SAP's Tim Clark advises brand journalists to create stories in their own voice

Tim Clark, Vice President, Head of Native Advertising at SAP, explores the importance of native advertising and brand journalism for driving enterprise growth in this interview with Media 7. Read on to find out how he did it at SAP.

Readers from all walks of life are demanding and for good reason. 

MEDIA 7: As an expert in this field, could you please tell us how important native advertising is for driving enterprise growth?
TIM CLARK:
It’s a key enabler for SAP Global Marketing and Advertising to generate awareness, brand lift and position SAP and its customers as innovative. Native Advertising bolsters ‘top of funnel’ awareness activities across SAP’s different lines of business and solution areas via creative storytelling and contextual advertising that compliments stories.


M7: During your career at SAP, you’ve launched SAP Business Trends on the SAP Community Network and SAPVoice on Forbes.com. Could you please tell us a little about them, and how they have helped drive the business forward?
TC:
SAP Business Trends was designed to bring non-technical stories to a very large and established technical community within SAP. By creating and publishing more content about business outcomes instead of IT implementations, we organically and authentically bridged these two audiences. Business Trends ultimately grew into a community within the community, hosting hundreds of internal and external contributors and influencers while driving tons of engagement and awareness. We also used Business Trends as a primary feeder channel to help get SAPVoice on Forbes.com off the ground.


By creating and publishing more content about business outcomes instead of IT implementations, we organically and authentically bridged audiences.

SAP was the very first advertiser to partner with Forbes on BrandVoice and we co-developed the platform with them; publishing content, testing different methods and providing feedback. This, very important gestation period, allowed me to bring a much-needed editorial mindset into the mix. As our storytelling improved, readers became much more engaged and the rest, as they say, is history. We’ve settled into a nice groove of publishing around 30-40 stories per month around topics near and dear to SAP: Sustainability, Future of Work, Customer Experience, Intelligent Enterprise and Purpose.

Monthly, quarterly and year-end performance reports consistently prove our content is doing its job, performing high above Forbes and industry benchmarks. Perhaps more importantly, our contributors continue to reply on the SAPVoice platform for their individual and team needs to help launch campaigns and create a consistent drumbeat of awareness to help drive registrations and start conversations with customers. We’re not done growing. We recently launched a Regional News section that more accurately reflects topics that are top-of-mind in the UK, India, Australia and New Zealand. At different times, we also partnered with The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Inc. to help round out our native advertising efforts.

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Readers want to be enlightened, inspired and entertained.

M7: You have advised your team to, “Tell the story you want to tell, not the story you think you should tell.” How do you align this line of thought with the content demands of your readers?
TC:
Readers from all walks of life are demanding and for good reason. They want to be enlightened, inspired and entertained. They do not tolerate stories that are promotional or laced with confusing marketing jargon and buzzwords. That’s why it’s so important for SAP's employee brand journalists to create stories in their own voice that add a unique perspective and not just add to the noise. Light mentions of SAP and meaningful connections back to the business are always encouraged, but it can’t be heavy-handed.


M7: According to you, what are the best writing practices that generate results across blog channels?
TC:
I recently wrote about this very same topic for our Forbes SAPVoice channel to commemorate our 10-year anniversary.

The five steps I highlight are:

  • Cultivate talent in-house
  • Know your audience
  • Make headlines
  • Take care of business
  • Push boundaries

Media 7 readers can check out the full story here: “5 Tips For Starting A Brand Journalism Revolution.

ABOUT SAP

With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. SAP innovations help thousands of customers worldwide work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively.

