How Brands Can Ensure Future Success | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

How Brands Can Ensure Future Success

By Ryan Dinger

ANA events bring together some of the smartest and most-talented marketers in the industry to share insights and best practices that help ANA members get the most out of their own marketing efforts.

Naturally, when ANA members and other top marketers get together, the potential for a great soundbite or two is very high. For this reason, we'll be collecting and sharing the top quotes from ANA events during each month throughout 2023.

Below, you can find the top quotes from ANA speakers for October:

"The only thing worse than being unrepresented is being represented badly."
— Meeckel Beecher, global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Shutterstock

The push for more diversity and inclusion both within our ads and without our marketing teams is objectively a positive thing. However, it does mean there will be missteps away — including some brands committing the above sin of misrepresenting a demographic they're trying to in their media. The solution? Ensure that your staff is diverse, both on and off the camera, and that you get input directly from the group of individuals you're trying to include.

"I'm never going to say the word 'mainstream' again. It doesn't exist."
— Nancy Tellet, member of the Hispanic Marketing Council and principal at PureClarity, LLC

Here's another term the marketing industry can retire: Total market. When we see brands trying to do broad campaigns targeted to the "mainstream" or "total market" we can help but scream: Have you learned nothing?! Personalization and inclusion are tantamount to 21st century marketing success. Achieving those qualities is not possible when you're painting with too broad a brush.

"Customer data is the most valuable asset any company can have. And yet it is also the hardest asset to put to work and use effectively."
— Amanda Bailey, VP of customer marketing and loyalty at Lowe's Companies

When it comes to infusing more personalized and authentic media into your marketing, customer data is your most powerful weapon. And while many brands now boast that they have personalized data, too few of them have learned how to leverage it effectively. That's a pity, because...

"The companies that are going to be successful in the future are going to be the ones that actually make the most out of the data they collect and the insights they collect as soon as they collect it. So, speed to insight is going to be the differentiator in the future in that process. How do we get to speed up to insight in data science?"
— Ali Kefeli, head of end-to-end analytics and data science at Kimberly-Clark

We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Ali. What is your company's process for collecting, synthesizing, and leveraging its data? If you don't have an answer to all three of those questions, it's time to get to work.

"We knew we had to take a clear stand. It doesn't matter if everybody likes what you do. Take a stand and be consistent with it."
— Tim Ellis, EVP and CMO at the NFL

As usual, we end with a bit of inspiration. You know the numbers. People — and especially young people — want brands to take stands on key issues. That is now table stakes. But along with having the guts to take a stand, your brand needs to be willing to hold its position, even when bad faith actors come with criticism. Otherwise, you may be doing more damage than good. Just look at what has happened to Bud Light's stock since it backed down in the face of anti-trans rhetoric. That situation is the result of Bud Light losing two audiences: The one that performatively pretended to be offended by the brand's partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, and the LGBTQ+ community, which saw how easily the beer brand would abandon it in the face of blowback.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Ryan Dinger is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.