America's leading marketers have rated the biggest issue facing them in 2006 as 'accountability' - the development and measurement of ROI on their marketing dollars, and how to implement measurement processes.

This emerged loud and clear from the third annual survey of members conducted by the Association of National Advertisers, a body representing 370 companies with 8,000 brands and a collective annual spend of over $100 billion (€83.13bn; £57.62bn) in marketing communications.

The survey asked members to select and prioritize their key issues from an extensive prompt list. Ranked in order of importance, these are the topics most exercising the minds of the nation's top marketers ...

  1. Accountability;

  2. Aligning marketing organization with innovation;

  3. Building strong brands;

  4. Integrated marketing communications;

  5. Media fragmentation;

  6. Impact of technology on marketing;

  7. Growth of multicultural consumer segments;

  8. Attracting and retaining top talent;

  9. Consumer control over how they view advertising;

  10. Advertising creative that achieves business results;

  11. Globalization of marketing efforts.
Observes Bob Liodice, ANA president/ceo: "Technology and innovation are transforming every aspect of the marketing discipline, forcing marketers to not only more effectively align their organization with these changes but also make them accountable for the results."

The ANA will use these findings to help shape the content for its Masters of Marketing Annual Conference this fall.

Data sourced from Association of National Advertisers (USA); additional content by WARC staff