Be Brave with Growth Driving
the Mission

Author: Tammy Greenberg, SVP, Business Development, RAB

The takeaway from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) annual Media Conference was to embrace bravery, take risks and step up and recognize that business and brand growth is the “shiny new object.”

In his opening remarks that set the stage for the 700+ brand media and marketing attendees, Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA, stated that the world’s leading brands are “activating brave.” It’s a shift from ensuring consistency to stimulating desire among consumers, from being marketing centric to acting enterprise centric, and from creating functional and emotional differentiation to changing a way a business goes to market. In order to do this, brands must intuitively understand their customers and they need to be willing to communicate in brave, iconic ways that will delight and deliver the way the consumer wants to receive it.

Much was discussed around the subject of the fragmented and arguably “broken” media supply chain. In fact, Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at The Procter & Gamble Company, stated that the company is no longer focused on fixing the problem; it’s now focused on creativity and taking control of the media supply chain. He said, “We (P&G) want to buy from companies where the content is known, controlled and consistent. Content that is entertaining, informative and engaging. Content that accurately and realistically portrays all people.” This is RADIO! Pritchard’s advice to marketers and media directors is to “step up – focus on your objective of controlling the new media supply chain. Do what you are already doing and look to where you can do even more.” This was confirmed by Rob Rakowitz, Director of Global Media for Mars. He said that media channels don’t die off; rather the method of delivery changes, and he advised that marketers need to be focused on audiences instead of channels. The simplest of answers came from Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee). When asked how do we fix the media supply chain, his response was, “Stop buying dumb shit!”

In a presentation that reviewed the state of media in 2019, Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media & Communications Planning at The Hershey Company, advised marketers to focus on mastering the new fundamentals of questioning assumptions, doing and pivoting and following the doers not the sayers. He also identified 5 key trends to watch in media throughout 2019 and beyond. These trends include:

  • Fragmentation: Audio has been REBORN while traditional TV today is changing, and digital has a long way to go to continue its path towards improvement. Marketing fundamentals help navigate media fragmentation – understanding your target, where to reach them, how to communicate to them and how to measure it.
  • Data & Technology: Challenger brands use data & technology to precisely buy targeted reach. Legacy brands use scale and awareness to efficiently buy mass reach. The strongest brands and best marketers need to be both and do them both well.
  • In-housing: Taking more control is the right thing if you are doing it for the right reasons and it will only make agency/client relationships stronger.
  • The New Marketing Organization: It’s time to break down the silos and bring brand marketing teams and measurement teams together.
  • AI/Machine Learning: Every brand and media company should invest in great data scientists to drive insights forward.

Brands taking risks, brands acting bravely are the ones that are realizing that shiny new object called growth. Advice to our readers that came from Gary Vee – “You should push for something if you actually believe it. Don’t be shy, don’t be crass, but there is a respectful way for you to be on the record historically. If your idea works, if your belief is true, you will have the credibility that you can trade on.”

How are you taking respectful risks to drive business?  Where do you fall on a bravery scale?


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