Här är den stora hemligheten för att digitalisera marknadsavdelningen.

Bilindustrins Digitala Transformering – ha ha ha ha.

Den digitala transformeringen är inte alltid så enkel.

Vi köpte nyligen en ny tysk bil. Med bilen följde en digital tjänst som såg bra ut. På deras webb fanns det 3-4 påkostade videos som beskrev massa coola funktioner; Uppkopplingar till sociala medier, läsa epost. Smarta ”remote services” som att sätta på värmaren, kolla om bilen är låst.
Sagt och gjort. Snabbt in via mobilen för att registrera mig. Omöjligt att hitta registreringen via mobilen….suck.
Byter till PC, hittar registreringen. Jag börjar fylla i formuläret. Sie brauchen die sju sista siffrorna i chassinumret…

– Va? Chassienummer, OK, Ut i bilen. Upp med handskfacket (ett underbart ord från bilens barndom för att inte tala om kofångare).

– Scheise, på registreringsbeviset finns inget som heter chassinummer. Chansar på Identifikationsnummer. I

In i huset igen. Sätter mig vid datorn igen.

-OK prövar med de sju sista siffrorna i Identifikationsnumret

– Katjing, Inne.

Jetz brauchen Sie die kontrollnummer som skickats till bilen.

-Va? Skickat numret till bilen??? Puckon…Ut igen.

Fotar kontrollnumret, In i huset igen. Registrerar kontrollnumret. Funkar inte. Loggar in igen. OK nu funkar det.

-Äntligen. Kul att se viskar jag nöjt till mig själv.

Klickar på menyn: Konfigurera tjänster. Menyn fälls ut. Konstigt nog finns det bara ett val. Mina ögon flackar över hela skärmen och i syfte att identifiera alla sköna tjänster. Men i koboltbått lyser bara två ord…Battery Guard.

– Battery Guard, No, No, No, No.

Det enda som finns är att jag kan få ett meddelande om batteriet i min nya bil börjar bli urladdat. Ridå!

Skärmavbild 2014-09-14 kl. 11.12.45

Googlar uppgivet efter svar. Hittar att om du inte köpt BMW Navigation för 22 900 kr så funkar inte remote services. Herregud.

Vilka av följande ord är det som BMWs digitala strateger inte fattar? Frihet, enkelhet, inlåsning, prenumeration, proprietär,lönsamhet.

Att köpa en ny bil är inledningsvis en av de sämsta affärer man gör. Men det är en annan historia. Det är illa nog men att betala 22 900 för en navigator i bilen. Alternativet är Tom-Tom i min Android kostar 499kr.

-Hmm tänk, tänk, tänk vilken ska jag välja?

BMW är 45ggr dyrare och SÄMRE.

I den digitala transformeringen vill vi kunder att ha friheten att logga in med våra egna ”devices”. Skärmen i bilen ska naturligtvis vara en öppen browser som ger människor möjligheten att koppla upp valfria applikationer. BMW kan ju med fördel erbjuda en katalog av digitala tjänster som jag naturligtvis är superintresserad av att prenumerera på. Naturligtvis utan bindningstid.

– BMW Navigation 79kr månaden, anyone?, You bet.

– TV via nätet. Coolt. (kanske inte när man kör)

– Skype, Spotify,

– Livechat, mfl mfl

Jag trodde, enfaldig som jag är, att ovanstående exempel var från en svunnen tid. Tyvärr inte.
Istället för att lägga ned alla miljarder på att utveckla proprietära gränssnitt och hårdvara vore det en välsignelse om de anställde lite modernare digitala strateger som väljer att börja med en bra kundupplevelse. Det skapar nöjdare kunder och jag slår vad om att intäkterna från prenumerationer skulle överträffa intäkterna från idiotiskt överprisade tjänster med en fantasiljon Euro rakt in i kassavalvet i München.

Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 11 of 100: “Are You Handling the multi-billion dollar suicide pact between clients and television?”

I read this morning’s news and am horrified by the return of the Cold War. How could we be so naïve? I am stunned by how an entire aeroplane can disappear in the era of the Internet of Things. Over to Mashable: The first robot firefighter is tested by the US Navy. Cool! Turkey’s prime minister closes Twitter and YouTube down during the election gets the hashtag #DictatorErdoğan. I wonder what will happen if Aereo wins against the TV broadcasters in the Supreme Court. I read about the world’s most connected man, Chris Dancy. Over to news from the advertising industry: Some new Golden Key winners – are these the locksmiths’ very own awards? Winner of The Farm reality series revealed – oh, no. When you read our industry’s news it seems almost like we are trying to sustain the world’s best mechanical calculator*, that is, the advertising industry, if you understand the old-fashioned analogy.

