Marketing Happy Talk: The Pros Are Hopeful Despite Critical Challenges

Marketers are remarkably sanguine about their business this year -- despite a plethora of concerns, according to Marketing Trends For A New Era, a study released Friday by SurveyMonkey. 

Of those polled, 94% are optimistic. But 87% are concerned about the elimination of third-party cookies, to name one issue. And 57% fear this will have a major impact. 

While the overall outlook is bright, marketers are more wary about many problems than they were in 2023.

For instance, 50% are challenged by increasing performance expectations. That is 5% more than last year’s result. 

Moreover, 49% are concerned about changes in tools and software, versus 33% in ‘23. In addition, 40% cite tighter deadlines, compared to 29% in the prior year. 

Another 48% are sweating about changes in strategy/directions, up from 39% last year. And 46% have anxiety about the changes in economic outlook, a 5% increase.  



Oddly, the only worry that has seen improvement is that of reduced budgets—36% are troubled by it, down from 38%. 

Thus, you can expect to see marketers moving ahead on all fronts. 

“Every channel is important right now—social, websites, email—even old-school techniques, like sign-up forms, newsletters, and direct mail are getting dusted off,” the study states.  

That said, marketers cite their top goals as: 

  • More personalized marketing effects — 55%
  • Strengthening relationships with customers — 53%
  • Increased adoption of AI — 48%
  • Expanded usage of internal data and insights — 46%

AI is seen as a potentially valuable tool. 

From generating content, like blog posts, slides, or social media, to optimizing SEO and email campaigns; around half of marketers are looking forward to applying AI to all use cases we asked about,” the study says. 

The main uses of AI are:

  • Optimizing content — 51% 
  • Creating content — 50% 
  • Brainstorming content—45% 
  • Automating tasks — 43% 
  • Analyzing data for insights — 41% 
  • Conducting research — 40%

That aside, marketers rank these factors as essential to their success: 

  • Access to tools and resources — 44% 
  • Access to data and insights — 43%
  • Innovative company culture — 41%
  • Influence in decision-making — 41%
  • Autonomy in decision-making — 39% 
  • Efficient processes — 39% 
  • Buy-in from stakeholders and leadership — 33% 

And one more hopeful thing: 49% have programs in place to deal with the loss of third-party cookies, and 41% are working on it. 

SurveyMonkey Surveyed 1,127 workers in the U.S., including 507 marketing professionals. These include 103 brand marketers, 278 digital marketers, 119 product marketers and seven general marketers. 


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