What We’re Reading—Week Of March 23rd

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of March 23.

Marketers Think COVID-19 Will Be Worse For Advertising Than The 2008 Financial Crisis

A survey from the IAB suggests how marketers plan to calibrate their advertising decisions in light of the current crisis, including a figure that 74 percent of respondents said they think the coronavirus pandemic will have a larger impact on the advertising spend than the 2008 financial crisis.

Why it matters: The survey highlights just how marketers plan to adjust spend for the year.

Doing Their bit In A Crisis: Dyson, Yves Saint Laurent, Spotify, John Lewis And More

How brands are supporting initiatives around coronavirus, from fabricating ventilators to supporting the NHS.

Why it matters: Recent findings support brands taking a stand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grocery Private Brands Stand To Gain In A Post-Coronavirus World
Modern Retail

“Private brands present a customer acquisition opportunity — especially as people’s shopping patterns dramatically change.”

Why it matters: Consumer behaviors and shopping patterns will certainly be affected by this crisis beyond the current inflection point, but to what extent remains a major question.

How Companies Can Set Employees Up For Success When Working From Home

“Companies should consider several factors to ensure employees feel supported and enabled during this time.”

Why it matters: Adapting to this new work from home paradigm means equipping your employees with the right tools and setting expectations.

Just 8% Of Consumers Think Brands Should Stop Advertising Due To The Coronavirus Outbreak
Marketing Week

“A survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally by Kantar found that just 8% thought brands should stop advertising.”

Why it matters: Listen to the consumers: they’re expecting brands to address what everyone is facing now.

A Regularly Updated List Tracking Marketers’ Response To Coronavirus

A roundup of how brands including QuickBooks, Jimmy John’s, JanSport, Crocs and Ford are responding to coronavirus and tweaking ad campaigns.

Why it matters: Businesses of all sizes are experiencing negative fallout from the pandemic and silence from brands isn’t an option in the eyes of consumers.

What Coronavirus Means For Sports Marketing
Marketing Dive

Brands, especially smaller ones, must come up with a new plan or redirect budgets to social and esports if they’re to continue marketing to sports.

Why it matters: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA suspended its season and the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics has been rescheduled to a date beyond 2020.

Nike: In Times Like These, Strong Brands Get Even Stronger
Marketing Week

On an analyst call, Nike CEO John Donahoe said his teams are exploring designs for personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and others on the coronavirus frontline. Additionally, Nike has made the premium part of its app free for 90 days and launched a digital campaign across the US and Europe with the messaging, “Play inside, play for the world.”

Why it matters: After closing its China stores as the country fought to contain the virus (with now 80 percent of stores back open), Nike is applying what it learned abroad to the US market.

The Significance Of Brand Marketers’ Response During COVID-19 Crisis
Chief Marketer

Consumer packaged goods brands have the potential to use digital ads to support consumers and help alleviate their concerns via product-centric tutorials and educational content.

Why it matters: How marketers respond to the pandemic can impact brand perception in the long-term.

‘Your Communities Want To Hear From You More Than Ever’: How SAP CMO Alicia Tillman Is Leading Through The Coronavirus Crisis

After canceling three of its own customer events at SXSW, SAP’s CMO Alicia Tillman instructed her team to reshape what has been a physical approach with events via digital and short-term activations including a heavy dependence on social media.

Why it matters: Communication with consumers during the coronavirus crisis should be a top priority for brands.

Social Conscious Brands Are Winning Big With Influencer Marketing


Consumers are increasingly making purchases based on their beliefs and expect brands to show their beliefs.

Why it matters: Cause-marketing and sustainability create positive associations for brands and influencers.

Starting As CMO During The COVID-19 Pandemic


Think3 CMO Adam Singer found that Fortune 500 businesses aren’t equipped for remote workforce management.

Why it matters: Social distancing in the age of coronavirus will show which brands have effective teleworking policies in place around onboarding and creative management.

The Power Of Purpose: How The Advertising, Marketing And Media Industries Can Help Fight Coronavirus


Repurposing ad creative, donating media time, creating at-home experiences and sponsoring the early release of movies and content to create virtual premieres are all ways ad and marketing industries can lift spirits during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Brands that deploy tone-deaf campaigns or messaging right now run the risk of losing customers.

How Burger King’s Data-Driven Marketing Drives Strategic Growth: Q&A With Antonello Alexandre

MarTech Advisor

Alexandre says the key takeaways for Burger King campaigns include tapping into local insights, leveraging macro consumers trends fast, spending time in the field and integrating data from multiple sources.

Why it matters: Using local insights, Burger King ran a television spot around its mango habanero sandwich, which led to the brand doubling its sales in the premium layer of its menu.

Are You Leading Through The Crisis … Or Managing The Response?

Harvard Business Review

During crises, many leaders either take a narrow view, get seduced by managing, over-centralize the response or forget the human factors.

Why it matters: The authors note that crises are most often over-managed and under-led. Leaders need to tread lightly and wisely during coronavirus as their actions will determine their fate.

Five Key Moves To Make Now To Adapt To The Coronavirus Economy


Brands should make immediate investments in ecommerce experiences, enlist chatbots and voice assistants, leverage voice search, focus on first-party data and embrace personalization.

Why it matters: As consumers self-quarantine, they will turn to digital channels for every part of the purchase funnel.

Brands Promote Social Distancing With Altered Logos, Slogans

Brands are creatively employing the concept of social distancing in marketing around the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Messaging demands a delicate touch right now as brands navigate the right approach to something everyone is dealing with.

4As: 56% Of Consumers Interested In Brands’ COVID-19 Initiatives
Marketing Dive

Over half of consumers surveyed were happy with brands’ cause-marketing initiatives in response to the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and market research platform Suzy.

Why it matters: “Only 15 percent of consumers said they did not want to hear from brands at this time.” How is your brand responding to COVID-19?

Olympics Postponement Brings Confusion To An Already Nervous Ad Industry
Marketing Dive

The Tokyo Summer Games have been postponed until summer 2021 throwing more of the industry into a tailspin.

Why it matters: After fraught cancelations from SXSW and a late postponement from Cannes Lions, sponsors and advertisers have been bracing for the next domino to fall. It’s time to survey the landscape.

Coca-Cola GB Suspends All Marketing Activity
PR Week

Coca-Cola (which includes Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite and Powerade) is suspending all of its marketing activities in Great Britain due to the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: A Coca-Cola spokesperson noted the direction the brand will be taking in lieu of marketing activities: “As we all adjust to these very different circumstances, we will focus our efforts on how we can make a difference to our consumers, customers and communities in the weeks and months ahead.

Marketing In The Age Of Coronavirus: The Dos And (Many) Don’ts

Pause, read this article and reflect before considering your coronavirus “angle.”

Why it matters: “When people and companies start capitalizing on an opportunity like this, for the at-home shopper, it reeks of opportunism and strikes the wrong tone.”

Are Brands Living Up To Their Purpose During The Coronavirus Crisis? 


Pret a Manger CEO Pano Christou said in his blog that the brand would close its seating areas and operate on a to-go basis only, offering National Health Service workers free hot drinks and providing a 50 percent discount on all other products. Conversely, Tesla was accused of violating orders to conduct minimal operations at its California factory.

Why it matters: Brands have the chance to show their true colors in how they respond to coronavirus.

Cause Marketing In The Time Of COVID-19

Chief Marketer

Chief Marketer’s roundup of brands helping the community amid coronavirus includes Burger King, the NBA, Walgreens, Under Armour, Tito’s Vodka, Hootsuite, Jameson, T-Mobile, KFC, Kraft Heinz, Apple, Shopify and Facebook.

Why it matters: Brands need to prove to consumers that they’re listening to communities.

DTC Brands Are Tightening Up How Much They Spend On Digital Advertising 

Modern Retail

CEO of Within Joe Yakuel estimates that his clients’ ad spend dropped over 20 percent in the second week of March, likely as a result of shoppers tightening up their wallets because of coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brands will have to figure out how to market their products and services as an essential or a good deal.

How Marketers And Agencies Are Trying To Strike The Right Tone In The Age Of Coronavirus


KFC, Coors Light and Hershey’s recently pulled television spots to avoid coronavirus insensitivities.

Why it matters: As consumers navigate the effects of the coronavirus on their daily lives and finances, brands must tailor messaging accordingly. 

Why Google’s Decision To Withhold Programmatic Data Is Pushing Some Advertisers To Pull Ad Spend


Digiday reports that Google rejected one US based retailer’s request for granular log-level data about the programmatic bids they won and lost over the key festive period in 2019.

Why it matters: Google’s decision to withhold data has led to a handful of sophisticated programmatic advertisers to pull from Google’s marketplace. As an alternative, some advertisers are resorting to supply-path optimization techniques to broker better programmatic deals. 

Creative Works: What Brands Are Doing For The Coronavirus Pandemic

The Drum

A roundup of creative ads and spots showing how brands are communicating with consumers during coronavirus, including an ad from Mucinex with the messaging, “Spread facts, not fear. Fingers off your face. It’s an easy way to get sick.”

Why it matters: Brands need to acknowledge what consumers are going through as a result of coronavirus.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 27. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

ANA Assembles CMOs For Coronavirus Coalition

This week in marketing leadership moves, the ANA taps CMOs for a coronavirus coalition, Popeyes hires Paloma Azulay as global CMO, Syl Saller retires from Diageo and The Washington Post brings on Brad Feldman as head of brand strategy and partnerships marketing.

ANA Calls On CMOs To Form Coronavirus Coalition

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is assembling high-profile chief marketing officers as part of its coronavirus coalition for the purpose of setting industry standards and providing leadership guidance for CMOs across the industry.

“We’re once again turning our leadership community of CMOs into the force for action that our industry needs now,” CEO of ANA, Bob Liodice, in a statement announcing the coalition. “It is to help chief marketers shape intelligent practices and provide functional guidance through this unprecedented time,” Liodice said.

Popeyes Hires Paloma Azulay As Global CMO

Paloma Azulay started as Popeyes global CMO in January and reports to Fernando Machado, global CMO of Restaurant Brands International, as reported by PRWeek.

Azulay joins Popeyes from Tim Hortons, where she held the same role. 

Machado said the goal is to have one CMO for each of Restaurant Brands International’s brands (Popeyes, Burger King and Tim Horton).

