Speeches

Throughout the course of my career, I served as a speechwriter for corporate executives.  Below are some samples.

Address to Top 150 Leaders at Wunderman’s First Global Rally (2008)

In 2008, Wunderman turned 50, providing the direct marketing agency turned digital powerhouse an opportunity to rally its leaders from around the world for future growth.  To mark the occasion, for the first time, the agency brought 150 global leaders together for a two-day conference.  The chairman and CEO of Wunderman  kicked off the event with these remarks, which set the tone, charted a course for the future, while paying tribute to the man whose name is still on the door.  This is a sample of the speeches for which I was responsible during my tenure at Wunderman.

Thank you to everyone who came from Wunderman offices around the world.

You came here from 60 different offices, 34 countries and 17 companies —including people from our newest partner companies that joined over the past 12 months: Agenda in China, Actis in Russia; Blast Radius in North America and Europe; Kassius in France; and DesignKitchen in Chicago. In addition, let me welcome to New York City our colleague, Maurice Ukpong, who traveled from Lagos, Nigeria to be here today. And this is his first time in New York. Our colleagues from Sydney: Nigel Marsh, Ian Kennedy and Ruskin Spiers – have come the farthest.

I’m also pleased to welcome our colleagues from Dubai, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Santiago and everywhere in-between! I’m thrilled that so many have come to New York to our first Wunderman Global Rally. If I had my way, I’d have all 6,087 people from our 130-plus offices in 50-plus countries here with us today. This is an important investment in the future of our agency. Thank you for your time, resources and commitment.

I’m delighted you have come to celebrate such an important milestone in the life of our agency: 50 years of innovation…50 years of imagination, and…50 years of service from a man whose name is synonymous with our industry.

One of the most important decisions we made took place 8 years ago. David Sable was running New York then, and I had just joined. Together, we decided to restore the Wunderman name. Without it, we felt something was missing. With it, we felt the agency could regain its footing, grow and prosper on the fast track —just as it did under Lester. He gave us our DNA. And our name reminds us of that every day.Lester started the company driven by his own vision of the advertising business at that time. He simply didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing.

He dared to innovate. He dared to imagine. Lester was a rebel!

Today, innovation and imagination are integral to Wunderman’s DNA. Together, we must continue that vision and dare to imagine what will be coming in the next 50 years. While this meeting focuses on success in the next 50 years, we can’t talk about the future without acknowledging our accomplishments of the past. Here are just a few important game-changing moments:

• 1958 – we were born!

• 1973 – We got married to Y&R — significant because it gave us the first taste of the power of partnership,
which is so important on how we behave today.

• 1979 – We met Ford and changed the way cars were sold forever.

• 1987 – We launched an international business strategy that leveraged our network then numbering about 30 offices.

• 1992 – We merged with Cato Johnson and became the largest behavior-oriented communications company.

• 1997 – Wunderman lands the Citibank account.

Along the way, Wunderman continued to innovate: insert cards, bind in cards, newspaper supplements, the TV “wrap” the “Gold box” …

TODAY, the Internet REVOLUTION helps us leverage new behaviors and raises fundamental questions about the future of advertising. With 1.3 billion Internet users around the world, addressable media is now pervasive and the platform has become the operating system for life with almost every human activity now replicated online.Powered by technology, news travels from person to person, group to group, farther faster than ever. And because of technology, it can be activated and measured.

Today social, broadcast and addressable media are converging in their reach of customers, brands and marketers. We’re at the intersection of content, channel and context.

Fast forward to 2001. We reclaimed our Wunderman heritage. Then, we expanded our global footprint, adding important data and digital resources. At last count, we have some 20 distinct brands. We’re not finished yet! We’ll continue to look for companies that have the right fit for us… Whether it’s expanding our geography or adding new digital expertise.As our digital expansion heads into its second phase, we’ll focus more on finding creative talent to generate creative content that truly entertains.

That is the next marketing frontier. Even with all the success of YouTube and mobile technologies, we haven’t scratched the surface of the full and true potential of our industry’s customization capabilities. Our creative product is one of the most important.New creative leaders are in place in many markets.

And, we’ve made significant progress on strengthening our global reputation.Our own Lester Wunderman Awards program pays homage to Lester’s creativity and innovation and helps us identify the campaigns that have the best shot at winning.Since 2002,884 entries have been submitted. 53 prizes were shared by 250 team members. And, winners shared $300,000 in prize money. The Lester Wunderman Award reflects our deep commitment to the creative process. And, this year’s program kicks off in a couple of weeks.

