The perfect engagement with (cheating) customers

During the Marketing Global Summit 2016, all the experts focused on this crucial point: customer experience can lead to a great success or to a sudden collapse.

The perfect engagement with (cheating) customers
“The buying experience is a journey.
A long and tortuous one, made of “micro moments of truth” .
Patrick Xhonneux

In order to produce the right content at the right moment, we must collect all the info (provided by the very same customers), listen to these indicators, understand the big picture, anticipate their needs and identify the best actions.

During the Marketing Global Summit 2016, which took place on October 18 in Milan, all the experts focused on this crucial point: customer experience, that can lead to a great success or to a sudden collapse.

Fernando Trias De Bes, Professor of Marketing, ESADE, suggested 4 attitudes that all marketers need:

  • Lack of inertia. Yes, we’re talking about that paralyzing reaction to a big shock: when we are too self confident, we risk the “Titanic” effect. And the worst is, we don’t avoid the strike even if we see it coming
  • Remove the bias. We all love to fix things into patterns. But sometimes this can become an obstacle to innovation
  • Fail soon, fail quick, fail cheap. But FAIL! We all tend to stay away from risks and mistakes. Truth is, if you don’t fail this probably means you’re not experimenting enough. We must incorporate failure in our profession.
  • Accept the fact that most likely we’re not going to be right in the first attempt. If something doesn’t work, just carry on trying something else.

According to Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School, marketers should “mind the gap”. 3 gaps, actually:

  • Trust Gap. Marketing is about the future. Future predictions make people skeptical
  • Reporting Gap. Many are involved in the reporting process but most don’t report to marketers
  • Skills Gap. In the last 10 years we can count 131 different types of “marketing”. It is impossible (and stupid!) to master in every aspect of marketing. Recognize your limits and segmentate.

To overcome these gaps, marketers need leadership skills and to create a value zone between company and customers needs. The difference can be made by choosing 2 or 3 specific skills.

The best way to add this value, overall, is to be the voice of customers across the organization.

Serge Magdeleine, Group Marketing and Digital Director, Crédit Agricole, showed a clear example of how to totally rethink the customer experience, by reshaping a “Jurassic” system into a multi channel bank, proud to be 100% human and 100% digital.

He provided very practical tips like “scrumb method” (a way to go from 1 year to 3 months to design a project), “innovation pipelines” and “innovation labs” tested by Crédit Agricole.

Monica Schulze, Global Head of Marketing, Zurich, touched participant’s deep emotions, with a speech on “Transmedia Branding”: engagement with customers is perfect when:

  • We evoke positive emotions: this makes people willing to talk to you. Negative emotions like fear have a very bad impact on the relation between brand and customers.
  • Generates tangible impact such as the “Swedish milk” Lidl campaign case: a +8,2% sales increase.
  • Trust is the result of brand and customers working together

We can do this with a great storytelling as one of the most powerful strategies to get close to our target.

Both Schulze and Gonzalo Brujo, CEO EMEA & LatAm, Interbrand, stressed on a very important tip: don’t “get bored”: if you have a great story, there is no need to change and produce new content every month. In social media era, we must be strongly aware of how fast things can get inconsistent and blurry.

Trias De Bes made the last speech with kind of a slideshow of changes over the last decades and discussed 7 hot topics (Big Data, Branded Content, Team Capabilities, Digitalization process, Disruptive business models, Efficiency measurements, Social classes adaptation).

What he pointed out is that we need to stop, take time and observe. Not all the innovations are going to be longlasting and not each and every of them we can (or must) handle. We need to accurately select trends and discard those which just are not relevant in our business.

To see the upcoming Global Summits, click here.

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