The breakfast featuring Mike Tirico, Tara Lipinskey and Johnny Weir provided just the wake-up call needed to get the day started. The trio provided light morning conversation about the Olympics, competing and representing America. With a satisfied appetite it was time to get cracking on the first sessions of the ANA Master of Marketing.

Opening Remarks

Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer, ANA cut to the chase proclaiming that “we must have change.”

He called for marketers to take our industry back. Bob laid out 12 leadership actions to galvanize the CMO community and drive growth. The actions are designed to:

  • Advance the best brand and business intelligence for better marketing decision-making
  • Develop the industry’s talent and nurture more robust, high-quality business and brand leaders
  • Shape the future of advertising and marketing and drive industry growth

The 12-points are:

  1. Brand and Creative Excellence
  2. Talent
  3. Marketing Organization Membership
  4. Measurement Data Analytics and Accountability
  5. Brand Purpose
  6. Gender Equality
  7. Inclusiveness, Diversity and Multicultural Marketing
  8. Streamlining the Digital Media Supply Chain
  9. Transparency
  10. Brand Safety and Ad Fraud
  11. Advocacy and Self-Regulation
  12. The Future of Advertising Marketing and Growth

He concluded with a reminder that “everyone contributes to the success of our industry.”

Brand Building as a Force for Good and Growth

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble spoke on four areas advertisers need to transform if the industry is to continue progressing.

Media Transparency

It wouldn’t be a Marc Pritchard presentation without some mention of transparency.  While progress has been made, the media supply chain needs to become cleaner and more productive. It is unacceptable that only 25 percent of advertisement investments make it to the consumer. Pritchard offered the following safeguards that P&G implements:

  • One media viewability standard – There needs to be one, consistent standard that everyone follows and agrees upon.
  • 3rd party verification – There are still too few people seeing too few ads far too often. This leads to annoyed consumers due to the excess frequency. The problem is easily remedied by capping how often consumers see ads through programmatic and using data to target consumers only when they are ready to buy.
  • Transparent agency contracts – We’ve touched on this in a previous blog post. Agencies can no longer bury small, but important, details in legal contracts that marketers and procurement officers don’t have the time or resources to fully comprehend. Marketers need to become intimately familiar with the financial interests that drive agencies’ media buying decisions. Most importantly, advertisers need to mandate transparency and unrestricted audit rights.
  • Ad fraud prevention – As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. Media is no exception. P&G noted that when they chased the lowest CPM it often resulted in attracting more bots. Today, P&G works with 200 trusted and proven clean media partners. Pritchard encourages all brands to follow suit.
  • Brand safety – Advertisers need to have zero tolerance for vendors who cannot assure brand safety. There is no place for your advertising to appear next to fake news or terrorist recruitment videos.

Quality Advertising and Media Content

Consumers aren’t paying attention to ads anymore. Advertisements as they are currently being presented are annoying and disrupt the user experience. Rather than forcing the audience to deal with interruptions, advertisers should innovate and create the next generation of digital ads that enhance, not detract, from the experience.

Mass One-To-One Marketing

John Wanamaker infamously stated, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” While that was true in Wanamarker’s day, today’s advertisers are getting closer to figuring out exactly which half of their advertising is being wasted. The sophistication of tools, methods and the growing prominence of AI allow us to finally customize advertisements on a consumer by consumer basis. This has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of money wasted in advertising and ensure that all advertisements are relevant and timely.

Advertising as a Force for Good and Growth

All signs point to doing good as a creator of growth. Consumers want to know what brands believe in. Brands have the power to speak up and make a difference in the community. Now is the time to fuel a new era of responsible corporate citizenship.

What’s the New Marketing Playbook?

This session featuring Kristin Lemkau, CMO of JPMorgan Chase, noted that the reality is today’s CMO must be many things, a marketer, advertisers, data analyst, communicator, PR and much more. Despite all this on their plate, leaders need to be the ones to help their companies and teams get through unprecedented period of change. They need to focus on being customer obsessed, data driven, digital first, and purpose led.