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In addition to its own branded footwear, ADOC also has partnered with international brands, including Hush Puppies, The North Face, CAT, and Steve Madden, to create a complete shopping experience for its customers. Industry Excellence Breakthrough Award – Reusable Transport Packaging, a leader in sustainable transport packaging solutions, is recognized for using SugarCRM to improve its bottom line, unify customer data, streamline processes, and increase sales efficiency, resulting in a 20 percent revenue growth year over year. A key strategy in its growth is the use of Sugar Market for regular email communications, which keeps customers, distributors, and leads informed about new products, pricing updates, and other relevant industry news. Marketing Excellence Breakthrough Award – The Swedish Institute (SI), a Swedish government agency, is recognized for its innovative approach to data management and customer engagement. The Sugar Sell and Sugar Market platform integration centralizes data, segments audiences, and automates responses, significantly enhancing marketing efficiency and improving engagement with international students and alumni. The Swedish Institute saw an increase of over 31 percent in lead volume since implementing SugarCRM and boasts a best-in-class 40-to-50 percent open rate on marketing emails. Sales Excellence Breakthrough Award – J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC, a leader in gaming and amusements and one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., is recognized for implementing Sugar Sell to consolidate customer accounts and interactions into a centralized communication hub across sales, marketing, and account management. Streamlined sales processes have established a new model for sales excellence for the J&J team and its growth in the gaming industry. Service Excellence Breakthrough Award – Super General Company of the Albatha Group in the UAE is recognized for revolutionizing its service operations with Sugar Serve. Working with Sugar partner Ambit Software, Super General successfully implemented a repair and maintenance service platform, including a field management application for efficient case handling and simplified technician dispatching. Due to increased efficiency and workload management, the number of cases per technician has surged by up to 26 percent, alongside a 10 percent increase in first-time fix rates. Other notable achievements include a significant increase in call closure rates and substantial improvements in customer satisfaction scores. Customer of the Year Breakthrough Award (Asia Pacific) – zazen Water, a provider of alkaline water solutions in Australia, is recognized for its use of SugarCRM to support business growth and customer satisfaction. Through strategic integrations, zazen Water automated its business and customer service operations to streamline high-order volume processing. Notably, during its Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023 campaign, zazen Water managed a significant order peak, accomplishing its same-day dispatch promise, which, prior to automation and integration projects, would have required 16 employees. Customer of the Year Breakthrough Award (EMEA) – FAMO GmbH & Co. KG, a German wholesaler of electrical and plumbing products, is recognized for its collaboration with Sugar partner Insignio to deploy SugarCRM for advanced customer data management and opportunity nurturing, the Sugar mobile app with enterprise resource planning (ERP) data integration for field sales support, and Sugar Market for automated newsletters and targeted communications. Customer of the Year Breakthrough Award (Latin America) – Mac Construtora e Incorporadora (MAC), a leader in construction and development in São Paulo, is recognized for the creative use of SugarCRM in the dynamic real estate market. Technology adoption significantly improved lead management and customer engagement, enhancing marketing approaches and project sales, resulting in a substantial increase in sales, ranging from 50 to 94 percent of its real estate agency. This has led to MAC substantially reducing its dependence on partnering with other real estate agencies. Customer of the Year Breakthrough Award (North America) – Alto-Shaam, providing foodservice equipment solutions to more than 90 countries globally, is recognized for use of SugarCRM to significantly enhance opportunity close rates by 61 percent while achieving up to 600 hours of time savings in marketing and sales efforts to forecast customer needs. The integration of Sugar Sell with Sugar Market has streamlined key processes, improved lead management, and enhanced operational efficiency and global communication. ISV Technology Partnership Breakthrough Award – FSIoffice, a leading independent office supply company, together with sales-i, are recognized for transforming FSIoffice’s CRM strategy from data repository to sales powerhouse, with 40 percent improved sales efficiency. Supported by Sugar partner CRM International, FSIoffice is driving remarkable revenue growth and enhancing customer engagement with Sugar Sell Premier and sales-i for predictive business-to-business sales intelligence. Reseller Technology Partnership Breakthrough Award – The Joint Corp., the nation’s largest provider of chiropractic care through The Joint Chiropractic® network, in partnership with Sugar partner Faye, are recognized for driving significant improvements in healthcare operations after transitioning to SugarCRM and Amazon Web Services, with a 40 percent increase in web transaction speed. This transformation allowed The Joint to focus on integrating AI to elevate SugarCRM from a functional tool to a strategic platform for competitive differentiation in the chiropractic care sector. Judges’ Choice Award – RTCR, the public transit provider in La Rochelle, France, operating under the Yélo brand, is recognized for significantly enhancing customer service with Sugar Serve, with implementation support by Sugar partner Synolia. The deployment has led to a minimum three percent increase in customer satisfaction and streamlined complaint management, saving agents’ time by 50 percent through improved response structuring. “We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 SugarCRM Customer Breakthrough Awards,” said Chris Pennington, Chief Customer Officer, SugarCRM. “These customers and partners are recognized for excellence and innovation in letting Sugar’s AI-driven CRM platform do the work to make the hard things easier for sales, marketing and service professionals, and for driving breakthrough success and exceptional customer experiences.” About SugarCRM SugarCRM is a CRM software that helps marketing, sales, and service teams reach peak efficiency through better automation, data, and intelligence so they can achieve a real-time, reliable view of each customer. Sugar’s platform provides leading technology in the sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service fields with one goal in mind: to make the hard things easier. Thousands of companies in over 120 countries rely on Sugar by letting the platform do the work. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sugar is backed by Accel-KKR.

