Archive | April, 2012

Speed is Key to Innovation

Brand owners need to ‘standardize’, ‘prioritize’ and ‘mechanize’ to derive the maximum benefits from effective and rapid innovation, the Boston Consulting Group has argued. The consultancy assessed 34 firms in the FMCG sector. It awarded the average company 3.2 points with regard to getting new products to market, on a six-point scale where lower scores were favourable.

One strategy that the research suggested is essential for successful R&D was the ‘standardization’ of processes and procedures, and in this area totals came in at a mean of 2.9 points. ’Prioritization’, such as streamlining systems and boosting the funds allocated to certain vital projects, was equally important, and the featured businesses received three points here. However, ‘mechanization’ – like the adoption of digital tools, common metrics and in-house knowledge sharing resources – constituted the weakest field of performance, yielding four points. Read More…

The Science Behind Viral Videos

It’s the Holy Grail of marketing: a low-budget video promoting a brand gets picked up and goes viral. Buying ad space is unneccesary – users upload and share the content themselves, spreading the video across the globe. Maximum exposure, minimum investment.

Or is it? According to research by Harvard Business School, digital content marketers face four main challenges when it comes to viral ads:

1. Prominent branding is a turn-OFF: it seems fairly simple, but when the logo shows too often, viewers feel like they’re being pushed and tune out. A successful video is Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory: a colorful, detailed digital animation that follows the journey of a coke bottle through the magical world inside a vending machine.

2. People get bored right away: such are the laws of the internet. If it isn’t interesting, viewers leave.

Read More…

MRM According to Fision

‘During an economic downturn, marketing and comms budgets are the first to be cut, leaving companies with fewer resources to reach their customers. When the budget’s limited, and the expectations are high, how do you deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time?’

Software vendor Fision has the answer. In an interview with business program 21st Century Business, CEO Mike Brown lists the advantages of his system. It allows marketers to utilize resources efficiently, so they are able to do more with less. It offers greater control for marketing departments over how the brand is advertized, and how the brand image is presented to the world, and a greater autonomy for sales people and customer reps, who have relevant content available to them.

It may not be top-notch reporting (‘So Mike, can anyone use Fision?’), but it give a pretty good idea of what the marketing automation solution has to offer.
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Leveraging Marketing Operations to Facilitate Agility and Marketing as a Center of Excellence

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that agile firms grow revenue 37% faster and generate 30% higher profits than non-agile companies. The MIT study found that the critical traits of an agile business include rapid decision-making and execution, a high-performance culture, ability to access the right information at the right time, accountability and credibility, and flexible management of teams.

Recent articles in Forbes Magazine emphasize that the acceleration of changes in customer preferences, the market landscape, and technology coupled with the explosion of data requires their marketing organizations to be more agile. Why? Because agile marketing organizations are able to adapt their marketing efforts, quickly and successfully, in response to changing customer behavior, market conditions and business direction to the benefit of improved market share or customer value. Read More…

Decoding Marketing Technology Terms and Acronyms

Today’s marketing technology landscape is filled with confusing terms and three-letter acronyms. Over the past two decades, the number of marketing technologies has grown dramatically, and companies have attempted to create competitive differentiation by using distinctive terms to describe their solutions. The result is an array of marketing technology terms and acronyms that provide little help to marketers who are looking for solutions to important business challenges. Below are my ‘definitions’ of five important marketing technologies and their acronyms.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) — A software system that enables companies to efficiently catalog, store, retrieve, and repurpose content assets that exist in the form of computer files. The core feature of a DAM system is a centralized repository, or library, containing an organization’s content assets that have been cataloged in a way to facilitate search and retrieval. DAM systems will also typically enable the automation of workflows relating to the creation, approval, and versioning of content assets.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) — The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) defines enterprise content management as, ‘the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes.’ On the surface, therefore, ECM sounds a lot like DAM, but there are significant differences. Read More…

Australian Marketers Embrace Cross-Channel Approach

Marketers are engaging customers across more digital channels, but with minimal personalisation and automation, according to a report by marketing solutions provider Responsys. A survey among 115  industry executives found that 88% are either currently running or planning multimedia campaigns of this type. Despite this trend, the majority (79%) feel they need more support or tools to help them implement marketing campaigns across different channels.

The survey results also uncovered that less than one third of marketers surveyed communicate with customers through their preferred digital or social channel, and 23% admit to never reaching out to customers through their channel of choice. This is perhaps unsurprising given 32% admit to only understanding either the ‘very basics’ of cross-channel marketing or nothing at all. Read More…

Appearance DOES Matter: Color and Purchase Behavior

Why do we choose the products we choose? Quality, price, habit? Wrong. Because of the pretty colors, and how those colors make us feel. We instinctively associate color with a mood, feeling or message: red is alarm, but also passion, blue is cool and calm and trustworthy. Green really is the color of money, it turns out, but also the environment, of course. The infographic below shows some fun facts about color and consumer behavior.

Click the image to see the full version.
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DAM according to Widen

‘All organizations’ success depends on others to take some kind of action.’ The story is getting a bit repetitive: presence in social media is no longer really an option, it’s become a must. The popularity and potential reach of social media networks is huge – but where to begin? And how to reach exactly the right audience? Brands need to be active on several networks at the same time, which requires time, planning and distinct guidelines to maintain a consistent brand image.

In this video, Widen introduces their DAM solution which comes with a pretty nifty solution to keep an overview of what content you post where. The Widen Media Collective allows you to manage different social media platforms from one central location. It’s a very specific tool, but for marketers who are very active in social media, it may be helpful. Take a look at the video below for some more information:
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Why the CFO Doesn’t Care About Likes and Tweets

Marketers should share a very limited amount of information with the CEO and CFO, according to Marketo in their whitepaper The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics. The marketing firm says that Revenue Metrics and Marketing Program Performance Metrics, which document the impact of effort and investment and directly link it to revenue and profit, are the only relevant markers in the financial minds of business owners:

Soft metrics like brand awareness, GRP, impressions, organic search rankings and reach are important – but only to the extent that they quantifiably connect to hard metrics like pipeline, revenue, and profit.

While marketers are inclined to share with the C-Suite how many clicks and likes and pageviews their campaigns get, the CFO en CEO are more interested in how the Marketing department contributes to the company’s revenue. Marketers should learn to see business from their point of view and adjust the way they share information with other departments accordingly. If you can prove Marketing is a justifyable investment, Marketing will no longer be seen as a cost center, but as a valuable part of the organization. We agree strongly with this message, as we’ve also outlined in our slideshow The Real Value of Operational Marketing Excellence earlier.

Read More…

Brand Asset Management in a Multichannel World

Chief marketing officers and other marketing managers rightfully see themselves as ‘guardians’ of their company’s brands. They obsess about maintaining the integrity of their brands and ensuring that brand messaging and presentation are globally consistent and always supportive of the brand promise.

Managing brand communication assets effectively and efficiently has become an increasingly difficult challenge, particularly for marketers in large global enterprises. The job has become more difficult because the number of communication assets that marketers must manage has exploded.

Several factors have contributed to this explosive growth.

  • The proliferation of brand SKU’s — Many companies are adding new products (or product variations) on a regular basis. Consider, for example, something as ‘simple’ as toothpaste. We now have toothpaste that whitens teeth, toothpaste that eliminates bad breath, and toothpaste that kills the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Not all varieties of products require unique marketing assets, but many do.
  • The need to localize brand messaging and materials — Marketers now recognize that creating marketing messages and materials for local audiences will increase relevance and improve effectiveness. Global enterprises face even greater challenges when it comes to localizing content. Read More…