Highlights | MMA Global

  • After a year of pandemic-induced adaptation and acceleration, marketing leaders from brands that were able to pivot and find their footing in 2020—including Walgreens, GE, McDonald’s, Petco, and The Home Depot—came to MMA IMPACT Virtual to share insights on embracing agility, clearing a path for innovation and focusing on the customer experience.

    After going through the shared and surreal experience of COVID-19, marketers are figuring out how to balance rapid response with sustainable growth. At MMA IMPACT Virtual, the following themes bubbled up to the surface as critical success factors for the future:

    • Nothing is either/or anymore
      Consumers expect omnichannel engagement and marketers must think in terms of interconnected experiences.

    • Brands are returning to their soul
      The consumer/brand relationship has become much deeper. Transactions are more meaningful when consumers and brands share values and purpose.

    • Trust is more important than ever
      Actionable data is widely available, and brands need to use it responsibly.

    Strategic Insights for Post-COVID Success

    Each presentation at MMA IMPACT Virtual shed light on the major themes in unique ways. For example, Zara Mirza, Global Head of Brand Marketing for GE, explained that finding a brand’s soul means understanding its history and DNA. In 2020, GE did extensive interviews and research to develop its purpose-driven positioning: We rise to the challenge of building a world that works. “Purpose can’t be contrived,” Ms. Mizra said. “It’s a philosophy, not a campaign.”

    That being said, GE leveraged its purpose during the pandemic to build greater trust with customers and partners and increase perceptions of brand credibility and favorability.

    Lots of the marketing leaders who spoke at MMA IMPACT Virtual talked about the importance of taking creative risks, from showing a more human, vulnerable side to innovating with new forms of engagement. Two technologies that marketers are looking at are immersive augmented reality experiences powered by 5G and AI that decides which messages individual consumers receive across channels.

    Naturally, data was another topic of strategic import at the conference, now that a world without identifiers is imminent. If you’re curious about which new solutions will help fill in the gaps, be sure to attend the MMA’s Great Debate Series on Identifier Solutions starting Friday, April 16.

    Several marketers stressed the importance of first-party data, with Amy Adams, McDonalds’s Global Head of Personalization, going so far as to say that reward and loyalty programs will be the foundation for the future growth and evolution of customer data.

    Janet Balis, Americas Customer and Growth Market Leader and Marketing Practice Leader at EY, provided valuable information about developing a roadmap to consumer data maturity, which leads to an AI-enabled future.

    Optimizing Your Martech Stack for Maximum Growth and Flexibility

    A significant portion of MMA IMPACT Virtual was devoted to technology. Marketers in attendance learned:

    • How to augment existing models to remain durable and valuable in times of change.
    • How to migrate from legacy campaign tools to a more efficient CX Hub
    • Why consent and preference management technology is a good investment
    • How chat and bot technology facilitate conversations that drive conversion and ROI

    Designing a Winning Marketing Organization

    All of the sessions at MMA IMPACT Virtual were designed to help marketers create a winning marketing organization (WMO). According to research sponsored by the MMA and coordinated by Dr. Sundar Bharadwaj, WMOs are more customer focused, complex and decentralized, and develop a high degree of fit by aligning performance to capabilities that matter to future performance. In fact, each 1% increase in a marketing organization’s capability fit leads to a 2.5% increase in sales growth.

    Benchmark your marketing organization’s capabilities now

    The MMA is dedicated to helping marketers succeed in all market conditions. If you missed MMA Impact Virtual, we invite you to watch select presentations now. And be sure to register for upcoming events that will help you leverage the power of agility, innovation and customer experience.



  • Presentations the MMA has permission to post are available for viewing and download below.
    View the full agenda.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021


    Growth Through Agility

    11:05 AM - 11:35 AM

    For some businesses the pandemic minimally disrupted or in some cases fueled growth; however, this was not by accident. These companies doubled down on tech and ecommerce innovations, leaned on new ways to serve their customers and acted with agility. This panel will showcase brands that out-performed amid disruption by integrating new technologies, introducing new products and services to provide an omnichannel consumer experience and sharing their thoughts on what the new rules of engagement will be for what comes next.


