Current affairs

Wednesday, 2 de October, 2019

Ana Torrejón, an Open Innovation Manager and expert in entrepreneurship, ecosystem development and R&D&I, took part in an EAE Alumni webinar that analysed marketing strategies for integrating the traditional approach with the digital world.

A specialist in market research commitment to innovative entrepreneurship, Ana divided her presentation into a first part that focused on an analysis of the current scenario, followed by an overview of what she refers to as the “new age of marketing” with new business opportunities arising thanks to big data, social media and artificial intelligence.

Context: Where are we now?

The presenter analysed an economic context primarily characterized by a globalized VUCA setting, with open innovation (the entire world is an R&D platform for companies) and hyperconnected, empowered consumers.

Digital transformation is a reality in 87% of companies in which, for the first time, it has become a priority to hire digital professionals. As a result, the lack of digital talent and knowledge are the main obstacles to digitization, followed by technological shortcomings. “Companies are incorporating professionals with digitization skills”, explained the expert.

Media investment was the next factor to be analysed. The leading media channel is still television, accounting for 48% of  investment, while social media has become hugely important and the budget assigned to influencers has grown considerably. This all indicates a clear trend: offline marketing is used for branding, while digital channels are used to generate traffic.

“Companies are starting to understand the value of using online and offline media in combination in their strategy for reaching fundamental objectives”, explained Ana, adding that improving marketing execution is not just an opportunity but a necessity, “although most brands have not tapped into the full potential of digital marketing”.

Digital consumers demand sophisticated, easily managed services that generate confidence. Therefore, hyper-personalization is the best way to reach this audience. The challenge posed by this digital consumer is building loyalty, which means that Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are indispensable tools for brands. The buyer persona expects their experiences to adapt to their emotional and physical state. “Achieving customer loyalty is very complicated, but losing it is extremely easy”, emphasized the innovation ecosystem development expert.

The new age of marketing

It is essential to integrate digital marketing within the company’s global strategy in what Ana refers to as the new age of marketing, “in which we have to create goods and services adapted to the target market and create value for empowered consumers, who are best described as prosumers”. This is where the user experience comes into play, complemented with variables such as generating loyalty and co-participation, “achieving customer participation in the decisions of what goods to buy, use or consume”. In digital marketing, the product is simply the way in which customers relate to the brand. Therefore, we have to generate a dialogue with people and foster relations based on honesty and sincerity in order to share a lifestyle.

The current trend is towards the personalization of marketing. “Striving to achieve complementary actions with the same objective because the online environment enables us to reach markets that are inaccessible for traditional approaches”. Another trend is blended marketing, a commercial initiative based on competitive advantage, reinforcing the message, enhancing the efficacy of the strategies, segmenting our markets betters and improving engagement. In Ana’s opinion, we need to create genuine campaigns with the aim of achieving personalization and generating a positive experience with the brand.

To reach customers and offer them value, the Open Innovation Manager gave an overview of tools and methodologies such as empathy maps, customer journey maps, sales conversion funnels and the business model canvas. All of these tools place the customer firmly at the centre of the value chain. By identifying and creating this buyer persona, companies use the knowledge gained through Big Data to offer customers relevant products. To achieve this, the expert recommends turning problems into opportunities, reducing risks, focusing on the aspects that really matter to users, creating multidisciplinary teams and enhancing creative capacity and disruption.

By integrating customers within the digital marketing strategy, they can participate in and collaborate with the brand. In Ana’s opinion, it is important to think about the socialization of products and services. Measure everything related to your brand and its interrelation with users to gather essential data about your audience to be able to design certain digital marketing strategies. This enables us to design relevant actions based on the customers’ behaviour and needs”. The expert then went on to list links between online-offline conversions and tracking methods capturing new customers with campaigns, using examples of brands such as Destinia, Pull & Bear, Nike, KLM and Kit Kat, among others. In this respect, she recommends not replicating campaigns, but rather adapting them.

To conclude, Ana Torrejón told the Alumni community that the line between offline and online is becoming increasingly blurred. As such, we have to integrate and implement both worlds in order to reach a target audience, more markets, segment better, position ourselves against the competition and succeed in capturing the customer.