,” which lets users select music from a curated catalog and add it to their videos—a feature popularized by TikTok.

The details: As per TechCrunch, Snapchat’s Spotlight section will feature the community’s creative content that Snap will rank according to an algorithm akin to the one that TikTok’s “For You” feed utilizes, which considers factors such as watch time and the number of shares, as well as whether a user quickly skipped past the video.

To be featured in Spotlight, videos must adhere to the new section’s guidelines, which among other things require videos to be vertical and up to 60 seconds in length. The videos should also make use of the app’s creative tools, including captions, sounds, Lenses and GIFs.

Twitter Slows Launch Of Fleets Over Back-End Problems

Just a week after launching its Stories-like feature, Fleets, Twitter says it’s delaying the roll out in order to fix some performance and stability problems.

Why it matters: According to Social Media Today, many users have reported a delayed experience with Fleets as they and brands have flocked to the new feature.

The details: As per Twitter’s Support team:

“We’re slowing down the rollout of Fleets to fix some performance and stability problems. If you don’t have the feature yet, you may not get it for a few more days. We love that so many people are using Fleets and want to ensure we’re providing the best experience for everyone.”

Leadership Through 2X Growth With Steve Schlesinger In The Market Research Industry

On this 235th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Steve Schlesinger, founder and CEO of Schlesinger Group, a market research company. Schlesinger has been a part of the family business for over 35 years, working to take the company to greater heights than it has ever seen!

We start our conversation with the history of Schlesinger Group and how Schlesinger’s mother’s affinity for hard work set the foundation for years to come. Over the last 35 years, Schlesinger Group has experienced multiple chapters of growth. “The goal for us is really to maintain a nimble and agile approach to how we run the business and how we build the business,” Schlesinger says regarding that growth. Schlesinger then dives into the recent partnership with the private equity firm Gauge Capital and how that has led to the company doubling in size in just the last 14 months. Schlesinger talks about the best ways to ensure success when growing a business and how it’s vitally important to “make sure you have a great team around you.”

We then talk about Schlesinger’s angel and private investments. When I ask what Schlesinger’s criteria are when deciding what businesses to invest in, he says, “at the end of the day, I actually look at the people first, then the idea.” Schlesinger knows that people, whether they be employees or clients, are a critical component to any business’s success!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Steve lives in New York City and had COVID back in March, but he didn’t find out until his knee surgery in May. 1:31
  • Taking a year off from grad school at Georgetown, Steve worked in project management for his mother’s research company. 2:36
  • Steve’s mom was a hard worker and really enjoyed talking to people, but that didn’t necessarily make her a natural entrepreneur. 4:13
  • Growing up in the depression helped Steve’s mom set the foundation for her company and her family. 5:10
  • In his youth, Steve and his siblings always did what they could to contribute to the business whenever they could. 5:42
  • Over the last 35 years, there have been multiple chapters in the family business that has seen drastic change and growth. 6:47
  • Bringing in Gauge Capital as a private equity partner helps set the business up for its next chapter as more digitally focused. 7:45
  • Finding a private equity partner helped Steve and his partner further craft their strategy moving into the future. 8:29
  • Quantitative and online qualitative sectors saw massive growth after partnering with Gauge. 9:40
  • Massive growth to different markets all over the world has left gaps that present an opportunity to make the process more seamless. 11:15
  • Steve looks at the time horizon in two ways regarding Gauge Capital and the business itself. 12:30
  • To help your business grow significantly, make sure you have the right team around you. 13:26
  • Keep a good handle on the market and what your clients think of you at all times. 13:55
  • Don’t let that desire slip away. It’s only going to become more challenging as you grow. 14:15
  • The Insight industry’s future consists of brands utilizing technology to have a greater understanding of consumer demands. 15:13
  • After acquiring Market Cube, Steve’s business has transformed from a user to a developer. 17:30
  • Many industries are trying to leverage tech and create products but have left the critical people component behind. 18:56
  • There are a multitude of roles and asks with the types of work that clients do for their internal clients. 20:38
  • Steve has a handful of successful side businesses that help him support other people’s entrepreneurial journeys. 22:08
  • Being the executive for other businesses has allowed Steve to reflect on his journey as an entrepreneur. 23:10
  • A few of Steve’s favorite side businesses lie in the Spirits, Tech, and HR Management industries. 24:00
  • Having the right team and people involved in a company is Steve’s guiding principle when investing in a business. 26:31
  • The encouragement to work and hustle from his parents shaped who Steve is as an entrepreneur and a man today. 28:00
  • It is incredibly important to be reflective of your experiences as you are going through them. 29:05
  • Tech businesses are successfully changing the world right in front of our eyes. 32:00
  • Knowing how to work with the wealth of information available today presents both an opportunity and a threat to marketers today. 34:56

