Tag Archives: customer centricity

Your celebrity partner is not the only brand ambassador to worry about!

The press and theory:

According to an article by the AdvertisingAge, Beyonce Knoles has just signed a $ 50 Million brand ambassador deal with Pepsi. Whilst brand ambassadorships are meant to catapult the brand’s reach based on a more credible partnership than just celebrity endorsements, the question of authenticity to consumer remains. Naming will.I.am director of creative innovation at Intel or Lady Gaga creative director of Polaroid is hardly credible to the educated consumer.


The other angle:

Johan Jervoe, VP of creative services at Intel, argues for the celebrity expertise infusion into an organization based on the cultural and process impact these celebrity partnerships may result in. Whilst Intel cannot specify any ROI to backup this claim, it remains questionable how much real operational impact a celebrity can have based on a career in live entertainment or acting. Some consumers surly fall for the Lady Gaga designed printer without questioning Lady Gaga’s stake in the design process besides lending her name to the product and appearing at tradeshows, others surely question the authenticity of these endorsements which widens the brand to consume gap.


The crux of the deal:

On a more subtle base, consumer’s might be drawn in by Lady Gaga, will.I.am and co, yet their brand experience will be defined at every brand touch-point, with an ever increasing likelihood that aspirational celebrity endorsed placements differ from the consumer’s real life product experience.


The harsh reality (a real life story):

As it happens, I am up and jet-lagged after an enduring US – EU trip which made me yet again aware of the difference between story telling and fulfilling the brand’s promise. The most outstanding brand experiences of my recent trip were with airline ground personnel as well as various rental car representatives. Both organizations have worked with celebrities to point a flashy & glossy picture of their service offering. The big difference however was that in both cases, company own and company branded but external staff missed the brand’s value proposition in every aspect, had obviously no pride in working for their respective brand nor cared in any way about the consumer brand interaction, particularly their influence in the game.


The return loop:

No matter if a new mobile operating system inclusive of new hardware gets mass marketed by various celebrities but newly opened flagship employees fall short of being able to sell the product to the consumer and highlight the negatives compared to their big fruity competitor or if airline ground staff does not care about check-in policies, rental car employees disrespect customers and forgoe their own rental policies, these are the touch-points that truly matter, the touch-points defining first hand customer brand interaction, the touch-points that have a driven influence on repurchase / revisit behavior but worst, the touch-points that will lead to negative brand buzz.


Old marketing tantras become the new philosophies, yet again!:

> Stick to the basics! Don’t overpromise but underdeliver. No matter how much marketing budget gets attributed to hiring the next big star for a product world tour, an outstandingly cool tv commercial or “product development” don’t forget to monitor where the action happens: at customer – brand touchpoints

> Don’t forget sales! A great social media campaign, to give the celebrity a break, that falls short of in-store product placements in important retail channels, doesn’t hold up to the promise (e.g. see my Kodak vs. Apple post). The same holds true for a big marketing stunt to promote said new mobile OS but employees lack sales savvy to close the deal with in-store customers.

> Don’t forget the customer! No matter how popular the celebrity, how great your competitor’s campaign based on celebrity affiliation: what your customers thinks, feels and encounters is what matters!

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How to truly digitalise your digital marketing

Most marketing efforts these days, digital marketing efforts that is, are based on multichannel strategies, applying social media strategies to traditional marketing problems in a more or less planned fashion. What many companies miss so far is however to adapt their data mining efforts from pure web analytics to modern day digital intelligence frameworks.

As shown by Forrester Research, the evolution of digital intelligence has surpassed data mining efforts and moved on to close the gap between today’s multiple customer touch-points and the company’s intelligence frameworks.

Evolution of Digital Intelligence

Evolution of Digital Intelligence

Why haven’t companies moved on or benefited from Digital Intelligence frameworks?

For starters, digital intelligence surpasses web marketing efforts not only by complexity but also by the lack of reporting simplicity based on the sheer amount of data at one’s hand. Many marketing departments and agencies do lack the manpower to deal with this new flow of data in both quantity and quality.

The paradox of choice comes in second. Digital data is almost infinite and real time. A day however remains at 24 hours and the human capacity to deal with data complexity hasn’t changed either. Thus selecting data sets of importance is still an issue many marketers face to create meaningful data reports to drive – and that is the most important part – change!

Silo thinking prevails! Even if marketing has moved on and implemented the most efficient, tactical and real time digital intelligence framework ever seen by mankind, does that mean sales, R&D and the rest of the organisation’s top management are likely to change directions based on marketing’s new stream of data reportings? Unlikely!

The 6 steps to implementing a functioning Digital Intelligence framework:

1) Understand your companies business model and strategy! Data mining, intelligence and reports are great but only if they track and measure the right metrics to help intelligent management decision making to drive the company forward to reaching its set goals.

2) Define a set of relevant KPI’s! KPI’s are indicator’s for what has been defined as a state of success of advancement. If you end up with a list of 50 relevant KPI’s – think it over and start again. For many organisations anything from 5-10 is most likely enough at this level.

3) Derive measures to track your progress! Divide these measures into lead and lag measures to not shift from pure historical data mining effort to a framework to enable educated management decision making. E.g it is great to know that in the last quarter 7% of your customers have increased their mobile spendings but it might be to late to prepare your backend to handle the change in customer spent! The more meaningful lead measures, the more enjoyable lag reporting you will have.

4) Get other managers on board! This could well be step number 1 or even step 0 before you start any effort. Knowing key decision makers and influencers in your organisation will help to drive a high key implementation of a customer centric digital intelligence system. Product development needs to be as much on board as your sales teams, in-house support and other departments.

5) Built meaningful reporting and not an all in one dashboard! With all the world’s data at your hands, select data sets that are relevant to key decision making processes. This data will also help to get others on board and built up use cases. Less is more!

6) Revise your data handling efforts! Assure your data sets are flawless, protected and up to all legal data handling standards within your area of operation. The last thing you want is a disgruntled intern to blog your new most valuable assets for a few clicks, likes and big open eyes of your competition.






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