Marketing Mania: Brands that are driving change

R/GA and a group of global senior business leaders came together at Expand Northstar discussing the future of developing digital experiences

The digital experience landscape is developing rapidly with technological advancements, such as the rapid rise of AI, and ever-shifting consumer behaviour. 

R/GA and a group of global senior business leaders came together for an exclusive invite-only roundtable at Marketing Mania, Expand Northstar to discuss the future of developing digital experiences that build brands and exceed customer expectations. 

Th discussion focused on customer experience and three hot topics to define the drivers of change relevant to brands. 

Service: With the advancement of AI, brands can leverage datasets and services to personalise, innovate and build relevant experiences for users and customers. 

Interface: Generative AI, AR/MR/VR are creating immersive experiences while Generative adversarial networks has become a tool brands use to automate custom content creation.

Access: Users are taking charge of their digital identities and leverage new models inspired by today’s Web 3.0 wallets.

Rebecca Bezzina, CEO, EMEA at R/GA

Rebecca Bezzina, CEO, EMEA at R/GA, said: “What we see from where we stand is that the brands that are the ones that are standing out have a real conviction around their purpose and are living it and breathing it. 

“And in this region, when you think about the younger generation coming up, they demand and want brands that have something to stand for and feel that it’s not okay just to be a business.

“You need to be giving back from an environmental or societal point of view. The other thing is customer centric approach. We’ve been trying to do this forever, but with especially the rise of support for technology. Now being in our hands in a way that if it hasn’t been before, it’ll allow us to do that in a better way.

“The first one is service, what sort of technologies can we use to better serve the customer. The changes that we’re seeing around the actual interface and then the last thing is access. Especially in this region, I think, there’s an absolute double down on Web3.”

The thought leaders spoke passionately about the trends impacting their business, how has the rise of AI influenced their business and what advice would they would give to other CEOs while making decisions for next year’s priorities?

Here are some of their thoughts:

Khaled Ismail, Chairman at The Marketing Society, said: “ What I’m fascinated about right now, which is one of the conversations we’re having, is how can I predict your behavior? Because you’re an individual. You have your own thoughts about something. And I know that there are enough tools to say, right, this person likes running, likes drinking wine. There’s a high probability of them to do this, to buy this. And I’m fascinated. to see if we can actually crack it.”

Mayank Yadav, Director of Product at Reddit, said: “With big platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, they will actually connect those dots to make the magic happen. And what they all have in common in playing at that intersection of predictive, conversational, and integrated.

“So what we’re thinking from a platform perspective is to go to the next level, you need a more organic presence – by that I mean how can a platform help you learn better and define those conversations and enable you to be more a part of it.”

 Preeti Mudra, CEO at Tree, said: In the insurance industry, we’re looking at ways to drive more positive interactions and conversations between the brand and customers beyond just going through the claims process. So we’re very much focused, with the use of new technology, to create digital experiences that drive those more meaningful interactions impower customers, as times they are not in distress”

Ozge Zoralioglu, CMO Middle East at KFC, said: “I believe from a trends perspective, digital experiences are all about personalisation – and the need to create relevant, easy and distinctive personal experience to each consumer. At KFC, we’re a very customer centric organisation, which is powered by data – but data is not for the sake of data. Less is more.

“It’s the meaningful data, where you collect, and you give the control to the customer with how they want to interact with the brand. But it is critical that we crack that code of ‘ok this is relevant for me and I’d like to engage with this brand on this platform’, and the key to this is ensuring we don’t just have a data driven mindset, but that the data needs to be relevant, easy, convenient and unique for that experience.”

Binoj Nair, Director of B2C at Canon, said: “We’re certainly seeing the disruption, and the opportunity, with AI in our industry  – especially in the area of image correction. Which traditionally was a post edit production process – which now has to now be live. Colour reproduction, colour grading, noise reduction has to be real time and AI is driving that change.”

Lianne Braganza, CMO Middle East at Cigna Insurance Middle East, said: “Customers want to have much more proactive engagements in the way they experience and access healthcare. Covid has obviously been one of the biggest trends to accelerate that decision for them.

“Another trend driving this is around the aging population around the world, especially in the West where many people are going to retire in the next 40 years and are worried about Healthcare, and on the flip side you have GenX & millennials asking really hard questions about what their healthcare facilities and insurers are doing for them. So it’s a really different ecosystem we’re dealing with, and customer experiences need to be driven by integrated technology to help create more predictive healthcare experiences.”