Press Release: New ANA Brand Building Survey Shows Two-Thirds of Marketers Recently Shifted to Short-Term Plans

New ANA Brand Building Survey Shows Two-Thirds of Marketers Recently

Shifted to Short-Term Plans; Industry Planning for Renewed Activities Post-Recession

Survey also shows marketers are more focused on the consumer and traditional

media has declined substantially in perceived effectiveness

May 28, 2009 - New York, NY - Two-thirds of marketers have shifted their emphasis to more short-term strategies in the last six months, a clear response to current economic conditions, finds a new study conducted by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) in partnership with marketing services firm ‘mktg.'  

Marketers are also planning for renewed activities when the recession ends and the recovery begins.  Media budgets will be increased (68 percent) along with social networking/word-of-mouth (41 percent) and budgets for innovation and testing/learning (40 percent).  Seventy-three percent of respondents said they would ideally implement these increased marketing activities three to six months before the recession ends, and an additional 16 percent as soon as it ends. 

"The landscape for building brands was jolted by the severity of the economic downturn," said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA. "However, it is encouraging to see that marketers are preparing for the rebound with plans for increased media spending, strategically sound brand building investments and logical, expansive use of social media."

Relatively few respondents reported that any marketing initiatives had been shelved or delayed, but many are being reduced, including:

  • Media budgets (56 percent)
  • Production budgets (50 percent)
  • Sponsorship/events activities (41 percent) 

The activities most likely to be maintained throughout the recession include:

  • Research and development (47 percent)
  • Public relations (42 percent)
  • Innovation/test/learn budgets (33 percent)
  • Promotion activities (33 percent).

The activities most likely to be increased in the current economic environment are:

  • Pricing deals (47 percent)
  • Social networking and word of mouth activities (26 percent)
  • Public relations efforts (23 percent)

Brand Building Beyond Tough Times

The survey also polled marketers on long-term branding decisions and measurements.  Some of these questions trended against identical questions asked during previous surveys.

Brand equity is of key importance, with metrics squarely focused on the consumer.  Products are the most important item to building brand equity (89 percent), with customer service ranked second (86 percent).   Employees as advocates for a brand are also of critical importance (81 percent).

The most effective measure of brand health (defined as the measure to which your brand equity is increasing or declining) is customer experience/satisfaction, which increased to 48 percent in April 2009 from 37 percent in February 2007.  There is less focus on traditional metrics such as brand image and awareness, which tend to be lagging indicators of brand health. 

Warning signs of brand deterioration have also shifted with increased importance being placed on customer-related metrics.  According to the survey, marketers are more focused on brand health metrics with increased attention on:

  • Customer conversion/repeat rates (78 percent, as compared to 70 percent in February 2007)
  • The percentage of customers who rate a brand as "excellent" (77 percent, as compared to 68 percent in February 2007)
  • Net promoter scores (73 percent as compared to 67 percent in February 2007)

"Marketers have increased their emphasis on gauging consumer sentiment and brand health trends," said Roger Adams, Chair of the ANA Brand Management Committee. "With the proliferation of instant feedback using consumer- generated media, marketers can assess the impact of brand marketing campaigns to quickly gauge brand equity, health and signs of deterioration."

Media channel effectiveness for building brand equity has also shifted materially. While television is still ranked highest in importance (64 percent), online (61 percent) and guerilla/word of mouth/buzz marketing (57 percent) have grown to be on par with television, with social media being ranked as the next highest effective media channel (40 percent).  Social media ranked highest as the media channel that marketers would like to use but have not yet been able to implement.

Traditional media channels have declined in importance since the first survey was conducted in February 2007:

  • Television (down to 64 percent from 80 percent)
  • Magazines (down to 51 percent from 67 percent)
  • Radio (down to 30 percent from 36 percent)
  • Outdoor  (down to 26 percent from 35 percent)
  • Newspapers (down to 19 percent from 36 percent)

This survey was conducted online in April 2009 among the members of the ANA Brand Marketer Leadership Community panel.   In all, 129 client-side marketing executives responded to the survey. 

The Association of National Advertisers leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 400 companies with 9,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers.

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ABOUT ‘mktg'
'mktg' (Nasdaq: CMKG) is an alternative media and marketing services company headquartered in New York with full service offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and Toronto and over 40 field activation offices in the U.S. The company currently serves a variety of the world's most recognizable brands, including Diageo, P&G, Nintendo, Pepsi, Nike, Apple, Coty, Scottrade, SAP and Google/YouTube. The company's services include experiential marketing, digital marketing, retail promotions and strategic research and planning. The firm's programs help its clients profitably connect with consumers and create networks of brand advocates to generate brand awareness and higher sales for its customers. For more information, please visit



Lesley Neadel                                                                             Megan Burke
CooperKatz & Company for the ANA                                       CooperKatz & Company for the ANA
(917) 595-3034                                                                           (917)595-3058