Marketing Executives Networking Group Releases Second Annual Top Marketing Trends for 2009

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Innovation Up; Global Warming and Offshoring Down; China on the Rise and Web 2.0 Term on the Decline

Due to the breadth and depth of our membership, The MENG survey is fast becoming one of the key indicators of where the marketing industry is headed and what marketers should be aware of to help continue to lead and grow their respective businesses, especially in today's tough global business environment

The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), a nearly 2000 member, not-for-profit organization of senior-level marketing professionals across all industries and marketing disciplines, and industry-leading research firm Anderson Analytics, today issued the results of its second annual survey of Top Marketing Trends for 2009. The survey of MENG members, conducted by Anderson Analytics, focused on top marketing concepts, buzz words, global areas of opportunity, targeted customer demographics, as well as the books and thought leaders that marketers look to for inspiration and growth opportunity.

"Due to the breadth and depth of our membership, The MENG survey is fast becoming one of the key indicators of where the marketing industry is headed and what marketers should be aware of to help continue to lead and grow their respective businesses, especially in today's tough global business environment," said Richard Guha, Chairman of MENG.

A key finding of this year's survey is that 72% of respondents indicated that innovation efforts would stay the same or increase. This is significant given that most marketing experts agree it's imperative to innovate during a recession and further exemplifies that MENG members are leaders in their respective industries. It's also no surprise the economic climate showed greater interest in the survey as more marketers expressed concern on how a recession would impact priorities moving forward. For example, half of executives believe their marketing budgets will be decreased in 2009. However, 56% of marketers indicated their staffing plans will either stay the same or increase.

The Top Five Trends:

  • Insight and innovation viewed as keys to combat down economic and business cycles; Marketers indicated market research and development would either stay the same or increase in 2009.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Despite well-publicized quality issues over the last year, China ranked the number one greatest area of opportunity for marketers with international responsibility. India was a distant second with only 17% of respondents.

Interesting to note, offshoring has significantly diminished in favor as significantly 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. However, the perceived importance of Generation X and Generation Y grew significantly compared to 2008.

Top Marketing Books & Resources:
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.

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.

"This year we saw an increase in importance in several areas, not just 'customer satisfaction' and 'retention'," said Tom H.C. Anderson, managing partner of Anderson Analytics. "There were also significant increases in the importance of marketing concepts like 'CRM', 'Data Mining', "Leading Through Analytics'. That together with interest in books like The Black Swan and optimism on Market Research budgets to me 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. Anderson Analytics used text-mining software to code open-ended/free form text answers to questions in order to truly understand what issues were top-of-mind among the senior executives. The 643 responses yield overall statistics with a confidence interval of +/-3.86% at the 95% confidence level.

For a complete copy of survey results, visit MENG Newsroom.

About the Marketing Executives Networking Group:
The Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) is the premier organization of senior level marketing professionals who have reached at least the VP level in their organization. This 1,800+ member not-for-profit networking community fosters career and personal success by sharing information and relationships for mutual assistance across virtually all industries and marketing specialties. Eighty four percent of the members have Fortune 500 experience and 70% have earned graduate degrees, the majority of which are from top-20 Business Schools. To learn more, visit MENG.

About Anderson Analytics:
More than market research, Anderson Analytics is the first next generation marketing consultancy to combine new technologies, such as data and text mining, with traditional market research. Anderson Analytics helps clients gain the The Information Advantage by combining the efficiencies and business experience found in large research firms with the rigorous methodological understanding from academia and the creativity found only in smaller firms. For more information, please visit Anderson Analytics.

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