Shifting Brand Engagement

Welcome to Cup of Jo. An interview series where we have caffeinated conversations, with wickedly smart people, about how brands are transforming the way they engage with people. Our hope is that Cup of Jo helps you, your brand, and the industry at large, with insights and foresight to help guide and empower success.

Today we are having coffee with the incredibly smart, exceedingly connected marketer, and fellow tech geek, Karla Congson, Chief Marketing Officer of Dundee Corp. and Grand Poobah of the fascinating CollectiveIQ Think Tank. Karla shares with us her takes on transforming in this ever-shifting marketplace. Grab a coffee and take it all in.

 

[Michael]
As you know the world of marketing is an ever-shifting place. How’s your company meeting this transformation in this new world and where you’re going with it?

[Karla]
There’s a truism that more has changed in the last five years than in the last 50. But, there’s certain things that are really key for us which is really understanding a customer; what they need and what they value and then creating experiences that matter to them. Once you understand this, being able to define a really clear brand purpose and brand positioning and then with that foundation using the art of storytelling to create a narrative that they care about. Creative is still a critical engine.

[Michael]
Does the world of instant information, where consumers can simultaneously connect with anything, change the real evolution of marketing and where it’s going to go and adapt to it?

[Karla]
The world is so rich with data and data enables us to use every marketing dollar more efficiently and more effectively. One of the most famous quotes in marketing is “half of every dollar I spend on advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which half .”  And, that’s no longer true. In this age of data and analytics, you know where every cent is going and you need to use it effectively because you need to be able to engage in so many more media.

There’s a quote by Jim Rohn that goes something like “you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.” As a marketer, to be effective in this day and age you need to surround yourself with brilliant experts. I spend a lot of time building a really diverse network of the smartest people that I can find. If I ever have a question that I’m grappling with, that I don’t have the answer to, there are six brilliant people that I can turn to help me unleash that expertise.

[Michael]
You’re telling an interesting story about Amy Ingram and that came out of a world that I learned from collectiveIQ which is how does artificial intelligence help us in the things we do. You have a really funny story about that.

[Karla]
Amy Ingram is a bot, she is an algorithm that’s made up of artificial intelligence that was created out of a company in New York. The way that it works is Amy Ingram will schedule all of your meetings for you;  you cc: Amy Ingram (AI for short) and she will reach out to the recipients, find a time that works, find a place that works and schedule the meeting on your behalf. I typically schedule 30 meetings a week and it saves me a couple of hours a week which is significant given my schedule.

Amy is so effective, and so human-like, that I booked a meeting with a new research vendor and they arrived on Monday morning with 4 cups of coffee; 2 for them one for me and the other for Amy.

[Michael]
How is social media affecting your universe?

[Karla]
Mobile is at the centre of that experience. 80% of our time is spent on five apps and increasingly those apps will be messaging platforms and those will be enabled by chatbots. Chatbots are algorithms that interact with us, almost like other people, using natural language processing and really advanced algorithms to answer questions, get us our food and deliver whatever it is that we might want.

So, related to that is the whole rise of cognitive computing. A specific example of this is a platform called Crystal Knows. Crystal Knows connects to your LinkedIn profile. It then runs an algorithm, that’s not unlike Myers-Briggs, to create a profile of the individual. So imagine an advisor who is using the social signals of a perspective sale and can understand their preferences and how to create empathy and value from the very first meeting. So, suddenly you’re creating connection, empathy and value from the very first interaction using social.

But increasingly, with all this mobile use, data and cognitive computing, predictive experiences where value that I didn’t realize I needed is offered up to me by the marketer. Amazon is actually inserting predictive algorithms that begin to ship what you ordered before you bought it. That is what I think the future holds.

Now, tell us how we can help