Lemkau, like Pritchard, sees a fundamental flaw with the primary ad unit being based on interruptions. “Consumers have too many choices for that to be ok.” Google and Facebook ads are permission based meaning you won’t get served then unless you search or like similar topics. This is a good starting point for less annoying and disruptive ads, but there is much room for improvement. Also like Pritchard, she advises advertisers to manage their white lists to avoid ad fraud and unsafe situations for your brand.

A couple points of advice she gave for working with agencies, treat your agencies as a core part of the team, not a crutch. Additionally, the best work they’ve done is when they work together with their vendors to solve a specific problem.

The Retail Shake Up: Walmart’s Reboot of a Legacy Brand

Immediately, Tony Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart pointed out a problem with the title of his session. “Reboot” is often seen as a singular even and that is simply not how marketing works. The theme changed from reboot to Evolve or Perish.

Interestingly, he mentioned that while humans are evolving, companies are not. It’s important that your brand continually evolves with its customers. Walmart founder Sam Walton said it best, “Focus on what the customer wants and then deliver it.” While you continually evolve, share that story of evolution and innovation with your customers.

Restoring an Iconic Luxury Brand

Two quick nuggets from this session from Uwe Ellinghaus, CMO of Cadillac. First, don’t fuel the political divide. Transend it. Second, the receiver determines the content of the message. Meaning your audience will interpret the content as they decipher it. You should never be in the position where you have the send out a statement explaining your messaging or advertising.

Plus Is Equal: How Body Equality Became a National Conversation

Hands down the most inspiring session of the day, Brain Beitler, EVP and CMO of Lane Bryant, Inc. dissected how they changed the conversation around what was sexy. Their multiple social campaigns encouraging celebration of all body types on a limited budget showed that when you put your mind, soul and heart into your marketing you can reshape cultural norms.

Marketing in the Age of Assistance

Jim Lecinski, Vice President of Customer Solutions at Google was all about reducing friction. His formula helps brands assist today’s consumers by relentlessly removing friction.

Min(F)=C*D*I or to minimize friction, satisfy curiosity, understand demands, and relive impatience.

Samsung: Unboxed and Unfiltered

We know what you’re thinking, did he talk about the Note issue? Yes, Pio Schunker, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Brand Marketing Mobile Communications Business for Samsung Electronics, tackled the Note issue head on.

Here’s what Samsung did:

  1. Take accountability for the problem – This was the right thing and the only thing they thought of doing. It was important they be as candid about what was happening and what they were doing to fix it.
  2. Take meaningful action – Samsung dedicated 700 researchers to test 200,000 phones and 30,000 batteries to find the issue. They also opened themselves up to a 3rd party audit.
  3. Be transparent – Once they fully understood what happened they announced the findings as well as the results of the 3rd party audit. Additionally, they unveiled the new quality assurance programs they put in place.

Transparency, Humility, and Managing the Narrative of an Iconic Brand

Crane Kenny, President, Business Operations with the Chicago Cubs and David Selby, President and Managing Partner at SCC set out to accomplish the following 3-point plan in 2009 when the Cubs came under new ownership:

  1. Win the World Series (the first time this was stated publicly)
  2. Preserve and improve Wrigley Field
  3. Be a good neighbor

The first thing they needed to do was to be honest with themselves the fans and the organization. They told the truth that it was going to be a rebuilding process. This was not going to be the year. They weren’t going to sacrifice their long-term goals for short-term success and it was imperative that they stay with the plan.

They viewed the Cubs as a 100-year-old startup. Recruited those who could bring new thinking from both inside and outside the sports industry.

In the beginning, the process towards ending the drought was framed as “The Cubs are on the most remarkable journey in all of sport.” This helped the fans to feel invested in part of the process. As the team began to get more successful they had to adjust the messaging and tone. This goes back to the point of evolving with your customers like Walmart mentioned in the earlier session.

See what happened on day 1