The 2017 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, presented by Time Inc. in Miami Beach, Florida from Nov. 5th-7th, featured a myriad of talent as multicultural leaders from top-tier brands took the stage to deliver cutting-edge and inspirational presentations on effectively reaching diverse consumers.  Executive Vice President of Motivate, Gregg Witt, shares his experience at this year’s conference.

Gregg Witt is a renowned youth marketing strategist and generational expert, working with top tier brands including Procter & Gamble, HBO, The College Board, Partnership for Drug Free Kids, Qualcomm and The Walt Disney Company, to develop innovative strategies that connect with Gen Z. He was named a “Top 5 Youth Marketer to Follow” by Forbes Magazine in 2017.

Q: What are the key takeaways that you felt were specific to your segment?

Gregg: Right when I walked into the room at ANA, Verizon’s Chief Marketing Officer, Diego Scotti said something that immediately resonated with me: “When cultures converge, powerful ideas come to life.” That kind of mindset and energy is what you need to be successful with youth, or in any lifestyle marketing field.  A few takeaways stood out as memorable themes: 1) Actions, not words, 2) Consistency and commitment, 3) Drive scale.

Q: In your opinion, which was the best presentation and why?

Gregg: I really enjoyed the HBO presentation by Jackie Gagne, vice president of multicultural marketing. HBO’s anthropological approach to cultivating relevance within each series is remarkable. Even the session description was screaming youth culture: mining insights from the subcultures that drive mainstream audiences can be difficult when marketing processes don’t always move at the same speed as culture. Three useful reminders for any brand seeking to make or maintain authentic connections with influential subcultures: Listen > Engage > Immerse, then repeat.

Q: What would you have liked to see more of, or what was something that you thought was missing at the conference?

Gregg: It would be nice to see a little more emphasis on the niche subcultures like urban/street, design, tech, and others that are driving mass markets. That said, I felt like the content and thought leadership in the room was top-tier.

Q: What was one thing at the conference that inspired you most?

Gregg: That’s easy, Monique Marvez’s, politically incorrect comedy act. Read on or watch the video for yourself. It’s a take on today’s political climate and was truly an inspirational, no holds barred show as advertised! Monique has performed on Latina Divas of Comedy, Snoop Dogg Presents the Bad Girls of Comedy, and now headlines her own Showtime special, “Not Skinny Not Blonde”.

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