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The question most marketers are grappling with these days is how to convince their superiors to invest in long-term brand building.

The key to answering this question lies in understanding the perspective of executives and finding ways to gain their support. Here are the seven crucial things marketers need to know to address The Question:

1-Lay the groundwork: Draw attention to the need for long-term brand building and its impact on the company’s finances early on. Ideally, get buy-in from senior executives before proposing changes.


2-Manage up: Understand the mindset of executives, who may have limited knowledge of marketing. Keep them informed, seek their counsel, and build trust.


3-Focus on the “why”: Tailor your arguments to match the priorities and desires of senior executives. Show them how brand building contributes to sales, profit, and growth.


4-Use case studies: Utilize case studies of successful brands that demonstrate the power of long-term brand building. Highlight both positive and negative examples to make your case.


5-Brand your branding: Present the move to long-term brand building as a campaign, with clear and concise goals and a vision that resonates with the organization.


6-Allocate separate budgets: Split the marketing budget into two distinct pots for long-term brand building and shorter-term activation. Ring-fence funds to ensure consistency.


7-Metrics matter: Use the right metrics to assess the impact of long-term brand building and activation strategies. Data and evidence are crucial in convincing executives of the value of brand investment.


Right-minded marketers understand the importance of investing in long-term brand building, but they often struggle to convince their superiors. This dilemma revolves around a fundamental question known as “The Question.” It’s a question that marketers encounter everywhere they go, asked in various ways but essentially boiling down to: “I know long-term brand building is crucial, but how do I get upper management to support it?”


To answer The Question effectively, marketers must consider a few key points. Firstly, they need to create awareness about the significance of long-term brand building and its financial implications within the company. This groundwork is essential for gaining support in the future. Secondly, it’s crucial to manage up and navigate the boardroom dynamics skillfully. Executives often have limited knowledge of marketing, so marketers must present their case thoughtfully and with evidence.


Furthermore, understanding the “why” matters. Marketers should identify what motivates executives and align long-term brand building with their goals. This way, executives can form their own opinions in support of the strategy. Case studies also play a significant role in the persuasion process. Marketers can use examples of successful brands, both inside and outside their industry, to showcase the power of long-term brand building.


To effectively implement long-term brand building, marketers need to brand their branding itself. They must create a vision that clearly explains the shift to a more balanced approach and promotes it among the team. Additionally, allocating separate budgets for long-term brand building and short-term activations is essential. This ensures that both strategies can work optimally without conflicts over resources.


Lastly, metrics are crucial in convincing executives of the strategy’s effectiveness. Using the right metrics, such as brand valuation and consumer dashboards, provides evidence of the impact and success of long-term brand building.


By following these steps and presenting a compelling case, marketers can successfully address The Question and gain the support needed to implement long-term brand building, leading to improved business outcomes.

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