Top Marketers Share Key Insights at ANA Masters of Marketing Conference

NEW YORK (Oct. 7, 2013) – The country’s most influential marketers spoke to more than 2,000 attendees at the sold out Masters of Marketing Conference of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers).

Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA, spoke with the marketers after their presentations. Below is a compilation of the most important insights shared by these “masters of marketing” during the event: 

  • Roger Adams, CMO, United Services Automobile Association (USAA):
    • Authenticity is crucial to marketing success, not because it’s expected, but because it is the key to building positive opinions that drive results and loyalty in the long-term
    • Marketers must know their audience, find a common bond, and connect emotionally and purposefully
  • John Anton, VP and General Manager - Ace Business Unit, Valspar Corporation:
    • Consumer research has tremendous value – never question this asset allocation, it’s worth it
    • There is selling product, and there is building relationships. The latter is how brands can win in their sector
  • Debra A. Sandler, President, Mars Chocolate North America:
    • Good stories have unforgettable characters, compelling plots, populist entertainment and social commentary
    • Global campaigns are hard. That does not mean you should not attempt them – they work if planned and executed properly. Do not impose on others that are not from your home country. Do let them feel your ownership of the ideas you share
  • David Lubars, Chairman and CCO, BBDO North America:
    • The best agencies are capable of turning simple ideas into something big – you have your idea when it’s compressed and in its simplest form
    • Agencies thrive on ideas. They should focus on new ideas that bring value, and new ways to deliver. People ultimately respond to ideas 
  • Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate VP of Marketing and Strategy - Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft Corporation:
    • Consume new technology – use it, spend time with it, and learn from people it has benefited so you can leverage it
  • Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO,, Inc.:
    • Be where the customers are, and be consistent in your interactions 
  • Tony Pace, CMO, Subway:
    • Simplicity is what sticks with consumers
    • Consider your point of entry and how you want to sequence your marketing – and be open to modifying it
    • Marketing research and development is important. By the time the book comes out, you’re too late to truly win
  • Beth Comstock, SVP and CMO, GE:
    • Marketing’s role is to provide value and innovation – mindshare before market share
    • Good marketers are okay with ambiguity, pulling pieces together and saying “I don’t know yet” as they build
    • Change should be a part of every brand ethos
  • Stephen Quinn, EVP and CMO, Walmart U.S.:
    • We must prepare marketers for their careers. It’s important that they master new technologies – like data and analytics – while retaining the ability to tell stories
    • Protect and cultivate mavericks and innovators in your organization – give them the projects most important to success
  • John Costello, President of Global Marketing and Innovation, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.:
    • Confront reality. Winners assess what is working and what is not – and act
    • Change is the new normal and marketers must be prepared for it
    • Think long term and embrace a 360-degree approach to meeting customer needs
  • Oliver François, CMO, Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat Group Automobiles:
    • Sell products through a brand – not brands through products
    • Challenge status quos and tell stories in every way possible – let your brands have personality
  • Joseph V. Tripodi, EVP and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company:
    • Marketers must be more nimble and progressive, and embrace the values of millennials
    • Allow your customers to participate in story telling – be powerful and share-worthy, and inject your fans
    • Be optimistic. Try big ideas, and if they fail, try again
  • Seth Goldman, Co-founder, President and TeaEO, Honest Tea, Inc.:
    • Be prepared to move all or part of your business to remain relevant and viable
    • Think of yourselves as entrepreneurs. Each manager has a P&L; they own the results
  • Rodney Williams, SVP, Hennessy USA, LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy:
    • Millennials want to be anchored into things that are meaningful – so brands must be meaningful
    • Frequent communication with all partners – agencies, brand teams, etc. – is critical to delivering on strategy
  • Brian King, Global Brand Officer, Marriott International, Inc.:
    • Don’t herd customers – give them options and choices organization-wide
    • Be able to turn on a dime – new technologies will continue to rise
    • Be in the moment with customers. It’s difficult, but incredibly important
  • CMO Roundtable Participant Joan Chow, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer - ConAgra Foods Inc.:
    • Internal marketing is as important as external marketing – leaving employees in the dark is never a good idea 
  • CMO Roundtable Participant Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Brand Officer - Visa Inc.:
    • Narrowly define what doing digital and social means to you and then set stretch targets
    • Digital natives will rule the world. No other generation is more equipped to change the world – and marketing – than millennials
  • CMO Roundtable Participant James Speros, Executive Vice President and Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer - Fidelity Investments:
    • Deliver on your brand promise by partnering with the CEO, business unit presidents, CIO, CFO and HR
    • Analyzing data is not child’s play – focus on metrics that truly matter
  • CMO Roundtable Participant Brian Terkelsen, Chief Executive Officer - MediaVest USA:
    • Purpose is the heart of every great marketing organization
    • Consider companies that have failed, learn where they went wrong, and apply that learning to your business

The ANA held its 2013 Annual Masters of Marketing Conference from October 3-6, 2013, in Phoenix, Arizona. The theme of the conference was Growth: Mastering Brands & Driving Results.

To speak with ANA President Bob Liodice about these discussion points or the conference overall, please contact Luna Newton at 917.595.3061 or, or Marcus Hardy at 917.595.3043 or


About the ANA

The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.