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Stagwell (STGW) and MNTN Partner to Forge a Unified Performance Marketing Ecosystem for Brands

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, is partnering with connected TV (CTV) advertising leader MNTN to broaden the market of performance advertising for brands. With the partnership, brands will now have access to a comprehensive set of buying solutions that combine the best of MNTN's Performance TV platform with Stagwell Marketing Cloud products, providing added streaming, performance PR and performance influencer capabilities in a one-stop shop. Stagwell and MNTN's strategic partnership allows for a more unified approach to brand and performance media, offering brands access to advanced technologies and a comprehensive suite of tools enabling brand campaigns on television to now seamlessly coexist with other digital channels. "For too long, brand and performance media have battled to co-exist in an industry that worships creative ideas and measurable metrics separately," said MNTN President and CEO Mark Douglas. "Now Stagwell's performance-focused clients can see their brand campaigns at work through MNTN Performance TV and not only qualify but quantify results of traditionally less measurable media." "Stagwell believes all media is performance media, and our partnership with MNTN is our next step in creating an integrated ecosystem of technology and media solutions that enable speed to market, improved outcomes, and ultimately, scaled brand performance for clients," said Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn. "In combination with SMC tools, including social, streaming, and PR capabilities, brands can now attach metrics to their big marketing ideas in a granular way." Meeting Client Demands The partnership between Stagwell and MNTN Performance TV addresses the growing importance of performance advertising for modern brands, offering a comprehensive suite of buying solutions that feature cutting-edge targeting, measurement, and automated optimization technology. The collaboration introduces an innovative approach to television advertising, offering brands metrics that matter together – reach and revenue. Expanded Toolset MNTN clients will now benefit from an enhanced suite of tools, incorporating products from the Stagwell Marketing Cloud. This includes: PRophet, a generative and predictive AI platform for PR professionals Koalifyed, an influencer discovery and campaign management platform ReachTV, the largest streaming television network targeting travelers in airports Together, Stagwell and MNTN aim to meet the evolving needs of modern brands in a performance-driven landscape. Stay tuned for insights from Stagwell's Mark Penn and MNTN's Mark Douglas at CES next week, where they will discuss the power of this collaboration. Brands and/or journalists interested in connecting on the ground should contact ces2024@stagwellglobal.com for more information. About MNTN MNTN is the Hardest Working Software in TV, bringing unrivaled performance and simplicity to Connected TV advertising. Our self-serve technology makes running TV ads as easy as search and social and helps brands drive measurable conversions, revenue, site visits, and more. MNTN is one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2023 and was recently named one of the Next Big Things in Tech for its upcoming VIVA creative suite. For more information, please visit https://mountain.com/. About Stagwell Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW) is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world's most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.

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SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced...

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