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Social Networks are under siege while social activism has reached a 50-year high. Mountains of data accumulate in organizational silos, while marketing professionals deal with brand values infused with political dogma. Those concerns, the need to accommodate emerging technologies, and the unrelenting demand to continually prove marketing’s value are only some of the concerns keeping marketers up at night, according a new Marketing On My Mind survey conducted by Brand Keys.

Top Marketing ‘Nightmares’

Brand Keys asked 558 CMOs and brand managers, “What issues keep you up at night?” and asked 3,900 consumers to provides some insights and solutions in those same issue- areas. Percentages indicate the frequency of mention among professionals interviewed. “Problem” areas that received mentions by 75%+ of participants include:

  1. ROI and ROMI (97%)
  2. Big data, big tech, and big security issues (95%)
  3. Establishing trust between my brand the consumer (95%)
  4. Addressing innovation, AI, technology, and marketing automation (92%)
  5. Consumer expectations regarding privacy and transparency (90%)
  6. Better managing social networking (89%)
  7. Creating relevant and engaging advertising content and storytelling (88%)
  8. Deployment of predictive consumer behavior analytics and technologies (86%)
  9. Dealing with consumer advocacy, social activism like #MeToo & issues like gun violence (85%)
  10. Growing consumer expectations and gap between brand promise and expectations (82%)
  11. Developing a long-term strategy that aligns with corporate growth goals (80%)
  12. Ability to engage my audiences, not just identify and find them (80%)
  13. The democratization of the digital world and protecting my brand’s equity (79%)
  14. Political Tribalism and how it affects my brand (77%)
  15. Being relevant and tweeted, not just tweeted (75%)
  16. Keeping consumers engaged with my brand (75%)
  17. Create better cross-platform synergy for my marketing campaigns (75%)
  18. Being replaced by a Chief Revenue Officer (75%)
  19. Creating an ‘unlearning curve’ to move away from legacy marketing metrics (75%)
  20. Creating marketing synergy among different generational age cohorts (75%)

Consumer Insights For Insomnia-Inducing Issues

Brand and marketing professionals talk about the need to be “customer-centric” and to represent the “voice of the customer,” so Brand Keys decided to provide a little help. After all, who better than the consumer – via emotional engagement evaluations – to better point the way to effective brand solutions?

Insights from 3,900 consumers were used to examine issue areas that keep CMOs up at night. Recorded brand activities, solutions, and actual, what-happened market results were collected for sectors and categories including:

  • Social Networking,
  • Social Activism,
  • Retail (Apparel, Sporting Goods, & Department Stores),
  • Beverages (Coffee & Beer),
  • Food (Fast, Natural, & Supermarkets),
  • Major League Sports,
  • Technological Innovation & New Product Development, and
  • Consumer responses to Politics, Patriotism, and Binge-Watching in marketing’s brave new world.

Those insights can be accessed free at:

With a new year ahead, it is our hope that these problem-solution insights will help CMOs and Brand Managers better manage their day-to-day activities, and the long-term issues that will define success over the coming year.

And maybe even get a better night’s sleep!


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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