In its annual survey, the Association of National Advertisers asked 100 senior marketing executives to list the most important issues they confront. The changes from 2006 to 2007 were slight. Marketing accountability or ROI (return on investment) had topped the list for the previous three annual surveys. Integrated marketing communications was in fourth place a year ago. This year, integrated marketing was top of mind--getting 116 votes--while accountability got 114.
In third place was what the ANA calls "aligning the marketing organization with innovation." That was farther down the priority list with 89 votes. After that, the big issue is "building strong brands," which garnered a 75 score. "Media proliferation" was in fifth place with 49 votes.
Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, wasn't surprised by the results, noting: "Marketing mix allocations have become paramount in the overall accountability and brand-building equations."
The next group of issues--in order--were "consumer control over what and how they view advertising," "globalization of marketing efforts," "growth of multicultural consumer segments," "advertising creative that achieves business results" and "attracting and retaining top talent."
The ANA has 375 companies as members, which it says spends more than $100 billion in marketing communications and advertising a year.