Marketing-Activity-budget

New found challenges of marketers

In Marketing Activity Management System by Jose Thomas

About the Author

Jose Thomas

Principal Consultant (Digital Products & Services). Jose is passionate about brands, marketing communications and tracks the latest trends in advertising. He successfully led business analysis for many software implementation projects for leading brand owners. He was also part of software product development of Xemarks, Xeproof and Xegency and implemented them with multiple clients. His experience as a business analyst and software lifecycle helps to identify challenge and gaps in operations and to suggest solutions. An avid reader of business news and technology trends.

Marketers are traditionally been challenged by the onslaught of new trends, lifestyles and changing preferences of consumers. Earlier these changes used to happen over a long period of time. But now they have to grapple with another set of challenges – technology, the fast pace of technology disruptions virtually changes everything around them. The traditional ways of marketing are being challenged and disrupted by the technology. The digital savvy consumer is a hard nut to crack, but easier to access given the multiple avenues to capture them.

They need to reposition the product and services to align with the core purpose of the brand, shall find newer ways to connect with the consumer and to engage them as much possible. The moment a brand is out of their sight, someone else occupy that space instantly. With narrowing attention span of human beings, out of sight clearly means out of the consideration set, and eventually losing out on them.

All these exerts considerable pressure on the marketers to really focus on their core responsibilities rather than the mundane tasks and follow up which eats up their productive time. The typical day starts with the task list for each vendor, briefing, debriefing, follow up, reminders, reviews, approvals, sharing of assets, estimates approval, revisions, seeking internal approvals, cross department communications, budget tracking, approval when they finish their deliverables, verifications, invoice processing and lot many…and the day also ends with few pending items from this list. Often leaving the brand/ product strategies and core marketing communication planning to the sidelines. In the long run, this impacts productivity and the team’s ability to significantly contribute towards the effective demand creation for products/ services

With the hyper personalization trends, the need to collaborate with multiple vendors and partners become the need of the hour, further complicating the life of every marketer. The content landscape become larger and mediums of delivery turns wider.

The best way to address these challenges to be productive and focus is to befriend the technology, along with data for decision making. The technology platforms help to enhance productivity, collaborate efficiently, and to gain visibility effortlessly. There are software platforms that serves these purposes, along with being the one point touch point for all marketing activities. Xemarks is one such platform that can be a true friend of marketers across the company and still can assimilate all their project information at one place.

Xemarks comes with complete controls to efficiently manage the entire marketing spend, it acts as a task management system, budget tracking and approval management system, stores all creative assets along with it’s approval processes, vendors rate card, retainer contracts and delivery monitoring, also acts as a single linear control for budget allocation to invoice processing, pre -audit and payment disbursal. It makes it easy for the marketer and vendor to track their invoice submission to payment disbursal without the need to have multiple email/ telephonic follow ups.

The proliferation of content is another challenge to be managed well. From the earlier days of one or two campaigns a year, the marketer now has to release new content every days, if not every hour. And often these contents are out in the control of the content partners, limiting the ability to cross- deliver it when requires. The control to store all content, creative and artworks and their IP is all the more important for reasons related to compliance and investments made for them. They are the largest marketing assets of any brands, and there is no better way than ensuring they are always within the reach and control of the marketer. Xemarks has a module for asset management which helps to onboard all contents created and curated from various sources.

Finally, the data is the new gold. When all marketing activity related data are at one place, it can help for cost optimization of marketing activities, also to identify the best set of vendors basis various parameters. The division wise, product wise or cost centre wise spend analysis can be done easily. The provision report becomes easier. For each marketing team member, the complete activity and productivity reports can be taken with all details attached. By connecting the systems with internal systems, it can be a platform for marketing team to manage everything from one place with the comfort of data and visibility and track of all historical activities.