4 takeaways from day 2 of the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference

Instead of writing the traditional roundup with who said what where, we thought we’d take the advice of Bill Afonso from Day One and exercise our “creative bravery.”

That said, here are 5 takeaways from ANA’s Tuesday sessions.

1. Make Finance Easier. Automatically.

Presentation by Erik Johnson, Vice President, Advertising & Media Payment Solutions, Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI).

Financial automation has arrived. And while adoption is slow, it’s growing. As Erik Johnson reports, 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one function. The other 69%? They say they’re just too busy. But it may not be the daunting task it’s perceived to be. A few points to remember:

  • Easiest action to take right away is eliminating paper check
  • Accounts Receivable can be automated for card for as little as a few thousand dollars and can be up and running in a few weeks
  • Invoice automation can save you 10-15 minutes per invoice
  • Payment automation is the fastest to implement, the least expensive and reduces fraud

Payment automation can even create revenue. Now that’s something to look into. Automatically.


2. Four Reasons Why ESG Matters

Presentation by Ellen Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, IPG.

Clearly, environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are top-of-mind for many companies today. With good reason. Four reasons in fact as presented by Ellen Johnson of IPG.

  • It’s Trending Upward

90% of the S&P 500 Index now reports on their sustainability and CSR activities

  • Talent Cares

53% of adults and 60% of millennials say it’s critical to work somewhere that aligns with their purpose/values

  • Clients Care

ESG issues are important to all marketers – it’s key to align with clients on ESG issues

  • It’s Simply Good Business

Companies with better ESG standards typically have better financial performance


3. How To Bring 1,000 Agencies Together.

Presentation by Sebastien Slek, Global Sourcing Marketing, WarnerMedia.

Sounds rather impossible doesn’t it? But that was challenge for WarnerMedia with over 1,000 agencies working on the business. To bring the multitude together for the sake of consistency, WarnerMedia built its Preferred Agency Program that has already started yielding value.

For Preferred Agencies:

  • Opportunity to grow business
  • Capture and recognize partnership efforts
  • Move from transactional to strategic conversations

For WarnerMedia:

  • Address key expectations
  • Increase transparency
  • Create financial value

Win-win all around. Selk says investing in your agency partnerships is the most effective way to drive long term ROI.


4. What Happened? Where Are We? What’s Next?

Christine Moore, Managing Director, North America, FirmDecisions.

Patricia McGregor, Managing Director, Canada, FirmDecisions.

Having commissioned a survey of procurement professionals this past May, Christine Moore and Patricia McGregor of Ebiquity’s FirmDecisions examined exactly what happened during the pandemic, where we are now post COVID and what to expect coming up. Good food for procurement thought.

What happened?

When COVID hit, procurement was suddenly very, very, very busy. Every corner of marketing was impacted – from media, creative and experiential to sponsorships, shopper and field force. No one was untouched.

 Where are we now?

  • Change is constant – and the pace is accelerating
  • Nothing is sacred – there’s a fundamental shift in consumer behavior
  • Increased acknowledgement that portfolio governance is now a priority
  • Sense of urgency
  • Agility through transparency is a factor that will now drive success

What to expect next?

  • Crowded pitch season – increased competitiveness
  • Deeper need to understand digital and technology – current (not just past) agency performance
  • Agency-initiated dialogue on fees and services

Moore put it best: Ironically, COVID is the gift that just keeps giving. Change is happening everywhere; likewise opportunities. Look forward and you’ll find them.