The majority of senior marketers (55%) lack a quantitative understanding of their organizations’ brand value and may be missing out on opportunities to leverage their brand to drive business growth, according to a survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Interbrand.
The survey polled 118 chief marketing officers and senior marketing execs at ANA member companies and found that 64% say brands do not influence decisions made at their organizations.
Though marketers reported a range of reasons why brands don’t factor into the decision-making process, misalignment of incentives and budgets, lack of metrics and overall lack of branding knowledge are top reasons:
- Incentives do not support the importance of brand (51%).
- Inability to prove brand’s financial benefit (49%).
- Current branding expertise is not widely accepted (40%).
- Metrics do not support the importance of brand (39%).
- Budgets are focused on communications activities (32%).
- Brand is not included in the “sphere of influence” (28%).
- Lack of CEO endorsement (25%).
- Branding expertise does not yet exist (15%).
“Top-performing companies make absolutely certain that brand is a central organizing principle, but, for many in the marketing industry, creating and managing brand value still follows an archaic model – it is limited strictly to the marketing department,” said Jez Frampton, global CEO of Interbrand.
The survey also found that senior marketing execs still struggle to win support from company leaders and board members. Of those polled, 80% felt that demands from the C-suite and boardroom were steadily increasing when it came to demonstrating the ability of branding initiatives to make a company more profitable.
Marketers acknowledge that having a quantified understanding of how, when and where their brands create value would lead to improvements in several areas. The most significant impact that brand value awareness would have, the study said, is allowing for a more focused investment in marketing (93%), followed by an opportunity to cut out underperforming initiatives (82%).
Other potential benefits of understanding brand value:
- It will afford a greater influence across the organization for overall alignment and change (79%).
- It will create more leverage for marketers hoping to secure additional investments from the board (69%).
- It will provide active data that can then be used to fine-tune messaging (60%).
Some 40% of respondents also felt that being armed with this knowledge would help them to better evaluate staff performance.
“Now, more than ever, brands must be examined and evaluated just as closely as any other corporate asset,” said Frampton. “It’s no coincidence that strong brands, like Apple or Google, often have a strong stock price. Companies need to fully understand what drives demand on a second-by-second basis. The financial implications of doing so speak volumes.”