Staff Reporters
Feb 4, 2014

Company collaborations: Working with more than just agencies

MARKETERS FORUM: Technology vendors, marketing consultancies and research companies—marketers now find themselves looking beyond the traditional ad agency to reach their consumers.

L-R: Ho, Baker, Chung, Barrett, Patel
L-R: Ho, Baker, Chung, Barrett, Patel

Grace Ho
MD, APJ marketing
SAP APAC Japan

Marketers need to continuously stay relevant and keep pace with customers’ buying process, shifting behaviour and preference, in order to deliver value.

To stay ahead of the enterprise curve, in addition to services partners and application software partners, I have also collaborated with consultancy firms whose traditional core business is in business process re-engineering, research companies to provide data-driven market insights and even education institutions to encourage innovation and the incubation of solutions.

In a dynamic market like Asia-Pacific, there is a need for marketers to explore new ways of working  with new types of marketing services and partners.

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Iris Chung
Head of business development
Larry Jewelry

To reach consumers, we now work more with technology companies specialising in digital communication and social media. We employ different approaches and look for interactive tools that will appeal to the five senses and gain engagement. For example, if the store is the physical brand experience hub, shopping experiences could definitely be further enhanced with all the technology advancement and application.

As a result, we find the traditional TV and print ad campaign to be a part, but not all, of our media strategy.

The rule of thumb in marketing is to understand our consumers. To catch up with the fast pace technology marketers are now opening up to new technology vendors and marketing services.

Chetan Patel
VP, strategic marketing and ecommerce
Onyx Hospitality Group

First of all, we don’t work with ad agencies for online advertising. We have built the capability in-house as the speed to market is of such critical importance that we can’t have a long chain of command. This choice is resource-intensive but our ROI works out very well because we keep at the forefront of all developments.

Having said that, it is difficult to replicate all expertise and vertical disciplines. The analytics, tracking and website optimisation work we do is much better with the help from Sparkline Analytics, a Singaporean agency we engaged last year. I also believe there is room for others in the area of usability, personalisation, social media, big data and integrated marketing. I can see myself engaging agencies specialising in these soon.

Nick Baker
CMO
Tourism Australia

From website to digital campaigns, apps, YouTube channel and Facebook page, most of what we do is now in the digital medium. This has resulted in significant growth in our digital technology requirements. We are  working more with specialist suppliers in this area, to reach our target audiences globally.

Mobile technology has also had an impact as travellers now share stories and images of their travels, helping to give greater immediacy to word-of-mouth advocacy — so very powerful in tourism marketing. This technology has also paved the way for the collection of “big data” which means we are able to more easily identify and reach our target customers, and thereby ensure our marketing dollars are maximised.

Lincoln Barrett
VP Distributor and relationship marketing, Greater China
IHG

Absolutely, ad agencies are just one part of the marketing supply chain. In today’s integrated marketing world you need consultants and advisors that can help chart strategy and work through issues to do with cross-channel management, technology integration and bringing new insights into the business.

As you move into execution there is a much greater need to use a diversified pool of resources to manage emerging channels and technologies and handle a composite of high value work and more commoditised asset creation.

This can range from a specialty social media company, a technology company versed in location-based communications through to a lower cost creative studio. This trend will only accelerate. 


CASE STUDY Australian Rugby Union picks Accenture to tackle CRM needs

The Australian Rugby Union is the governing body of  rugby union in Australia. The ARU has traditionally been a sporting innovator, but as the landscape has shifted, challenges in engaging fans, driving participation and capturing opportunities from digital content have emerged. So it partnered with Accenture Interactive to build a “unique experience” for its members and fans and secure its commercial future.

Under this partnership, during the British & Irish Lions Tour, Accenture worked with the ARU to develop a mobile app that provided all the latest news from on and off the field, including live commentary, real-time scores, exclusive video, post- match analysis and more. It was integrated with social media tools and enabled fans to receive constant updates and watch highlights.

Accenture also provided in-depth analytics to enhance the fan experience of the 2013  tour. Fans could access real-time analysis during the match.

The firm also overhauled the ARU’s CRM system. It created a shared services operating model that could deliver a single view of members and customers, improve relationship management and personalise online experiences.

To achieve this, the project team took a holistic approach to the ARU’s member engagement lifecycle — from members seeking information and becoming involved in community activities, to purchasing tickets and merchandise and renewing memberships.

As a result of this work, the 2013 Lions Tour was a runaway success, with close to 400,000 fans attending the nine matches. The British & Irish Lions Tour app has been downloaded nearly 37,000 times by Android, Samsung and iOS users. Finally, the ARU expects its new CRM system to offer substantial commercial benefits for rugby in Australia as a whole.

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