Digital Cream Sydney was held on Thursday, September 17 and dozens of brand marketers came to discuss their issues, concerns, triumphs, and even blunders with one another at our hosted roundtables.

Here's part one of what was discussed.

But before launching into the summary, we'd like to tell you about two events coming up in Australia in November 2015. Behavioural Marketing: Leveraging the Behaviours of Customers for Optimal Engagement will be held in

The event is free, but is by invitation only so please request yours at the appropriate link.

Digital Cream Sydney, 2015

On Thursday, September 17 dozens of brand marketers came together in Sydney for a full-day discussion of the issues that we are all facing as we drive digital change. And as with every Digital Cream event, the Chatham House Rule applied, so what was said cannot be attributed to any one marketer.  

But at the end of the event, the hosts of each table helpfully provided a summary of the day's discussions. Here are the first half of these summaries.

Customer Experience Management

One table, hosted by Baron Chua of Econsultancy discussed what marketers were finding important for managing their customer's experience.

CX should be seamless

First and foremost the customer experience should be seamless, and all efforts should focus on delivering this result.

This is a popular topic these days and a focus of a recent Econsultancy research report, The Customer Conversation.

Both the roundtable session and the report conclude that great customer experience comes from treating your customer well. And when you treat your customer well, it leads to a trusting relationship and customer loyalty, both very difficult to achieve these days.

Customer feedback is CX too

Additionally, excellent customer experience also means that marketers need to have an urgency in capturing customer feedback from various touchpoints, including social media.

A few recent Econsultancy posts about the social media strategy of Australia's largest brands shows that customer feedback is a big part of what marketing teams do these days. Many work tirelessly to answer all of their customers' queries on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels as well.

And though they are not easy to maintain, these sorts of conversations are an essential part of delivering high-quality CX.

The issues in delivering CX

And finally, a common theme heard throughout the day is that budget, technology, multiple touchpoints, and getting buy-in were all issues faced by marketers when trying to improve their overall CX.

Content & Social Media Marketing

Next up, Econsultancy's Joycelyn Lim shared some points from her table which discussed content marketing and social media strategies.

We all know what to do

Everyone at the table agreed about what content we should be producing. In short, content should be:

  • Useful
  • Emotional
  • Tell a story

But the reality is that most of us are still just creating product-based content.

This material may be useful, but it is missing the personal element which drives engagement. We need to consider what motivates our audience and the problems they face when we create content.

 

One format isn't enough

Also discussed was the growing awareness that everyone consumes content differently.

Some people like to see videos or quotes in the stream of Facebook or Twitter. Others are more drawn to reading long-form articles through Medium or blogs.

So in order for content to maximize its reach, brands should publish their content in more than one format.

This has led to the proliferation of cross-platform posting tools which can make it easier to reach multiple audiences. Doing so however can lead to lower engagement as not all content works well on all channels.

How to reduce the burden of producing content

But in order to produce more platform-specific content, especially video, marketers face a resource issue. There just isn't enough people or hours in the day to do everything.

To alleviate this burden, brands should look into:

  • User generated content, with the dual benefit of making life easier and engaging your audience to a greater extent
  • Creating digital centres of excellence, where marketers, agency staff and product experts work together on content
  • Finding internal champions, who may not be marketers but are passionate about digital and using it to pursue strategic opportunities

Digital Transformation - People, Process & Technology

Digital transformation was tough to summarize as there were so many topics to cover, but here are a few of the key points summarized by Jeremy Willmott, Group Head of Digital Experience, Dulux Group.

Drive stakeholder engagement

99% of digital transformation is about the people involved. It's important therefore to focus on the problems and solutions and not on the technology.

One way of doing this is to find 'digital heroes' in your organization who have the power to drive change. Then come up with small projects which help your heroes show the benefit of digital to rest of the company.

Stay relevant

Digital transformation should be relevant to your organization as a whole.

And as the goal is to ultimately make the business better, tie your efforts to the KPIs of people in the organization. This will help you get buy-in from key stakeholders.

Also it's our job to make sure that the whole team does the same. In this era of using internal, external and augmented teams this can be tough so try sharing physical space with each other.

For example, bring agency staff in-house for awhile or even send your team out to the agency.

Examine your processes

Some new methodologies were mentioned (e.g. Agile waterfall, or 'agifall'), but the most important part of your digital transformation process is to define what success looks like upfront.

Having the roadmap on the wall and being very visual can help keep the team together and help creative 'skunkwork' sessions stay on task.

And once you reach a significant milestone, scheduling roadshows for the business can also help focus your team's efforts as well as keeping your stakeholders on side.

Use a wide variety of tools

Many of the participants mentioned the tools they used during digital transformation. These included Slack, Trello, Wunderlist, Hackathons, and even Econsultancy.

But the one thing that most participants agreed upon was that butchers paper and post-it notes were still among the most effective ways to collaborate.

Also the least popular way for marketers to communicate was by using email. Everyone agreed that getting up and just talking to people was a much more effect way to collaborate!

Ecommerce - Improving Conversion & Retention

Finally for our part one coverage, Niklas Olsson from HotelQuickly kindly shared a summary of the Ecommerce - Improving Conversion & Retention roundtable discussions

First, think about where you're going

When you start on an optimization project, it can be very easy to end up doing work for works' sake.

To avoid this, take a step back and be very clear about the intended outcomes. Think about what exactly you are trying to improve and ensure all of your effort goes into that goal.

Be audience focused with tests

A lot of A/B testing is done on a single touchpoint in the customer journey.

And yes you can improve that but if you look at your audience as a whole, then you are just improving the average journey across everyone. And that average will not be the best outcome for a single person.

So instead, segment your audience and run your tests on specific segments.

Customers who make single high-value purchases will behave differently from customers who purchase small items regularly. So be sure to make sure you capture those differences when testing.

Be careful with your optimization goals

Optimizing for acquisition is not the best strategy.

Generating more acquisitions is expensive when compare with increasing customer retention. So, optimizing for retention can often be a better way to spend your time and effort.

Keep some optimization internal

The rule of thumb was that you should list your top 10 outcomes and focus on those internally. Outside of these, the long tail, can be outsourced or left to a machine learning algorithm.

Internally though, your team should focus on the big things that move the needle.

Start with your customers

Both Optimizely and Unbounce were named by sophisticated marketers as tools which can help with optimization projects.

But most agreed that if you're just starting out that you should first optimize your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Encourage your existing customers to give you repeat business and referrals at first and worry about the rest later.

Jeff Rajeck

Published 23 September, 2015 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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