Syl Saller Retires From CMO Role At Diageo

The Drum reports that Syl Saller, who joined Diageo in 1999 as marketing director for Great Britain, is retiring from her position as CMO. 

Saller held the chief marketing officer position since 2013. She will be replaced by Cristina Diezhandino, who has been with Diageo for 13 years and is currently the global category director for Scotch and managing director for Diageo’s luxury brands business.

“Deciding to leave and embark on the next stage of my career is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. Diageo is the most incredible company, with people who are talented, committed, and passionate,” said Saller.

Brad Feldman Named Washington Post Head Of Brand Strategy, Partnerships Marketing 

Today The Washington Post announced the addition of Brad Feldman to its client solutions team as head of brand strategy and partnerships marketing. Feldman, who will report to client solutions’ VP of marketing Raquelle Zuzarte, most recently served as VP of creative strategy and content partnerships for WarnerMedia’s Ignite division. 

MGM Resorts Brings On Bill Hornbuckle As Acting CEO

According to HospitalityNet, MGM Resorts International has made company COO and president Bill Hornbuckle acting CEO and president. Hornbuckle will replace chairman and CEO Jim Murren, who in early February said he would be stepping down prior to the expiration of his contract. 

Hornbuckle is also currently an executive committee member and a board of director of MGM China Holdings with operations and resorts in Macau. He was previously CMO of MGM Resorts from 2009-2012.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 27. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

Vice President, Global MarketingTimberlandNew Hampshire, NE
VP, Marketing SoundtracksDisney Music GroupBurbank, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Head Of MarketingAspyr Media, Inc.  Austin, TX
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

200 Episodes And Counting–A Look Back

During this 200th episode of “Marketing Today,” I look back at the previous 199 episodes and share highlights from some of my favorite interviews over the past five years.

We begin with Colleen Sellers, who spoke powerfully about being a working mom and the only female interviewed that day. Then we look back at a great conversation with the late Tom Bick, who had amazing one-liners and advice for marketers that got right to the point. 

Kim Whitler is one of the academics we’ve had on the show, and we discussed the role of marketers on corporate boards. Then the legendary Phil Kotler told us what has and hasn’t changed in marketing over the last fifty years. He remarked, “Every marketing decision also has some possible impact on our resources, on our communities, on our planet.” 

I also share highlights from my discussions with Kevin Lane Keller, Byron Sharp, and JB Steenkamp. During my second interview with Mark Ritson, he made an incredible endorsement of this podcast. We close out this episode with highlights from my discussion with thought leader Seth Godin, who said, “Marketing…is the act of making change happen.” 

I am thankful for the many friendships formed from these conversations over the past five years and thankful, as ever, for listeners. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Colleen Sellers defines marketing effectiveness. (01:44)
  • Hear Colleen’s thoughts on how customer insight drives strategy. (02:19) 
  • Colleen Sellers on being a working mom and the only female interviewed that day. (02:50)
  • Tom Bick demonstrates his mastery of the art and science of marketing. (07:32) 
  • Tom Bick shares what he thought of as the most significant marketing opportunity out there. (10:59) 
  • Tom Bick demonstrates his irreplaceable wit and intelligence as he shares advice for marketers. (13:06)
  • Kim Whitler on the impact of marketing experience at the board level of companies. (14:49) 
  •  Kim Whitler discusses the place of marketers on boards. (17:25)
  • Phil Kotler describes what hasn’t changed in the last 50 years. (19:35)
  • Phil Kotler describes what has changed over the previous fifty years. (20:03)
  • Kevin Lane Keller addresses purpose in brand. (23:18)
  • Byron Sharp discusses his book How Brands Grow. (28:05)
  • JB Steenkamp describes what inspired his study of private labels. (30:34)
  • Mark Ritson discusses his passion for educating marketers and makes a big endorsement. (32:57)
  • Seth Godin sets a new bar for marketers. (37:12)

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

Ecommerce Ad Spend Doubles From $4.8 Million To $9.6 Million

Ecommerce ad spend jumped from $4.8 million to $9.6 million during the course of just one month, from February 17 to March 9, according to MediaRadar. The online shopping boom comes as restaurants remain closed and new teleworking policies are implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic.

To contain the virus, California, Illinois and New York have ordered residents to stay in their homes, restricting any travel other than for vital reasons such as grocery shopping, visits to the pharmacy and medical checkups. With over 70 million Americans practicing social distancing, online shopping activity is growing exponentially. 

According to a survey from Coresight Research, nearly half (47.2 percent) of US internet users in February said they’re avoiding shopping centers and malls. At the same time, about 75 percent of respondents said they would steer clear from shopping centers altogether if the outbreak worsens. Older consumers are being extra cautious as nine in 10 of respondents over 45 said were likely to avoid physical stores in general if the coronavirus spreads.

Digital retailers are adjusting operations to keep up with demand. Last week Amazon announced it would be hiring 100,000 new full and part-time warehouse and delivery workers in the US. Amazon will also increase workers’ pay for a total of $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the US, Europe and Canada.

According to eMarketer, some Amazon shoppers have received notifications that say, “We’re very sorry your delivery is late. Most late packages arrive in a day. If you have not received your package by tomorrow, you can come back here the next day for a refund or a replacement.”

eMarketer updated its 2020 global ad spend forecast from $712 billion to $691 billion. China, the world’s second largest ad market after the US, accounts for most of the reduction as eMarketer adjusted its total media ad spend in China from $121 billion to $113 billion. 

