Accelerating Post-Pandemic Data Strategies In 2021

MarTech Series

A recent McKinsey & Company report found that ecommerce deliveries in the US increased as much in eight weeks as they had in the previous ten years, while telemedicine grew tenfold in just 15 days.

Why it matters: During these unpredictable times, brands must organize and activate their data in near real-time to understand who their audiences are, what they desire and how best to reach them as their preferences shift.

CSR Reaches A Tipping Point


In August 2019, a group of nearly 200 of the most powerful CEOs in the US, known as the Business Roundtable, declared that businesses should act in the benefit of all stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and communities. As a result of the events of 2020, companies are playing a more active role in environmental, social and economic issues—a move that would be unfathomable a decade ago.

Why it matters: As companies continue to shift their focus and become more purpose-driven, the bar for corporate responsibility will continue to rise. Companies that have developed their “purpose strategies will thrive in this new world” as research shows that companies that have acted with purpose outperformed markets by 42 percent in 2018.

How To Support The New Generation Of Creative Talent

The Drum

Despite concerns regarding lack of motivation, discipline and experience, young individuals are an asset to any company, in part, because they bring with them creativity, perspective and enthusiasm. Ensuring young talent is utilized requires a unique approach to conducting business, including being value-driven, prioritizing authenticity and transparency and providing opportunities for them to develop their skill set.

Why it matters: Companies that establish an environment conducive to nurturing young creatives will experience growth and evolution. A few ways that brands can do this is to listen more, show care for their mental health, communicate authentically and provide both positive and constructive feedback.

Target’s New Activewear Brand Generated $1 Billion In Just One Year, Cashing In On Americans’ Pandemic-Driven Shift To Athleisure

Business Insider

Capturing the work-from-home market, Target’s in-house athleticwear brand, All in Motion, is one of 10 Target brands out of over 30 that reached at least $1 billion in sales during 2020.

Why it matters: Target attributes the brand’s success to both the timing of lockdowns and to its mass-market appeal. All in Motion’s advertising features a variety of sizes and body types, and most of the line costs less than $30.

Comparatively, competitor brand Lululemon reached $1 billion sales 14 years after launching, and Athleta almost hit $1 billion nine years after Gap acquired it.

Opinion: Why Brands Need A Chief Entertainment Officer

Ad Age

As collaborations between the entertainment business, brands and technology platforms continue to grow in 2021, brands need a chief entertainment officer to build out their business in new, exciting ways—be it through content creation, events, licensing, influencer marketing or capitalizing on major cultural moments.

Why it matters: Chief entertainment officers differ from chief marketing officers in that they’re solely focused on securing strategic entertainment partnerships that enhance the product experience for artists, brands and consumers alike.

TikTok E-commerce Could Harness Hyper-Engaged Gen Z

Vogue Business

TikTok is rolling out new ecommerce capabilities like self-service advertising, affiliate links and in-app brand catalogues, the company confirmed to Vogue Business.

Why it matters: The new features give fashion brands the opportunity to showcase their products in what could become viral challenges—which Gucci and JW Anderson benefited from last year—that reach its 1 billion monthly active users.

Universal Music Group Partners With TikTok for Artist Collabs, Data & More


Universal Music Group and TikTok inked a global agreement to compensate artists and songwriters when TikTok users feature their music in clips. Under the agreement’s new licensing deals, TikTok users can incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music across its expansive network for the first time.

Why it matters: TikTok’s viral dance challenges have helped break new songs and revive old ones. The platform says that more than 70 artists who broke on the app have since signed major label deals, including Priscilla Block, Powfu and others.

The Rising Value Of Industrial Brands

McKinsey & Company

Of the more than 5,300 industrial brands that McKinsey studied, the top five percent capture 95 percent share of voice, enabling them to charge price premiums of five to 10 percent, thereby generating higher return on invested capital (ROIC).

Why it matters: The top quartile of companies that improved visibility the most grew five-year ROIC by about three percentage points more than the bottom quartile, namely those whose visibility decreased the most.

Finding Direction When You’re Feeling Lost

Harvard Business Review

According to executive coach and psychoanalyst Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, when people transition from “time to live” to “time left to live,” a new sense of urgency emerges about identifying their purpose of existence.

Why it matters: The five pillars that define how we experience the meaning of our existence include: investing in affectionate interpersonal relationships, finding a clear sense of purpose, being utterly immersed in our unique talents, feeling like we have control over our choices and connecting ourselves purposefully to our community and society.

Skipping The Super Bowl, Budweiser Is Donating Its Ad Dollars To Covid-19 Vaccine Awareness Efforts


Budweiser is donating its Super Bowl ad dollars to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccines. In lieu of a game-day ad, it released a 90-second video set to the song “Lean On Me” featuring moments characteristic of lockdown life, including a dog appearing on Zoom, NBA players kneeling while wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirts, masked grocery shoppers and people getting vaccinated.

Why it matters: Anheuser-Busch US chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes says several of the company’s other brands will still air ads during the game, but they “won’t have quite the same tone as usual.”

Why Did Companies Take So Long To Divest From White Supremacy?

Harvard Business Review

Brands are speaking out or withdrawing funding to politicians and organizations that played a role in fueling the US Capitol raid because appearing to support a president who challenged the election could cut into earnings.

Why it matters: Many US companies proved they’re willing to profit off of racial inequality until the political costs of doing so were judged to be too high. To make good on their efforts to reduce racial inequality, businesses can rid their company of practices that help produce the very racial inequality they claim to disapprove of.

Consumers Trust UGC More Than Content Created By Brands


According to TINT’s ‘State of User-Generated Content 2021’ report, brand messages were reshared up to 24 times more when distributed by employees versus the brand.

Why it matters: To ramp up their UGC, 75 percent of marketers say they’re currently working with influencers who have less than 1,000 followers to create engaging content.