“Next-generation marketing resource management solutions developed specifically for marketing help give global marketing organizations the speed, agility, and collaboration they need when distributed remotely…With automated campaign planning and AI-based recommendations, new marketing measures and projects can be set up and implemented quickly and flexibly.” – says Mirko Holzer, CEO at BrandMaker, in an exclusive interview with TalkCMO.

TCMO Bureau: What are the critical marketing functionalities that CMOs need to be conscious of, amid the dispersed manner of operations?

Mirko Holzer: Before the COVID-19 crisis, global coordination of marketing teams working from several regional or country offices was challenging, but at least it was familiar. People had a process they knew, and working in an office setting meant that they were at least visible. Now with large parts or even entire teams working from home, marketing operations have to work in a more digital way to keep things running.

While there are myriad ways that global marketing teams are organized, they all need to be able to accomplish at least five functions even though they are distributed remotely.

  • Assignment of tasks and direction to relevant individuals only — without needlessly wasting the time of others, especially if they are expensive agencies or freelancers.
  • A clear system of reviews and approvals for work and decisions – especially when you can’t just gather everyone in a room.
  • Quick access to all relevant data and resources anywhere in the world – making sure that campaigns will be launched on time.
  • Ability to track the progress of projects at the macro level as well as key initiatives at a product and regional level – to help ensure the company reaches its goals.
  • Overall visibility of content, budgets, and performance – to be able to manage activities and campaigns with agility and against performance metrics.

TCMO Bureau: How can CMOs manage marketing with enhancing clarity and control even though they are distributed remotely?

Mirko Holzer: Coordinating hundreds of remote workers requires clarity, communication, and control. As much as we all have adopted video conference technology to help keep our communication lines open and our faces in front of each other, CMOs need to be very careful not to wear teams out with “death by conference call”, and there’s a danger things remain unclear leading to project/campaign delays

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And at a time when more market volatility means more decisions need to be made and implemented more quickly, slowing things down is simply not an option. However, rather than spend hours or days on conference calls assigning new tasks to far-flung team members, a right martech platform enables marketers to streamline project management across multiple agencies, geographies, and stakeholders via a single point of information and direction. Next-generation marketing resource management solutions developed specifically for marketing help give global marketing organizations the speed, agility, and collaboration they need when distributed remotely.

This kind of marketing platform can manage budgets and campaigns, automate workflows as well as measure and control performance to be more efficient and, better yet, reduce the time needed to execute campaigns by up to 50 percent.

TCMO Bureau: There is a considerable market shift with the widespread WFH norms. How can marketers avoid pressure to deliver acceptable levels of agility?

Mirko Holzer: These are critical elements a martech stack must deliver to free marketers from low-value and labor-intensive work – enabling them to embrace agility as WFH becomes more widespread:

Organize budgets in real-time. Having visibility on marketing performance as well as being able to shift funds to what works best promptly will improve the agility of the marketing team, ensuring they focus on activities that fuel the pipeline.

Manage campaigns on the fly. With automated campaign planning and AI-based recommendations, new marketing measures and projects can be set up and implemented quickly and flexibly.

Streamline the content creation process. The right technology helps CMOs to score and prioritize content to directly trigger the content-creation process so they can more efficiently create, distribute, and launch the new content they need to address pressing challenges.

Global Consistency. An agile martech system can help ensure that all product marketing information is current across all geographies and that the latest, right branding is used for every product/service in every market at every moment.

TCMO Bureau: Lastly, what challenges do you foresee when the markets start shifting after the pandemic – for continuity and security of data and transactions?

Mirko Holzer: Over the past month, marketing and sales pipeline and revenue forecasting have been thrown into turmoil.  Marketing teams scramble to rethink their entire strategy, including their revenue forecasting and sales pipeline. The idea that organizations can build a static marketing plan at the end of every year. The team can then expect to execute on that strategy throughout the following year seems wildly unrealistic now. Sadly, in this time of huge business upheaval, a marketing plan made even a month ago now seems miserably out of date.

Unforeseen changes and worldwide disruptions demand marketers to respond at a moment’s notice. Marketing teams, thus, need a plan to quickly and effectively shift course to address new realities on the ground—a plan with the agility to change weekly, daily, and even hourly.

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Agility can mean the variance between success and failure.  As we plunge more into this period of upheaval, I’m convinced that brands with the right martech stacks will ultimately help the businesses weather the storm – and come out stronger on the other end.

For years, martech vendors have promised to create marketing organizations nimbler, faster, and more data-driven – now is when the rubber meets the road.

Mirko Holzer is the Founder and CEO of BrandMaker, a leading provider of marketing resource management software.