We’re so excited to use new communication channels in business which is understandable. We try to be ahead of the game with chatbots, emails, social media and content marking, search and display ads – you name it. We’re so excited to introduce a new digital service which we hope will be a game changer and put us on the map. Sure, but sometime it seems like we forget WHY we develop a new service or product, or launch a new communication channel.
The fact is we can adapt multiple communication channels, but for our customers there is still just one – our customer service regardless online or offline. I believe the biggest challenge is not about advancing our digital communications, but how to make our messages coming from our channel mix consistent and relevant to customers. So, before we decide to introduce our nicely-designed chatbot or new app, let’s think about our customers first.
Would your chatbot help to solve their problems as soon as they occur? Would your website 24/7 help-line be able to answer your clients’ questions without redirecting them to other channels or departments? Would your app help customers get required information in a one-step process? We don’t want to overwhelm our customers with unnecessary and often useless information, do we? So let’s get back to basics and think how we can help them to get from Point A to Point B before reaching for any fancy new technologies.
Yours in lifelong learning
* I borrowed this signature from Sakhile, my Digital Analytics Course Success Manager at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 🙂
Do you follow digital humans on Instagram? According to StopPress, “a new wave of influencers is already here”. Last week I had a conversation with my colleagues about how AI will shape the future of marketing. While agreeing with many predictions, I was not sure about why we used the future tense in the discussion as AI is already shaking things up. I’m waiting for the day Instagram digital influencers replace current brand ambassadors, so that instead of hiring Julia Roberts for Lancôme, just custom build a virtual one based off the looks, personality, and slang promulgated by social media users to drive engagement. For example, @lilmiquela (a “change-seeking robot” with 1.8m followers) and her digital human friend, @burmudaisbae.
These are perfect examples of where I see branding going. Obviously, there are plenty of possibilities associated with AI that can massively change a PR or branding strategy – but there are also many questions around digital humans moving from the sphere of pure entertainment to becoming poster-children for political and social movements…Let me know your thoughts.
As it’s almost the end of 2019, I’ve decided to have a look at the most notable events in branding and marketing and create my personal top three list for 1) the lost opportunities and 2) best exploited opportunities.
Today let us cheer for the lost opportunities. First place goes to Smirnoff Vodka, who erected a billboard poking fun at the technical issues of Lime e-scooters. The cheeky billboard appeared in central Auckland just the next day after the scooters were temporarily banned by Auckland city council. It was a quick, well-thought out and planned reaction that, unfortunately, was not exploited any further. I was patiently waiting for a sequel on social media – but this did not happen. All Smirnoff Vodka managed to get is average coverage in the local media. The company fell short of using IMCs.
Second place belongs to Fly Buys, who mistakenly sold a $2000 Apple iPhone 11 at $140. Fly Buys said it would refund all customers who snapped up the bargain…Clearly consumer-brand relationships totally slipped their mind. Looking at responses, they definitely should have honoured the deal instead of offering a refund. The company fell short of consumer relationships.
In third place is Starbucks’ unwittingly anachronistic coffee cup on “Game of Thrones”. Even though experts say Starbucks has earned millions in free publicity because the social media community wouldn’t stop talking about it, the company, surprisingly, didn’t take full advantage of the event. Their response was very quiet, and hardly noticeable. I would have expected Starbucks to play a better role in the “after show” party. The company fell short of UGC, ambush marketing, and cross-promotion.
Seems like these companies have been taking pointers from Abe Weissman (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), who said: “Just because there is a door does not mean you use it.” What’s your list? What’s your take on it?