As thousands of senior marketers from the world’s biggest brands descended upon sunny Florida to talk shop at ANA’s flagship event, a recurring motif seemed to surface—reinvention. More specifically evolving consumer desires are demanding brands reassess their mentality, how they build audience experiences and even conduct business operations.
Keeping Up With Consumers
So, what is it consumers want, anyway? Well, for starters, Alicia Tillman, CMO at SAP tells us they know brands can build personalized experiences, therefore that’s what they expect. She goes on to say the leading brands not only understand this, but have abandoned the comfort zone of simply “belonging” to fully focusing on how consumers interact with their brand.
Another notable soundbite comes from Jill Estorino, EVP of Global Marketing and Sales for Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Products whose team is focused on creating experiences that resonate with audiences, even as they themselves, cultural forces and trends evolve. The key? Know thy brand, know thy customer, and be consistent across touchpoints.
What's more, Estorino created a foresight team which uncovered that consumers “want to be the creators and owners of their experiences. They want to be an active explorer of the brand, versus a passive consumer of the magic.” At Innovid, we have seen substantial evidence of this in a recent CTV study,
where consumers were much more likely to give more time to ads that gave them the freedom to explore the content they found most interesting.
Moving The Marketer Mindset
As it seems, one might say a brand is only as good as consumer expectations. The next logical step of course, is to understand how brands need to adjust how they approach messaging and advertising to meet those expectations. While there were many points of view on the matter, the concept of “constructive disruption” introduced by Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at The Procter & Gamble Company and ANA Chair, stood out from the crowd.
The idea being that the best way to deal with all the changes in the market and shifting consumer trends is to simply lead it—not blindly, but in order to drive growth and value. Pritchard challenged the room to build quality brands by being superior in everything from product to
positioning, and assured that as a result of bringing all these components into an “irresistible brand experience,” marketers would achieve the highest level of performance.
Other interesting points of view included thinking of advertising like dating (i.e. we’ve all been there—don’t be that person), marketers finding “profits in progress” by doing well and some good simultaneously, authenticity matters to consumers, and how the best work is often the least comfortable.
Ebbs and Flows In The Industry
It seems as though some trends have been a long time coming, while others are a little more mysterious. In the category of changes which have been talked about for some time was the decline of linear TV. Marc Pritchard expanded on this topic, when he touched upon the rapid expansion of OTT. What industry leaders have only begun talking about is the rise of “walled gardens,” where the line between publisher and ad server is becoming murkier and murkier. Pritchard expressed the need to circumvent these gardens, and stressed the importance of the MRC and brands to own their own data.
The brand-agency relationship also seemed to simmer to the top of conversations, where marketers seem to be escalating initiatives to keep close to their media, with as much as 30% of planning done in-house. On the same note, advertisers are also beginning to keep creative close, ensuring secrecy by eliminating or reducing outside development.
It was clear that change was top of mind for marketers this year, with experiences front and center. What did you find most interesting at this year’s event? Tweet us your thoughts!