CMOs are faced with ad-free streaming television, ad-blockers and shortened attention spans. These challenges amongst other that brands and marketers face are daunting as consumers increasingly dread advertising and long for interruption-free experiences.
However, leading CMOs from P&G, Mastercard, DDB and Eastern Bank among others told Erin Andrews, sportscaster and TV personality, at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference they are fired up and ready to go when it comes to facing these seeming adversities, which many of them choose to see as opportunities.
“I think [it] will keep getting better and better,” P&G CMO Marc Pritchard told Andrews. “What I see happening in the future is challenging all the platforms, whether be TV, digital or social to innovate in ads,” Pritchard added that technologies such as augmented reality will contribute to making advertising more engaging. “But I think, even better, it will move to this mass one-to-one marketing, which will enable more useful and engaging one-to-one experiences to help solve problems,” he said.
Pritchard elaborated on what he himself says sounds like an oxymoron. “We need to reach as many people as possible. But we wanna do that with more precision. Not reach you more times than you need it. And reach you when it really matters and so we can give you useful and engaging experiences,” he explained.
The Clorox Company CMO, Eric Reynolds, is also bullish on the future of advertising. “For all the issues that we’re going through now figuring some things out, the promise of what advertising brings is incredible,” he told WHOSAY’s Rob Gregory. “[Advertising has] been one of the most creative problem-solving forces in economic history, brands and ideas and advertising. Sure, we’re going through some growing pains but advertising has always changed and adapted to the needs and temperaments of people.”
Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard CMO coincides with both Pritchard and Reynolds in that new technologies will help marketers reach more consumers. “The convergence of digital and physical is extremely exciting,” he told Andrews. “The arrival of augmented reality and virtual reality, very exciting. The emotions of artificial intelligence, the democratization of artificial intelligence, fantastic opportunity. Chatbots: fantastic.”
He also mentioned “smart speakers” such as Google Home and Alexa as hugely beneficial to brand and marketers. “[Smart speakers are] another huge emerging area for us because, if you see at the statistics, 7% of the households in the US already have either a Google Home or an Alexa,” Rajamannar said. “Now, how many times are you going to make your purchase simply by telling the device, which is a smart speaker at the end of the day. You tell them what to buy. So, as a marketer, how do I get into that stream and impact consumers choice at the moment of truth. That’s what we’re so excited about. We hopefully create a cash-free society down the line.”
Paul Gunning, CEO DDB Chicago at DDB Worldwide Communications Group, is a leading advertising agency executive with hopes for the future of marketing and advertising. “This is the most exciting time to be in this business,” he told Gregory. “The level of innovation is truly exciting. The ability to see our work and its impact almost immediately, in terms of consumer behavior and in terms of our clients’ business results, and having the levers and the experiences to pull on that see what’s working. I find it the most fascinating time.” Gunning concluded with a call to arms by encouraging young people coming out of college to break into this exciting and ever-evolving industry.