Paul Coxhill, Managing Director, WARC, explores the highlights from the WARC Marketer's Toolkit 2020.

“Real generosity to the future lies in giving all to the present.” This quote from Albert Camus seems particularly apposite in today’s fractious world. But, somewhat more parochially, it struck me as very relevant as marketing and business leaders get ready for 2020.

Because it’s that challenging time in the annual cycle. When we want to balance a strong finish to this calendar year with a fantastic plan for the next one. But knowing that we have to do so within the hard reality of external stakeholders, financial targets and perhaps, internal inertia.

It takes vision, anchored in evidence, to gain the resource and buy-in to deliver the most effective plan possible. But that evidence is based on what we know now and, as Steve Jobs said, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward.” And in this increasingly uncertain world, connecting those dots is becoming ever more difficult.

That’s where the new WARC Marketer’s Toolkit 2020 comes in. For marketers, and those involved in enabling them, there are often contradictory pressures from all sides. The Marketer’s Toolkit identifies some of those pressures, together with other emerging themes, and provides practical and evidence-based advice on what to do about them.

Based on a survey of nearly 800 marketers from across the world, the themes and trends identified include:

  • A greater awareness of the risks of short-termism in marketing plans, despite ever more being spent in online performance marketing
  • The increasing dominance of ‘walled gardens’ which combine paid advertising, payment tech and e-commerce fulfilment
  • The growth in conscious consumerism – particularly through the lens of environmental impact
  • Consumers and regulators demanding more from organisations on data privacy
  • The reshaping of adtech around context and connected TV

The It includes in-depth interviews with 10 leading marketers, expert commentary from across the industry and real, practical advice from our editorial and advisory teams across WARC and Ascential. And, because we believe in what Camus said, we have summarised the findings in this year’s edition for the marketing and business community to access at no cost.

Because we will only achieve our stated mission of reducing ineffective marketing by working together to eradicate bad practice and to understand the opportunities and pitfalls we must collectively plan for moving forward.

We firmly believe this white paper will help you to understand the present by joining the dots of the past, with a clear-eyed view of what that means for the future.

It contains the kind of up to date insights I wish I’d had earlier in my marketing career to help me create my plan. And, particularly, to use as an evidence-base to convince others that mine is the right one.

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out now and let us know what you think.