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 February 3rd.

Consumer Spending On Media Rises 4.3% In 2019, Lagging Ad Industry’s 4.9% Growth
Media Post

Media industry economists PQ Media share their latest report on consumer media spending, showing that it has risen 4.3 percent in 2019 and accounts for 58.4 percent of total media spending compared to advertising/marketing’s 41.6 percent share of the pie.

Why it matters: “Consumers now outspend the ad industry by a margin of nearly three to two, which reflects the continued shift from ad-supported to consumer-supported models for media.”

56% Of Marketers Think AI Will Negatively Impact Branding In 2020, Study Says
Marketing Dive

Most marketers (77 percent) are concerned about how AI will affect creativity and branding according to new research from Bynder.

Why it matters: Keep the following insight in mind when accounting for the fact that brand building is a top 2020 priority for marketers: “The 2020 State of Branding Report found that 56 percent of surveyed marketers think AI could negatively affect their brands by diminishing creativity, reducing jobs or impacting differentiation.”

Christian Siriano’s Goth Fun House Fall 2020 Show Was Sponsored By ‘Birds Of Prey’

Christian Siriano’s Fall 2020 New York Fashion Week runway was presented in partnership with DC Comics’ new film, “Birds of Prey.”

Why it matters: Siriano shared his perspective on the importance of runway production sponsorships, noting the precarity of the fashion industry: “Stores are going out of business every single day. To survive, designers really are looking for something to help us do what we need to do.” For Siriano, partnering with DC Comics did just that.

‘We’re Not Shy Of A Bit Of Controversy’: How Diageo’s Corporate Brand Was Born
Marketing Week

Marketing Week outlines Diageo’s brand origin story, beginning with the merger between Guinness Brewing and Grand Metropolitan back in 1997.

Why it matters: Everybody loves a good brand origin story.

Genre Is Dead And Marketers Should Pay Attention
The Drum

Boundaries are not only dissolving in art and personal identity, but also in the worlds of marketing and creativity.

Why it matters: Marketing teams need to follow suit with Lil Nas X and break down the common notions of genre within their organizations. It starts with disposing of legacy labels and classifications.

Where Are All The Women CEOs?
The Wall Street Journal

Women CEOs continue to remain a rarity and the top positions feeding talent into the role are dominated by men.

Why it matters: While women hold more double the number of chief executive titles in 2020 when compared to a decade ago, this number is still only under 6 percent.

‘CMO Clubs’: Portfolio Brand Leaders Are Looking To Counterparts To Solve Problems

CMOs are finding strength in numbers when combatting big problems.

Why it matters: Don’t work in a bubble. Strategy loves company.

10 Steps To Creating A Data-Driven Culture
Harvard Business Review

Keep data as the core of your decision-making process by internalizing these 10 “data commandments.”

Why it matters: It takes work, not just lip-service, to really lead with a data-driven mindset. These steps serve as good reminders.

How Modern Consumers Are Redefining The Hospitality Industry

Forbes explores how Gen Z is shaping ‘New Hospitality’ by remaking the industry in its image.

Why it matters: Yes, authenticity is part of any equation solving for Gen Z’s marketing appetite, but there are other factors at play. How quickly brands adopt new technologies for amplifying experiences is another major aspect.

Mobile Ad Blocking In U.S. Sees Significant Growth: PageFair
Ad Age

A new report from PageFair evaluates the state of ad blocker usage, which is up a whopping 64 percent globally since 2016 for blocking on mobile.

Why it matters: According to the report, nearly 70 percent of all digital ad spend happens in the U.S. on mobile, while 4 percent of all ad blocking on mobile happens there.

The Rise Of The Seven Second Ad
The Drum

Have you considered giving seven-second ads a try? Here’s why, when and how you should serve up micro ads to your audiences.

Why it matters: Attention is finite and the ad ecosystem is crowded. A seven-second ad could help differentiate you from your competitors with something short and sweet.

How Google Plans To Build On YouTube’s $15 Billion In Ad Revenue
Business Insider

Google’s parent company Alphabet has, for the first time, released details on YouTube’s ad revenue,

Why it matters: “By breaking out YouTube’s revenue, executives will be able to highlight a business segment where they expect to see rapid growth even as the broader digital ad business tightens.”

TikTok Eyes Larger Post-Super Bowl Marketing Push
The Wall Street Journal

Following this year’s Super Bowl marketing push, TikTok is planning more activity around March Madness and the Tokyo Olympics

Why it matters: With upcoming initiatives around major events, TikTok is hoping to grow its users; good news for brands considering the right time to meet Gen Z where they’re at.

