53 Marketing Trends found for Innovation / Other

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Malaysia Seeks to Lure ‘Large Size’ Islamic Banks

Malaysia, which last month unveiled plans to open its Islamic finance industry further, is trying to lure larger overseas banks to provide services that comply with Muslim tenets, the central bank said. “If we want to develop ourselves as an international financial hub, then it is important for us to have international banks,” Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said in an interview in Singapore today. “We would like to see our financial landscape have an international Islamic financial institution of a large size that can take international business, whether business in Europe, or South Korea or any part of the world.”

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2009-onward]

Rising oil wealth and government initiatives have turned Islamic banking and insurance into an industry with $1 trillion in assets globally. Malaysia said last month it plans to issue as many as two Islamic banking licenses to overseas lenders this year and will let in more foreign lenders for the first time in more than a decade.

Malaysia’s central bank also raised foreign ownership limits at local Islamic banks, investment banks and insurance companies to 70 percent on April 27. Asian nations from Singapore to Hong Kong are seeking a larger share of Muslim wealth by giving incentives for more products that comply with the religion’s Shariah law.

The current global conditions provide “excellent conditions” for growth in Islamic finance as risk-sharing should be the first thing on the mind of investors, Saudi Arabia central bank Governor Mohammed al-Jasser said in Singapore May 7.

Seeking Larger Pie

Policies to promote assets that follow Muslim law are spreading as far as Japan and Europe. The U.K. may sell its first-ever Islamic bonds to woo funds from the Middle East. The Monetary Authority of Singapore issued new Islamic finance regulations this week to boost the industry, betting demand will grow as investors seek alternative assets.

There’s still interest in bonds and other products that comply with Muslim Shariah law amid the global financial crisis, the Singapore central bank’s managing director, Heng Swee Keat, said on May 6.

Malaysia’s central bank gives tax breaks for Islamic products and has relaxed rules to allow commercial and investment banks to conduct Islamic business transactions in foreign currencies.

Bank Negara Malaysia has licensed three overseas Islamic banks, including Kuwait Finance House, the Persian Gulf’s largest Islamic investment bank, and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank. It has 17 Islamic banks, which include the Islamic units of HSBC Holdings Plc, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and Standard Chartered Plc, according to the central bank’s Web site.

Second Sukuk

The new Islamic banks will be required to have paid-up capital of at least $1 billion. Bank Negara “invited” applications for licenses until October, Zeti said.

“They would undertake international business from any part of the world and this is the reason why it would require higher capitalization,” Zeti said. “There has already been interest.”

Malaysia doesn’t rule out selling a second global Islamic bond, said Zeti, who has helmed Bank Negara since May 2000. In order for there to be “sufficient liquidity,” the sale would ideally need to be at least $1 billion, she added.

“We have encouraged the government to enter the market again so we have a benchmark issuance,” Zeti said. “As conditions improve we won’t discount the prospects of an issuance. The decision will be made by the government because they are the borrower.”

Bahrain Sukuk

Islamic bonds typically are secured by real estate and assets that produce income or profits to pay investors. They took off after Malaysia’s government raised $600 million in the first overseas sale of sukuk in 2002.

Bahrain’s sale of $500 million in sovereign Islamic bonds is receiving “strong” interest from investors who have been starved of new issues amid the global credit crisis, Central Bank Governor Rasheed al-Maraj said May 7. The sale would be the second of 2009 after Indonesia raised $650 million in April from its first sale of the securities.

Islamic bond sales fell 21 percent to $3.4 billion this year after plunging 55 percent last year, as the global credit crunch sapped investor appetite for all but the safest debt and an oil-price slump eroded Middle Eastern wealth.

Overseas investors can now own 70 percent of Malaysian insurers, Islamic and investment banks and sellers of Shariah- compliant insurance, up from 49 percent previously, Prime Minister Najib Razak said April 27.

The country will also issue as many as five licenses to foreign banks by 2011, the first since Bank of China received a permit in 2000. More than 60 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million people are Muslim.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Bloomberg.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4006

Women are focus of Unilever’s engagement initiative

London agency Face has co-created pilot-testing programmes for brands such as Unilever’s Surf and Comfort, GlaxoSmithKline’s Aquafresh and Boots. The tests found that more women participate in brand research carried out online, as they can do so at a time that suits them.

[Estimated timeframe:Q2 2009-onward]

Unilever global consumer market insight director of Surf and Skip, Anna Madeiros, says: “The development of Mindbubble will help us to creatively and rapidly evolve a new product offering, all the while engaging with and reinforcing our commitment to our target market – women.”

Increasing numbers of brands, from Nokia to BP, are using digital means to create ongoing relationships with target consumers.

Community sites targeted at women were one of the early web success stories, with iVillage, now owned by NBC-Universal, and Hearst’s Handbag close to celebrating their first decade as mass market popular sites.

Since then brands such as Mothercare and Nestlé have sought to create their own community sites such as Gurgle.com.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: mad.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4044

Analytics: Marketers, Unlock the Possibilities Within Data

Fate has played a terrible joke on those thousands of people who entered the marketing and advertising profession to escape the rigors of math. That's because the digital revolution driving the crisis of centricity is all about data, math, analytics, chi squares and sigmas. Everyone in advertising and marketing must recognize that their creative output will be shaped by advanced analytics more than ever before.

[Estimated timeframe:Q3]

Everywhere throughout the marketing ecosystem, huge amounts of data are being collected. Powerful new software and hardware tools are assembling, filtering, comparing and modeling the data. Agent-based modeling used to be an artifact of military planning, replete with massive mainframes crunching through troop and weaponry capability to arrive at a prediction of battlefield outcomes. Now companies such as DecisionPower offer a software license to marketers who can input data of all kinds on consumers, competitors, retailers, ad copy and ad spending. From these inputs, the software will predict marketplace outcomes. Even better, the software lets you rapidly change inputs to create multiple scenarios. Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nielsen and Dentsu license this software. Other companies have developed internal software or license other third-party approaches. Scenario planning has never been so fast, so easy and so reliable.

New approaches
Now a new capability, exception analytics, is exploding on the scene. An Israeli company, Verix, offers the opportunity to filter through masses of data to identify anomalous events that may indicate an emerging problem long before the human brain could become aware of the trend. This approach is the opposite of 1990 online analytical processing analytics, which required that one be aware of a problem before he analyzed it. This new approach identifies potential problems so that you may ascertain what´s going on. Managing data overload suddenly is turned into competitive advantage.

Another rapidly growing source of data ripe for analysis is the public conversation on the internet. Many companies offer analytical services targeted at these public conversations about products and services. Now new, second-generation analytics services such as those offered by Wise Window enable new and more insightful ways to understand the online conversation. These new approaches allow marketers to understand consumer attitudes with the intimacy of an in-depth interview and the panoramic perspective of multiple focus groups. And, because we are talking about responses from thousands of people, this "qualitative" data can suddenly take on the statistical validity of conventional survey data. It´s no wonder many seasoned marketing research professionals are forecasting the end of the command-and-control survey procedure that has informed the advertising and marketing decision process for the past 80 years.

The best example of how the new data and analytics advances can be practically applied was given at the 2008 ANA Annual Conference by Mercedes and its agency, Rapp. Mercedes wanted to sell a small number of their new "green" SUVs in the United States. A mass campaign for such a small number of available vehicles was out of the question, so they decided to use the new data and analytics to identify and persuade a target market perceived to be intensely attracted to and capable of affording this unique, expensive Mercedes. Rapp proceeded to mash up (cross-compare) lists of individuals with a demonstrated interest in all things green, a history of purchasing green products, the economic capability to pay for a Mercedes and known car-buying propensities. They combined dozens of databases covering a number of behaviors that suggested a propensity to buy a car like the new Mercedes, such as eco-friendly magazine subscriptions, cause-based organization memberships, website hits on green articles, TV-viewing habits and political contributions. Using the final list, the marketing team put together a creative strategy and a multi-component integrated campaign that quickly and profitably sold all the available SUVs.

What does this explosion of data and analytics mean for marketing as a discipline, for organization and for the creative process?

First, it means that a marketing-information strategy is much more important than it was 20 years ago. Every company must ask itself what new data are available and how to leverage them. What are the touch points at which a customer is open to persuasion?

Focusing lens
Second, companies must have a data-manipulation capability similar to what Rapp offered to Mercedes. For some companies, that capability may center on one expert able to rally all the internal and external assets and vendors. In other companies, the capability will be an entire department with a mix of proprietary databases and robust communication and response analytics.

Third, companies need to bridge the gap between the left-brained, math-oriented analysts capable of identifying an attractive target and the right-brained creatives able to translate functional goods and services into emotionally compelling offers. For their part, creatives need to see the analysts and their new tools not as a constrictive force limiting creative possibilities but as a focusing lens informing the creative function so that it becomes even more effective.

The explosion of digitally derived data and the sudden appearance of powerful tools to analyze that data have caused the crisis of centricity. Whether that crisis turns out to be a threat or an opportunity will depend on how marketing leadership responds to the possibilities locked in the data.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4583

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