101 Free Things to do in London
Here is a short update on Conferences where I will be presenting in 2015. Topics are marketing related: #marketing #digital #social #acquisitions #companyculture
- 2015 Global Summit Marketing & Digital, Verona Italy, 25th and 26th of February. You can find my presentation here. Via SlideShare.
- Thought Leader Global Marketing Forum, London, 23rd and 24th of April
- Brand2Global, London, Sept 29th – Oct 1st
If you are planning to attend any of these events, I will be glad to share insights before and during the Conferences. If you are not, and if you are interested in learning more: let’s do it via blog or email.
From my (privileged) position at the company I work for I can see daily efforts to engage clients via complex marketing techniques, and a sometimes obsessive attention to client and prospect engagement, via social and off-line mechanisms.
So I pay a lot of attention to my role as a customer – and the way B2C companies handle my engagement whenever I am involved with a buying interaction. Let me go with 2 very recent examples.
Case 1. Switching Bank Account.
I currently have an account with Lloyds Bank plc. At least 99% of my interactions with a bank go via web and smartphone. I need a bank with a solid on-line banking and mobile strategy. I need a bank with attractive apps (real apps, not html applications) for iPhone and iPad. Lloyd is not such a bank.
So I decided to switch. After analysing sites, comments, analysis, demos, I went with my personal list: 1) Barclays 2) Santanter 3) Well, there is no three, unfortunately, in the UK…
So visited a Barclays branch near to where I live. I was told to contact the customer care for an appointment. Called. I was told to wait 24 hours. They were supposed to call me back. They didn’t. Contacted Barclays customer service, again. No answers. I decided to go digital and I contacted the bank via twitter. After 3 days, I got an appointment: March the 24th. Which is 15 days far away. They have to be damn busy at Barclays. The paradox: I am trying to become a customer. I am trying to switch from competition. My request was neglected multiple times. Today, I am no longer sure that Barclays will be my new bank.
Lesson 1: Barclays’ twitter support works reasonably better than (phone) customer care or (F2F) branch support.
Lesson 2: Barclays does not really care about clients switching from other banks. I assume main client source is another, considering the poor attention they have put on my case (or it might also be that an expat is less attractive than a permanent UK residents?).
Case 2. The North Face.
Visited yesterday the North Face shop near Covent Garden, to buy clothes for my next trip to Iceland. Trekking shoes, some tech gear, gloves. A couple of sizes were missing. I requested the shop clerks to order all missing pieces: ready to pay in advance, I would come back to collect the order. I was told to order on-line. No way to order items directly from the shop.
Cost of missing items was about £200. Overall order was + £600. The shop missed 1/3 of the current sale: there is no evidence and certainty that I will buy on-line from the NF shop. In fact, I went straight to the outdoor shop across the street.
Lesson 1: here the point is not about clerks kindness: they were indeed very nice and helpful. The question is about clerks and The North Face selling capability and its technique to engage and retain clients who are approaching physical shops and are ready to pay.
As a summary: it’s evident that companies still go with a very naive approach to engage, nurture, retain customers. Product attractiveness is no longer a lever for most of us clients – we’re ready to switch our attention to the competition if the company of our choice will not maintain a live engagement and attraction.
While I am preparing my second speech for the 8th Strategic Marketing & Branding Forum, just had a confirmation today of my participation to a third marketing summit this year – the prestigious Brand2Global Conference! The Conference is a its third edition and will take place in London from 29th of Sept to 1st of October.
So happy to represent my company and to be there with marketers from the most prestigious firms.
We agreed to focus my speech on marketing, branding, acquisitions, and on how different cultures plays a key role on M&As. More details in the coming weeks!
Here is what I presented last week in Italy: Integrated Campaign and Branding Strategy: marketing lessons from one of the major M&As in the energy and technology sectors.
In January 2014 the industrial automation giant Schneider Electric acquired Invensys plc thus expanding its product offering in the field of Control Systems, Software and Services. As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building and data centers/networks, and a broad presence in residential applications.
With this acquisition, Schneider Electric has significantly enhanced its position as a provider of Energy management solutions integrating power and automation. In fact, the acquisition of Invensys has provided Schneider Electric with a strong portfolio of complementary products in several sectors including the Oil and Gas one – and competency in Cybersecurity management.
From a branding perspective Invensys brought several independent brands which had to be integrated within Schneider Electric’s portfolio. The team in charge of the integration process had to define a path for each brand that had to be consistent with the Schneider Electric one-brand strategy, which is based on customer install base, geographical scope and overall brand equity.
The communication plan was tailored to the customers and channels and the communication assets were generated with a special focus to customer types. Communications plan included an integrated marketing campaign (“Better Together”) that was launched in September 2014 and which used Social Media channels to ramp up and reach the right audience.
The session will go through the most relevant steps of the acquisition, and will focus on marketing and communications approach explaining the decisions taken on branding, communication and campaigns. Real-case scenario’s examples and a Q&A session will complete and close the session.