We are present at high profile award shows like Cannes.We are on the agenda, in the jury rooms and on the red carpet. This year, we’ve participated in 50 competitions and already won 200 awards.

Lastly, our Global CD Meeting, which I’m proud of, is one of the best ways for our creative talent to build relationships and share ideas. When we refreshed the brand earlier this year, we accentuated our rich heritage – and our DNA. The result is a wonderful and fresh way to express it to the world. We also talked a lot about the promise of Impactful Conversations.

Today – at this Global Rally – it is becoming our central theme. It is in this context that CRM is taking on a new meaning. It’s now CRM “squared.”

First, it’s about how Customers Really Manage because customers are at the controls. Next, it’sConversations Really Matter because it is only through a dialogue that behaviour can be changed. We cannot talk about CRM without talking about both. So this new definition of CRM supports our Manifesto that the right conversation changes everything —today and We should all be proud that Ad Age acknowledges Wunderman as the largest global marketing services network in the world. And all that because a copywriter from the Bronx imagined a different vision of the advertising business.

Thank you Lester!
Today, I feel compelled to further the vision Lester inspired. And the rest of my remarks will focus on how we do that.

1. How we become the first billion dollar marketing services network in the world.
2. How we extend our global digital network as far and wide as technology and talent allows, and;
3. How we keep clients coming back for more by leading in the services we provide and the innovation we deliver.

Over the past five years, Wunderman has maintained strong growth… In fact, we doubled our size during that time. So we are well on our way to breaking the billion dollar mark.

A billion is big, but being big, misses the point.

We don’t want to break the billion dollar mark just to claim “we are the biggest.” The current turmoil on Wall Street and around the world confirms that. We want to do it because of what it will enable us to do for our clients and their customers.

Large global clients want to aggregate programs with one, or few, agencies. They want global strategy and flawless local execution. They want the best solutions at the best price – always. Local and regional clients want the same As a billion dollar network with infrastructure, scale and geography, we can deliver the most sophisticated campaigns and programs better than any of our competitors anywhere in the world.

We have been successful in growing business from within. In fact, two-thirds of our growth comes from existing clients. And that growth can only be attributed to the strength of our network. For example, we are doing three times as much business with Microsoft than we did four years ago.

Today’s $1M account can become a $20M account if we consistently deliver measurable results and continue to innovate and bring new ideas.Our “open agency” model is based on working with any and all partners throughout the Wunderman network. And it is at the origin of that spectacular growth of the past 8 years.It begins with our ability to work across the Wunderman network. It extends to our sister companies across Young & Rubicam Brands, our colleagues from Advertising,Burson-Marstellar, Bravo, Landor, etc. It continues with our partners at WPP. It extends further when we collaborate with other agencies.

We do that either because of a special client request or to penetrate a client or sector where neither Y&R or WPP are yet present.

That will be our legacy for the next 50 years.

Next, let’s talk about expanding our global digital footprint.We’ve acquired the hottest digital shops. They are contributing to our growth today. We’ve created the most formidable digital network in the industry. Our extended network provides the talent and tools we all need. It works because we respect each other’s uniqueness and attributes; and, it works because we provide enhanced services to our clients. When new companies join Wunderman,they not only get access to our infrastructure, scale and geography – they get to tap into a global client roster. In turn, we get access to their digital expertise… their specialty services… and, in some cases, their talent allows us to enter new geography to support our clients. Word on the street is that if you want to get associated with a global network, Wunderman becomes the only choice.

Further expansion is on tap over the next 18 months, particularly in Central Europe and China. The strength and power of what we’ve already built is evidenced in WPP’s recent formation of DELIVER. David Sable was a strong advocate and collaborator on this initiative. The whole point of DELIVER is to leverage existing digital production capabilities in a “distributed model.” That model uses scale to provide cost-effective production and to channel assignments to the best qualified resources within Wunderman and WPP.

Actis in Russia, AGENDA throughout Asia, Aqua Online in South Africa, Studiocom in Colombia, and ZAAZ in Seattle all support DELIVER and will benefit in two ways: 1) from increased scale and additional work, and
2) by acquiring new and different clients. Other agencies from WPP are also taking part, but the Wunderman network stands to benefit greatly because we bring so much to the table in terms of capabilities and talent.

When agencies get bigger, the quality of work gets better and increased efficiencies result. Expanding our digital network requires recruiting top talent because it is our people who create solutions and connect with clients. So we must complement our acquisition strategy with a talent strategy that keeps our agencies filled with the best people. Moreover, we must be best at retaining talent, acquiring critical skills and developing and moving our people through the network to serve client’s needs.