Resources Mentioned:

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Gary Goodman’s Creative Picks: Positivity

Well, here we are on the lead up to the holiday season and one thing is for certain: We could all use a little good news and positivity! So this week, I wanted to focus on creative output that put a smile on my face and surprised me with moments that helped me find that extra gear on the final sprint to 2021. I hope it does the same for you.

Burberry – “Singin’ in the Rain”

First up is an astounding musical number for the British fashion brand Burberry that taps into a little Hollywood nostalgia to make us all feel good.

Why it matters: There’s something so infectious about this spot that you can’t help but feel that no matter what is going on in the world, everything is going to be OK. Admittedly, I can’t dance. But the utter joy and energetic optimism on display actually make me want to try.  This is the world we all long for: no masks, no social distancing, no politics; just an unbridled joy for being alive.

The details: Dreya Mac has created a beautiful modern rendition of the timeless Gene Kelly track that creates incredible syncopation and energy for the spot to take off. They shot this in London’s Petticoat Lane in a tongue-in-cheek stab at the street which is famous for luxury brand knockoffs. And finally, a little Hollywood sidenote…Gene Kelly filmed the iconic scene with a 103-degree fever while getting drenched with water. Now that’s what stars are made of!

Calm – CNN’s “Key Race Alert” sponsorship

Next up, I wanted to take a departure from video-based advertising and feature a very smart sponsorship that was hard to miss on election night if you happened to watch CNN.

Why it matters: You know the old adage, ‘timing is everything?’ This election night placement from wellness brand Calm has to be one of the smartest and best-timed placements of the year! 

On a night filled with anxiety and contentious rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle, Calm chose their moment in what could be looked at as a Super Bowl Sunday type event to get their message out and help everyone take a deep breath and relax.  

Calm’s sponsorship with CNN gave it prime placement on the screen throughout the network’s election coverage as it appeared in the corner of CNN’s Key Race Alerts all night long. According to Danielle Abril on Fortune.com, “the juxtaposition couldn’t have been more jarring: Calm’s logo in the corner of the screen while CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and John King were anything but, well, calm.”  

The details: In an email from the brand, a Calm spokesperson said “we understand the uncertainty of this election cycle can be a source of anxiety for many of us, especially as it coincides with an ongoing pandemic. Our goal during CNN’s Key Race Alerts was to provide viewers a moment of Calm and a reminder to take a deep breath during a stressful night.”  Apparently, downloads of the app during this window saw about a 40% increase as their message clearly landed with its intended audience. Bang on Calm. Well done!

Corona – “Free Range Humans” video series

Yes, I took a detour from video-based advertising in the last example because I knew I wanted to double down on this last selection and hopefully inspire us all with the road less traveled.

Why it matters:  Although some like to say traditional video-based advertising is a thing of the past, I guess the Mexican beer brand, Corona, begs to differ. Corona has just gone live with an 8 episode series to launch their Corona Studios brand which is ‘dedicated to providing high-end consumer content about travel, the outdoors, surf lifestyles, and sustainability’ among other topics.  I love it when brands see the intrinsic value in being their own broadcasters of great content. Look at what it did for Red Bull. According to Corona Global VP Felipe Ambra, “with the events of this year, we know that people around the world are increasingly appreciative of the outside, and pondering what an alternative life could look like.” I have to admit, after watching Episode 8 on the underwater sculptor, I was hooked and dreaming of being able to fast forward to a time when I can return to going on adventures with my family around the world.

The details: Apparently the agency behind this looked at 500 candidates before landing on their eight hero storylines. And in order to enable more people to be able to follow their dreams and lead this type of ‘free-range lifestyle,’ Corona is establishing the Free Range Fund which is a grant pool to help support outdoor-oriented projects of select consumers globally. This fund will also help the brand identify those individuals who have broken with their indoor careers and pursued their passions outdoors to potentially be featured in the next season of Free Range Humans. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly considering it. 🙂

Nearly Half Of Brands Will Increase Facebook Ad Spend Next Year

More than half of businesses (60 percent) plan to increase their Instagram budget next year, and almost half are planning to do the same for Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, according to Hootsuite’s 2021 social media trends report.

