A recap of the 2018 MAC Summit for Marketing and Advertising Careers

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Students mill around the sign for the MAC SMAC conference

Did you miss this year’s MAC Summit for Marketing and Advertising Careers (MAC SMAC)? The transformation of the marketing field, the skills needed for future success, and many other marketing and advertising related topics were discussed. Check out some of the key takeaways from this year’s MAC SMAC!

The Common Household is Evolving

Keynote speaker Michael Senackerib, former CMO of Campbell’s and currently the founder of Farm & Oven Snacks, discussed multiple areas of evolution in marketing and the environment to which we market. According to him, the most significant change in recent years is that the predominant household has gone from a 3-4 member household – a mom, dad, and children – to a one to two-person household. This evolution has incited marketers to change the way they market to “households” such as same sex couples, multicultural families, single parents, and many more. “You have to be smarter about how you market…but the good news is, you have more data to do so,” said Senackerib.

The Global Economy

Senackerib also mentioned the changes occurring in the economy. Around the world, the middle class is about 2 billon people. By 2030, the middle class is going to go to 5 billion people. The reason we are not noticing is because it’s not happening in the U.S., it’s happening everywhere else. This is important because brands who cater to middle class audiences must think more expansively to grasp the opportunity that is occurring globally.

The U.S. will no longer be the biggest economy in the world. China will be the largest economy in the coming years due to their growing economy and technology. A close second will soon be India. While U.S. will still be an important economy, marketers must transition to a global mindset to thrive in the changing economy.

Media Fragmentation

Another point touched upon by Senackerib was that media fragmentation changes the way that we reach our consumers. The only shows reach an immense amount of people through one channel are the Superbowl, the Academy Awards, and the Olympics. Online and mobile make up 54% of consumer media usage, while game consoles beat out print at 7%. The good news is that reaching people online is a more personal and efficient way to market. And in the coming years we will begin to see more personalized TV ads as well, meaning you will no longer view the same commercial as your neighbor.

Societal Shifts with Social Media

With the rise of social media, Senackerib discussed how consumers now have a voice. In addition, consumers have a predisposed distrust towards large companies such as government, banks, and big brands. With both of these factors in mind, big brands must be transparent and responsive to retain and gain new customers.

Trends in Television

Nielsen has been falling behind in obtaining representative numbers of viewer audiences for television networks. This change is the result of the way people are viewing TV. “There is heavy investment in big data from TV networks to allow for data scientists to come up with a number that encompasses viewership. This includes everything from streaming to illegal downloads,” said Michael Dwyer ’12, a market research consultant at Nickelodeon.

The Benefits of Influencers

Bridget Norris, a senior associate from public relations and communications firm Weber Shandwick, explained how her firm utilizes influencers for content. While the assumption is that influencers gain you a larger, wider audience, they actually have more to offer. By providing influencers with basic branding guidelines and product, you give them free reign to create content for your company that may not have otherwise been produced. “It’s a cool way of doing things, not only because you are using this influencer who has a very engaged audience of followers, but also content is the root of it all. Putting product in the hand of influencers and asking them to put their creative style and their authentic brand behind it is a great way to grow and build your content library,” she said.

Health and Wellness

According to Senackerib, 71% of people believe that implementing healthy habits is important. Consumers in the food space are looking for things that are fresher, more organic, and less processed. In this case, healthy does not just mean eating a balanced meal. Consumers are looking for “fresher,” organic, and less processed food to feed themselves and their families. Brands must adapt and change the way they market and the perceptions of their products.

The 2018 MAC SMAC was an event full of discovery and learning about how marketing is changing in this time of “marketing nirvana.” All speakers and panelists at MAC SMAC agreed that skills for success in today’s marketing industry include: a global perspective, data analysis, communication, and leadership.