ANA CEO Calls on CMOs to Take the Lead in Driving Industry Growth | About the ANA | ANA

ANA CEO Calls on CMOs to Take the Lead in Driving Industry Growth

Bob Liodice Tells Conference to "Wake Up" and
Embrace Steps Outlined by CMO Masters Circle

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2018) Today's marketing industry is unproductive, unsustainable, undesirable and untenable, and it's up to marketing leadership to display "guts and courage" to drive growth across all industry sectors, according to ANA CEO Bob Liodice.

Liodice said the Fortune 500, which he called "a reasonable surrogate for the entire business community — including small and large enterprises alike" has experienced declining after-tax profits for the last three years.

"This is an indictment on our industry," he said. "It's also a wake-up call for the leadership in our industry to enact the necessary change to drive better business and brand performance. Even small changes can make a powerful and lasting difference. A one percent change in the underlying growth rate is worth, minimally, $500 billion over a three year period for our industry."

Liodice made his comments in his opening remarks to an estimated 3,000 attendees at the three-day 2018 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL.

He said that over the past few years, the ANA has transformed its operations and leadership platforms to energize its members and the marketing community at large to meet the industry's most difficult challenges. One of the most important initiatives is the CMO Masters Circle, which is working on unifying the agendas of chief marketing officers and is creating a powerful leadership force to transform and grow the industry.

Through the CMO Masters Circle, "Chief marketing officers are personally seizing responsibility for the industry's growth and demanding that our entire ecosystem work in unison," Liodice said.

Launched in 2017, the CMO Masters Circle is guided by a specific, twelve-point growth agenda:

  1. Brand Innovation and Creative Excellence: ANA CMO's are joining together with more than 30 ANA committee networks to develop playbooks to optimize brand and creative development to generate growth.
  2. Data and Technology: The ANA has partnered with Neustar to create the Data Analytics Center to help CMOs elevate analytical capabilities across the mountains of data that challenges them daily. This was followed by the ANA's acquisition in June of the DMA (Data & Marketing Association), which will be exclusively focused on data driven marketing fueled by analytics.
  3. Talent Development: The ANA created the Talent Forward Alliance, a group of agency leaders and client side marketers to create groundbreaking research, develop an industry internship program, and expand marketing business/academic relationships.
  4. Marketing Organization Management: A vehicle for CMO's to address ANA's research on structure, budget priorities, roles and responsibilities, agency management and external support functions. It includes a playbook for CMO's to assess marketing organizations and to recommend action steps to fuel growth.
  5. Measurement and Accountability: The Masters Circle has been working with Google and Facebook on Media Rating Council measurement accreditation to harness cross platform measurement standards because facts, data and reliable measurement systems are the foundations for brand and growth focused media decision making.
  6. Brand Purpose and Sustainability: The ANA's Center for Brand Purpose will launch next month to engage CMO's to create purposeful pathways for their brands. The Center is based on the concept that the intersection of a brand's core consumer strategy with societal well-being is fundamental to growth.
  7. Inclusion and Equality: The ANA created AIMM (The Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing) to reinvent "Total Market" strategy, reboot inclusiveness, and promote diversity. Regarding gender equality, ANA also developed the #SeeHer initiative to help CMOs champion the accurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising.
  8. Transparency: CMO's operate in the most non-transparent marketing ecosystem in our industry's history, but the willingness to trade off transparency for digital and technological innovation is over. The Masters Circle invites everyone to join the movement to elevate transparency across all marketing, agency management and media platforms.
  9. Streamlining the Digital Media Supply Chain: Only 25 percent of a CMO's digital media investment reaches target audiences, representing more than $20 billion of marketing waste, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The Masters Circle is aggressively pursuing alternative pathways to elevate supply chain productivity.
  10. Brand Safety and Ad Fraud: The fourth edition of the ANA/White Ops study on ad fraud — which was the first study to indicate that fraud was costing the industry $6-7 billion annually — will be released in early 2019. Additional ANA anti-ad fraud efforts are initiated through the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).
  11. Advocacy and Self-Regulation: The Masters Circle vigorously supports the marketing industry's independent, robust self-regulatory system, including the Advertising Self-Regulation Council and the privacy focus of The Digital Advertising Alliance. CMO's also support all of our government relations efforts to insure that our industry is advanced, promoted and protected against all encumbering legislation.
  12. The Future of Advertising, Marketing and Growth: Earlier this year the ANA launched Marketing Futures, which focuses on innovative topics and emerging trends. It also provides resources for marketers that will influence and inform via member cases, research studies, and insights from industry innovators.

Liodice said that the CMO Masters Circle also served as the foundation of a parallel project launched in June in which the ANA partnered with the Cannes Lions to take the CMO Masters Circle global via the creation of the Global CMO Growth Council.

At a meeting in Cannes during the festival of Creativity in June, 25 leading CMO's gathered to discuss the power of the Masters Circle and how to take it global. They created a Global CMO Growth Council Agenda around the following components.

  • Brand Innovation and Experience
  • Data and Technology
  • Talent
  • Society and Sustainability (Purpose and Inclusion)
  • Customer Centricity

For the past two days in Orlando the same group convened with more than 200 CMO's at the Global CMO Growth Summit. ANA Chairman Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble's Chief Brand Officer, will be on stage tomorrow to discuss the Summit's outcome and CMO commitments for next year.

The Masters of Marketing Conference runs from October 24–27 and includes presentations from CMOs at P&G, Progressive, FedEx, eBay, Cigna, Clorox, Kohl's, Denny's, IBM, American Express, Hershey, the U.S. Navy, and other major marketers. 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
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