WFA CEO Stephan Loerke reflects on the year 2016
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2016 was not a year that will be forgotten in a hurry. Profound changes and landmark events were witnessed both inside and outside of our industry.
Such change inevitably brings great uncertainty and I am acutely aware of the impact that this has on our national association and corporate members alike.
So I am more gratified than ever that amidst such unpredictability the organisation has been able to consolidate and strengthen. Total revenues reached an all-time high with a net growth rate of 12% in corporate membership.
This has enabled us to re-invest significant resources into membership services. Our online Global Knowledge Base has doubled in size and is now used by more than 80% of our members. A bespoke CRM tool is currently being rolled out, which will significantly increase our ability to proactively identify needs and deliver relevant insights.
Putting these systems and processes in place will redouble our efforts to focus on what is critical to our members.
In 2016, WFA held eighty meetings across four continents. Between meetings, over two hundred benchmarks and twenty surveys were conducted. All with the objective of helping members get substantial practical assistance with their day-to-day challenges.
Digital transformation continues to be the #1 priority for our members. But 2016 saw ad fraud and transparency top marketers’ most serious concerns. All will force marketers into reviewing how they do business in 2017 and beyond.
Brands face regulatory pressures across multiple sectors. New rules coming out of Europe for data collection will have global ramifications for brands. WFA will be a trusted and action-oriented partner capable of offering tangible solutions to these multiple challenges.
As a lack of transparency threatens to divide the marketing ecosystem, we must be a source of collaboration and unity. As policy-makers seek to restrict our activity, we must showcase what is great about our industry. As people call marketing into question and block us out of their lives, we must champion customer-centric connections which offer real value.
2017 promises to be full of challenges. We look forward to addressing them with your support.