News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
De-Manufacturing The Brand
Steve Smith / MediaPost / June 23, 2013
It was both curious and revealing that at a conference focused on data, there was so much talk about humanity, authenticity and voice in marketing. This is one of the themes that emerged from the Brand Marketers Summit last week in Kohler, Wisconsin. The ironic end result of Big Data and data-driven marketing is a more human-like relationship with the customer. The massive number of inputs and data types now pouring in to marketers from offline, online, whether it is transactional, behavioral or attitudinal, add up to a more nuanced and detailed portrait of the customer.
Until now most companies knew their customers only as they existed within the “purchase funnel” and via data points that prepared for or enacted transactions. These many other inputs now allow the brand to know their customers outside of the transaction, to know what else is of importance to her and to relate to her in different ways.
The broader implication of Big Data, then, is that companies have the information and the means by which to effect a more human approach to communications. As Tom O’Keefe, CEO of O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul, said on a Summit panel, we may be witnessing the “de-manufacturing of brands.” The means are there to talk in real-time to consumers in the places they live and socialize online without the corporate speak and guardedness companies have effected for centuries. In fact, these channels give a brand no choice really but to adopt a different posture. In discussing how marketers can use the social channels to touch consumers, he said: “Consumers don’t want to feel the messages have been on a shelf that need to be queued up from some master plan.” Brands that play in the social space in the hopes of having true conversations with the customers need to “be more vulnerable and spontaneous.”