SYDNEY: Australian marketers are focused on increasing sales revenues and building customer engagement at the expense of brand building, according to a new Facebook report.

For Shared stories: building brand in the digital age, consulting firm Deloitte surveyed more than 300 senior marketers in Australia and found that just 17% saw brand building as a marketing priority.

Increasing sales (23%) and customer engagement (18%) were seen as more important, while growing market share (17%) was on a par.

“Failing to recognise the importance of brand comes at a cost to business,” said Kareene Koh, partner at Deloitte Digital.

“Our survey found that businesses whose brands stagnated over the past year also saw their revenues fall by 13% on average over this period.”

To emphasise the point, she noted that a business with annual revenues of $1bn was missing out on $130m as a consequence of neglecting brand building activity.

And, indeed, 24% of survey respondents thought that their brand performance hadn’t changed over the previous 12 months, while 4% had seen a decline, Marketing reported.

“To build and maintain a strong brand, it is important for businesses to understand the basic principles of advertising, particularly in an evolving marketing landscape whereby new technologies are allowing new ways to reach customers,” Koh added.

Marketers seem to have taken this on board, with four in five expecting that new technologies will drive change in their marketing strategy over the next five years.

In particular, digital and social media are the only two areas in which they anticipated spending a higher proportion of their budget – and given what they understand these channels can deliver, there may be a renewed focus on brand building.

Around two in five thought social is most effective at building customer engagement, but two thirds saw social and digital as the best channels for building a brand.

Sourced from Marketing; additional content by WARC staff