Adweek Media Survey

What do you consider the top two major issues facing your company in the area of advertising/marketing in 2001-02?

Competitive Activity: 45%
Workforce Quality: 32%
Agency Compensation: 29%
Production Costs: 29%
Interactive/Internet Use: 21%
Other: 19%

Know your enemy. That’s the No. 1 goal of advertisers, according to the survey. When asked, “What do you consider the top two major issues facing your company in the area of advertising/marketing as it moves into 2001-02,” 45 percent of total respondents say “competitive activity.” And since an army is only as good as its soldiers, it isn’t surprising that second place overall went to “workforce quality” with 32 percent. Morgan Anderson’s perspective: “We would be surprised if this answer were any different had the survey covered only CEOs and other board-level executives.”

Economic issues follow: “Agency compensation” and “production costs” tied at 29 percent. Internet use is mentioned as a top issue by 21 percent of all respondents.

By category, competitive activity dominates in the Entertainment/Publishing/Retail category (75 percent) and Pharmaceutical (64 percent). It received its lowest numbers from Food & Beverage/Packaged Goods (35 percent) and Computers/Technology (36 percent). For computer marketers, agency compensation and production costs topped the issues list, both at 43 percent. Packaged-goods marketers apparently feel they are getting a handle on the compensation issue: only 17 percent rate agency compensation as a top issue.

Workforce quality is uppermost in the minds of advertisers in the Consumer Durables/Utilities category, receiving an 80 percent finding. The most frequent mentions of Interactive/Internet use are in the Financial Services (29 percent) and Food & Beverage/Packaged Goods (26 percent) categories.

Illustrative of the perilous and uncertain state of today’s marketplace, two categories have startlingly large “other” findings. Forty-four percent of Food & Beverage/Packaged Goods respondents name “other” as a top issue, as did 43 percent of respondents in the Financial Services categories.