Key Takeaways from the ANA Masters of Marketing, Driving Growth

As SPC continues to transform into a more progressive marketing services provider, we increasingly look for opportunities to sit alongside CMOs and industry leaders at events where the latest trends and innovative thinking take center stage. This year’s ANA Masters of Marketing Week was a perfect example.

The conference took place in Orlando, FL, from October 2 – 5, 2019, and was attended by over 3,000 marketing decision-makers, including marketing leaders from seemingly every popular consumer and business brand. While most of the agencies and vendors focused on media buying, social media specialties and a range of traditional and nontraditional media, SPC was one of a handful of direct response experts in attendance. This allowed us to have a unique perspective on the customer journey and the role we play in brands’ big picture marketing initiatives.

Here are some of the key take-aways identified by the SPC team members in attendance:

Experience is the new economy

As the way marketers reach consumers continues to evolve, so do the expectations of consumers about how brands communicate with them. Thanks to technological and data-related innovation, personalization has become very sophisticated. As long as brands aren’t crossing the line and seeming too ‘Big Brothery,’ a majority of people appreciate and increasingly expect that companies are putting the effort in to customize communications and experiences for them.

The customer loyalty that is generated from positive experiences is not being overlooked by brands. In fact, many brands are rethinking the way they’re allocating marketing dollars as a way to improve their customers’ experiences, whether it’s an engaging Direct Mail piece, interactive landing page or a pop-up experience. There was one example shared at Masters of Marketing that really stood out.

Online bank, Ally Financial, recently decided to empower their agents by dedicating $500,000 of their marketing budget to a surprise and delight initiative. The agents were allowed to use their discretion and reward customers by putting money in their accounts to help pay for things like monthly bills and bucket list vacations, or to just contribute to their long-term saving goals. It was a disruptive way for Ally to give their customers an unexpected positive experience, which strengthens brand loyalty and, as we learned, can have a great impact on sales.

Treat consumers well and they’ll return the favor

As more research is done, the clearer it is that consumers care more about the experiences that brands deliver than specific features and benefits of a product. That’s how brands create emotional connections with their customers. While we were well aware that brand loyalty leads to greater sales, the idea of investing for lifetime value also holds true.

The theme of the conference this year was ‘Driving Growth,’ and these statistics show that there is no disputing the significance of a good customer experience. Of the companies on the S&P 500 that are recognized for providing the best service and experiences, 80% of them outperform their counterparts. Their customers are:

  • 7x more likely to purchase more
  • 8x more likely to try other products and services from that brand
  • 15x more likely to spread positive word of mouth

Tell consumers what you stand for

In addition to quality products and services, there are other factors that play into a consumer’s choice of the brands with which they do business. They want to feel good about what a company stands for. We learned that brands who share their mission and values are more likely to win new customers and retain existing ones.

When communicating their purpose to the public, marketers need to be transparent about what they stand for. If they don’t come off as being genuine, and walking the walk, they may risk losing loyalty from current customers and consideration of future ones. 91% of consumers would switch brands if a different one was purpose driven in a way that aligns with their own values.

“Every day, SPC has the opportunity to help deliver a positive experience to both our clients and the consumers they reach out to. The lasting impression that those experiences can have is what drives us to go above and beyond in all we do.”
-Gil Bathgate, SPC’s Vice President, Loyalty Marketing

The customer journey can be complicated, and varies from brand to brand and person to person. And with so many products and companies to choose from, companies will succeed by providing memorable experiences from a brand their customers can believe in. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with our clients to help them stand out for all the right reasons and drive growth of their business. When they succeed, so do we, and we know that we’ve made an impact on their audience – and that adds up to a lot of happy people.

If you’d like to learn more about collaborating with SPC to deliver your customers a memorable experience, we’d love to talk. Click here, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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