Beware Technology Doesn’t Unwittingly Lead You To Neglect The Customer: Nigel Marsh

Beware Technology Doesn’t Unwittingly Lead You To Neglect The Customer: Nigel Marsh
SHARE
THIS



In this mad race to digitise business and embrace the data revolution many companies appear to have forgotten the one thing that’s pivotal to their success – the customer. That’s the view of media doyen, self-help guru and partner at Growth Mantra, Nigel Marsh.

Marsh, a keynote at yesterday’s Daze of Disruption seminar in Sydney, told an enthralled audience that there are plenty of businesses who spend an enormous amount of time, effort and money collecting a customer’s data but wouldn’t have the foggiest idea on how to use it in an effective way. Basically, he argued, in this race for technological supremacy the consumer can often be forgotten.

“I believe that digital and data should be at the heart of any organisation in the future if they are going to be successful,” Marsh said. “But precisely because it is so important it can unwittingly lead to a neglect of focus on the most important thing, the consumer.

“There are many companies that have all my data – they have my mobile phone number, they have my email, they have my purchasing behaviour – but they don’t have the faintest clue what actually makes me tick. They couldn’t run a bath let alone a consumer-centric company. There’s a difference between information and understanding, and there’s a difference between understanding and action.”

Marsh agreed that many of us can feel utterly overwhelmed by technology which leaves us thinking we’re always playing catch-up to the latest new thing. However, he argued, humans have been like that throughout history. “You invent the car! Wonderful! You’re ahead of everyone until everyone gets one,” he said.

And for those struggling under the sheer weight of digital disruption, Marsh’s advice was simple – don’t be scared or proud to being in some outside help.

“Sometimes life does throw you a curveball and you can feel you are at the mercy of circumstances and there’s nothing you can do and you’re overwhelmed,” he said. “You just think ‘I can’t make any progress… what can I do to make things better?’ And then, in hindsight, and with some emotional distance and some expert advice you can see that there was actually some patterns and processes that could have helped had you have known about them.

“There are plenty of people who can help you in business, there are people who spend their entire lives studying how to cope with disruption. And it’s not a sign of weakness as a business person to ask for their help. If you talk to somebody whose business is disruption, they can give you ‘fresh eyes’ and tell you about processes and patterns that are common and can help you.”

Marsh said too often when problems cropped up it would send the decision makers into their shells. Rather, he said that’s when you need to “run to the fire, not away from it”. Rather than see it as some sort of disaster, Marsh said you needed to think “what are the opportunities here?”

And even the great disruptors of our time – the likes of Facebook, Google and Uber – could quickly find themselves being disrupted, Marsh argued.

“You can get the technology right but the consumer wrong,” he said. “Let’s pretend Facebook became achingly uncool to a global 18-30 demographic. Just pretend that someone took Google’s moral high ground. Just pretend a competitor to Uber set up a taxi service run by women for women. That would disrupt all three of those companies and none of that disruption would come from technology and digital, it would come from consumer understanding.

“Good leaders today have to do two things at the same time, they have to put people and data at the heart of their business; that absolutely has to happen. But at the same time they have to force themselves and their companies to look beyond the ‘d-words’ [digital and data] to the consumer. Because the only ultimate protection in the days of disruption isn’t technology, it’s understanding and delighting your customers better,” Marsh concluded.

Latest News

SAP Acquires Experience Management Player Qualtrics In Multi-Billion Dollar Deal
  • Technology

SAP Acquires Experience Management Player Qualtrics In Multi-Billion Dollar Deal

Enterprise software giant SAP has has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire experience management software provider Qualtrics. Under the terms of the agreement, SAP will acquire all outstanding shares of Qualtrics for US$8 billion in cash. The purchase price includes unvested employee incentive compensation and cash on the balance sheet at close. Subject to […]

Why You Should Invest In A Healthy Team
  • Opinion

Why You Should Invest In A Healthy Team

Dr Ron Ehrlich (pictured below) delivers keynotes and wellness workshops and is the author of A Life Less Stressed; the 5 Pillars Of Health & Wellness. In this guest post, the goodly Doctor says investing into employee health typically returns on the bottomline too… A business focused on the health of its team, is a business people […]

