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Nestle Waters' CMO Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators

Before he was appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Nestlé Waters North America in 2014, Antonio Sciuto oversaw the brand's digital transformation as its global head of e-commerce. Prior, he was global strategy and organization manager for customer and sales.

A graduate of Bocconi University in Milan, Sciuto began his career in 2000 at Procter & Gamble, where he spent seven years in marketing and sales roles. He then worked as a consultant for McKinsey and Co. from 2007 to 2010.

Sciuto 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 evolution of the marketer's role to win in the omnichannel consumer journey.

The centricity of the consumer journey is shifting marketing's focus from building databases to fostering communities by leveraging social and mobile platforms. In the past few years, we have focused on big data: building things like databases, consumer segmentation, and predictive behavior. All of these initiatives are still relevant, but we need to shift our mindset toward understanding that the best databases are ones that are available at our fingertips (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Data from these platforms may not be owned in the traditional sense, but they are certainly usable as long as we leverage the data to make better business and marketing decisions.

An important part of our job must be to leverage social databases and their roles in consumer behavior. We do this not only by engaging with consumers when responding to inquiries, but also by fostering a more modern, proactive approach to satisfy consumer needs and enrich their consumer experience. Our scope is no longer just limited to demand generation; our mission should be building a holistic relationship with our consumers by leveraging all engagement opportunities across all available channels and touch points on their journey.

2. Why is this so important?
This new reality is blurring boundaries between marketing, sales, customer service, and IT, requiring an end-to-end approach that will transform the entire organization, rather than merely adding incremental online revenue. This is critically important considering the implications on three key components: role of content, definition of community, and evolution of marketing approach.

Branded content is the new advertising. The development of the right content by touchpoint is key to driving conversion along the entire consumer journey, from basic product information to brand campaigns. Most importantly, it's critical to understand how content and the role of the touchpoint are changing.

Our definition of "community" has changed as well. We have seen that community is no longer a place where people gather around similar interests, but rather something that forms temporarily and elastically around content people share similar interests in.

Last but not least, the marketing approach needs to evolve to smarter brand campaign content, complementing the traditional agency model with a faster go-to-market model built for more intelligent, higher quality content creation and distribution. We've found this in both agency partners, like Deep Focus and its DFx platform, and new content partners (e.g., BuzzFeed, Tastemade), who are changing the rules of the game. They offer not only more collaborative content production, but guaranteed targeted distribution and engagement at scale as part of a turnkey offering.

3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
In this changing environment, the integration between marketing and technology will allow brands to build a deeper relation with consumers. This integration will make a significant impact by supporting the collection of consumer data, mapping of consumer profiles, and building lookalike models to amplify campaign effectiveness. This offers new possibilities to build more valuable brands and businesses by personalizing the consumer experience. Now marketing is not a sequence of different campaigns but an integrated and automated journey to better satisfy consumers' needs.

At Nestlé Waters North America, our approach is to offer consumers a unique and complete set of omnichannel solutions aligned with their needs by offering the ideal product assortment in-store, e-retailer content to overcome online shopping barriers, content worth sharing in their social channels, and delivery directly to their home with "Ready Refresh," our direct-to-consumer business.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
This renewed digital approach, enabled by marketing cloud technology, will allow brands to amplify their marketing efforts beyond the main campaign. Marketers now have the opportunity to proactively engage with consumers on social platforms and to build additional consumer journey and content based on online consumer behavior amplifying campaign results.

To improve marketing effectiveness and capture this opportunity, there are three key enablers for success:
  • Manage digital operations end-to-end by integrating digital, social media, and e-commerce into an e-business organization unit. This combines different teams with complementary roles and one common denominator: a relentless focus on the consumer journey.
  • Accelerate a shift to digital media vs. traditional media in accordance with the opportunity of each brand's consumer targets
  • Adopt a "learning by doing" approach. Accelerate the speed to market and not worry too much about perfection, but, rather, place emphasis on speed.

Bonus: Favorite activity outside of work?
Traveling and enjoying time with my lovely wife and my daughter.


About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

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