How Dolce & Gabbana Clawed Its Way Back From Cancellation
Business of Fashion

D&G’s recent marketing missteps include the release of ads depicting a knifing and an offensive Chinese campaign. While these gaffes situate them squarely in the sights of “cancel culture,” the luxury label has so far evaded such cancellation.

Why it matters: If you’re leading a brand on the brink of zero goodwill, take heart. Not all is lost if you take a page from D&G.

Attracting The Modern Day Consumer With Context Marketing

Sure, you’ve heard of content marketing, but have you heard of context marketing?

Why it matters: The author notes that the best way to directly and indirectly market to consumers (and isn’t that the point?) is to “update your marketing with contextual solutions to attract organic leads.”

How To Succeed In Uncertain Times

Strategy + Business

PwC to leaders: Don’t be so “defensive.” Learn strategies about how to succeed when the path forward is uncertain.

Why it matters: The only certainty is that nothing is certain, especially in this industry. “Sailors navigating tricky winds, shifting tides, and mercurial weather systems prepare their vessels so they can sail on safely and purposefully, and companies can do the same.”

Axe Teams With Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ To Offer Dating Tips

Marketing Dive

Axe partnered with Netflix’s show “Sex Education” to address teen boys’ issues around dating and relationships. Characters from the show will present topics in the form of chapters from the book ‘Bringing Up Men’ on social media, tying research conducted by the brand with topics from the Netflix show.

Why it matters: Axe is building a direct connection with potential consumers around core themes from Netflix’s “Sex Education.”

Super Bowl Ads Reveal Brands’ Purpose Better Than A Vision Statement

Ad Age

Writer Lana Mcgilvray makes the case for “operationalizing purpose” using recent Super Bowl ads as examples of times when brands hit—and missed—the mark.

Why it matters: Take note from brands that seamlessly distilled their brand vision and purpose into 30-second Super Bowl spots, a task not taken lightly. And remember: There’s always next year.

Younger And Wordier: How Gen Z’s Search Behavior Is Different

Marketing Profs

Fractl’s latest study of 956 U.S. consumers found that generational differences altered respondents’ behavior when using search, even down to the use of certain words and length of queries.

Why it matters: Frame your SEM strategy around these findings to hone your generationally-specific paid search campaigns (until the Millennials kill that, too).

A.I. In China: TikTok Is Just The Beginning


Fortune shares a look at how China is making A.I. research a state planning priority, explores the questions this raises and covers a handful of the People’s Republic’s official state A.I. incubators.

Why it matters: China’s A.I. R&D has already come under scrutiny in light of data collection practices and lacking transparency (hello, TikTok). Hypothetically, these data concerns could grow as more Chinese A.I. hits the West… which reading this article seems almost inevitable.

How To Leave Work At Work
Harvard Business Review

We’ve all been there. The work never ends, so what’s a marketer to do?

Why it matters: Setting boundaries can reduce burnout and keep you focused on the major priorities while elevating work-life balance as a core organizational principle.

‘Increasingly An Awareness Platform’: Amazon Advertising Is Moving Beyond Search

The focus that advertisers have historically paid to Amazon’s paid search advertising is quickly being superseded by the awareness potential of the platform.

Why it matters: Clients should consider how to leverage Amazon for brand storytelling and awareness. “Analysts have noted advertisers’ growing interest in recent months in paid video ads, which are now available through Amazon’s self-serve ads platform (for certain advertisers), as well as paid ad placements in over-the-top media.”

New CMO Benchmark Report Finds Marketing Organizations Are Ready For The Future
MarTech Series

The CMO Club and Deloitte’s latest CMO study indicates how the 400 senior marketers surveyed are building their organizations for future success.

Why it matters: The latest benchmark data provides CMOs with an invaluable tool for comparing their roles and organizations with those of their peers.

The Branding Genius Of K-Pop Band BTS
The Washington Post

A deep dive into BTS’ merchandising and endorsement empire.

Why it matters: A note to brands: “When BTS stepped out in a Hyundai Palisade last year, the SUV was on back-order for months.”

Do Consumers Think Brand Purpose Is Bullshit?
The Drum

Purpose is underleveraged but profit-boosting. Ali Demos examines potential brand purpose pitfalls so brands can feel more empowered to fill the gap

Why it matters: Avoid these common brand purpose pitfalls or risk the alternative: purpose that falls flat, feels disingenuous or simply fails to leave the ground.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 7. 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.