Marketers' Constitution Tenet #10

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the ANA has created The Marketers' Constitution. Its goal is twofold: to acknowledge the marketing industry's many contributions to our society, and to help the marketing profession move beyond the inefficiencies, limitations, restrictions and unknowns of the past to a new, effective, transparent, economical and socially responsible model of marketing and media for the future.

The Marketers' Constitution sets forth what the ANA believes are ten essential "musts" of marketing for the next 100 years. These will help ensure that the industry thrives and continues to contribute to the growth of the nation's businesses -- as well as to the economic and social wellbeing of our society. Read the entire Marketers' Constitution and show your support for its tenets by digitally signing it.

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The 10th tenet of the Marketers' Constitution states that the marketing discipline must be elevated and respected. Right now, our discipline does not get the respect that it deserves nor is it elevated to the point that we would like. The causal factors are varied; however, here are a few issues that have contributed to the marketing profession's relatively low grades:

  • For too long, the marketing industry was viewed as one of the most unaccountable professions in business. Budget and investment decisions were often made with few facts and data, relying more on the gut for answers. Creativity often won out over research and analytics.
  • The marketing profession was often equated with being "snake-oil salesmen". A recent example occurred during the childhood obesity debates several years ago when public policy groups vilified the industry for putting profits ahead of the well-being of children.
  • Starting agency salaries for marketing graduates may have damaged marketing's reputation. Graduates thought twice about entering a field with a low base of compensation. The glitter of the advertising industry began to pale in comparison to other functions like investment banking.
  • The diversity issue took its toll on the industry. Minority students looking at careers in marketing may have been turned away by an industry that appeared to be less interested in fairness and equity.
  • Issues related to arenas as behavioral advertising, direct marketing, "subliminal" advertising and phone research could have affected consumers' trust of advertisers and marketers over the years. None of those areas contributed positively to the reputation of the industry.



However, there is much to be proud of. There is much that confronts these issues and puts us at the forefront of responsibility and upstanding behavior:

  • The Advertising Council and the Partnership for Drug Free America represent the social conscience of America. The enormous contributions of these and other socially responsible organizations have done much to contribute to the social well being of America-and have saved many lives in the process.
  • According to consulting firm, Global Insights (and under the direction of a Nobel laureate in Economics), it was found that advertising directly and indirectly generates over $5 trillion in economic activity and supports 21 million jobs.
  • Thanks to the work of the Advertising Educational Foundation and leaders like Rick Boyko, managing director of the Virginia Commonwealth University's Brand Center, more and more of tomorrow's talented college students will see our profession as welcoming, challenging, innovative and important -- one that nurtures and rewards people long-term as they build the great brand franchises and growth-companies of tomorrow. The future rests on a new, motivated, creative and committed generation of marketing leaders.
  • The marketing industry's self-regulation process (managed by the National Advertising Review Council) has been heralded many times by the Federal Trade Commission as the best example of what self-regulation should be about.
  • Perceived issues such as marketing accountability and diversity are being aggressively addressed throughout the marketing industry.

We have an industry that we should be proud of. However, we all need to do a better job of marketing it to those who would think less of us. As an industry, we need to work at better alignment and coordination to insure that we are showing our very best to those who don't know or understand us. The responsibility is on our shoulders. We have much to do.


This concludes the series of tenets for the Marketers' Constitution. It represents a common business growth agenda around which the entire marketing community can, and should, rally. The 10 tenets of the ANA Marketers' Constitution are vitally important to each and every marketer worldwide. As the ANA in its 100th year looks to the future, it is important to embrace its principles. Once again, they are:

1. Marketing must become increasingly targeted, focused and personal.

2. Marketing must build real, tangible and enduring brand value.

3. Marketing must become more effective -- more creative, insightful and accountable.

4. Marketing must become more integrated and proficient in managing expanding media platforms.

5. The marketing supply chain must become more efficient and productive.

6. The marketing ecosystem - including agencies, media and suppliers -- must become increasingly capable.

7. Marketing professionals must become better, highly skilled diverse leaders.

8. Marketing must be indisputably socially responsible.

9. Marketing must be unencumbered by inappropriate legislation or regulation.

10 The marketing discipline must be elevated and respected.

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