Less than a fifth of Australian marketers see brand as their most important objective

19 July 2018 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
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A strong brand creates a community, an emotional connection between company and customers. But marketers in Australia are failing to see the importance of brand building and are too focused on selling products or bumping up revenue. This, according to a new report by Deloitte Australia in collaboration with Facebook is damaging Australian businesses in the long run.

Australians are being shown more advertising today than at any other time in history, and it’s beginning to become overwhelming. Accordingly, for advertising to be affective it needs to create a connection between brand and consumer; a long standing connection, not a fleeting moment whilst being viewed.

If this is done successfully, then it will help businesses differentiate their products, create and maintain a reputation and build customer loyalty. However, according to a Deloitte report titled, ‘Shared Stories: Building Brand in the Digital Age’, businesses must understand the importance of communicating effectively in the changing digital environment to reap the benefits of successful marketing. 

Top marketing objectives for marketing professionals

When brand performance stagnates its value drops. Research presented by Deloitte in the report shows that on average a business whose brand stagnates will see their revenue fall by 13%. On the contrary, businesses that invest in their brand or actively build their brand can see their profits grow by up to 42%. “Stronger brands can generate increased profits, enable greater product differentiation, customer loyalty, talent attraction and even justify premium pricing.” 

With this in mind, building a brand is of vital importance to a business. The more valuable the brand, the more valuable the product will become. Yet, the Deloitte research team identified that businesses in Australia are more interested in selling their product than building their brand. 

Only 17% of those surveyed say that brand building is their top marketing objective, on par with increasing the marketing share of the business and surpassed by building customer engagement (18%) and increasing sales and revenue (23%). 

Active users of social media during a popular TV show

This alludes to businesses not understanding the true value of their brand and thus communicating ineffectively. To better distribute resources and make marketing count it is pertinent then that businesses grasp the shift in the marketing paradigm. 

The fundamentals of this is that consumers are not what they once were. TV viewership is rapidly declining, especially for the younger generation (25-34 year olds) who in the past year alone watched an average of 17% less than previously.  

Those who are watching TV are increasingly doing so whilst interacting on the internet, with the report putting the number of simultaneous TV and internet users at 77%. “To cut through, brands need to rethink the way they tell stories, and consider omni-channel approaches.” the report suggests. 

“Consumers are snacking on shorter and shorter content. Marketers need to be designing short, accessible content in the first instance, rather than designing for a 30 second slot and cutting it back,” says Publicis Media CEO Matt James in the report. 

Best channel for brand building

According to Deloitte, those businesses which engage with their community, build a rapport with their clients and do so with a focus on digital marketing can reap the rewards. Laid out in numbers, the respondents of the survey identified that businesses which spent above the average proportion of their marketing budget on social media out-performed those that did not. In real terms this equates to a higher revenue of 7% and an added revenue of $1.8 million for businesses in the Deloitte sample alone.

“The digital age has challenged marketing professionals to reassess how their brands are built and managed. Alongside this deeper change in brand ethos, there is plenty of supporting actions in marketing and communications strategies necessary to deliver success," the report concludes.