In July, hundreds of brands halted Facebook ad spend in a show of solidarity against the platform’s inaction toward hate speech and misinformation. Socialbakers’ research shows the boycott led to a 32 percent decrease in spend in North America in the first week of July. But it appears the hiatus was short-lived as Hootsuite found that 46 percent of marketers are going to ramp up Facebook spending next year.

Marketers have plans to increase investment in YouTube (45 percent) and LinkedIn (44 percent) too. Despite TikTok’s surge this year, just 14 percent of respondents said they’ll increase spend on the platform next year, indicating familiar favorites will remain a go-to over nascent tactics.

As the pandemic accelerates the shift to ecommerce, marketers’ top outcome for social media in 2021 is to increase the acquisition of new customers—this is true for 73 percent of respondents compared to 46 percent last year. Many are also seeking to increase brand awareness (64 percent) and drive conversions (45 percent).

Only 23 percent of respondents are concerned with improving the customer experience through social media. But it’s important to note that in the absence of in-person experiences and events, brands must recreate the online customer experience with social media at the center, be it through live-streaming events or social commerce.

After being forced to close its stores amid the pandemic, Clarins tapped a beauty expert to share curated videos via the brand’s Instagram Stories. Story completion rates surged from a previous average of 20 percent to 75 percent.

“If you don’t have the impulse moments at the checkout anymore, where people grab something spontaneously off the shelf, recommendations from trusted creators can become that source of inspiration,” said Jim Habig, global head of business marketing at Pinterest.

Hootsuite anticipates the addition of short-form video to product detail pages (PDPs) will also be key, as 42 percent of Taobao’s PDPs already include such videos.

Another trend Hootsuite anticipates will emerge next year is an increased awareness around how much people actually want to interact with brands on social media. In 2021, the smartest brands will understand where they fit into their audience’s lives on social, then find creative ways to be part of the conversation, rather than try to lead it.

To implement this trend, marketers should bolster social listening data in addition to search analysis and utilize user-generated content (UGC) more heavily to inspire trust in consumers.

With new forms of digital literacy growing among baby boomers, brands can’t afford to overlook older generations on social media as Hootsuite’s 2020 data revealed that 70 percent of internet users aged 55-64 have bought something online in the past month, and 37 percent plan to continue doing so more frequently when the pandemic is over.

Instead of stereotypically targeting baby boomers by age alone, brands should target them by passions or hobbies through a platform like Pinterest, which serves as an outlet for passion projects and has the greatest penetration among boomers of any non-Facebook social network.

With the collapse of traditional strategies comes a newfound appreciation for social media among executives. But 54 percent have said they aren’t confident that their social media followers are more valuable customers than those they don’t engage with.

A lack of data integration is one reason brands fail to quantify social media’s return on investment (ROI), as only 10 percent of marketers feel they have mature practices around implementing social data into enterprise systems. 

Those who have integrated data are reaping the benefits, as 85 percent who have done so reported being confident in their company’s ability to accurately quantify the ROI of social media.

Brands should tie vanity metrics such as impressions and reach back to their web traffic sessions and bounce rate to understand if their social media efforts are resonating with their audience. Doing so starts with setting up manual workflows to enable collection of quantifiable data from engagements with organic and paid campaigns.

Successful brands will remember that creating an authentic reputation starts in the boardroom, not on social media, as statements there alone can’t make up for a lack of true brand purpose across a company. 

More than half (55 perfect) of respondents say it’s important that a business operates according to its values/principles, followed by proactively making the world a better place (53 percent).

The findings are based on a survey Hootsuite conducted among 11,189 marketers in Q3.

What We’re Reading—Week Of November 23rd

Struggling to Solve a Problem? Try Reframing It

Harvard Business Review

Daniel Markovitz, president of Markovitz Consulting, says that to generate effective solutions to problems, you should try rewriting the statement by either changing the subject or how you’re measuring the problem.

Why it matters: As per Markovitz: “A small change in subject or measurement can lead you to an entirely different set of countermeasures…and a big change in your perspective.”

Clorox’s Jackson Jeyanayagam On Why Retail Is Not Dead + DTC Isn’t Just For Startups Anymore


According to Jackson Jeyanayagam, vice president, general manager, direct-to-consumer at Clorox, big brands are suited to succeed in the DTC space as much as digitally native brands, because many DTC startups aren’t creating value for the consumer, nor being unique in a commoditized category—they just have a cool-looking font and a funny tag line.

