Digital Decoupling: A Capability Multiplier In The Marketing Equation

Across all sectors, marketing teams frequently face a growing challenge to touch multiple markets and broader customer segments more rapidly and precisely -- often without an expanding budget or workforce. This is driving a need for innovative and cost-effective marketing practices, most notably within digital content development and distribution.

According to a recent report, between 45 and 75 percent of marketing activities are managed by external service providers. More and more businesses are implementing digital decoupling -- working with various partners or agencies to complete creative and production initiatives that produce multiple benefits and provide access to the best in technology while saving on cost.

Although digital decoupling is fast becoming a best practice, how do companies know it's the right move for them? Marketers need to determine the nature of the business case as well as key success factors for selecting the right service providers.



The right formula

Digital decoupling provides marketers with significant cost savings – moving digital work production to lower-cost locations, and improved efficiency while utilizing a team with extensive digital production capabilities. It also provides companies with access to a more extensive range of digital solutions, platforms and other scalable technology that most companies don’t have the capital to buy or the expertise to develop at the same pace.

As multichannel marketing opportunities continue to expand, digital decoupling provides a way to maintain marketing operations while stretching company budgets and reaching customers in a more cost-effective manner.

Divide and conquer

Within a thriving digital ecosystem, marketers must have the capability to develop and implement top digital strategies. However, the challenge found in many markets is that the need for outstanding digital services and talent outpaces the supply, and the development and staffing of a digital organization can be expensive.

One way to close this gap is for marketers to use digital operations services that help them navigate the expanding digital ecosystem and implement processes to manage more effectively. An agency or digital service provider can connect marketers with digital capabilities, ensuring that their global brands, markets and teams can utilize them effectively. These capabilities should extend beyond technology to include training protocols, disciplined governance, project and account management, and outsourcing expertise.

Through collaboration, agencies and digital service providers offer their shared clients the most effective and cost-efficient menu of services. Finding the right partner and developing an effective way to work requires time and focus, so knowing what to look for from a partner is a critical factor.

The sum of the parts

The era of the personalized marketing campaign has already begun, with more segments of consumers expecting highly personalized and customized messages. According to a recent report, merging consumer demands and expectations of personalization with efficient marketing delivery will put pressure on the most sophisticated in-house marketing operations. Today, marketers need access to the most advanced analytics solutions and tools to achieve consumer relevance at scale.

To deliver results, marketers should expect their agency or digital services provider to invest in and deliver on four key dimensions to achieve success:

·         Speed – offer the latest platforms and services and continue to evolve and invest in them.

·         Agility – provide greater flexibility to marketers, easily integrating content from a variety of top creative partners.

·         <Focus – focus on what they do best, taking responsibility for process standardization, governance and operations, and creative teams.

·         Scale – invest in the assets that they can cost-effectively deliver, track and optimize targeted marketing campaigns.

Over the next decade, brand teams, agencies and digital services providers will need to collaborate more closely than ever and divide and conquer marketing challenges in order to satisfy consumers’ demands.

Making the business case

While today's CMOs feel less prepared to meet their marketing objectives, 50 percent are doubling their digital marketing budget over the next year. Through digital decoupling, companies can expect to save at least 40 percent in execution, while having access to top technology and operations management. Leading companies engaged with digital services providers and agencies will extend their marketing reach, achieve their business goals and ensure that they have a proven scalable model to support brand growth over the next decade.

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