Survey says…Strategy’s third annual look at the industry

Our survey of Canadian marketers yielded, as always, some salient revelations about the state of the marketing nation. Tidbits include: You're planning to put more dollars into broadbroad advertising in 2007;

Our survey of Canadian marketers yielded, as always, some salient revelations about the state of the marketing nation. Tidbits include: You’re planning to put more dollars into broadbroad advertising in 2007;

PR is the hot ticket to supplement your current agencies; and almost 70% of you value your media agency’s strategic insights as much as your AOR’s, with 35% saying that the involvement of your media agency will be increased over 2007. Nonetheless, things with your principal AOR remain rosy, with 87% describing the relationship as ‘good,’ ‘very good’ or ‘excellent.’

Also promising: Over 58% say your marketing budget has increased over the past 12 months. And over 60% say your brand’s image is improving.

And when it comes to your company, most of you rank your level of job satisfaction as high, but when considering a career move, almost half are looking for an ‘opportunity for professional development.’ Also important: The company’s reputation for innovative marketing (15.6%) and chemistry with your boss (11.9%). Oddly, more money received no votes.

What’s going on at my brand?

The number of people in my marketing department is:

Increasing 48.6%

Remaining the same 43.1%

Shrinking 8.3%

When it comes to new marketing media, in 2007 I will spend the most money on:

Broadband advertising 33.0%

Social media (online communities, CGM) 19.3%

Other 17.4%

Viral marketing 12.8%

Mobile (SMS, podvertising) 6.4%

WOM 5.5%

Blogs 3.7% Advergaming 1.8%

Which partner’s support is increasingly important to my brand?

PR 17.4%

Media agency 14.8%

Retail agency 14.7%

Promotional 12.8%

Interactive agency 11.9%

Design 7.3%

Direct marketing agency 6.4%

Research agency 6.4%

Other 6.4%

The influence of marketing in the overall company is:

Growing 64.2%

Remaining the same 25.7%

Shrinking 10.1%

In the immediate future, to reach the consumer, the priority for my brand development will be:

Better execution of existing programs 30.3%

Better product innovation 20.2%

Build a better retail environment 18.3%

Have a social strategy 17.4%

More innovative research (beyond focus groups) 10.1%

Other 3.7%

Procter & Gamble: socially speaking

While having a social strategy ranked fourth, there’s little debate that the approach is now a necessary part of any brand’s DNA.

‘In the short term, having a social strategy represents an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves and create a competitive advantage,’ says Tony Pigott, JWT Canada president/CEO. He’s also the brains behind Ethos, a four-year-old division of the agency that helps corporations develop more synergistic CSR programs. ‘[Soon] most consumers will actually expect brands to have a social strategy and stand for something. And shortly after that they will demand it. So, the question to ask is whether your brand is future-ready.’

For its part, Procter & Gamble, the country’s perennially number-one ad spender, seems poised for the change. It’s even giving some of its smaller lines a prominent – and brand-relevant – social profile. Notably, for Iams, its pet food brand, the company is planning to significantly increase its ties to animal shelters across the country with a new national grassroots campaign starting in May.

In the past, the link has been one-dimensional: proceeds of designer bracelets (for both animals and people) sold through shelters and retail were donated to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). But in this, its third year, ‘we’re really putting our efforts behind it,’ says P&G spokesperson Joyce Law. Nationally, the campaign will drive pet adoption with a specially designed website, which launched in February, and with POP on retail shelves that promotes the brand’s partnership with the CFHS. As well, for every purchase of an Iams product, one dollar will go to the CFHS. PR will also play a key role.

On a local level, Iams has partnered with shelters in Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa and Moncton to generate donations and adoptions, says Law. Adopters will get an Iams Starter Kit, which includes food, coupons and information about pet insurance. For every adoption, Iams will donate four pounds of food to that shelter.

‘Building the relationships with the shelters in the local communities is a really important grassroots effort,’ Law says. But rest assured it’s also a means to inject a more personal, warm and fuzzy glow into the Iams brand. ‘We’re promoting the equity of the brand through the program,’ she says.

Do I love my job?

My level of job satisfaction is:

Very high 19.1%

High 33.0%

Excellent 23.6%

Fair 16.3%

Low 3.5%

Very low 4.5%

I would describe morale in my department as:

Excellent 14.5%

Very high 20.0%

High 28.4%

Fair 30.0%

Low 2.6%

Very low 4.5%

The factor that most influences loyalty for my company is:

Well-managed company 31.2%

Camaraderie in workplace 22.9%

Opportunity for professional development 15.7%

Respect for personal marketing contributions 12.8%

Creativity in workplace 10.1%

Leading salary and benefits 7.3%

How are my AOR, media agency and ad spend?

