dmexco 2015: Building the Bridge Between the Customer and the Brand
Adobe is pleased to be an official partner of the 2015 Digital Marketing and Exposition Conference (dmexco) in Cologne. dmexco’s theme of “Bridging worlds” aligns well with what we’re seeing at Adobe. The current atmosphere of marketing innovation and reinvention involves a digital transformation on a scale never before experienced in marketing history. One that requires traditional marketing to bridge the gap with customer experience. We are just at the beginning of that change to a new economy, one where experiences define success. Our focus will indeed be on establishing the customer experience as the new corporate brand. Adobe’s innovative business models and marketing tools have already created concrete strategies that can be applied to real-life business today.
There has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer. The lines of demarcation where marketing begins and ends have changed. Customer experience has been the catalyst in extending those boundaries into a “marketing beyond marketing” condition. The seismic shockwaves caused by the millions of trackable customer interactions created across mutliple touchpoints and devices has toppled organisational silos of both functions and data. In the aftermath of that disruptive change, corporate marketing has been reborn with a new inclusive mandate. It must include data analytics to build a bridge to the time sensitivities of consumer sentiment. Creative design must capture the customer’s attention immediately. Search marketing must spread the message far and wide in winning new customers. IT must build the web properties needed in real time to welcome the customer home to the brand. Personalisation of customer interaction must convert new customers and create brand loyalty. Loyalty programs must retain valued customers and develop customer advocacy to draw in family and friends to the positive experience. Customer experience has become the new corporate brand and the marketer is at the epicenter of it all.
As I said, customer experience is still in the beginning stages; by 2018 more than 50 percent of all companies will have transformed their business models for an optimised customer experience. But that hasn’t happened yet. At dmexco we hosted an Executive Briefing to unveil the results of of a European study, “Holistic Customer Experience in the Digital Age,” conducted by analyst firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC). Nicole Dufft from PAC presented the key findings of the survey of 450 corporate decision-makers in Germany, France and the UK; the results are enlightening and demonstrate very clearly where bridges need to be built in realising the importance of customer experience to every brand.
- Top management in France (82%), Germany (69%) and the UK (58%) are increasingly putting the spotlight on aligning corporate functions to break down the traditional organisational and technological siloes that are hampering their ability to see a complete view of their customers.
- Departments with direct customer contact have the greatest ability to influence consistent customer experience – marketing, sales & commerce (84%), and customer service (81%) – traditional back-office functions like logistics (69%), billing (66%) and product development (66%) are now increasingly seen as responsible for contributing to the overall customer experience.
- Roughly two-thirds (65%) do not yet have a central port of call for customers across all touchpoints and just 14% have a dedicated Customer Experience Manager or department. More encouragingly, 69% of European companies have a dedicated C‑level exec responsible for digitisation and transformation.
- It is going to get more complex with businesses needing to reach their customers via more channels than ever before. The growth in importance of: mobile solutions (GER: 66%, FR: 74%, UK: 65%), omnichannel integration (GER: 60%, FR: 73%, UK: 56%) and social media (GER: 57%, FR: 70%, UK: 69%).
You can download the study here: Holistic Customer Experience in the Digital Age
The view of the customer is critical to understanding how to make your marketing strategies useful, most particularly in relation to making the customer experience the new corporate brand. Liv Brahin, Head Group Marketing & Communication Services at UBS, who took part in our briefing, comes from the perspective that “In order to consistently deliver a superior customer experience, a high performing, scalable and flexible operating model is a necessity. The hard work does not stop with an excellent experience and technology implementation”.
Thorston Michel of DHL joined the conversation and provided some interesting views on the need to transform marketing by putting the customer experience at its core.
Karl Isaac, our head of brand strategy and innovation, concluded the briefing with an in-depth presentation on Adobe’s focus for this conference — ‘Customer Experience is the New Brand’. Be sure to catch his session at dmexco tomorrow (17th Sep) “What a Brand wants“ starting at 2:00pm in the Debate Hall.
I would be remiss in not bringing John Travis’, Adobe Vice President of Marketing EMEA, recent blog post on this discussion. John’s unique view of the opportunities for marketers in this new digiconomy is both interesting and thought provoking. The resurgence of marketers influence in the board room is crucial to the digital transformation of every company that wants to expand their customer base through mastering the customer experience.
The bottom line is this. We all talk about digitisation and transformation. However, talk doesn’t get the job done. We need action.
Adobe is taking up this challenge!