Want to achieve success in a marketing campaign? Forget about a quick fix, you have to be in it for the long term. Brand consultant Mark Ritson explained in a recent webinar how brand building develops over time. It’s a cumulative effect that isn’t effectively captured when measuring campaign data over a short period.
It’s clear that there’s a growing tension between short-term response activity and long-term brand-building. Mark indicated a ratio of marketing investment that perfectly blends the two – marketers should invest 60% of budget in brand building (long term) and the remaining 40% in sales activation (short term). This is, according to Mark, the perfect ratio of long- and short-term investments for maximum effectiveness. The reality, however, is very different. Marketers are more likely to invest over 70% budget in short term activations. He warned marketers against steering themselves into a corner by focusing on short-term sales metrics at the expense of long-term strategy.
This is reflected in a recent survey conducted by the Financial Times in partnership with the Institute of Practitioners In Advertising (IPA) which found that the majority of business leaders have lost faith in brand building and its power to drive growth.
- Over half of business leaders, including 30% of senior-level marketers, rate their knowledge of brand building as average to very poor
- Only 20% of marketers think strong brands are ‘very important’ for ‘increased profitability
- Globally there has been a significant shortening of marketing reporting cycles, focusing much more on short-term lead generation
It’s time to focus on long term growth
The industry as a whole has seen a gradual shift in marketing investment, from long term brand-building to shorter-term direct response campaigns. But now’s the time to invest resources in long term brand building, particularly in the current crisis we’re experiencing. Companies need to focus on a meaningful long-term relationship with their target audience, even if they may not be able to sell to them right now. Long term brand building ensures that the audience will still remember them in the weeks, months – and years – ahead.
How to bring back branding building into the marketing strategy:
- PR is a fantastic channel for brand-building, driving word of mouth, social and content.
- Get creative – 46% of business leaders believe that creativity used wisely drives growth.
- Be flexible – we know that the business landscape will not be the same. Be agile and ready to evolve your offering as the situation changes and as your consumers’ need evolve. Read our recent blog about this.
Make sure your voice is heard
Want to ensure your voice is heard in what’s likely to be a crowded and competitive environment? Here’s where PR comes in.