The new program will be officially unveiled on December 10 at an AEF virtual fundraising event that will also honor 50 marketing and advertising executives known as “Talent Champions” for their contributions to and overall support of the AEF’s activities and initiatives. Those programs include the Talent Forward Alliance, the Visiting Professor Program, and the Campus Speakers Program, among others.
The AEF’s overall agenda helps advance key platforms of the ANA’s 12-point Growth Agenda that address talent priorities by strengthening connections between marketers and academia and achieving true diversity throughout the marketing talent ecosystem.
The gift membership program is designed to serve several needs identified by the AEF in a series of research studies published over the past two years. Key findings revealed systemic disconnects between academia and today’s marketing industry, including diversity issues affecting minorities entering the industry after college.
“The insightful research conducted by the AEF has conclusively demonstrated an acute need for the marketing community and academia to engage more directly,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The future of our industry will increasingly rely on the recruitment of intellectually and ethnically diverse talent. Strengthening the connectivity between the marketing community and academia is critical to achieving those goals.”
Benefits for universities include:
- Access to the ANA’s Marketing Knowledge Center, which provides multimedia content used to supplement online teaching curriculum.
- Admittance to ANA committees and members-only conferences, including online events designed to enhance real-time classroom learning and networking opportunities.
- A series of on-campus, one-day conferences that bring academia and the marketing industry together.
- A certification program for students as part of their overall curriculum that designates them as a “Certified ANA Marketing Student.”
- A half-day training session that augments faculty knowledge of the current marketing industry landscape.
Liodice added that gift memberships also allow marketers to engage directly with university professors seeking to increase their connections to the marketing community. Participants can help companies build relationships with historically Black colleges and universities or Hispanic-serving organizations to recruit diverse talent, he said.