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 30.

Wellness Brands Grapple With Advertising During Coronavirus

Wellness brands are navigating a delicate scenario of advertising the benefits of supplements during the current health crisis.

Why it matters: Claims made by wellness brands touting immunity-boosting supplements could toe the line, as the current crisis looms heavily on consumers, between reaching a growing contingent of potential consumers while avoiding deceptive marketing claims.

Influencers Have A Captive Audience During The Pandemic. But Can They Capitalise On It?
Business Of Fashion

“Influencers are discovering their party dresses and hair care don’t qualify as essential.”

Why it matters: Influencers may have the rapt attention of those on lockdown, but canceled partnerships, shuttered retailers and slumping sales are minimizing their impact.

‘Companies Are In Freeze Mode’: Coronavirus Crisis Strains Ad Tech Licensing Model

“A whole host of companies in the SaaS space are now seeing their new business pipelines evaporate, experts told Digiday.”

Why it matters: As CFOs scrutinize discretionary spending to brace for an economic downturn and events that could turn on new leads disappear from the landscape, the ad tech licensing model deserves a hard look.

Cannes Lions 2020 Cancelled As Organisers Hold Back Festival And Awards Until 2021
The Drum

While slated for an October postponement originally, the ad industry’s largest annual gathering, Cannes Lions 2020, has now been officially canceled.

Why it matters: Cannes Lions chairperson Philip Thomas remarked that the creative industry “simply isn’t in a position to put forward the work that will set the benchmark.”

Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ Claws Its Way Into Brands’ Tweets

Ad Age

The cultural gravitational pull of Tiger King is proving inescapable on Twitter, even for brands.

Why it matters: Escapism is fully acceptable in times of crisis, and for coronavirus it would seem Tiger King is distraction number one. Here’s a roundup of brands commenting on the longstanding feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin brought to life by the new Netflix series.

The Rise Of The Strategic CMO

Ad Age

The role of chief marketing officer has come to embody that of a strategic storyteller who spots trends and identifies narrative, a leader of collaborative efforts that ensures honest flow of communication and a revenue leader that effectively expresses insights internally and externally.

Why it matters: Chief marketing officers who use tools and opportunities brought on by technologies will be well placed to succeed.

What The Coronavirus Means For DTC Brands

Marketing Dive

According to Edison Trends, direct-to-consumer brand week-over-week spending dropped seven percent on average from March 2-22.

Why it matters: The coronavirus has disrupted operations for digitally native brands too, not just brick-and-mortars. How much cash these brands have available will better position some against the impacts of COVID-19.

What Happens To Sports Marketing Budgets Without Sports? 


Brands are pausing sponsorships for postponed events such as the Olympics, NFL and MLB but fear fans will be reluctant to visit crowded stadiums once the pandemic is over.

Why it matters: Sports marketers are repurposing their budgets to sponsorships to virtual sports and esports, allowing brands to reach a younger male demographic.

Why Marketers Should Focus On Audience To Navigate The New Normal


The coronavirus necessitates brands understand the fragmentation in customers’ attention and leverage addressable technology to continue creating personalized audience experiences.

Why it matters: Adopting an audience-first mentality will be key to connecting with today’s coronavirus-concerned consumers.

Americans Want Brands To Do Their Part Against Coronavirus, Then Advertise


The Harris Poll is surveying public sentiment about the coronavirus; the fifth wave of responses, polled Mach 28-30, show consumers want brands to stay relevant amid the pandemic and only advertise if they’ve directly addressed the situation. 

After things die down, 63 percent of respondents marked a willingness to go about their normal routines and 43 percent said they would visit restaurants by the first month post-pandemic.

Why it matters: Brands that acknowledge the crisis now will have a better chance of boosting brand perception in the long run

Council Post: Why Cause Marketing Matters More Now Than Ever Before


Brands that help consumers adapt and redesign their lives will establish themselves as the cornerstones of society’s “new normal.”

Why it matters: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, marketing with a cause is more important than ever because consumers don’t want to hear anything about a business unless it serves them.

Ensure That Your Customer Relationships Outlast Coronavirus

Harvard Business Review

To preserve customer relationships, small and large businesses alike can adopt the HEART framework to humanize their company, educate about change, assure stability, revolutionize offerings and tackle the future.

Why it matters: Leveraging a framework like HEART helps display to customers a company’s plan for supporting them–a critical aspect that should be overcommunicated during the coronavirus crisis.

Mitigating The Damage Of Mega-Event Cancellations Due To Coronavirus

Marketing Dive

Big industry events have been canceled for fear of coronavirus spreading and the trend is not slowing down, however, brands can create a disaster fallback plan.

Why it matters: Last-minute cancelations are causing major disruptions for new product launches including lost exposure and lost investments. 

NPD Shares How COVID-19 Is impacting Weekly Consumption Trends


Consumer behavior has changed from discretionary to necessity as a result of fear over the coronavirus pandemic, causing dollar growth to be flat in the week ending on March 14, according to NPD.

