IPA and FT launch campaign to improve understanding of brands

The IPA and the Financial Times have launched the first execution in a campaign to help business leaders better understand brand building and focus more investment in long-term branding, which in turn produces more effective advertising.

This follows the publication of joint research, The Board-Brand Rift, at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which revealed that over half of business leaders rate their knowledge of brand building as average to very poor.

The three-year campaign will highlight key learnings from the IPA Effectiveness Databank and the benefits of evidence-based marketing decision-making.

The aim is to encourage C-suite executives to adopt a more balanced approach to marketing investment and build an understanding of how to build a strong brand while positioning agencies as their trusted partners.

The study, based upon a global survey of FT readers, examines the underlying causes behind a gradual shift in marketing investment, from long-term brand building to shorter-term direct response campaigns.

The Board-Brand Rift found:

  • Over half of business leaders, including 30% of senior-level marketers, rate their knowledge of brand building as average to very poor, in spite of being responsible for setting marketing objectives across both the short- and long-term.
  • Less than a third of organisations use ‘brand health’ metrics, which report on factors such as salience, distinctiveness and favourability, at board level.
  • A widespread misalignment between the marketing tactics perceived by senior leaders to be most effective at building brands and those which are proven to be drivers of those objectives.
  • A desire from leaders for better measurement of the commercial impact of brands and claim that this shortcoming is the primary reason for the imbalanced approach to marketing investment.

Says Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA: “The findings of The Board-Brand Rift earlier this year were shocking to learn, and reiterate that we need to work with organisations to ensure a more widespread understanding of how to effectively build a brand. We are delighted to be working with the FT to help share that knowledge, and hopefully change marketing behaviours to produce more effective advertising in the long-term.”

Says David Buttle, Global Marketing Director, Commercial, Financial Times: “The FT is delighted and hugely excited to be working with the IPA on this important programme. This shift in the balance of marketing investment, from long-term brand-building, to short-term sales activation, is likely to mean many businesses are not performing to their commercial potential.

“With this campaign we hope to raise awareness of this issue – and of the commercial impact of brands – amongst business leaders, and to provide marketers with the tools they need to make the case for long-term investment”


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