KUALA LUMPUR: Global marketers need to improve their relationships with their internal insights teams to better drive brand growth, according to a new global survey.

This is one of the key messages in the "Future of Insights" report, which is presented at the Global Marketer Week conference organised by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Written in partnership with research agency BrainJuicer, the report is based on responses from more than 300 senior marketing and insights leaders from 94 of the world's largest brands, representing total annual marketing spend of $75bn.

It found that a third (33%) of senior marketers reported being happy with their insights function, but almost a quarter were negative, citing methodologies perceived as being too traditional, and insights as too obvious and difficult to action.

These marketers also regarded some insights colleagues as lacking in passion or real business understanding.

However, more positively, half of senior marketers and insights leaders regarded insights teams as being efficient, expert and trusted advisers who build on ideas and push recommendations.

Interestingly, in these companies, both disciplines were more likely to work in physical proximity, which accounted for a 15-point increase in positive sentiment.

Meanwhile, half of the insights leaders surveyed said they felt positive about their role, although 16% expressed frustration with issues such as too few resources or too many silos.

The report concluded with three key recommendations. Firstly, there should be closer integration between insights and marketing teams, both physically and organisationally.

There should also be a spirit of open-minded exploration and experimentation around new methodologies which show promise but whose commercial value is not yet proven.

Finally, the report recommended that marketers and insights teams should "challenge stale-thinking" by using the most up-to-date marketing science around communications, branding and consumer decision-making.

Commenting on the report, Robert Dreblow, head of marketing capabilities at the WFA, said: "Actionable insights are an essential part of great marketing. Firms that get their insights teams delivering new tools and insights that they can leverage across the business will be in a better position to deliver sustainable growth."

Data sourced from WFA, BrainJuicer; additional content by Warc staff