Commentary

Back To Basics For Marketers

The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) and Anderson Analytics, in  its second annual survey of Top Marketing Trends for 2009, report that marketing executives are going back to basics this year, putting renewed focus on satisfying and retaining customers and investing in research and insights, but are sick of hearing about Web 2.0.

Marketers expressed concern on how a recession would impact priorities moving forward, and half of the executives believe their marketing budgets will decrease in 2009, while 56% indicated their staffing plans will either stay the same or increase.

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The Top Five Trends:

I  Insight and innovation are viewed as keys to combat down economic and business cycles. 72% of respondents indicated that innovation efforts would stay the same or increase, while 39% say their use of market research will increase in the next year. This is significant given that most marketing experts agree it's imperative to innovate and mine insights during a recession, Anderson Analytics said.

II   Customer satisfaction and customer retention remained the top two marketing concepts followed by marketing ROI, brand loyalty and segmentation, which represents a "Back to Core Principles" approach to marketing. Of the 62 identified marketing concepts, faith-based marketing, six sigma, game theory, anti-americanism and immigration were viewed as the least important.

Buzz Words Or Trends Considered Most Important (% of Top-Box, "Very Important")

Rank

Trend

% Very Important

1

Customer Satisfaction

79%

2

Customer Retention

76%

3

Marketing ROI

65%

4

Brand Loyalty

61%

5

Segmentation

61%

6

Quality

56%

7

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

48%

8

Competitive Intelligence

43%

9

Data Mining

43%

10

Lead Generation

43%

11

Word of Mouth

42%

12

Alternative Energy

41%

13

Mobile Communications

40%

14

Electronic Media

40%

15

Green Marketing

40%

16

E-commerce

39%

17

Globalization

39%

18

Experiential/Emotive branding

38%

19

SNS (Social Network Sites)

37%

20

Multicultural

36%

Source: MENG & Anderson Analytics, January 2009

Of the 62 identified marketing concepts, faith-based marketing, six sigma, game theory, anti-Americanism and immigration were viewed as the least important.

  • 55   Selective Outsourcing   10%
  • 56   Text Analytics                10%
  • 57   Off Shoring                     8%
  • 58   Immigration                    8%
  • 59   Anti-Americanism          7%
  • 60   Game Theory                5%
  • 61   Six Sigma                      5%
  • Faith Based (Religion)         4%

Source: MENG & Anderson Analytics, January 2009

Among the marketing concepts rated as important by more executives, Customer Retention, Marketing ROI, Lead Generation and Alternative Energy showed the largest increases from last year.

III  The issue of global warming showed the largest decrease in importance (dropping 14 places in the rankings), while green marketing showed a statistically significant 5% drop.

IV  Twice as many marketers are "sick" of hearing about Web 2.0 and related buzzwords such as "blogs" and "social networking" compared to last year's survey; however, marketers still admit they don't know enough about it. This was evident in the results of a social media study MENG released on November 6, 2008 showing 67% of executive marketers consider themselves beginners when it comes to using social media for marketing purposes.

Top 10 Buzzwords Tired of Hearing (% of Respondents)

Rank

Buzzword

2009 Report

2008 Report

1

Web 2.0

19.4%

9.1%

2

Social Networking

12.2%

6.0%

3

Social Media

11.3%

0.8%

4

Blog

7.9%

0.0%

5

Viral Marketing

6.2%

6.3%

6

Synergy

5.8%

5.6%

7

Branding

5.1%

3.2%

8

ROI

4.9%

4.8%

9

Green

4.9%

0.0%

10

SEO

3.8%

1.8%

Source: MENG & Anderson Analytics, January 2009

V   Despite well-publicized quality issues over the last year, China ranked the number one greatest area of opportunity for 53% of the marketers with international responsibility. India was a distant second with only 17% of respondents.

Offshoring, however, has significantly diminished in favor as more executives this year (58% vs. 49% in 2008) agreed that offshoring ‘is not as profitable as others think, and is fraught with risk'. Marketing executives also still feel Boomers represent the best opportunity for customer targeting, while the perceived importance of Generation X and Generation Y grew significantly compared to 2008.

