Chief marketing officers often take for granted that they have enormous clout through the collective “power of the purse.” Yet, this CMO community often defers to “other experts,” which leaves a substantial vacuum of leadership and lost opportunities.

It’s time for CMOs to lead the industry’s growth agenda.

With so much at stake, inaction comes with increasing consequences. CMOs must be energized to take the lead and revitalize growth to our industry. As the voice of the marketer, ANA challenges CMOs to make a commitment to come together and use that force for growth.

The ANA and its Board of Directors have established an agenda for chief marketers across four strategic platforms.

  1. Marketing Excellence
  2. Social Responsibility
  3. Advocacy
  4. Digital Media Supply Chain

DOWNLOAD PDF  >> 2017 CMO Leadership Agenda


In today’s digital environment, we must ensure that our creative is connecting with consumers in a meaningful way that produces business and brand results, and that our marketing functions are organized for growth with a talent pool operating at peak performance. This platform encompasses three areas:

1. Brand and Creative Excellence

We are in an exciting time for building relationships between brands and consumers. Digital transformation and advancements in technology are unleashing limitless opportunities for creativity and innovation that let brands connect with consumers like never before. ANA will bring the industry together to promote the very best creative and innovative processes that drive business and brand growth.

2. Talent

Put your people first. Training and talent development requires a robust approach led by the CMO to ensure talent performs to its full potential, with a solid pipeline. To this end, a peer-led movement was launched in late 2016 and is gaining momentum – The CMO Talent Challenge. By joining, you will help pay it forward by prioritizing training, inspiring professionals and students, and leveraging critical research from the ANA Educational Foundation and others. Join now and get started at

3. Marketing Organization Management

The industry does not have a clear, consistent framework for a modern marketing organization. ANA champions customer-centric marketing empowered by data and analytics-driven processes. ANA will ask CMOs and select industry experts to contribute to a benchmark that defines the modern marketing model for the digital age. ANA will create a practical playbook to help CMOs assess marketing organizations against this benchmark, identify gaps, prioritize, and take action.



How we conduct business is as important as the business we conduct. Our collective voice can be used to take on important matters such as gender equality and racial bias, diversity and inclusiveness, and environmental sustainability. Through  the ANA Masters Circle, CMOs can become an unprecedented collective force by advancing positive conversations, influencing attitudes, and changing behavior to advance the well-being of our society.

4. Brand Purpose

CMOs are central to ensuring company purpose is leveraged for both societal good and business growth. In addition to highlighting best practices, the ANA Masters Circle will insure that CMOs are aware of, and have opportunity to engage in, important purpose-led efforts such as:

5. Gender Equality

Each CMO has a personal responsibility to champion the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media. Doing so will directly benefit communications effectiveness, brand equity, and social impact. Through its Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE), ANA is pushing for a 20 percent increase in the “accurate portrayal of all girls and women” in media by 2020 (the 100th anniversary of when women won the right to vote). By partnering with AFE, CMOs can assess the creative development processes for unconscious gender bias (using AFE’s Gender Equality Measure – GEM™ Score). This measure will unleash your current creative development processes to fully build brand equity and business while enabling women to see themselves in a positive and accurate way within the creative output.

6. Inclusiveness and Multicultural Marketing

CMOs can ensure their brands effectively resonate with Multicultural, LGBTQ and Millennial populations by partnering with the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM). AIMM’s purpose is to have a meaningful societal impact, while gaining the trust and loyalty of these consumers so they become the base for tomorrow’s corporate growth.


Advance, promote, and protect the foundation of our industry, with a specific focus on ad taxes, privacy and self-regulation.

7. Advocacy

Major reform efforts are almost certain but more difficult to predict than ever. This means it is more essential than ever for CMOs to remain current and engaged. The ANA Masters Circle will keep CMOs united to combat threats from federal, state or industry-specific regulations that target ad taxes, privacy (Digital Advertising Alliance – DAA), and self-regulation (Advertising Self-Regulation Council – ASRC). Importantly, you will be notified of any specific action steps for CMOs or your teams to help your brands and our industry.


We invest precious dollars into a nontransparent media supply chain. The chain lacks common standards; has unreliable and unaccredited measurements; hidden rebates and high exposure to fraud; and incentives that are misaligned with core business growth metrics. Today, an average of only 40 cents of marketers’ digital advertising dollar reaches the consumer. That must change.  Focus areas include:

9. Mastering the Digital Media Supply Chain

It’s time for CMOs to demand a simpler, more-transparent, highly productive supply chain, one that aligns core metrics with goals for incremental business growth. We can reach this objective if each CMO ensures their teams and agencies pursue the recommended actions for transparency, measurement, viewability, and ad fraud — while creating a highly productive, extraordinarily efficient, streamlined supply chain.

9. Transparency

Do you have 100 percent transparency across your media spend and are certain you’re getting what you’re paying for? Uncertainty here is unacceptable. CMOs must be personally familiar with the K2 Intelligence report and strongly consider the seven strategic platforms from Ebiquity. These, along with a recommended media agency contract template, are designed to help CMOs, their media agencies and the media act in a responsible, transparent manner with a focus on driving growth. Central to this mission is the creation of a chief media officer that serves as strategist and architect to navigate the increasing complexities of the media supply chain.

10. Measurement and Viewability

CMOs must support the Media Rating Council (MRC) viewability standard as the foundation for quality measurement. Expect agencies, media suppliers, and platforms to adopt this same standard. Measure the percentage of your digital spend that actually reaches your consumers with a target of at least 70 percent, up from an estimated 40 percent. ANA recommends only paying for those impressions that have opportunity to be seen.

11. Ad Fraud and Brand Safety

There is an estimated $7 billion of fraud within the digital media supply chain each year. CMOs can take actions now to diminish fraud from media investments and mitigate risk to ensure brand safety.

  • Assess your media investments for risk. Start by focusing on the outcomes that drive growth (instead of mostly proxy metrics) which will help starve out the bad actors throughout the system and take back wasted dollars. Challenge the efficacy of cheap inventory and programmatic media that utilizes source traffic.
  • Forge alliances with experts to ensure media investments are compliant with anti-fraud verification, such as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), and Digital Content Next (DCN). Your digital media investment should become TAG-certified during 2017.

12. Ad Blocking

Penetration of ad blocking has increased dramatically, now at 18 percent of consumers online and even more globally. ANA supports the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). CBA will publish standards for “Better Ads” that CMOs can adopt and continue to evolve and keep pace with ever-changing technologies and creative formats.