Friday, January 23, 2009

Back To Basics For Marketers

The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) and Anderson Analytics, in its second annual survey of Top Marketing Trends for 2009, report that marketing executives are going back to basics this year, putting renewed focus on satisfying and retaining customers and investing in research and insights, but are sick of hearing about Web 2.0.

Marketers expressed concern on how a recession would impact priorities moving forward, and half of the executives believe their marketing budgets will decrease in 2009, while 56% indicated their staffing plans will either stay the same or increase.

The Top Five Trends:

I Insight and innovation are viewed as keys to combat down economic and business cycles. 72% of respondents indicated that innovation efforts would stay the same or increase, while 39% say their use of market research will increase in the next year. This is significant given that most marketing experts agree it's imperative to innovate and mine insights during a recession, Anderson Analytics said.

II Customer satisfaction and customer retention remained the top two marketing concepts followed by marketing ROI, brand loyalty and segmentation, which represents a "Back to Core Principles" approach to marketing. Of the 62 identified marketing concepts, faith-based marketing, six sigma, game theory, anti-americanism and immigration were viewed as the least important.

Among the marketing concepts rated as important by more executives, Customer Retention, Marketing ROI, Lead Generation and Alternative Energy showed the largest increases from last year.

III The issue of global warming showed the largest decrease in importance (dropping 14 places in the rankings), while green marketing showed a statistically significant 5% drop.

IV Twice as many marketers are "sick" of hearing about Web 2.0 and related buzzwords such as "blogs" and "social networking" compared to last year's survey; however, marketers still admit they don't know enough about it. This was evident in the results of a social media study MENG released on November 6, 2008 showing 67% of executive marketers consider themselves beginners when it comes to using social media for marketing purposes.

V Despite well-publicized quality issues over the last year, China ranked the number one greatest area of opportunity for 53% of the marketers with international responsibility. India was a distant second with only 17% of respondents.

Offshoring, however, has significantly diminished in favor as more executives this year (58% vs. 49% in 2008) agreed that offshoring ‘is not as profitable as others think, and is fraught with risk'. Marketing executives also still feel Boomers represent the best opportunity for customer targeting, while the perceived importance of Generation X and Generation Y grew significantly compared to 2008.

The main sources of marketing inspiration remained practically the same this year. Good to Great remained the most widely read and most recommended book. However, several new books appeared on the reading list this year including: Groundswell, Hot Flat and Crowded, The Black Swan, Predictably Irrational, Mavericks at Work, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, The Art of the Start, Purple Cow, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, and Our Iceberg is Melting.

Similarly to the books, the number one business Guru last year, Seth Godin, remained the favorite marketing guru for 2009. However, Warren Buffet and Malcolm Gladwell increased significantly in popularity and now occupy second and third place, respectively. Jim Stengel also made the Marketing Guru list for the first time this year. Seth Godin was mentioned by most executives as the most important marketing/business Guru for two years in a row


1 comment:

ConnectingTheDots said...

Interesting blog and post, but you've left out an important part of the generational equation for marketers by omitting Generation Jones, born 1954-1965--between the Boomers and Xers.

GenJones is a marketer's dream--big (26% of all US adults), rich (highest disposable income of all generations), and reachable (numerous studies have shown that Jonesers are strikingly open to persuasive messaging.

Google Generation Jones, and you'll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (New York Times, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) are specifically referring to Obama, born in 1961, as part of Generation Jones.