The other week I had the privilege of both attending and speaking at the Georgia Marketing Summit – part of the IC Summits series. The event focuses on several hot topics for marketers including branding and building brand value, social media strategies, data and more. I was on a panel that discussed optimizing the customer experience and I was joined by several esteemed panelists including Jessica Dawson from Coca-Cola, Brent Barbee from Conquer and my roadshow companion and client Craig Burkart from Ecolab.
I love events like this because of both the range of topics and the diversity of attendees. Regardless of your industry, there’s always something to learn when you bring together individuals with common interests and goals. As someone who partners with both B2B and B2C organizations, I always find it interesting how similar the challenges and business goals are for different companies. Whether it’s how to use captured data, how to build engaging campaigns or driving brand loyalty, marketers are trying to tackle similar problems. I love being able to participate in events like the Georgia Marketing Summit that facilities learning and knowledge sharing.
I could honestly write a novel about the topics discussed and a lot of the takeaways from the event, but I want to be respectful of your time as a reader, so I’ll summarize some of the highlights and knowledge nuggets that I walked away with.
The Value of Authenticity: The first panel focused on the Georgia/Atlanta brand and the panelists had a great discussion about branding, connecting with users, and ways to engage various audiences – some who have more of an appetite for brand loyalty than others. While the panelists had different viewpoints on best ways to engage and present your brand, the importance of brand authenticity was unanimous. When it comes to branding and representing your brand, you need to understand your brand perception – look at the good, the bad and the ugly. Use customer perception to inform branding efforts to a certain extent but make sure to stay true to your brand – customers can smell brand BS from miles away.
Optimization Opportunities Arise from Friction in Customer Journeys: On my optimization panel, we talked about the ideal customer experience and the ways that we evaluate the customer journey to identify optimization opportunities. As marketers, we tend to look for the positives in data to prove what is working, But negative metrics and data should not be ignored. When looking at data and user flow through a website, seeing where engagement metrics are underperforming tells you that there may be friction in the customer journey which presents a good starting point for implementing optimization strategies such as personalization and testing.
Mobile Beyond the Device: Historically, when we’ve talked about mobile and marketing, we have been referring (more often than not) to mobile devices, mobile phones. However, we need to expand our definition of mobile to account for all things on-the-go, not just engagement on a mobile device. There is meaningful data that we can collect at different mobile touch points (think beacons, POS data, etc.) to create more powerful engagement. This session reminded me how important it is to look at the data from both the analog and digital world.
Stay thirsty, friends.