Archive | October, 2012

Is Everyone Singing the Same Song? 3 Steps to Improve Brand Coherence

Controlling brand consistency is a struggle that many if not all brands face over the course of their lives. Keeping track of a global brand across a myriad of communication channels is vital to maintain its strength, which translates into customer acceptance and ultimately sales. Brand consistency is vital to a business because it builds recognition which consumers use to evaluate their purchase decisions. Consistency also brings clarity which consumers trust. When consumers trust your brand they become loyal. And what everyone wants is loyal customers.

But what do you do when you start to lose a grip of your brand? Brand consistency takes a hit when the levels and complexity of marketing activity exceed the amount of control the business has over brand. You see less coherence in the way your brand appears which leads to loss of clarity in the minds of your consumers about what you stand for, leading to lower sales and less return-on-investment in your brand communications.

So what can you do to improve brand consistency?

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Clients Choose Creative over Cheap

Clients are taking a closer look at their agencies, and their reviews are not motivated by cost considerations, but instead by business performance issues. And to pass the test, agencies need to demonstrate creative and strategic aptitude, according to Avidan Strategies survey results revealed in a recent Forbes article. Indeed, clients are most often looking at the quality of creative ideas and strategy (90% of respondents) when evaluating agencies. This is consistent with CMO Council survey results from January, in which multinational marketers were most likely to say they look at strategic contributions when reviewing or evaluating agencies.

That study, though, found creative excellence to rank further down the list of attributes, behind agency efficiency and effectiveness. Among the Avidan survey respondents, three-quarters believe that understanding the client’s business is critical, with fewer looking at integration and coordination (56%) and implementation and follow-through (48%). Read More…

Brands Struggle with Mobile

Few major advertisers believe they are ‘very advanced’ when it comes to leveraging the opportunities provided by mobile devices to engage consumers, a study has argued. The CMO Council, the trade body, polled 250 global marketers, just 8% of which agreed their firm already had ‘very advanced’ capabilities with regard to this channel.

A further 30% remained at the strategic evaluation stage, while 26% were currently developing apps. An extra 17% of firms boasted a ‘quite good’ level of competence and were pushing into mobile marketing. More broadly, 93% of the panel thought their target audience was making greater use of tablets, laptops, e-readers and smartphones. By contrast, 3% of interviewees stated these devices were ‘not that important’ and 4% were unsure about their impact.

Jay Altschuler, global communications planning director at Unilever commented:

What we’re seeing is that mobile is a key tool in the way people shop. We are working with retailers, carriers, and manufacturers to determine the best way to approach mobile. Read More…

What works in Rich Media Mobile Advertising

Infographics day! With mobile advertising becoming increasingly popular, rich media advertising company Celtra has listed a few statistics and research outcomes in their field of advertising in the automotive, retail, entertainment and financial sector. The results are collected in the infographic below. Enhanced or interactive ads have become a pretty well known feature in online marketing, and according to Celtra, they prove effective in mobile marketing as well.

Video and direct response ads turn out to be effective in mobile, but it’s interesting to see that each sector requires a different approach. Branding and presentation works for the auto industry, but not for finance. The conclusion? Design your mobile campaign to fit your vertical and your needs.

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BrandMaker and Franz Haas Food Equipment

Marketing Automation and cookies, two of our favorite things down here at marketinggovernance.com. The video below is an interview with head of marketing Thomas Breg of Franz Haas Food Equipment, an Austrian-based company that manufactures the machines used to make cookies and waffles. The company operates in over 160 countries worldwide, which poses a considerable challenge to the marketing department.

The company uses the BrandMaker Marketing Planner for coordinating the planning, management and execution of marketing activities. Breg explains how his company works with BrandMaker to manage their expanding marketing efforts:

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Grade A-Marketers Measure Results

Marketing is under pressure to deliver results and drive business outcomes. But how are they doing? Research shows that measuring marketing’s performance is an area of major frustration for the C-Suite and a significant challenge for most marketers. In fact, according to the ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) just completed study, most marketers are dissatisfied with their MPM capabilities. On average, marketers award their marketing organization’s ability to manage its performance a 5.6 on a scale of 10.