    Cynthia Kleinbaum, VP of Marketing, Walmart+, Mobile, and Pickup & Delivery
    Arianna Orpello, SVP, Head of Brand, Community, Channel, and Field Marketing, TD Bank


    Brian Henstorf, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
    Watch the Full Session

    How Doers Get More Done:  The Home Depot Puts the Customer at the Center of its Strategy 

    11:35 AM - 12:00 PM

    The Home Depot has laid the foundation for an experience that builds up their capabilities and empowers their customers with both in-store and online solutions. As the pandemic progressed, their interconnected retail strategy and underlying technology infrastructure enabled them to execute on critical business decisions in a dynamic operational environment, as well as supported record levels of web traffic and online orders. In this session, Adolfo Villagomez, Senior Vice President – Online & CMO at The Home Depot will talk about key learnings from the past year and how the company continues to improve the customer experience by introducing new capabilities and ways to engage with the brand. 

    Adolfo Villagomez, Senior Vice President – Online & CMO, Home Depot​
    Watch the Full Session
    Download Presentation
    (848.29 KB, PDF)

    The Forgotten Power of Creative

    12:00 PM - 12:25 PM

    Over the past ten years, our industry has favored clicks and downloads over delivering messages of value. As data deprecation takes hold, identifiers disappear, and privacy regulations grow, it’s going to become harder than ever before to connect with consumers in meaningful ways. To move forward, marketers everywhere need to break the cycle and leverage advanced technology to accelerate the most human part of marketing: creative. Join this session to hear real-word case studies about how today’s supercharged AI can win back hearts and minds and drive our industry - and the world - forward.

    Janna Ritzcovan Synovec, Head of Marketing, The Weather Company
    Robert Redmond, Design Principal, Head of AI Ad Product Design, The Weather Company
    Watch the Full Session
    Download Presentation
    (11.12 MB, PDF)

    Keeping Pace with Today’s Evolving Consumer Mindset

    12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

    Consumers sudden adoption of new technologies have shaped new behaviors in consumption and spending habits. Understanding which of these behaviors will stay and which ones will fade, as consumers’ return to a semblance of normal, will be crucial to a brands' future success. This session brings together brands and experts for a conversation around the changes they are seeing in consumer behavior, its effect on marketing messaging, and insights into how they keep pace with rapid - changing cultural and consumer trends.

    Aki Spicer, Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett/Chicago
    Kelly Gillease, Chief Marketing Officer, NerdWallet


    Yory Wurmser, Principal Analyst, Insider Intelligence
    Watch the Full Session

    MMA’s Data Maturity Framework: Preparing for the Future of Data and Privacy

    1:15 PM - 1:40 PM

    Preparing for the changes in data and privacy laws and compliance while maximizing data ROI is at the core of what most marketers need to solve for in 2021.  MMA, in partnership with EY, will reveal for the first time a data maturity framework that was created with the input of 100 of the top CMOs and heads of media. This framework will help marketers benchmark themselves in several areas, including data capabilities and skills, measurement and attribution, data governance, integration and transparency.

    Vassilis Bakopoulos, SVP – Head of Industry Research, MMA
    Janet Balis, Former Partner, Marketing Practice Leader - EY Consulting, EY
    Watch the Full Session
    Download Presentation
    (23.03 MB, PDF)

    Migrating from a Legacy Martech to a Modern CX Hub

    1:55 PM - 2:20 PM

    The future of customer experience is delivered with technologies that are purpose-built to handle the unprecedented speed, scale and complexity of today’s omnichannel customer data. But reliance on legacy marketing tools remains high among enterprises across industries, and many companies have tried and failed to upgrade their stack to build a more agile approach to customer experience management. Join us for a case study on the steps companies can take to overcome common martech obstacles and realize the benefits of a modern CX stack.

