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Investors Trust Marketing But Not Marketers, According to Study

Investors Trust Marketing But Not Marketers, According to Study

A striking discovery has surfaced from a recent study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and Brand Finance, a London-headquartered consultancy specializing in brand valuation and strategy. The research captures insights from over 200 financial analysts in the UK and US who assess companies' financial performance and correlate it with investment strategies.

The study's main headline reveals that financial analysts now consider the strength of brand and marketing as the most critical factor in their appraisals. This discovery surpasses other vital factors like leadership caliber, technological advancements, reported earnings, sustainability (including environmental, social, and governance considerations), and employee satisfaction.

The IPA concludes that investors now place increasing interest and importance on brand investments. This shift in perspective highlights the growing recognition of marketing's instrumental role in driving business growth.

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The Disconnect Between Trusting Marketing and Marketers

Despite the increasing reliance on marketing and brands, the study reveals a disparity in trust between marketers and brand developers. According to the findings, 52% of financial analysts perceive a company's reduction in marketing expenditure as a positive cost-saving measure. Conversely, 36% regard such cost-cutting measures as a short-term solution with potentially adverse long-term effects.

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor at CMI, highlights these figures as indicative of marketing leaders' challenges in justifying their budgets and shielding them from cuts. While CEOs and CFOs demonstrate trust in marketing and brands, this trust doesn't necessarily extend to the professionals responsible for their creation.

 "Investors think saving money is a smart business decision, but spending money is only smart when it works," Robert explains.

The Impact of Marketing Spend on Company Valuations

The study also reveals that eight of 10 investment analysts assess advertising and marketing promotional spending in their company valuations. However, among those who do, only 46% believe that marketing and promotional spending drives organic growth. 

Furthermore, just 54% say brand and advertising communication can benefit price, a notion that companies like Apple, Adobe, Samsung, and high-fashion brands would likely challenge.

The Path Forward for Marketers

In light of these findings, marketers must continue their tireless efforts to build strong brands and drive business growth. By implementing fantastic marketing programs, publishing great content, and competing in the arena, marketers can gradually establish their brand as THE brand in their industry.

As marketers persist in their efforts, they will eventually reach a point where their brand becomes undeniable, commanding the attention and trust of financial analysts and investors alike.

The Importance of Long-Term Brand Investment

The study's findings underscore the importance of long-term brand investment. While short-term cost-saving measures may appeal to some financial analysts, the long-term negative consequences of cutting marketing spend cannot be ignored.

Marketers must advocate for sustained investment in brand-building initiatives, emphasizing the long-term benefits of a strong brand in driving organic growth, commanding premium prices, and fostering customer loyalty.

Bridging the Trust Gap

To bridge the trust gap between marketers and financial stakeholders, marketing leaders must effectively communicate the value of their efforts. By consistently demonstrating the impact of marketing initiatives on key business metrics, marketers can gradually build trust and credibility within their organizations.

Additionally, marketers should strive to align their strategies with the business's broader goals and priorities, ensuring that their efforts contribute to the company's overall success.

The Path Forward

The IPA and Brand Finance study reveals a complex relationship between investors, marketing, and marketers. While the importance of brand and marketing strength is increasingly recognized, marketers still face challenges in earning the trust of financial stakeholders.

As marketers continue to build strong brands and drive business growth, they must remain persistent in their efforts and effectively communicate the value of their work. By doing so, they can bridge the trust gap and establish marketing as a critical driver of long-term business success.

The path forward for marketers is clear: keep working, publish great content, and compete in the arena. With time and consistent effort, the trust and recognition they deserve will follow, cementing their role as indispensable contributors to their organizations' growth and success.

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