What We’re Reading–March 16th

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of March 16.

Gartner: CMOs Must Shift Strategies Amid Coronavirus Threat
Marketing Dive

CMOs need to prepare for disruptions and tread carefully.

Why it matters: Uncertain times call for proactive measures and agile adaptations.

How Brands Are Adapting To The Expectations Of An Increasingly Vegan Generation

With 30 percent of Gen-Zers reporting an intention to be on meat-free diets by 2021, brands need to adapt their messaging due to consumer expectations.

Why it matters: Understanding Gen-Z’s unique orientation toward veganism will show that it’s not a 1:1 with the attitudes of Millennials.

How Bad Times Bring Out The Best In People
Harvard Business Review

In your experience, are you and your coworkers bonding and banding together over the current crisis?

Why it matters: Tough times make it harder to distinguish the difference between our individual needs and those of society. And that can be a good thing.

Coronavirus And The Marketing Industry: What Happens Next?
The Drum

It’s the question everyone is asking: What happens next for the industry?

Why it matters: The widespread impact of coronavirus cannot be overstated. It’s imperative to understand the blow to traditional marketing and its relation to a significant increase in digital ad spend.

How To Design An Effective Schedule During Stressful Times
Fast Company

How to design an effective schedule during the abnormalities we’re currently experiencing (that means recharge time, too).

Why it matters: Even though the disruption of normal activities is trying and its length is uncertain, keeping your environment as similar as possible and adopting a schedule that matches your typical day can go a long way to making it more tolerable and effective.

Olympics Unlikely This Year, Former Team USA Official Says

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are looking less and less likely, at least according to one source.

Why it matters: Advertisers and sponsors are likely to take a drubbing if the 2020 Olympics are called off: You can recoup some things, but lost impressions—especially of this magnitude—are irrecoverable.

What Can Brands Do If the Coronavirus Crisis Drags On for Months?

Now might be the optimal time to pursue cause marketing initiatives as we collectively ascend the upward slope of the coronavirus crisis in both time and scale.

Why it matters: Your back-up plans need back-up plans; strategize for the long-term and multiple “worst case scenarios” with the approaches outlined here.

General Mills Boosts Marketing Spending, Pushes For Appropriate Message During COVID-19
Ad Age

Maintaining a sense of normalcy and avoiding outright reference to “stocking up” are a big part of General Mills’ strategy in this current climate.

Why it matters: General Mills is experiencing something that cereal and canned food brands have crises from the past: a boost as people stock up on dry goods and non-perishables and a need to adjudicate over what’s appropriate messaging given the delicate situation.

Preparing Your Marketing Plans For The Coronavirus Downturn
The Drum

The protocol hasn’t changed much: Take a long-term approach to the current crisis by not immediately looking for short-term cuts to marketing. Do this while retaining your current customers while acquiring new ones and you’ve already started your preparations.

Why it matters: Step #1: Don’t cut the budget. “Maintaining visibility in your market is essential for long term profitability and continued investment.” It’s common to subject the marketing budget to cuts first, but that would be a mistake right now.

Keeping Vision In Focus When The CMO Goes

A problem/solution oriented approach filling the vacuum left by outgoing CMOs: Assign a leader, force collaboration and codify processes, as a start.

Why it matters: More and more organizations are recontextualizing marketing roles, which unfortunately for the CMO means either extinction or adaptation. For the teams that remain, identifying gaps should be a primary concern.

Entertainment Brands Chart Their Next Steps After Canceled SXSW

Entertainment brands are assembling the wreckage after the cancelation of SXSW.

Why it matters: What do you do when the worst case scenario is the scenario?

Which COVID-19-Related Consumer Behavior Shifts Are Here To Stay?

Separating the ephemeral features of the coronavirus crisis from those with lasting impact on consumer behavior.

Why it matters: This too shall pass, but some things may never return t “normal.”

Cannes Lions Officially Postpones Festival Of Creativity As COVID-19 Crisis Worsens

It was inevitable.

Why it matters: The windfall for marketers at events like Cannes Lions cannot be understated. So, what’s next?

What’s Trending: Experts Decode Generation Z
Modern Retail

“Seven Gen Z marketers and entrepreneurs share their insights from the frontlines.”

Why it matters: Widen your analysis of Gen Z’s habits. What was initially thought as indicating a deficit of attention could actually be a product of Gen Z’s media fluency and swift detection—and distaste for—the disinguine.

3 Strategies For Strengthening Brands Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty
Marketing Dive

How to strategically approach this crisis by adapting to changes in consumer behavior that could make your brand stronger.

Why it matters: Adversity is a chance to galvanize. “The best brands are defining themselves with the mission statement and working from that standpoint and recognizing that they can grow share during this period of time.”

What Marketers Can Do Right Now in the Age of Coronavirus: A Letter From Ann Handley

Ann Handley shares her take on what marketers can do right now to confront the coronavirus crisis head-on.

Why it matters: In the face of monumental crises, it’s important to take stock of what actions are needed immediately as well as in the long-term.

Majority Of Marketers Delaying Campaigns As Coronavirus Fears Escalate
Marketing Week

“More than half of marketers (55 percent) are delaying campaigns or have put them under review as fears escalate over the global coronavirus outbreak.”

Why it matters: The impact of coronavirus on advertising and marketing has been profound and necessitates that every marketer look to their planned campaigns to figure out the right path forward.

Facebook’s Sandberg: No One Knows How Much Impact Coronavirus Will Have On Marketing Industry

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: “This is not going to business as usual, and the marketing industry is certainly going to see a real impact. I don’t think anyone knows how big. So we’re going to watch and look.”

Why it matters: As we examine the extent of the pandemic’s reach, it’s important to look to industry leaders for their perspective on its impact on advertising.

Marketing Events In The Time Of Coronavirus
The Drum

What event organizers, speakers and sponsors need to do in light of the global coronavirus pandemic, from refund recommendations to how to hold virtual events.

Why it matters: Events are essential and the roles involved are numerous, so we need real solutions to limit the negative global impact of coronavirus on the industry.

‘We’re Thinking Like A TV Production’: SAP’s CMO On Rewriting Strategy In A Pandemic
The Drum

SAP’s marketing strategy for the entire year has been scrapped. CMO Alicia Tillman shares what motivated and informed these adjustments and how thinking like a TV production has helped.

Why it matters: A reminder that none of us are now working in a traditional business environment.

DTC Leads the Charge Of Retailers Closing Shops To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus

How direct-to-consumer brands are leading the movement to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Naturally, DTC brands have a thing or two to offer consumers in times of social distancing and retail lockdowns. But not every retailer is putting public health over short-term business goals.

Coronavirus Sparks Huge Jump In Social Media Use, Study Finds
Campaign US

A new study confirms that people are connecting online as social distancing practices go into effect around the country.

Why it matters: Brands can maintain a digital connection as consumers stay indoors due to the spread of coronavirus.

A Proven Battle Plan For CMO’s To Combat This Global Crisis

It’s past time for a battle plan to combat the current global crisis.

Why it matters: We’re confronting a new reality in the workplace and the answer to what lies tomorrow isn’t always clear. Ambiguity is something every CMO can grapple with, however, as marketing leaders’ work environments are always profoundly affected in times of crisis.

Bing’s Coronavirus Live Map Tracks Recoveries, Along With New Cases And Deaths
Fast Company

You can find a quick link to Bing’s tracker here.

Why it matters: Keep a tab open and stay informed about the spread of coronavirus and how it might impact your work.

Influence Through Endorsement: The Power Of Brand Ambassadors
The Drum

Something non-coronavirus related, because if you’ve taken anything from the first article in today’s reading list, the crisis will end.

Why it matters: This Q&A between with Jemma Banks, WW’s (fka: Weight Watchers) marketing director and Mark Stringer, CEO and founder of PrettyGreen, WW’s UK PR agency, covers successful influencer campaign and has insightful words of caution for brands extending their influence through ambassadors.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 20. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Smart Energy GB Hires Former Channel 4 CMO

This week in marketing leadership moves, Smart Energy GB hires former Channel 4 CMO Dan Brooke as CEO, Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero’s TB12 hires Tara McRae as the brand’s first CMO and Leviton hires Randy Mortensen to serve as its new senior vice president of global distribution sales and marketing.

Smart Energy GB Appoints Former Channel 4 CMO As CEO

Campaign reports that former Channel 4 CMO Dan Brooke has been hired by Smart Energy GB to replace outgoing chief executive Sacha Deshmukh, who is leaving to become chief executive of Unicef UK. Smart Energy’s director of finance and operations, Alistair Gibbons, will act as interim chief executive between now and early May.

Brooke, who has been running a brand consultancy since he left Channel 4, was replaced by BT’s Zaid Al-Qassab.

TB12 Hires Tara McRae As Chief Marketing Officer

Tara McRae joins TB12, Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero’s performance lifestyle brand, in the newly created role of chief marketing officer. McRae joins TB12 from Clarks where she served as CMO. Prior to that, she served as SVP of brand and marketing at PUMA.

Leviton Hires Replacement SVP Of Global Distribution Sales And Marketing

Randy Mortensen joins Leviton as their new SVP of global distribution, sales and marketing. He will take on the responsibilities of outgoing SVP Bill Marshall, who is retiring on December 31st, according to AIthority.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 20. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

VP Of Marketing OperationsCalifia FarmsLos Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And CommunityCalibraMenlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Head Of MarketingAspyr Media, Inc.  Austin, TX
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

Coronavirus Hit Food Industry Hard—Here’s How They’re Responding

Coronavirus is coming for the food industry. It all started when brands like KFC, Hershey and Coors pulled television ads to avoid virus insensitivities. The issue worsened when Los Angeles, New York City and Washington officials ordered closures of restaurants and bars, with over a dozen states following suit. In response, big and small eateries alike have had to rearrange stores to prevent the spread of infection or shut their doors completely, including Denny’s, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. 

According to data OpenTable released on year-over-year seated diners at restaurants, patronage on March 14 decreased in New York City and Boston by 64 percent, 58 percent in San Francisco and Seattle and 47 percent in Los Angeles, compared with the same night last year. 

The economic toll of the closures has already been high as companies are being forced to cancel or postpone some marketing campaigns altogether. With in-person dining off limits, brands are relying on take-out and delivery orders to stay afloat.

Denny’s said it’s keeping many of its restaurants open but reducing the number of patrons in the dining room.

“In keeping with this priority, we have waived all delivery fees to promote remaining at home and social distancing. We are confident that together, we will overcome the challenges posed by this virus,” Denny’s tells us.

Delivery fees for Denny’s orders made online are waived from now until April 12. Denny’s is also eliminating all condiments, silverware and placements from each table, cleaning high-touch areas every 30 minutes and requiring employees to wash their hands every 20 minutes.

This week Starbucks said it would be moving to a “to go” model in all company-owned stores in the US and Canada for a minimum of two weeks. The company post said it will pause the use of all seating in both the café and patio areas, but that customers can still walk up and order at the counter, through the Starbucks app or via drive-thru and delivery. 

In a letter published the week prior, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson spoke about encouraging signs in China, where over 90 percent of Starbucks stores have reopened.

Panera said it may limit its service to pick-up, delivery or drive-thru only while also implementing contactless delivery but has’t said it would officially be closing. It also says it’ll be adding hand sanitizer stands and antimicrobial covers for its fast lane kiosks. 

As coronavirus wreaks havoc on food businesses, restaurant stocks are crashing. On Monday, the S&P Restaurant Index fell more than 15 percent, with every restaurant company stock down by double digits. Denny’s fell 24 percent, Red Robin declined 35 percent and Del Taco dipped by 34 percent.

But there’s a silver lining to the restaurant closures: brands have the opportunity to put public health ahead of profits and help their community through acts of altruism. For example, Yum Brands, parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, plans to pay employees of stores that get closed due to coronavirus. Yum Brands will pay employees their regular hours during closure or quarantine.

Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company, too said it would give all hourly employees paid sick leave. Starbucks implemented “catastrophe pay” to US baristas who come into contact with or have been diagnosed with the virus.

DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates have also announced ways to help its workers. DoorDash and Instacart are offering two week paid sick leave to infected workers while Postmates launched a “fleet relief fund” to help cover the cost of its couriers’ medical check-ups.

Many diners have turned to online grocery delivery services, with Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Shipt all seeing higher demand. Instacart says bulk buying has grown and reported a 40 percent increase in orders from customers sending items to someone else.

Restoring The Soul Of Business With Rishad Tobaccowala

During this 199th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Rishad Tobaccowala, author of the new book, Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data.

We discuss Tobaccowala’s long career at Publicis Groupe. Then Tobaccowala tells us why he wrote “Restoring the Soul of Business” and what it means to be human in light of all the technology and data that’s flying around us as well as the impact storytelling still has.

Tobaccowala shares why he thinks businesses fail when they focus too much on numbers on data. 

“I believe that it is extremely important that any company, individual, or team, realizes that success is combining what I call the story and the spreadsheet,” says Tobaccowala who emphasizes that the human element is still very important to business as he reflects, “If a company allows growth, purpose, and connections, it begins to attract talent.” 

When sharing some of the top lessons he learned during his successful career, he advises that we should, “Never underestimate how much of your success is due to things you do not control.”

Tobaccowala’s thoughts on the leadership marketers need today can help us think about how we can regain support from our boards as we show them the enduring value of connection and creativity.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Rishad describes himself as a resource who combines a long history in the company, a global perspective and someone who speaks truth to power. (01:30)
  • Rishad shares why he had such a long career at Publicis Groupe. (02:51)
  • The mentors that stood out in Rishad’s career. (05:47)
  • Why Rishad wrote Restoring the Soul of Business. (08:21)
  • Rishad has always believed that human relationships were important to business.  (18:46)
  • Learn where Publicis is in the development of its AI platform, Marcel. (26:39)
  • How can executives in the marketing and creative industry restore the soul of their company? (32:20) 
  • What are the top challenges Rishad is hearing from brand and company leaders in 2020? (37:09)
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? (42:14)
  • Rishad describes the impact of the women in his life. (44:43)
  • What is the advice Rishad would give to his younger self? (47:55)
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Rishad follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? (50:49)

Resources Mentioned:

Subscribe the podcast:
Listen in iTunes (link: http://apple.co/2dbdAhV)
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Connect with the Guest:



Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

4A’s Provides Guidance Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Amid major event cancellations and a 14-day nationwide closure of restaurants in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) said in a community post it will postpone its media conference, Decisions 20/20, to early 2021 and the Management Practitioners Forum to this fall. 

The organization also implemented new staff policies including a travel ban on domestic and international flights, mandatory work-from-home procedure for all its employees until further notice and a case-by-case approach to in-person events and training. Still, the 4A’s notes that agencies, “must make the best decisions for their employees and businesses.”

In the same post, the 4A’s shared a list of resources to inform business decisions during this time. This includes a survey conducted in partnership with 4A’s Research and Suzy on March 9 including 1,000 global consumers on their workplaces’ responses to coronavirus. Most (75 percent) of the respondents said their workplaces have communicated to them about coronavirus and the top three procedures employers are implementing include hand washing instructions/encouragement, increased cleaning and distribution of hand sanitizer. Thirty percent of respondents who work in urban areas said their employers have issued a mandatory work-from-home policy and 25 percent say it’s optional or at a manager’s discretion.