Why it matters: Companies that provide useful products or services as people work from home such as the consumer tech space, small appliances and products that help people pass the time will see growth.

‘Be Helpful’: How Marketers Are Adapting Their Messaging To A Fraught Environment


Marketers are shifting away from promotions or sales-driven messaging to cause-related and purpose-driven messaging.

Why it matters: Revising campaign messaging to reflect sensitivity and avoid promotional language requires a delicate balance that brands are still trying to figure out.

Consumers Are Putting Brands On Notice Over Coronavirus Behaviour, Study Finds

A special edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer suggests that how brands respond to the coronavirus pandemic will have a “huge impact” on consumers’ likelihood to buy their products.

Why it matters: “One in three respondents said they had already stopped using a brand that was not acting appropriately in response to the public-health crisis – a figure that rose to 76% of consumers in Brazil and 60% in India.”

What actions is your brand taking right now to gain consumer trust during the coronavirus crisis?

Reinventing The Direct-To-Consumer Business Model
Harvard Business Review

At its core, the DTC business model needs some TLC.

Why it matters: For DTC brands, “it is far harder to become a standout success in 2020 than it was in 2010,” mainly due to a crowded yet changed landscape, the limits of scaling using Instagram ads and influencers as well as the changing attitudes of investors.

Hasbro Supports Families Staying Indoors With New Online Resources
Marketing Dive

Hasbro launched a new content marketing program called Bring Home The Fun, which includes a social media campaign and charitable donations, aimed at parents looking for ways to keep their homebound children entertained during the nationwide lockdown.

Why it matters: As recent reports indicate, consumers expect brands to address the current crisis. Hasbro’s messaging speaks directly to parents coping with the impact of coronavirus in an authentic way: via their own employees who are also parents.

Making The Most Of Your Marketing Team During COVID-19

Forbes CMO Network contributor Christine Moorman shares a few tips to make the most of marketing teams during these uncertain times.

Why it matters: Disruptions like we’re experiencing should give team leaders pause. How are you changing your management style to adapt to this new reality?

Opinion: How Brands Treat Their Partners Now Will Have Consequences For Their Post-Pandemic Potential

Your decision-making process during this unprecedented period of upheaval should look to the future relationship you’ll have with your partners.

Why it matters: What used to be important is now essential. “Decisions driven by short-term expediency to unfairly off-load the costs of this disaster onto vendors and partners may seem easy now, but they will surely have consequences later.”

‘We’re All In This Together’? Why Brands Have So Little To Say In The Pandemic

Fast Company

Coronavirus induced changes in advertising tactics embody an overall message of, “We’re all in this together,” that also covers a combination of categories including action, information and support.

Why it matters: Brands struggling to respond to coronavirus should look to the latest social media posts and television ads of Hanes, Ford, Hyundai, Budweiser, Lexus, Nike and Guinness for guidance.

How Employers Are Taking Care Of Their Workers During COVID-19


Companies are helping create virtual office cultures, hosting virtual workout classes for employees and covering food delivery for some. 

Why it matters: Overcommunication in the age of the coronavirus is one of the most critical ways employers can gain the support and trust of their team.

How To Create A Successful Marketing Strategy Using A Single Decision Framework


Successful marketing relies on running multiple experiments on different channels to determine the best performing channel for a business. 

Why it matters: When deciding which marketing channel is best, founder of firemeibegyou.com Robbie Abed suggests picking three marketing channels that could meet your company’s core metrics then gives it three months to run a campaign for each channel.

Council Post: Four Ways To Use AI For Marketing


Four ways to start using artificial intelligence-based marketing software include customer targeting and developing buyer personas, campaign monitoring, sales forecasting and chatbots.

Why it matters: Forty percent of marketing and sales teams say data science encompassing AI and machine learning is critical to their success as a department.

40% Of Marketers And Retailers Expect Layoffs Due To The Coronavirus


Digiday’s survey found that 40 percent of top execs expect to have layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic and for 83 percent of respondents, the virus will also cause them to miss their forecasts for 2020.

Why it matters: Marketers and retailers are struggling to keep up with the economic impact of the virus, with situations worsening.

How Popeyes’ New Global CMO Plans To Make The Niche Brand Into A Mass Brand


In January, Popeyes named Paloma Azulay the brand’s global chief marketing officer, the same role she held previously at Tim Hortons.

Why it matters: Per Azulay: “We had this amazing hype for the sandwich last year, but when you look at the brand in the long term there is not a lot of association and loyalty in terms of having a large base of people that come to us frequently.” Azulay says the brand has its eye on China and will open there very soon.

3 Ways Marketing Strategies Will Need To Shift To Deal With Coronavirus Complications


Three ways marketing strategies will need to change include replacing handshakes with virtual interactions, shifting dollars to digital and remaining agile and keeping a firm pulse on audience engagement.
Why it matters:
The coronavirus pandemic has a chokehold on business operations and brands must respond with focus, not fear.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, April 3. 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.