Out of Office: Your procurement team

Checking in from scorching 🔥🌵 Phoenix, Arizona. Over 500 ad industry financial and procurement pros showed up at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference.

Travis Lusk
Travis Lusk

If you were wondering where your media procurement and finance teams were this week when all your emails bounced back with “out of office” notifications, it is probably because they were down in Phoenix.

Industry insiders gathered to hear from business leaders, CMO’s, and financial management professionals around the industry.

Monday’s Highlights

Bob Lodice, President and CEO of the ANA kicked off the show with keynote that outlined the future of advertising from the brand perspective.

Lodice touched on many key themes including: measurement, privacy, DE&I, and AI.

He urged the industry to "accelerate to a greater measurement environment." The ANA is teaming up with the World Federation of Advertisers and ISBA (the UK equivalent of ANA) to pursue cross-media measurement, which Lodice dubbed "part of the Holy Grail." They're working to create an industry-wide solution for deduplicated reach and frequency measures.

On privacy, Lodice noted that not nearly enough brands are using cleanrooms, and we're lagging behind. He endorsed the IAB approach to privacy and encouraged brands to adopt it and get involved. It's high time to step up.

As for DE&I, Lodice highlighted the material business growth it can drive. He cited that the "accurate portrayal of women in ads drives growth." In other words, it's not just the right thing to do—it's good for business.

AI, particularly generative AI, is also a game-changer. Although only 9% of brands are currently using it, and 24% plan to this year, Lodice believes it's a growth driver in its infancy. He sees AI as an essential tool for the future of advertising.

Lodice closed with a call to action: "Now is not a time for the timid." It's a rallying cry for the industry to embrace change and stay ahead of the curve.

Keynote: Heather Malenshek, CMO Land O’Lakes

🥛 Land O'Lakes CMO Heather Malenshek delivered a keynote that was part pep talk, part roadmap for transformation.

Malenshek, who joined Land O'Lakes in 2020, has quite the resume—she was the first female CMO at Harley-Davidson and then went agency side to work with brands like Budweiser, Jeep, and Mars.

Now, she's applying her expertise to dairy, and it's starting to look like a masterstroke.

The new mission at Land O'Lakes? "Rooted in tomorrow," which translates to a strong brand purpose. The firm is a cooperative with 1300 dairy farmers and nearly 1500 ag retailers under their wing. Prime position to make waves.

And it's not just about dairy. Land O'Lakes owns Winfield United, which has its hands in 50% of harvested land in the US, and Purina Animal Nutrition, feeding 100 million animals daily. Their Trueterra carbon sequestration program even paid out $4M to farmers for storing 233,000 metric tonnes of carbon. Talk about walking the talk.

According to Malenshek, it's time for Land O'Lakes to lead the convo on brand values. She laid out her Marketing Transformation Pillars, and it reads like a manifesto for change:

  1. Purpose: Unleash Land O’Lakes brands for sustained, profitable growth.
  2. People: Zero in on the right work, bet on top talent.
  3. Portfolio: Craft brand strategy, architecture, and stories, and rule the category.
  4. Performance: Cultivate accountability and a test-and-learn vibe.
  5. Process: Revamp the way things are done, bring on marketing tech, and integrate.
  6. Partners: Build agency ecosystems, and balance internal/external resources.

In short, Malenshek is shaking things up at Land O'Lakes, and we're all here for it. Her keynote sent a clear message to the ad world: it's time to embrace change and get down to business.

Insight Nuggets

🛒 According to Lauren Wiener, Managing Director and Partner at BCG, the retail media sector will grow 26% year-over-year, reaching $100 billion by 2026.

Current companies dominant in retail media include:

  • Walmart - $2.1B
  • eBay - $1B
  • Tripadvisor - $1B
  • Target - $1B
  • Kroger - $600M
  • Instacart - $580M

Amazon alone will own $67B of the $100B pie by 2026.

♻️ Sharon Napier, Founder of Napier + Partners, says that CMO tenure averages just 40 months, leading to a multitude of stability challenges. Hence the theme of her presentation: “Stability is Sexy.”

More to come in tomorrow’s Day 2 recap. Remember to share on “the socials” and forward to friends and colleagues.


Travis Lusk Twitter

Opinionated digital advertising practitioner, consultant for Fortune 100 Brands, and writer at ADLINGO.org.