What is one of the most important things brands need to do today?
According to Veli Ngubane in a post for Memeburn, the critical need is to integrate to better serve customers.
“For brands, integration means ensuring that all aspects of technology, and the brand operation, become customer-centric, communicate well internally, and co-operate for the ultimate benefit of the customer,” writes Ngubane.
Of course, technology has changed the ways in which brands do this.
“The scale, scope and sheer onslaught of the technology that marketers need to work with and understand have exploded,” Ngubane says. “Since the last decade, there’s been massive growth in the marketing technology that underpins every aspect of managing a brand.”
The technologies are wide-ranging.
“Outside of agencies, at the client or company, marketers are using tools for Business Intelligence, data mining, digital asset management and market resource management to plan and run their operations,” Ngubane notes. “Then there are a plethora of services, infrastructures (think Big Data), backbones (think CRM) and middleware that link up management, sales, marketing, suppliers, and customers.”
Ngubane believes the tech explosion is good for one thing only, ultimately: better customer service.
“But this will only happen if the disparate technology that serves marketing is integrated,” Ngubane says. “Marketers will only be able to achieve this marketing holy grail – let’s call it intelligent marketing – if the agencies they work at are integrated.”
Interestingly, the Altimeter 2014 State of Digital Transformation study, according to Ngubane, “shows that there is a huge disconnect between how company leaders think digital transformation is happening, and what’s actually going down, on the ground.”
“The study showed that 88 percent of companies surveyed reported to be undergoing digital transformation, but only 25 percent could point to changes that indicated they were actually transforming,” says Ngubane. “What this means is that loads of companies were talking about conversion, but only a quarter were actually taking any steps towards change.”
Of course, mobile and social media loom large as venues for integration.
“TV and radio continue to have massive reach, but as it now stands they are outranked by mobile,” Ngubane says.
There’s much more in Ngubane’s essay, but ultimately, he argues that getting all channels working in tandem is a critical milestone for a successful brand.
To check out the piece in full, click here.