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We are in the middle of a digital transformation that is fundamentally changing how we live and work, and how we advertise.

The digital transformation of the advertising industry requires innovative and strong leadership. We are nearing a moment when we will be able to tailor a specific message to a specific person at a specific time. It is not about trying to improve your online presence or updating your mobile apps. It is about changing the very essence of our business.

Advertising agencies will need to make many strategic choices over the coming years. Which road will you take?

  1. Handling the multi-billion dollar suicide pact between clients and television”, as Seth Godin so eloquently put it. The “pact” may continue to be profitable for many years, but it means customers will continue to pay for it with ever-lower efficiency. There are clearly powerful vested interests at work resisting the transformation. That’s why it will be possible to survive through traditional advertising for many years to come.
  2. Adapting communication and agencies to the digital transformation of marketing. It is almost certainly the only way. But it is by no means an easy way. It is extremely difficult to determine exactly when a technology is mature. Very few outside the technology industry would have lost by not investing in CRM. New technologies require new skills and training programmes. Many of the new technologies that are launched will fail. Many clients are stuck in their old structures.

The digital transformation is mainly about how to digitize and create:

New Customer Experiences – New Processes – New Business Models.

New Customer Experiences.

Here are some of the enormous opportunities the advertising industry has to create new digitized customer experiences:

  • Use data to simplify the customer’s everyday life through new information-based services.
  • Combine e-commerce with physical customer meetings.
  • Transform company’s services into experience-based customer journeys.
  • Create new digital store experiences.
  • Allow customers to be co-creators of value.
  • Take on the challenges for the mobile consumer.
  • Create and talk about the new image-building touchpoints.

New Processes

We are moving towards a future where the new agency works the right way.

  • The creative process will never be the same. Processes like co-creation mean that the creative process now looks beyond the agency.
  • We are going to see an iterative and evidence-based working method where the consumer is a co-actor.
  • Brands are no longer built through advertising but by customer experiences that people talk about.
  • Real-time communication will be decisive.
  • There will be a complete digitization of the interaction between agency and client.
  • Roles are changing and all intermediaries are slipping away.
  • Service development will become a natural segment of the agency.
  • Digital tools will make it possible for us to optimize communication instead of guessing or speculating. Constant testing will become one of our critical processes.
  • Real-time dialogue and measuring the effectiveness of our communication can lead to a new golden age for the advertising industry.

New business models

Talking about new business models with media houses is obviously like forcing your way through an open door. But advertising agencies and marketing departments will be at least as vulnerable as before.

  • New, smart, cloud-based services are going to swamp our industry. (Shutterstock turns over SEK 1.5 billion.)
  • Communication will be integrated with products and services.
  • We are going to buy more ready-made products when we create communicative solutions.
  • “Content” syndication will create new business opportunities with media companies.
  • Because market impact measurement will become ever more accurate, new ways of charging will become a reality.
  • Lean agencies that need staff will use crowd-sourcing, like Genius Rocket.
  • Customer channel, meaning that customers themselves will become the most important channel, and will want to be paid.
  • Technological solutions that manage and streamline personalized messages via all the brand’s channels.
  • Production is sourced where it is most effective. We are already facing increasingly tough competition from off-shore companies.
  • Do-it-yourself services will shift production to the client.
  • Information from the Internet of Things will create new services.
  • The possibility of putting together bespoke, virtual teams for the client will turn the whole agency concept on its head.

In our Agency of the Future survey, 75 percent of CMOs agree that the Agency of the Future is extremely willing to change. Indeed, this change readiness is #1 for CMOs.

Not strange at all.

One thing is clear. It has never been more fun to work in the advertising industry.

Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 5 of 100:”Will the brand continue to be one of a company’s most important assets?”

Question 5 of 100: Will the brand continue to be one of a company’s most important assets?

Modern society is being digitalized at breakneck pace. This digitalization is fundamentally changing how we do business. So we thought we should include a few questions on the future role of the brand in our Agency of the Future survey.BANNER_theagencyofthefuture_sv

Brands are a deeply-rooted human need and have played a key role in the story of human development.

For millennia man has used his “brand” to illustrate origin or content. In ancient markets pictograms were used to describe goods to an illiterate consumer group. The first patenting and trademark laws were created in Renaissance Italy.

