ANA: Marketers believe innovation drives brand growth, but many don’t have time for it

Dive Brief:​

  • While 84% of marketers expect the future of brand growth to be connected to innovation and technology, 45% said they spend 25% or less of their time on both, per a new report from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) shared with Marketing Dive. 
  • More than half of those surveyed for the “Marketing, Innovation, and Technology” report think they are prepared to deal with innovation and marketing technology issues that could come up in the next two years.
  • The research also found that data and analytics, measurement and accountability, and customer experience will benefit most from innovation and technology. Additionally, marketers prefer to learn through interactive labs, demonstrations, case studies and discussion groups.

Dive Insight:

The report reveals that there is a significant disconnect between what marketers believe will lead future growth and brand building — innovation and technology — and how much time they’re taking to adopt and learn about these practices.

“Marketers are time-poor,” the report said. “With the demands of an expanded scope of work and the urgency of real-time issues, knowledge and training need to come in informative, mobile, and bite-sized formats.”

As brands face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the customer experience is becoming more digital and, as this report suggests, more important to the futures of brands. Technology and innovation can help marketers identify new opportunities, produce new products and services, and be more efficient as they navigate the current economy, per the report.

The ANA research follows another from BrandMaker that found that half of marketers that had previously invested in marketing innovation and automation were able to quickly pivot as the COVID-19 pandemic affected marketing. The other half reported being less agile than they had expected, and that workflow collaboration tools were inadequate. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they planned to increase investment in digitizing marketing.

Due to the gaps exposed in the ANA’s report, the trade association has made recommendations for actions for marketers to take. These include connecting future brand growth to marketing innovation and technology; identifying business areas that will benefit from marketing innovation and technology as well as investing more time in and learning more about innovation and technology through the methods preferred by marketers.

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