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The CMO.com Interview E-Book

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The CMO.com eBook brings together a selection of some of the best interviews that have appeared on CMO.com over the last year. In it, senior figures from some of Europe’s best known brands discuss their challenges, thinking and strategy. These candid interviews are full of insight and practical tips about how businesses such as BMW, L’Oreal and Allianz are reacting to the challenges and opportunities presented by new digital economies. The eBook is a fascinating opportunity to get inside the mind of CMOs and is essential reading for marketers at all levels.

Veröffentlicht in: Marketing
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The CMO.com Interview E-Book

  1. 1. Accenture Aegon U.K. Allianz Aston Martin Lagonda BMW Channel 4 Direct Line First Utility Fujitsu UK & Ireland Guardian News and Media Hostelworld Group Liberty Global L’Oréal Luxe match.com Mercedes-Benz notonthehighstreet.com Philips Policy Exchange Post Office Ryanair Sony Music Telefónica Telenor Transport for London Three U.K. UKTV WPP Inside the CMO mind
  2. 2. 2 Inside the CMO mind Contents Narry Singh MD Digital Business Strategy, Accenture...............................................................................................4 David Macmillan CMO, Aegon U.K. ....................................................................................................................................................8 Carlo Bewersdorf Global Head of Digital Business, Allianz..............................................................................................12 Simon Sproule Chief Marketing Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda..........................................................................16 Dr Steven Althaus Global Director Brand Management and Marketing Services, BMW.........................20 Dan Brooke Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Channel 4..................................................23 Mark Evans Marketing Director, Direct Line..................................................................................................................27 Ed Kamm Chief Customer Officer, First Utility.........................................................................................................30 Simon Carter Executive Director of Marketing, Fujitsu U.K. Ireland.........................................................34 Julia Porter Director of Consumer Revenues, Guardian News and Media..........................................38 Otto Rosenberger CMO, Hostelworld Group...............................................................................................................................41 Peter Dorr MD, Marketing, Liberty Global...................................................................................................................45 Vincent Stuhlen Global Head of Digital, L’Oréal Luxe.......................................................................................................49 Jeremy Corenbloom Marketing Director, match.com.................................................................................................................52
  3. 3. 3 Inside the CMO mind Natanael Sijanta Director of Marketing Communications, Mercedes-Benz...................................................55 Fiona Wallin Head of Digital Marketing, notonthehighstreet.com................................................................58 Blake Cahill Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, Philips...............................................................61 Eddie Copeland Head of Technology Policy, Policy Exchange.................................................................................64 Pete Markey Chief Marketing Officer, Post Office.......................................................................................................68 Kenny Jacobs CMO, Ryanair............................................................................................................................................................72 Philip Ginthör CEO GSA, Sony Music.......................................................................................................................................76 María Sánchez del Corral Director of Institutional and Brand Marketing, Telefónica...................................................79 Tor-Arne Fosser VP Head of Marketing, Telenor..................................................................................................................82 Chris Macleod Marketing Director, Transport for London........................................................................................86 Tom Malleschitz CMO, Three U.K. ...................................................................................................................................................90 Simon Michaelides Marketing Director, UKTV..............................................................................................................................94 Sir Martin Sorrell CEO, WPP.....................................................................................................................................................................98
  4. 4. 4 Back to contents Narry Singh is Managing Director, Digital Strategy, at Accenture Strategy, as well as a hugely successful serial entrepreneur and manager. A Silicon Valley veteran of some 20 years now based in London, he’s also one of the United Nations Foundation’s Top 10 Global Entrepreneurs. His role at Accenture involves advising CEOs and their teams on developing and implementing digital strategy and establishing new ventures, so he seemed like the perfect person to ask about how marketers are approaching the question of digital transformation. Singh: Fundamentally, marketers are ahead of their peers in terms of what’s happening in digital. So there’s two or three things that are changing about the CMO’s role. The first is the CMO becoming a digital translator for the rest of the organisation. One example would be Keith Weed of Unilever. He’s done a fantastic job educating Unilever about digital. He’s got something called The Foundry, and he’s done interesting experiments with startups. He’s got crowd-funding of various ideas; they’re looking for a way that you could have a £100 pound refrigerator that could be used in sub-Saharan Africa to keep milk cold for kids, things like that. There’s a lot of ways you can act as translator and ambassador. We’ve had CMOs take their entire leadership team to Silicon Valley for five days, come out and set up incubators. The second part is marketing has an incredible opportunity to talk about the new digital metrics that will apply to other functions that they don’t see yet. There’s a shocking lack of a digital scorecard that coexists and reconciles with the CFO scorecard. Think of the number of times the CMO has to justify buying users for engagement, and CFOs have no idea what that means and how that actually adds value. There’s more clarity required around digital metrics. Then a big role for marketers is bringing external innovation into the organisation. Marketers by definition are outward-facing, market-facing, user-facing. And one of the biggest challenges that large companies face is not innovating fast enough, and having a Chief Innovation Officer doesn’t suddenly fix that. But a marketer has the right antennae and the systems to know what innovations are coming, and they can sense and respond really quite well. CMO.com: There still seems to be a gap between marketers and the rest of the board, because marketers are perceived as doing this fuzzy stuff where we don’t really know what the benefits are. How does a CMO influence the rest of the organisation on the digital journey? Singh: There are two or three things that seem to work. The first is that there’s a lot of stuff in digital that is not fuzzy, and can be measured. And those very quantifiable, business ROI-oriented discussions are happening. So that’s one way to increase credibility, which is “Tell me what digital does for me.” There’s a quantification part of the journey, which is important. Then there’s a massive education part. Most executives – and especially non-executive directors Narry Singh MD Digital Business Strategy, Accenture By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  5. 5. 5 Back to contents In the process of digital transformation, CMOs are critical agents of change. – that we deal with have told us that they’re not so sure they get digital. They say “I’m not so sure I understand how and when these various trends, like crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing, impact our business.” And the “when” is more important sometimes than the “how”. Because all these things look like shiny objects and science projects, but some move much faster than others. Education is critically important because what we’re seeing right now is an increased sense of urgency amongst our clients, but not necessarily an urgency that’s connected to digital trends. It’s more “We have to do something because we told Wall Street or The City that we’d do something on our digital strategy”. It’s not really linked to something that says “Because we see these four things happening in our industry.” And nothing succeeds better than having a couple of wins. I go back to The Foundry. It’s a fantastic example that says “Here’s an innovation hotbed. And in the next three months you’ll see five ideas – prototyped – about what digital can mean for you.” I don’t see why more marketing people don’t own and manage things like The Foundry for their organisations. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for them. The bottom line is, digital is only partly about imagination and education. It’s mostly about courage. And I don’t know how you transfer courage. CMO.com: You’ve spoken at events about applying the right metrics at the right time, and not trying to monetise too early. But does that make the marketer’s task doubly difficult? If the metrics at the start of the project aren’t linked to financial metrics, then is it a leap of faith for the board? Singh: I don’t think it is. For example, let’s say you’re a media company and you want to launch a mobile app that distributes the news. It’s absolutely true that you can find ways to monetise that if you measure the daily active users, the session frequency, and the session length. These aren’t financial metrics; these are metrics of engagement. If you measure those three things, it’s not a leap of faith to look at 10 years of data that says other digital properties that have hit these measurements on those three metrics have eventually figured out highly profitable ways to monetise. How digital metrics – that are focused on user engagement and distribution – become financial metrics is not a leap of faith. Their connection is simply not understood right now. And that’s one of the aspects of digital education that is key. CMO.com: Then there’s the question of attitudes to risk. I’m particularly interested in your idea of thinking like a VC. Singh: The moment we advise our clients to think like a portfolio manager – where you have short- term stocks, long-term stocks and some things in the middle – it seems to resonate. And that’s because nobody can tell you what’s going to happen in the next three to five years in digital, or anywhere else. So very often we advise our clients to have initiatives in their risk portfolio with different time scales. There’ll usually be two or three big bets for the next two years. There’ll be a few medium-sized bets for the next few two to four years. And there’ll be a couple of long shots.
