Most senior marketers believe brand is crucial in driving buyer behaviour for prospects and a critical driver, too, for existing customers, a new survey shows.

But the successful management of a global brand today is a highly sophisticated challenge, finds the Gartner Brand Survey 2019.

“Managing a global brand is a complex, multidimensional task,” said Chris Ross, vice president analyst at Gartner.

“Even brands that may not see themselves as global are operating in a more tightly connected global ecosystem. As a result, the challenges of being a global brand extend to a large number of marketing leaders today.”

The survey, based on responses from 393 senior marketers in the US, Canada and the UK, ranked the top three challenges for marketers as ‘managing a global brand’ (35%), ‘keeping the brand relevant’ (35%), and ‘measuring the impact of brand investments’ (31%).

“Brand relevance and resonance can be extremely fluid based on a polarized marketplace, new disruptive business models and ever-changing consumer requirements,” Ross said.

“Marketers who want to stay relevant must be highly attuned to their customers, competitors and larger cultural and economic trends.”

Tracking brand investments remains a challenge for many; despite advances in technological tools, and more sophisticated attribution models, not every element of brand expenditure can be precisely valued.

To overcome these core challenges, Gartner recommends:

• Watching for new competitors launching in other parts of the world, being aware of regional or cultural trends that may impact a category or products – regardless of size or reach.

• Marketers must actively monitor the marketplace to remain tuned into trends, preferences and cultural factors that shape the collective mindset.

• And they need to measure every brand investment possible, but be open about what can’t be measured. It is critical that marketers be equally ambitious about quantifying brand initiatives and realistic about brand spending that cannot be easily assessed, Gartner says.

The survey also revealed that, despite fears of recession stalking North America and the UK, some 61% of senior marketing leaders expect their marketing budgets to grow in 2020. And, according to researchers, 86% of respondents said the political and economic environment would be positive for their business results in the next 18 to 24 months.

Sourced from Gartner