ANA Masters of Marketing Conference Opens with Call to Action for CMOs and Advertisers

ANA CEO Liodice Praises New Age of Creativity,
But Warns of Major Challenges Ahead

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 20, 2016) —U.S. marketers have made great strides in embracing new forms of creativity to build their brands, but are still plagued by a range of serious issues that have caused them to lose overall control of their industry, according to ANA CEO Bob Liodice.

Marketers must band together to develop and demonstrate new leadership that will allow them to take back their industry, overcome adversity and set a new course to secure future growth.

Liodice’s comments came in his opening remarks at the ANA’s 2016 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, during which he welcomed 2,700 attendees to the three-day conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

“Brand building has become much more than simply talking about your brand,” Liodice said. “It’s about making deeper, emotional connections with your consumer in the most meaningful and enduring way. Marketers are beginning to rediscover their primary role, which is driving business growth. They’re stretching their brands in unique, creative, and imaginative ways to transform their relationships with consumers and customers.” 

Liodice specifically cited major brands like Valspar, Vaseline, Pepsi, Best Buy, and Under Armour for enthusiastically embracing new technology and communications platforms to create winning campaigns that are “opening up doors to reach our consumers and customers with engaging, immersive marketing.”

“In all candor, I don’t think creativity has ever been better,” Liodice added. 

However, at the same time, he warned that statistics have shown that business sales in the U.S. have been sluggish, and in 2015 turned negative, capping a three-year trend of less than 2 percent growth annually. In addition, a litany of concerns such as talent supply, diversity, inadequate metrics, privacy, ad fraud, ad blocking, viewability, and transparency have left the current state of the overall marketing industry “unproductive, unsustainable, and undesirable.”

As a solution, Liodice advised the assembled marketers to establish new parameters of leadership that will allow them to “take back the industry.”

He said it is imperative that the community of chief marketing officers come together to aggressively pursue an aligned agenda. The ANA was therefore announcing an initiative called the ANA Masters Circle (see related press release).

“The purpose of the Masters Circle is to unify individual CMO agendas and create a powerful leadership force to transform the industry,” Liodice said. “CMOs can no longer let others do the heavy lifting for the industry. If CMOs want something, they have to lead the way.”

Briefly, the Masters Circle will concentrate on:

  • Creating a strong, transparent, and highly productive media business system
  • Acting as responsible, purposeful marketers
  • Serving as a strong advocate for all constituents in the media and marketing supply chains
  • Developing a high-caliber, digitally savvy, diverse talent base 

Liodice said all CMOs are invited to join the ANA’s Masters Circle, whether or not they are ANA members.

“As an industry, we need to get out of our own way and overcome issues that hamper growth potential,” he said. “We are on the right track, but we need CMOs to turn up the leadership dial. We cannot leave this to others to do. We must get involved and take the action we need — to build our brands and drive our business results. When CMOs do that, everyone wins.”

He also said CMOs need to address the continuing challenge of finding, nurturing and retaining new talent.

“CMO’s must aggressively upgrade the training and development of their own staffs,” Liodice said. “We all need to become better far professionals – particularly in all things digital. As such, we are very proud that ANA board members Jeff Jones from Uber, Linda Boff from General Electric, Kristen Lemkau from JP Morgan Chase and Jon Iwata from IBM are leading ANA’s CMO Talent Challenge. We invite the CMO community to jump on board this terrific and worthy initiative.”

The conference runs from October 19–22 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. The conference hashtag is #ANAMasters.



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.


John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663