Top Takeaways from ANA Masters’ Second Stage

November 1, 2018

By Bill Duggan

The "Second Stage" at the 2018 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference. ANA

This year at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, we tried something new — alternate content to give attendees a choice. We put that content on in a smaller setting to enhance intimacy. Called "Second Stage," this was very popular and the audience learned a lot. Here are my topline takeaways from each of the eight sessions.

  • Terry Kawaja, founder and CEO at LUMA Partners: D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands are poised for huge growth. Their DNA includes these important characteristics: being a digital native/mobile centric, focus on product design/user experience, disintermediation (agencies, retailers, etc.), performance-oriented media spend, and content marketing for brand storytelling.
  • Rob Master, VP of media and consumer engagement at Unilever: The rapid transformation of the digital ecosystem has given rise to a lot of issues, negative publicity, and bad actors who have manipulated things for unlawful gains. Marketers are strongly encouraged to lean in and be part of the solution. If you see something, say something. Don't be afraid to call things out for the greater good.
  • Nydia Sahagún, SVP of segment marketing at Wells Fargo: One of the most important forces facing us today is the diversification of the marketplace. The multicultural conversation has long been part of boardroom discussions yet today many are still behind. Inaction comes at a cost and some brands are currently at risk. The challenge we are facing today is that it's no longer a conversation about multicultural growth "happening" because it's happened, it's here.
  • Geoff Ramsey, co-founder and chief content officer at eMarketer: Voice is one of the biggest disruptions in marketing. Voice search is easier and faster than text search. Brands that rely on organic search to drive site traffic should begin developing a solid voice search optimization strategy. Marketers should also figure out new ways to incorporate sounds into their brand identities.
  • Lou Paskalis, SVP of customer engagement and media investment at Bank of America: Data enables emotional connections. (That is incredibly interesting, as many assume that data is more functional and straightforward.)
  • Eric Reynolds, CMO at Clorox: Be human centered, but not in a trite way. People are on their personal journeys to meet their own goals. Be useful to real people — not consumers, but humans.
  • Warren Marenco Chase, VP and COO at 140, the Verizon in-house agency: One of the biggest myths about in-house agencies is that they have mediocre creative output. Not true! Seventy-six percent of the staff at Verizon's in-house agency sits in creative. Proximity to the business, proximity to insights, and proximity to leadership all help elevate creative.
  • Doug Wood, partner at Reed Smith: The dialogue on global privacy issues needs to be more cooperative. The voice of the marketer should be seen as an ally, not a protagonist.

Thanks to all the speakers for being part of the first-ever ANA Second Stage. We learned so much!


Bill Duggan is a group EVP at the ANA.

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