IMM: key to future marketing initiative success
Integrated Marketing Management, spanning technologies, communication channels and enterprise ecosystems, will be key to the success of marketing initiatives in future, says SAS.
Johannesburg, South Africa (30 Aug. 2013) – Addressing marketers and retailers at a briefing in Sandton this week, SAS executives outlined the future of marketing, highlighting new market demands and the strategies needed to address them.
Rene van der Laan, Director: Business Advisory at the SAS Centre of Excellence for Integrated Marketing Management in the Netherlands, noted that Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) is not a set of products or tools, but rather a strategic approach to marketing that spans all solutions, technologies and departments. IMM ensures that strategy, planning, information and analytics, orchestration and interaction and customer experience initiatives are coordinated and deliver true business value.
"Marketing has changed significantly in recent years," van der Laan said. "In the 1960s and 1970s, marketing was simply about advertising and brand awareness. Now, the challenge is for the CMO to illustrate a return on marketing investment. In addition, the market is always connected and social media has a massive influence on consumers. This presents both challenges and opportunities," he said.
Among the challenges are the fact that social media results in rapid swings in customer sentiment and brings with it large amounts of unstructured data. However, it presents a new marketing channel and the ability to analyse and gauge customer sentiment as it changes, he said. Social media also delivers the 360-degree view of the customer that has long been the goal of marketers, said van der Laan. With timely information and advanced tools to accurately analyse this Big Data, organisations can now achieve contextual insights into customer behaviour, respond appropriately and even predict future customer behaviour, he noted.
However, van der Laan emphasized that in an environment with numerous marketing and communication channels, consistency was crucial in the company's marketing and communications. Ensuring this consistency required a central marketing hub spanning the enterprise - from sales and services to marketing. This hub should synchronise and formalise the marketing message to flow out via the various channels, and it should be able to deliver insights and enable new strategic decisions in real time, he said.
Louis Janse van Rensburg, Johannesburg Director at digital agency World Wide Creative, cited Nike's digital initiatives as a good example of integrated digital market that delivers an ROI. Not only did the sportswear firm develop a tight-knit online community, he said, it also produced apps that are of value to customers and at the same time, enabled its marketers to gather deep insights into the behaviour and preferences of its customers.
Janse van Rensburg said while best practice in digital marketing was still evolving as technologies changed, inventive brands were succeeding in their digital marketing on the back of certain approaches:
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