ANA Goes Global To Solve Intramural Issues

Executives-BBPeople stick with one media platform about as faithfully as bees to one flower; social sites are churning out ad platforms like donuts; screen sizes are as confusing as craft beers in a cooler; and trying to find the right data is like looking for a string of pearls in a grain silo. Against all of that, a traditional marketing organization starts to look about as effective as the Maginot Line. 

To solve these and other implacabilities, the Association of National Advertisers is launching a joint study aimed at identifying how marketers can organize their operations and develop impregnable, yet fluid, brand strategies. The study, “Marketing2020 - Organizing for Growth,” will be done with EffectiveBrands, with subject matter expertise and resources from partners that include Spencer Stuart and Forbes.



The ANA says Marketing2020 will derive strategic frameworks and guidelines from surveys of CMOs in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. It offers ideas on how to structure marketing departments, and build capability, among other things.

Staffing the program's advisory board are chair Keith Weed, CMO at Unilever; Antonio Lucio, CMO and Head of Human Resources at Visa; Beth Comstock, CMO at GE and Jon Iwata, SVP, marketing and communications at IBM.

Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, tells Marketing Daily that while the organization has a lot of disparate survey data on brand marketing structure issues (its own Big Data problem), the Marketing2020 juggernaut is its first coordinated, holistic effort to derive a "Whole Earth Catalog" of marketing strategies that work. "We have a good inventory of insights and perspectives, but there has never been a 'universality' of opinions, no commonality in thought," he says. "It was all very ad hoc. Since our committee and conference structure did not address this area head on, we decided to take a more direct and active stance." 

He adds that while issues around social media and mobile were important catalysts for the study, they are only facets of the big picture. "Data, mobile and social are components of the total marketing enterprise. We’re not just interested in the high growth areas of interest -- but of the whole enterprise. There are challenges in agency management, positioning, brand building, marketing integration, budget management, accountability, and more that need to be addressed as well." 

The ANA has good reason to undertake the program, as it executed a joint study with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and 4As in 2006 with Booz that found only 9% of CMO’s considered themselves to be “growth champions.” "This was a dismally low number as many viewed themselves to be advertising managers, brand stewards and a scattering of other miscellaneous descriptors. A lot has happened since then."

Global marketing consultancy EffectiveBrands was able to secure participation of around 40 CMOs and senior marketers across industries in business-to-business and business-to-consumer arenas, per Liodice. "There will likely be a few second-in-command marketers," he says. "But the vast majority are the 'top guns.'"

He says responses will be garnered from one-hour interviews versus more passive queries (e.g., mail-ins). "[Interviews] are far superior to 'checking the box’ surveys," he says. "I like the fact that we can not only get the fundamentals of the core information we need, but we have the flexibility to learn far more than we ever could have learned from a simple survey response."

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