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  • Release: Brand reputation remains top marketing priority



    Brand reputation remains number one priority for marketers as lockdown restrictions ease

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

    A survey of current UK marketing priorities from the Chartered Institute of Marketing reveals that brand reputation remains key in coping with COVID-19. 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 15% of marketers. Offering discounts and promotions to increase product sales and footfall was a very low priority for the vast majority of marketers (73%). Only 2% said it was their top priority. Similarly, generating in store footfall was only a top priority for 3% of marketers.

    Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “Despite all the commercial challenges, it is reassuring to see reputation ranked first. It is clear that the UK marketing community is not prepared to sacrifice short-term gain for long-term pain. However, with the lockdown loosening at the start of July, it is a concern not to see more confidence in promotional activity. Marketers have worked hard to maintain customer engagement during lockdown, as restrictions now ease it is key they make the most of this opportunity to help drive the recovery we are all hoping for.”

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

    The research, compiled in August, also found a personal and financial impact on marketing professionals in the UK. One in ten (9%) of the respondents said that they had been made redundant, one in five (20%) reported that they had taken a pay cut and a similar proportion (17.5%) said that they had taken enforced holiday.

    If these statistics were replicated across the marketing profession, which CIM’s 2018  market sizing work with PWC estimated employs 415,000 people across the UK, we would be talking about in the region of 37,000 redundancies and 83,000 people taking pay cuts. 

    Significant numbers of marketers also appear to have benefitted from the government’s furlough with one in six (17%) saying they had been placed on furlough during the period of the pandemic.

    Despite this, 87% of marketers 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).


    Notes to editors

    The survey was completed by 344 CIM members during the course of July-August 2020, 240 of the respondents were from the UK. All data was segmented by country to ensure results and trends were accurate.

    For media enquiries

    For further media information please contact Leigh Marshall at Good Relations: lmarshall@goodrelations or 0784 134 7038.

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    James Delves
    CIM Head of PR and External Engagement

    Corinne Lavictoire  
    PR Executive

    About CIM

    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s leading professional body for marketing, with over 28,000 members worldwide, of which there are over 2,500 Chartered Marketers. CIM’s mission is to create a marketing advantage for the benefit of professionals, business and society with a focus on export, data and skills. CIM believes marketing is the critical factor in driving long term organisational performance.

    CIM provides members and organisations with five key benefits: 

    • Partnership – CIM is a professional and organisational partner to support performance and career development
    • Education – CIM allows individuals and businesses to continuously upskill
    • Information – CIM keeps members up to date with the latest marketing thinking, and keeps organisations at the forefront of practices
    • Connection – CIM provides access to services, expertise and peers
    • Recognition – CIM is the global benchmark of professional competence

    For more than 100 years, CIM has supported, represented and developed marketers, teams, leaders and the profession as a whole. There are 120 CIM study centres in 32 countries and exam centres in 132 countries worldwide. In the last year, over 7,500 people registered at over 230 UK CIM events. Find out more about CIM by visiting www.cim.co.uk.



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