A Roadmap to Hypergrowth: ANA’s Recommended Action Plan

As the ANA's recent Future of Marketing Report study shows, marketers who embrace and leverage emerging trends and innovative tactics (referred to as "hypergrowth" marketers) will be the clear winners in the years to come. However, it's not too late for "laggard" marketers to educate themselves about the future of marketing and the opportunities that lie ahead. This excerpt of the full report provides a four-step action plan that will empower marketers to drive business growth regardless of their future orientation.

Step 1: Tackle Uncertainty with Planning

Uncertainty was a consistent theme throughout this report, especially among laggard marketers. However, those who identify potential business impacts in advance will be better equipped to embrace change and prepare for the future.

Since most marketers believe that their company will be repositioned or reinvented in the next 10 years, now is the right time to prepare for that transition. Hypergrowth marketers who are already doing an adequate job of preparing for the future must expand their horizons and focus on innovation.

As this study shows, most marketers plan to refine their marketing or business strategy in the short term. However, a deeper analysis of this study's data revealed that hypergrowth marketers were more likely than laggards to prioritize key initiatives that involve data strategy, data protection, and innovative content marketing experiences in the years ahead.

Those who want to achieve the best possible results in the future must tackle uncertainty head-on by taking the time to plan and prepare for the future.

ANA resources to help you on your planning journey include:

Step 2: Don't Underestimate the Value of Human Connection

The value of a brand should include the people who work there, and the collaboration that takes place between team members is a vital component of creating value for customers. This study found that hypergrowth marketers who prioritize working together in the same physical office location are more satisfied, happier with their work arrangement, and feel more connected to their team.

Unfortunately, not all teams can work in the office, and the lack of human connection is proven to have a negative impact on mental health. Unsurprisingly, nearly all marketers reported barriers to successfully working from home, including not being able to unplug, isolation, loneliness, and Zoom fatigue.

Retention can become a major issue when marketers are unhappy. Companies that must continue working in a hybrid or remote model should strongly consider modern work technologies like hot-desking and augmented reality. These technologies have been adopted more rapidly by hypergrowth marketers and can potentially lead to better talent retention.

Those who want to achieve the best possible results in the future must create a brand and culture that fosters human connections, and this is even more important when teams are dispersed.

ANA resources to help you on your planning journey include:

Step 3: See Technology as An Opportunity to Upskill

The fear of losing a job to automation remains a genuine concern for marketers. Although it's OK to be cautious of technology, marketers must recognize that technology is a vital component of the marketing mix and learn to leverage it fully.

One application of technology that top performers have done a much better job of leveraging is AI. Compared to laggards, hypergrowth marketers are already using AI for a broader range of reasons, expect shorter returns on their investments, and anticipate more benefits from their deployment.

Not only have hypergrowth marketers embraced technology at a more rapid rate than laggards, but they have transitioned beyond system implementation and learned the skills that are required to optimize them. As a result, they are ~3X more likely to report that the performance of their physical executions improves with a digital component added and have already started to augment physical executions with AR, geotargeting, and other integrated campaigns.

The ANA believes that education is the antidote to most technology concerns. The fear of job loss due to automation should serve as a catalyst for marketers to leverage this transition to upskill for new, more strategic roles when automation becomes the norm. Those who want to achieve the best possible results must not shy away from technology but should educate themselves about the opportunities they provide.

ANA resources to help you on your planning journey include:

Step 4: Join the Marketing Futures Movement

Hypergrowth marketers are more likely than laggards to report that they will use Neuralink, AR, VR, voice search, and the metaverse five years from now. The time to learn about these innovations is now.

The ANA launched the Marketing Futures Hub and Committee to drive industry thought leadership, share best practices and expertise, and facilitate discussions and debates to inform better decision making.

As a collective of marketers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and agency partners, the Marketing Futures Committee has a single goal: creating a better tomorrow for our industry. The Marketing Futures Committee convenes quarterly, but it's "always on" at the Marketing Futures Hub, and members are encouraged to take advantage of the full suite of insights and resources.


"A Roadmap to Hypergrowth: ANA's Recommended Action Plan." ANA Marketing Futures, May 2022.