  6. 6. 6 Back to contents CMOs are perfectly situated to act as transformation ambassadors throughout the business and encourage the CEO to experiment with digital. Now the good news about digital is, experimentation has never been quicker and cheaper. You don’t need millions of dollars of investment to experiment. You can do 25 experiments a year on things that you’re not completely sure about, but if one or two of them pop, they could change your business model. And that portfolio approach seems to work in digital. What doesn’t work is decimal points in your financial plan. That just tells you how little you know what’s going on CMO.com: What about the new job titles that are emerging: Chief Digital Officer, Chief Customer Officer? You were reasonably sceptical about the idea of a Chief Digital Officer when I saw you speak. Do you think these job titles are any more than just artefacts of where we happen to be? Singh: I think they are. I’m not that sceptical of a Chief Digital Officer title today. Or even for a couple of years. All I was saying was that if you have a Chief Digital Officer right now, it might be okay because that person could be a fantastic catalyst. But if you have a Chief Digital Officer five years from now, you’ve lost the plot. If they’ve done their job, there won’t be a job for a Chief Digital Officer in five years. The Chief Client Experience Officer is a very intriguing one. We see a massive opportunity in somebody owning user experience and service design. If you’re a home improvement retailer, for example, service design is not just being able to buy a drill online, but going to the store and having somebody teach you how it works. And then after you use it, being able to put it on a marketplace where your neighbours can share it. It’s the entire proposition, not just one aspect of it. We’re very bullish about the idea of somebody owning the user experience, and the Chief Client Experience Officer to us is a very intriguing way of having somebody do that. CMO.com: Is it something people are embracing? Singh: It’s very early. Citibank, for example, has a great Chief Client Experience Officer group. But in the next two or three years, we feel some version of somebody owning the client and the user experience is highly likely. CMO.com: How do you envision that sitting with marketing? If you’re a CMO and somebody says “We need somebody to be in charge of the customer experience,” you’re going to say “Isn’t that my job?” Singh: It is, but the reason it’s happening is because in many instances, marketing hasn’t stepped up. You can either get on board, or you can have it be done for you. CMO.com: What does this mean in terms of the skills the CMO is going to need? Singh: I would go back to those three areas: the digital educator, the hoster of innovation platforms, and the steward of user experiences. On the innovation side, having the expertise and skills to run fast experiments on what the business could benefit from, prototyping, identifying of which interesting technologies you want to actually experiment with, a scanning function. The skillset required to have that level of digital factory capability in marketing is not very apparent right now. But it will happen in organisations. The only question is whether
  7. 7. 7 Back to contents marketing will step up and lead that. Or will it be set up by the CIO, or the Chief Innovation Officer, or a highly enthusiastic CEO who will have somebody earmarked to do it as a special project? It feels like marketing has as much right to own that dialogue within the company as anybody. In terms of user experience and design, I would strongly urge more CMOs to figure out their service design strategy. There’s almost a skillset for running the service design academy within large companies that should be facilitated, if not owned, by marketing. And service designers and that skillset are quite rare right now. But that skillset seems to be a big opportunity for marketing. Those seem to be two obvious ones. In terms of the digital educator, we’ve seen it varies by CMO. A CMO with a strong personality, who can encourage the CEO to test and experiment with various things in digital, seems to be the most effective approach right now, rather than having something more official. So something we do for CMOs and CEOs is digital boot camps, where we bring in an executive team – often in partnership with the CMO – to go through all the different things that the business should be thinking about in digital. And what they can do about it. So it’s a very compressed, highly intense interaction. More of those, both for the executive team and even the PLC board, who are going to be approving decisions and investments in digital, would be a very simple idea. And those are different skillsets; that’s not how marketing people think today. For digital transformation to succeed, the CMO must be the digital educator, the hoster of innovation platforms, and the steward of user experiences.
  8. 8. 8 Back to contents Managing your pension is vitally important to your quality of life after you retire, but even pension providers recognise how boring people find the process. As CMO of the U.K. arm of life insurance, pensions and asset management company Aegon, David Macmillan is leading its transformation into a mobile-first business, with the aim of engaging its 2.2 million customers more deeply in what’s happening with their savings. He spoke to CMO.com recently, and he started by describing his role at Aegon. Macmillan: I’m responsible for all aspects of the marketing journey; from insight to the development of products and services, and delivery to customers. I was hired to deliver a business transformation, and at the heart of that was the move to mobile-first. As part of our business strategy we had to shift our entire customer experience away from classic paper and phone, and put Aegon in your pocket and on your mobile. We had to reinvent the entire company, let alone marketing. The best way to explain that is to talk about Retiready, which is our mobile-first retirement experience, because that set out to put our entire service on a mobile device. That led to a massive cultural change. From a marketing point of view, digital marketing for us is really front and centre of everything we do now. Clearly it’s a two-way channel, and most important is how you listen to customers through the device socially and through such channels as web chat, which we’ve introduced on an industrial scale. It’s completely changed the way we think of ourselves as a marketing team because digital gives you tremendous access to people. CMO.com: How has this transformation changed the organisation, both culturally and structurally? Macmillan: This started with a very in-depth analysis of what our customers thought of the current experience. People were fed up with paper and the phone. They wanted access to information at the touch of a button, and they wanted to understand that information. We used three words in the organisation to communicate this. The first was simplicity. When you put a pensions and investment company on a mobile device, you have to simplify everything to within an inch of its life. With Retiready, we moved from having 8,000 funds to five. Our compliance documentation went from 66 pages to something you can scroll through on your mobile device with one flick. In cultural terms, you have to walk away from everything you thought mattered and recognise that customers have a totally different perspective. Unless you meet them half-way, you’re simply going to be delivering the same old services, products, propositions into an environment in which they just don’t work. The second word we used was reassuring. It’s really interesting to me that the number one thing we get asked by customers is, “What’s the value of my fund?” We used to issue a 42-page statement once DAVID MACMILLAN CMO, Aegon U.K. By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  9. 9. 9 Back to contents “To transform a business, you have to walk away from everything you thought mattered and recognise that customers have a totally different perspective.” a year because that’s what the regulator expects. But a 42-page document doesn’t help answer that question. People would get to page three of the document and give up, which is very worrying for us because it means they’re not engaged in understanding whether their retirement pot is going to be big enough for them and whether it’s going to deliver at the right time. So reassurance became a real watchword for us. It doesn’t matter how many times a customer clicks their mobile; they can see the value of their retirement fund. They can see it changing, and it’s surrounded by all the other information they need to understand it. They can also access our help at any time from that device. It’s completely changed the way we operate. People talk about transformation, but for us real transformation is moving from being open six days a week, 9:00AM to 5:00PM, to being open all the time. The third word we use is rewarding. We spent a lot of time talking to our customers about how to make pensions and retirement interesting. We recognise it’s deadly dull, but it happens to be massively important. We realised that if we didn’t make the experience fun and satisfying for at least 10 minutes every six months, people wouldn’t have the level of engagement we know they need. That’s why with Retiready we’ve spent a huge amount of time on things like data analytics so your score is personal, it’s customisable, and you carry it around in your mobile device. It’s permanently checking off against the algorithm so that it’s telling you how ready you are for retirement. That’s no different from having FitBit on your wrist telling you that you are looking after your health. We learned from developing Retiready that marketers need to understand that digital opens up ways to involve the customer in an experience. We’re in an industry that is legendary for paper and complexity, but you can absolutely transform that for a customer, and that’s what we’re starting to do. What’s important for me is that you need people who want to transform the engagement. You can hire a lot of digital marketers who are very good at communications, at social media, at understanding how your old-style marketing translates into new-style marketing, but that’s not the same as marketers looking to develop propositions and services that drive value creation in the business. CMO.com: How do you present this kind of cultural change to the organisation? Macmillan: We framed the transformation very much around customer value. We said if we don’t embrace this transformation, we will find ourselves left behind in an analogue world while others are digital, and that could be a deeply unhealthy place commercially. In short, we framed it in terms of moving from a product relationship to a customer relationship. We built some hard metrics around that, which from a marketing point of view meant that you could stand in front of the CFO and the board and paint a very clear picture that unless we moved in this direction, our revenues and profits were going to be attacked and shrunk.
  10. 10. 10 Back to contents “In order to shift the entire customer experience away from classic paper and phone and onto mobile, we had to reinvent the entire company, let alone marketing.” CMO.com: And how has this changed the structure of the department? Macmillan: Having got the organisation to realise we had to transform, my first job was to transform marketing because it was going to lead the overall transformation. There was a recognition that we needed new teams and new skills, bringing in designers and digital experts. We also introduced analytics and mobile development skills very early on. As a consequence of that, we threw the existing marketing structure in the bin and started again. We used to have lots of product teams, and we moved to a very simple split where we have an innovation team responsible for future products and services; and we have a marketing communications team responsible for taking these products and services to market and for maintaining and building relationships. We also started very early on to create a digital team at the heart of marketing. The marketing function overall moved from being very much product-oriented to be entirely customer-oriented; from being a relatively slow decision-making environment to one that’s very agile, fast-paced and always-on, because digital never sleeps. We went into that challenge with about 140 people. We’ve slimmed down to 80, 60% of whom are new to the organisation. We held onto a lot of core talent, but we also brought in new talent to bring different skills and experiences together. CMO.com: How did you approach training and bringing those core talents with you on the journey? Macmillan: We didn’t have the time or bandwidth to do a formal training programme. So we put together an agile team with six different vendors: technology, integration and marketing vendors. We embedded 30 of our own people with them and created one big delivery team. We worked together for a year building Retiready, which meant over that period our internal guys were exposed to an entirely different world. What we found works best is if you’re going to move quickly, get people into the job. Let them get their hands dirty. In particular, let them understand what they don’t know, because that’s a perennial problem. If you go for classroom-style training, you can make the mistake of thinking everybody’s at the same level. You can also make the mistake of thinking that you know everything that they might encounter ahead of time. We found that just doesn’t happen. Another aspect is that digital moves so fast that if you’re not careful, you’re training somebody on something that’s already out-of-date. Actually, when people are doing this on a day-to-day basis, they tend to come to you to say they’ve learned something new or they want to work on something else. It’s much more vibrant. I don’t even like calling it training. CMO.com: What happens next? Macmillan: In terms of digital and marketing generally, the pace with which our industry is changing is going to put a very heavy emphasis on the need for innovation in design, in particular the ability to develop products and services for the future marketplace that are much more design-oriented,
  11. 11. 11 Back to contents “Listening to customers socially and through channels such as web chat has completely changed the way we think of ourselves as a marketing team because digital gives you tremendous access to people.” much more experiential. We’re going to see a big push to hire people who can not just see a couple of years in advance but can translate customer insight into products or services. Within our world, if we don’t have people who can innovate along the lines our customers are moving, then we’re not going to move to the next level, because transformation for us isn’t about the core products. They’re not going to change, but the way that people interact with them is set to explode. I can see peer-to-peer payment processes and the number of new digital payment models being developed and people wanting access to their savings in different ways. CMO.com: How do you approach that kind of innovation? Macmillan: We took an incubation approach to Retiready. As I say, we took 30 people, we brought in six vendors. We moved them to an entirely different building off-site. We allowed them to operate without any constraint; their own hours, their own policies, their own dress code even, and we managed to get the business through to a pretty robust position before we brought it back. That’s important, but what’s more important is when you bring the project back into the fold. If you want to tap the organisation’s full capabilities, you need to bring the new project back in as quickly as you can and then start the next incubation. You want to avoid ending up with a two-speed company. One of the most exciting things we’ve done is when we brought Retiready back in and got the entire organisation to embrace it so they all felt part of it. I’m going to continue with that process.
