Entering the world of hyper-personalisation

18 01 2014

In a recent interview in the Sunday Independent Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, talked about the airline’s future marketing strategy. While the announcement of a collaboration with Google caught the attention of the headline writers I was more interested in a comment he made towards the end of the interview. “We will be doing more individual marketing” he said. “We will build individual profiles for each passenger.”

This struck a chord with me because it echoed a very interesting presentation at the CMO Summit 2013 organised by the Marketing Institute of Ireland last November. Amanda Gosling, Associate Partner – Strategy, IBM, introduced the idea of hyper-personalisation. The simple idea is that mass communication, even with segmentation and tailoring to audiences, is not going to succeed in the future. What will succeed is having “real connections at relevant moments delivered with relationship care”. This means having a deep understanding of each individual customer rather than a generic customer persona.

Amanda was presenting the results of a major survey entitled “The Customer-activated Enterprise“. A key finding of the report is the need to create engaging customer experiences. This is driven by social media in particular as it gives customers the ability to “bang on the door and demand to be heard”. This trend demands that a company be more than just customer centric. It needs to be customer activated. The customer needs to be part of the company’s decision-making process. There are clear overlaps here with the concept of open innovation.

The report is well worth reading if only to get an idea as to how some of the world’s largest companies are thinking about the challenges of creating an effective digital strategy and a winning customer experience.

To learn more about the CMO Summit 2013 please read my guest post on the Marketing Institute blog.

To learn more about the IBM report visit IBM’s Institute for Business Value.

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CMO Summit 2013

3 12 2013

Change is an interesting process. It excites us and scares us probably in equal measures. An underlying theme that ran through the CMO Summit 2013, organised by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, is how the marketing profession is constantly changing and perhaps changing at a faster rate than ever.

Peter Fitzgerald, Country Sales Director for Google UK, highlighted the rapid growth in the number of smartphones, bandwidth and in ecommerce as evidence to support the rapid growth of the internet economy. The key challenge facing mobile is to be relevant to what the consumer wants.

Francois Nicolon and Vanessa Lynch of Kantar Media challenged us to look again at the role of marketing and communications. They spoke about changing the traditional roles so that Communications looks after creating all types of content and Marketing takes responsibility for taking that content and using it to create leads and convert them into sales. They also highlighted their view of the marketing team of the future which includes experts in graphics, technology, search, content and social.

Amanda Gosling of IBM continued with the theme of change when discussing the IBM report on The Customer-activated Enterprise. Amanda pointed out that many organisations still present to the customer in a way that reflects corporate structure. She highlighted necessary changes in approach including:

  • moving from being campaign driven to being always on

  • moving from batch interactions to realtime or location aware interactions

  • increasing use of hyper-personalisation

  • having an attraction approach rather than a transaction approach

In common with Francois and Vanessa from Kanter, Amanda strongly suggested that marketing needs to parter with technology in order to achieve this level of change.

The challenge of truly delivering a high quality customer experience is to have “real connections at relevant moments delivered with relationship care”. To really deliver this require significant levels of change requires a real effort and a dedicated change agent to make it happen.

In the afternoon session Simon Bailey of Interbrand and Phil Rumbol of 101 (and formerly of Cadbury) continued to highlight the ways in which the interaction with the consumer is changing. In discussing the 10 elements of strong branding Simon included responsiveness, relevance and presence or being where the customers are, which echoes some of what Peter Fitzgerald said at the beginning of the day.

Phil Rumbol talk about how we still see marketing communications “through an outmoded lens”. Phil talked about the highly successful “gorilla” ad campaign for Cadburys which he said consumer understood immediately but corporate executives objected to as it did not include traditional element such as the product of the brand. The campaign was hugely successful increasing revenue by £150m from just £5m in spend.

Phil also spoke about the subsequent “Bring back Whispa” campaign which was essentially a customer driven initiative. As part of that Cadbury handed over the outdoor advertising to personal messages created by consumers. You can just imagine the reaction in the Legal/Compliance department when that idea was first discussed.

Change is also under way in Enterprise Ireland where Julie Sinnamon has just taken over the reins. Julie highlighted the incredible innovation and international success among Irish companies and pointed out that they contribute as much to the economy as multinationals.

To sum up, the pace of change in the way marketing works is only going to increase and the need to move away from old models, relinquish control and genuinely collaborate with customers is more urgent than ever. We are, I believe, moving from a Business to Consumer model to a Consumer to Business model driven by the power of digital channels.

This article on the CMO Summit was first published by the Marketing Institute of Ireland in November 2013.





Marketing Campaigns

2 05 2013

Marketing campaigns, and in particular the current Sky TV and Broadband campaign, were the focus of the Marketing Breakfast on 1 May 2013. Mark Anderson of Sky Ireland talked the audience through the current campaign featuring Pierce Brosnan. Three things struck me from what Dave said.

Firstly, radio is hugely important in Ireland

Mark made the point the Sky adjusted their media buying to include more radio than they do in the UK. This is because radio is such a popular medium in Ireland.

Secondly, social media is difficult

I think we all know that social media is hard to do. Sky’s experience is that social media frequently turns into a customer service channel and a very inefficient one at that. This is a real challenge for social media.