Unfortunately, this is only going to get more difficult as the talent market continues to shift and shrink. Just as we have broadened our services by embracing new technologies and channels —like analytics, digital, mobile marketing, social networking — so have our competitors. And a 35% shift away from traditional media confirms this today.In every part of the world, it will be harder to attract and keep talent. It will be even harder to identify and maintain an effective succession plan with future leaders if tenure is shorter and shorter. Managing talent gets even more complicated when global clients decide to consolidate agencies.

While opportunities for our network are big, we must be ready and flexible as this plays havoc with our talent base. Our global HR team has been working on a talent management initiative called TALENT 2010 to address these very issues: the shrinking and shifting nature of the talent pool and the need to mobilize when large global clients do join. During our breaks and over lunch or dinner, I encourage you to have a conversations with Bill about this and commit to a plan with him.

The last aspect of our vision for Wunderman is squarely focused on keeping our clients coming back for more. We can do that by leveraging our entire network, and the resources of Y&R, WPP and those from independent companies. So in the end, it’s not about… “we do web analytics, do you want it?” Or, “we offer SEO, Paid Search and Media Planning, do you need it?” Or even, “how about a community-based program?” If that sounds familiar, you are right.

Lester uses examples like these to highlight exactly the opposite – customers will be asking, “This is what I want, can you make it?” We sometimes need to be reminded of that! The way to cross-sell or up sell when economies and budgets tighten is to provide an extreme level of service that gives clients and our company real market advantage. Imagine yourself in their shoes and get curious about the root cause of their issues.

• What challenges do they face?
• How are they currently addressing those challenges?
• Are there immediate needs?
• Is there an information gap that’s preventing a program or campaign from reaching its full potential?

Understand their business – at least as well as they do. Be ready to answer their number one question: “How can my marketing and advertising be more effective… and for less?” I’m convinced we have the answer.

Look around you. We have the talent. We have the resources Yet, too often, we may not hear the question over the noise of a sales pitch. To ensure that doesn’t happen, I’ve asked Stewart Pearson to lead a client service Initiative that delivers those answers quickly, constantly and with authority.I call it – LISTEN FIRST! LISTEN FIRST centers on client satisfaction. Its goal is to increase our level of service and deepen the value we deliver to our clients.

LISTEN FIRST operates with the resources we have already at our disposal within Wunderman and in addition, I’m delighted to announce a new partner — Visible Technologies.Their TruCast® monitoring and measurement system is without equal in the marketplace. This technology, in combination with our insights, metrics and optimization process, is one of the most powerful listening platforms in the marketplace today. LISTEN FIRST will enable us to assemble the right team to answer today’s tough questions.

The next few months will be challenging – no doubt, for all of us.However, consider this: A large business such as ours has many more opportunities because of our diversified business base and geography. Traditionally, these times are a way for the market to adjust and rid itself of excess.Small opportunistic companies that prosper when times are good because they compete on price or speed, will fall, and fall hard, when times are tough. This allows larger groups like Wunderman to regain margins and grow even more diverse.

David took down Goliath with a stone. Our weapon is much more than our size.It’s the quality of our clients,the dedication of our people, our imagination, and our passion for this business.While we are very close to breaking the billion-dollar barrier – and being the first agency to do so…

We know being big misses the point.

Behaving like a billion dollar company means leveraging the full power of the network. It also means using your imagination to deliver game-changing marketing innovations just as Lester did some years ago. We’ll continue to expand our global network through acquisition – adding digital resources and gaining the ability to execute in every part of the world. But we will also be relentless in our pursuit of the most talented people in the business… those who possess the Wunderman DNA.

We approach 2009 and the next 50 years from a position of strength. We have sound financial footing. Strong leaders everywhere in the world. A robust and diversified client list. Our future depends on the continued strength of the Wunderman brand and on you — our ambassadors.

Before closing, I’d like to tell you the story of a painter asked to paint the ceiling….His name…. Michaelangelo.  His legacy speaks for itself.  Let’s paint ceilings.

Thank you.

