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Web and green marketing are hot; Boomers are still the most important demo, though women, Gen X and Y, and Hispanics are catching up; and marketing basics are more important than ever, according to (pdf) a new survey of marketing executives conducted by Anderson Analytics.

The first annual survey of Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), a nearly 1,700-member organization of marketers at a VP-level or higher, sought to identify the top marketing trends in 2008.

The survey focused on top marketing concepts, buzzwords, global areas of opportunity, targeted customer demographics, as well as the books that marketers look to for inspiration and growth opportunity.

Marketing Concepts

  • “Marketing basics” was the concept of greatest interest to marketers (60% rated it “Very Important”). The term includes specific concepts such as customer satisfaction, customer retention, segmentation, brand loyalty and ROI.

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  • Search engine optimization (42%) had relatively wide appeal, and cut across marketers in all fields.
  • “Green Marketing” (32%) was another important emerging concept – and it was identified as the trendiest marketing buzzword.

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Customer Demographics

  • When asked about the most important customer demographics, senior marketing executives rank Baby Boomers highest, with 88% ranking them as either very important or somewhat important.

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  • However, Gen X (86%), Hispanics (86%), Women (85%) and Gen Y (84%) are catching up to Boomers as customer targets.

Global Issues

  • China is viewed as the region with the best future opportunity (52%); India is a distant second (20%).

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  • Fewer marketers saw other regions, such as Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico, as comparable opportunities.
  • Regarding outsourcing/offshoring, the majority of marketers (77%) reported that their companies do not offshore any part of the marketing function.
  • Half of senior marketers are not in favor of offshoring any part of the marketing function, while just under a quarter view it favorably.

Resources

  • Senior-level marketing executives read avidly to stay abreast of information and gain insights for their business. The most popular books are not necessarily the most recently published: Good to Great, The World is Flat, and Blink were the top three most recently read books.
  • In terms of all time favorite business book ever read, three in five executives were eager to make a recommendation to their fellow marketers. Topping the list were Good to Great, Positioning, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

About the study: The Marketing Trends Survey was fielded by Anderson Analytics among current MENG members between October 19 and November 20. Some 607 MENG member responded. Anderson Analytics also used text mining software to code open-ended/free form text answers to questions in order to truly understand what issues were top-of-mind among the senior executives.

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