The penultimate day of Advertising Week New York 2019 featured some big names on the stage, and some even bigger issues for marketers to think about.

As a brief guide to some of the important themes that emerged on the event’s third day, WARC’s reporters identified various pieces of insight and inspiration that were delivered from the stage:

Investing for success
“Operational excellence – driven by top executives – and massive investments in both our stores and our online experience” – Jennie Weber, vp/customer and user experience at electronics retailer Best Buy, discusses the core ingredients of its comeback strategy.

Brand purpose is a carrot (not a stick)
“The process of finding your purpose, refining it, and taking action on it should be more about moving towards the carrot and less about moving away from the stick. That's easier said than done” – Matthew McCarthy, CEO of ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, outlines how marketers should think about brand purpose.

Left to Right: Matthew McCarthy (Ben & Jerry's) and Jennie Weber (Best Buy)

Inclusivity is an imperative
“Inclusivity is not a strategy or a means to a goal of profitability. It is an imperative across the entire company” – Bernard Brenner, a senior director in tech giant Microsoft’s customer and market research team, sounds a rallying cry for diversity.

Ads falling short in terms of representation
“We asked marketers about race and ethnicity. Seventy-six percent said that they thought they had a proper balance of race and ethnicity [in their ads]. But when we talked to consumers, over half said they thought brands were not striking a proper chord” – Amy Fenton, chief client officer at research firm Kantar, gives marketers a reality check about representation in advertising.

New skillsets are essential
“I want to have people on the team who understand what random forest decision methodology is, all the way to the best creative experts that we can find who understand today’s customer experience” – Deborah Wahl, global CMO at automaker General Motors, on the new skillsets required by marketing teams.

What “faster, better cheaper” means
“It's all about faster, better, cheaper … Faster means agility in the 24/7, always-on world. Better means understanding technology … and the ecosystem … Cheaper means what’s always been there, since 2008 in particular” – Sir Martin Sorrell, executive chairman of holding group S4 Capital, summarizes the main contours of the advertising industry.

Left to Right: Sir Martin Sorrell (S4 Capital) and Deborah Wahl (General Motors)

Don’t treat problems as isolated issues
“Everyone will pick fast solutions to solve individual, siloed problems. But they don’t think about how those solutions can be tied into the larger business” – David Levin, vp/customer experience & digital innovation at retailer Bob's Discount Furniture, on the need for joined-up thinking.

The customer experience revolution is coming
“In two years, measuring CX is going to become much more important than it is today” – Mark Schwartz, vp/leader of customer experience at hotel and resorts company Marriott International, predicts that customer experience will only grow in significance.

How ad platforms can take on Facebook
“All the investment that Facebook has made in their pixel, in their back-end, in creating traffic segments of high-intent, high action-oriented consumer users … I would love to see more ad platforms make that kind of investment so we could give them more dollars” – Jesse Horwitz, co-CEO at direct-to-consumer contact lens brand Hubble, offers tips for Facebook’s rivals.

DTC brands “pay the troll under the bridge”
“When we started, I like to say that we paid our monthly federal/state Facebook and Google taxes. And that’s how you start in performance marketing: you pay the tax to the troll under the bridge called Facebook. And we continue to do so, but to a much lesser extent” – Bobby Ghoshal, co-founder at online teeth aligner brand Candid, on the necessity of Facebook and Google for digital startups.

Don’t let data be the only guide
“There are tons of data out there, but it’s important to talk to people to truly understand them” – Barbara Murrer, senior director/global marketplace insights at apparel manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co., emphasizes the importance of looking beyond the numbers.

Left to Right: Barbara Murrer (Levi Strauss) and David Levin (Bob's Discount Furniture)

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