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Contact Nancy Maffucci

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Address at the Microsoft Global Marketing Summit – “The New Normal”

In 2010, Wunderman Chairman and CEO. Daniel Morel  was asked to deliver remarks at Microsoft’s Global Marketing Summit, in Paris, France.  With the marketing world changing at a dizzying pace, his speech focused on the emerging “New Normal.’  Fresh from attending major industry events, his remarks reflected on those events in the context of marketing’s rapid pace of change as data, mobile and social take hold.  March 2, 2010

“RECOVERY.” Today, there is no agreement on the meaning of this word. In everyday language it means a return to a previous state. When recovery is applied to the marketing and communication world, it will not return to its previous state any more that we can expect a renaissance in black and white television. Changes in consumer behavior enabled by an explosion of low cost bandwidth and processing, together with a deluge of networked devices, have combined to produce a vibrant and destructive shift.

The economic downturn has contributed to this but only in the sense of accelerating the inevitable.

Let’s start with the recession.
It appears that a new normal has emerged. This new normal has been used to describe the future of the economy by many financial luminaries. The drivers of this new normal are deleveraging, de-globalization and re-regulation according to the coiner of the phrase Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO.

It reflects an era of realism and moderation; of more tempered expectations for growth and more modest means of living. Of editing want from need and living with a greater sense of community and connection to friends, family and networks.

What’s interesting to me is the translation of that new normal to our marketing efforts. Our new normal is also about de-leveraging as we focus messages on the substance, rather than the flash. As the tools we use to understand our customers increase in granularity, we have been able to “de-globalize” messaging and connect locally, in authentic and cost effective ways.

In the U.S.—and in other parts of the world—we face the reality that governments have increased their involvement in the economy. As a consequence, we must expect more regulations and we are, based on my personal experience, one “Exxon Valdez” away from more stringent privacy rules on the collection and the use of data online.

I fear something akin to a digital equivalent of the famous “do-not-call list” which today counts 73 percent of American households and the many inquiries from the FTC about Google and Facebook to explain their privacy policies and the use of collected data… and the recent ruling in Germany to bar companies to do Web analytics on an IP Address without prior consent.

A new normal today is impacting our businesses, both in terms of how we market and how consumers behave. Businesses are getting used to the profit pressures. As a result, we are developing good marketing habits, focusing on business result and organizing in ways to respond more quickly to market dynamics.

This was evident everywhere I went:

At the Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the most remarkable things was Ford’s prominent role. Yes, Ford! Now, that doesn’t appear normal!

As a company and a brand, Ford is weathering this recession well and responding quickly to the new normal. It is in a totally different place today than it was when the recession started. Alan Mullahly, Ford’s CEO, re-focused Ford on its heritage: building reliable, affordable cars that safely transported people to work.

Today, affordable means the latest technology should be part of EVERY car—not just luxury models. Safety means a car is equipped with technology that helps you get from point A to point B in any city, customizing your entire driving experience and allowing voice control so you keep your eyes on the road. It is what Ford did with Microsoft and SYNC and now with MyFord Touch.
CES was an interesting convergence of technology and its impact on just about everything.

At the Detroit Auto Show, the industry recognized Ford with all sorts of awards. Its customer-focused approach is clearly resonating.

And, last month in Davos, at the World Economic Forum, the theme of the gathering was “re-think, re-design, re-build.” So, just the theme gives you the idea that people were ready to question everything and viewed everything as a problem to fix.

The bottom line: people and businesses and governments are unsure! They don’t know what’s happening exactly. So, they are re-thinking EVERYTHING. All the while, they have businesses to run.

That’s why I believe there are dangers in “getting back to normal.” On one hand, we cannot just go back to the way things were, but we certainly cannot change everything either. We have to strike a balance. We have to peel away the distractions and get to what’s really going on, and then apply good, sound business principles.

Search and Social are clearly part of the “new normal.”

We have seen an explosion of Search and Social, which has unleashed not only the full power of the digital age but one of the fiercest battles between two companies in decades… and rightfully so, because there is a lot of money at stake.
Search turned the Internet from being a gigantic pile of data into an endless array of personal experiences.

Along comes Google, with its rigorous algorithms and mathematical equations which turned that “pile of data” into sheer magic. Google, the impersonal, but functional librarian, offers countless options for anything we ask about. Its pile of data is getting bigger and bigger. Its algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated. As result, so is its market domination.

Google has the data and the means to act on it. It will stop at nothing to leverage it. What’s Google’s stated goal? Build the best, if not dispassionate, atlas of the online world.

Social, on the other hand, gave us free rein to share those personal experiences with a bigger and broader network of friends.

This very ability to share our personal experiences make them that much more enjoyable.

