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.
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.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like nostalgia for a past that never was.
Marketing and advertising people can talk a great deal of nonsense at the best of times. But if you want to hear them at their worst, then ask them to talk about social trends. The average social trends presentation is, we've found, a heady mix of the obvious, the irrelevant and the blatantly false.
Recently we found ourselves listening to a conference speech about our 'changing lifestyles'. Life today is faster than ever, the speaker pronounced. We work longer hours. We have less and less free time. Families are fragmenting and food is eaten on the run…
Getting pricing right is a pretty fraught issue for brand owners. But what should the responsible marketer be doing to make things easier? The Psychology of Price, creative agency Draftfcb's latest Breakfast Club event, held in London this morning, aimed to offer some answers. Behavioural economist Leigh Caldwell, author of a book of the same title as the briefing, and Draftfcb's head of retail Niki Cook both offered their views – and both agreed that price-related decisions go a lot deeper than the actual costs of goods and services.
Of course, proper pricing is an essential concern for consumers. "The world is complicated, and you can't objectively calculate the utility you get from any individual purchase," Caldwell said. "But price gives us a shortcut through all that complication. Price is an artificial neatener - it makes decisions seem simpler than they actually are." And to help make things simpler for brand owners, Caldwell offered seven different marketing tactics for them to add to their repertoires.
The research papers presented at Congress are available for subscribers to read. Non-subscribers can take a trial.
Think Big – that's the theme of this year's ESOMAR Congress. The demand for data keeps increasing and it needs highly trained professionals to help their clients to make sense of today's 'data noise', said Silke Muenster, VP Market Research at Philip Morris and chair of the programme committee.
Tim Harford, columnist at the Financial Times and the opening keynote speaker reminded delegates that there are two ways to success. One is to look at every individual aspect of an issue and try to improve each of them marginally. The risk of failure is low and, put together, these individual improvements once aggregated can add up to a winning margin.
Ever get suspicious that your Facebook friends are having too much fun? That the lives of people you follow on Instagram are too fabulous to be believed? According to Christophe Jouan, CEO of Future Foundation and a keynote speaker at our upcoming Advertising Research conference, held in London on September 25, all of this social media-based bragging should be a crucial concern for the marketing industry. At Ad Research, Jouan will be discussing what he terms the Big Lie of marketing – also the title of a new book from Future Foundation. This Big Lie is a simple human truth: that how we want others to see us is as important a consideration as how we truly feel.
From this perspective, it's pretty obvious why so many are so keen to portray a happy and interest-packed life via Facebook. As Jouan told me, when we talked through his Ad Research presentation in London last week, "in these social networks, you create your own brand – which you want to promote at all times." It follows that marketers need to recognise this performative need to make others view us positively, and tailor their communications accordingly.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like stereotypes about grandparents.
A few months ago, we were talking to some people in qualitative research groups about family holidays. The respondents were bemoaning the industry practice of raising prices when children were off school. They talked about the difficulties of taking time off work to cover the long summer weeks. They exchanged ideas about keeping the children amused and entertained on a budget.
Nothing surprising there you might think. But there was. Because these women and men weren't parents. They were grandparents. And as they chatted, it became clear that a sea-change is occurring under our marketing noses. But it's one that seems to have slipped the notice of those of us charged with understanding the world we live in.