December 02, 2018

Top 10 Takeaways from ANA’s Masters of Marketing 2018

Peter Harper

Peter Harper
Senior Vice President, Americas/Guinness World Records

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Originally published November 5, 2018, by Peter Harper, SVP Americas, Guinness World Records


A little over a week ago, the ANA’s annual Masters of Marketing conference took place in Orlando. It’s a wonderful gathering of the best marketing minds in the business, sharing ideas, networking, and brainstorming for the future.

 The conference theme was “Driving Growth.”

 The event echoed several trending topics covered at other meetings we’ve attended this year – i.e. the need for authentic storytelling for your brand; creating memorable experiences, rather than simply more content; and data and technology’s critical role in communicating efficiently and effectively with customers.

 Nonetheless, my colleague at Guinness World Records, Keith Green, and I gained many valuable insights shared by top global CMOs. Here are our 10 favorite takeaways:

  1.  Harness the power of data and technology. You can no longer separate data and tech from Marketing or the customer experience— CMO and CTOs should be working closely together if they aren’t already. While data needs to be at the core of decision making, it needs to be understood, shared, and applied in a purposeful way across the organization.
  2.  Marketing still matters. Marc Pritchard, CMO of P&G said that the field of Marketing needs its own marketing campaign. It is not a narrow field, but rather a holistic, 360-degree experience. Sales are being led more by analytics, so does marketing still matter? The answer, he said, is a resounding “Yes.”
  3.  Effective leadership and risk-taking. Along the same lines, this was a favorite quote: “As a marketer, are you willing and able to take risks, and be backed by a company and leadership willing to do the same?”
  4.  Focus on Customer Centricity. Eric Reynolds, CMO of Clorox put it best: “If anyone in your building says 'consumers,' make them say 'person.'” The ANA adds: “When culture shifts from product to customer, growth increases by 15%.”
  5.  Put emphasis on your people. “Talent is the biggest driver of company growth” states ANA. Others at the conference drew a link between focus on people and company success.
  6.  Don’t forget about the employee experience. American Express found that not enough time is spent on the end-to-end employee experience. More support is needed for resources and training to help employees develop skills and feel valued.
  7.  Develop innovative and powerful customer and brand experiences. Rick Gomez, CMO, Target said: "Brand Marketing is shifting from being about communications to experiences."
  8.  Integrate elements of culture and sustainability into your CSR. ANA: “Brands that improve quality-of-life outperform the stock market by 120%.”
  9. Recruit ‘whole-brain’ talent at senior levels. Be sure to add talent that is comfortable with data and creativity--thus, not just left or right-brained, but whole-brained.
  10. Make a CASE for Marketing. One of our favorite takeaways came from Steven Wolfe Pereira during one of the early sessions and was repeated throughout the conference by speakers (and those tweeting) alike. A new definition of Marketing was proposed to help make a business CASE for the discipline:
    • C: Creativity
    • A: Analytics
    • S: Storytelling
    • E: Experience

For those who attended, let me know what your favorite takeaways were.

Thanks to ANA for a wonderful conference!

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