ANA Masters of Measurement Recap

The Association of National Advertisers holds several conferences over the year focused on issues marketers in the US face across the advertising industry. Recently, they held the ANA Masters of Measurement conference which honed in on measurement and the idea that better measurement can help marketers make better business decisions and, as a result, add billions of dollars to the bottom lines of the marketing ecosystem. Their conference maxim of “what gets measured is what gets done" bears resemblance to one of our own mantras – “you can’t maximize what you don’t measure” (read more about our insights on that HERE).
So when I was told that I was going to attend the ANA Masters of Measurement conference, I was immediately intrigued as this was my first ANA event. I did as I normally do and asked where it was being held. When told it was Naples, my first thought was Italy?  Alas, Naples Florida, but who am I to complain. With this being a new conference to me, I wondered if it would be like the others I have attended. So I formulated a checklist of comparisons…
Nope. This was held at The Ritz-Carlton, a beautiful hotel off the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel had the best views of the Gulf, see photographic evidence below.
Definitely. Since the conference sessions were in the same room, this allows ample opportunities to collaborate and network. From the combined breakfasts & lunches, to the coffee breaks, there are many places around the hotel to connect with people.
Ah yes food!  It might seem like a trivial thing to add to my comparison list, but I attend many functions and cuisine is important as an attendee. Honestly, the food was so fancy that it looked like art at times. It kept you guessing, but overall, the food was great and did not distract from the event or leave a sour taste in my mouth (pun intended).
But truly, the meat of any conference is the sessions  -  and though this conference followed one track, this was one of the conference aspects that  I enjoyed most.  I didn’t feel like I had to run around to maximize my time and I wasn’t concerned that I was missing a really great session in another hall. It was an easy schedule to adhere to and kept my attention the whole way through.
At the ANA Masters of Measurement, all of the sessions had a common theme - creating stories out of data. It started with the main theme of “think outside the box”, which can be a challenge to both new and old organizations when it comes to marketing measurement. It was interesting to hear from another company on how it turned itself around by revamping and diversifying their analytics thought process. Specializing in analytics, I understand how particularly important this can be to the growth of a business. We’ve helped many organizations achieve just that and it can create enormous results for a business that has gone stagnate by not making small but crucial changes to the way they think about measurement - for instance, this case study where a client needed to re-think their programmatic strategy.
Another session I enjoyed was about how a company utilized its social media platforms to get today’s youth involved. Again, another interesting narrative on how organizations can utilize multiple channels to advance their marketing and analytics programs. Our Market Intelligence team helps brands understand and optimize their social media impact and reputation and for many brands, it’s an eye-opening experience. It’s great to see that companies are truly embracing every area of their business’s reach.
Key Takeaways
My key take away from the conference is this, everyone thinks that their company is not doing enough with the data, but nobody knows what to do with it.
Here’s a hint: Humanize the data. 
It's important to create stories around the data so you can use it to answer KPIs or create ROI. Many companies may not be measuring or personalizing everything that they want to, and this may be the case for your company, but that’s ok. The point is that you need to keep thinking ahead and evolving  your approach. It doesn’t matter if you don't know how to get there, because you can always call on the insight experts from Ebiquity & Stratigent to help out (shameless plug!).
By David Dobes
About the Author:

David Dobes is a Solutions Consultant, North America at Stratigent.

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