Our virtual trip around the globe through RampUp: Worldwide Virtual Summit has come to an end. In our luggage are insightful souvenirs from some of the world’s most inspirational marketers who encouraged us to listen and connect, and do so with empathy. Here’s a snapshot of what we heard:
Stop, listen, and show empathy for your customers
Kicking off RampUp Worldwide Virtual Summit was an informative keynote from Omar Johnson, who worked for Nike, Beats by Dre, and Apple before founding his own company, ØPUS United. One of the most salient points Omar raised is that the anatomy of big ideas comes from genuinely listening to your customers’ experiences. There is no B2B or B2C—it’s all B2H (business-to-human).
“There’s some things that you can do to build a great brand. Products, people, and storytelling, and if you distill your efforts into those three areas, you can typically end up in a really interesting place. Which one’s most important? There’s one answer. People. People are the most important part because people tell great stories. People also create great products, but it’s the people and the complexion and the backgrounds of those people that bring a business to life.”
Another key theme was the importance of team diversity. Omar said that his team at Beats by Dre was 55% female and shared, “I don’t think you go from 20 million to 1.6 billion in revenue with a bunch of the same people in the room. That diverse group helped us expand our growth a lot faster. It was always strategic to bring in different points of view because that created more consumer and customer empathy. When you create things with that level of empathy, those things tend to work.”
Omar ended his keynote by returning to the theme of listening. “I’ve always assumed that as a marketer, you spend a lot of time talking and communicating. I think in my years in doing this, I’ve learned my most powerful weapon is listening. There are moments as an executive, you get really full of your accomplishments and success and pride in what the company’s doing, and anytime I’ve made a giant mistake, it’s been when I didn’t listen.”
Consumers seek connection and community
We had the great pleasure of having executives from Danone and L’Oréal, two of the world’s largest CPGs, for our panel titled Connected Consumer Conversations through Data Collaboration. Domitille Doat, Chief Digital Officer, Danone and Asmita Dubey, Global Head of Media, L’Oréal, shared their perspective on the tremendous learnings they’ve built on this year and the importance of data collaboration and listening to your audience, echoing Omar’s keynote.
“On the consumer side, they’re becoming more connected. They are seeking more community,” Asmita said. “One simple example is hair coloration at home grew because salons were closed. “Our ambassadors like Eva Longoria used our product … and it went on to become one of our most-talked-about posts on social [media].”
Regarding data collaboration, Domitille stressed the importance of both sides of a data partnership being committed to consumer privacy and having the technical capabilities to respect consumers’ privacy preferences. “There is a level of preparation that is extremely complex, she shared. “You can’t collaborate on data without going through consent, where consumers are educated. You need your back end of where you put your data and where it can be forgotten in minutes, as that demand grows higher.”
Embrace the changes that come your way
Continuing on the theme of listening and shifting strategies, Jay Glogovsky, The New York Times’ Senior Director of Revenue Analytics and Data Operations, and Jason White, LiveRamp’s SVP and Head of Publishers, tackled the change in the advertising ecosystem accelerated by shelter-in-place and the pandemic in Diversify or Die: Reinventing the Modern Media Company.
With the imminent loss of third-party cookies and mobile identifiers, an authentication strategy is paramount to reaching consumers and creating the direct, personalized relationship to provide them with meaningful content for a value exchange. Jay noted, “An authenticated experience is essential to reader experience and ad experience.” He also points out that fundamentally, The New York Times believes in “creating journalism that’s worth paying for,” and also providing the value exchange of meaningful content. These concepts and beliefs need not be oppositional. “We know there’s a world of people who are not ready to subscribe,” he says, “…but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to information that’s pertinent to their life.”
Restart and build something better
Speaking of the value exchange, panelists on Managing a Post-IDFA World spoke candidly about the need to address consumer privacy issues at the heart of the changes to come with IDFA. Piecemeal solutions won’t work in the long term.
“This is the time to restart and build something better,” said Liane Nadeau, SVP, Head of Precision Media and Investments, Digitas North America. “Anything that can be tracked back to the user is going to go away—it all goes back to a consumer trust problem. We need to build something that addresses the root issue, which is consumer privacy.
Echoing Liane’s comments, Nola Solomon, VP, AdSmart Programmatic, Advanced Advertising Products and Strategy at NBCUniversal, said, “Privacy is a strategy, it’s not just about compliance.” Having this in mind will help companies get out of the reactive stage and become proactive in clearly and concisely communicating a value exchange with consumers. There was discussion back and forth as to whether this means brands should focus only on their CRM and not try to collect IDFA, which can work for some brands, but certainly not all.
Prashant Upase, Head of Product for Growth and Adtech at Uber, shared that the company’s owned channels are hugely important for user acquisition in western countries and are very mature there, but “growth is fast in emerging markets. CRM can’t do anything there. We have to go into the wild and figure out the best media channels we can rely on to drive awareness … and hopefully they can convert.”
A key takeaway, in addition to focusing on building consumer trust with a strong value exchange, was to look at the identity solution landscape and their potential value to your organization in tandem with developing first-party data solutions.
Back to the beginning
RampUp’s closing keynote, Building a Customer-Obsessed Company, brought the event full circle. LiveRamp’s CEO, Scott Howe, was joined by Tiffenn Dano Kwan, CMO of Dropbox; Jeff Rasp, VP, Digital Platforms, Channels, and Capabilities of Bayer; and Michelle Panzer, CMO of Media Platforms, Brand Experiences, and Autos of Hearst Magazines, where the conversation centered on data and improving customer experience and trust.
Whereas our opening keynote focused on brand-building, the closing keynote was rooted heavily in retention and renewals. What they had in common was the idea of engaging customers in a more fundamental human way. Tifenn said, “We have to exercise empathy in everything we do. The serving has to come before the selling.” A pivot she and Dropbox made during the pandemic was to reorient how they looked at their business and created “Customer Care as a Service.”
The panelists all agreed that building and maintaining trust with customers needs to be at the heart of everything they do as a brand. Also, while first-party data is important, being able to share data with partners in a safe and compliant way is critical to delivering better customer experiences. Finally, there is great power in the ability to integrate and innovate together to create and deliver value.
That’s a wrap for the first RampUp: Worldwide Virtual Marketing Summit. If you missed any sessions or want to go back to watch them again, click here to access the full conference. Until next time, stay safe, be well, and call your mum back.