Marketers urged to peel back the tech and cut to the feels

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 22 March 2017
Qantas went for the more emotive vibes with its Feels Like Home ad

Marketers need to look beyond running campaigns, designing interfaces and focusing on traditional marketing collateral, as the best tools they have are right in front of them – all employees ... as well as some old fashioned empathy.

That’s the topline from a nine-strong panel of industry execs – including head of digital marketing and media ops at Verizon, Theresa LaMontagne; SVP of digital at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Jay Schneider and ex-Samsung CMO Steven Cook, who were speaking at a live streamed Adobe Summit think tank event. 

On the topic of dealing with the ‘experience business’ wave, whereby a brand’s success is set to rely almost exclusively upon its ability to deliver compelling personalised experiences to consumers, both online and offline, the panel looked at the future of marketing in this arena.

CEO of Broadsuite and Forbes contributor Dan Newman put forward the idea that the concept of marketing has actually flipped, in that actually, every staff touchpoint a consumer has with a brand – be that the staff member than opens the shop door, the person that passes you the bill, an online messaging experience or a phone call with a customer representative should be seen as marketing and should be honed in on.

He said every experience point for that person is key, “so everyone in that company is a marketer” given the increasing importance of experience.

The group agreed saying this is the future and brands should see all employees as ambassadors to ensure the whole brand experience is thought about at every employee touchpoint.

Cook, who was also VP worldwide strategic marketing and planning at Coca-Cola for nearly seven years up until 2007, added that while technology has a role in marketing, it’s not always the place to start when it comes to brand experience. 

“Empathy is also key,” he said.

“At the end of day we are selling to ‘people’ and we are all sensorial beings. You have to have empathy for the consumer feelings at all touchpoints.”                                                                             

Adobe Think Tank      Adobe think tank, Las Vegas:

Product vs marketing – which should steer the ship?

GM of Adobe LiveFyre & Adobe Social, Jordan Kretchmer, explained how marketing is not just about what you can see, “it’s about everything you can interact with” – from your walk home to entering your home and speaking to Alexa – the Google home wireless controller.

“It’s no longer just about designing interfaces,” Kretchmer said. He also added that a key question to ask is “is my product delivering for my marketing, or is my marketing delivering for my product?” – and of course it shouldn’t be the latter.

Kretchmer said more businesses are also going to have to start connecting as there is a major missing data layer, adding that if a United Airlines, for example, connected with Uber, to seamlessly arrange and coordinate your transport, that would be a huge step in the right direction.

“We need that sort of serviceable layer of technology, which isn’t currently delivered,” Kretchmer said.

“Without that we wont be able to deliver a true end to end great experience.”

However, with this comes many consumer concerns about which brands are doing what with more and more of their personal data. Alternatively, it was mentioned that the future could see consumers ring fence their own data, take charge of it and even sell it on themselves to brands, particularly if they were to show a history of their CPMs – but some panelists questioned whether consumers actually care enough to do that.

“If people haven’t figured out they are an experience business yet, they’ll soon figure it out,” said SVP of digital Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines,” Jay Schneider.

From CMO to the CXO?

VP of creative and head of design at Frog, Ethan Imboden, said it’s now time to “reformat marketing” and have it migrate in to more of an “experience” role.

“There also needs to be some higher order metrics in place,” other than just "a standalone product was sold", he said, adding that while the sensors may not be in place metrics do need to be established that indicate the experience is a success.

Rana June, CEO a ‘emotion tech company’ Lightwave, said given most people where a Fitbit, the future could see in-store tie-ups with wearable’s, allowing heart rates to measured at varying times.

Verizon’s LaMontagne later argued that while the new experience movement is elevating the role of marketing, it’s important to remember that not everyone wants deep experience with every brand.

“Do I have to be an advocate and fan of my dry cleaner? Maybe I just want a solid authentic experience and that’s it.”

Want more from the think tank? See: We need marketers, but 'not marketing' - former Samsung CMO

AdNews is at the Adobe Summit as a guest of Adobe. 

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