  12. 12. 12 Back to contents Carlo Bewersdorf, Global Head of Digital Business at German insurance giant Allianz, believes the insurance industry worldwide is at the tipping point for digitisation. His role finds him at the centre of that disruption, identifying, prioritising, and driving implementation of the company’s digital initiatives across all its markets. CMO.com: Where is Allianz on its journey to integrate digital into its marketing and its broader business? Bewersdorf: Digital is an absolute priority for everybody within Allianz, but on a global scale, we’re at different stages of digitisation. What we’re doing is fostering and enabling digital innovation locally and, if possible, scaling globally. For example, throughout Asia we have distinctive new digital business models which we are implementing to test rapidly and in a very entrepreneurial way. On the other side, on a group level we are starting to implement totally new ways of developing digital platforms in an agile way within a scrum-methodology. CMO.com: So part of your job is to take learnings from one country and transfer them to others to bring everybody up to the same point? Bewersdorf: That’s one of my responsibilities. Others are implementing digital initiatives and platforms, building up digital capabilities and driving digital innovation. CMO.com: How is digital organised in the individual regions? Bewersdorf: Digital is becoming a holistic requirement so that everybody at Allianz thinks digital without being too generic. Several digital initiatives are driven by a department called Market Management. There’s Global Market Management and there’s also a Market Management department within the regions and within local Allianz companies. These departments then drive the big digitisation initiatives along the customer journey, or in trying to make operations more efficient, or in developing new business models. Across all initiatives the close collaboration with Operations and IT is a critical success factor. When you look at Asia, we assign certain topics, for example social media to Thailand or search optimisation to India, where they’re already good. What they’re supposed to do is to set benchmarks, develop best-in-class examples of these specific areas and then spread that knowledge throughout CARLO BEWERSDORF Global Head of Digital Business, Allianz By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  13. 13. 13 Back to contents 13 Back to contents “Digital is an absolute priority for everybody within Allianz, but on a global scale, we’re at different stages of digitisation.” the region. Then there are other countries, France for example, where we’re already pretty far ahead when it comes to digitisation. We’ve just founded an accelerator where we fund and develop big data ventures, and we’re also at the forefront of mobile marketing in France. So we’re trying to spread the knowledge which the local companies develop through a knowledge exchange. CMO.com: Does Market Management sit within Marketing? Or is it a separate function? Bewersdorf: No, Market Management would be the overarching function and classical marketing or branding is part of that, as is direct selling, and there could be digital strategy within that too. Consequently, marketing and branding report to the Head of Market Management. CMO.com: Is digital marketing integrated within marketing, or do you still have some separation of digital and traditional marketing? Bewersdorf: Everybody is thinking digital now within Market Management, it’s integrated. Even within a classical function like branding, we totally think digital because that’s where, even more so in the future, the growth and the brand awareness are coming from. CMO.com: What are your next steps in digitisation? Bewersdorf: We’re implementing what we call a digital multi-access model. We’re trying to serve and support the hybrid customer; the customer who might be interested in finding information through the Internet and maybe getting on the phone after that and in the end maybe buying from a tied agent. The next step is to support this with developing technologies, for example big data analytics or advanced mobile developments. Things are really heading towards mobile and we’re not as strong there as we think we can be within the next few years. Consequently, we’re implementing the concept of mobile first. CMO.com: When you look at your customer journeys, do you have a clear sense of the role mobile plays and what you need to be doing for those particular touch points? Bewersdorf: It’s an extremely diverse, complex matter. We do know that for the younger generation, the millennials, mobile is the first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they see before they go to sleep. They define themselves through their mobile, and certainly through social media. We need to take into account the combination of social media and mobile – and also video – when we market to people, especially from a younger generation. At the moment, we view mobile as being at the beginning of the funnel; when consumers inform themselves about products. We’re not so far advanced that we can sell a vast amount of products to consumers via mobile yet. But that will change faster than everybody thinks and we need to be prepared. CMO.com: What are your main sales channels? Bewersdorf: The three channels we focus on are our agents – mostly tied agents – and brokers; online and mobile; and also customer care centres. We’ve mostly used these for service purposes but they will be more useful in the future as an integrated sales channel with mobile/online and tied agents.
  14. 14. 14 Back to contents 14 Back to contents We need to take into account the combination of social media and mobile – and also video – when we market to people, especially from a younger generation. In Italy, for example, we have a tool called “Fast Quote”. As an interested customer, you only have to answer very few questions on the Allianz Italy website to get a quote for your car insurance, compared to 20 or more questions on average. We’re using contextual data and external sources to support your request. The actual policy is not yet sold online but the fast quote is integrated into the digital multi-access model and the policy sold through the tied agent. CMO.com: How important is social media for you and how do you see it fitting into the customer journey? Bewersdorf: Insurance is not an obvious choice for social media, because social media is all about your daily habits, about what you are proud to display to people about your social behaviour. We’re not about that. We’re not only speaking as a brand to the private customer, but in addition we train our tied agents and supply them with tools to enable them to speak to our customers through social media. CMO.com: Can you give me an example? Bewersdorf: One great example is a tied agent in Germany who is an absolute dog lover. We’ve supported him with tools and training, and he uses social media to talk about what he loves most, and he’s very authentic in doing that. He has not only amassed a vast following, but he is also one of the tied agents Germany-wide who sells the most pet insurance plans. CMO.com: So your vision of social media is one of supporting individual voices rather than there being an Allianz voice? Bewersdorf: That’s right, but we’re doing it on a pretty big scale. We try to engage and motivate as many tied agents as we can to come onto the platform and begin a dialogue with our customers. They don’t normally work directly into Facebook; we ensure compliance and all of that through the platform. We also try hard to find people who are really social- savvy. We know that if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. So we put a lot of effort into finding the right people. If we find them, the rest will follow. CMO.com: Looking internally, how has the type of people that you recruit for marketing changed? Bewersdorf: We need people “who are able to connect the dots”, to quote Steve Jobs; people who try to combine all the diverse tools, ideas and initiatives. They need to be extremely flexible, creative, and sometimes even courageous to do that, so we’re looking for people who have a fail- learn-succeed attitude. That’s on the soft side. On the hard skills side, there are certainly capabilities that we haven’t previously looked for in insurance. Search marketing, real-time bidding, social media, all of that was foreign to our industry. We’re now building up these capabilities as fast as we can. We need specific knowledge because the ecosystem of online marketing has become so diverse and complex that no one person can cover all of those capabilities any more. CMO.com: Where do you find those people? Bewersdorf: We’ve started to look to the big e-commerce and digital players. We’re also more and more trying to find people who are
  15. 15. 15 Back to contents 15 Back to contents entrepreneurial. One specific example would be the Allianz Accelerator. It’s a small unit we created where we try to identify ventures and support them with financial resources and people to help them grow. Within this accelerator we mostly hire people who have a really entrepreneurial spirit. They are not tightly integrated with the normal procedures and processes of Allianz because that would probably not be beneficial and they would pretty soon leave again if they were. CMO.com: Are you looking for ventures that are directly relevant to your business, or is there room for companies whose immediate relevance isn’t obvious? Bewersdorf: We’re looking for products and services that go well beyond our current business models. An example could be car insurance, which we think is evolving into a mobility ecosystem. It’s not only about selling car insurance, it’s about trying to connect elements of mobility with each other, for example offering pay-as-you-drive car insurance. Another example is that we’ve partnered with Nest in France and plan to combine our products and services with the functionalities of Nest. We are still exploring concrete offers, but we could very well think about a scenario, where they install their applications and we supply the assistance services around those applications. We’re trying to build ecosystems for customers; we want to combine classical insurance products with services and applications for customers to support them on a broader scale within their life. We are trying hard to find people who are really social-savvy and entrepreneurial. One specific example would be the Allianz Accelerator.
