This is part 2 of trends from the 2018 ANA Master of Marketing Conference, where CMOs discussed their growth stories. Part 1, which you can read here, focused on Leading The Disruption and overcoming the Walled Gardens of Facebook, Google, etc. I gave a few startups to help marketers drive results in those areas and now turn to the loudest trend of the conference, bringing ad agency work in-house. Again, with a few emerging companies to help make it happen for marketers that want to explore.

Bring It In-House or Hire Expert Consultancies

Seventy-eight percent of marketers surveyed by the ANA for a study released this month have an in-house agency, up from 42% in 2008.It felt like every speaker was talking about how they had brought agency work in-house or hired independent consultancies for a particular expertise and their focus on tangible results. The reasons for this shift are summed up nicely by Suzy Deering, CMO of eBay, when she said “A lot of it is about data and efficiencies. We can be more protective [over] our first-party data and make sure we’re targeting in a way that drives efficiencies and cuts down speed to market.” Erick Dickens, CMO of King’s Hawaiian Bakery, showed an amazing chart around inefficiencies he saw in his agency relationship and why he essentially funded a gig-economy startup by cherry picking talent to work with him on projects. Azania Andrews of AB InBev advised during her presentation that marketers should “Look outside, to see what is coming next with business partners with the ideas to unlock long term business growth.” So how can a brand drive efficiency without sacrificing the quality of work? Marketers need partners that are more adaptive and reflective of the marketers’ needs. Here are a few emerging platforms that can help:— think a general manager, putting together an elite A-team of the best premium talent specifically for your brand challenge. Tackling modern marketing by putting the right people around the table.— SketchDeck combines people and software to make high quality, everyday design fast, effortless and accessible to your whole organization. Like having an agency, without the overhead. — Amper Music is an artificial intelligence composer, performer, and producer that empowers you to instantly create and customize original music for your content. — provides the software and framework to help brands streamline consumer research workflows and cut costs.— allows brands to prototype AR and VR projects more quickly and cost-effectively.

Despite the challenges raised during the conference, there was a truly optimistic mood in the room as it has become clear that authenticity and purpose are secret accelerants to growth. Embracing who you are as a brand, being customer centric and diving head first into innovation are secret ingredients to obtaining and retaining customers. So while there is chaos in the ever changing world, there is also great opportunity to harness.


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