The creative work of my principal creative agency has been:

Outstanding 16.5%

Above average 41.3%

Average 36.7%

Below average 2.8%

Unimpressive 2.7%

The strategic input of my principal creative agency has been:

Outstanding 15.6%

Above average 35.8%

Average 33.0%

Below average 10.1%

Unimpressive 5.5%

Account management of my principal creative agency has been:

Outstanding 15.6%

Above average 33.9%

Average 39.4%

Below average 8.3%

Unimpressive 2.8%

I am looking for more from my principal creative agency in the area of:

Better creative 29.4%

More overall strategic insight 28.4%

More integration across marketing disciplines 28.4%

Other 7.4%

More senior-level involvement 6.4%

When it comes to marketing disciplines, in the past 12 months I have spent the most money on:

Traditional media (newspaper, TV, radio, OOH) 51.4%

Online and websites 17.4%

Sponsorship 8.3%

PR 8.3%

Other 6.3%

Point of Sale 4.6%

DM/fax mail 3.7%

DaimlerChrysler: only slightly reinventing the wheel

‘Traditional methods [are] still best,’ says DaimlerChrysler’s VP marketing Judy Wheeler when asked about the Windsor, Ont.-based car company’s marketing spend over the past 12 months. And most marketers seem to agree. 51.4% in our survey said that traditional media still constitutes the bulk of their marketing budget’s ad spend. ‘You still can’t beat TV when you want a huge number of people to hear about your product,’ she says.

Despite the financial woes of the Chrysler Group in the U.S. (The company is undergoing a massive restructuring, including cutting 13,000 jobs over three years), Wheeler contends the strategy worked well enough for its Canadian wing. Over 2006, the company launched 10 new vehicles under its three big brands, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep. ‘Our business is up almost 2%,’ says Wheeler. ‘We’ve had really quite a year.’

Richard Cooper, an industry analyst with Toronto-based J.D. Power & Associates, says two of the company’s new vehicles, Dodge Caliber and Chrysler 300, have been ‘selling reasonably’ and may be part of the explanation for the good news this side of the border.

Daimler is battling Ford for second place in Canada, each with about

14%-15% of the market. GM still ranks number one with about 25%, says Cooper.

Wheeler, who has been in the top marketing spot for about a year and was previously director of front-wheel-drive product planning at Michigan HQ, says the company’s success here is due to stronger acceptance of its vehicles by consumers, reflecting Canadians’ more fuel- and price-conscious nature.

But she adds that the company’s traditional spend, which includes print and OOH and hovered close to the industry average of 65% of its budget, is now being supplemented by a stronger push in sponsorship. About 8.3% of survey respondents agreed that tie-ins to events were a big part of their brand’s images.

For example, the company recently positioned its upscale Chrysler brand with the Okanagan and Niagara wine festivals to reach the brand’s high-end consumer. The deal involves having vehicles onsite in the vineyards as well as cross website logo presence. A life-size ice sculpture of its Chrysler 300 vehicle was designed recently for the Niagara Icewine Festival.

For Dodge, which is positioned as a performance vehicle with a younger target, Wheeler says the brand is a key sponsor of rodeo and hockey events and will have a bigger profile at NASCAR events in the coming years. The brand sponsors driver Mark Dilley in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, which kicks off in May. ‘You’re going to see us really try to take control of [NASCAR] across Canada because we think that’s a perfect fit for our Dodge brand,’ says Wheeler.

The BIG industry issue?

ROI pressure 33.0%

Media fragmentation 19.3%

Ad clutter 11.9%

Integration 10.1%

Consumer being in control 8.3%

Media advertising costs 7.3%

Other 4.5%

Accountability 2.8%

Corporate responsibility 2.8%

The polltakers

* A total of 109 senior-level marketers took part in our survey, conducted over two weeks in January.

* Most identified themselves as marketing managers at 30.5% followed by presidents at 26.8% and VP marketing or director of marketing at 11.0%.

* 50.5% are male; 49.5% are female.

* Most are between the ages of 26-35 (38.5%) closely followed by 36-45 (32.1%). Less than 20% are 46+.

* Most of you are also new to your company, with 37.7% having joined two years ago or less, while 12.8% have worked at the same place for over 15 years.

* Finally, one third of the respondents earn between $71,000 to 100,000. But a whopping 41.3% are doing all right, taking home over $100,000 a year.

Top spenders in canada

Ad Spend by Company Rank – Jan-Sept 2006

Company Rank on Total Media ($), Market: National Canada.

Rank Company 1 Procter & Gamble

2 Rogers Communications

3 Government of Canada

4 BCE Corporation

5 GM Corporation

6 Ford Motor Company

7 Provincial Government Lotteries

8 Telus

9 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dealers Association

10 L’Oréal SA

* All companies in the top 10 exceeded $50 million in Ad Spend.

* The top 10 companies accounted for 13.6% of the total expenditure.

Source: Nielsen Media Research