Why it matters: Many people falsely assume that direct-to-consumer is a model only suited for startups when the reality is that DTC is not a brand nor a strategy, but rather another distribution channel.

Rethink Capabilities To Emerge Stronger From COVID-19

McKinsey & Company

Over half (53 percent) of leaders rank reskilling as the most useful way to close capability gaps, which 80 percent consider as very or extremely important to their organizations’ long-term growth.

Why it matters: One-third of company leaders report an increase in spending on capability-building efforts since the pandemic began.

42 Percent Of Marketers Say Influencers Provide The Best ROI Compared To Paid Media Ads


According to a survey conducted by Social Publi, 42 of marketing professionals say that influencer marketing provides better ROI compared to paid media ads, search engine optimization and email marketing—up seven percent since last year.

Why it matters: Fifty-five percent of respondents plan on increasing their influencer marketing investment for the remainder of the year and 26 percent plan on maintaining it.

CPG Marketers Roll The Dice On New Experiments Amid Data Upheaval

Marketing Dive

As the deprecation of third-party cookies approaches, consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands may face greater challenges to gathering first-party data because retail partners and platforms own the point of sale where consumers share that information.

Why it matters: To adapt, CPG marketers should look inward and realign operations for a future that will require more digital agility and experimentation in areas such as ecommerce, direct-to-consumer dealmaking and content marketing.

Ralph Lauren Creates Virtual Replicas Of Its Physical Stores

Ralph Lauren has launched a series of virtual experiences in response to pandemic-driven shopping behavior, including digital replicas of four of its brick-and-mortar stores, an augmented reality (AR) experience via Snapchat as well as a shoppable virtual game on its website and Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games.

Ralph Lauren saw promising results when it tested a virtual version of its Beverly Hills store this fall—virtual foot traffic was 10 times higher than the number of people who would have visited the storefront, reports WWD. In response, the brand created virtual versions of its stores in New York, Paris and Hong Kong. Shoppers can virtually walk around in each store, where current-season items and vintage pieces are available to buy.

The brand has also teamed with Snapchat to create a series of AR experiences that users can unlock by scanning the Polo Pony logo from apparel, printed materials, digital executions, shopping bags and ads. David Lauren, vice chairman and chief innovation officer, told WWD that it took eight months to develop the technology.

The AR initiative follows the success of the brand’s Snapchat-enabled Bitmoji Collection, which enabled consumers to mix and match branded garments inspired by real-life designs. In Q2, over 10 million users dressed their Bitmoji in Ralph Lauren and tried on the collection over 250 million times.

The third component to Ralph Lauren’s digital holiday offerings is a shoppable virtual game called The Holiday Run, in which the brand’s signature Polo Bear races to physical Ralph Lauren stores worldwide, discovering and collecting new products. Fans around the world can play the game on Ralph Lauren’s website or through Messenger’s Instant Games. Next month, Ralph Lauren will bring the game to life via a live Twitch event featuring major gamers from the UK, France and Germany

Ralph Lauren’s heavy digital investment comes as the company has been struggling with financial fallout from the pandemic. Its Q1 performance update revealed a dip in sales, with North America revenue seeing the biggest decline at 77 percent, followed by a 67 percent drop in Europe and a 34 percent decrease in Asia. Revenue plummeted 66 percent year-over-year to $487.5 million.

In September, the company, which has 530 stores, announced it would cut 15 percent of its global workforce.

To help stay afloat, it started offering virtual client selling and appointment booking, buy online pick up in-store, curbside pickup, mobile checkout and contactless payments.

Its digital efforts paid off in Q2, when email campaigns with predictive artificial intelligence and high-reach paid social media helped add more than 1 million new customers to its direct-to-consumer platforms alone.

Sherwin-Williams Missed A Huge Opportunity When It Fired An Employee With 1.4 Million TikTok Followers

In the age of COVID, there are few worse missteps a brand can make than brushing off the potential to reach millions of young, engaged users on one of today’s most lucrative and fastest-growing apps, TikTok. Yet Sherwin-Williams did just that.  

The company recently fired a senior sales associate, Tony Piloseno of the wildly popular TikTok account @tonesterpaints, where he shares oddly satisfying paint-mixing hacks with his 1.4 million followers. According to BuzzFeed News, Piloseno used his content performance as part of a digital marketing pitch to the company, which it shunned before terminating him for gross misconduct.

