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crystal-ball-215x300We asked CMOs of 10 Fortune 500 companies to predict how digital media and technology will impact brand marketing in 2013. In this first installment, marketing chiefs from MasterCard, Philips, Western Union and MillerCoors share their prophecies and explain how they’re backing them up.

According to Alfredo Gangotena, CMO of MasterCard Worldwide, 2013 will be a year where we will continue to see accelerated consumer change with raising expectations in terms of products and services. The adoption of new technologies will further empower consumers to research, pick/choose and comment on experiences to an increasingly wider audience in real time. At the same time this will give companies the opportunity to better match consumer expectations and needs by opening new channels of conversation and sources of insights about the stakeholders they serve.

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Alfredo Gangotena of MasterCard

 

Based on the steady shift towards more digital commerce, MasterCard has been continuously pushing innovation to meet the changing habits of the consumer. Gangotena explains how the company’s mobile wallet partnerships help to facilitate speed and convenience much like their PayPass® solutions have done in the past. “Our acquisition of Truaxis will allow us to push this further and develop a fuller sense of contextual relevance based on spending habits enriching both our customer relationships and helping consumers spend smarter. There is a terrific value exchange for all parties involved in these types of solutions.”

Gangotena urges his fellow CMOs to continue exploring new communication channels and technologies and to apply analytic rigor and discipline to capitalize on these consumer trends. “Marketing’s approach and our own individual challenge will be to balance Art and Science: using our ‘left brain’ as we look at Consumer Behavior, Data intelligence and actual Performance to create more dynamic programs but also using this foundation to empower the creativity of our marketing teams; using our ‘right brain’ to capture the value of the things that matter, connecting with consumers and essence of our brands,” explained Gangotena.

Jacopo D'Alessandris of Philips

Jacopo D’Alessandris of Philips

Jacopo D’Alessandris, CMO of Philips Consumer Lifestyle North America, echoes Gangotena in that new mobile technologies and social media platforms have altered the way consumers engage with brands and products. According to D’Alessandris, “it is not a linear funnel anymore, it is a sort of ‘do-it-yourself’ journey where the consumer is in command and decides when and how to engage.”

This new “pull” media model implies that all media touch points need to be seamlessly integrated with each other, their content coherent and their sequencing even more precise than in the past. Traditional “push” media-only campaigns are white noise: although Americans still watch on average more than 4 hours of TV each day, they simultaneously consume other media through their smartphones, tables and laptops:

D’Alessandris predicts that campaigns triggering the multi-media connection around a brand or a product, and initiate this do-it-yourself (DIY) consumer journey will be the winners. This past holiday season Philips Sonicare launched its new multi-touchpoint “stick with technology” campaign developed with Ogilvy. It was aimed at converting manual toothbrush users to the benefits of power brushing; the success of it was driven by this unique combination of traditional and non-traditional touch points, all seamlessly connected and sequenced, and built around an interactive Facebook page.

Diane Scott of Western Union

Diane Scott of Western Union

Diane Scott, EVP & Chief Product and Marketing Officer of Western Union, believes that content will still reign as King of mobile and online…but will become much more finely tuned. “I think we will see an evolution from the world of mass-produced content to drive SEO results in 2012 to a new world in 2013 where content will have much more of a voice, a heartbeat and personality for the brand. Consumers will not just see content, but will feel it and will feel much more connected to it – not like the impersonal, mass-produced content of the past,” expressed Scott.

Western Union serves customers around the world who “double belong” to two worlds: their home country, and where they live now. Scott plans to tap into the insight from their consumers’ origins – key diasporas like China, India, Latin America and the Philippinesand then customize content specifically for them. Delivering that content via both digital and mobile will be a big part of how they communicate with them this year.

While Scott is alluding to Western Union’s ethnic marketing efforts, Andy England, CMO of MillerCoors provides this statement: “Given that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the US population, and that they are extremely digitally active, my prediction is that marketers will become increasingly focused on Latino Digital.”

Andy England of MillerCoors

Andy England of MillerCoors

To back up how MillerCoors is committed to Latino Digital, Coors Light is bringing its sponsorship of Liga MX to Latino soccer fans through its Fanaticos del Frio platform. The platform is designed to be content rich by bringing more Liga MX action and information to fans, and will be supported throughout 2013 with programming on Univision Deportes. “In 2013, we’ll have even more mobile-optimized content through Fanaticos del Frio,” explained England.

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @brandongutman

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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