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    Overheard at ANA Masters of Marketing: ‘Link business strategy to talent strategy’

    The Drum’s US editorial team is on the ground at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference this week in Orlando, Florida. Here are some of the real-time insights we’re hearing from industry heavyweights. 

    Mic Zavarella, vice-president of marketing, PepsiCo

    We have more data than we’ve ever had in the past – but in a lot of ways that makes it even more difficult, because you’re talking about consumers with an expectation. They expect personalization; they expect you to remove friction from the purchase. It’s not just about having the data, but how you use the data.

    Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express

    [For marketers], it’s about linking business strategy to talent strategy. I think it’s going to drive great business growth and good for the community as well.

    Jeff Charney, founder and chief creative officer at MKHSTRY

    I know the metaverse is hard to understand. You don’t have to [be in it] today. Just be aware of it. Be aware of it … be knowledgeable. Don’t just poo-poo it.

    Jacques Hagopian, senior vice-president of North America marketing, Procter & Gamble

    Reaching today’s consumers means being relevant and being a part of the fabric of their lives … as we see a convergence of content, commerce and communication.

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    Suzy Deering, global chief marketing officer, Ford Motor Company

    If we look and we hold our agency partners and other suppliers accountable to the same things that we’re being held accountable for [when it comes to] purpose, it’s going to be tough for them. We’re saying, ‘Hey, look, we’re gonna put more at risk; then, [if you] want to get on board, we’re going to be very clear as to what the expectations are. And if you can’t meet that, that’s fine. But then we’ll move on, and we’ll go do business somewhere else.’

    Simon Cook, chief executive officer, Cannes Lions 

    We know from experience that when we change the way that the [creative] work is judged on the global stage, it establishes a new benchmark and a new standard for agencies and marketers alike. For example, what if the winning work really sets a true example, and every piece of creative submitted demonstrated growth through effectiveness and impact? What if every piece of work was transparent and provided information about how sustainable it was to produce? What if DEI is used as a lens applied to every part of the process and it is considered who’s behind the camera, who and how individuals are represented in the work itself and who has a seat at the table and decides what is worthy of life? When we change the criteria, we change what ‘good’ really looks like in our industry.

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    Marcel Marcondes, global chief marketing officer, AB InBev

    We need to understand what our brand stands for and we need to understand what people care about. And whenever there is a clear problem to be addressed in that intersection, this is when we act. If we just talk about what we stand for, we’re talking to ourselves; if we just talk about what people care about, we’re chasing culture – and sometimes brand step into places that they don’t belong when they do that. The intersection is the key.

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    Sharon Otterman, senior vice-president, chief marketing officer at Caesars Sportsbook

    We all want to grow the market … but it’s also about being responsible and about being profitable and about being a real business – it’s not just about market share today.

    Jeff Greenspoon, president of global solutions, Dentsu

    When you think about the 2010s … we think that brand marketers are rightly obsessed with meeting consumer needs – [meeting] the consumer where they’re at. When you think of the 2020s, now we have to start thinking about, ‘What does it actually mean when we say the word “consumer?”’ How do we reconceive [consumers] … as activists in the ways that they make their decisions?

    For more, sign up for The Drum’s daily US newsletter here.

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