James Keady is head of digital at Samsung, where he is passionate about the audience experience across the digital landscape: social, website, retail, CRM, and media. Keady has worked globally across a diverse set of industries, from leading finance and beverage companies in Australia to luxury car brands in China.
Keady recently participated in our "4 Questions for Marketing Innovators" series.
1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
The expectations of today’s audiences is to be communicated to in a personalized, targeted way; put simply, relevancy at scale. It is an exciting time to be marketer because the technology to deliver this is here now. Whether targeted programmatic media, profile data-driven content experiences, or cross-channel retail experiences, technology has bridged personalization theory with practice. Advertising as we knew it is dead; broadcast messaging has been replaced by one-to-one experiences between brand and audience.
The brands that are winning are those that can build marketing solutions with data and agility at the core. In terms of what you can do about it, I like the quote from PJ Pereira: “Think like a marketer, behave like an entertainer, and move like a tech startup.”
2. Why is this so important?
Customers expect a personalized, consistent experience across all brand touch points. In the hypercompetitive digital marketplace, success is dictated by the ability to cut through the noise and deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience. People now have more choice and power. From ad-blocking software to the rise of subscription-based on-demand content platforms, today’s consumers can now pay to take advertising out of their lives. Personal, relevant experiences that build customer conversion and loyalty are now a critical factor for businesses to generate and sustain future profits.
At McLaren luxury cars, they are focused on building digital into the exclusive positioning of the brand. Today’s luxury car buyer no longer needs to step into a dealer to customize their future vehicle. The brand’s configuration tool allows for thousands of configurations to be selected online, mobile, and from any location in the world with a Wi-Fi connection. This order connects with a local retailer, which can shortly after go into production and the customer into the CRM communication experience.
3. How will this improve the customer experience?
Personalization is key to the customer experience. The modern customer craves simplicity in experience. They demand authenticity and relevancy. They want the best price. And they want it now. The authenticity they demand will be delivered through technologies that are increasingly enabling this personalization at scale across branded websites, social platforms, and the media landscape.
A great example of a practical personalization delivered to make a difference to the bottom line is U.K.’s largest lingerie retailer, which started with the first stage of segmentation, building data profiles of customers to identify types, ranging from the confused boyfriend, the older woman, existing customers, and younger teenagers. With an understanding of their audience, they could now deliver targeted website experiences, exclusive offers for regular visitors, data-driven UX improvements, and understanding the browsing habits and how content needs and conversion opportunities differ between desktop and mobile users.
4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Marketing efficacy will improve because we now operate within a data, performance-driven world. The brands that are most effective harness this data to add value to the customer experience. These experiences convert prospects into repeat customers, contributing to building the base and future financial sustainability.
However, the correct use and regulation related to data-driven marketing will always be a value exchange. Increasingly, data-savvy audiences will use data as an asset, and if the value is not clear, they will not invest in your proposition. Dave Egger’s “The Circle” explored where future society revolves around omnipresent data collection and 24/7 transparency operated by commercial organizations. We are some way from that rebooted Orwellian scenario; however, using data responsibly to give customers what they want, where they want is, a great way to become more effective in your marketing.
Bonus question: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I’m passionate about life in London with my family, exploring new cultures, new ideas, and visiting my home town (Melbourne, Australia) whenever I get the chance.