Brand Max Conference

Digital Transformation at big businesses

Some great quotes and insights from big name brands – across the telecoms, entertainment, utilities and tech sectors. First two sessions were under Chatham house rules so can’t attribute the quotes, but these are serious people (CMO, CEOs etc) from serious companies facing the same challenges that we are and taking very similar approaches to making the most of the opportunities.

Top takeaways for me:

  • Everyone, including very very big companies, is facing the same challenges as us across digital transformation – disparate departments, legacy systems and analogue ways of working
  • As such, the ‘digital revolution’ is all about company culture change and education
  • Tech can do basically anything, its down to you to work out what adds value to your users. Designing amazing digital products is about being customer centric, not tech centric
  • Speed of decision making is absolutely key in being successful

“Be prepared to do things that disrupt your own business and be ready to lose control as a management team”

“Small groups of people allowed to get on with it is consistently where we’ve seen the best results”

“Culture is what happens when people aren’t looking”

“First phase of tv was radio in front of a camera. At the moment, we’re doing analogue on a smaller screen.”

“It’s not a digital question, it’s about being customer centric and digital happens to be where they are”

“Past was big companies beating small companies
Future will be fast companies beating slow companies”
CEO Coca Cola Germany

“Screenagers” = Millenials or ‘Generation Z’ – it’s only 50 year old marketing men that call them millennial. Do they really call themselves Sccrenagers?!?!?!

Connectivity = me and my connections
Connectiveness = me and my connections + my things

Media Metrics have completely changed but the analysis hasn’t kept up eg Barb figures don’t take into account digital, catch up etc. So don’t stick to your traditional KPIs or you’ll just beat yourself up

“Revolution comes later but when it comes it comes quicker than you expected”

“Challenge is to keep your product and service as relevant as possible – Digital is one of the ways that you can do this”
Public Transport

“Your car will be your next device”
Car Manufacturer

“If you’re not a new entrant, you’ve got legacy systems to bolt together to enable the digital tools. Inspire others with the cool stuff, but use that to help deliver the back end stuff.”
Car Manufacturer

“Small steps alongside ‘lighthouse’ projects to point to and lead the way”
Car Manufacturer

  • “Completely forget about the tech. It’s all about adding value to the consumer / employee / customer and not noise”
  • “Adding value = creating utility or being entertaining“
  • “Take insight and decide what amazing thing you want to do. The tech will make it happen”
  • Don’t launch with perfect
  • Pretotyping -> before you even prototype, just make stuff up eg Wizard of Ozzing
  • You have no idea what perfect is
  • Listen to the data consumers say, not the words they speak
  • C-suite has to see digital as a capital investment in the future rather than a marketing spend


William Hill

  • Prove and measure 80% of your budgets, and leave the rest to innovate and experiment with. Buys you respect and credibility within the organisation whilst pushing things forward.
  • In house teams mean that you don’t have to go through the whole ‘getting to know you’ phase with agencies. Can provide more reactiveness and agility
  • Flip side is that they can get stale and there are economies of scale to having people work across multiple products -> it’s also easier to keep the best people
  • Compromise is that keep the reactive content in house and the campaign content externally

Just Eat

  • Twitter = customer service + entertainment
  • Facebook = closer to ppc/programmatic approach
  • Context is king

People not profiles

by Total Media

  • – worth bearing in mind who is writing your content and who the audience is,,,
  • People are more creative @ night because their minds wander when they’re not concentrating on a single thing
  • Stop trying to reach people across lots of screens at the same time, try to go for them in a single place when they are actually paying attention (e.g. VOD)
  • Create moments of honest interaction with audience to create value so that they’ll give you want you want
  • Understand what your audiences really value rather than what they say
  • “Takes 30 days to form a habit” -> from 50 years ago
  • 66 Days – the actual amount of time it takes to form a habit -> 18 – 134 depending on what the habit is
  • What’s the window of adoption for us?
  • People are more interesting than technology – get rid of segments / groups -> target peoples’ context and emotions that you want to play on. I think this is brilliant. I’ve been saying for ages that we should be getting Media Agencies to come back with responses to briefs that detail what users see, feel and do rather than just lines of media / channels…

Digital Marketing platforms

Affilinet – moving away from just having the top 10 affiliates by making incremental improvements across the long tail

Display – you get what you pay for -> i.e. you pay more £ for a more marketable context in which to show your content to a user

Independent agencies -> impossible to get them all working 100% harmoniously. Only way is to have very empowered and knowledgable individuals client side to pull them all together.

A Digital future – predictions for 2020

by Enders Analysis

  • Tablets set to match PC penetration by 2018 -> likely to stay about the same @ 60%
  • Mobile forecast to peak at 80% penetration and will be the main device that people access the internet with
  • 75% of internet usage will be Tablet & mobile by 2020
  • 2013 was the first year that TV viewing for all age groups -> 78% of what it was in 2010 for under 15 year olds
  • 16 – 24 year olds will watch 40% of the video online by 2020
  • 2020 will still see broadcast TV as the primary medium of video distribution in terms of hours -> whether people are paying as much attention as they used to is up for discussion
  • Enders think TV will still be the primary Brand medium by 2020
  • UK internet advertising spend is currently 50% of TV spend but growing -> a long way ahead of other countries because TV is less of a market here
  • Predicting Internet advertising will be 60% of advertising spend by 2020
  • Press losing 10% advertising spend / year
  • TV and online do different jobs -> TV gives huge reach whilst online is more focussed on creating some level of action or engagement i.e. ‘doing something’
  • Digital Ad fraud – going to become a bigger and bigger topic this year. How long will it be until we add an ad verification cost into all of our campaigns in the same way we do with DoubleClick?
  • By the end of next year over 40s will be the majority of the population for the first time in history. They have a completely different lifestyle to parents’ generation -> leading a far more exuberant lifestyle and spending more money

Enders Analysis’ Key Digital transformation Challenges

The Digital Customer Experience 

GetTaxi, Barclays and RAPP

  • Digital customer experiences in the developing world will have more impact than we can imagine in the future
  • Barclays approach user experience as ‘Interactive Marketing’ which covers online, social and branch engagement
  • Developed first ever editorial board and managing editor to give editorial flow to communications
  • Invest in where the customer needs the brand, not when the brand needs the customer

Being useful is the new sales

© James Gadsby Peet 2013