The Marketer Strikes Back: Leading the Disruption

State of the Industry Survey

Pivot to Growth

The most recent ANA Marketer's Edge study, done in conjunction with McKinsey and GfK, explored how marketers are responding to disruptions in the marketplace.

Key findings from the 2015 Marketer's Edge research report on Marketing Disruption

Marketers are more focused on driving business growth. How well they build the right capabilities will determine if they can deliver on the promise.

For much of the past 10 years, business has resembled a game of "catch-up". Each new wave of technological innovation has triggered new customer behaviors and expectations, causing businesses to constantly scramble to figure out how to be relevant. This era of disruption has, as often as not, caught business leaders in general, and marketers in particular, on the back foot. This uncomfortable situation looks like it's finally starting to change.

The Marketing Disruption II research highlighted 5 red flags that marketers need to address to deliver on this promise and become a true engine for growth:

  1. Lack of focus
  2. The research highlighted a potential issue where companies want to try everything. Marketers are embracing a "let's do it all" approach, which has the danger of diffusing resources, creating coordination issues, and straining the organization. Having a clear focus on where the value is and how to address customer needs is the starting point for setting a clear agenda of investment.

  3. On the hunt for capabilities
  4. The complexity of omnichannel customer experiences and the proliferation of technologies requires new capabilities, and marketers are on the hunt for them. Marketers are gaining understanding of the nitty gritty requirements of operational capabilities to run a modern marketing organization. While actively investing in new technologies and hiring new talent are the leading strategies, investing in new partners or acquiring companies jumped 8% over the previous year as a way to bolster capabilities

  5. Customer experience
  6. Only 13% cited C-level leaders as being very effective in focusing on the key customer journey metrics needed to drive the business. Without clarity about what matters to customers, or the ability to articulate that as a strategy, business leaders will have significant issues delivering growth.

  7. Data-driven
  8. The ability to make data-informed decisions was the top mover in terms of capabilities marketers deemed important. However, only 10% of marketers believed they were very effective at using insights into customer behaviors and feeding them back into the organization to improve performance

  9. Slow pace
  10. Speed is increasingly the coin of the business realm. Top-performing companies have flexible organizational models and agile ways of working so that things get done fast. Despite the move to more networked marketing organizations, almost 60% of initiatives take at least six months to make it to market.

The results of this research were debuted at the 2015 Masters of Marketing conference on October 16, 2015.

ANA Members enjoy full access to the report, key findings, data charts and infographics.

2015 Marketing Disruption II
Data Charts
- coming soon -

2015 Marketing Disruption II
- coming soon -


2015 Marketing Disruption II
Opening Remark's
- coming soon -

The results of from the 2014 Marketing Disruption research were used to benchmark changes in 2015.

Marketing Disruption II is the inaugural study of the ANA's new Marketer's Edge research program.
The Marketer's Edge program, with the help of the ANA's research partner, GfK, is giving a voice to marketers by informing the research through Advisory Councils, quantifying the insights with surveys, validating the findings with marketers and helping to guide the ANA in developing relevant solutions for members. From 'engagement to empowerment' this is a new way for the ANA to meet the challenges of marketing today


For more information, contact Todd Kaiser at