Innovation Day at MillerCoors

April 25, 2013

By Marni Gordon, vice president of committees and conferences, ANA

I really enjoyed hosting our fourth annual ANA Innovation Day at MillerCoors in Chicago this week!  The event was held in the MillerCoors company bar and the day included great sessions from MillerCoors, Kellogg’s, Rite Aid, Killerspin, plus the social media success behind A&E’s Duck Dynasty!  The conference ended with a complimentary “beertails” happy hour where ANA members had the opportunity to sample MillerCoors products!  Here are a few key highlights from the event:

  • MillerCoors:  Scott Meek and Andrew Zrike, who work within the Innovations Group, stressed that innovation is a discipline and not a process.  We also learned about the new product launch strategies behind Third Shift and Redd’s Apple Ale which were developed and launched within only 14 months!  ANA members also had an opportunity to sample both brands at the “beertails” happy hour at the end of the day.
  • Kellogg’s:  Aaron Fetters, director of the Insights and Analytics Solutions Center shared how his company innovates within “big data” and stressed that it’s not just enough to measure, but we need to turn measurement into action.  It is important to use the right data (not just big data) and some of the ways Kellogg’s maximizes the right data are through targeting, viewable advertising, cross-media effectiveness, and spend optimization.  Building the right team to manage data is critical for success and we also learned how Kellogg’s leverages programmatic buying (“the stock market in digital media”).
  • A&E’s Duck Dynasty:  Lori Peterzell, vice president of marketing and brand strategy at A&E
    talked about how A&E leveraged social media to help Duck Dynasty become the #1 nonfiction series on cable.   A&E created a social response lab which is a war room filled with writers, designers, and producers that create real-time content and respond to fans.
  • Rite Aid: John Learish, senior vice pesident of marketing at Rite Aid and Tony Bucci, chairman at their agency MARC USA spoke about how Rite Aid has created inroads in “individual wellness” which resulted in the highest profit in 6 years.  Rite Aid took an in-depth look at their best customers and developed a successful loyalty program to reach them.
  • Story-Led Marketing:  Dave Rosner, executive vice president and director of innovations at Initiative US and Scott Donaton, president and CEO/Founder at Ensemble shared 10 rules to leverage story-led marketing and discussed great marketing examples to illustrate each rule.  Some of the rules mentioned included “Insights Drive Ideas”, “Be Authentic and Transparent”, and “Don’t Post and Pray”.
  • Killerspin: Robert Blackwell, chief executive officer talked about how his company was founded to combat “technology induced stress” - especially for millennials who are the most stressed generation.  Killerspin uses an innovation lens for new product development which is a list of questions they run through to determine if an effort is “innovation worthy”.

Top fun facts and quotes shared during the day:

  • “Don’t just win – change the game”
  • “Over 95% of decision making is emotional and mostly unconscious”
  • “Every consumer is their own media network”
  • Biba, the first table tennis personality in the world, was at ANA Innovation Day!  Biba’s JET 200 is a top selling table tennis racket on Amazon.
  • “I’ll have another Coors Light please!”

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