All businesses are now experience businesses and that means they need to forge new connections with consumers’ emotions.
That was the message from John Mellor, vice-president of strategy, alliances and marketing at Adobe Systems, as he opened the second day of Adobe Summit EMEA at ExCel Centre, London. What new experiences you could develop for customers, making them truly feel something, is a great place to start.
“Emotion is the new currency of experience,” Mellor said. “Marketers love experiences, we love developing them for our brands and customers love them too. They’re meaningful because they create an emotional reaction as well as a physiological reaction. When you deal with experiences, you deal with emotion.”
There For The Whole Journey
This was the key factor for digital transformation at Hostelworld, explained its CMO Otto Rosenberger. He talked delegates through the journey the brand had taken from being a purely transactional booking engine to focusing on customer experience.
“We go beyond booking now to help people when they are on their trip,” he said. “We want to provide the best experience so users get relevant offers and invites to go to events like a pool party or a walking tour at their destination. Now we have nearly half of our bookers using the app during the trip and 90% say they had a better trip because of the app.”
Tapping into emotions and being part of the experience and not just a transaction service required a lot of internal change and Rosenberger has advice for those looking to move their business to becoming more customer-centric.
“Ignore the coffee machine terrorists,” he joked with delegates. “All businesses have these people who don’t say anything in a meeting and then, when they’re at the coffee machine, all they do is bitch and moan. You need to nip that in the bud and have a clear mandate for change that always looks forward.”
Make It Personal
Tapping into emotion has been the unifying call at adidas for its digital transformation, agreed vice-president of digital strategy and delivery Joseph Godsey. He told delegates about the way adidas seeks to know more about its customers from early set-up through to discovering which sports and teams they like.
The goal is to learn from non-liner interaction moments so the brand can offer compelling new experiences. Good examples come through new apps the sports brand has released.
The Glitch app supports the brand’s first digital-only product, a boot that allows users to switch inner and outer appearance of the footwear, as well as talk to other purchasers. It also comes with a three-hour delivery promise in London. The Confirmed app allows fans to save products in store so they don’t have to queue and gives updates on upcoming launches. Then mi adidas allows customers to personalise their products.
“The new experiences are all about inspiring love for our brand,” Godsey said.
“There are three parts, Premium, Connected and Personalise. We need to offer a new great experience that is connected to our customers wherever they are and respects the context of that particular interaction with us. Above all, it has to be personal to mean anything to the customer.”
Trust The Data
Chelsea and England footballing legend Frank Lampard had reassuring words for any delegates who may feel concerned about the change this requires that they and their organisations, must take. He took to the stage to offer some insights to his stellar sporting career and how he is now transitioning to a children’s book author, while also planning a career in football management. Looking back, data was far more useful than he first thought, he told delegates.
“When I started out, you’d have just a manager and a guy carrying the kit,” he reflected.
“Then I’d look around and there’d be nutritionists and sports therapists everywhere and managers would insist we work GPS trackers to see how far and where we were running in training and games. I could never see the point, I thought it might give the manager a reason to drop me. Then, later in my career, I realised the data was crucial for improving my performance and ensured I could alter my training as I got older. It helped keep me in the game for longer.”
Social Or A Mob?
Colin Firth took to the stage to give an interesting perspective on social media. The star of “Bridget Jones,” “The King’s Speech” and “Mamma Mia” admitted that taking acting seriously while at school was probably an excuse to allow himself to be bad at chemistry. The Academy Award-winning actor also admitted that, just like anyone else, he loves a binge session with Netflix or a box set. While that is entertaining, the challenging aspect of digital for him is social media.
“It seems like a mob to me,” he said. “We used to have mobs going round in the Victorian age doing destructive things and we stopped that, but, for me, that’s what social media can be. On the other hand, though, I do like that some of the power is taken away from critics I don’t like.”
Pounds Those Fists
The lasting message of the session will remain embodied in the remarks of Adobe’s Mellor. It’s not enough for marketers to talk about creating new experiences, they need to take action, he urged.
He said the journey requires that entire teams get on-board and collaborate effectively in devising and delivering new customer experiences. Every marketer has a responsibility to be the clarion call for change within their organisation.
“Our job is about the emotion experience we deliver to customers,” he said. “That extends to our teams and everyone in our organisation. We have to go back to work and pound our fists on the table to make sure we’re heard.”