ANA Pivots On Marketing 'Word of the Year'

"Pivot" has been named the marketing word of the year for 2020, according to an annual poll of the Association of National Advertisers' members, the trade association disclosed this morning.

Runners-up for 2020's top marketing industry term included "virtual," "agility" and "resiliency."

Pivot marks the seventh annual marketing word of the year named by the ANA, which began polling its members in 2014, the year when "programmatic" was the word of the year, followed by "content marketing" (2015), "transparency" (2016), "artificial intelligence" (2017), "brand purpose" (2018), and "personalization" (2019).

"Pivot" seems like an apt selection for a year in which many of the nation's and world's top marketers had to pivot their business models and strategies to adapt to a pandemic and economic uncertainty.

The ANA asked members of its Global CMO Growth Council, which mobilizes the largest ever group of CMOs from around the world to accelerate economic growth and advance societal good, “How did your marketing pivot in 2020?” Select responses included:



“We pivoted from physical experiences to digital experiences," Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer of Mastercard and President of Healthcare at Mastercard, said in a statement released by the ANA.

Rajamnnar, who is a member of the ANA's Global CMO Growth Council, is also author of soon-to-be-released book Quantum Marketing, which is about how many marketers will need to pivot to adapt to a rapidly changing marketing world.

"We call this ‘Priceless At Home.’ Brand-building never stops," he continued, alluding to Mastercard's priceless tagline, adding: "It’s not just advertising; it’s a collective result of all the activities a company does that drives a brand, in good times and in not-so-good times. Just because your budgets have disappeared doesn’t mean that your brand-building efforts disappear.” 

“When the pandemic began, we started with a message focused on availability," added ANA council member Morgan Flatley, senior vice president and Chief Marketing and Digital Customer Experience Officer at McDonald’s. "We then pivoted to a more emotional message, celebrating that people were still enjoying our food, but in this new socially distanced world. We then went to a message around Thank You Meals that supported frontline responders. Through all of this, we’ve let the consumer guide our messaging.” 

“Our communities relied on Trinity Health to calm anxieties and fears more than ever this year. Our communications pivoted to highlight new options for receiving care and keeping people safe when providing care, not only for our patients, but for our colleagues and physicians as well. Health care became borderless. It takes all of us working together to beat a pandemic, a message we continue to share with our communities," said Julie Washington, chief marketing and communications officer and chief experience officer, Trinity Health.

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