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  • Writer's pictureSarah Lesser-Moor

Branding & Marketing: glorified colouring in?

Updated: Jan 10

The importance of marketing for organisations is often overlooked, so much so that in over a decade of working within the sector I've heard it being referred to as 'glorified colouring in', and 'not a proper job'. These beliefs often stem from a lack of understanding, but crucially the fact that historically marketing has been undervalued, and relegated to nothing more than a cost center in the eyes of business owners.

Every organisation has different needs, and I certainly am not suggesting that one size fits all. However, disregarding the importance of marketing and brand is unwise for companies looking to gain traction, particularly ones with innovation at the heart.

Take branding, for instance. A brand is a promise to the customer, an expectation of quality. It creates and maintains demand by establishing customer loyalty. It allows products to stand apart from competition, upholds reputation and impacts customer buying decisions. Likewise marketing (which is much more than simply advertising) brings awareness, engages and informs customers, builds relationships and contributes towards sales growth. Contrary to popular belief, sales are an output of marketing and innovation.

Marketing initiatives must, however, be accountable. This is true now more than ever - the current cost of living crisis has seen budgets squeezed further. While marketing budgets grew from 6.3% of company revenue to 9.5% in 2022 (1), they're still lagging behind pre-Pandemic figures. Clarity over what success looks like is key - KPIs are a must. Without some form of proof that marketing is bringing ROI, proving the worth of such initiatives to businesses is understandably tough. A pretty picture and succinct messaging is a little irrelevant without clear goals and objectives - be that sales targets, key financial metrics, or a measurable uptake in brand awareness.

The challenge of course comes with the latter. Brand awareness is often hard to measure, and doesn't always come with instant financial gains. I know this to be true because I've see new business come directly from activity that took place a year prior. Like everything a snapshot doesn't always tell the full it's useful to consider returns over both the short and long term before writing anything off too soon.


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