The main sources of marketing inspiration remained practically the same this year. Good to Great remained the most widely read and most recommended book. However, several new books appeared on the reading list this year including:

Groundswell, Hot Flat and Crowded, The Black Swan, Predictably Irrational, Mavericks at Work, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, The Art of the Start, Purple Cow, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, and Our Iceberg is Melting.

One Business Book Of All Time Recommended To Fellow Marketers(Ranked by % of Respondents Naming)

2009 Report Rank

Book Title

1

Good to Great

2

Positioning

3

The Tipping Point

4

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

5

The World is Flat

5

Marketing Management

7

Crossing the Chasm

8

Built to Last

8

In Search of Excellence

8

Competitive Strategy

8

Blue Ocean Strategy

12

The Discipline of Market Leaders

13

The One Minute Manager

13

Competitive Advantage/Strategy

15

Execution

Source: MENG & Anderson Analytics, January 2009

Similarly to the books, the number one business Guru last year, Seth Godin, remained the favorite marketing guru for 2009. However, Warren Buffet and Malcolm Gladwell increased significantly in popularity and now occupy second and third place, respectively. Jim Stengel also made the Marketing Guru list for the first time this year. Seth Godin was mentioned by most executives as the most important marketing/business Guru for two years in a row

Favorite Marketing Guru For 2009

2009 Report Rank

Number One Business Guru

1

Seth Godin

2

Warren Buffet

3

Malcolm Gladwell

4

Steve Jobs

5

Thomas Friedman

6

Jim Collins

7

Michael Porter

8

Peter Drucker

9

Tom Peters

10

Ram Charan

11

Phil Kotler

11

Jack Welch

13

Jim Stengel

13

Al Ries

Source: MENG & Anderson Analytics, January 2009

Tom H.C. Anderson, managing partner of Anderson Analytics, concludes by saying "This year we saw an increase in importance in several areas, not just ‘customer satisfaction' and ‘retention'. There were also significant increases in the importance of marketing concepts like ‘CRM', ‘Data Mining', 'Leading Through Analytics'... together with interest in books like The Black Swan and optimism on Market Research budgets... signals marketing executives realize that in a down economy it's even more important to utilize information efficiently and keep the customers you have."

Anderson Analytics conducted the Marketing Trends Survey among current MENG members between November 15 and December 2 of 2008. The responses yield overall statistics with a confidence interval of +/-3.86% at the 95% confidence level.

For more from the release by MENG, visit here, or for a complete copy of survey results, please visit here.

 

3 comments about "Back To Basics For Marketers".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, January 15, 2009 at 1:36 p.m.

    I am beginning to wonder if I am on the same planet as the recent research stories I have read by the writers in this column. The reason why I say this being one of the leading publishers of high quality sweepstakes by the Fortune 1,000, not once do I see anything about: Sweepstakes, Giveaway, Promotion, Contest, or Freebies. Words and phrases that work in publishing and advertising business.

    How well? Having published nearly 20,000 sweepstakes and contest in 5 years, and hundreds of millions of entries, simply, promotions of these kind are very effective. In my comparison study, the companies who use a promotion will receive 100 times more clicks than the same company who runs a ad without a promotion. This number is actually low if the company spends money advertising the promotion.

    Last, nearly 25 million people will enter one or more sweepstakes, contest or giveaway in a year.

    How could “Research Brief” and it contributing writers consistently overlook this?

    Craig McDaniel, President
    Sweepstakes Today LLC

  2. Robert Solomon from Solomon Strategic, January 15, 2009 at 8:59 p.m.

    If "customer satisfaction" and "customer retnetion" are at the top of of your own trend list, I suggest you check out, "The Art of Client Service." It is a handbook on how to build and maintain enduring client relationships.

    For more information, take a look at the book's website, www.artofclientservice.com.

  3. Leonard Sipes from Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, January 21, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

    Marketing executives are tired of hearing about social media??? It's dirt cheap and very effective; the best of all possible worlds. We have 1.5 million requests for a small federal agency in Washington, D.C. see "DC Public Safety" at http://media.csosa.gov.

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