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Guest column: SMAC boosts customer base, brand value, reach and presence: Ashu Kajekar, CEO and Founder, 7EDGE

23-May-2017
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Guest column: SMAC boosts customer base, brand value, reach and presence: Ashu Kajekar, CEO and Founder, 7EDGE

Today, technology is monitoring your internet activity and organisations are evolving targeted advertising based on your search patterns and spending behaviour. This has been made possible by SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud), which is transforming digital advertising and marketing. It prepares a ready reckoner for brands that have a strong presence online and have deployed SMAC for better customer engagement.

The onset of the digital age has given customers more discretionary control over what they buy and whom they buy from. With the customer exerting such control, the SMAC approach enables businesses to shift their focus to an engagement strategy rather than a channel strategy to succeed and make the customer journey more engaging.

Broadly speaking, the idea behind the SMAC approach is to leverage social networks for brand building and customer engagement; Big Data analytics to analyse large volumes of data and derive actionable insights into customer behavioural data; Cloud Computing to provide a shared pool of resources and Mobile Applications to provide access to services on the go. E-commerce giants and e-retail giants are good examples for successfully incorporating SMAC in their advertising and marketing strategies.

What is SMAC?

SMAC is a combination of four digital technologies: Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud to provide a holistic solution towards transforming an organisation into a highly functional and productive entity with the capability of managing future business challenges. It is a fact that any company with long-term business growth plans must incorporate a SMAC strategy in its advertising and marketing plans. A SMAC approach can be helpful in creating scalable digital advertising campaigns using cloud-based infrastructure for all devices.

How SMAC works?

Internet advertising has various ways of placing an advertisement, such as contextual ads on search engine results page, blogs, email marketing, advertising networks, online classified advertising and social network advertising. In addition, there are certain programmes like Google’s AdWords and AdSense, which match the advertisers with content that the targeted market consumes. And SMAC plays an integral role in bringing a select customer segment closer to the brands.

Advertisers can boost their revenue and customer base through unified and actionable views of their audiences. The attributes from all data sources can be combined into high-value audience segments for ad targeting. Programmatic media platforms simplify how campaigns are run, from media planning to reporting. With all digital marketing efforts on one powerful platform, marketers can work smarter, act quicker, and get better results.

Social

Today, social media has evolved into a ubiquitous tool that businesses utilise for building brand awareness and strengthening relationships, addressing customer grievances, creating lead generation and much more, at a higher level engaging the customers. While social sharing enhances business popularity on the social networks, social marketing enhances the collaborative knowledge for businesses where their brands interact with potential customers, giving them the opportunity to share feedback and insights on how to improve their products and services. Valuable data generated by customers can be harnessed to help build a better advertising and marketing strategy.

Mobile

The majority of India’s young population is accessing internet for the first time through smartphones. Therefore, mobility needs to be integrated into everything businesses do and should be at the forefront of their advertising and marketing strategy. Mobile technology reinforces the ability of businesses to connect with customers. Potential revenues can be boosted by embracing mobile advertising as part of any business strategy. Today, all advertising and marketing efforts need to be mobile-first, not mobile-friendly.

Analytics

The role of analytics in web marketing is growing. Analytics enables businesses to understand how, when and where people consume certain goods and services. Data gathered during advertising and marketing campaigns provide crucial insights of what future marketing output would look like. Amplifying analytics to the best use will help target the right audience and deliver as per the customer’s expectations.

Cloud

The application of Cloud for business outcomes is an important practice. Cloud computing provides a new way to access technology and the data a business needs to quickly respond to changing markets and solve business problems. It helps create a more cost-effective IT ecology and infrastructure apart from reducing the costs for maintaining a physical server. The cloud is particularly beneficial for advertisers as it fosters collaboration and improves business efficiency. Advertisers can access data wherever they are from any part of the world and respond in real time.

Collaboration, mobility, accessibility, and communication provide marketers with a better understanding of who is interacting with brands. While each of the SMAC components itself can generate customer insights, the convergence of these four as a stack will change the outlook of organisations to enhance their customer base, brand value, reach and presence.  SMAC provides an opportunity for organisations to secure feedback and insights on how to improve their products and services better targeted at the customers.

Why SMAC?

A SMAC approach helps organisations create scalable digital advertising campaigns using cloud-based infrastructure for all mobile devices. Businesses can improve their revenue growth and expand their customer base through unified, actionable views of their audiences. By combining the attributes secured from all their data sources, businesses can create high-value audience segments for specific advertisement targeting. Further programmatic media platforms help businesses simplify how their advertising campaigns are run. With all digital marketing efforts converged on one powerful platform, marketers within organisations can work smarter, act quicker and obtain better results. SMAC helps break geographical boundaries and offer cost-effective marketing solutions.

The four elements of SMAC provide two main benefits: easy access to content, and an ability to stay updated irrespective of the geographical presence of the marketers. SMAC tools allow storage on the cloud, enabling real-time data management and decision making processes. This enables advertisers and marketers to analyse the data from anywhere, on a real-time basis for actionable insight into customers. A SMAC-powered campaign strategy brings in efficiencies as programmatic advertising spend increases, and helps organisations focus on driving loyalty and customer lifetime value. When all four elements of SMAC work together for businesses, client relationships flourish, marketing insights increase and organisations gain an advantage over competitors that are yet to realise the potential of SMAC.

(The author is CEO and Founder of 7EDGE)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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