UPA’s ‘Branding E-volution’ report explores the challenges and opportunities for brand growth in today’s digital world
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The Italian Advertisers’ Association (UPA) recently unveiled the findings of their research project called ‘Branding E-volution’ which aims to define the role of brands in today's digital world and provide strategic insights and practical recommendations to companies and stakeholders in the digital media supply chain.
Launched in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Milan’s School of Management, the research looked at the challenges and opportunities for brand growth in the digital media ecosystem. The survey was carried out in April and May among 78 companies.
The results were presented during two UPA virtual conferences in September and October, the first which addressed peoples’ perception of brands and the future of advertising and the second which focused on data and measurement tools as brand assets.
Some key findings from the UPA research:
- In light of Covid-19, companies are showing greater attention and sensitivity towards brand purpose. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said that the pandemic has led to their companies giving greater importance to investments in support of initiatives that demonstrate the positive impact of brands on society. This trend will continue post-Covid according forty-nine percent of respondents. Fifty-two percent said that they had activated brand purpose initiatives linked to the fight against Covid-19 in the last few months.
- Brand equity is unanimously recognised as a fundamental element in determining business performance. Creating future economic value, increasing the perception of product quality and reducing price sensitivity are objectives to which brand equity can contribute most, according to respondents.
- The lack of effective measurement models in quantifying the impact of the brand on business performance and the strong focus on short-term business performance are among the main reasons limiting the allocation of investments in brand-building activities.
- Thirty-two percent of advertisers have increased their investments in research activities aimed at measuring brand value, with brand tracking (75%), digital analytics (67%), and pre/post-testing (58%) as most used tools for measuring marketing activities.
- Eighty-percent of advertisers expect that investments in digital media dedicated to precision marketing activities will increase significantly over the next three years.
The research was carried out with the help of GFK, GroupM, Integral Ad Science, Inmediato Mediaplus, Kantar, LinkedIn, Nextplora, Rai Pubblicità, Sensemakers, Teads and WebAds.