Brand voice is coming of age, but marketers say stress over customer engagement is increasing

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Public Relations

Communicators have increased their prioritization of brand language to enhance cross-channel customer engagement, but new research from brand language optimization firm Phrasee reveals growing stress over creating high-quality content amidst constant change.

The new survey targeting enterprise marketers, with data and insights platform Dynata, also indicates an increasing appetite for, and faith in, new technologies including artificial intelligence to alleviate these challenges.

“The penny has finally dropped about the importance of brand language as more and more brands focus on developing their unique voice,” said Parry Malm, CEO of Phrasee, in a news release. “The challenge marketers face now is optimizing and scaling their brand language for maximum impact across the customer journey, all while staying true to that unique voice.”

Top research takeaways include:

Brand language is increasing in priority for marketers, who are also finding more confidence in their own unique brand voice

  • 91 percent of senior marketers agree that brand language is a core part of marketing strategy.
  • A large majority of marketers (88 percent) say they believe their brand language helps their brand connect, compared with 74 percent in 2020.

Despite this confidence, constant change has marketers feeling challenged to consistently develop on-brand, sensitive messaging

  • Almost two-thirds (63 percent) say their organization consistently revises language to ensure sensitivity to world events.
  • 61 percent struggle to keep brand language interesting and engaging.
  • 68 percent are under more stress about striking the right tone compared to a year ago.
  • 55 percent consider a lack of resources one of the internal barriers that prevents the creation of good content.

Brands are not doing enough to test, learn, iterate and optimize the messages they deliver to their audiences, driven in part by a lack of top management support

  • Only about one in four marketers does any testing to understand what’s resonating with customers.
  • 48 percent of marketers consider testing too time-consuming.
  • 31 percent claim that top management does not support their trial of new technology.

Most marketers agree that data-led approaches would improve the impact of brand voice on the customer experience, with trust in AI increasing

  • 82 percent believe that their organization would benefit from data that provides insights into how consumers respond to brand language.
  • AI is playing an increasing role in marketers’ technology investment, with three in five (63 percent) saying they would consider investing in AI to generate and optimize copy—an increase from only 36 percent of respondents in 2020.
  • Compared to a year ago, 65 percent of marketers have more trust that AI can help generate desirable brand language.

“Constant turbulence and a lack of resources have made this already time-consuming task even more difficult, with most senior marketers struggling to keep customers consistently engaged across all digital channels,” Malm added. “Our survey results show an increasing willingness to turn to data-led approaches to solve these issues, but it remains to be seen whether brands will follow through on their intentions.”

Download the full report here.

The survey polled more than 300 senior marketers at large organizations in industries including ecommerce / retail, travel and hospitality, restaurants, communications / telecom utilities, banking / finance, and insurance.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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