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 17th.

Are You Using Your Data, Or Just Collecting It?
Harvard Business Review

HBR examines the underlying psychological and cognitive dissonances keeping you from using your data properly, referencing the Gambler’s Fallacy and the concept of “flashbulb memories” to dissuade you from trusting your gut over analytics.

Why it matters: In essence, marketers will remember major successes when taking big chances over minor successes that are won through less risky betting and a deeper search for the underlying odds. That’s a bias that needs to be counterbalanced by using data for business intelligence.

The Importance Of Talent And Culture In Tech-Enabled Transformations
McKinsey & Company

A solution-oriented approach to survey results that point to building culture and acquiring talent as major barriers to meeting digital priorities.

Why it matters
: “Building the talent and culture required to activate the benefits of tech-enabled transformations requires a fundamental change in whom industrials recruit, how they recruit, and how the recruits do the work.”

How Brands Go Viral On TikTok
Business Of Fashion

Why dance challenges are an entry-point for brands wanting to throw in on TikTok.

Why it matters
: It goes without saying that going viral on purpose is less likely to yield results when compared to unintentionally going viral. Still, you might want to start with sponsoring TikTok challenges and preparing for a future where the platform is shoppable.

Influencer Marketers Share Which Platforms They Are Spending On And Instagram Crushes The Competition
Business Insider

A new survey from Collectively found that the overwhelming majority of influencer marketers pay for sponsored content on Instagram compared to just 7 percent of respondents who said they were spending on TikTok.

Why it matters: It’s the aesthetic.

Despite promising results for TikTok, Instagram is still more appealing for influencer marketers (specifically within the fashion/lifestyle vertical) because of swipe-up conversions.

The Best Burger King Ads That Burned Its Rivals
The Drum

A collection of the best burns from “McDonald’s cheeky younger brother.”

Why it matters: It’s a reminder that Burger King once offered free Whoppers to the first 500 clowns to show up at their flagship London restaurant on Halloween as a dig at McDonald’s—a tone they’ve continued to tap into.

How Brands Need To Adapt To A Changing Landscape

Brands are becoming more like people and people are becoming more like brands. The former CEO/founder of NatureBoxBrands, Gautam Gupta, shares his thoughts on how brands will need to marshal their resources to adapt to changing times.

Why it matters: “One of the big things I encourage brands to think about is just don’t be constrained by the current business model, the current set of distribution options, but just really think about the use cases for the consumer and be willing to do things that maybe don’t look like they could scale.”

How To Elevate Black Culture Rather Than Just Benefitting From It

“Despite black culture’s influence on the mainstream, advertisers continue to shy away from investing in it.”

Why it matters: By not elevating and empowering black cultural conversations authentically, advertisers could lose out on unprecedented growth.

Pepsi Links Gamified AR To Packaging, Social As Part Of Global Soccer Push
Mobile Marketer

Pepsi’s latest international marketing campaign, part of its sponsorship of the annual UEFA Champions League tournament, features international soccer superstars and lets consumers compete using mobile AR.

Why it matters: Pepsi’s campaign, as noted by Mobile Marketer, “deploys several mobile tactics that are increasingly popular individually, but not always used together to create a cohesive cross channel experience.”

Three Critical Skills For CMOs In 2020

An overview of the general remit of chief marketing officers in 2020, including how to enhance your abilities by seeking mentors and learning opportunities while building your network.

Why it matters: Re-focus on the most critical areas in which chief marketers can deliver value to keep ahead of the competition.

These Are The Brands Gen Z And Millennials Hold Near And Dear

Agency MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Report examines brands based on emotion. These are the brands that Gen Z and Millennials have formed emotional bonds with.

Why it matters: “Intimacy builds longevity, and the more intimate you are, the more you are willing to pay, and the less you are willing to live without it.”

What DTC Challengers Can Learn From Brandless’ Demise

Direct-to-consumer challenger brands should heed the cautionary collapse of billion-dollar DTC brand Brandless and learn what they can from its demise.

Why it matters: The sustainability of the DTC model has been discussed in-depth over the past year, but even more so now with the shuttering of Brandless. As this piece from Adweek notes, “the most important part of DTC is staying in front of your customer consistently with meaning, not just a high overall frequency.” These tips can help keep it all in focus.

The Importance Of Brand In The Digital Space

A look at why companies should allot a portion of their digital advertising budget to brand marketing.

Why it matters: This article covers important aspects of why (and when) you should consider marketing your brand, not just the products and services your brand offers, to develop customer loyalty over time.

Gen Z Craves Multifaceted Content, Audio – And Even Likes (Relevant) Long-Form Ads

Gen Z’s media consumption habits are captured in a new multi-generational media consumption study from video tech company Connatix.

Why it matters: Familiarity with generational consumption habits can help drive your brand strategy when it comes to video. Also note: respondents reported a greater willingness to pay for content.

How A Challenger Mindset Drives Marketing For Digital Commerce Platform
Ad Age

Hear from the chief marketing officer of MATRIXX Software on how a challenger mindset impacts their overall brand marketing.

Why it matters: “Kyriakakis understands how to differentiate her brand—MATRIXX enables telecom companies to quickly create and test digital commerce applications—while remaining tightly focused on serving one vertical industry.”

Spotify Celebrates Black History All Year Long And Fans Love It—4 Important Lessons From Their Campaigns

A look at Spotify’s best-in-class marketing for celebrating Black History year-round from Amanda Butler, Spotify’s director, head of music marketing.

Why it matters: When brand marketers set out to celebrate diverse communities, they should look to and learn from brands who have been successful in their initiatives.

How Adidas Is Using WhatsApp As A Direct Marketing Channel

Advertisers are building presences on WhatsApp for more direct, one-on-one communications with consumers.

Why it matters: The managing editor for Adidas’ London newsroom notes that WhatsApp has “allowed [Adidas] to build direct relationships with a smaller community of influential people in an ongoing way that doesn’t feel transactional and allows for a conversation, rather than just a broadcast.”

SMS Marketing To Rise By 52% By 2023, Reports MessageMedia
MarTech Advisor

“MessageMedia’s research found that 93 percent of Americans open SMS messages, 81 percent have opened an SMS from a business, and 94 percent have clicked through a link within SMS.”

Why it matters: SMS marketing is one of the most effective tools marketers have at their fingertips, supported by these latest MessageMedia survey findings.

Five Charts: Understanding Gen Z’s Devices And Digital Usage

EMarketer shares important data regarding Gen Z device and digital usage in the form of five charts.

Why it matters: Knowing how and where teens spend their time online can support marketing initiatives based around connecting to Gen Z.

The Mystery Of The $2,000 Ikea Shopping Bag
Harvard Business Review

Unraveling the mystery behind Balenciaga’s Ikea-modeled purse and what it says about inverting status symbols.

Why it matters: “High-end brands can stay relevant by incorporating select downscale styles and trends in their collections.”

How Brands Are Cleaning Up The ‘Wild West’ Of Influencer Marketing
Marketing Week

A look at how brands are handling influencers in light of negative perceptions of influencer marketing.

Why it matters: Recent coverage of the less-than-law-abiding aspects of influencer marketing have led to perceptions of distrust, a perception that brands are working to change.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 21. 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.