The CMO Insight Summit 2019 in California will bring together senior marketing leaders across the globe to discuss transformational content marketing strategies for 2020 and beyond. In an exclusive pre-event interview with MarTech Advisor, Kasumi Mihori, SVP of Brand Creative at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Alexandre Antonello, Head of Marketing, LatAm at Burger King, and Chris Curtin, Chief Brand & Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa discuss how CMOs can solve strategic challenges in content marketing and experiential marketing with personalization, and more.
CONTENT THAT CONNECTS: WHY INFLUENCER MARKETING IS THE FUTURE OF GEN Z ENGAGEMENT
Gen Z is a business opportunity you can’t afford to miss. As 40% of the population commanding upwards of $40 billion in spending power, modern marketers need to build compelling strategies to engage with Gen Z.
Kasumi Mihori, SVP, Brand Creative, Sony Pictures Entertainment
An Emmy Award winner and the SVP of Brand Creative at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mihori is responsible for leading the company’s brand strategy, and diversifying its customer experience.
Alexandre Antonello, Head of Marketing, LatAm, Burger King
Alexandre brings his passion for building creative, and purposeful advertising environment to his teams at Burger King. He believes in enabling creative and original marketing content to enhance the customer experience.
Chris Curtin, Chief Brand & Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa
With over two decades of experience in brand and innovation management, Chris is responsible for shaping and leading Visa’s approach to marketing. At the summit, he talks about the role of the CMO and senior marketers considering market behavior and consumer habits.
Here are some excerpts from the insightful conversation with MarTech Advisor:
MarTech Advisor: How can CMOs/senior marketers leverage Extended Reality (XR) to transform their content marketing strategy?
Kasumi: Until the tech/ hardware is more accessible to the masses penetration of the tech will not be pervasive. If it is gamification through iPhones it can be more easily adopted. Like with any technical advancement, unless it’s paired strategically with concepts that make sense for the brand, it won’t fully connect, thus sustain, with the consumer/ fan. It must be tied to a narrative that makes sense for the brand.
Alexandre: The first consideration to make on XR, as much as in order tech features, is that the strategic objective should come first. Because very often people tend to “fall in love with the execution” before understanding what they’re really trying to achieve. So, before jumping into XR because this is a “cool thing” to do, reflect on how it can serve your business objectives.
XR will have applications depending on the industry. I guess for retail, the potential is gigantic and obvious. It can unlock the shopping experience in many ways. For example, by simulating how a decoration object would fit your living room or how a new dress would look on you.
For content marketing it is very dependent on the campaign idea and it’s hard to define a one-size-fits all application. However, I do believe the CMOs need to have this box on their checklists and reflect if XR can take the campaign to another level. A very tangible example: at Burger King we wanted to increase the downloads of our app significantly. Simple, everyday ideas are “download our app and get a free something”. Those are not transformational. When we decided to leverage XR to ask our consumers to burn McDonalds ads and only then they would get something, then it went viral. We simply got one billion impressions and BK app became #1 most downloaded app in Brazil, driving a 55% sales increase. The cherry on the pie was that we also got 9 lions in Cannes with that this year.
Chris: The use of AR, VR, Mixed Reality and Extended Reality can and should be used in advertising and marketing to draw a consumer more fully into the brand story or a brand’s world to drive engagement and build more meaning emotional connections. For Visa we see great potential in using Extended Reality to tell more meaningful stories with our global sponsorships like the Olympics and Team Visa athletes or bring more exposure to our experiential content for travel or for exclusive events like New York and Shanghai Fashion Week.
Additionally, including Extended Reality into our and other brand marketing campaigns makes nearly every marketing medium into a purchase point, opening up more opportunities to drive revenue.
MarTech Advisor: In an era of short attention spans, how can marketers ensure their brand resonates with consumers?
Kasumi: Story. Story. Story. It will always be about the narrative you want to tell that emotionally resonates with the audience that you’re sharing it with. A good story transcends cultures, languages, generations and holds something universal for all of us and is platform agnostic.
Alexandre: It comes down to how we tell stories today across different media. There’s a paradox for marketers today. In one hand side, the average time spent on Facebook ad before it’s scrolled down is 1.7 seconds. You get 5 on Google because consumers have no other option.
However, on the other hand side, human nature and love for story telling hasn’t changed. It is still pretty much linked to the 12 Jungian archetypal stories, which require a beginning, a middle (that includes a tension) and an end.
The best approach a marketer can have, on my point of view, is to have different starting points. Being clear on the business objective, I always like to start with the big idea. Making sure it is nurtured until it is meaningful for people, not only for your internal stakeholders. Once the idea grows, I run an assessment of how that idea can be leveraged cross different media, formats, using different technologies, etc.
Then it’s extremely valuable go back to a blank sheet of paper and start from more tactical points. One of them is the format: if my business objective is X and I only have 1.7s, what is the most engaging way to communicate that? As an example, there’s a great case from Kate Spade with their anti-scratch technology for women purses communicated in 2 seconds Facebook ads that depicted a dog trying to get out of a purse and scratching the heck out of it. Super catchy and effective. Another starting point is from a data analytics perspective, identifying similar audiences’ opportunities through their behavior shifts.
