To celebrate the digital marketing exposition & conference, or dmexco for short, Europe’s largest trade fair for digital businesses, we are publishing a free UPLOAD special. In cooperation with Adobe, a leader in digital marketing and one of the main sponsors of dmexco 2015, we have put together nine articles that deal with the topic of customer experience from different perspectives.
John Travis is Adobe’s Vice President Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa and therefore experiencing the ground breaking changes in the field of marketing first hand. In this interview we talk with him about the biggest challenges that marketers and companies face when adapting to the rapidly changing landscape of consumer experience. He gives some useful and interesting insights, talks about Adobe’s ways to embrace these new opportunities and also explains why there was never a better time to be in marketing.
The digital transformation is the greatest revolution in the global economy since the age of industrialisation. Entire sectors are being turned on their heads, frequently before the established players even notice. Companies will need a comprehensive digital strategy if they want to use digital transformation as an opportunity for renewal, and to avoid being caught napping by this development. The PAC study “Holistic Customer Experience in the Digital Age” interviewed 455 executives from companies in Germany, France and Great Britain to acquire an impression of what this actually means.
We have been searching from the earliest days of human history: sometimes for food, a mate, even meaning. This did not change with the emergence of the Internet: since then, digital systems such as Delivery Hero, Friendscout and Google have satisfied the needs of countless seekers. But from the dawn of time, also, human beings have held back from searching until confronted with a pressing concern: hunger, mental/physical loneliness or a precipitous and niggling thirst for knowledge. And from the earliest days, human beings have responded to the results of their quests: unpalatable food, unsuitable partners and useless information almost instantaneously transform a positive mood into an icy demeanour. Unacceptable results cost energy, time and valuable resources!
It is perhaps the greatest challenge facing stationary retail trade: the attempt to connect the on and offline worlds of brand and customer experience while keeping up with e-commerce providers that have already relocated digital touchpoints to an analogue shopping environment. Amazon is driving the technology behind this development. Nevertheless, traditional retailers will be able to stay the pace as long as they increasingly open themselves to digital transformation – certainly in a technical sense, but above all with a view to their emotional bond with customers.
The sheer endless variety of Internet shops is putting the pinch on many areas of stationary retail trade. At the same time, however, digital technologies allow retail companies to transform shopping in a store environment into a thrilling experience. The secret to success lies in smart integration of the online and offline worlds. The digital agency Razorfish uses its innovative store environment Razorshop to show how it can work in practice.
The future of digital marketing will be characterised by data-driven corporate AIs, personalised customer experiences at scale, and consumers who knows their own worth. Digital Strategist Jerry Silfwer, CEO of Spin Factory and author of the Doctor Spin blog, takes a stab at predicting the future of digital marketing in 2025.
Brands are beginning to wake up to something that consumers have always known: a brand is the sum of our experiences with it. In the early days of branding, what a brand said about itself was the biggest factor in how people felt about it. Today, how a brand behaves, how its products perform and how we feel when we interact with the company behind the brand – these are the biggest drivers of brand health. It’s no coincidence that the rise of customer experience as the primary brand imperative has coincided with the rise of another major discipline: content marketing.
More than half of marketers believe marketing has changed more in the past year than in the previous five years. Indeed, today’s marketing has very little in common with last century’s marketing, except customers! During the last 10 years, brands went through two phases: discovery (of new channels like social media, mobile…) and innovation (programmatic buying, new measurement tools…). Now they must focus their resources and efforts on customer satisfaction anew.
We are all familiar with the frequently quoted cliché: “the customer is king”. As is so often the case with clichés: companies have frequently treated this assertion as nothing more than the mellifluous warblings of the marketing department. But then along came digitisation. And with it, the networked customer is increasingly acquiring influence: each experience with a brand can be commented, assessed, and then spread like wildfire through social networks. Companies that neglect to take customers seriously, and that fail to entertain suitable, interactive relationships with them across all channels, will soon find themselves at the centre of a digital sandstorm. To act in a truly customer-centric manner, companies must be willing to ask some difficult questions of their business models – which quite frequently will require complete restructuring. After all, it takes more than just a wily marketing ploy to bestow truly royal treatment upon customers.