Business area and operating environment
Services in marketing and the range of marketing tools are digitalising rapidly. They have become a driver of growth, and Finnish companies, too, are reaping the benefits of digitalisation. In 2018, digital advertising grew by almost twice the speed of that in 2017. This can also be seen in marketing budgets: around 44% of the global marketing budget was used for digital media in 2018, a figure which is forecast to grow to almost 50% by 2020.
Finland is following the same trend: innovators that are leveraging digital marketing tools and combining sales and marketing are growing notably faster than other firms. Despite this growth rate, international comparisons reveal that most Finnish companies are only in the early stages of digitalising their sales and marketing. This provides players using digital marketing services with an excellent springboard for growth.
The marketing sector and the expertise it requires are changing rapidly as digitalisation and technology advance. For example, according to a study published by Forrester Consulting and Accenture Interactive in late 2018, 26% of marketing decision-makers around the world believe that the adoption of a new technology strategy will be a key task facing market executives over the next 12 months. Going forward, defining the limits of the field will indeed be even harder – and also more futile. The winners will open-mindedly grasp new opportunities and adopt agile practices.
At present, Avidly’s Marketing Services offers versatile marketing expertise to support its customers’ growth through Finland’s most extensive office network. We currently serve our customers in eleven locations: Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kotka, Kouvola, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Tampere, and Turku. We are developing our operations to even better serve our customers’ digital needs and even more towards a continuous marketing model that aims at achieving the customer’s strategic targets by means of marketing.
In our view, the marketing needs of our customers will be even more closely tied to the company’s strategy and, therefore, the marketing partner must be able to offer comprehensive marketing and communications services for executing the customer’s strategy. We believe that the need for a comprehensive, creative strategic marketing partner will increase, in particular among medium-sized companies.
Avidly’s Marketing Services business area forms a unique system where a single partner can provide communications and media agency services, among others, in addition to an extensive range of marketing services. We believe that this unique system combined with an extensive office network in Finland provides an especially good opportunity to organically grow our business within the changing marketing landscape in Finland. The main target for our Marketing Services is to maintain profitable organic growth in Finland. We consider serving our current customer base of over 500 companies with wider range of services to be one of the opportunities for growth. Going forward, we will be developing our operations to serve the strategic and digital needs of our customers even better.
We believe that as the opportunities provided by marketing technologies increase and the digitalization of companies continues, marketing will move even closer to the sales operations of companies in the coming years. This will, in particular, increase the strategic importance of digital marketing as a growth enabler.
We believe that in addition to the technologies themselves, the efficiency and scope of cooperation between the customer and marketing service companies will play a key role in making marketing a critical growth-enabling function within companies. As the role of marketing within business has grown, customers’ needs towards marketing partners have also changed. Marketing is changing more and more from project-type work towards continuous, strategic growing of sales and brand value and development of the customer experience.
Medium-sized companies, in particular, will encounter challenges in attracting modern marketing experts as their employees. In our view, this development will increase the significance of external marketing partners in this target group of medium-sized companies. We also believe that, alongside the new digital opportunities, the role of communications and content will continue to grow as regards reaching companies’ strategic goals.