Like Google, Facebook is a gigantic “pile of data.” But, these data are all personal. Socializing is its core. Facebook is a “kinder, gentler” pile of data amassed because people don’t mind using their real names or connecting to real friends or using real email addresses. And, they want to share their most personal thoughts. Facebook deliberately wants to help you make online interactions more meaningful and more personal. That “social graph” is a more personalized, humanized Web where a network of friends, colleagues, peers and family will be most effective in helping us find the answers.

Both Google and Facebook are no worse for the wear because of the recession.

Google, with a 65 percent market share continues to be one of the strongest brands in the world and clearly its dominance in Search may carry over as it muscles its way into the social space. But Facebook, still relatively new, fared quite well in throughout the recession, gaining strength in brand equity and among consumer perceptions. And then Twitter, with its ability to parse its constant stream of updates, introduced the concept of real-time search as a way of tapping into the latest chatter and conversations as they unfold. And now Yelp helps you find restaurants and babysitters by crowd sourcing the ratings.

This isn’t just a battle for big brand marketing dollars, which it definitely is, it’s really about Internet control and domination.

Social marketing and Ford
I talked about Ford earlier, and I want to talk about it again in the context of Search and Social. Ford is turning to Social now because it has so completely dominated Search—with hot leads to dealers, customizer, online dealerships, etc., that Social is the next logical step to distance itself from its competitors. Ford’s digital head, Scott Monty, says its social initiatives on Facebook, Twitter and countless blogs revolve around “customer engagement”– not advertising. It’s about humanizing Ford, connecting people and adding value.

Ford’s “You Speak Green” campaign is good example. It humanized the Ford Fusion, tied it to sustainability—an issue with worldwide passion—and generated a traceable conversation among 200,000 Facebook users.

In this case, the support for Ford Fusion is understated, but consumer enthusiasm for the cause is not. The campaign encouraged people to share tips and green ideas with other Facebook users, thus creating meaningful conversations around this green message.

The results shattered campaign goals: 200,000+ Facebook users downloaded the application to their profile page, which is10 times the average. 20,000+ green tips were posted. And, JD Power named it best Social Media campaign in 2009. The interesting thing is that all the “chatting” and “posting” now appears on Google because Google ranks your search by the volume of links connected to that search. (Of note, for those interested in the technical nature of what I am saying, type “Mike Siwek lawyer mi” and see what comes up.)

The market is equally ripe for B2B. I suspect as marketers become more familiar with the use of Search and Social and how they interact. In the meantime, the battle will continue between Google and Facebook. In addition, we’ll see more sophisticated initiatives coming from the smaller players as well…..such as Four Square, around me, Yelp, REI snow reports, etc.

Search and Social are converging—with a vengeance!
Now, dominant, cold-hearted, impersonal Google, and young, warm and fuzzy Facebook with its network of “friends” are engaged in the mother of all marketing battles over advertising dollars.

Google miscalculated with BUZZ. It faced an immediate privacy firestorm of criticisms and was forced to alter the service after just three days!
That’s not a good first attempt. Some say Google didn’t understand that people don’t want their email contacts to become their social networking contacts. BUZZ now seems to be getting closer to the Facebook message functionality, but consumers’ privacy concerns are real.

Word on the street about Facebook is that it is architecting its messaging section of its site from the ground up and turning it into a Web-mail app. This news puts Facebook into direct competition with the likes of Gmail and MSN.

Who will be more powerful?

• Google extending into the social platform/software space.

• Facebook the social platform/software of choice for millions globally.

• Can Microsoft and BING use its functional prowess to conquer the social search space?

What about BING? I think Bing is the “softer side of search.” Bing is somewhere in the middle—between Google’s cold algorithm and Facebook’s social “data-sphere.”

It’s different than Google’s steadfast mathematical approach. Bing serves up search results after it considers the results of those who searched before you. In essence, your search already has been socialized by those who have gone there before you. And this enhances the results.

It’s all about the data.
The shift to digital creates an unprecedented volume of data. Every traditional communication now has a digital pendant. DM, Events and TV are linked to email, virtual events and video-casting. Directories are linked to Search and Online. PR will never be the same with the speed and connectedness of Social networks and blogs.
Understanding data, gathering insights from data and using those insights to make better informed marketing decisions is the future of not only Relationship Marketing and Digital Marketing but all marketing.

The sheer volume of customer data and 1-to-1 contact gives us an extraordinary opportunity to learn, optimize and market in real-time. Plus, with tons of legacy data, marrying the “long view” with real time insights is the goal. The more we search and the more we socialize, the more data we generate. The more data there are, the greater the likelihood we, as consumers, end up in a better place at the end of our journey. With search, the data are transaction-based. With social, it’s all emotion-and passion-based. But it’s data just the same.