In August 2012, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing conducted a Marketing Performance Management Survey with 405 marketers to assess marketing’s performance with regards to how they use data, metrics, and analytics. With more than a decade of industry ‘talk’ on the topic of marketing accountability,  this research shows that only a few exceptional marketers have cracked the code.

Those few marketers whose leadership team assigned them ‘A’ grade for their ability to demonstrate their impact to the business have adopted six principles of Marketing Performance Management to increase marketing ROI and contribution. They are:

  • Alignment
  • Accountability
  • Analytics
  • Automation
  • Alliances
  • Assessment

The A-list marketers VisionEdge has identified are able to show how marketing can benefit the organization: 96% say they can prove the direct link between business goals and marketing activities; 91% say it’s clear to the management how marketing impacts the business; and 90% say that marketing can measure and benchmark their results. That is another important takeaway from the study – the A category use statistics as a basis for important decisions, and are more mature when it comes to adoption of Marketing Automation systems.

The survey identified several characteristics in the organization of successful marketers:

  • Empower Marketing Operations
  • Implement integration and interoperability initiatives
  • Institutionalize marketing standards
  • Establish formal partners within IT, sales, and finance
  • Regularly benchmark to drive performance innovation

For more information, there is an abbreviated summary available for free download.
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How Product Information Management Systems Reduce Costs

In my last post, I discussed the growing importance of effective product information management (PIM), particularly for large enterprises with extensive product portfolios. Product data is required by many business functions and technology systems across the enterprise, and as a result, most organizations have product information spread across numerous information systems.

This approach to PIM creates duplicative and inefficient work processes, generates excessive costs, increases marketing cycle time, and leads to a lack of confidence in the accuracy of product information.

In response to these challenges, a growing number of enterprises are turning to dedicated software applications to streamline product information management processes and tasks. These technologies are typically called product information management systems (PIMS), and if properly deployed, they can provide several important operational and financial benefits. In this post, I’ll describe how a robust PIMS can reduce costs; in my next post, I’ll discuss how a PIMS can help enterprises market more effectively and grow revenues.

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Global Adspend Rises 2.4%

Global ad spend rose to $139 billion USD in Q2 2012, a moderate 2.4% gain over Q2 2011, according to Nielsen’s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report. In a continuing trend, emerging markets saw the most significant increases. The Middle East and Africa grew 19.6% compared to Q2 2011, and Latin America saw advertisers increase their spend 4.9%.

Ad spend is on a general upswing, with Europe remaining as the only region to see year-over-year declines. Despite growth in the United Kingdom, Turkey and Norway, conservative spending in markets such as Greece, The Netherlands and Portugal led to a downward shift of 3.8%.

Overall, regional inconsistency was a theme, with some countries noting large increases and others down year-over-year. In Asia-Pacific, for example, moderate overall growth (+2.9%) resulted from significant increases in countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, being offset by declines in markets like South Korea and Australia. In North America, the U.S. grew 2.4% while Canada declined two%. Ad spend in Latin America was also up (4.9%) despite decreased spending in Mexico.

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What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

Las Vegas hotel The Cosmopolitan has found an original way of capitalizing on the city’s dubious reputation. The hotel hosted an art project by artist in residence Candy Chang. Guests were invited  to write down their sins and fears, PostSecret-style, in specially designed ‘confessionals’, which are displayed at the hotel gallery.

‘Over half the secrets were about sex, love, or fears of dying alone,’ Chang said. The confessions range from the everyday (‘I eat too much cheese’) to the worrying (‘I told the doctor I’m anxious so he’d give me the really good drugs’).

The Cosmopolitan has used the city’s reputation as a place of sin before in its ‘just the right amount of wrong’ campaign.  A new take on the old adage ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’.

More pictures of the exhibition can be found here.
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MRM According to Mtivity

‘Mtivity combines the discipline of procurement, the creativity of marketing, and the processes of IT.’

Print procurement software company Mtivity provides solutions for print and marketing process. The program offers several separate customizable modules, which allow marketers to collaborate more effectively with buyers and suppliers – saving time and money. The video boasts that Mtivity cuts out up to 32% of the normal print process. Though it is a little vague on how exactly this is achieved, with clients such as E-Graphics and Xerox, it may be worth looking into.
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