Integrating the Marketing Ecosystem
The marketing ecosystem for most organizations has become increasingly fragmented. Campaign management across multiple channels is one of the most difficult areas to execute for marketers and brand managers. Multiple constituents from creative, agency, copyright to internal marketing staff all impact time to market and effect time to revenue for new services and products associated with sales execution. Integrating these resources and activities into a cohesive campaign management approach is the key to success for today’s most successful brands.
Unify to Multiply Results
How are leading brands dealing with the complexity of the new marketing ecosystem? A study conducted by the CMO Council looked to several iconic market leaders for best practices we can all use to develop more adaptive marketing models and practices. Top companies gave important insights, perspectives and experiences in a series of one-on-one discussions and interactive roundtables. The message: Unify your ecosystem to multiply your marketing results.
Senior executives from market leaders like Allstate, FedEx, OfficeMax, and many others, say that integrating the marketing ecosystem should be a strategic priority for brands. These market leaders are all embracing solutions and strategies that unify their marketing practices and resources, and this in turn enables more real-time and adaptive marketing platforms and solutions that work as a powerful market differentiator.
Most marketers struggle to integrate their marketing ecosystem due to the diverse and cross functional nature of the resources, data and systems involved. For example, centralizing market and customer data, and extracting meaningful intelligence from that data, requires tighter linkages with IT groups, and can be problematic since there is often a disconnection between marketers and the ability to “talk tech” with IT. In addition, many marketers tap third-party sources for everything from art and creative services, to data management, web and social media services. This is often combined with other resources like printing and mailing that can be either internal or external to the company, or both. It all adds up to a complex ecosystem that can be difficult to manage without a proper integration strategy.
Top Tips from Brand Leaders
The CMO Council study uncovered several important tactics that leading brands are using to overcome the challenges and integrate their marketing ecosystem. Here are the top five:
# 1. Break Down Silos – The new reality of integrated, multi-level, multi-channel marketing has yet to be embraced by many marketing organizations. One way to move forward is by breaking down the traditional silos in the process. Areas such as demand generation, advertising, promotions, CRM, and research/analytics all tend to be pocketed within the control of functional areas that are not always on the same page regarding common business and communications goals. New cloud-based and collaborative marketing and messaging platforms, like 366° Degrees℠ from OMI, help integrate the various pieces on one platform where stakeholders and resource providers can more effectively collaborate and coordinate their efforts, breaking down the traditional silos that often plague the marketing ecosystem.
# 2. Collect Intelligence, Not Just Data – Most companies have a wealth of data already available; the key is extracting meaningful, predictable and actionable insight from the information. Transactional and demographic data mixed with behavioral and attitudinal information can combine to be either a powerful asset or a confusing mass of useless data. The CMO Council study points to analytically driven campaigns by marketing leaders like Procter & Gamble and Visa that are establishing new best practice standards for others to follow. Rather than simply collect more and more data, these leading brands focus instead on furthering the value of existing accounts, determining up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, and identifying the most likely and profitable segments of potential new customers and clients. Analytical tools, like those found in 366° Degrees℠, help make the most of the information for more profitable strategies and decisions.
#3. Integrate Suppliers and Operations – For most companies the marketing ecosystem has become more complex than ever before. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up if marketers are still attached to rudimentary spreadsheets and workaround systems that lack any kind of real-time operational visibility. Add to this the challenges of working with a diversity of cultures, economic infrastructures and regulatory regimes, and global marketing organizations can get caught flat-footed. Next generation tools like 366° Degrees℠ help aggregate marketing message and content through collaboration and management of third party contributors, printers and agencies via one platform. The result is that companies reduce time to market and trim costs by eliminating multiple service providers.
#4. Ensure Brand Consistency – It can be difficult to ensure brand consistency when brand assets, customer data and critical resources are spread across different systems, providers and locations. The market leaders quickly point to the benefits of creating centralized repositories of pre-approved brand assets and content elements (e.g., logos, images, video, graphics, audio, collaterals, PowerPoints, campaign components, etc.). With these assets centralized and controlled, platforms like 366° Degrees℠ work to quickly and cost-efficiently bring marketing and operations on the same page. The result is that marketing teams are able to execute campaigns more nimbly and productively while ensuring a new level of brand consistency across all channels, campaigns and systems.
#5. Performance Measures – As famed business consultant Peter Drucker once said: You can’t manage it if you can’t measure it. Effective campaigns today are database-driven, highly automated, and more personalized and targeted than ever before. As a result, measuring and analyzing the results of those campaigns is critical for continued success, otherwise marketers run the risk of running campaigns that miss the mark. ROI metrics are no longer just about reach and frequency, they are much more about relevancy, response and recurring relationships. But getting a business return requires consistently measuring the performance of those campaigns and continually reevaluating and readjusting to meet the changing demands and needs in the market. A common management and analytic platform like 366° Degrees℠ helps establish a disciplined approach to database management, market segmentation, customer profiling, and channel strategy that can only be achieve through thoughtful analytics.
The marketing ecosystem today is has become increasingly complex, distributed and digital. As a result, marketing professionals face the challenge of integrating and managing their message, their methods and a varied combination of resource providers. Navigating this increasingly diverse marketing ecosystem makes the need for a new level of marketing planning and operational flexibility a critical success factor for brand marketing organizations across all industries.
That’s where we come in. 366° Degrees℠ by OMI changes all of that with a single cloud-based platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. You can easily do things like message personalization, target segmentation and in-depth campaign analytics. Easily reach across communication channels in social media, mobile and online formats and then quickly analyze the effectiveness of those social connections.