Brands are putting more resources toward earned media.
Digital content is making the greatest impact on buying decisions and how they feel about brands because people are hunkered down at home and sharing media more than ever. This is showing up in rising ecommerce revenue.
“The one thing that needs to change is the brands' messages,” said Tom Kaneshige, chief content officer at the CMO Council. “They are expected to take a stand on social issues. They can no longer remain silent.”
The CMO Council report -- Bridging the Gap for Comms & Marketing, produced in partnership with Cision -- analyzes best practices and technologies for overcoming the challenges that brand leaders face when aligning marketing and communications teams.
The report includes a survey of more than 150 leaders at brands and nearly a dozen in-depth interviews with executives from companies including IBM, Nokia, Schneider Electric, Lamps Plus, Certified First, Center for Creative Leadership, R&R Partners and InnerWorkings.
The study found that nearly two-thirds of brand leaders felt they are effective at integrating earned media to drive customer experience and engagement strategies.
Some 81% of brand leaders said the change in the global business climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in earned media efforts, but one in five surveyed were dissatisfied with the performance of their companies' efforts.
Marketing and communications must be in alignment to enable a shift in focus from customer experience to human experience.
The report suggests marketers may not be grasping the challenges of earned media, and highlights the hurdles they may face. Today, most earned media gets shared because of what the company says about social injustice or the way it conveys a certain tone, particularly empathy. Historically, content has been created to generate leads.
The reports suggests brands need to encourage better collaboration processes. “Brands have a history of dysfunction and brands realize they need to be better at addressing it based on how digital media is consumed,” Kaneshige said. “They’re trying to figure out ways for marketing and communications to work more closely together.”
Brand leaders surveyed for the report also addressed how COVID-19 has increased the importance of delivering cohesive messaging.