Thirdly, integrating sales and marketing is not so hard

Sky simply sit their marketing team right in the middle of their call centre team so that the marketing team can hear the issues that customers every day.

Watch my interview with Mark to learn more.





Turning Leinster Rugby into an elite organisation

6 02 2013

Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby, addressed the January 2013 Marketing Breakfast. Mick took the audience through the journey that Leinster Rugby has taken from the amateur to the professional to the elite era. To give some perspective, when rugby union turned professional Leinster Rugby had no structures, no fan base, played three matches a season and was seen as a stepping stone to the national side. Today it has:

  1. 145 employees
  2. A turnover of €17 million
  3. 13,000 season ticket holders
  4. State of the Art facilities in UCD
  5. Plays 28 – 33 matches a season

We live in a moment where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when is it already disappearing” RD Laing

From a marketing perspective a key message that I picked up from Mick was the importance of managing people and relationships. Mick and his team have to manage relationships with professional sporting bodies, players, sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the amateur side of rugby in the province. I was very interested in the emphasis Mick put on this. For example, the supports club is a separate entity to Leinster Rugby but they meet regularly to keep in touch with what the supporters are saying.

Leinster Rugby has also invested in trying to understand their audience and their brand. They carried out a brand study to see how they were perceived by a cross-section of stakeholders including season ticket holders, clubs, schools, staff, players and sponsors. Based on the result of this study they made three key decisions:

  1. the brand was Leinster rather than Dublin and they need to expand outside the traditional south Dublin stronghold
  2. a new logo was need to drive the brand forward
  3. the profile of match attendees needed to change from men in their 50’s to families

This clear understanding of the brand has helped position Leinster Rugby as the “12 county army” and a remarkable sporting and commercial success story. Mick’s full talk is available on the Marketing Institute’s YouTube channel or you can view my interview with Mick below.





Taking the ‘yes’ from the ‘no’

6 12 2012

Thanks to the Ryan Academy I had the pleasure on Tuesday of listening to Rory O’Connor and Anita Murphy of Rory’s Story Cubes and The Creativity Lab tell their story. This is a marvellous story of innovation, creativity, perseverance and hard work. If you are looking for a creative yet simple Christmas present for someone you could do worse than buy one of these.

There were a few key messages that really struck me.

  1. If people don’t help you then have the courage to do it yourself. Not everybody will see what you see.
  2. Don’t hold their failure to see your vision against them. If they can help you in the future then accept their help.
  3. Be prepared to try the less obvious route to solving a problem.
  4. Try to clarify the real need. If someone says ‘no’ then try to understand why they said ‘no’ and then meet that need.

Marketing, innovation

Finally, what struck me most was Rory and Anita’s absolute passion for what it is they do. A truly great Irish success story.





Business Model v Business Strategy v Business Plan

24 11 2012

I had the pleasure this week of working with an internet start-up company to help them focus on what they need to do to grow the company. The real focus of the workshop was to help them understand their Business Model. If the model was clear then planning would become clearer and the strategy would be verified.

We used the Business Model Canvas created by Alex Osterwalder. The nine blocks of the Canvas gave us a great structure to keep the discussion focused. The key points I took from the day include:

  1. A logical journey from segmentation and value proposition through to communication channels to resources. This allowed us to move through the workshop in a structured way and, as the facilitator, I found it very easy to keep the discussion flowing.
  2. Excellent that it all led to revenue. In our pre-workshop preparation the point was made that many businesses failed because they failed to understand where the revenue was coming from. This process was truly commercial because all roads led to revenue.

In addition, in the de-brief afterwards, the suggestion was made that you could do a canvas for your main competitors or possibly for a specific market segmentation. One to note.





Media 360 Conference via Twitter

23 11 2012

I could not attend the Media 360 conference this week but did follow it on Twitter. I thought it might be interesting to summarise the views of the Twitterati under a few headings.

General comments

  1. The decisions you make now will determine how successful your brand will be when the recession ends
  2. Short term decisions to cut [marketing] spend leads to long-term damage to your market share
  3. Aside from numbers, the biggest strength of radio is the one-to-one relationship people have with it
  4. Deadlines work on ads. Creates a sense of urgency and spurs people into action
  5. Deliver a strong call to action and focus on the goal

Research

  1. Invest in good research and monitoring to see what parts of your ad campaign work
  2. Don’t trust research (this from the head of a leading market research company)

Digital

  1. Digital has a place in all marketing plans
  2. Brands that are winning in the digital world are those that are open to participation
  3. Ensure that your website is accessible through all devices
  4. Direct mail and digital work well together
  5. SEO your website and use mobile search
  6. Search is the bridge between traditional and digital advertising
  7. Digital will drive the recovery of media

Social

  1. All about social media for 15-24 year olds
  2. 40% of all Tweets during peak viewing times are TV related
  3. Implement social listening
  4. Social content is NOT advertising
  5. Create a content schedule for social media

Mobile

  1. Mobile is a key area of growth, RTE say they see 60% of their traffic coming via this channel
  2. Don’t use your desktop as a digital frame of reference, use mobile