Experience Makers Live: A New Business Reality Requires a New Kind of Leader
by Paul Robson
Posted on 07-29-2020
People can often thrive during times of change. What we’ve experienced this year, as brands of all shapes and sizes face the current climate head-on, has provided us with levels of inspiration, innovative stories, and best practice lessons that would otherwise have taken years to gather.
Last week, our Experience Makers Live event shone the spotlight on some of these incredible stories, demonstrating how leaders, marketers, and commerce experts have pivoted to better understand their customers, to pursue innovative ideas, and to nurture relationships and communities – all while displaying compassion and empathy during difficult times.
What soon became clear from hearing these inspiring and innovative stories, was that these visionary leaders – these Experience Makers – all share common tenets that elevate them in today’s increasingly digital climate. They…
- Lead with Empathy
- Create and innovate
- Connect with others and build communities.
Perhaps most importantly, accept that change happens. By applying these principles, many brands and leaders have been able to pivot and lead the way, ensuring long-term success in the process.
1. Lead with Empathy
The stories shared at Experience Makers Live demonstrate that companies and leaders who embraced vulnerability have led, and will continue to lead, with empathy.
Brands like Signify – a tech leader in LED lighting – who played a key role during the crisis with their UV‑C radiation lamps technology that enabled hospitals to make faster and safer disinfection of key areas. Or German medical supplier Carl Zeiss AG (ZEISS), who enabled their customers to quickly and easily access vital medical products online to reduce face to face contact during lockdown by launching an online commerce platform in mere days.
And here at Adobe, we pivoted our own business to enable our customers and communities to be productive and collaborative – from allowing fully remote access to our products for creative professionals and schools, to ensuring our enterprise customers could cope with data and analytics traffic spikes.
2. Create and Innovate
If there’s one thing fearless marketers and commerce experts understand, it’s evolving to serve and engage your customers in new ways. Each of the Experience Makers we heard from last week absolutely typify the embodiment of the agile and a powerful mindset required to lead in the current environment.
Just look at how rapidly UK bank TSB accelerated its digital-first strategy by evolving paper-based interactions into an end-to-end online customer journey. This enabled TSB’s business clients to access vital government funding and reduced the need for customers to visit physical branches during the height of lockdown. They processed over 80,000 online interactions in just eight weeks, transforming 15,000 potential in-branch visits into digital-only interactions.
Or take Oakhouse Foods, a UK-based home delivery service that quickly adapted to face the lockdown disruption by ensuring its high-risk customers were regularly informed about safety practices. The team also optimised its mobile site for customers and its community with poor eyesight and mobility issues.
By digitising their customer interactions and taking advantage of a strong technical foundation, we heard stories from numerous Experience Makers who have successfully pivoted their marketing and commerce solutions to create a stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive future.
3. Connect with Others and Build Communities
The power and necessity of community has shone through during the past months – whether that’s with your customers, peers, or vendors. It not only helps build loyalty with existing customers, it also provides a long-term vision and platform for the future.
During our Asia Pacific instalment of Experience Makers Live, we heard from the Singapore Tourism Board on their preparations for life post-COVID. They’ve been developing technology in areas such as contactless experiences, the re-design of workplaces for employee well-being and safety, and real-time monitoring of facilities for effective and safe crowd control. Hundreds of local businesses rely on the Singapore Tourism Board for guidance and support, which is why it’s so encouraging seeing the fostering of such a strong community, which has only been strengthened during the pandemic.
And finally, we were truly privileged to hear from Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, as she discussed her role as a pioneer for mental health issues, along with her relentless pursuit to transform her programmes to support disadvantaged youth and communities during this pandemic.
One of the most encouraging things I experienced at the event is that, through these inspiring stories and as leaders and experts connect with other Experience Makers, they acquire increased empathy and learn how to build strong and inclusive communities that lead to lasting customer relationships.
In it together, and for the long haul
I’d also like to take this opportunity to emphasise that here at Adobe, we’re committed to your success now and for the long term. We will navigate through these times together. And, while technology can’t solve all of our problems, it is reshaping how we interact and how we create experiences for our customers.
Our Experience Makers community has always represented a priceless opportunity to come together, to share, to adapt – perhaps that’s more vital now that it’s even been. But, what it also demonstrates is that we’re not alone in wanting to change this world, to become new kinds of leaders who create inclusive, digital experiences – not just for now, but for our future.
All Experience Makers Live sessions are now available on-demand here.
Topics: Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, Digital Experience, Experience Makers Live, New Business, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA