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New study from the FT and IPA finds that marketing budget holders lack confidence in building brands

19 June 2019: 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, according to the Board-Brand Rift, a new report conducted by the FT in partnership with the Institute Of Practitioners In Advertising (IPA).

The industry as a whole has seen a gradual shift in marketing investment, from long-term brand-building to shorter-term direct response campaigns. The Board-Brand Rift, which is based on a global survey of FT readers, 43% of whom are c-level executives, examines the underlying causes of this trend.

It finds that less than a third of organisations use ‘brand health’ metrics, which report on factors such as salience, distinctiveness and favourability, at board level. This is seen alongside 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. Leaders also expressed a desire 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.

“Our aim with this research was to get inside businesses and understand the real driving forces behind the recent trend towards more short-term marketing investment. The available evidence tells us that long-term brand investment is an essential part of business success and we want to bring this conversation back into the boardroom.” said David Buttle, Global Marketing Director, Commercial for the Financial Times. “The report makes clear recommendations for how to create an organisational environment in which the very real commercial benefits of investing in the long-term health of brands can be realised.”

“From analysis of our IPA Databank – which contains quantitative data from 1500 advertising and marketing effectiveness case studies spanning almost 40 years, we know that brand-building lies at the heart of sustainable profitable growth for businesses,” says  Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA. “We welcome access to senior executives to share this evidence base, and our learnings about how to build, rather than diminish, brand power. The EffWorks programme is built for this purpose and, with the support of marketers and partners like the FT, we have high hopes of a constructive dialogue and positive action.”

The full Board Brand Rift report report can be found here.

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For more information, please contact: Katrina Fedczuk - katrina.fedczuk@ft.com // +44 7720 657756

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

About IPA

Incorporated by Royal Charter, the IPA’s role is: to advance the value, theory and practice of advertising, media and marketing communications; to promote best practice standards in these fields; and to ensure that the work it does will benefit the public, the wider business community and the national economy.

It has a well-earned reputation for thought leadership, best practice and continuous professional development and also provides core support and advisory services. Its membership base is predominantly made up of corporate members who collectively handle over 85% of the UK’s annual £22bn ad spend and who represent over 4,000 brands and employ over 25,000 staff. Based in the United Kingdom for nearly 100 years, IPA programmes can be found in more than 60 countries worldwide.