Innovation, New Media Seen as Key Branding Skills

June 9, 2011

prophet-key-marketing-skills-for-brand-building-jun11.gifExecutives are most likely to see more innovative approaches to targeting/marketing and capabilities in new media are the abilities their marketing organizations need to demonstrate during the next two to three years to build successful brands, according to [pdf] a study from strategic brand and marketing consultancy Prophet. The “2011 State of Marketing Study” shows that 84% cited more innovative approaches and 68% said new media capabilities (more than one answer permitted).

The other capabilities cited by more than 50% of executive respondents were the ability to approach marketing from a P&L mindset (57%) and general problem-solving skills (52%).

Value Proposition Top Strategic Challenge

prophet-top-3-challenges-june-2011.JPGWhen asked to name the top three strategic marketing challenges their organization faces today, creating a value proposition to differentiate the brand was the dominant response (55%), and the only challenge to garner a more than 50% response rate. Identifying paths to growth was a distant second, cited by 41% of executives, closely followed by growing awareness/relevance within new customer segments (40%).

Company Seen as Brand Owner

prophet-who-is-the-primary-owner-of-the-brand-jun11.gifOverall, 66% of respondents believe the company owns the brand. Non-marketers were overwhelmingly (71%) of the view that the company, not customers, is the primary “owner” of the brand. It was a view more prevalent in the business-to-consumer environment (65%) than in business-to-business (59%). Fifty-four percent of the marketers surveyed had that view.

Prophet data also shows that more than 40% of the business-to-consumer respondents said they believed they would have less control over their brands over the coming three years than today. By contrast, only 28% of business-to-business participants were of that view.

Word of Mouth Seen as Growing in Importance

prophet-primary-driver-of-brand-equity-jun11.gifWhile 36% of all the executives surveyed said product and service quality would remain the most critical driver of brand equity in the future, almost flat with the 38% who say it is the most critical today, 20% said word of mouth will play a key role in three years, double the 10 percent who see it playing a key role today.

By contrast, only 6% of the respondents gave that kind of weight to advertising’s future role, down almost two-thirds from the 19% who think it is crucial today.

Colloquy: Young Adults Recommend via Word of Mouth

Young adults are far more likely than the general population to discuss or recommend products and services via social networking, SMS text messaging and IM than the general population, according to the Colloquy 2011 “Word of Mouth” study. Data from the study indicates 58% of young adults recommend products via social networking communities, making them two-thirds more likely to do so than the general population (35%).

About the Data: The survey group encompassed more than 150 executives, half in marketing and the remainder either C-level executives or in nonmarketing and business unit management roles. They represented businesses with annual revenues ranging from less than $25 million to more than $40 billion, and in a variety of industries, from consumer products to financial services to technology and telecommunications.

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