  16. 16. 16 Back to contents Aston Martin Lagonda is an iconic U.K. car marque, with a 102-year heritage built on beauty, craftsmanship, racing and James Bond. Simon Sproule is the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. He previously worked as VP Marketing and Communications at Tesla Motors in the U.S., and CVP Global Marketing Communications at Nissan in Japan. Since joining Aston Martin in November 2014 he has succeeded in integrating the marketing team, and has appointed a Head of Content to manage both content and digital. I began by asking him about the opportunities and challenges facing such an iconic brand. Sproule: Aston Martin has a strong story, which gives us a head start. It has a great history and a beautiful product. You never hear the words that’s a really ugly Aston Martin. It has beauty and craftsmanship on its side. All of this provides a strong marketing platform. I would say that the care point is making sure the story remains relevant. For example, the emerging markets have no sense of the legacy or history of Aston Martin. They are discovering something new, so for them the brand is five minutes old. Our heritage gives us an advantage because people who are new to the brand will start to discover our story. It gives them reassurance, but we can’t rely on history alone. A brand always needs to stay fresh and not be stuck in the past. Aston Martin has been bankrupt seven times in 102 years, and it has successfully reinvented itself each time. It is iconic in the U.K., and deeply understood, but outside of the U.K., and particularly outside of Europe, it is perhaps less instinctively understood. It presents an interesting set of challenges. CMO.com: How do you go about telling such stories, and how important is digital in bringing the brand to life? Sproule: Content is king, but digital for me is just a channel; a way of delivering content. What is much more important to me is the substance of the stories I am trying to tell, and those stories are primarily around the product and around the history, James Bond, racing. We try to share a lot around the product and the way it is made and the technology, craftsmanship and engineering involved, as well as the people associated with it. Serena Williams visited our factory just before Wimbledon this year. She went to one of our test tracks and drove some cars, and said she had never been so fast in her life. That’s all good content and SIMON SPROULE Chief Marketing Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda By Nicola Smith, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  17. 17. 17 Back to contents “Emerging markets have no sense of the legacy or history of Aston Martin. They are discovering something new, so for them the brand is five minutes old.” it provides colour and texture and context to the brand. We covered that story using video and Twitter. There is an enormous hunger from fans for stuff about Aston Martin, and even if someone is never going to buy a car, it is important that we respect their affection and love for the brand. We are serving a number of different needs with our content strategy – brand strategy, owner strategy, prospect strategy – and in the end, it is all down to good storytelling. CMO.com: How is Aston Martin’s customer base changing? Sproule: The traditional customer for luxury cars – typically male Caucasian – is no longer true. There is a radically changing demographic and we have to adjust our messaging so that we are relevant to that buyer too. Our overall market is high net worth individuals. In the U.K., Europe and the U.S., roughly 60% of our customers are late 40s and upwards. Our Chinese customers, however, are about 10 years younger than our western buyers, and tend to average late 30s. There is much more interest from women in China too. CMO.com: How do you ensure that the brand appeals to women? Sproule: We would like to see more women as the principal customer, and it comes down to products and relevance. Product-wise we are just about to launch the next generation of sports cars. What we’re not doing is the so-called ‘pink-it-and- shrink-it’ strategy, which would be disastrous; we are producing Aston Martins, and we are producing Aston Martins that are true to the brand values. Regarding product design, our CEO, Andy Palmer, has created a women’s advisory panel of between 10 and 12 women from around the world. They share their thoughts on what our cars should look like in future and what functionality we need to include to appeal to female buyers. For example, steering wheel thickness, and relative positioning of the paddle shift on the steering column to the steering wheel: guys have longer fingers and bigger hands, so if all your cars are designed with males in mind, most women won’t feel comfortable driving the car. This is a wider car industry issue, but we are paying particular attention to it because in the past we have perhaps over-indexed on a car designed by a bunch of guys in the West Midlands. The new buyer of an Aston Martin is a Chinese female, and she has to jump in the car and instantly feel comfortable. CMO.com: You mention that 40% of your western customers are, on average, late 40s – or Generation X – how do you appeal to this younger market? Sproule: Forty percent of the world’s wealth is with Generation X and the millennials; that is a very substantial part of our market and they are very different to boomers. Their cultural references are very different; they are the first video game generation, for example. We have to think about what will be attractive to a Gen X buyer. It is quite a complex and nuanced challenge. I took over as CMO a year ago. We have since taken on a new agency (WPP), and a new CRM partner (Salesforce), so we are investing in the infrastructure to enable us to run with the big boys when it comes to marketing and communications.
  18. 18. 18 Back to contents “Social media exposed the fact that having lots of silos is highly inefficient and a poor way to manage a brand.” It is a work in progress, but a good example is Gran Turismo, the world’s most successful driving video game. We created cars for Gran Turismo, which allows us to service two audiences: our fans, because they want to be able to race and play with Aston Martins in video games; and Gen X, our prospective customers, who still play a lot of video games. Being relevant in something like Gran Turismo is spot on for both our fan base and some of our customers. CMO.com: You are a keen advocate of an integrated marketing team. How have you approached this at Aston Martin and how easy was it to implement? Sproule: I believe in it completely. We integrated and formalised it this year, so we work as one team right across brand management, CRM, digital and social media, events, shows, PR, CSR, test drive activities, customers visits to the factory – the whole lot. But you never do integration without pain and suffering. The first experience I had with it was at Nissan, and you take some people on the journey and some people you leave behind; that is the reality. The logic for it in my mind is absolutely clear; the customer doesn’t care which department created which message; it’s completely irrelevant. I think social media was one of the tipping points for integration because you had this ludicrous situation where PR was saying, it’s our responsibility to post on Facebook and engage with customers and fans and the marketing department would say, no, it’s ours. I witnessed these ridiculous arguments, and I think social media basically exposed the fact that having lots of silos is highly inefficient and a poor way to manage a brand. But that doesn’t mean to say you lose the need for specialisation. Brands will continue to have people who are PR professionals and have no interest in doing advertising or events, for example. The important part is ensuring that you are talking to each other. When you actually go to market, are you integrated? CMO.com: How have the skills of your marketing team changed in recent times? Sproule: My CEO is an engineer so he thinks he now has a better skillset for marketing than I do because it is a data-driven business; analytics have come to the fore. Marketers need to stay on top of analytics, and make data-driven decisions. We now have more people who have a good grasp of data and can make decisions based on it, and it is also reflected in the fact that we are moving away from a patchwork quilt of smaller agencies to bigger partners who have access to bigger data and can provide us with bigger solutions and – I believe – can keep us more up to date with analytics solutions. It is a combination of agency support plus the right balance of people in our internal team. CMO.com: Digital is now seen as a mindset rather than a channel. How has that changed the way you approach marketing? Sproule: One big change is that we now have a Head of Content, and the same guy running content is also running digital. We decided that it makes sense to have one person who has a view over the channels, and the content needed to fill those channels. He can make a judgement call on whether a new car launch story or celebrity story will work
  19. 19. 19 Back to contents best on video or in our customer magazine, for example, or across all channels. CMO.com: Which social media channels are proving most successful for you? Sproule: Instagram. We reached over half a million followers on Instagram two months ago, and added another 90,000 last month, so we’re growing quite dramatically on that platform. [It now stands at over 700,000 followers] It suits us well because we are a very visual brand. We also have over six and a half million Facebook fans. I think that says that the brand is well loved both by people who buy cars and people who don’t buy cars, and that is super-important. One lesson – and an opportunity – for us is to invest more in video and to do better on YouTube. We underperform on video and YouTube versus what we are achieving on Facebook. We haven’t fully cracked it with video. I look at the likes of Red Bull and GoPro, both brands that create awesome video content, and that is what we need to aspire to. That said, there is evidence that we are changing and starting to get video. We recently put out an awesome piece of content of the new James Bond car doing 007 using screeching tyre marks. It’s great for fans, fun for owners and customers, and just great content. It is an example of us starting to get a little bit more savvy about using video, which we see as a big opportunity going forward. “Marketing is a data-driven business; analytics have come to the fore. Marketers need to stay on top of analytics, and make data-driven decisions.”
