Association of National Advertisers Executive Discusses CMO Weaknesses

I recently had the chance to sit down with Association of National Advertisers executive Nick Primola to talk about the top issues facing chief marketing officers (CMOs) today.

Jeff Fromm:

What keeps CMOs up at night?

Nick Primola:

We brought together over 200 CMO delegates at a recent two-day summit. During this period, we have identified key growth priorities across sectors and brands. The priorities fall into two areas: actions each delegate can take now to drive growth, and what we can do collectively – as a united community of marketing leaders – to create a more productive industry ecosystem that will enable more innovation, more investment, and more growth opportunities that will have a positive impact on society.

Beyond mounting pressure on profits, pricing and advertising budgets, CMO delegates highlighted priorities that reflected the current state of the industry, which is going through its own transformation at an unprecedented pace. General concerns about whether the current talent pool has kept pace with critical skills to reach its full potential. After all, this industry is only as good as its employees. Am I getting the most out of my team right now? And what should I prepare for with talent and technology?

What is the Growth Council doing to ease this anxiety?

Fortunately, over the past few years, the Growth Council has worked to develop a common competency framework for high-growth marketing organizations that all CMOs can leverage for benchmarking and standards. The ANA has also established alliances with subject matter experts across the industry who will participate in an aggressive training initiative that aims to reach at least 50,000 marketers and 50,000 students throughout 2023. This comprehensive initiative addresses skills gaps at all levels – from students and curriculum, to training programs for marketing practitioners at all levels – from entry level to chief marketing officer. At the summit, the Growth Council’s talent task force shared progress on several fronts, including a universal competency framework, a new marketing campaign to inspire students to pursue careers in marketing, and new programs learning for CMOs in partnership with the Institute for Real Growth.

The most ambitious initiative was universally endorsed by the CMO delegates present – ​​Global Learning Day. This event took place on December 6e and has attracted over 4,200 traders from over 50 countries. And it was used as a kickstarter to help reach as many marketers as possible and accelerate their learning curve to stay up to date with the incredible pace of the industry.

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How does it relate to sustainability, innovation and brand purpose?


Sustainability, innovation, brand purpose and DEIB are at the heart of ANA’s industry growth agenda, which drives the mission of the Global CMO Growth Council. Growth Council CMOs drive the growth of their brands, organizations and teams by embedding sustainability and innovation at every stage of the supply chain, impact measurement and performance promises. transparency, through improved customer experiences, to changing consumer behavior with collective well-being in mind. Green and good engine of growth. Our mission, since inception in 2018, has been to transform marketing into a force for growth and good.

At the Summit, an entire working session was dedicated to finding common ground on the role of marketing in driving growth through sustainable business strategies. This was informed by a joint initiative between the CMO Sustainability Accelerator (a collaboration between ANA, Adweek and Sustainable Brands) and the Boston Consulting Group. At the summit, the Growth Council also pledged to adopt the Ad Net Zero framework to reduce carbon emissions throughout its supply chain.

Most importantly, the delegation reached consensus on the role of marketing in driving real business growth through sustainable innovation based on authentic brand purpose. And work now to ensure that we accelerate our collective progress as a united industry where all have common ground.

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