There's a growing amount of attention being given to customer experience: the critical moments when your desired brand positioning is expressed in practice, across every touchpoint, every interaction and every step of the customer journey. Not only does it require a strong, joined up and insightful brand plan – it also requires stretching leadership to join up every business function in delivering a coherent, brilliantly branded, customer-centred experience.
Digital technology has catalysed this growing attention – it offers superb opportunities to deliver value and connectivity with customers – but also brings omnichannel complexity while raising customers' expectations of what brands should deliver.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the idea that we learn best from success.
Recently, we found ourselves at the IPA 'Eff Fest', a celebration of all things related to advertising effectiveness. Professor Paddy Barwise from London Business School in one session showed a collection of social media case studies. The cases were interesting he said, but would be even more interesting if they were about failures. Because we learn so much more from failure than from success.
"Big Data" has evolved from a marketing buzz-phrase to a marketing cliché over recent years. But brands still have a way to go before they understand, let alone fully utilise, the potential of the datasets available to them. That was the overriding message of Blind Data, an event organised by UK commercial TV trade body Thinkbox and held in London this morning.
A view from the client-side came from Peter Duffy, marketing director at easyJet, the low-cost airline, who offered a pretty compelling case study showing how the company is using a mix of its own data and sets from external sources to optimise its media planning. And there's no reason why many of the lessons from easyJet's story aren't applicable to brands in other categories.
Two years ago, I went on a 10-day silent retreat at a Buddhist monastery in the middle of the Thai jungle. One morning at 5am, in the first of the day's meditation sessions, with bites on my arms from the spiders I wasn't allowed to kill and cramps in my stomach from the food I wasn't allowed to eat, I finally achieved my revelation on the impermanence of all things. Praise the universe, I thought. Glory to the fickle world. In only 48 hours, this too will end, and I'll be able to go back to my blinkered, base, absolutely wonderful life of electricity, box sets and beef.
Back in London, I endeavoured to bring the lesson of eternal impermanence into my day job, because social media is surely the viparinama-dukkha of the corporate world. The once-startling pace of a Twitter feed feels positively sluggish compared with newer tools like Snapchat, the photo-messaging service which deletes users' images after 10 seconds, or Vine, the six-second video app which acquired four million users within two-and-half months of launch. Every day we're bombarded with start-ups promising to be the next global sensation, plus a raft of updates and tweaks from established platforms. For users, it can be a little bewildering. For businesses, it's hell.
Luxury brands and the role of digital in building them are among the latest highlights on Warc. We also have case studies from the Jay Chiat and DMA ECHO awards, event reports from the US, Europe and Asia, the next dates in our series of Warc Webinars and news of two new Prizes now open for entries.
Read on for all the news - and to receive content updates like this by monthly email, visit: Your Warc > Email Alerts.
"The future of luxury brands is very much about technology," concludes Colin Grimshaw, introducing a range of articles on luxury branding in the latest issue of Admap magazine.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the mantra that 'mine is different'.
A few years ago, we were working on a leading financial services brand. Our main client contact there was a smart data analyst who prided himself on his intimate knowledge of the brand and its millions of users. The brand had started to show signs of stalling and our analyst client was charged with finding out why, with our help. We started looking at a number of key measures and asked him what was happening to the brand's market share over time. 'Oh we don't track that. This is finance – it isn't baked beans you know' was the reply. But when we did a simple exercise to construct brand share and compare it with share of voice over time, we could immediately start to see what was causing the brand's problems. And in fact, the pattern our simple analysis revealed was entirely to be expected from what research has consistently proven is common to all markets.
A recent article in Research Live highlighted the re-branding of WPP's Insights Division from "Consumer
Insights Division" to "Data Investment Management". CEO Sir Martin
Sorrell explained the move as a way to bring the Insights and Media
divisions closer toghether, thereby making it easier for Clients to
manage and synthesize various data streams.
Makes sense - but why re-brand, removing the word "Insights" completely, with the new entity sounding more like a financial services offering?
There was a time long ago when the job of a marketer was simpler. Skills were learned and honed on the path to marketing mastery. Your media choices could be counted on one hand, customer feedback was in a timely and controlled fashion and your working day ended generally at the end of the day.
As we now know all too well our customers now live and interact in this constant, "always on" world. It is normal for them to engage with our brands and with each other on their own terms, in their own time – and as marketers and brands, we must ensure that we listen, interact and engage with them in real-time too.
Social Media has been the fuel to turbo charge this behaviour change but brands now understand that a planned content strategy needs to sit behind it to ensure that that your content conversations stand out from the pack.
It seems that implicit is the new black – everybody’s talking about it, at least in the small but feverish world of advertising research. But is it a new idea and how useful is it anyway?
The idea of the implicit mind has been around for quite a while - probably since the 1970s, but received a huge boost in the 1990s with the advent of cognitive neuroscience - particularly through the work of neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio and Joseph Le Doux, with its emphasis on unconscious, emotional response. And more recently, of course, there’s been behavioural economics - particularly the work of Daniel Kahneman, who talks about fast effortless and unreflective thinking (System 1) vs. the effortful, reflective and conscious kind (System 2). Kahneman’s key point is that whereas System 1 is automatic, System 2 is not.