4A’s also linked to the PandemicEX Survey recently conducted by Forrester, which revealed that 53 percent of US working adults are afraid of the spread of coronavirus and 29 percent are afraid to go to work due to the risk of exposure. Additionally, nearly half of respondents think the coronavirus will disrupt their work life.

Another helpful resource shared by 4A’s: An MIT Sloan Management Review study that found quarantined Chinese areas saw a dip in manufacturing, evidenced by the decrease in nitrogen dioxide emissions. For example, in Hubei Province, emissions fell by 53 percent and in areas around Wuhan City, emissions fell by as much as 85 percent. MIT Sloan Management Review estimates this will equate to a loss of up to $215.6 billion to Chinese manufacturing from January 24-February 21 2020.

Using China’s response to the pandemic, MIT Sloan Management Review provides steps managers can take to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. These include allowing employees to telecommute, training your leaders, identifying employees who are most crucial to maintaining business continuity and developing a disaster scenario in the event of an emergency quarantine. 

Lastly, the 4A’s shared Q&A-style sample agency communications messaging for others to use, courtesy of two 4A’s members.

What We’re Reading–March 9th

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of March 9.

How Are Businesses Preparing For A Post-Coronavirus World?
The Drum

Businesses are planning for a post-Coronavirus world as we’re right in the midst of a pandemic. Here’s what they anticipate after the virus subsides.

Why it matters: “Businesses in the US and Europe should consider long-term industry trends that will continue even after the travel rebound dies down and begin adjusting their focuses accordingly.”

How To Survive A Brand Quarantine During Coronavirus

Cancel those scheduled posts.

Why it matters: How agencies and brands deal with the Coronavirus crisis will speak volumes about the class of marketers they employ.

Coronavirus Stopped All Sports. Will it Crush Sports Marketing This Year?

A look at what happens to sports contracts and sponsorships should Coronavirus’ impact extend into the second half of the year.

Why it matters: “Some brands will hopefully see their sponsorship partnerships as more of a two-way street, and find ways to stick with athletes and leagues instead of hitting pause.”

Half Of Gen Z, Millennials ‘Don’t Know How They’d Get Through Life’ Without Video
Marketing Dive

“Video consumption is especially important to Generation Z and millennials, with half of respondents in the demographic groups agreeing with the statement that they “don’t know how they’d get through life” without video.”

Why it matters
: New research from Google suggests that “mobile marketers need to create branded content for YouTube that provides helpful information for target audiences or to collaborate with influencers who have gained a following by sharing their expertise about a topic.”

The BoF Podcast: Retail Futurist Doug Stephens On How Coronavirus Will Shift Consumer Behaviour
Business of Fashion

Doug Stephens and Imran Amed discuss the principles fashion brands need to adopt to survive the effects of Coronavirus on the industry and what to expect on the horizon.

Why it matters
: While Stephens and Amed forecast a consumption spike post-Coronavirus, Stephens also notes that marketers should, “use this time to reinvent how you do what you do, bring consumers new alternatives, new value and in the process even reinvent your own brand.”

KFC Pauses Finger Lickin’ Ads Amid Coronavirus Panic And 150 Complaints
The Drum

KFC would rather not highlight the urge to lick your fingers in the midst of a global viral pandemic.

Why it matters: Sensitivities around normal social behaviors are obviously a bit heightened right now, leading some brands to pull back on relatively innocuous messages.

Cannes Lions Unveils Contingency Planning In Case It Needs to Postpone

Unlike other organizations that are out-and-out canceling their planned events, Cannes Lions is banking on a contingency plan.

Why it matters: Your Cannes Lions plans now have a contingency should Coronavirus interfere substantially with the event’s regularly scheduled programming.

Only 6% Of The Ad Industry Is Happy With The Digital Advertising Ecosystem
Ad News

“More than 100 brand marketers, agencies and digital publishers were surveyed, with 6 percent saying they’re satisfied with the current digital advertising ecosystem.”

Why it matters: “Digital advertising is still suffering from the same issues of transparency, fraud and fragmentation,” comments Christiana Cacciapuoti, executive director at AdLedger.

What Does The Symmetry Of Your Logo Say About Your Brand?
Harvard Business Review

A look at how symmetry in logo design impacts overall brand messaging.

Why it matters: Your logo is front and center. It’s often the first impression potential consumers have and should be emblematic. What does your logo, symmetrical or otherwise, say about your brand?

Five Barriers To Delivering A Truly Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy
The Drum

“Having consulted with hundreds of marketers, we’ve identified the key pain points in realising a truly data-led, customer-centric marketing strategy.”

Why it matters: These barriers, including siloed teams and poor in-store experiences, demand breakthroughs for truly customer-centric marketing strategies to have a chance.

Snap Is The World’s Most Innovative Company Of 2020
Fast Company

A look inside Snap, Fast Company’s most innovative company of 2020, with CEO Evan Spiegel.

Why it matters: Get an inside look at Spiegel’s day-to-day, including insight into the challenges Snap has faced and how the CEO has confronted them.

‘Downright Frozen’: DTC Funding Environment Tightens In The Age Of Coronavirus
Modern Retail

How the outbreak of COVID-19 is having a dampening effect on VC funding for DTC companies.

