It’s almost an apparent statement these days to urge brands to listen to their customers, but for Capgemini vice president of digital services ANZ, Susan Beeston, it’s something that drives a brand far more than they realise.
Off the back of the Backelite launch last week, which serves to solve complex business requirements from concept to delivery, Beeston said digital has changed the way they help clients.
“Digital is driving change and opportunity. Not only that, but digital is also an enabler for how customers can interact with brands,” Beeston said.
“If brands don’t respond, they’ll obviously lose out.
“The emergence of digital has changed the power base and moved it away from organisations and towards customers. In the past, it was easy enough and good enough for a brand to tell customers what the product was about and how it should be procured and used.
“Nowadays the customer has so much information at their fingertips, meaning they can choose how, where and when they interact with a product.”
But asked if digital is the sole solution for companies in the modern age, Beeston said it’s not practical to neglect more traditional avenues of marketing altogether.
“I think digital has driven such a large change that it is the primary focus for advertising and marketing, but the focus is never just digital or just another aspect of marketing,” she said.
“There will always be multi channels.
“Businesses need to understand what a customer’s needs and wants are and create various solutions to improve their experience.
“The customer can’t be treated in isolation.
“If we start first with a deep understanding of a customer, and engage the customer through the design process, we can actively explore new technology with the customer and get a quick sense of what will work for the customer. That’s where organisations need to focus.”
Beeston also believed that a balance between technology and creativity was essential to quality client services.
“You can’t be wholly creative without technology there to pursue it, but you can’t be technological without the creativity to understand it. Deep understanding of a customer drives creativity, while technology underpins it,” she added.
“One big trend in digital is mass personalisation, so making sure that whichever way a brand is represented to the market, it’s actually represented to customers based on an understanding of them.
“Big data and manipulating it into smaller customer data is the holy grail. There’s a lot of work involved in that and technology does support it. But it’s important to be careful which pieces of data are being used.”