“Hypergrowth” Marketers Grow by Embracing New Technology and Innovation: ANA Study

“Laggards” Mired in Uncertainty that Stunts Growth

NEW YORK (May 31, 2022) — A startling gap exists between marketers who are poised for future growth and those who are less likely to significantly improve growth prospects based on how each group views future opportunities and the importance of innovation.

That is one of the key findings in The Future of Marketing: A Roadmap to Hypergrowth, a new ANA study. The report identifies the two distinct groups as “hypergrowth” and “laggard” marketers, who are headed in starkly divergent directions.

The study said that 38 percent of total respondents were classified as hypergrowth marketers, compared to 27 percent listed as laggards (the remaining 35 percent reported moderate growth). The distinctions between hypergrowth and laggard were glaring and often consisted of how each planned to adopt new technologies and embrace futuristic trends:

  • Hypergrowth marketers are approximately twice more likely than laggards to use hot-desking and augmented reality.
  • Hypergrowth marketers are almost three times more likely than laggards to be optimizing AI solutions for marketing and to embrace job automation despite their fear of job loss.
  • Hypergrowth marketers realize the value of hybrid investments and are approximately two to five times more likely to use AR, voice search, VR, and the metaverse five years from now.
  • Laggards are twice more likely to report that uncertainty will affect their business moving forward than hypergrowth marketers who prepare for the future by keeping an eye on the horizon and making innovation a priority.
  • Laggard marketers are over three times more likely to report that brand purpose will have little to no influence on their marketing efforts; hypergrowth marketers exist for a reason beyond turning a profit and take brand purpose seriously

“This important new research was designed to capture and share crucial insights that will help all marketers prepare for the future, regardless of their sophistication and the uncertainty that exists in today’s business world,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “What it suggests is that the most successful companies have embraced the spirit of innovation and are therefore better equipped to move forward and grow. These are important findings particularly for the ANA CMO Growth Council, which is aggressively pursuing a mission to drive business and brand growth.”

KEY FINDINGS
Overall, the report listed five key findings:

  1. Change is inevitable. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents believe their company will be repositioned or reinvented in the next 10 years.
  2. Automation is well underway. Half of the study’s participants report that some marketing jobs at their company are already automated.
  3. AI adoption is table stakes. Only 20 percent of marketers have not adopted and don’t plan to adopt any AI solutions. Over half of the respondents evaluating AI for future use are considering solutions to help analyze customer or prospect data.
  4. Integrated campaigns deliver results. A total of 96 percent of marketers expect to see improvement in the performance of physical executions when they include a digital component. The top execution type which marketers will augment as part of blended physical and digital campaigns are hybrid events, followed closely by QR codes.
  5. Virtual reality reigns supreme. The top three innovations that marketers anticipate they will leverage five years from now are virtual reality (51 percent), voice search (49 percent), and augmented reality (41 percent).

RECOMMENDATIONS
The report also included a recommended plan of action “for laggard marketers to educate themselves about the future of marketing and the opportunities that lie ahead.” Steps which were cited:

  • Tackle uncertainty with planning. Because more than half of the respondents indicated they expect their companies will be repositioned or reinvented in the next decade, now is the time to prepare for that transition. At the same time, hypergrowth marketers who are already preparing for the future must expand their horizons and focus on innovation.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of human connection. The report revealed that magic happens when brands have a purpose beyond revenue growth. Top-performing companies indicated that brand purpose will influence marketing efforts moving forward.
  • See technology as an opportunity to train. Marketers must recognize that technology is a vital component of the marketing mix and learn to leverage it fully.

METHODOLOGY
The survey was conducted by the ANA’s Marketing Futures Program in partnership with Demand Metric. It was fielded in December 2021, online to their respective members and a third-party panel of qualified U.S.-based marketers. A total of 470 responses were collected through January 2022; 314 were complete and 156 were partials.

The Future of Marketing: A Roadmap to Hypergrowth can be accessed here.

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ABOUT THE ANA
The ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

ABOUT DEMAND METRIC
Demand Metric is a global research and advisory firm that supports marketing professionals with primary research and benchmark reports, technology research and advice, consulting services, training, and software. Demand Metric’s core focus is to help B2B marketing organizations grow revenue by operationalizing the best practices discovered in our research.

MEDIA CONTACT:
John Wolfe
Director of Communications
ANA
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663
Email: jwolfe@ana.net