Tuesday TV Wrap: Bride & Prejudice Puts The Ring On Seven’s Ratings Finger
  • Media

Tuesday TV Wrap: Bride & Prejudice Puts The Ring On Seven’s Ratings Finger

A strong showing from Bride & Prejudice – the most watched entertainment show of last night – and the always strong news/Today Tonight has handed Seven a convincing Tuesday night win. Seven took off with 31.8 per cent of last night’s eyeballs, Nine had 25.6 per cent and the ABC and 10 tied for third with 17 […]

Staff Made Redundant By JWT Melbourne To Explore Other Opportunities Within WPP
  • Advertising

Staff Made Redundant By JWT Melbourne To Explore Other Opportunities Within WPP

J. Walter Thompson Melbourne has confirmed a small number of staff have left the agency following a review of client demand against its resources. In a statement to B&T, the WPP-owned creative agency said: “Client needs of the agency have evolved, and while in response we’ve made several new hires across CRM/CX, social, design and […]

Remarkable Marketers: Meet Adobe’s Clare Cahill
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

Remarkable Marketers: Meet Adobe’s Clare Cahill

There are some pretty remarkable people in our industry, each offering their own unique perspective to adland. While we spend so much time learning about our peers’ career highlights, B&T thought it high-time to dig a little deeper, and find out what makes the shining stars of our industry tick and, at times, tock. So, for the […]

Partner Content

by Carat

Conceptual image with word Disloyalty being changed into Loyalty. With retro filter or instagram effect.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How To Stop Customers From Breaking Up With You

In this guest post, Fjord’s Bronywn van der Merwe (pictured below) identifies eight ways for brands to keep customers coming back for more. Once upon a time, winning over a customer’s loyalty was simple. You made the sale, you gave them perfectly adequate customer service, and customers stuck with you. The difficulty and uncertainty of […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News.com.au Unveils New Homepage
  • Media

News.com.au Unveils New Homepage

Australia’s leading national news website news.com.au today unveiled a new homepage. As the gateway to Australia’s largest news website, the news.com.au homepage delivers 135 million page impressions per month. The redevelopment of the news.com.au homepage has been designed to evolve the brand into the next decade with plans to roll out continued updates across the […]

Study: Startup Mentality Defined By Culture More Than Age Or Size
  • Marketing
  • Media

Study: Startup Mentality Defined By Culture More Than Age Or Size

The lines between startups and corporates should no longer be defined by organisation size, but by the kind of culture they foster, a panel of top marketers have agreed. Some of Sydney’s top marketers – including Guzman y Gomez CMO Lara Thom, Outdoria CEO Nick Baker, Menulog’s head of marketing Tasman Page and Facebook ANZ’s […]

Cupcakes on a cake stand with sparklers
  • Media

The New Daily Turns Five

Online news site, The New Daily, the brainchild of industry super fund boss Garry Weaven and former Age and Herald Sun editor Bruce Guthrie, turns five this week. It boasts a monthly Google audience of more than two million and close to 500,000 daily subscribers. It’s impressive climb up the Nielsen news site rankings – from outside […]

Nielsen: Aussies Aged 50-Plus Spent Most Time Online With News
  • Media

Nielsen: Aussies Aged 50-Plus Spent Most Time Online With News

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings monthly-tagged data for October 2018 revealed that more than half (52 per cent) of the total time spent online consuming news-related content during October 2018 was by Australians aged 50 plus. Desktop was the device of choice for Australians accessing news stories online, contributing to close to half (49 per cent) […]

Haystac Shakes Up National Leadership Team
  • Marketing

Haystac Shakes Up National Leadership Team

Haystac, part of the BWM Dentsu Group, has announced three key changes to its national leadership team as the agency evolves to service the needs of major national and global brand clients. Haylie Marchant moves into a new national role as head of strategy at Haystac. Formerly the general manager of Haystac Brisbane, Marchant will drive Haystac’s new business […]