In markets that are characterised by immediate response, by data, social media and technology, the marketing function plays a critical role. Integr8’s approach to marketing is a model of example, demonstrating how a modest operation can use the power of communication to help drive growth and give rise to an established globally-recognised enterprise.
Integr8 is a South African-based global ICT managed services provider and brand. It started out in 2001 as an IT services company run by a passionate but small team of individuals – at a time when corporate/ business-to-business marketing was predominantly based on faxes and personal contact made through conferences, meet & greets and the like. Today, the company is at the forefront of ICT application and services, a leadership position that is reflected in the rapid growth and maturity of its marketing division.
The advent of the Internet, mobile computing and social networking has radically transformed the marketing function in business. Business-to-business communication is mostly digital, and transferring core messages to target audiences is instant – and marketing has to keep up with the impact of innovation.
Executive management at Integr8’s marketing division believe the brand has done just that. It exemplifies sought-after qualities of being relevant, exciting and energetic – precisely how the company views the ever-competitive ICT services space.
“The capacity to generate, sustain and deliver on professional services is where providers are differentiated in the market. Marketing, consultation and enterprise support forms the nucleus of what we do and why we do it, we base our service delivery strategy on the increasingly significant role that our Nerve Centre® operation plays,” explains Tami Sussman, Chief Marketing Officer, Integr8.
Differentiation through knowledge
Whilst the company certainly has an array of newsworthy aspects of the business it can share with the market at any given time, the success of any marketing strategy is based on timing and execution – something the marketing team at Integr8 is acutely aware of.
“Our intellectual property and our expertise lies at the heart of our marketing strategy,” Sussman adds. “We have always placed a premium on keeping our skills-base up-to-date on international best practices around product development and application. That is what sets us apart. This is the essence of our marketing drive.”
However, whilst marketing is often criticised as being more ‘hot air’ than actual substance, Integr8’s marketing staff have a different perspective on this function.
The team is well-versed in the application of resources such as mobile apps, social networking, free online marketing tools and websites.
These tools are being strategically used to help reinforce and constantly build the company’s brand.
Gaining a vast audience on the web is viewed as being a relatively cost-effective way to boost brand/ product and services. It is a forum that offers the opportunity to interact directly and immediately with existing and new clients.
The division has prioritised research of these tools, including mobile apps, to ascertain customer behaviour, issues being discussed and information pertaining to general market requirements.
“We transfer this knowledge into our blogs and other forums for online discussion. It shows that we are ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation, solution development and integration – the ‘bread and butter’ of our business. We have a large follower count on Facebook, and our following on LinkedIn and Twitter is growing daily. It took a great deal of planning and strategic content management to accomplish this. Our strategy is to deliver sustainable, organic growth through ongoing, consistent participation in our followers’ posts and tweets. The positive aspect of getting influencers to follow you is that their followers are then introduced and connected to us, which makes us really an enormous global community sharing information, ideas and also seeing what other companies do,” Sussman adds.
Management at Integr8 are convinced of the continued relevance of big data analytics, the cloud, security and social networking to businesses. They have adapted their marketing strategy accordingly and, in the words of Tami Sussman, anticipate that it “will be anything but mundane going forward.”