Senior marketers believe that their efforts are under more scrutiny these days, and consistent with that perception, count accountability as their top concern this year, per results from an Association of National Advertisers survey. 64% of the 155 senior marketers surveyed tabbed accountability a top-3 concern, defined by the survey as “developing and measuring return on marketing investments, how and what processes to put into place, what to measure, and how to move from measurement to action.”
Following accountability as a top concern is integrated marketing communication, cited by half of the respondents. This refers to the challenge in bringing together various marketing channels, including the internet, advertising, public relations, event marketing, promotions, word-of-mouth, and packaging, among others. Other top concerns include aligning the marketing organization with innovation (“structuring a marketing organization that facilitates and encourages outstanding marketing communications and business results” – 44%) and building strong brands (“the challenge of building brands for the long-term while being accountable for delivering short-term quality results” – 41%).
Of concern to fewer senior marketers are media proliferation (27%), talent acquisition and retention (21%), the growth of multicultural consumer segments (15%), and marketing regulations (8%).
Looking back over past iterations of the survey, the ANA reveals that the top 5 concerns have remained constant going back to 2006, although their ranking has changed during those years (accountability was also the main concern in 2010 and 2006, while integrated marketing communications was tops in 2008 and 2007). Compared to responses from 2006, the globalization of marketing efforts has become more of a concern over time (#10 to #6), while the growth of multicultural consumer segments has dropped in the rankings (#6 to #10). Most other concerns have remained relatively steady over time.
About the Data: The latest ANA survey was conducted online in December 2012 and January 2013 among a sample of 155 respondents, 136 of whom are senior marketing executives (director-level or above). Survey respondents have an average of 18 years of experience in the marketing/advertising industry.
The most recent Top Concerns Survey was conducted in 2010 and a survey was not conducted in 2009.