The 2015 GMA Leadership Forum was once again filled with insightful content, an impressive group of attendees and a popular Partner-Power Connect segment. The theme, “Omni-Channel And The Ever Evolving Millennial Shopper” inspired sessions on topics that were top-of-mind for attendees. Kicking off the event was futurist Daniel Burros who did a wonderful job of demonstrating to the audience the pace of change happening today and how it’s accelerating. One quote that caught my attention was, “A college student today will have learned things in their first year in school that will no longer be true when they are in their senior year.” He didn’t qualify it, but I am assuming it’s in subjects like technology, bio tech, etc., and not in ancient history or mathematics. Thom Blischok moderated a question and answer session focusing on those ideas behind the forces driving and transforming retail today and how those forces can be applied toward internal growth and innovation.


Beating the Trade Promotion Trend with a Revenue Management Roadmap” certainly provided insights.The session focused on winning promotional strategies. It featured Nielson research that revealed out of 92 million promotions in the United States, twothirds had a negative ROI. In my experience, trade promotion has the potential to provide some of the industry’s highest returns. But it’s a difficult strategy to employ, because the possibility for error is high and the turnaround time for correction is limited to only a few days. With more companies competing in an overcrowded market, it’s clear that many don’t have the personnel or structure to manage such large initiatives.


With this in mind, Doug Bennett spoke around creating a revenue management road map and setting up a solid foundation to help with the success of a trade promotion strategy. Some of the high level takeaways included key promotional trends in the marketplace, hindrances to trade efficiency, and case study examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Overall, it was a fascinating talk that revealed some compelling numbers about retail execution and promotion compliance in the CPG industry.


Much of the remainder of the content discussed digital, e-commerce and the evolving opportunities that are starting to come into fruition. The overall message was all manufactures need to invest and prepare for the unique needs and challenges of this channel. However, the opportunity and pace of those investments will depend on how your portfolio of brands and products apply to an e-commerce consumer and that answer depends a lot on the supply chain cost and complexity of supplying the consumer in an e-commerce environment.


Finally, the conference ended with a riveting presentation for Retired General Keith Alexander whose last assignment was running the NSA and USCYBER.COM under Former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He certainly made a strong case for the importance of the Patriot ACT and the escalating forces of terror across the world and at home.


Once again GMA delivered a great forum and we’re looking forward to catching up again at the FMI Midwinter in January


The list of all the talks are below for reference:

  1. The Digital Store of Future & CPG Collaboration in the New Age of Omni-Channel Commerce
  2. From Dabbling to Doing: The Age of the Intuitive Enterprise
  3. Beating the Trade Promotion Trend with a Revenue Management Roadmap
  4. Navigating Waves of Change in Consumer Markets: Creating a More Flexible and Agile Organization to Win in the Marketplace
  5. Owning the Relationship with Your Best Consumers
  6. Revitalize, Re-Engage and Grow: A Study of Consumers and Shopper Behavior
  7. What Can Physical Retail Learn from E-commerce?
  8. Making Winning Bets in Grocery E-commerce
  9. Millennials’ Changing Path to Purchase: Navigating the New Realities of Millennial Family Decision Making and Their Evolving Shopper Journey
  10. A Conversation on the Disruptive Forces Impacting the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry
  11. Competing in the Digital Now: Winning in the New Digital Era
  12. Winning CPG Strategies in Online Grocery
  13. Making the Turn
  14. Touchdown! Get your Clients to the End Zone with Lessons of Exclusive Messaging and Engagement from the Atlanta Falcons
  15. Staying Ahead of the Curve: Securing a Nation Amid Change
  16. Driving Growth Among Disruption: Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equation
  17. Using Digital to Enhance the CPG / Retailer Partnership
  18. The New Era of Value Creation: Agility Efficiency and Growth
  19. Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America


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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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