Marketing Is Alive and Well
June 1 marks the 119th anniversary of Mark Twain’s well-known quote: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
It seems an appropriate time then to report that any rumor suggesting that marketing is dead (and branding is meaningless) is also an exaggeration. Last month, SSRS, a full-service market and survey research firm (www.ssrs.com), completed 1,000 interviews with adults ages 18+ across the United States. The SSRS Omnibus Survey uses a dual-frame model (RDD and cell) with 60 percent of the sample cell-phone respondents. Two of the survey questions suggested by Aloysius Butler & Clark were related to consumers’ current opinions of marketing and branding.
Almost one-third (29 percent) of all respondents think that marketing, which includes paid advertising, public relations and social media, has more influence on their purchase decisions for products or services today than it did three years ago. This is nearly twice the number of respondents who feel that marketing is less influential today than it was three years ago. It is also consistent across all household incomes, regions of the country, education levels and racial demographics. Unsurprisingly, marketing is more influential with younger audiences (ages 18 to 34) audiences than it is with older ones (ages 65+).
When asked to identify the most important attribute to communicate when promoting a brand’s product or service is, more than half of all respondents (53 percent) cited “quality.” This attribute was particularly important among respondents ages 45 to 54, individuals residing in the Northeast and those who attended college. The attributes of “value” and “lifestyle or personality fit” ranked second and third, respectively, among all audiences, and were more important for older audiences.
Organizations, large and small, should keep a laser-like focus on their marketing and branding efforts in order to reach and engage target customers and grow their businesses. With the expansion of traditional marketing through the ever-changing digital landscape, the role of the professional marketer is more critical than ever. Illustrating the importance of marketing is the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) new brand identity and logo, which signifies why so many of us chose to pursue and continue careers in marketing. The AMA video highlights the fact that “while so much continues to change and evolve in our industry, some things remain the same. Marketers thrive on asking the difficult questions; decoding illusive consumer behaviors and evolving trends; inspiring and motivating others through creative imagery and experiences; and providing answers that make a difference for our economy, culture, and world at large.”