The numbers are staggering: 400 million Internet searches every day. 400 million Facebook users 13 million Twitter accounts. 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day. Testing, and failure, is what will make us successful. What’s more, everything needs to be measured. Therefore, assume your digital marketing campaign has failed—unless you have proof otherwise!

Enter Mobile to the Search and Social marketing mix.
With Mobile, there’s a heightened sense of timing and local relevance. Add GPS and compass functionality to your portable device and you have nailed location too. Windows 7 clearly will be part of the trend toward faster, more agile computing systems propelling it into the mainstream.

The applications being developed—and yet to be developed—using GPS are most intriguing to me. Maps by themselves are uninteresting. Knowing where you are by itself is uninteresting. It becomes interesting (and useful) by providing layers above the map. Mobile will truly take off—in the same way that television did— when we have something truly useful to offer. To get there, we’ll need additional layers of technology.

Search and Social provide the data. Mobile provides the means. And in a few more months—at most a year—we’ll have the technology infrastructure we need for a whole new set of applications that make mobile truly useful.

For example: A salesperson would benefit from an application that easily mapped out her day. Such an application combines calendar information, with contact lists, and integrates GPS functionality, as well as local databases. The end result is a detailed account of which she is meeting, at what time and the location, how long it is going to take to get there, where the nearest Starbucks is for a break between appointments, and much more. For me, personally, that would be nirvana!

Mobile also delivers immediacy.
When customers are in front of their laptops, we can serve them in real time. Search tells you she traveled the Internet looking for certain information, say a car. You then build the algorithm and create a very compelling offer. She’s not in a cloud; she’s less than five kilometers away from your showroom. You can even give her directions.
With Mobile, convention is yet to exist. Everything is measureable and can be optimized. Half the world’s population has a mobile device. It may be a mobile phone, a tablet, a kindle, a netbook or something yet to be developed. It doesn’t matter. It’s portable and it’s always on, always connected and always with you. Mobile (or portable computing) will deliver to marketers what Lester Wunderman could only dream about some 50 years ago.

This is convergence of everything a good marketer wants: relevancy; timeliness; a truly customized offer and, the proximity of the buyer. If you can’t close the sale now, maybe you should consider getting out of the marketing business!

The bottom line: marketers leveraging the power of search, social and mobile will be bound only by their inability to mine the growing mountains of data that generate insights on which to act. And acting means creating, distributing and measuring a wide range of assets in multiple formats, in multiple channels.
In closing, the convergence of search, social and mobile is the driving force behind marketing in the new normal.

At the intersection of these trends lies a customer who is empowered in ways that makes them a partner, rather than a customer. To come back to where I started, let me tie each of our marketing drivers to one from the El-Erian’s New Normal:

Search has de-leveraged marketing.

Social has de-globalized marketing.

And Mobile is re-regulating marketing.

Each of these trends forms our new customer reality. There are three compelling paths for marketers to operate within the customer’s new normal:

Data is not a number, it is a human expression.
While we gaze at the reams of consumer data flowing our way and excite at the possibilities for delivering the perfect message at the perfect time, let’s not forget that when we target the perfect message, we’re targeting a person, not a demographic. Lead with an offer—but follow with a pathway that might lead to another way to be fulfilled.

Sharing is a two-way street.
Customers are sharing lots of data about their lives, much of which we can use to improve our product and messaging. However, the minute we take advantage of that we risk losing that customer’s. What can we do to say “thank you” to that customer for contributing to our success?

Global is inaccessible, local is next door.
Consumers engage and transact locally. What’s relevant is no longer bound by continent, country, zip code, or block. It’s you—wherever you are at that moment, in that very location, with that very mindset. We can manage customer relationships on a global platform, but they must be activated in the local context. To make the promise of localization real, we have to unearth every byte of data—real time or legacy.

We know to win the share-of-market fight you have to knock your competitors out of their game plan. You have to fight unconventionally and constantly surprise the competition by doing the unexpected and unusual. This gets harder and harder as yesterday’s latest and greatest products very quickly become today’s old and boring. What was leading edge one day becomes cost of entry the next.

What this means is that you have to be open, flexible and quick to use all the tools and resources at your command, search, social, mobile as they come together but overall data, analytics and platforms and be ready on a minutes’ notice to change and adapt and evolve.

It’s like what Lady Gaga says: “I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.”

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Contact Nancy Maffucci

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