Why it matters: An economic downturn, coupled with the existing challenges for new DTC brands, has had a freezing effect on funding. Take an in-depth look at how the category is being affected.

CFOs: The Marketer’s Key To The C-Suite
Chief Marketer

New research from Deloitte upends previous thinking about the trust between CMOs and CEOs.

Why it matters: Previous research framed the role of the CMO as having a deficit of trust from the CEO, however, this new research shows that “CEOs are the C-suite members who rate the performances of their CMOs most highly—even higher than the CMOs themselves.”

ANA: Advertisers Extend Time To Pay Agencies For Marketing Services
Marketing Dive

“Advertisers have tried to improve their cash flow by taking more time than they did in the past decade to pay for marketing services.”

Why it matters: “The ANA’s study found various reasons for advertising agencies, research firms and production houses to set their payment terms based on the service they provide and the competitive landscape.”

As Events Get Canceled Or Delayed, Experiential Marketing Businesses Are Struggling

The struggle is real. Events are being canceled left and right due to COVID-19, with many experiential marketing businesses left holding the baggage.

Why it matters: Providers of brand experiences are looking to digitization to surmount the growing impact of COVID-19 on their campaigns.

Industry Has A Year To Master Metrics Around Podcasting, Says Spotify’s Liam Hickey
Ad News

Liam Hickey, head of automation for Spotify AUNZ, remarked that by 2021, “we can’t be sitting around talking about how to buy and measure it or we won’t have been doing our jobs,” at IAB Australia’s Audio Summit in Sydney.

Why it matters: Podcast metrics have been historically isolated to ‘downloads,’ but settling on standards for measurement has to be a focus this year for an industry more and more reliant on audio advertising campaigns.

Marketing 2030: Five Ways To Survive And Thrive Over The Next 10 Years
Marketing Profs

Jennifer Chase, SVP of marketing at SAS, gives invaluable advice on which skills to build to prosper as a marketer in the next decade.

Why it matters: In our industry like no other, it’s imperative to keep a future-oriented mindset while keeping one foot in the day-to-day. No simple task, but these tips can help bring it all back home.

The Age Of Data Privacy: Personalization’s Existential Crisis?
Marketing Dive

“How much do the latest data privacy regulations limit customer journey data that powers personalized online experiences?”

Why it matters: Personalization has, without question, been impacted by recent data privacy legislation. However, when customers come to expect personalized experiences, leading to a conundrum for marketers.

How To Market A Product When Your Buyer Isn’t Your User
Harvard Business Review

Follow these techniques to overcome the buyer-user divide.

Why it matters: “For companies playing in a market where users and buyers are disconnected, there are three main problems to solve. First is fully recognizing all the buyers and users. Second is effectively and efficiently coordinating across all buyers and users. Third is understanding and aligning the interests of all the buyers and users.”

‘Basically Irreplaceable’: Olympic Ad Dollars Could Evaporate From Market If Coronavirus Causes Cancellation

Billions in ad dollars could be irreplaceably lost due to cancelations from coronavirus, so what are advertisers to do?

Why it matters: Coronavirus’ impact is penetrating all areas of advertising. A glance at the tea leaves: Advertisers will hold at least a portion of their Olympic ad dollars due to having a difficult time finding alternatives for those ad dollars that could compete with Olympic reach.

5 Ways Brands Such As Disney And BMW Approached Digital Transformation
The Drum

Familiarize yourself with five examples of how major brands are approaching digital transformation.

Why it matters
: Learn from the best by taking a page from these strategies employed by major brands like Disney and BMW.

Infographic: A Day In The Life Of A Modern Marketer

A recent survey of 400 advertising and marketing managers suggests that the sweet spot between productive and creative time is related to having a healthy work-life balance.

Why it matters: “To be productive and creative, we need to allow ourselves time to decompress.”

Opinion: If Influencer Marketing Was A Male-Led Industry It Would Have Been Taken Seriously Long Ago
Ad Age

Implicit bias and subsconscious discrimination within the advertising industry has affected the perception of the importance of influencer marketing.

Why it matters
: Confronting long-held “truths” and biases within our industry is the only way to cast a light on serious, perennial issues related to diversity and equality. Vickie Segar notes that “Right now, the ​discussion we’re having about influencer marketing is whether it’s “legitimate,” a “fad” or “wasteful”—all while it continues to be one of the best-performing verticals within advertising.”

How Will The Coronavirus Change Consumer Behavior?

eMarketer’s newest podcast features a conversation around the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior.

Why it matters: Coronavirus is here and already making its presence known in shifting social dynamics. Think about it: how might social distancing impact experiential marketing? Look no further than the recent spate of marketing event cancelations to get a glimpse of what’s to come should industries fail to equip themselves with the right mindset toward this global scare.

Is Technology Subsuming Marketing?
Harvard Business Review

“When we looked at the top five compensated officers of a firm between 1999 and 2017, we found a dramatic decline in the number of chief marketing officers (CMOs) in this top rung — about 35 percent. Meanwhile, the number of officers representing information or technology in the top five, highest-paid category increased, and now far exceeds the number of CMOs.”

Why it matters: HBR’s data suggests a stark decline in the importance of the chief marketing officer in organizational hierarchies.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 13. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.