Committees | Events & Webinars | Commerce Marketing | ANA

Commerce Marketing

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Networking Breakfast & Introductions (9:00 – 9:30 a.m. CT)

Roundtable Discussion: A Peek Behind the Curtain – Some surprising Initial Findings on the ANA’s Second Annual Member Survey on Retail Media Networks (9:30 – 9:50 a.m. CT)
Love them or just live with them, there is no debate that retail media networks (RMNs) have had a spectacular rise to prominence. In a relatively short period of time, they have established themselves as the must-have marketing platform for retailers and the must-buy media platform for brands. To stay ahead of this trend, the ANA fielded an initial survey of its members on the topic in 2022 to gauge usage, attitudes and intentions, resulting in one of the ANA’s most down-loaded reports ever. With Round Two now in the field, John Paquin will provide a peek at some surprising, and perhaps not-so-surprising trends in this important area.

I. A Modern Approach to Brands x Music: Drive Culture and Commerce (9:50 – 10:35 a.m. CT)
Musicians, the ultimate influencers, uniquely shape culture and deeply connect with audiences, driving meaningful action. A staggering 44% of people feel they know what their favorite artists are like as individuals, highlighting the powerful connection between musicians and their audience. In this tailored session, we'll explore the powerful impact of musicians on culture and their authentic synergy with contemporary commerce goals.
Through case studies featuring brands like Ford, Dr Pepper, Motel 6, Gildan, TWIX, and Canon, discover universal principles applicable across industries. Gain insights into how music enhances brand narratives, builds emotional connections, and prompts consumer engagement. Uncover practical strategies to effortlessly integrate the genuine influence of artists into your commerce marketing initiatives, amplifying your brand's resonance in the dynamic landscape of modern commerce.
Speaker: Nathan Hanks, CEO, Music Audience Exchange (MAX)

II. Priorities of a Challenger Brand  (10:35 – 11:20 p.m.CT)
As with every industry, fitness is no stranger to big brands outspending others in the category. The category itself continues to multiply with substitutes for how consumers choose to sweat. The goal is to get creative with our decision-making and nimble in our execution. In this session, we’ll walk through a few examples of how a challenger brand can outthink rather than outspend those at the top.
Speaker: Katie Ackels, Vice President Marketing & Brand Development, Fitness Connection

III. Modernizing Motel 6 for the Modern Consumer (11:20 – 12:05 p.m. CT)
Motel 6, the renowned budget-friendly hospitality brand with a nationwide presence of over 1,400 locations, believes everyone has a right to travel. But with changing demographics and increased competition, the brand knew they needed to continue to modernize and evolve to stay relevant for today’s consumers.  So, Motel 6 entered its 60th year in 2022 with a new strategic vision and a fully modernized brand transformation that reinforces the brand’s purpose and solidifies the future as a company with a new brand strategy and identity. Join Motel 6’s VP, Brand Marketing, Jenna Berg as she unveils the winning strategies behind Motel 6's successes.
Speaker: Jenna Berg, VP, Brand Marketing, Motel 6 and Studio 6

Lunch (12:05 – 1:45 p.m. CT)

Wrap-up (1:45 – 2:00 p.m. CT)


Jenna Berg, VP, Brand Marketing, Motel 6 and Studio 6
Jenna Berg is the Vice President of Brand Marketing at G6 Hospitality, the parent company of the Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands in the U.S. and Canada. In her role, Berg oversees the marketing, advertising, and branding for the enterprise. Under Berg’s leadership, Motel 6 entered its 60th year in 2022 with a new strategic vision and a fully modernized brand transformation that reinforces the brand’s purpose and solidifies the future as a company with a new brand strategy and identity. With more than a decade of marketing and advertising experience both in-house and agency-side, Berg has led the development and execution of marketing strategy for a variety of brands across industries including hospitality, tourism, food and beverage, health care, consumer goods, and more. Her expertise includes branding, traditional and digital advertising, social media, events, and design.

Berg holds bachelor degrees in Marketing and in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She is an active member of the Junior League of Dallas where she serves in a leadership role to oversee volunteers in their community placements. Berg was recently recognized as one Ad Age’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ advertisers and included in the 2023 Ad Age “The List”.

Katie Ackels, 
Vice President Marketing & Brand Development, Fitness Connection
Katie Ackels is the Vice President of Marketing for Fitness Connection. Her career began on the agency-side of the business, specializing in Retail, CPG and QSR categories. Katie shifted into a client role in 2018, dedicating the next 5 years to changing lives through fitness. Fitness Connection is a high-value, low-price gym committed to making fitness accessible to all, including underserved communities. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Fitness Connection is a comprehensive health club that is rapidly expanding with over 40 locations across Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Texas.

Nathan Hanks, CEO, Music Audience Exchange (MAX)
Nathan is Founder & CEO of Music Audience Exchange (MAX), the tech company powering $100M+ in brand x music partnerships. He's also the cofounder of BrightAI, a technology firm that works with large traditional enterprises to transform their physical operations into intelligent systems. Previously Nathan served as executive chair of iD Tech, the leader in tech camps for kids and teens, helping them grow through their acquisition to Eruditus Learning for $200M. Other board roles include Google Ventures-backed Quartet Health and space tech startup, OurSky (backed by Upfront Ventures). He was an early advisor and seed investor in SmartThings, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014 for $200M. Prior to that, Nathan cofounded and ran ReachLocal, an online marketing firm, growing it to $500M annual revenue with 24,000 clients and 2,000 team members across 15 countries. ReachLocal went public on NASDAQ in 2010. Nathan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and MBA from Centenary College. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas.