Insights are the foundation of Meaningful Marketing

CUBE and BAM have been working closely together for about two years, first at an operational level, but increasingly on strategic elements. Time for an interim review with Koen Van Impe (&KOO), president of BAM, and Tom De Ruyck (InSites Consulting), brand new president of CUBE.

BAM and CUBE have been working together for almost two years now. How do you look back on this?

Tom De Ruyck: “Within CUBE we have recently determined our strategic objectives for the next three years. Making consumer insights better known within the broad marketing community is one of them. That is the first reason why we entered into this partnership.

In addition, we feel strongly drawn to the concept of meaningful marketing. After all, we know from consumer research that this is a customer expectation. After two years, these two reasons are more valid than ever. So we are very happy with the collaboration.”

Koen Van Impe: “Of course corona played tricks on us. There were significantly fewer activities than planned. Actually, the afternoon that CUBE filled in during the last BAM Marketing Congress is the most important concrete collaboration to date.”

Tom De Ruyck: “Don’t forget the operational side. Thanks to BAM’s back office, we have been able to take a real professional step in this area. In the upcoming months and years, we will also be able to achieve things on a strategic level.”

Does this collaboration on a strategic level have to do with the ‘common ground’ you have?

Koen Van Impe: “Our common ground is indeed meaningful marketing. We both think it’s important that marketing offers meaningful added value. Up until now, BAM has been working very hard on developing a vision on this. But we feel we need to go one step further.

We want to make it more concrete, and for that we need the cooperation with CUBE. After all, the market research companies provide the feedback to the end consumer. Is refinement needed? Are the six pillars of the Meaningful Marketing Framework the right ones?”

Tom De Ruyck: “Data, insights and analytics are the center of marketing and of the Meaningful Marketing Framework. Mattering to people, that’s what it’s all about. That’s precisely why we want a delegate from CUBE in each of BAM’s four think tanks and on the programming committee of the BAM Marketing Congress.

So in two years, the collaboration has changed tremendously. At the time, we thought it would be a good idea. Meanwhile, we realize that insights are necessary to take meaningful marketing to the next level.”

Koen Van Impe: “We are indeed coming to a fundamental point, which is to integrate data governance into the meaningful marketing approach. This is much needed because marketers far too often reach for communication, while there are so many other aspects.”

Tom, CUBE is explicitly independent within this constellation. Is it a train of thought that this will change over time?

Tom De Ruyck: “At the moment, it is most important to have this form of cooperation. We work together operationally, but also in terms of content and on a philosophical level. In addition, it is important for us as a subsector to have our own house in order: how do we follow the market developments? How can we increase the cake together? And how do we keep an eye on the outside world?

CUBE certainly still has an independent role to play. We want to evolve within our own field of expertise. Currently, we focus mainly on agencies, but we also want to address freelancers, the academic world, … and thus become not only an interest group, but also a community.”

Koen, BAM puts collaboration high on the agenda. How do you view “collaboration” in our field? Is there more of it in recent years?

Koen Van Impe: “Collaboration between trade associations has certainly increased in recent years. UBA has recently joined the Belgian Marketing Awards, an independent award of the entire marketing sector. We have a common calendar of events with the entire sector, so that no two events fall at the same time. And BAM recently joined the board of directors of the Communication Centre. After all, with the various initiatives in our sector, self-regulation is important. And we are also working with other trade associations on an initiative to measure the impact of our activities and to ensure that we are marketing in an efficient and responsible way.”

Tom De Ruyck: “The focus on cooperation also has to do with the size of our country, of course. The challenges are far too complex for our small country. Collaboration is the only way to move forward.”