Marketers and agencies have had a tough time since the financial crisis of 2008. Despite a dramatic increase in media possibilities, major advertisers did not discover the right formula to drive growth. Twenty of the top fifty advertisers in the U.S., representing $1.1 trillion in sales in 2009, grew between -2.9% and +1.9% per year and saw their overall sales (as a group) shrink by 4% during the most recent decade. (The twenty advertisers include -- in order of their annual growth rate between -2.9% to +1.9% -- AstraZeneca, Bank of America, IBM, P&G, McDonald’s, Best Buy, Citi, GSK, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Macy’s, Unilever, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, Novartis, Sony, Diageo, The Gap, Target and Coca-Cola.) COVID made things worse in 2020. But this is about to change, as marketers confront the failures of the past decade and set a new course for their post-COVID futures.
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