Dig deep for profitable growth

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Esther DonatzOctober 18, 2022

Esther Donatz, censhare CEO, advises that growth in a difficult economy is not just possible, it’s vital. More than ever, executives need to focus on the detail to keep that growth on track.


During times of crisis, it’s tempting to batten down the hatches. But the fact is that, even in challenging times, companies must continue to pursue profitable growth. Quite simply, if you’re not on the way up, you’re going down. That word ‘profitable’ is key. Growth at any cost is a terrible strategy at the best of times. In an economic squeeze, it is positively suicidal.

A dramatic sales bump on the balance sheet always looks impressive, until you dig further. Just how deep did the discounting have to go to secure that sale? Or do those big numbers in the plus column hide even bigger ones in the negative as sales are driven by costly, untargeted ad spend?

Finding growth in a difficult economy means delving into detail, making the most of assets, creating efficiencies and going to market with intelligent strategies that support your brand aims today, and in the future.

They say “what gets measured gets done” but that’s only half the battle. It’s how you measure that counts. Recent research from the Data and Marketing Association (DMA) revealed that marketing effectiveness was down 23% because of an over-reliance on what it calls ‘vanity metrics’.

The DMA used its own data to define four categories of marketing effectiveness: Business effects such as profit, brand effects such as awareness, response effects such as purchases and campaign delivery effects such as impressions.

Business effects are what companies should strive for as a benchmark for growth, but they only accounted for 6% of the metrics used. Campaign metrics (including vanity metrics) accounted for 41%. This is a danger zone. While campaign metrics are important, on their own or biased towards clicks and likes, they can give a skewed idea of success.

We recently announced a strategic partnership with MARMIND to enhance our clients’ understanding of their campaign performance. Critically, it doesn’t just show performance metrics in isolation, but how they perform against KPIs, or how they work together to generate overall improvement.

Understanding detail refines your organization. Growth also comes from honing processes and finding cost efficiencies. It’s generated directly by removing outdated technologies, freeing up budget and staff to invest elsewhere. It also comes from discovering new approaches. By consolidating assets or creating universal dashboards for example, teams can work together in a more collaborative and creative way, allowing for new ideas to surface, which might lead to further growth.

American clothing company Lands’ End found just this when it moved from an outdated digital asset management (DAM) system to our more integrated solution, better able to cope with today’s omnichannel demands. Its Senior Director of Creative Operations, Richard Swaziek reflected that its existing system was little more than a library of assets. It couldn’t support personalization. This is a significant hurdle to growth – recent research from McKinsey suggests that companies have the potential to gain 40% more revenue when personalization is at the heart of the customer journey. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

By updating the company’s DAM, Lands’ End transformed its operation. It now has 700 users, allowing it to open the Lands’ End Marketplace selling third-party products. Becoming an e-commerce powerhouse is a vital part of the company’s growth plan. Swaziek is already looking to further expansion, including automated language translation, more system integrations and adding a product information management (PIM) system.

It's hugely encouraging to see companies like Lands’ End recognizing that growth comes from a combination of creativity, efficiency and a detail-oriented approach. There are some very challenging circumstances ahead for business. But, the consumer is still there and they are looking for businesses who can serve them well and at the right price point. Profitable growth is still very much on the agenda, and will be, for the foreseeable future.


About censhare

censhare´s proven omnichannel content platform lets you master your content in any language, locally or globally, to provide a consistent omnichannel customer experience. Clients like Allianz, Lands’ End, Dyson, Christie’s and hundreds more rely on censhare to deliver brand accurate, up-to-date content, and make the most of every opportunity to reach the right customer at the right time.

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Esther Donatz
Esther Donatz is CEO of censhare GmbH and has successfull managed the business since 2020. Esther previously headed the company’s sales and professional services teams as Chief Sales Officer, managing censhare’s regional business units in Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Benelux, Scandinavia and the USA. Before joining censhare, Esther Donatz worked for international SaaS and cloud companies in various management positions, and was distinguished with the "IT Woman of the Year 2018" Gold Award.

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