On 14th October we hosted our first ever virtual Future Promotion Forum. Now in its third year, the event has won itself a reputation amongst marketing professionals as a hotbed of inspiration and a source of innovative ways for brands to maximise customer engagement, it was great to have so many people join us for the event’s first virtual occurrence.
Focusing on how brands need to build an emotional connection with their customers, the event’s key message was that, in today’s data-driven world, it is even more important to stop and take a closer look at how to use customer information to influence target audiences and improve a brand’s marketing ROI.
Industry experts shared their insights on how brands need to do more to build emotion into their campaigns to deliver the best possible customer experience. Here are some key takeaways from the event:
Customer experience above all else
The most important differentiator in today’s marketing is how a brand makes you feel, otherwise known as the customer experience. Without the brand’s ability to tap into customer emotions and deliver on that experience, the quality of the product or service becomes irrelevant. This was central to the session delivered by Mark de Bruijn, Dutch author and EMEA Marketing Director at Smartly.io, who added: “The trick is to know what aspects of the data to focus on that will resonate with the customer, enabling brands to create hyper-individualised campaigns. It’s about creating a positive memory in the mind of the consumer that they associate with your brand.”
Human touch is vital in making sense of data
Technology has enabled marketers to gather vast amounts of data, but human interpretation is vital to avoid overlooking key findings that present themselves. Commenting on the importance of the human touch in making sense of data, Colin Strong, Global Head of Behavioural Sciences at Ipsos, said: “Artificial Intelligence and using technology in data interpretation are all very well, but it is essential to have human judgement in the mix as the vital sanity check. The use of data in hyper-individualisation is powerful, but only human judgement will be able to prevent the use of data in marketing communications from feeling invasive to the consumer.”
Digital + Analogue = Best Marketing Mix
Getting the balance between digital and analogue in today’s marketing mix is of utmost importance. Alex Joos is chairman and CEO of Group Joos, which delivers personalised print campaigns on behalf of major retail clients. Commenting on the added dimension of data in today’s print communications and how they affect customer behaviour, he said: “It is clear that digital on its own is not working, and nor is print, but what’s powerful is to get the right mix of the two. Data and print added together enable the possibility of a deeper, one-on-one communication with the customer, which is so much more impactful than receiving an email alone or a piece of printed collateral. This level of personalised print has proved to be a real eye-opener for many marcoms professionals and had a significant effect on ROI.”
Angela Medler, Vice President of Operations and Product Technology at Enthusem echoed this importance of digital and analogue working in partnership: “For a campaign to be effective and influence customer behaviour, you need all three components: reliable data, effective design and quality print.
The marketer’s utopia is within reach
So, what is the ultimate goal for today’s brand marketing professionals? Gregor Wolf, VP of Business Development at Smart Digital, feels that the once unobtainable goal is now within reach, thanks to today’s technology: “Real-time, one-to-one personalisation is the ultimate goal for all brands and can only occur when you have an alignment of the right person, receiving the right message, at the right time and they are in the right place. Unless you personalise your customer communication in some way, it will be lost on them – people have come to expect it.”
Watch this video to get an impression of FPF 2020: