The sad truth is that many business and financial leaders don’t appreciate brand or the benefits it can bring. Not CMO’s though! A report by the Chartered Institute of Marketing stated that ‘67% of marketers thought their senior leaders didn’t get brand’. And the Journal of Brand Management went a step further by suggesting that ‘together in about 86% of firms there is some form of resistance to placing brand at the centre of their strategy’. Why is that? Well for one thing it can be challenging to prove.
Tom’s answer was to drop the ‘creative language’ and talk facts and figures, sighting some clear statistics that draw parallels between business success and brand investment. But many of his examples focussed on large corporations quoted on the stock exchange.
Marketers are up against a huge challenge in the face of leaders who are obsessed with performance marketing and a short-termist approach. It’s understandable. Pressure is huge across the board to deliver results fast and validate the business model, and as such the appetite to play the long game seems to be waning.
It starts with defining what success looks like. Is it as simple as sales? Ultimately, it must play a part – let’s be honest, that’s the end game for any investment or activity undertaken by an organisation and certainly the ROI that the CFO is looking for. But then there are many more challenging concepts to consider; reputation, sentiment, awareness, recall etc. Digital activities are of course easier to reflect through analytics, but they don’t tell the whole story and it’s clear these other concepts are drivers to purchase and ultimately business performance.