Archive | September, 2012

Playing Around… With an Idea

Sometimes you have to bounce an idea around for a while to find out how it works best. And that’s just what this video does. Not only does it think out of the box – it redefines the box.
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EMM according to IBM

‘Now is the right time to move out of your marketing silos. Now is the time for real-time marketing.’ Real-Time marketing, according to software vendor IBM, is the key to more relevant offers, increased response rates, and happier, more profitable customers. Their software solutions for Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM)  is a cross-channel approach. It allows marketers to steer the conversation with their customers, which leverages all interactions in inbound channels, to enable more effective marketing.

IBM outlines four proven best practices in real-time inbound marketing:

  1. Make it personal
  2. Balance business objectives with customer needs
  3. Use real-time decisioning
  4. Enable collaboration

But really they come down to the same principle: if you put your customer at the center of your marketing efforts, and you can deliver the right message at the right time to the right person. Take a look for yourself and wonder if your marketing is ‘so relevant, it feels like a service.’
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How Marketers Manage Social Media

‘The fact that businesses are flocking to social channels is no surprise, but in their rush to set up Facebook pages, Twitter and Google+ accounts, how many have thought about how best to manage these communities long term? faced with a barrage of tweets, comments and likes, how many companies are really geared up to manage social media strategies?’

That’s what content management provider Episerver asked themselves when they surveyed 250 UK marketing professionals, asking them how they incorporate social media in their marketing strategy. Because:

Social media marketing ushers in a brave new world where the old one-way marketing techniques of the past no longer apply and where content marketing and community management reign. It’s not enough to simply monitor these channels; there is a need to pro-actively use them in a measureable way to show ROI.

The results show that social is here to stay. Over three quarters (77%) of businesses use social media in their marketing mix. While 22% of companies have a designated social media manager, twice that number (40%) do not have anyone in charge of social media. Social media activities are mainly managed by the marketing department (28%), followed by IT (16%) and PR (14%) departments. Only 3% of businesses choose to hire an external agency to deal with their social media activities – which, according to the report, shows the companies’ willingness to communiate directly with their customers.

Facebook (65%) and Twitter (60%) are the most popular channels, appeared from the survey. But while a quarter of companies manage more than one account on each, adoption of centralized dashboards is still very low: only 6% indicated they use such a service.

As for the effects of social media, almost 30% of respondents said they noticed increased customer loyalty and 31 named increased customer engagement as an effect of the use of social media. A quarter of respondents said it had increased traffic to their website, and 21% ascribed and increased turnover to social media.

Episerver offers some advice for starting social media managers:

  1. Identify the metrics and goals of your social media strategy. Set clear expectations on KPIs (e.g. customer service metrics, sales metrics, engagement metrics).
  2. Listen – where does your target audience converse already?
  3. Create a content plan – offer value to draw people in.
  4. Choose your content wisely – content sparks conversation.
  5. Engage, learn and re-evaluate – constant engagement is crucial in social media.

The full research is available here.
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Integration – The Next Major Challenge for Enterprise Marketers

Three recent research studies clearly demonstrate that technology has become essential to effective and efficient marketing and that CEOs and other senior executives now recognize the vital role that technology plays in marketing.

  • In a survey of senior executives by McKinsey & Company, 52% of respondents said that digital marketing and social tools are a top ten corporate priority, and 25% said they will spend at least 3% of their total cost base on digital business initiatives this year.
  • In a survey of marketers this year by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, 20% of respondents said they have a mandate from C-level executives and the budget to execute digital marketing initiatives, and 42% said they have strong interest and active support for such initiatives at the line-of-business level.
  • In its 2012 Global CEO Study, IBM found that CEOs now rank technological change as the most critical external factor that could impact their business over the next three to five years. In the marketing area, IBM found that seven out of every ten CEOs are implementing major initiatives in their organizations to deepen the understanding of individual customer needs and to decrease the time needed to respond to market insights. Read More…

Demand-Planning Process Management is Key

A functioning demand-planning process is a key enabler for supply chain organizations, and getting the process right is fundamental to improving demand-planning effectiveness, according to Gartner. Gartner analysts have identified some best practices to help supply chain leaders improve their overall demand-planning processes to deliver against business goals.