Chris: I don’t actually believe consumers have shorter attention spans now than before – I think they have more selective attention spans. This means brands just need to get better at storytelling and creating compelling visual content to hold consumer’s selective attention. And this stays true whether the content is 3 seconds, 15 seconds, long form video or thought leadership content. As mentioned above, Extended Reality can help with the visually captivating piece but that is only one half of the puzzle. In the world of selective attention, marketers need to get more effective at harnessing data and using it to catch a consumer or a business in the right state of mind to receive the content. Deepening understanding of personal preferences, spending habits and content intake patterns of consumers and business customers will allow the content that our marketers are producing to land more effectively upon the end recipient, rather than being lost in the world of never-ending content.
MarTech Advisor: What are the top 3 reasons CMOs/Senior marketers must leverage experiential marketing for consumer engagement?
Kasumi: When there is an opportunity for brand partnerships, experiential can take new heights and attract different but adjacent fandoms. Experiential leaves a different memory pathway for the fan when there is interaction, experience and engagement- the recall of the brand is on another level. Experiential from the brand’s perspective is an opportunity to evolve the brand and add dimension in a D2C (fan-centric) setting. It is the activation of an audience base with the opportunity to cross-pollinate these fans in new ways creating new discovery.
Alexandre: Marketers tend to think of their brands, and even of brands in general, as being much more relevant to consumers than what they are. I accept the term “brand fans” and “brand love” used internally in the business language, but I don’t really see that reflected that on data because people are generally not loyal to brands, but actually to a repertoire of brands, in most cases.
Therefore, experiential marketing is a way of making your brand more salient on consumers’ minds, so that it is “first on the line” of the consumer when thinking about a usage occasion.
To create mechanisms of retention for your consumer and make him stick to your brand just because of the convenience and perks associated to it. Like on the airline mileage or subscription programs: it either becomes too hard or too expensive to change.
The convenience of buying online is so huge that the only possible response from many retailers can only be creating an amazing experience for consumers that online can’t give.
- In this world of selective attention, experiential activations are often the only way to stand out among a crowd and connect consumers to brands in a personal and purposeful way that drives emotional connection and long term brand loyalty. Often, an experiential marketing campaign is the first interaction a consumer has with a brand, and as such, it is vital experiential marketing is part of the marketing strategy from the onset.
- Experiential is often the best way to educate consumers about a product, given you have a captive audience in a pre-determined setting. Many will go out of their way to avoid commercials, but will also go out of their way for a new experience. Tie your brand or product to a enjoyable experience, like a live event, and consumers are more likely to get the message. We partnered with Chase and the NYC MTA earlier this year to show how riders can tap to ride on the 4,5,6 line using Chase Visa contactless cards. We called it the Visa Tap Room, and featured special performances by Liam Payne and appearances by football stars Eli Manning and Sterling Shepard. We know leaving that event consumers are going to forever remember to tap to ride on the MTA and educate friends and family to do the same.
- It might sound cliché but Millennials and Gen-Z value experiences above all else and given the future of most brands lay within these audiences, its critical we meet them where they are at.
MarTech Advisor: Will AI prove to be the main driver, or a small cog, in simplifying marketing process and helping to bridge the digital & physical divide? What else will play a role?
Kasumi: Tech tools will always play a part in how accurately we can target our messages and who we are targeting those messages to. Data points us in interesting sometimes unexpected directions- but it’s always the idea or story that brings these to life. Without emotional resonance and meaning, the tools are worthless, underwhelming and uninteresting.
Alexandre: AI has already proved to be the main driver for marketing, we just need to investigate some of the impacts it has had on Political Marketing. We are already facing one fundamental change on marketing as we can no longer on marketing only to consumers but also on how we will do marketing to get into the algorithms, so it accepts your brand as being part of the consideration set that will be exposed to a particular group of consumers.
Thinking of processes as in internal ones, probably it’s the next wave coming in, but it depends on the industry. For example, on Retail and CPG, I still can’t see the substitution of the human brainpower by technology, because human behavior changes fast and influenced by countless variables, especially now with more abundant information. As the marketer’s job is to observe consumers behavior in order to identify problems and solved them, I find hard that AI can replace marketing professionals on the near future. But it will certainly have an impact on the way they will approach their tactics to influence consumers.
Chris: This question depends entirely on what business you operate in but for us at Visa, AI is a hugely important driver in simplifying a number of marketing processes including customer service, product recommendations, sales automation, copywriting and media buying. With that said, most of the use cases for AI in marketing aim to aid a human in their day-to-day work. In our industry much of our fraud detection and risk analysis are steeped in AI and machine learning, but on the marketing side human interaction and interpretation are still desperately needed given the sensitivity of our information and the vital role of our customer teams.
What else will play a role? Most definitely a more robust and connected Martech stack in an organization can aid marketers in better harnessing data to get deep insights into their customers. With a more connected martech stack (and perhaps the use of AI) we will be able to hyper-personalize interactions, but hopefully also predict future customer behaviors based on the data collected.
Hear Kasumi Mihori, Alexandre Antonello, and Chris Curtin speak live about customer experience and marketing technology trends for 2020, at the CMO Insight Summit 2019 in California. Click on the link hereto register and book your spot today.