Commitment to brand investment remains strong says IPA and FT
More than 60% of global companies remain committed to investing in their brand despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new IPA/Financial Times study.
The Board-Brand Rift 2020 survey captured the opinions of nearly 600 global C-suite and marketing decision makers to examine how the pandemic has changed brand perception and management inside businesses.
Whilst commitment to brand building is seen across the board, some sectors are more likely than others to be maintaining spend through the current downturn.
IT and technical services sectors are the most likely to maintain their marketing spend (41%), followed by manufacturing, engineering and industrial (34%), plus professional services (34%), with marketers saying they have learnt the importance of brand building through previous downturns.
Other findings from Board-Brand Rift 2020 show that businesses are in survival mode with 68% citing business resilience as the top priority, and the reduction of organisational risk climbing from seventh in 2019 to fourth place in this year's list of corporate priorities.
Most businesses remain agile on spend with 53% ‘continually evaluating their options and will release funds when they feel the time is right’.
Despite this, 79% of respondents either strongly agree or agree that thinking in the long-term about marketing investment is key to sustainable growth, compared with just 3% that either strongly disagree or disagree.
Also, brand strength is becoming more important as product discovery moves online. 71% of respondents say it is key to online purchase decisions, compared with 61% who see it as a priority for offline sales.
The FT’s global marketing director, commercial, David Buttle said: “It is encouraging to see that an overwhelming majority of decision makers see marketing investment as key to long-term sustainable growth, even in a hugely challenging business environment, an uncertain macroeconomic outlook and rapidly changing customer habits.”