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The Internationalists of the Year – Influencers and Innovators in Digital Advertising

Marketing leaders from all over the world came together at the Harvard Business Club in New York on March 10-11 to celebrate the internationalists of the year 2015.
The internationalist award honors selected leading marketers and companies who reinvent marketing in a time of digital transformation with innovative marketing strategies and technologies. 33 leading marketing managers, from different locations and industries worldwide, received an award for their outstanding work over the last year.

Successful Marketing Leadership

What does it take to be a transformational marketing leader? This was one central topic of this year’s event, discussed in a panel. Dyer, Christensen et al, believe that a marketing leader, living in today’s turbulent times of change, needs to observe, to question and to network with others, to develop new innovative marketing and business models. Success for change and innovation ultimately depends on a constantly ongoing dialogue with a trusted customer and partner ecosystem.

A Fundamental Marketing Challenge

If digital innovation is about observing, listening and networking, companies need to start reinventing their advertising strategies. With the rise of ad blockers, consumers obviously express that the ads they are displayed are anything but relevant to them. According to AdAge, 75% of U.S. online consumers don’t trust ads. A recent study by Gallup explains that advertising practitioners are considered as dishonest and unethical as politicians. It all points to one thing: if the advertising industry continue on this path, it may soon cease to exist.

Every company needs customers, but just customers is not enough anymore. You need to create advocates for your brand. How that works? It is as simple as this: Start making advertising relevant again! You need to authentically drive brands towards fulfilling desires, instead of just trying to force the brand messages upon your consumers. Marketing legend Stan Rapp and Sebastian Jespersen offer some answers to these fundamental challenges in their new book “Entangled Marketing”. They believe, that an intertwined relationship between a brand and a consumer now outranks the value of brand awareness.

The Challenge of Nonvertising

Bob Hoffman, former owner and CEO of the ad firm Hoffman/Lewis, explains the issue of nonvertising as follows: “Marketers are pouring more and more money into online advertising. They don't know what they're buying, they don't know who they're buying it from. They don't know what they're getting, they don't know how much they're paying. If there's a better definition of being on Mars, I'd like to hear what it is."

The lack of control and transparency advertisers are currently facing is stunning. Technologies and process need to be applied end-to-end and advertisers need to be where they belong: In the driver’s seat. Advertisers need to be in full control about message, content, placement, budget and end-results in real time. They need to be able to see how their campaigns are performing in real time and to improve relevancy and results immediately.

The Magic Triangle

Another important question discussed was the change of marketing roles within a corporation. CMOs, who drive digital transformation, are one part of the Magic Triangle - they act in concert together with the CIOs and CFOs, being empowered and inspired by what Fred Kiel describes as the “Virtuoso CEO”. In today’s digital era marketers need to dispose of siloes and build bridges with technology and finance in their corporations. This collaboration will ultimately allow CMOs to not only view and optimize marketing results in real time, but moreover to harness predictive analytics in simulating the next big campaign.

We at SAP XM would like to foster, inspire and support CFOs, CIOs and CMOs to form a guiding coalition with the Magic Triangle, and have particularly invited CMOs to SAPPHIRENOW in Orlando this year, to experience and discuss SAP XM and other end-to-end technologies and processes eligible to drive digital transformation for advertisers and marketers. Be part of the discussion and visit us in Orlando this year: http://events.sap.com/sapandasug/en/home.html?bc=1

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