Reducing the need for Marketing Course Correction by Biswajit Das, Founder, Brandintelle Services Pvt Ltd

The importance of Central Marketing Systems for optimizing marketing spends in an era of rapid digitization of the Indian consumer, writes Biswajit Das.


Recently, KPMG released a report titled: “India’s Digital Future – Mass of Niches”. The report talks inter alia, about the importance of Central Marketing Systems for optimizing marketing spends in an era of rapid digitization of the Indian consumer & exponential growth of the digital medium. The report highlights that such systems when implemented in real-time, across the enterprise, is the best way for large corporations to track & optimize their marketing investments and has deep repercussions.

A Corporate Level Need

Everyone acknowledges the phenomenal growth of digital marketing, which in turn is responsible for humongous volumes of data being generated at each moment. While marketers are already shifting steadily to performance-based metrics helping make near real time course-corrections, this happens at a campaign level & fulfils a Marketing Department need.

That said, there is a different requirement at the organisation level where marketing investments need to be tracked at a macro level. And these requirements serve multiple objectives of the organisation, some obvious & some not so obvious.

Objective No. 1: Process Automation (For All Marketing Functions)

To begin with, there's a need for holistic process automation for the entire Marketing Dept. This takes care of the following basic requirements:

· Marketing Budgeting System Restricts consumption to last the revised budget;

Marketing budgets, sliced & diced to the last detail, with multiple revisions - all stored in a central database - can be used to regulate marketing investments in real time

· KPI Definition (Plans)

Starting with Annual Plans & drilling down to monthly revised plans - all stored in

central database - can be used to measure performance, both campaign level as well

as overall

· Authorization (approvals) must take place before execution

Using online/mobile technology to eliminate all excuses to ensure approvals precede action

· Verification of execution based on P.O.s as well as KPIs

Using robotic process automation to single-out non-compliance & wrong deliveries

· Settlement of bills based on verification (bill-passing)

Minimizing delays and connecting seamlessly to finance software

Objective No. 2: Using Marketing Analytics for Quick Course Correction

Once you have a real time Central Marketing System, where online approval precedes execution at every level (budgets, plans, p.o.s, verification & bill-passing), you are automatically capturing finely sliced data on marketing investments (spends) all the time.

While this ready data can be utilised to check trends, compliance, media/marketing mix across markets, product categories & time spans, it could also aid a corporate to match with primary/secondary sales, market research, competition mapping, etc.

Further, analytic routines could crunch this data to showcase trends, highlight correlations, define outliers as well as make predictions & suggestions.

And Finally, Objective No 3.: Reducing the Need for Course Correction

The final objective is to feed the relevant analytics back into the Central Marketing System during each authorization (approval) stage - so that course optimization is affected before execution - based on the latest analytics available.

Here's an example: say the VP Marketing is about to approve a monthly Plan. Let's assume that he is travelling & the approval must be executed 'on the go'. What if, in addition to the plan details, the following three icons automatically pop up in the 'approval' screen:

The icons may trigger the VP to raise a query about any of the above points before approving.

Going a step further, the same icons could automatically pop up on the screen of the executive who created/finalized the plan - thereby initiating the course correction closer to the source.

What this can ultimately result in is the minimization of the need for marketing course corrections - by making suggestions & predictions based on analytics - at each approval stage or before.

After all, shouldn’t the ultimate aim of analytics be to eliminate the need for course correction?

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