  20. 20. 20 Back to contents In the past 12 months, BMW has launched the first two cars under its BMW i sub-brand, the BMW i3 all-electric car and the i8 hybrid. According to Dr Steven Althaus, Global Director Brand Management and Marketing Services at BMW, this not only represents a massive shift for the car company in engineering terms, it also sets “a new normal” for marketing. Althaus spoke to CMO.com Europe recently, and the first question I asked him was how BMW thinks about digital marketing. Althaus: It’s easy to think about digital marketing as what you are doing on Facebook or other digital platforms, but the bigger context is actually one of digital transformation. Marketing has to feed back into the organisation what digitalisation means to the business model. BMW i is a great example because it creates a new normal with respect to digital. It’s more about digital transformation than just improving efficiencies and shifting from classical media to digital. CMO.com: Can you explain what BMW i is for people who aren’t familiar with it? Althaus: BMW i is a sub-brand of BMW. BMW consists of BMW M and BMW i. BMW M is more the dynamic aspect of BMW; BMW i is more on the sustainability, innovative side of BMW. The BMW i3 was designed as the mega-city vehicle with zero emissions. These cars create a new territory for BMW. Plus they are a carrier of technology that we export across the whole fleet. BMW i means the car was designed and built at a completely new production facility. It was a holistic approach from the very beginning, and that’s imperative because our target customers demand this. It was not a post-electrification of an existing car, but a purpose-built design. That starts with research and development, production and engineering, and of course marketing and sales need to be at the table. CMO.com: How did the marketing department’s influence within that group manifest itself? Althaus: It all starts with engineering, with the question: is this technically possible? The limitation when you ask customers what they want is that sometimes you’re in the area of unarticulated needs. Innovation is driven either by clearly articulated customer demand or, as in this case, by engineering. DR STEVEN ALTHAUS Global Director Brand Management and Marketing Services, BMW By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  21. 21. 21 Back to contents Community is not getting millions of customers on your Facebook site; when we introduced the car our strongest allies were existing customers sharing their expertise with the i3 because people believe people. The first step in this case was that it was technically feasible to build a completely new car, and then to get the company to rally behind it. Marketing played a role in that; is there a need out there in the market? Can we actually communicate this? Is this relevant to people? Can we stretch the brand to BMW i? How do we get our dealers behind us? To make this seamless, it was imperative that marketing was involved from the very beginning. CMO.com: Did the media choices you made reflect the technological brand values of the vehicle itself? Althaus: Absolutely. We just got new car buyer statistics for BMW i3 drivers, and nearly 80% of those buyers were not part of BMW before. We had to do something completely different to attract those people to the brand. When the project started, we decided to prepare the stage for e-mobility for BMW. We had two years of pre-communication on e-mobility before the actual launch. We used the concept of an ecosystem of interest. People who might be interested in e-mobility might also enjoy contemporary art, architecture, design, fine dining, cooking, travel, urbanisation etc. We looked at this ecosystem and asked what are these people doing? How can we attract them? These are not people we have within the current brand so we couldn’t simply go for our existing customer base. We had to extend it. By using this concept we found new customers and new customer segments. And we did this multi-locally. The concept was geared towards innovators, tipping-pointers. You might even call them beta testers. People who are okay if there are still some lessons to be learned. They give active feedback. In a way they are co-creating, or co-contributing to, the story of i. Then when the car was launched, it was very important to get as many people into it as possible because e-mobility is a complex issue. You can go into marketing and communications, but then you have to bring people into dealerships and generate test drives. CMO.com: How was that done? Althaus: For the first time we sold direct to end- customers. We established platforms where they could register directly for a test drive, and then go to dealers. We had GoPro’s in the test drives with the i3 so people could share their driving experience with their friends, leading to additional test drives. CMO.com: How much of this feedback from the beta testers were you actually able to incorporate into the vehicle itself? Althaus: A lot. They have opinions, and they give them to you. We got a lot of comments saying “this is me and my i3, this is what I shared with the community”. That’s something that creates customer advocacy. CMO.com: Did you look to develop the community around the i3 yourselves, or did you find communities that you could talk to? Althaus: Community is not getting millions of customers on your Facebook site. We are in an era of relevance. Communities are so important because people speak to one another. When we introduced
  22. 22. 22 Back to contents The concept was geared towards innovators, tipping-pointers. They give active feedback. In a way they are co-creating, or co-contributing to, the story of i. the car, our strongest allies were existing customers sharing their expertise with the i3 because people believe people. CMO.com: How did you encourage that? Althaus: We launched portals about BMW i called BMW Stories. When we launched the i8, we generated tremendous momentum behind customers’ stories with the car. We stimulated that with the stories coming from our engineers, the people behind the i3. This was to make customers knowledgeable, make them part of the community because they need to be aware that they’re not driving just another car. Of course we use all the existing channels that we have – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Foursquare – to be of relevant, and very importantly, we were working with our dealers. CMO.com: You mentioned earlier that you went direct to customers. How did that affect the dealer relationship? Althaus: By purpose-building a new car we created a different value proposition for our customers and our dealers. The message was very clear that the dealers were part of this from the very beginning, and customers would turn to them when it came to test drives. We had an agreement with the dealers that we could go direct because it was very important for us to establish a direct relationship to those customers from the beginning. CMO.com: You talk about BMW i establishing a new normal for the business. What are the key things that you’re applying to the rest of the organisation? Althaus: There are three major trends or development areas. One is the changed role from hardware to software, the role that connectivity plays in the context of this car being a connected device. Second is how we partner with our dealers. It’s us and the dealerships together vis-a-vis the end customer. And against our competitors. It’s not us against the dealer, against whoever. Third is the change from owning a car to using mobility. We see a lot of new business models coming up in the sharing economy when it comes to the mega-trend around urbanisation. CMO.com: What are the lessons you’ve learned in terms of your marketing? Althaus: It’s imperative that we redefine the role of marketing. We don’t simply go for communication efficiency and effectiveness and do cheaper marketing, but we explain to the organisation what the digital transformation actually means. This requires a different role for marketing; one that involves much more understanding of what happens in the outside world, and feeding this back into the organisation to generate better products, better services. Then we go for truth well told. I’m a great believer in partnership when it comes to how we work with tech companies or advertising agencies or media agencies. As the global CMO, I partner with the CIO to produce a common briefing so there’s a holistic approach within the company, but also there’s a consolidated approach on the agency and on the servicing side so we don’t produce silo solutions.
  23. 23. 23 Back to contents U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 is an unusual business. It’s a not-for-profit, with a public service remit to be innovative and to challenge the status quo. But unlike the BBC, which also has a public service remit, it receives no public funding. Dan Brooke has been Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer since January 2011, when he was promoted from Director of Marketing Communications. This is his second spell at Channel 4. He joined as Head of Marketing and Development for the channel’s film production business Film4 in 1998, subsequently becoming Managing Director of Digital Channels. He was chosen as the Marketing Society’s Young Marketer of the Year in 2001 for his work launching E4, Channel 4’s offering for 15-35 year-olds. His responsibilities encompass the marketing department; 4Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house advertising creative agency; the press office; and the corporate affairs department. He spoke recently to CMO.com, and the first thing I asked him was what he sees as the brand’s key marketing challenges. Brooke: It’s a combination of getting the right balance between building ratings and building the reputation of the brand. With the best activities, you maximise both of those things in one go, but not all activities do that. One of the challenges is developing a system for prioritising the organisation’s many activities and allocating resource. Working out what resources – financial, human, and creative – you need to deploy in order to stand out as the world becomes increasingly noisy, more competitive and fragmented, is a constantly moving target. CMO.com: Where is Channel 4 in the journey from seeing digital as a channel to having it as a mindset? Brooke: Almost everything that we do now is digital – in the broadest sense – because our biggest marketing tool is the space between our programmes, and television is all transmitted digitally now. Through that and our focus on the digital forms of traditional media, and the emphasis we put on social media, I would say getting on for a 100% of what we do is digital in the broadest sense. We focus a lot of effort on telegenic media; media that’s visual and ideally digitally delivered, so electronically back-lit, ideally with audio. That suits the presentation of our product very well. There’s also a much greater likelihood that those media are connected, which can lead to other activities, whether that’s recommending something that you’ve seen an advert for through your social media feed, or setting a reminder for yourself to watch the programme, or doing something afterwards once you’ve watched the programme. It’s a gift for us, and we’re immersed up to our neck. CMO.com: What does that look like in terms of the organisation? Brooke: There’s no specific digital team. Everything is integrated so everyone is expected to be up to speed, and to think about and know as much about digital as any other means of distribution, whether it’s for the actual programme or the marketing of the DAN BROOKE Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Channel 4 By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  24. 24. 24 Back to contents “Almost everything that we do now is digital because our biggest marketing tool is the space between our programmes, and all television is transmitted digitally.” programme. Inevitably, because you’ve got to stay on the cutting edge, there are some people who are more expert than others, but we don’t structure it in a separated way. CMO.com: What does integration mean for Channel 4? If you’ve got a new campaign or programme to launch, what does that process look like? Brooke: That will be the responsibility of a marketing manager. They will have skills and expertise in varying degrees in all aspects of the marketing mix, and knowledge of all the various different parts of the organisation that can help deliver the launch. Then they’ll be thinking in a way that is focusing on the needs of the overall Channel 4 brand and the needs of that individual programme, rather than starting by thinking about what’s the medium in which a message should be delivered. Integrated with that we’ve got a whole machine that helps journalists to write about our programs, and there’s also a whole machine pushing out information about programmes via social media. In addition, there will be a minority of our content that gets much more, very bespoke support. CMO.com: When you think about serving the needs of the project, rather than thinking channel first, what does that look like? How do you manage that process while at the same time accommodating the need for special expertise? Brooke: That’s difficult. We try and fully integrate, but there is a danger that, if you don’t also try to both develop skills but also hire people with particular specialisms, sometimes stuff falls between the cracks, or you’re not able to remain on the cutting edge. Our experience has been when you work in silos, which normally presents the best conditions for getting the most expert people in, you have the expertise but it doesn’t get spread across the organisation. Whereas when the people are spread across the organisation, you have to make sure there are enough people with dedicated expertise in each area, even though they are never doing jobs that are as narrow as that sort of expertise would serve. CMO.com: How do you approach staying on the cutting edge? Brooke: It’s an inevitable function of the mission and values that we have as a company. We have a public service remit from Parliament to be innovative, to do things that are different, to challenge the status quo. Effectively, we’re almost an institutionalised challenger brand in this sector. When that’s your homework, the whole organisation is focused all of the time on trying to innovate all aspects of what we do on a continuous basis, and obviously knowing where the cutting edge is forms an important part of helping you create the new cutting edge. CMO.com: Can you give an example of that kind of innovation? Brooke: With the Paralympic Games in 2012, there were a whole load of things that we did in both the presentation of the event and the coverage of the event which had never been done anywhere in the world like that before.
  25. 25. 25 Back to contents “The whole organisation is focused on trying to innovate all aspects of what we do, so knowing where the cutting edge is forms an important part of helping create the new cutting edge.” That did two things. It turned the Paralympic brand from being a second cousin to the Olympics, to being a sibling. It also had a very profound effect on social attitudes to people with disabilities in this country, and that came from the very innovative and risk-taking way in which we tackled the whole event. CMO.com: How do you approach hiring people who can work both as specialists but beyond their specialties? Brooke: We don’t have a formal tick-boxing approach to recruitment, but because of the overall mission of the organisation, we are constantly and instinctively attuned to finding people who are at the more innovative, experimental end of things. There’s a self-selecting element. People who are either very innovative or have black sheep tendencies, for example, tend to get drawn to the organisation. Like in anything, you need a mix of people, because if you have too many black sheep, you almost then need a more conventional view in the mix. But interestingly, over many years, what’s clear is you don’t have to do any psychographic testing or anything, because the people and the company are finding each other naturally. Undoubtedly, that comes from having a very distinctive set of values as an organisation that have been very consistent over a long period of time. And it’s an incredibly powerful argument for how much is to be gained from having clear and distinctive values. CMO.com: As your business is different from other media organisations, what metrics do you apply to your activities? Brooke: We’re a non-profit organisation but, nevertheless, we have more in common with ITV than we do with the BBC, because although the BBC is non-profit, it generates all of its revenue from public funding, whereas we receive no public funding. So commercially, it’s about delivering ratings, which is both about the volume and also the quality of the ratings, and then how that translates into revenue. On the brand reputation side we look at a wide variety of measures, a lot of them around brand tracking, but depending on the activity. To give you an example, in news and current affairs you can judge by the ratings that you generate; and you can judge by the extent to which, on your brand trackers, you’re viewed to be distinctive and different – as the remit requires us to be. You can also look at the percentage of the audience that’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic, for example, or are young people, because there’s a governmental desire to ensure that minority groups are as informed as possible, and therefore able to participate in society and democracy. We also look at the wider media coverage that our news stories create, because you might have a million people watching Channel 4 news, but if we’ve broken a story that’s on the front page of every newspaper and is being covered in other media outlets, that story suddenly might be reaching 10 or 15 million people. There are different sorts of mini-metrics like that across the different genres and the various activities of the company.
  26. 26. 26 Back to contents CMO.com: Finally, can you explain how 4Creative works and what its role is? Brooke: It does three things. It creates everything that goes in between our programmes, which is a combination of branding and advertising for the TV programmes that are coming up. Then it does all of our consumer-facing marketing campaigns. Then thirdly, because we don’t have any in-house production, 4Creative has a very powerful informal role as a source of creative innovation inside the organisation. CMO.com: What was the rationale for having 4Creative? Brooke: We tried out-of-house and we tried a combination of out-of-house and in-house. We’ve found that in the combination between the quality of the work, the results produced and the cost, it was much more attractive over time doing it in-house. It’s what’s worked for us, but a lot of that is because of the nature of the sector. “Client” organisations might have difficulty attracting enough creative people of the highest calibre consistently, because of the nature of the product sector they’re in. Because Channel 4’s product is a creative one, creative people really want to come work here. CMO.com: There’s been quite a lot of talk about bringing agency functions back within the business, particularly earlier this year. You seem to be ahead of that curve. Brooke: I can’t see us going back. Very occasionally we use agencies on individual projects for specific things, but I can’t see us ever going back to having an agency on a retainer. For media, yes, but that’s a very specific activity. For creative, not only do we do almost everything in-house, but although we’re not a production company, even when we’re producing ads, the vast majority of times we’re not going to an outside production company. We’re doing it ourselves. “Our commercial metric is ratings, in terms of both volume and quality, and then how that translates into revenue.”
  27. 27. 27 Back to contents Mark Evans Marketing Director, Direct Line Direct Line changed the face of the U.K. insurance industry in 1985, when it launched as a telephone- based service. Mark Evans took over as Marketing Director in 2012, overseeing all U.K. marketing activity. Following the separation of the company from its previous owner and an IPO, he’s leading a rejuvenation of the brand as it attempts to redefine the U.K. insurance industry once again. CMO.com: Can you describe the brand’s journey so far? Evans: Back in 1985, we were a telephone service, which was pretty disruptive at the time. Then a while ago we switched on our Internet business. We were a majority Internet retailer ahead of many others and the digital channel is still our most important channel from a volume perspective. In early 2014, having completed our separation from RBS, we decided it was time to go again with our Direct Line brand. Our sector is struggling for customers’ trust and we need to do better. We needed a galvanising thought which really delivers on our ambition to redefine insurance again. So we went back to basics and unearthed an incredibly simple insight, that many customers find insurance a hassle. When it doesn’t work, it adds insult to injury in their moment of need. It sounds obvious, but it allowed us to reframe our whole purpose, which is that we are not here to protect people, as the industry generally describes itself. All we can do is to be there in their hour of need, put things right fast, and make it simple. So we’re not “protectors”, we’re “fixers”. As simple as it sounds, nobody in insurance has ever framed it in such a simple way. That was the starting point for our creative campaign, which uses Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction. He is described by consumers as the “daddy of fixers” and therefore the epitome of our intent to be fixers. CMO.com: What’s the role of digital technology in this? Evans: There’s two critical ways we use technology. Firstly, like many businesses, we’ve significantly invested in our social media channels, so processes that took a long time are now much more instantaneous. Through social channel management, customers can interact with us in their preferred platform. We can have one holistic view of the customer and make things seamless for them as we fix their problems. The bit that’s more exclusive to us is that, when things go wrong, customers typically think it’s going to be an arduous process and it’s going to take a while. But with the relevant trackers and digital communication through the process, we can accelerate the whole experience significantly. For example, if your laptop is stolen, in the past the customer would think it might take weeks to replace and it’s probably going to be a pain. That’s the general perception of insurance. But now, if they’ve got proof of ownership, they send that to us. Within eight hours, we will dispatch the items back to them. Customers are really impressed with this service; it’s far removed from what they expect. It’s akin to an Amazonification of the process. By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  28. 28. 28 Back to contents 28 Back to contents “Digital is a cultural mindset, saying let’s use technology and make things happen in minutes and hours rather than days and weeks.” Another example. If your car has a bump, you send it away, you don’t know when it’s going to come back. Whereas you can now send us a photo of your car with the dent, we assess the damage, and if it’s at a certain level, we’ll advise you not to drive it and we’ll come and collect it. But in the vast majority of cases, it can actually be repaired at your convenience, and we can do it within hours rather than potentially weeks, because we schedule it. Again, it’s an Amazonification of the process. It enables us to say as a proposition in our advertising, we will get your car back to you within seven days, or we’ll pay you 10 pounds a day. CMO.com: How significant a change has this called for inside the business? Evans: Pretty fundamental, both in terms of the business processes, but also culturally. This is the part of digital transformation that doesn’t always get talked about, but it’s crucial. Digital is a cultural mindset as much as anything, saying let’s use technology and make things happen in minutes and hours rather than days and weeks. CMO.com: How do you drive that shift? Evans: There’s a combination of things. We have created a set of values that frame our culture, so that’s a critical component. Over and above that, the rallying cry of the brand message has been critical. There’s a lovely set of words that we’ve used to represent this thought of being fixers, which is probably the simplest cultural manual in the world. It’s two words: “On it”. They say it all, they don’t need to be decoded or explained. It’s almost an implicit contract or promise to not let somebody down. This also applies internally with head office as well as with customer-facing staff. We’ve used Winston Wolf internally to carry the message we want to be fixers, but you can see “On it” visualised a lot, because we want people to have that sense of being “on it”. That’s been the Trojan horse for a cultural shift away from more passive, reactive behaviours. CMO.com: How has the structure of the marketing department changed, in response to the degree of integration required between on- and offline? Evans: Not very much. Digital has been an integral part of the marketing function for many years. Within the communication planning process, we have a digital marketing team who look after PPC, affiliate, display and so on, and who sit right in the heart of the marketing function. When we do our media planning process, we call it connected communications planning. It all joins up from the outset, so that hasn’t really changed. What has changed is that we’ve created an in-house Digital Services team, which means we’ve been able to move to a programme of updating our websites implementing responsive design, and generally adopting a mobile-first philosophy. Because we’ve in-housed digital services, they’re on hand, they know and understand the brand, they understand the business, they understand the technology. We see this as a smart thing we’ve done to accelerate the process of digital change more broadly.
