Marketing Communications Associate
SAP, the leading multinational enterprise software corporation that manages business operations and customer relations, has come to recognize that the issues at the heart of marketing apply to every SAP customer. In fact, SAP systems run on 98% of the world’s most valuable brands, while 70% of all global transactions touch SAP systems.
Today, marketing leaders are playing a larger role in the business process. Not only do marketers need to understand the nuances of today’s technology—from complex data solutions to programmatic challenges, but they must interact successfully with the entire C-Suite to ensure that winning brands drive actionable results in a digital economy.
SAP XM, the most significant, organically-grown, recent product within SAP, hosted an elite group of CMOs and Marketing Leaders in New York this September to discuss next-gen solutions for marketing, in partnership with The Internationalist and the ANA (Association of National Advertisers). Certainly, no part of marketing or the customer value chain has been left untouched by technology. As a result, SAP XM created an event to offer a vision of technology for marketers by highlighting pioneers at the intersection of tech innovation and informed marketing strategy.
Held within SAP’s new Hudson Yards headquarters at the Leonardo Center, an innovation space designed to make "digital" tangible, the location proved a worthy venue for a glimpse into the future of marketing. As a modern architectural wonder rising on the Hudson River, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center.
Through digital transformation in a connected world, every company today is fast becoming a technology company; however, marketers have specific needs when building brand value and powering the purchase journey. While new technologies provide predictive analytics, data-driven insights, AI, IoT, DMPs and a true "alphabet soup" of opportunities, they also place new demands on CMOs to deliver on short-term performance and long-term customer experience.
SAP XM believes that an end-to-end system within an organization can better provide the real link between advertising spend and the actual ROI of campaign performance results.
Internationalist Insights research on Marketing and Technology, created on behalf of SAP XM and timed to coincide with the event, also found that while marketing-specific tech continues to create individualization at scale, staying current is a priority as well as a challenge for marketers. In fact, 13.2% of marketers surveyed admitted that technology’s jargon is a barrier to marketers. More marketing leaders feel that there is divide between Silicon Valley promises and a brand’s need to better connect with customers and ultimately help marketing sell more products.
The research also found that today’s marketers are realists when it comes to technology. More than half admitted that the future was an "inspired balance between technology and creativity." Through survey comments and further discussion with marketing leaders, it became clear that today’s focus on purposeful marketing is just as important to them as the potential of technology - laying the foundation for an interesting, new marketing dynamic.
As a result, SAP XM identified several “pain points” that their customers sought to address as they experienced both technological and behavioral change in their efforts to create greater value in a digital economy. With the belief that if their clients could identify problems, then SAP XM could solve them through the power of SAP and through co-innovation partnerships with customers.
Richard Jones, CEO of Wayin and a Marketing Technology pioneer, opened the Think Tank with a vision of the future of technology for marketers by discussing the new collaboration between adtech and martech.
Stephen White, Global CMO of JD Sports, an imaginative and fast-growing UK-based retailer that's expanding globally to become the largest fitness fashion retailer in the world, shared how the company is embracing technology to power marketing. JD Sports energetically pioneers innovative applications of advanced technologies to enable unprecedented capabilities that drive bottom line successes.
Tim Castree, Global CEO of Wavemaker - the newly-named WPP MEC/Maxus collaboration, outlined how media agencies should use technology and data to better understand how their investments are driving growth. He outlined a Purchase Journey approach through transactional data from 65 product categories in 35 global markets that enables fair consideration of all possible actions a brand might take, so that decisions can be made on paid, earned and owned media to greater result.
Stefanos Karagos, Founder of XPLAIN, and a thought leader at the nexus of Digital Marketing and Consumer Intelligence, as well as an Internationalist Innovator, talked about how to think results with an emphasis on AI, Machine Learning Algorithms, Predictive Analytics and Data-driven strategy.
A panel of top marketers discussed technology at the intersection of marketing and innovation in their work - from media lessons learned to working within a global framework to bringing new ideas and technologies to life in legacy companies. They included:
Among the topics discussed were the “inspired” balance between the potential of technology for marketers and the promise of purpose-driven branding, as well as revisiting creativity in an atmosphere of constant ROI and digital disruption.
Based on the interests and concerns of these marketers, SAP XM plans to explore the following subjects with them in the coming months:
To get an impression of the event you can watch our video recap on our YouTube channel or directly below: