Building brands via tech and creativity

04 Sep 2017

  • Technology
  • Creative
  • Marketing Technology

By: Sara Howard, Writers for ADMA

Suffering Global Forum stream FOMO? We know it’s impossible to be in three places at once, so here’s what you might have missed out on during day one’s afternoon sessions.

Brand building with bots

AI had featured heavily during the morning keynotes, so it was a relief to hear Catriona Wallace, CEO of Flamingo, address some of the audience’s unspoken fears.

According to Catriona, we can expect “a change in the way work is done, not job slashing.” She says “I'm yet to speak to a single executive who is thinking of AI as a way to remove people from jobs. It will free humans up to do more human things.” Or, as an audience member commented, “We'd rather hire six people to program a robot than six people to behave like a robot.”

By 2020, cognitive tech is expected to reshape customer experience. 40% of the fastest growing companies will have machines doing more jobs than humans, and 20% of online content will be created by machines – not humans.

Flamingo’s Cognitive Virtual Assistant (‘Rosie’) is already selling insurance and banking products: “she can reduce 30% of calls to the call centre, and when we partner her with a call centre worker she increases their productivity by 20%.”

Key take-out: According to Flamingo’s research 75% of Australians are happy to interact with a bot, because we need online help 24/7 and FAQs are basically useless.

Storytelling in a hyper-connected world

Taking us back to the human art of sharing stories, Deeps De Silva of Dropbox and Mark Baartse of ShowPo discussed how storytelling is core to their content marketing success.

“ShowPo is really a content aggregator, not an ecommerce site,” said Mark. “Video, Insta, blogs  - we tell a cohesive story through all channels.” With its very narrow demographic of women in their late teens and 20s, ShowPo built its business on Instagram, and now has over 1million followers. Mark analyses what photos work, and targets posts to what is liked, wanted and shared.

Dropbox deliberately chooses to tell its stories about its users. “One in two internet users in Australia use Dropbox, so we have lots of stories to tell,” said Deeps. “But many don't know we have a business product. So we use dropeverything.com.au as our local platform to show how customers like Campos Coffee collaborate with suppliers around the world.” Other stories include targeted influencers, such as fashion designer Dion Lee and musician Ta-ku.

“What works is when you tell an authentic story that discusses the pain points for the customer,” he says.

Key take-out: Stories completely outperform product or brand messaging because they are more relatable.

Creativity for cowards

Over in the innovation stream, James Sugrue of AFK Agency shared his ideas for overcoming fear of innovation. ‘Away from keyboard’ is the big trend here (think touchtables, voice-activated bots, VR and gaming) – you may need a partner to take advantage of all this potential.

Innovation is not just for start-ups either – there is no right size, but culture needs to change. “We got our quick wins when people were too busy to notice,” James said. The trick is to understand change can be uncomfortable, and targeting short-term gaps may not feel natural – Uber taking on food delivery is an example of this.

Key take-out: It’s better to get most of the right solution out to market than wait and miss the moment. Or as James says, “don’t worry, be crappy.”

"Human beings have a why, technology has a how. There is no how without the why."

Trudie Newcomb, VP Acquisition, Early Engagement with American Express, also reminded us that “Done is better than perfect.” She shared how Amex adapted its mobile strategy when it understood how customers were switching between devices.

With mobile and smartphone adoption rate still growing, “last touch attribution doesn’t work” – you need to serve brand and acquisition content to meet different needs across multiple touchpoints in the journey.

Key take-out: 66% of Australians use more than two devices, so align media buy to conversion points.

Nick Bell and Alex Louey also shared a creative approach to creating channel partnerships – forged by necessity for their start-up Appscore. For Nick, “creativity is about connecting the dots.” You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just make use of what is already available.

To reach enterprise customers, they took the unusual choice of teaming up with Telstra as a channel partner. It’s paid off. “We needed a connector, a company that would give us credibility with the procurement process, Nick admitted. “If we'd stayed with cold calling, we wouldn't be here today.”

Key take-out: Most people have 71 apps on devices but only use 7 every day.

Technology that puts people first

Elaine Herlihy, Marketing Director with PayPal, reminded us that “human beings have a why, technology has a how. There is no how without the why.”

Reaching millennials means deploying the same principles of ‘right customer, right message, right time’ – it’s just the ‘how’ that has changed, to mobile.

“The challenge is how we ‘lead’ through mobile, rather than letting mobile happen to us,’’ she said. For PayPal, that includes getting into their customer’s ‘flow’ rather than bringing customers in – which is why you can now send Paypal payments via Siri. It also means addressing emotion – fear and trust.

Key take-out: Go through your customer journey and look at where risk and where fear plays a part. Map that and what you can do.

Want more insights from ADMA’s Global Forum? Check out the full Day One round up here.

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