  29. 29. 29 Back to contents 29 Back to contents “Because we’ve in-housed digital services, they’re on hand, they understand the brand, they understand the business, they understand the technology.” CMO.com: What does mobile first mean to Direct Line? Evans: The mobile handset is the most punishing platform to make sure that your communication is compelling and distinctive. So mobile first is a mind-focusing thing. Practically, mobile is the fastest-growing means through which we get quotes, which means that’s where we need to be at our best. We do some pretty leading-edge things with Facebook and others to make sure our advertising is very effective. Mobile advertising is getting more progressive in terms of making sure things join up, so that’s the area where we’re trying to be most progressive, do more experimentation. From a customer service point of view, we don’t define the roles of channels and, crucially, we don’t try to push people to any given channel for any given interaction. That would be folly, since customers will do what they want and the best thing you can do is to enable them to do everything they want in any given channel. A couple of years ago people thought seamless customer experience across channels was going to be really expensive. Now we see it can actually be less expensive because digital channels can be cheaper and more nimble than human channels. We can allow customers and staff to work in a multi-channel way. Google talks about allowing people to work as they live, meaning that at home they’re efficient, multi-screening and digital-savvy, so why don’t you let them do the same at work? To an extent, the role of the organisation is to get out of the way and let modern human beings be modern human beings, regardless of whether they’re buying from us or providing a service for our customers. How can you get the best out of people if you’re putting barriers in the way of the skills and capabilities they’ve developed in their real-world lives? CMO.com: What does that look like in practice? Evans: Take social media as an example. Many companies still have scripted answers, and they’re very obvious and annoying. We’ve empowered people and pushed down responsibility a bit further. We’re quite progressive in terms of training and empowering people to respond in real time through social channels, in a coached rather than a scripted way. We found that’s very powerful in connecting with customers, making them feel like they’re being treated as a person and ultimately getting things fixed fast. CMO.com: What do these changes mean for the kind of people that you need to recruit? And what is your approach to training? Evans: This is the hardest bit because modern marketers have got to be digital-savvy and data-savvy, it’s an absolute necessity in the world of marketing which has been described as Marketing 2.0. At the same time, what hasn’t gone away is the need to be led by big breakthrough ideas, which is really Marketing 101. So there’s this demand to meet the needs of Marketing 2.0 and of Marketing 101. And it’s hard to find people who have got all of that, which puts a lot of emphasis on training. We have an in-house training capability with a heavy focus on digital and on making sure that we get the balance between good marketing discipline and modern technological and digital trends. It’s got to be the combination of the two, otherwise you could have a department which comes up with great ideas, but can’t make them work within the digital media landscape. Or we just focus on digital execution, but we’re missing the big ideas. Whoever you recruit, you know you’re going to have to train and invest. Underneath everything else is a need to continuously develop people to be brilliant in a fast changing world, and that need has never been greater.
  30. 30. 30 Back to contents First Utility is an independent energy company focusing on the U.K. household energy market. It launched in 2008 and differs from the major players in the market in not generating energy itself, but buying it in the international markets. It now supplies gas and electricity to 850,000 U.K. households. Ed Kamm is First Utility’s Chief Customer Officer. He joined the company in 2012 as CMO from iconic online travel brand lastminute.com, where he had been CFO, COO and President. He became First Utility’s CCO in 2013. He spoke to CMO.com recently, and the first thing I asked him was to explain the First Utility proposition. Kamm: We think of ourselves as a different kind of energy company. Our goal is to reduce consumers’ bills so that they can spend more on what they want and less on what they need. We view ourselves very differently to the industry’s legacy players, otherwise known as the Big Six, who we don’t think work very hard for their consumers. Forty percent of their customer base has never switched provider, whereas with us, all our customer base will have switched providers by definition. A key part of my role is to challenge the way the industry works, to make sure that, as an industry, we do more to engage consumers, and to help them understand how much they’re spending and where they might be able to spend less. More formally, as Chief Customer Officer, I’m responsible for the overall customer experience with First Utility. I have responsibility for our service offering and operations within First Utility. I also oversee how we position the brand and make decisions about the products we offer. A good brand matches up what they say with what they do. Problems happen when there’s a gap between those two things. I have responsibility over what we say, but also whether we deliver that through the customer service functions. CMO.com: There’s a lot of talk about the role of Chief Customer Officer; not many people actually implement it. Kamm: I don’t see any other way of operating. If I want to say something, I’ve got to make sure we can live up to it. If we’re going to say we offer great prices throughout the year, then we’ve got to offer great prices throughout the year. If we’re going to say that we’re aiming to be the best on service, ED KAMM Chief Customer Officer, First Utility By Michael Nutley, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  31. 31. 31 Back to contents “Our goal is to reduce consumers’ bills so that they can spend more on what they want and less on what they need.” then I’ve got to make sure that my service team can deliver that. CMO.com: How much of what you do is driven out of digital perspective and how much of it is something that is just enabled by digital? Kamm: We’ve been very focused on the application of technology from the early days. We’ve always been focused on how we make it easy for our customers to do business with us. A typical customer only spends 10 minutes a year thinking about their household energy. We want our customers to be more engaged, so we use text, email and in-app notifications, and we drive a very digital experience. Not only from a sales and acquisition perspective, but also from a customer service and a retention perspective. We don’t do digital for digital’s sake. However our customers want to interact with us, they can. We want to offer them as many choices as we can and, broadly, our customer base has reacted to that. Ninety percent of our customers have an online My Account and deal with us via their My Account or mobile app. Thirty percent of our customers have downloaded our mobile app and that’s their main method of engagement with us. That’s been critical to our business model because in order to win customers in this business, you have to have a great price. The Big Six are charging their customers £284 on average more than customers that join us. That’s a big revenue hit because we are buying exactly the same wholesale energy. So we’ve got to make sure our cost to serve is lower and that means using automation, using digital channels, and allowing customers to engage 24/7. As a result our cost to serve is much lower, with a better customer experience than the Big Six, according to surveys out there. CMO.com: What does this look like going forward? Kamm: The digital environment gives you a much better ability to target, to offer solutions your customers can engage with in their own time. We’re focusing on programmatic marketing, how we integrate the offering across SMS, email, in-app notification, My Account. We’ll drive programmatic marketing to drive up our sales activity, but our model is built around engaging the consumer once they’re on supply with us. CMO.com: With programmatic, do you feel that’s something that you need to be deeply involved in or is it something your agency manages for you? Kamm: We use agency partners in some areas and while we don’t have to understand every in and out, if we don’t have a good understanding, then we can’t see opportunities or challenges. It’s not just about programmatic marketing, though. It’s combined with brand messages and ad copy you put out there. CMO.com: That sounds like an outward-facing version of the Chief Customer Officer argument. Kamm: That’s a good comparison and where problems tend to happen is when it’s in the “not invented here” camp or “my responsibility only goes to here”. Even in the teams I don’t have responsibility over, like finance and technology, if I don’t have a good understanding of how they affect the customer experience, that’s my failure. And that failure will be
  32. 32. 32 Back to contents “I have responsibility over what we say, but also whether we deliver that through the customer service functions.” represented to our customers. Our approach is to see it end-to-end because that’s how our customer sees it. The customer doesn’t know that’s the finance department or that’s the credit ops department. They see us the way they see us and we have to make sure that we reflect that back. CMO.com: Then we start to get towards something that looks like a de-siloed organisation. How do you manage a de-siloed organisation? Kamm: I’ve seen lots of people try lots of different organisational structures. At the end of the day, it’s about how people join together and work. I’ve been frankly less focused on the organisational structures and more interested in how people work together and collaborate. It’s a cultural issue about “Am I as open as I should be”. I don’t want people coming in and thinking solely about their area because no consumer thinks that way. Of course they have to have some expertise, but they’ve got to be able to open their minds so that they can see a process as the customer sees it. They’ve got to understand what we are trying to accomplish. Who do they need to connect with who can fill in the other areas they don’t know well? Recruitment becomes critical in that. Many times we look for generalists more than specific experts, because it is a different skillset to think more broadly. It’s also about how you operate as a company. We very much believe data leads to insights which leads to action. How does what I’m doing in this particular area of digital marketing influence the customer that we eventually get coming into our business? What do they look like throughout their lifecycle? Don’t just think about the short-term acquisition target. That broadening of thought becomes pretty important. CMO.com: How do you see mobile and social playing out as the business develops? Kamm: With social, we think about driving engagement and a conversation with our customers. We don’t put any sales metrics around it. Content for us will become much more critical going forward. How do we educate on what a kilowatt hour is? How do we communicate when we have to adjust your fixed direct debit amount? Can we use video for that? Can we use content for that rather than a three-paragraph letter? Which tends not to be very effective nowadays. Already through our mobile app we can start communicating much more frequently with our customers through in-app notifications. We can start to give new experiences to our customers. If we notice something unusual, we can communicate via the mobile app and they can start to take action. There’s a huge opportunity to bring consumer tech to the energy business. CMO.com: You’re clearly very much behind the world of the Internet of things, the connected home. Kamm: Absolutely. Give consumers more control and let them make the decisions. Your thermostats of old, pretty much everybody set it and left it. I bet there’s a lot that are set wrong, or you’re heating rooms that you’re not in, or you’re heating when you’re not at home. There’s a big chunk of the bill that could come out through intelligent use of consumer tech. There’s not enough yet in this industry.