To better understand the state of demand planning, Gartner surveyed 240 respondents during the fourth quarter of 2011 in Brazil, China, Europe and the U.S., spanning seven industries: consumer products, aerospace and defense, healthcare, consumer electronics, chemical, apparel, and footwear.

The survey found that the primary influences on demand variation were increased customer requirements followed by new product launch and the state of the economy. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents also said that erosion in profitability had the greatest effect on their organizations.

Read More…

Microsoft’s New Logo

For the first time in 25 years, Microsoft has changed its logo. Until now, the software giant’s name was printed in black slanted letters. The new logo has a minimalist type and a simplified Windows symbol in front of it. After three logo changes in the first ten years of the brand’s existence, Microsoft held on to its previous logo from 1987 to 2012.

With the new logo, Microsoft introduces a series of changes and product launches to come. The company has announced new versions of nearly all their products in the coming year.

Marketing manager Jeff Hansen, while enthusiastic about the logo, foresees some issues with a consistent brand image ‘fully implementing a change like this takes time, so there may be other instances where you will see the old logo being used for some time.’ But to Windows users, faulty updates can’t be that unfamiliar.

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Revenue Performance Management According to Eloqua

‘Sales and marketing are many companies’ greatest costs. Yet few have any real idea how spending impacts business growth.’

It’s a familiar sound. While most companies are aware that their marketing department does something useful, or at least does something that costs a lot of money, they find it difficult to prove exactly how Marketing contributes to the bottom line. Software vendor Eloqua recognizes the problem and tries to change this situation by educating CEOs and CFOs still doubting the accountability of Marketing.

Revenue Performance Management is the way to gain more insight into the revenue generated by Marketing and Sales, says Eloqua. By assessing Marketing performance on five parameters (Reach, Value, Conversion Rate, Velocity, and Return), Marketing can change from an art into a science.


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Brand Management: What’s the Bottom Line?

Corporate branding, simply put, is how a company presents itself to the world. It’s a business’ visual identity: logo, house style, lettering, colors. But it is also a more abstract concept. It’s the added value to the company that produces products or delivers services; it’s the value that it promises to create for its stakeholders, it’s the uniqueness that creates customer loyalty. Small wonder, then, that corporate branding is a serious point of interest to businesses and requires managers’ attention.

This is the idea in the Vyre whitepaper: ‘Brand Management: What’s the Bottom line? The paper discusses best practices when it comes to managing corporate brands for marketers and business managers. It takes a look at corporate branding – what is it exactly, what does it do – and discusses its business importance and its associated business risks. Then the paper examines how a Brand Asset Management solution to help enterprises manage their corporate brands and brand assets better, as well as reduce management costs and reputational risks. Read More…

Henry Stewart DAM Event

On September 13th, Henry Stewart will host the Chicago edition of their Digital Asset Management event: ‘The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media. The conference is aimed at marketing and IT professionals wanting to keep up to date about the latest development in Digital Asset Management: the reach, importance and implications of good digital asset management. Now the fifth edition of the event, the organization hosts a new edition, all from the users perspective. The event features presentations, keynote addresses, discussions, case studies, panels and round tables are specially formulated to ensure that you can keep abreast of the latest and the best. Read More…

Businesses Hesitant to Use Pinterest

Less than a fifth of US brand owners and agencies plan to use Pinterest, the image-sharing platform, for business purposes, despite its rising popularity among consumers. A poll of 500 client-side and advertising executives by the Creative Group, the specialist recruitment firm, discovered that just 7% of companies are actively utilizing this service.

Elsewhere, a further 10% intended to start doing so in the future, while 17% were aware of the site but proved hesitant about its potential benefits from a company perspective. An additional 44% of the sample displayed ‘no interest’ in using Pinterest, and 18% had never even heard of the rapidly-growing social media property.

The research did, however, reveal differences in attitude depending on the size and type of organisation concerned. As an example, advertising executives at larger agencies were more active on Pinterest than their peers representing smaller agencies and their corporate marketing counterparts.  Read More…