I Have Seen the Enemy. And They Are Marketers!


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Ever a source of advertising insider news, The Association of National Advertisers’ ANA Marketing Maestros blog recently posted on a survey they had carried out into What’s on the Minds of Senior Marketers?

The Top 10 Issues on senior marketers’ minds are:

  1. Integrated marketing communications
  2. Accountability
  3. Aligning marketing organisation with innovation
  4. Building strong brands
  5. Media proliferation
  6. Consumer control over what and how they view advertising
  7. Globalization of marketing efforts
  8. Growth of multicultural consumer segments
  9. Advertising creative that achieves business results
  10. Attracting and retaining top talent

See anything missing? That’s right, the humble customer. The same customer that Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, described as “having all the best ideas and all the money”!

The list of issues is an indictment of how much marketing has lost its way over the years. The customer for these marketers is just a target for marketing communications. There is no wonder that these same marketers’ communications continue to decline in effectiveness in spite of their budgets’ continued growth. And until they put the customer back in the centre of all that they do, this is unlikely to change. As P&G CEO AG Lafley recently put it, marketers have to learn to just Let Go!

What do you think? Are myopic marketers their own worst enemy? Or is marketing alive and well?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamhill/


  1. Graham,

    I would agree with you if the list of issues actually included the customer.

    According to the blog you referenced:

    The ANA asked over 100 senior marketers to select from a comprehensive list of subjects to rank their top three issues that directly impact their marketing decisions and plans.

    Any idea what was on that “comprehensive list”? Maybe the survey designer is to blame for creating a list that left out the customer.

    Bob Thompson
    CEO, CustomerThink Corp.
    Founder, CRMGuru.com

  2. Bob

    You are right, maybe the survey is to blame. It wouldn’t be the first time that a survey was designed to reinforce an established position rather than to discover new ones.

    But either way, whether marketers are not asking themselves the right questions about customers or not answering them appropriately for today’s customer-centric times, the problem still remains. Too many marketers have yet to wake up and smell the customer c0-brewed coffee!

    Graham Hill


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