INSIGHTS:  What's on the Minds of Marketers--2020.

TODAY'S MARKETERS face a long list of critical priorities that span a wide array of significant issues and disciplines. Nevertheless, marketing leaders have a sophisticated view of the capabilities needed to achieve their goals in this time of accelerated change, constant redefinition and increased accountability. Their interests range from generating greater consumer trust, while providing a quality brand experience, to juggling personalization and privacy, or perhaps better said-- relevance and intrusion, in a new world of data, digital engagement and growing legislation. ("Personalization" was selected by ANA members as the ANA 2019 Marketing Word of the Year.) They worry about finding new ways to work with agencies, how to develop strategies that offset consumer skepticism and mistrust, and better understand how evolving values, especially among younger generations, are becoming a major driver of brand choice.

When asked to choose which marketing issues matter most in 2020, marketers put TECHNOLOGY at the top of their list. SEE CHART BELOW. Without question, the explosion of data and advances in digital technology will continue to transform every business on the planet. While it is easier for marketers to now deliver customized content and tailored advertising at scale, the concept of personalization is polarizing, especially in a world of retargeting. One respondent commented: "I'm concerned about how to be at the forefront of the continuous change in the Marketing Tech Stack—to differentiate what is hype and what is effective." Another stated, "Digital media effectiveness is a concern given the everchanging landscape and platform algorithms." Others expressed specific concerns about automation software, programmatic platforms, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

The Internationalist conducted a survey between November 3, 2019 and November 18, 2019, as part of our Internationalist INSIGHTS Survey series, among marketers worldwide to examine which marketing issues matter most in 2020. These results help to shape The Internationalist's content, think tanks and initiatives around marketers' core concerns.

Interestingly, this year's study results—which also reflect a remarkable outpouring of candid personal comments and a new level of introspection—illustrate a keen awareness of contradictions as marketers try to find an equilibrium between espousing the latest trends and functioning within their day-to-day business realities.  Respondents expressed concerns about "balancing building brands while delivering EBITDA" and apprehension about "the focus on short-term results over long-term brand development and growth." There were clear worries about how "the pace of change in consumer behavior is outpacing the industry's own capacity to adapt."  

Several admitted how difficult it was to "grow share in markets where e-commerce and direct-sales brands were competing head-to-head for the same customer."  Many were anxious to "scale faster and more profitably" and "enter more international markets."  

Others expressed discomfort about "being too technical and not listening LIVE to consumers." No wonder new research from Deloitte emphasizes the "human" connection in the age of technology. Some pondered the "over-saturation of messaging while fighting for meaningful consumer engagement." One individual talked specifically about "bridging content marketing with leadership thinking via linear marketing."

While there have been many negative opinions of ad agencies expressed of late, one respondent suggested, "Much of this is well-deserved, but there is an unhealthy do-it-yourself mindset many marketers have adopted that is not good for our industry."

"Privacy," "transparency," "self-regulation," "truth" were also words that came up constantly, as were concerns about privacy's impact on marketing overall and how "short-term thinking is going to erode the practice of marketing itself." One optimist expressed: "My goal is always to have marketing play a meaningful role in the success of brands and business." 

These are just a handful of comments that paint a picture of a complex, evolving marketing industry. Without question, marketers today need to be digitally savvy, focus on a legitimate sense of corporate purpose, while balancing sustainable business fundamentals that matter to all stakeholders and the world at large.


Survey: What's on the Minds of Marketers- 2020?

Please check AS MANY these 20 topics that currently matter to you-- the ones at the top of your 2020 agenda. 



TECHNOLOGY & MARKETING:  No part of marketing or the customer value chain has been left untouched by technology. What technologies matter most now?


BRAND GROWTH: The New Building Blocks to Creating a Profitable Global 21st Century Brands in a Direct-to-Consumer Society.


CHANGING AGENCY, CONSULTING & IN-HOUSE ROLES: New Possibilities for Collaborative Partnerships across a Range of Specialized Talent.


CREATIVITY NOW: New Concepts of "Campaigns" and Data-Driven Ideas that are Changing Trends and Tastes


CONSUMER INSIGHTS: Gaining deeper understanding and richer profiling via Advanced Consumer Intelligence methods.


PURPOSEFUL MARKETING: A Greater Emphasis on WHY Brands Exist, so that every facets of a company's operation aligns with that vision.