    George Phipps, Director of Product Marketing, ActionIQ
    Brad Penwarden, Director of Products, Munvo
    Watch the Full Session

    Overcoming Model Fragility: Creating Adaptable Models that Can Survive the Next Shock

    1:55 PM - 2:20 PM

    Traditional data models reveal fatal flaws in times of extreme change—never more so than during last year's unprecedented events. Across industries, seismic shifts in consumer behavior, data collection, and device sharing brought the golden age of black-box algorithms to an end. So… what's next? How do we create models that are not only stable and reliable, but allow us to pivot during turbulent times? Join Proove Intelligence’s Dan Temby and Kuhan Puvanesasingham as they explore the impact of model fragility and how to augment existing models to remain durable and valuable in times of change.

    Dan Temby, President, Proove Intelligence
    Kuhan Puvanesasingham, Business Intelligence Manager, Proove Intelligence
    Watch the Full Session

    ​Preparing for a World of New, Privacy First Identifiers 

    2:25 PM - 2:55 PM

    2021 is bringing big changes to the marketing ecosystem. Marketers must prepare for the impact IDFA changes and a cookie-less future will have on their ability to create deeper consumer interactions, while still respecting their privacy. This panel brings together marketers for a discussion on how they are planning to drive success without third-party cookies, what alternative solutions and media strategies they are considering, ​and the role first-party data will play in continuing to personalize and understand performance going forward.

    Amy Adams, VP Media, Discover
    Jay Altschuler, SVP, Global Media & Agency Relations, Mastercard
    Tracy-Ann Lim, Chief Media Officer, JPMorgan Chase Bank


    Scott Cunningham, Owner, Cunningham.Tech Consulting
    Watch the Full Session

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021


    Mass Personalization, MyWalgreens and the Future of Marketing

    11:05 AM - 11:30 AM

    Walgreens is leveraging digital tools to better meet customers’ needs, build loyalty through personalization and improve its customers’ overall health and well-being. In this session, Alyssa Raine, Group Vice President of Customer Marketing Platforms at Walgreen's will share how it harnesses its first-party data to deliver individualized experiences at scale and how it has reimagined its loyalty program​ to create a first-of-its-kind customer engagement platform. She will also talk about how the pandemic accelerated its digital transformation goals and where she sees it evolving in the future. 

    Alyssa Raine, Group Vice President, Customer Marketing Platforms, Walgreens Boots Alliance
    Watch the Full Session

    Brands As a Force For Good

    11:30 AM - 12:00 AM

    For many of today’s conscious consumers purchase decisions are more than just transactional. It is an extension of their views and beliefs, and they expect brands to use their platform to speak up on important social issues and causes to help drive societal change. Hear how Lush Cosmetics NA and P&G are authentically connecting with consumers on important social issues, the role brand activism plays in their marketing, and how business can be a force for good.


    Carleen Pickard, Ethical Campaigns Specialist, LUSH FRESH HANDMADE COSMETICS North America
    Eric Austin, Senior Director, Global Brand Building & Media Innovation, P&G


    Latia Curry, Principal, RALLY
    Watch the Full Session

    How 5G is Enabling Better Results through Immersive Creative Experiences    

    12:05 PM - 12:30 PM
    2021 has created new engagement opportunities for bold marketers. Immersive mobile ad creative, including AR formats, are proving to be both effective and scaleable. The widespread buildout of 5G and the mass adoption of 5G devices like the iPhone 12 make this new level of mobile engagement possible. Drawing on brand new consumer research and early case studies, Emodo’s Jake Moskowitz will outline consumer attitudes, receptiveness and response rates of the new immersive ad experiences.
    Jake Moskowitz, Head of Data Strategy, Ericsson Emodo
    Scott Elchison, Manager, Partnerships, IPG Media Lab
    Watch the Full Session
    Download Presentation
    (21.62 MB, PDF)

    Conversational Commerce – Making Shopping Personal

    12:05 PM - 12:30 PM

    Over the last two decades, shopping, like everything else has moved online. But, as any good sales person will tell you, the secret to closing a sale is the conversation. This session will focus on the trends that are powering conversational commerce and help you understand how chat and bot technology can be harnessed to facilitate conversations that drive higher conversion and ROI.

