creative integrated marketing

We are a creative integrated marketing consultancy specialising in 4 business areas: Business Services, Financial Services, Automotive Aftermarket and Recruitment Advertising. These blogs tell of some of our experiences working in these business areas.

10 December 2013

Customer-centricity is now truly digital

Rapidly evolving digital capabilities - particularly mobile, social media, big-data and cloud technologies, offer business service, financial service and retail operators for example, entirely new opportunities for understanding, serving and engaging customers and stakeholders. This has created new marketing and business development opportunities for brand and business development managers.

Seizing new opportunities by linking the brand promise, content, stakeholder(s) experience and marcomms platform requires an integrated strategic marketing communications solution and a sensible dose of technology. Tomorrow's winners will be those companies who are the most customer-centric. It's more than a differentiator. It's a holistic business decision because true customer-centricity demands significant changes at organisational level.

In the pursuit of customer-centricity our advice is - be bold and proactive.

Today, our job as marketers is to package the brand, content, experience (ie touch points) and platform in a way that enables a business to operate smartly and thrive. This requires marketing managers and business development project managers to package suitable content and supply well branded, benefit-led communications across multiple touch points (email, video on demand, app, web, events and road shows, pitch books, eBooks etc).

Customer-centricity is about using information, coupled with hypothesis-driven analytics, to develop and tailor personalised products, service communications and delivery methods. For example we recently created a campaign for Aon focused on M&A transaction risk and how some risks could be reliably shifted to the insurance market. Whilst underlying product and service methods were the same, background, benefit and buying points were deliberately emphasised differently for respective stakeholders - private equity professionals, corporate c-suites, transaction lawyers, corporate finance advisors and investment banks. Without separate treatments, the campaign would have lost resonance, relevance and effectiveness. Technology – in terms of data build up and segmentation, email delivery, subject line and path to “Get a briefing”, enabled a different journey and experience for respective stakeholders. Digitalisation offers new opportunities for linking content, experience and communication platform

Companies who use integrated content-led marketing driven by experts and technology, will increase the touch points they share with customers and prospects and will improve their ROI on marketing and business development expenditure.

Some useful tips for getting started with customer-centric communications

  • 1. Senior management and organisational support is a prerequisite. If you don't have the internal resources, outsource with an acting marketing officer who delivers a pilot project operating as an extension to the senior management team
  • 2. Get the governance right. All marcomms must be on brand, as proprietary as possible and sense-checked
  • 3. Think about strategic value and benefit or application-led information rather than technical or product communication. Your target audience seek solutions and ideas (not necessarily products)
  • 4. Incorporate company culture and DNA into strategic marcomms and content - this will ensure the material and programme becomes sustainable
  • 5. Embed content and delivery into practical daily workflows for your target audience

If you follow these principles, your organisation will have a better chance of becoming a trusted partner or advisor to a community and marketing communication will be an effective enabler of business development and targeted awareness in your market. For most financial service, business service and retail operations, achieving game-changing levels of customer-centricity through leveraging digital capabilities and intelligently marrying together content, brand and multiple touch points, will be a multi-year journey. What are you waiting for?

Chris Abraham is head of AEPadvertising - a creative integrated marketing company specialising in brand, awareness and lead generation for b2b and b2c clients who operate internationally.

AEP Advertising We are a b2b and b2c agency providing integrated branding, strategic and lead generation marketing communications. We have deep specialist knowledge in the business services, financial services, automotive and recruitment advertising sectors spanning over 40 years.

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