The Most Exciting Post You’ll Read Today: ANA Financial Management Conference Takeaways
Rich Whalen is EVP, Head of Agency Operations, McCann NY
I had the opportunity to attend the ANA Financial Management Conference in Boca Raton this week. Sure, you may think a Finance & Procurement Conference in Boca (land of the blue hairs) is a bore, but it’s actually quite interesting.
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is the client-side equivalent to the 4A’s. Once a year, they invite top procurement and marketing finance professionals to a conference that’s all about increasing efficiencies and delivering greater value to organizations.
Since [McCann WorldGroup Chairman & CEO] Harris Diamond, called me a ‘finance guy’ at an agency meeting last year, I figured I should check it out. Not to mention, our other fearless leader, [IPG Chairman & CEO] Michael Roth opened the conference with a talk about trends in the marketplace.
Joining me for the conference was our Finance & Style Queen, Eu-Gene Sung, and colleagues from WG, Craft, MRM, The Martin Agency and IPG.
The themes from the week were mostly about Transparency and ‘redefining the traditional agency/client model.’ Some key takeaways:
· Measure effectiveness rather than fee/overhead. Procurement teams need to be part of the solutions and understand how to make brands successful, not just challenge margin and overhead.
· Rise of project-based work. Smaller brands and smaller budgets are more adept to project-based work. Also a great tool for clients to test a relationship/agency skillset without going through a lengthy pitch process.
· Ad spending continues to rise. Digital and Brand Activation are outpacing traditional ad spend – no surprise here, right?
· Threat of ad blocking and fraud. Advertisers will lose an estimated $7.2 billion globally this year due to fraudulent impressions or bots.
Overall, it was a worthwhile event with great networking opportunities. I was lucky enough to meet some good people and even luckier to spend my birthday with our favorite Verizon client, Cathy Stanley.