    Michael Ricci, Vice President of Business Development & New Technology, Sinch for Marketing
    Watch the Full Session

    How GE Leaned into Purpose to Refresh its Brand

    12:45 PM - 1:10 PM

    As a sponsor of the 2020 Summer Olympics, GE was set to unveil its new tagline in front of a global audience when the event was postponed. It’s new tagline “Building a World that Works” had been in development for months when the pandemic hit. Instead of abandoning months of work, GE leaned into its brand purpose to reset and rethink how the creative would adapt to these challenging times. In this session, Zara Mirza, Director Global Brand at GE will share how its customer - centric approach informed their messaging, how the campaign came to life across different channels, and lessons learned from the process.

    Zara Mirza, Global Head of Brand Marketing, GE
    Watch the Full Session
    Download Presentation
    (16.66 MB, PDF)

    MMA MOSTT Research Study: How Can Marketing Organizations Drive Growth

    1:10 PM - 1:35 PM

    The MMA MOSTT initiative findings, recently published in the Harvard Business Review, show how modern marketing organizations create value.  While there are many opportunities to create value, most organizations pursue only a subset of these value opportunities. In this session, Dr. Sundar Bharadwaj, Coca Cola Company Chair Professor of Marketing, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia will show how alignment between the chosen value configuration and the capabilities required is a strong growth driver and provide benchmarking data to demonstrate the sales impact of closing the gap.

    Dr. Sundar Bharadwaj, The Coca Cola Company Chair, Professor of Marketing, The University of Georgia, The Terry College of Business
    Watch the Full Session

    Data Privacy & Protection: The ROI for Marketers

    1:35 PM - 1:50 PM

    We surveyed data and marketing professionals about their investments in privacy, data management, and consent and preferences. The biggest takeaway? Marketers estimate a 40x average return on investment for spend on consent and preference management systems. Hear how marketers can develop strategies rooted in compliance, and the importance of investing in consent and preference management systems to reach marketing goals.

    Claire Feeney, Product Marketing Manager, OneTrust PreferenceChoice
    Watch the Full Session

    A Moment to Reset: Key Media Consumption Trends for Advertisers’ Success Now and in the Future

    2:00 PM - 2:25 PM

    The pandemic caused a major shift in how, where, and when consumers are connecting with brands and their content. 87% of Americans say they’re consuming more content – mostly via broadcast TV, online videos, and online TV streaming. From big screens to little screens, brands need to know which of these behaviors are temporary and which are here to stay. In this session, Beth - Ann Eason, Managing Director, Senior Digital Transformation Executive at Accenture Interactive will share where advertisers should focus right now, how to rethink the entire customer journey - digitally, and prepare for the future.

    Beth-Ann Eason, Managing Director, Senior Digital Transformation Executive, Accenture Interactive
    Watch the Full Session

    How Mars Unlocked the Power of Speed

    2:25 PM - 2:50 PM

    Building a successful business today requires a company to pivot quickly to meet consumers where they are going. By focusing on its digital engine, Mars has been able to unlock the power of speed - or 100x. 100x is more than technology; it’s building and equipping their Associates with the skills and resources they need to create meaningful, user-centric solutions. In this session, Sandeep Dadlani, Chief Digital Officer of Mars, will share how it leverages data and technology to deliver new products and services, turned its user centricity movement approach on its head and empowers associates to drive innovation from within.

    Sandeep Dadlani, Chief Digital Officer, Mars, Incorporated
    Watch the Full Session


Our Partners