Chief marketing officers for the world's top brands are challenging each other to find and support the industry's next generation of talent. The initiative is one of a number of issues the Association of National Advertisers' newly formed Masters Circle aims to tackle.
"Without quality talent, this industry's future is questionable," said ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice, addressing 2,700 attendees at the ANA's Masters of Marketing Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.
ANA board members Jeff Jones (former Target CMO, now president of ride-hailing app Uber), Linda Boff (General Electric's CMO), Kristin Lemkau (JP Morgan Chase's CMO) and Jon Iwata (IBM's CMO) are leading the charge on the ANA's CMO Talent Challenge.
CMOs who accept the challenge are committing to mentor younger generations, spending at least five hours with students to chat about marketing careers and participating in an industrywide ANA/AEF talent study.
To kick off the challenge, CMOs are prodding one another to join in via Twitter using the hashtag #TalentFWD.
— Linda Boff (@lindaboff) October 19, 2016
— Jon Iwata (@coastw) October 19, 2016
— Seth William Farbman (@sethfarbman) October 20, 2016
Other objectives for the ANA Masters to tackle include arguing for transparency in media and fighting against fraud; advocating for gender equality, multicultural marketing and diversity, and all aspects of social responsibility in marketing; and working with the Digital Advertising Alliance and the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council as well as other organizations that keep the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission at bay.
"As an industry, we need to get out of our own way and overcome issues that hamper growth potential," said Liodice. "We are on the right track, but we need CMOs to turn up the leadership dial. We cannot leave this to others to do. We must get involved and take the action we need to build our brands and drive our business results. When CMOs do that, everyone wins."