gyro, the b2b agency, last month re-established itself as a powerhouse of world industry when its Manchester marketing agency hosted an event entitled Brand v Demand. The gathering at Manchester’s stunning gothic Town Hall brought together the great and the good of B2B leaders to debate: “In recessionary times, do marketers tend to disinvest their brands in favour of short term demand generation?”
We were exceptionally fortunate to secure The Right Honourable The Lord Heseltine as keynote speaker. Lord Heseltine was captivating and spoke at length about the differences and similarities between politics and business. He also gave his personal observations on the economic outlook and what this meant for marketers.
His speech, plus other impressive speakers from businesses like Kyoceta Mita, Pearson, Fujitsu and David Brown, can be viewed at www.brandordemand.com, where you can also weigh in with your own opinions.
I think it’s fair to say that the question of Brand v Demand is something of a false dichotomy, and it was interesting to see some quite strong opinions as to the merits of each. When put to the vote, I think unsurprisingly the consensus was that brand expenditure was more worthy, yet a passing look at market expenditure would suggest otherwise. There seems to be some dissonance between marketers’ espoused views and their own actions.
I’d also add that brand spend isn’t as vulgar or extravagant as some might assume, and while it’s not easy to measure, it can be done. Debates like this will continue until marketing can drag itself up the business food chain: some of the most successful businesses in the world are run by marketers.
As you’ll see, there is no easy answer to the Brand v Demand question, but it made for a fascinating and exciting day. Look out for other similar events in future.
Danny Turnbull, Managing Director and European B-to-B practice leader at Manchester marketing agency, gyro.