Marketers need to get digitally fit to keep up with trends and own individual marketing activities.

Its more than visibility online. Its about taking control of your brand and marketing, to get in front of your organisation and your competitors. It is time to digitalize and automize your marketing with suitable marketing tools similar to what CRM does for businesses.

Most marketers are familiar with the term digital marketing. But what does “digital marketing” mean? For most marketers it is about being visible in various digital platforms. Trends and development within marketing implies though that there is more to come in the time ahead.

Marketers who has kept it going for a while, has already taken part in a time travel. Take homepages, the first webpage was launched in 1990. Today, marketing products and services without a homepage seems unlikely. From having limited choices in channels, platforms and activity options, we are now overloaded with alternatives – and everything needs to happen highspeed.

Now, almost everything happens in real-time and your ability to keep the same pace and deliver on every request, becomes increasingly demanding.

Everyone working in a marketing department are familiar with the amount of e-mail requests from colleagues requesting images, marketing material, local campaign customization, translations and more. In addition, you are supposed to deliver results based on a strategy and marketing plan. Its easy for time-lines to get disrupted. If you fail to answer and deliver according to demand, your colleagues become creative and before you know it, you have lost control of both your brand and your key strategy. According to The impact of brand consistency benchmark report 2016 (Demand Metric Research Corporation), 60% of marketers experience brand inconsistency when response time exceeds more than a week. Sounds familiar?

Everyday challenges

Managing a brand and the marketing turns more complex the more alternatives you get as a marketer. Ironically, it is expected that marketers should do more, while the marketing budget is reduced and every cent you spend must be justified.

Marketing departments have traditionally been good at structuring material in local servers and folders. Internal communication, information and document sharing is most commonly solved with e-mails or intranet.

The challenges with this are many. What happens with what you send? Is it read? Are the files stored locally and a subject for continuous reuse even when files has expired? What about those who never ask anything or use your intranet? Who are they? Are they creating their own material? Are they aware of the latest changes in your brand book?

There are plenty of questions and challenges. All in addition to you working purposefully to create long-term values according to marketing strategy and maintaining a consistent brand and unified communication regardless of marketing channel.

Since late 90’s we have been collaborated with small and large brands and developed software with the purpose to digitalize and streamline marketing- and communication processes. Despite these years, we still see that the knowledge and acquaintance to digitalization and automation among marketers is small. Yet we see that the needs are increasing and are leaning towards “must have”. We are confident that we are at the forefront of a new wave – not unlike the one we saw when ERP systems become common in the early 90 says Gunnar Larsen, CEO at BrandMaster.

You too should digitalize and automize your workday

While sales, HR, finance and salary departments invest in software to ease their workday and attain control, marketers tend to be more cautious. With already tight budgets, assuming it is too expensive and created for large global organisations is easy, yet untrue.

It is expected that larger organizations and brands have different and perhaps more needs than smaller companies, but everyone who works with marketing has the same ambition – To be the preferred brand amongst its competitors. Thus, the need to build a strong and solid brand regardless of your company size.

There are numerous articles about marketing and brand management online. In a blog at widen.com – «Why Brand Management is a key success factor for modern day marketers» it is written that regardless of budgets, profits or company size, a brand is one of the strongest differences between companies. However, a strong brand does not emerge by itself, the competitive advantages must be earned. It takes reflection, focus and discipline to establish a preferred brand.

Structuring your workday, accomplishes efficiency and secures quality in your delivery. Digital marketing solutions includes as many capabilities as there are tasks in a marketing department. To find the best solution for your company, you need to know what needs your marketing department has and what tasks you need to systematize. What does it take to solve the challenges you have?

Our experience is that even large and well-established brands admits they have no control of their marketing material. Valuable time is wasted on questions and search for correct material, which compromises the creativity. Start with making approved content and branded material available in one place for both employees and partners says Peder Godvik, Senior Consultant at BrandMaster.

Examples of functions you can automize and which will revolutionize how you work are a media archive for digital files, design templates online, communication platform for both external and internal communication, marketing calendar, online brand books, ROI analysis, publication of content to different marketing channels and more. There is an ocean of possibilities and we observe that there is an increase in use.

Prepare for a more modern workday

With a system in place, you get everything in one location. It is easier to get ahead of your organization and your competitors. You facilitate automation and self-service of your brand and marketing in one single solution. When everyone is using the same solution, you eliminate time thieves such as unnecessary e-mails about things that are already available, you control what material and files are in distribution and you only have one location for maintenance.

It takes time to facilitate implementation of marketing solutions in a company. You need to familiarize yourself with all available alternatives, maybe you also need to convince your colleagues and management. We recommend that you investigate your needs and what options you have. Map your time thieves and consequences of insufficient resources needed to reach long-term goals and strategies. Prepare yourself for going digital sooner rather than later.

By Renate Sandland Henriksen