9 in 10 UK businesses struggle to manage their brands' reputations

British brands recognise the importance of online perception but struggle to come up with a strategy, says report

Brand reputation

Me? One of 900 marketers across North America and western Europe? Needing to manage the reputation of a brand? But have a gap between capability and execution? What were they thinking?

While it’s true they are unlikely to be more of a liability than the 13th Earl of Wynbourne, business leaders may be nonetheless concerned by the results of a recent international survey by DAC Group looking at online reputation management. It found that nearly three-quarters (71%) of marketers recognise online brand perception is a significant business driver, but only half have a strategy in place.

The report also found that the UK is the place where businesses see it as most important to effectively manage their brand’s reputation (96%), but as well as being the most concerned they are also the most challenged (90%). And while across all of the international markets polled an average of 67% of businesses struggle to find the talent required to tackle the problem, in the UK it’s significantly higher, at 94%.

The gaps between capability and execution are most apparent when it comes to having the skills in-house to use specialist reputation management technology platforms. For example, while 64% of total respondents say that it would be very useful for them to monitor and manage reviews, only 59% are able to do so and just 57% can pull insights from that data.

The situation is made worse by the fact that there is currently little consensus between businesses over which department should be in charge of reputation management. Just over a third (36%) gave responsibility to their marketing department, 15% to digital experience teams and 14% to customer service/support. 

According to Mike Fantis, VP, managing partner of DAC Group UK, it doesn’t tend to be for a lack of will or understanding that these gaps appear: “Many marketers recognise the value inherent in reputation management – and what they are missing out on. However, they are held back by a lack of cross-departmental collaboration around data and/or a single point of responsibility to manage a programme. Until UK businesses find a way to address this and also solve the expertise gap, they will remain behind the curve.”