Where to begin? In a flat line economy companies and organisations are understandably reticent about parting with their all important advertising budgets for advertising instruments. And with good cause.
Most FTSE350 advertising budgets have been cut, or at least downsized, and the pressure is higher than ever for CMOs and Sales Directors to deliver extra bang for their bucks.
Stereotypical marketing budget allocations usually read something like this (in no particular order):
• Website design, management and optimisation
• TV & radio
• Internet advertising
• Email marketing
• Direct mail
• PR & Comms
• Social media
• Marketing automation / lead nurturing
• Print advertising
• Online promotions inc. Webinars
… and it’s easy to see how confusing each can be, with measurability issues key in the minds of most marketing directors globally.
Notably, in the social media field, it is difficult to look around without seeing vast overblown claims from various resellers who are, at best, guessing.
There is value in having a brand ‘badge’ in front of folks of course, but how many direct sales are made through these channels?
IBM recently surveyed 1700 CMOs globally, and the key results were surprising:
• 78% of CMOs expect more complexity over the next five years, but only 48% are prepared to deal with more complexity.
• 82% of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years, only 26% are currently tracking blogs, 42% are tracking third-party reviews and 48% are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their marketing strategies.
• 63% of CMOs believe return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend will be the most important measure of their success by 2015. However, only 44% feel fully prepared to be held accountable for marketing ROI.
• Less than half of the CMOs surveyed have much sway over key parts of the pricing process, and less than half have much impact on new product development or channel selection.
• 56% of CMOs viewing social media as a key engagement channel – but they still struggle with capturing valuable customer insight from the unstructured data that customers and potential customers produce.
• CMOs still focus primarily on traditional sources of information such as market research and competitive benchmarking, and 68% rely on sales campaign analysis to make strategic decisions.
• Four-fifths of respondents plan to use customer analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), social media and mobile applications more extensively over the next three to five years.
• Nearly two-thirds of CMOs think return on marketing investment will be the primary measure of the marketing function’s effectiveness by 2015. But only half of all CMOs feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers for ROI.
• 75% of CMOs believe marketing must manage brand reputation within and beyond the enterprise. Courtesy IBM 2011
In short, many are still completely in the dark and struggling to find a measurable solution.
SKS Media takes a slightly different approach. Large blue chip clients invariably have a retained media planning agency (eg Mediacom, Maxus, Carat) and take recommendations based on the advice they receive. And they do deliver sterling results. However, few of the large agencies have the time or resources to look at niche and specialist advertising vehicles, which, when combined, are a formidable force.
The SKS Media mantra is quite simple. Put your products and services in front of the audience who have a need for them, who are fiscally enabled to purchase, and who are authorised to make said purchase. This ‘common sense’ advertising has been welcomed throughout Europe as a ‘breath of fresh air’.
For example, I may decide as a CMO that we ought to have a TV campaign. And that’s great for branding, but not so great for DR as I have little guarantee or indication of the financial capability of the viewers on the couch, apart from the fact that one of them presumably owns a television.
And then there’s PPC on the internet. Vast budgets spent on this every year on the off-chance that some of the visitors might want to make a purchase, but no ‘intent-to-buy’ indicator. As a CMO I might find this frustrating.
So then, while these various channels are developing, as a CMO I might like to explore other avenues which get my company into the hands of decision makers who are immediately likely to need my company’s services, and preferably at a low cost.
Enter SKS Media. As an impartial publishers representative, SKS Media sticks to a hand-picked stable of tried and tested advertising and marketing vehicles all of which leverage the power of the top drawer niches in their field. For example, China Daily Europe, with the Chinese pedigree of a 30 year old English language parent in Beijing (China Daily), is read by half a million C-level decision makers per week in hard copy, and three million per week online. For example again, Millionaire Lifestyle Magazine, only found in places millionaires frequent. And another, The Brand Magazine London, only the top 5% global brands, and only the top 5% global readership. Or Aspire Collection Magazine, handed over to high net worth property buyers in SW postcodes of London. Yet another, Tech-LS marketing platform too, for unrivalled reach to architects and interior designers. From these sure-fire offerings, ‘mini-schedules’ can be made to match my CMO schedule for the year. And that’s music to my delicate CMO ears….
If I happen to be in the mood for some icing on my SKS Media cake, I might also choose some perspicacious UK government data from Pelham Research (edited by Nick Paget Brown, Deputy Leader Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Cabinet Member for Transport), and if I’m bold enough I might also elect to add in a viral video or corporate presentation by Ossian to my budget.
And that’s how I can, as a CMO, leverage the power of niche.
In short, in a flat line economy, Alfie, it’s probably not a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket.
SKS Media London
T: +44 (0) 203 286 8737
SKS Media – “Bringing the top drawer to you, since 1999.”
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