Brand reputation remains number one priority for marketers

  • Promotional discounts low on priority list as brand reputation remains key concern for UK marketers
  • Marketers hit hard by COVID-19 with almost one in ten made redundant, but still confident for the future

A survey of current marketing priorities from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) reveals that brand reputation remains key in coping with COVID-19. In the North of England and Isle of Man, six in ten marketers rank this as their number one priority, in contrast to discounts and promotions which came bottom of the list. The communication of employee and public safety messages came in at number two.  

 Online sales were the highest ranked of sales promotional strategies, emerging as a top priority for 17% of marketers in Northern England. Offering discounts and promotions to increase product sales and footfall was a very low priority for the majority of marketers (60%). Only 7% said it was their top priority.

 John-Paul Simpson, Chair of CIM North West, told B365:‘The fact so many marketers in our region recognise the importance of brand reputation is an encouraging sign. Despite the difficulties they’re facing, this recognition will help the region bounce back when we emerge from the pandemic. However, the value of discounts and promotions should not be underestimated, as this will also be important when it comes to customer engagement going forward.’

Marketing professionals hit hard by the pandemic but are confident the sector will bounce back

 The research also found a personal and financial impact on marketing professionals in the North. Almost one in ten (8%) of the respondents said that they had been made redundant, more than one in seven (15%) reported that they had taken a pay cut and a similar proportion (12%) said that they had taken enforced holiday. 

 Despite this, 81% of marketers in the North of England felt confident or very confident that the marketing sector would bounce back after COVID-19. A finding that reflects recent research from Gartner, that found that 73% of CMOs globally expected the impact of COVID-19 to be short-lived (CMO Spend Survey Research, 2020).

 Richard Slee, Isle of Man Ambassador, CIM NW Regional Board added: ‘Anecdotal evidence from members of CIM’s community in the Isle of Man suggests that they also consider brand reputation as top priority. I echo John-Paul’s view that this is an encouraging sign as there is widespread acknowledgement amongst professional marketers that continuing to invest in brand and reputation initiatives, even when times are tough, enables organisations to come out the other side stronger.’