As the day-to-day pace of digital acceleration continues to reshape the advertising and media communities, the President/CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) kicked off his organization's annual Masters of Marketing Conference with a candid assessment.

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Bob Liodice, President/CEO, Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

"Yes, there has been substantial technological progress," Bob Liodice told his Orlando audience. "But is that progress getting us anywhere? "The answer is a decided 'No.'" Or, as he offered in more graphic detail, "Growth sucks."

Liodice has long linked the efficacy of marketing not to GRPs, share of mind, or digital engagement. He looks at the ultimate bottom line of US business sales. If the numbers improve year over year, marketing is doing its job. If not, the practice of leading consumers down the path to purchase is failing.