Piloseno emailed a contact from the company’s marketing department with a deck sharing how TikTok could help drive brand awareness. Two months and multiple follow-ups later, the contact told Piloseno that there “wasn’t a need to see the presentation” given they weren’t running any promotions at the time.

Upon discovering that Piloseno created some of his TikTok videos during working hours and with company equipment, in late July Sherwin-Williams fired him for offenses, including “wasting properties [and] facilities,” and “seriously embarrass[ing] the Company or its products.” 

The brand told BuzzFeed, however, that the decision to fire Piloseno was due to a customer complaint about his TikToks.

Sherwin-Williams’ decision to ignore Piloseno’s TikTok pitch marks a huge missed opportunity. Sure, one might argue that Sherwin-Williams is doing fine without TikTok’s user base, which App Annie expects will exceed 1 billion next year. After all, lockdown-driven habits led Sherwin-Williams to post revenues of $5.12 billion for the quarter ended September, surpassing consensus revenue estimates three times over the last four quarters. But even brands reaping windfall from COVID-19 have a lot to gain by tapping into the success of viral challenges on TikTok and leveraging employees as brand ambassadors, which Sherwin-Williams clearly had in Piloseno.

GameStop, Wendy’s, Sephora and Dunkin’ Donuts have utilized the emerging trend, encouraging employees to post positive messages about their jobs and offering incentives in exchange for content support on their personal platforms. Though not new, this tactic can be effective for building relationships with consumers and promoting brand values beyond the company’s own marketing channels.

In addition to the concept of employees as influencers, TikTok enables brands to create an authentic dialogue with consumers and establish relatability —something shoppers are increasingly craving from brands. A study conducted by Microsoft Advertising found that 72 percent of people are likely to support brands that are genuine in their advertising.

Take American Eagle Outfitters, for instance. Its summer TikTok campaign, #AerieRealPositivity, featuring TikTok star Charli D’Amelio generated over 2 billion impressions, contributing to a 100 percent surge in sales for Aerie and 50 percent increase for American Eagle. Then there’s Chipotle, whose #Boorito campaign starring popular TikTok creators like Zach King and Kombucha Girl generated 3.9 billion views. Lest we forget E.l.f. Cosmetics’ #ElfVanishingAct challenge, which received over 5 billion views and 3 billion user-generated videos featuring the campaign’s song, an original jingle created by E.l.f.

With plans to erect a permanent office in Los Angeles, the expansion of social commerce with Shopify and the formation of a $1 billion creator fund, it’s clear that TikTok is here to stay. Brands that have a young target audience and want to remain digitally agile in the face of uncertainty will fully embrace it.

ANA Study Highlights Ongoing Lack Of Diversity In CMO Hires

Despite urgent calls for racial justice this year, there’s still an overall lack of ethnic diversity in the marketing industry as black, hispanic or Asian people occupy just 12 percent of chief marketing officer roles—unchanged from the last two years—according to the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) latest diversity report.

The findings, which build off of ANA’s inaugural diversity report in 2018, break down the gender and ethnic representation of the marketing teams at 40 ANA member company participants.

In 2020, white people comprised 88 percent of ANA company CMOs. Blacks comprised three percent; Asians, five percent; and Hispanics/Latinos, four percent.

The industry has made progress with gender diversity, with women representing 52 percent of the top marketer positions today—a seven percent increase since 2018. Among lower-ranking jobs, the gender diversity is even greater, as ANA’s survey of 30,940 marketers indicates that 67 percent are female and 33 percent are male. However, these numbers are unchanged over the past three years.

As for ethnic diversity among lower-ranking marketers, the industry has a great deal of work to do. White people comprise 74 percent, blacks comprise six percent, Asians comprise 10 percent, Hispanics comprise eight percent and “other” comprise two percent.

The ANA board of directors lacks ethnic diversity as well. Among its 43 members, 29 are white, five are Hispanic, five are black and four are Asian—33 percent ethnically diverse compared to 24 percent in 2019. The board includes 23 women and 20 men.

When asked what key actions have helped their company increase diversity within the marketing department, respondents noted the importance of diversity in recruiting, board and senior-level accountability, setting goals and tracking progress, employee referrals, leveraging relationships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and crafting specific internship programs for diverse students.

Other steps marketers have taken to improve diversity include the formation of a diversity action committee, deliberate sponsorship and mentorship of diverse talent, the creation of employee resource groups and the implementation of diversity and inclusion learning in professional development plans for leaders.