Brand owners adopt international outlook

15 March 2012

NEW YORK: Brand owners are adopting an increasingly global outlook regarding both their marketing spending patterns and the sourcing of new ideas, a study has shown.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), the industry body, surveyed 65 of its members, boasting a combined adspend of nearly $40bn a year, to gauge their current sentiment in this area.

It found that 60% of firms are now shifting budgets towards new markets as they seek to drive growth, while almost 95% believe the premier opportunities for future expansion lie outside the US.

As a corollary of this trend, over 71% of the panel asserted that "some of the best work" is now being created beyond American borders.

However, 48.6% of non-US executives paid at least "some attention" to key shifts in the industry emerging from the country, and 40.5% placed "a lot" of weight on such developments.

Elsewhere, 43% of this audience agreed they could "learn a lot" about their craft from America, a statement holding particularly true when discussing techniques for leveraging social media.

The UK, continental Europe and Australia were perceived as offering similarly important insights concerning integrated marketing, while China, Japan and South Korea were equally regarded for mobile.

When assessing the approach of marketers in the US, 75% of the sample thought the American communications industry could gain valuable learnings from other nations.

However, just 11% of the same group believed that their US peers currently paid enough attention to what was happening in the rest of the world.

Stephan Loerke, managing director of the World Federation of Advertisers, said: "Our survey results highlight the emergence of a new multi-polar world for marketers where best practice can occur in almost any market and where the smartest ideas should be imported and exported around the world."

Upon being asked which brand owners had run the best marketing campaigns of 2011, Red Bull, the energy drink, HP, the IT specialist, and Unilever, the FMCG group, all performed well. Samsung and Apple, in the electronics sector, also scored highly.

Elsewhere, the World Federation of Advertisers has appointed seven new members to its executive committee, including Marc Mathieu, SVP, marketing at Unilever, and Salvatore Gabola, the European public affairs director at Coca-Cola.

Mary Catherine Toker, vice president, government relations at General Mills, and Sarah Delea, director, global public policy and health and wellness at Kraft Foods, are also among this group.

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by Warc staff