  33. 33. 33 Back to contents “I’ve seen lots of people try lots of different organisational structures. At the end of the day, it’s about how people join together and work.” We want to start using consumer tech like a smart thermostat, to say that it looks like your house is cooling down a little bit faster than we would have expected. Or your usage seems a lot bigger than similar homes around you. Here are some things that they’ve done – like putting in LED light bulbs – that have saved them money. That’s where we see our role as educators and we have to find interesting and engaging ways to talk to customers about their usage. CMO.com: How comfortable are people with that level of response from their energy company? Is there a danger that people will find that intrusive? Kamm: I don’t yet know the answer to that, because you’ve got to iterate your way into it. You don’t want to say, “I can see everything you’re doing.” You’ll end up with consumers all along the spectrum. Some will find it incredibly useful. Others will say, “I’m actually very comfortable. I don’t need you telling me that.” As long as you can put the consumer in control of it and let them decide. Everything we design is very much an a la carte menu of “You decide how to use your energy, but we’re here to help.” CMO.com: That’s a very different kind of brand voice to the traditional legacy brand voice. Kamm: I agree. We’re still developing that voice, and we’ll do a lot of work next year around solidifying that communication style. The key thing for us is that we don’t look to the energy industry for our inspiration. We don’t think the way the energy industry operates today is the way forward. We find our inspiration from other brands, other industries, and so everything we do is about looking at how the likes of John Lewis and First Direct and new companies like Graze do things, and what we can bring from that to our business, and to the energy business more broadly.
  34. 34. 34 Back to contents The majority of the British population comes into contact with IT giant Fujitsu every day, but most don’t realise it. The company powers desktop services, logistics and back-end systems for clients including government departments, major retailers and utilities companies. Simon Carter, Executive Director of Marketing for the U.K. and Ireland, spoke to CMO.com about why digital must not forget traditional marketing principles, and how he brought marketing back to board level for the U.K. and Irish market for one of the world’s largest IT companies. CMO.com: Can you tell us a bit about Fujitsu, the brand, the company, and your customers? Carter: The brand operates in over 100 countries. It is domiciled in Japan, where it is a well-known household brand, selling everything from desktop computers to mobile phones to consumers. In the U.K., and in most other countries, however, it’s very different. It’s a business-oriented, services company. While we do sell laptops and servers and tablets, in the U.K. 85% of our revenues come from services – the outsourcing of logistics systems or the running of desktops for companies. About half of the business is public sector, working with HMRC, the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence. In the private sector, we work with everybody from the Post Office, Tesco and Morrisons to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Centrica and Lloyds Bank. We often say that 99% of the population will touch Fujitsu every day, even though they probably won’t realise it. In my previous roles, brand recognition was hugely important. Here, it is much more about reputation, credibility and engagement with key decision makers and influencers. CMO.com: Where does your role sit within the company and what does it entail? Carter: I am the top of the pyramid for marketing in the U.K. and Ireland. I sit on the main management board for the region. Every form of communication to customers, the market, employees, journalists, shareholders – it all goes through me. I also sit on the global marketing board and represent the U.K. and Ireland at a global level. The U.K. and Ireland, along with Germany, is the largest market [in terms of revenue] outside of Japan. A lot of the stuff we do globally originates from us because of the scale and size of our business. CMO.com: How do you organise your different departments? Carter: I have four main teams reporting into me. I have Client Marketing, which is industry-focused. They deal with marketing directly to customers. They are organised around public sector, retail, financial services and manufacturing, and they customise specific propositions into each of those sectors. My second team I call Portfolio Marketing. They market our products and services – cloud services, desktops, consultancy and applications services. These two teams need to work very closely together. The third team is what I call Marketing Services, and that’s the execution team. That covers everything from PR to advertising, running events SIMON CARTER Executive Director of Marketing, Fujitsu U.K. Ireland By Gina Lovett, Contributing Writer, CMO.com
  35. 35. 35 Back to contents “In the UK 85% of our revenues come from services – the outsourcing of logistics systems or the running of desktops for companies.” and marketing intelligence to data management. It’s simply the coordination of everything we do, to make sure that we know which customers we are in touch with, when and with what activity. The fourth and final team is Corporate Affairs; it’s quite small, and they look after our reputation with MPs, ministers, and all the main industry stakeholders that we have a relationship with. The structure is aligned closely to the business organisation. It makes sense to treat marketing as a whole rather than as isolated aspects. CMO.com: How does marketing work within Fujitsu? Carter: The purpose is to match what we manufacture with what our customers want. There are four principles. The first is about ensuring customers understand our reputation – that they know we are one of the three largest IT companies in the world; that we employ lots of people in this country; that we pay our taxes; that we’re well-respected by customers and by analysts. The second principle is our credibility; that we actually know what it is we are talking about. It’s vital that we are seen as experts in financial services, public sector, or in cloud computing, or product hardware. The third aspect is around engagement, and getting our sales people in front of customers. We also want to make sure that when our customers see the Fujitsu brand, they know what it is we do and that they want to know more. The fourth and final area is around generating demand. Once you’ve built reputation, established credibility, and got in front of the customer, you need to understand how to excite them with a great proposition. CMO.com: How does this influence the sort of channels you use? Carter: In terms of reputation, it’s a combination of word-of-mouth with journalists, or analysts. In terms of credibility, it’s around writing white papers and thought leadership, advertorials or PR, appearing on stage at events and becoming a subject matter expert. We host a lot of our own events. We’ve pulled back from supporting third-party events as we do more of our own, where we have more control over the content and the branding. Every November, we host a large customer event for about 10,000 people in Munich. We just had a big event in London for about 800 customers, where we showed off our latest innovations to this market. CMO.com: What’s your digital philosophy? Carter: My view on digital is very simple. It is the be-all and end-all of what we do. However, the approach to digital should be no different to how brands used to approach what we now call traditional marketing. It is critical to have killer creative, make the proposition relevant, get the targeting right, and the call to action clear and unmissable. Too many brands see digital as a cheap way to market, and they throw away the basics. Digital should not end up being any cheaper to execute than more traditional means. Cutting corners usually ends up with poor results. I feel very strongly about this.
  36. 36. 36 Back to contents Once you’ve built reputation, established credibility, and got in front of the customer, you need to understand how to excite them with a great proposition. CMO.com: What areas of marketing do you find the most challenging? Carter: While marketing is important for Fujitsu in its domestic market in Japan, internationally the company is much more sales-led in its outlook; marketing only returned to being a main board position in the U.K. in April 2014, having been absent from the boardroom for some three years prior to that. So, my biggest historic challenge has been in establishing the role of marketing in what has been a very sales-led region. At Fujitsu, you generally have the people who work on the design and manufacturing side, or those who are on the sales side. What I’ve come along and said is that you can’t do either of these bits in an optimum way without linking them via great marketing. The main challenge is always demonstrating the value that marketing brings, especially if that organisation isn’t naturally marketing-focused. CMO.com: What sort of KPIs does the board appraise marketing on? Carter: Our board gets excited about sales, but as marketing, we’re not accountable for the final sale. So I can’t be measured on the volume of value of sales made, but I can be measured on lead generation and providing opportunities to start the sales process. I go back to my model of reputation, credibility, engagement and demand generation. These are the things that we measure. In terms of reputation, it’s awareness in the marketplace and market share. Is our brand going up or down? In terms of credibility, it’s around how many case studies we’ve generated or our customer satisfaction rating. We also look at how many events we have run and how many customers have been to them. It might also be how many employees have been trained on the latest software proposition. CMO.com: What role does market research play in what you do? Carter: The role of market research today is less about measuring and much more about creating content. Recently we’ve been using market research to generate interesting perceptions for prospective customers about certain issues. This then gets written up as a piece of thought-leadership. We’ve just run a major piece about how prepared companies are for increasing digitisation of their businesses. We can then use this sort of research and thought-leadership for PR purposes, for collateral to talk to customers about, for speaking at events or for presentations to customers by our sales people. CMO.com: Talk me through a recent campaign. Carter: We recently ran a three-pronged email campaign to promote cloud computing. We drew up a carefully targeted list of 50 organisations, sending emails to the CFO, the CIO and the CMO, tailoring the message for each. For the CFO, the main message was about how cloud computing is the best way to reduce the cost base for the company. For the CMO, we explained how cloud computing can boost competitiveness, but for the CIOs, it was about appealing to their personal needs – to be on top of their game when the CFO and CMO came knocking on their door to know more – offering them meetings to help them with this. It was a very simple but very strategic campaign that simultaneously warmed up three prospects within the company. It got us in front of a whole load