Attending the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Masters of Marketing Conference last month was a highlight since joining Analytic Partners this past summer. The opportunity to be part of a 2,000+ strong group of passionate marketers and service providers sharing their most creative ideas and detailed analysis of their industries was invigorating. Meeting customers and hearing in person from so many marketing experts across sectors shines a light on why I joined Analytic Partners.
Navigating a challenging market environment
ANA refers to the conference as a showcase of “the creative thinking and inspirational strategies the world's top CMOs and leading brands have implemented to meet and exceed their customer needs, drive growth, and inspire change.” It most certainly was that!
At Analytic Partners, we’ve been talking for a while about the importance of not making knee-jerk cuts to marketing budgets, and this was very much a theme at ANA. While creativity and innovation are huge drivers of change, with a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm to embrace new solutions and try new things, it was impossible to miss the feeling of caution arising from current economic and geopolitical uncertainty and concerns regarding the recession. 30% of our clients have already been asked by their CFOs to consider cutting their budgets.
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard also highlighted this, pointing out that CMOs need to “be in a position to impress upon [CEOs and CFOs] that turning down marketing investment during challenging economic times will adversely impact the business.”
Much of the conversation aligns well with our data that shows that, in fact, 60% of brands who increased media investment during the last recession saw ROI improvements and a 17% rise in sales. Those that slashed spend, on the other hand, lost up to 15% of their business to competitors.
Ultimately, for marketers to make compelling arguments to maintain and grow budgets, better data, and better analytics will make all the difference. As marketers, we need not only to show the risks of cutting budgets, but also demonstrate the value of marketing at a granular level. Today, it is both possible and essential to measure and quantify the impact of specific marketing activities on business and sales performance. Those firms who are doing this are the ones who are best positioned to adjust their tactics to accommodate changing market and industry conditions.
Of course, the conference isn’t just about sharing learnings and tips – useful and powerful though they are – it’s also a week of celebration as organizations come together to shine a spotlight on successes. We were particularly pleased to see one of our clients – Hilton – taking the award for Marketing Analytics Adoption. This is the second year in a row an Analytic Partners customer has received this, with Kroger winning it last year.
The ANA Genius Awards showcase “the best in data driven strategies,” recognizing the achievements of the marketing analytics and data science teams behind many of the world’s leading brands. Hilton was recognized as an industry leader in bolstering organizational adoption and buy-in of Analytic Partners’ Commercial Mix Analytics proprietary solution to optimize marketing performance, and fuel incremental revenue growth.
Three additional customers were shortlisted – SharkNInja, Twitter and McDonalds, all of whom are driving success in their organizations with data and insights.
Newcomer, Grant Germano, Marketing Technology Strategy Lead at Bloomberg, another customer, was awarded the Rising Star Award.
Our congratulations to all of them!
2023 is likely to be tough, but there is no doubt that my marketing peers are increasingly clear that robust, comprehensive analytics can and will make all the difference. Companies that understand the impact of their actions as well as the multitude of other factors that impact their customers and their journeys to purchase, are the ones that have the tools they need to decide which levers to pull when changing market and economic conditions must be taken into account.