Key Points:

According to Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey for 2020, Brand Strategy and a trend to adopting Marketing Technologies (MarTech) have become priorities for Marketers.

Niel Hiscox, President of Canada’s Universus Media Group, has identified a trend by the workforce to extract more out of their MarTech as ‘they’ve all gone home.’

Since the beginning of the pandemic, MyAdbox has secured 6 new clients across a range of industries, reflecting the shift to MarTech.

To say it’s been an ‘interesting’ time in business across the globe is a serious understatement. It’s impossible to avoid the grim economic forecasts out there that now point to the biggest downturn since the early ‘90s and potentially since the late ‘20s. Despite the uncertainty, we all know that downturns lead to upturns and in the process, businesses shift priorities to adapt.

According to Gartner’s annual CMO Spend Survey for 20-21 the number one priority for marketers right now is Brand Strategy – which is a classic symptom of a tougher, tighter economy. Difficult times awaken the sleeping giant that is ‘Branding’ - focusing marketing teams on brand analysis/refreshment and expanding the brand story to improve recognition, create trust, build financial value, inspire their people and find new customers.

Sensible businesses in this kind of environment will also be looking for improvements within, which explains the rise to prominence of Marketing Technologies. Gartner’s research found that MarTech accounted for the largest slice of Marketing Budget at 26% of spend, slightly more than what marketers are putting aside for Agency Services, Paid Media and Labor costs. That figure is likely to rise as two thirds of CMOs are bullish about Martech investments over the coming 12 months with the spend on Martech to increase year on year. This reflects a drive toward innovation and harnessing the full powers of tech to drive value to the business.

This shift to Martech is also a consequence of companies needing to extract more from the reduced resources at hand and adjust to the new world we’re all facing. ‘When the pandemic hit, pretty much everyone went home,’ says Niel Hiscox, President of Canada’s Universus Media Group and a principal of MyAdbox Canada. “Since then, a lot of companies have brought back skeleton staff and they’re finding that they’re leaning more on tech than ever before.” Hiscox believes it’s had a huge effect on business as it’s ‘liberated’ the virtues of the technologies employed.

Tools that may have been put in place clearly haven’t been optimized fully in the time before the pandemic. Now that teams are having to lean more on the tech and really put it to work, there’s been a dramatic impact on efficiencies. In fact, what we’re seeing is that whole teams are more willing to adopt technologies and take advantage of the benefits.”

The pivot to tech – and particularly to the automation virtues of Brand Management software is evident in recent findings by a McKinsey Global Survey that shows “the imperatives for automation success are shifting.” McKinsey’s survey results demonstrate that more companies are pursuing automation now than in recent history. In the same McKinsey survey conducted two years ago, 57 percent of respondents noted the introduction of automation in their business processes. That figure is now beyond 66 percent – and the curve is trending up, with more than half of those yet to embrace automation stating that they intend to do so within the next 12 months.

To highlight the momentum shift to Martech, the MyAdbox suite of Brand Management Software has secured six new clients in a range of industries, from Automotive and Travel to Advertising, Retail and Sport. The new additions to the client list include Audi South Africa, Scenic Travel, Ignite Group, Associated Retailers Limited (ARL), Leading Edge Group and Australia’s iconic national sporting body. The use case for the platform varies considerably across this new group of clients including:

• the need to secure a world class Digital Asset Management system,

• the requirement for a white-labelled version of the MyAdbox system for third party users,

• The need to manage the complexities of cooperative advertising funding across a nationwide network of users, incorporating a content approval process,

• The requirement for the complete MyAdbox Brand Management model – using all aspects of the platform to facilitate brand compliant content creation with streamlined workflows and approvals processes.

That these clients vary significantly in network size and scope, with differing domestic and international coverage, clearly demonstrates the versatility of the platform, together with its ease of application in any corner of the globe.

While there is a clear appetite for marketing technologies out there, choosing the right tech is paramount for business growth and navigating the waters of a pandemic affected economy. “It’s great to see that Marketing professionals are grasping the power of smart technology to achieve efficiencies, but they still need to be careful to select the right kind of tech”Not all tech is going to get the results you need.” says Andrew Baker, CEO of MyAdbox. “ Baker believes the smarter marketing teams are taking stock of what they need to achieve in the short to medium term.

“Everyone knows that in tough times, the best thing you can do is keep your marketing ‘on’ – the opportunity to capture market share as competitors retreat to a conservative strategy is real. That’s the beauty of Brand Management Software – it gives you more marketing options, getting more messages into market, more often – and all within a modest budget.”

The internet is awash with articles on how to survive in business and get through this unprecedented time. There are common threads through most of this sage advice: Smart businesses will innovate for efficiencies and will keep their marketing activity up (even increasing it) to emerge way ahead when the rebound comes. The reality is that while many already know this, not many will follow the advice. Some will resist innovation. Others will reduce their marketing spend and batten down the hatches. Quite a few will do both. But for forward thinking businesses that act and act now, the path to success is clear.