Here’s how your compatriots in the corporate marketing world view the year ahead.

In a recent survey of senior marketing execs by the Marketing Executives Networking Group, the basic message was "return to the basics."

What that means to these marketers is first and foremost: customer retention (76% rated as very important) and satisfaction (79%). These two scored the highest of 62 marketing concepts considered by these marketers, and were followed by focus on marketing ROI (65%), brand loyalty (61%) and customer segmentation (61%). All in all, reflecting a strong customer-centric focus.

Also of note was the strong commitment of corporate marketers to innovation and insight. Far from retrenching in this area, 78% of corporate marketers will maintain their investment in marketing research (39% will increase spending on research), while 72% will maintain or increase their marketing R&D budgets.

In another very interesting finding, the buzzwords that senior marketers are most tired of hearing about are: Web 2.0, Social Networking, Social Media, Blog, and Viral Marketing. Only 37% of corporate marketers rated use of social networks as very important.

From my own monitoring of marketing blogs and trade press, my sense is that corporate marketers have been disappointed by their many forays and tests in the social media space. I’ll be talking about some of these experiences, and their implications for nonprofit marketers in future posts. But in a nutshell, users of social networks are proving to be extremely resistant to marketing and advertising messages and related gimmicks on these sites. Users regard it as an invasion of their personal space and don’t seem much interested in "befriending" toothpaste brands (DUH!!). Indeed, sites like Facebook are having a very tough time monetizing their enormous traffic as marketers fail to see results.

The consumer segment of highest interest to corporate marketers is — surprise, surprise — Boomers.

The full survey report can be downloaded here (registration required).

Tom

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This article was posted in: Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Nonprofit management, Social media.
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