The RE-DEFINITION & EVOLUTION OF THE CMO: From Voice of the Brand to Digital Visionary, Experience Leader, Data Expert, Customer Owner and Growth Driver.


ADVERTISING ATTENTION DEFICIT:  Finding new means of overcoming ad blockers to reach an ad-averse cohort.


EFFECTIVENESS & MEASUREMENT: Are New ROI or ROAS standards emerging?


MEDIA CHANGE: Keeping up with the New and Noteworthy-- from Micro-moments to Mass Audiences.


NEW CONTENT PERSPECTIVES: The Art and Science of Brand Storytelling, while using content to create an experience.


AI-GUIDED WORLD: How Artificial Intelligence will help tailor a customized experience in the customer decision journey.


CUSTOMER CENTRICITY in the EXPERIENCE ECONOMY: Putting Human Experience at the Center of how Brands Connect Emotionally, as Brand Value is increasingly gauged on the quality of an experience.


DATA: Succeeding in a Maturing Data Economy to Maximize Better Outcomes amid New Legislation through the World.


Can Privacy and Personalization Co-exist?


TRANSPARENCY: Understanding the latest developments with an eye to Building Trust in a Complex Media Ecosystem, while Eliminating Fraud.


SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: People are holding businesses accountable for their actions around sustainability as "self" interest is becoming "world" interest.


New developments that will move real-time advertising to a new level of business performance.


RE-INVENTING E-COMMERCE: Tracking innovations in retail technology to enhance the consumer journey and grow eCommerce opportunities.


BRAND SAFETY & RISK: Protecting your Image and Values when CONTEXT matters as much as CONTENT.


While these results are the responses from a multi-select question that allowed respondents to choose all those issues that mattered most to them as part of their 2020 agenda, two open-ended questions also demonstrated the breadth of marketing's scope today.  The questions were:

  • What are your Biggest Concerns for the Industry?
  • Is there Something Specific that you'd like to Accomplish this Year as a Marketer?

To attend our Think Tank on What's on the Minds of Marketers: 2020 in New York on Friday morning- January 24th, just RETURN THIS EMAIL and add "THINK TANK."  We have a few places available.

This Internationalist INSIGHTS survey provides a snapshot of views among the marketing community worldwide.  The respondent base for this survey was truly international in nature with 48.2% indicating that they have global responsibility for their brands.  All regions of the world were represented by the survey participants.

This year's survey also asked: "Are you treating 2020 as a major milestone year?"

While a majority (48.2%) said YES, 37.9% answered NO and 13.7% did not respond, the comments were telling, and, frankly, a bit of a surprise:

"I am not sure of why 2020 would be significant in the ever-changing marketing world."

"Yes!  From 2020 onwards, advertising and marketing tools are now closer to the dream of advertising and marketing planners in terms of providing results. "

"Every year is a major milestone year when hoping to drive revenue growth YOY."

"Why?  Because of the US election?"

To learn more, just return email and add "SURVEY."

This Internationalist INSIGHTS survey provides a snapshot of views among the marketing community worldwide.  The respondent base for this survey was truly international in nature with more than 44% indicating that they have global responsibility for their brands and with representation in each region of the world.

Building on The Internationalist's focus on the people and ideasin international marketing, INTERNATIONALIST INSIGHTS was developed to quickly interpret global marketing trends at scale by surveying our worldwide audience, combined with in-depth personal interviews with individuals we have honored for their marketing contributions.  Interpretation of these results and perspectives are by seasoned executives, dedicated to a big-picture view of understanding our fast-moving industry and how contemporary marketing is changing business strategy in the digital economy. 

INTERNATIONALIST INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS bring together these thoughts in a regularly-published series available to subscribers.

The Internationalist focuses on the reinvention of marketing by connecting thepeople and ideas in international advertising and marketing through content, intelligence, thought leadership, community, collaboration and influence. Marketer driven, it has become a trusted source for international best practices and is dedicated to the business needs and challenges of international marketing professionals as they participate in multinational brand building and aspire to world class standards. Originally created as a trade publication, The Internationalist connects a global audience through content, insights and case studies in print, online and in-person-- via peer-to-peer marketer events including Dinners, Think Tanks, Awards and Summits- all to better serve the needs of this community.

The Internationalist is proud of its Global Alliance with ANA (Association of National Advertisers) as we partner on an initiative called THE INTERNATIONALIST 1000 with ANA or 1000 Marketers around the World Reshaping the Future of Marketing. This initiative is made possible with the support of a limited number of annual partners.

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