Marketing's Rising Stars Shine

October 26, 2018

By Urey Onuoha

left to right, the winners of this year’s ANA Rising Marketing Stars: Brianna Barnebee, Liz Cramton, Alicia Curley, and Joanna Henley. Portraits courtesy of VISIT FLORIDA, MillerCoors, Grant Thornton, and ALSAC

As the advertising industry looks to solve its talent crisis, four young marketers are standing out. Honored at this year's ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, these marketers — all aged 30 or under — make up the 2018 class of the ANA Rising Marketing Stars. They were nominated by an executive at their companies for making valuable contributions to the overall excellence of their marketing organization; demonstrating leadership, innovation, and creativity; and exemplifying skill in integrated marketing disciplines, among other criteria.

In a Q&A series on ANA Newsstand, the four winners talk to us about their journey in marketing, how the industry can attract a new generation of talent, what trends they're keeping an eye on, how they want to see advertising evolve, and more. Here are a few highlights:

  • Brianna Barnebee, VISIT FLORIDA: With only about a year at the tourism company under her belt, Barnebee has cemented her role at VISIT FLORIDA, managing social media and media relations for two key international markets: China and Brazil. On the evolution of the industry, she says, "I would love for the industry to continue to evolve with the market trends but stay ethical along the way. The market tells us what we need to do and we need to be on top of that … But there are a lot of things that can get unethical when you're dealing with digital because it's not as cut and dry. Make sure that you're remaining authentic." Read her full Q&A.
  • Liz Cramton, MillerCoors: As associate marketing manager for the Miller Lite brand, Cramton has been an integral part of her team, developing branding and marketing strategies and overseeing successful programs. On marketing trends to watch, she says, "What consumers really want is personalization and attention at every turn along their shopper journey. That means we have to get smarter and smarter to connect with them and that's really energizing to me. I'm excited to see what the next frontier is and how we can better connect with consumers and help them tell their stories." Read her full Q&A.
  • Alicia Curley, Grant Thornton: Since joining the firm's Philadelphia office in 2011, Curley, an Atlantic Coast regional marketing leader, has risen through the ranks rapidly. In addition to her leadership role, she also functions as chief of staff to the firm's regional managing partner — giving her a seat at the table with leadership. On attracting new talent to the industry, she says, "I actually think we have a really talented pipeline, but where we fail as an industry is in providing entry-level positions that help our newcomers gain experience in different facts of marketing without having to take a deep dive into one specific discipline." Read her full Q&A.
  • Joanna Henley, ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: A marketing strategist at ALSAC, St. Jude's fundraising and awareness organization, Henley has focused her attention on the strategically vital audience of high-wealth donors and planning and executing enterprise-wide large-scale events. On key challenges the industry is facing, she says, "We have to continue to be focused on the customer. That means laying aside some things we've done just because 'that's what we've always done.' It means being open to change, to ask the 'why,' especially while we plan campaigns … No matter how small a campaign is, there's always an opportunity to learn and test." Read her full Q&A.


Urey Onuoha is a copywriter and manager of marketing and communications at the ANA.

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