For the past 3 years, Anderson Analytics has surveyed the members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) to discern the expected top trends for the upcoming year.  The good news is that most of the surveyed executives (66%) have a more optimistic outlook for 2010. And while there is a new focus on return on investment (ROI), marketers are still intent on retaining customers. To do so, this group continues to use a mix of old and new media but for the first time, indicates that social media is an important aspect of a successful marketing strategy.

This year, Marketing ROI was ranked as a  more important concept  than customer satisfaction or customer retention, perhaps reflecting the continued focus on corporate profitability. Here are the top 5 concepts shaping marketing policy:

  • Marketing ROI 58%
  • Customer Retention 53%
  • Brand Loyalty 53%
  • Positioning/Differentiation 52%
  • Branding 50%

Social media came in at number 8 (42%) on the list. While surveyed executives call ‘social media’ a buzz word they also agree that marketers need to address this component as part of a comprehensive plan and they often turn to outside experts for help.

Executives at companies with 2000 or fewer employees say the following about their 2010 budget with respect to the current economic climate:

  • Marketing budget is being increased 23%
  • No change in marketing budget 48%
  • Marketing budget is being decreased 23%
  • Offline as % of total marketing budget 52%
  • Online as % of total marketing budget 48%

Executives at companies with 2000+ employees have a slightly different outlook:

  • Marketing budget is being increased 21%
  • No change in marketing budget 38%
  • Marketing budget is being decreased 35%
  • Offline as % of total marketing budget 70%
  • Online as % of total marketing budget 30%

When prioritizing the demographics being targeted by marketing campaigns, the surveyed executives listed the following:

  • Seniors/Matures 47%
  • Boomers 79%
  • Gen X 49%
  • Gen Y 45%
  • Gen Z 35%

Overall, the study reveals few major changes in attitudes between last year and this year. However, the  new optimism for future business growth is a welcome sign.

[Source: Marketing Trends Report 2010, Anderson Analytics. Marketing Executives Networking Group. 3 March 2010. Web. 5 March 2010]