But brands really came to the fore during industrialization. In 1899, what most consider to be the “first multi-million dollar ad campaign” was created for the Uneeda Biscuit. The agency N. W. Ayer & Son created an integrated campaign containing the product name, a symbol (the little boy in a raincoat), pioneering packaging and a slogan. This campaign completely changed our view of brands. And throughout the 20th century brands became ever stronger and more important.

But numerous corporate scandals, unbridled greed, environmental disasters and mega bonuses have left public confidence in global brands almost fatally weakened and replaced by contempt.

In our “Agency of the Future” survey just about everyone (93 percent) agreed that brands would become one of a company’s most important assets. Belief in brands is still huge. That’s maybe not news, but when we dig a little deeper we find that today’s CMOs have a completely new view of how to create brands. Four phenomena seem to stand out:

1. Co-creation as a working method
Companies will be helped by their customers to build brands through co-creation. Their brands will be further enhanced by dialogue and exchanges with their customers, both on- and off-line. This week I had a customer workshop. What was absolutely clear was that their picture of a brand is the sum of all their customer experiences, both good and bad.

2. Credibility and reliability replace excess
In the new transparent world, the way we communicate brands is changing. In the past, brands often presented customers with an unrealistic dream. Today, three out of four CMOs say that a brand’s core values must include credibility and reliability.

3. Traditional TV commercials will disappear
With TV advertising still being huge, it is perhaps remarkable that only one out of ten respondents believe that TV will continue to be the dominant brand building channel. Perhaps their responses were a way of expressing an awareness of how TV viewing habits have changed. Today’s viewers no longer sit and follow the TV schedule as they used to, leading to the demise of the traditional TV commercial.

4. Brand building has moved to social media
As ever more virals flash before our eyes, it would seem that the move to social media has already taken place. The advertising war is no longer being fought out in traditional media. But the challenge remains the same: to stand out from the crowd. And today’s recipe for guaranteed advertising success is quite obvious: connect your brand with one of our pop cultural icons.

In fact, the move has only just begun.

Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 4 of 100:”Will customers have access to information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel?”

Question 4 of 100: Will customers have access to information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel?
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I am starting to really enjoy these discussions about the agency of the future. One particular topic has started to concern me. There seem to be quite a lot of strong opinions about the ability to change within our industry. One group sees us as “captains that stoically follow the ship into the deep”, whereas another believes that the advertising industry has an “improvise-adapt-overcome” attitude. Whatever, we are going to talk more about this later in this series. Now, going back to today’s question.

82 percent of CMO´s agree strongly or very strongly that customers want to have information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel.

This is one of the questions that has generated most consensus. That’s what makes it so important. We all recognise the needs of the mobile consumer: on the move, searching round the clock for information, wanting it from anywhere and everywhere. Via a second screen in front of the TV, via a smartphone in the supermarket or integrated into the refrigerator at home.

I think we need to agree that this is fact and this is what we need to focus on?

Important thing is what  we need to do, when it comes to adapting to these new demands? How should agencies and marketing departments reorganize and approach this new marketing? This new marketing that is no longer reliant on campaigns or the campaign mindset?

We are too slow.

It is clear that we need to find new organizational forms. We have to realize that we are too slow. Too slow at understanding consumers’ needs and clients’ problems; too slow at communicating with the customer. So it’s only logical that marketing managers prefer to work from their own departments, where with social media they can generate lightening-speed dialogue between brands and consumers.

Marketing organizations have always run the risk of producing nonsense, when the complexity of a system creates its own version of Chinese Whispers.

Consumer > Client > Planner > Project manager > Creative > Producer

In the worst cases, you can enter whatever need you like into one end of the chain and from the other end you’ll get a solution that is, not only a million miles from the need, but one that also took an eternity to pass through the system. This is not all the fault of agencies. Some of the blame also lies with clients’ reluctance to pay to achieve understanding of the problem. Their reluctance to pay for creativity. But this could easily be changed by introducing new pricing models.

We are too short sighted.

At the same time, we are also much too shortsighted. Too impatient to invest the time needed to create customer experiences built on investment, technology, innovation and a long-term approach. We are beginning to understand that CMOs have a real and significant need for a new way of developing products and services, one that hinges on communication. This will lead to a new type of agency, I can assure you.

We lack the right skills.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is to find the right blend of competence that can mix communication, professionalism, customer value and technology into a successful cocktail. Lots of today’s agencies and marketing departments lack the skills and competence to address the new marketing. The new competence is not exactly easy to find either.

Yes, there’s a lot to do. But I like a challenge.

Important follow-up questions: Have today’s marketing and advertising colleges and universities managed to adapt to the new marketing? Is a new generation of advertising professionals ready to tackle the new marketing about to graduate?

We need to find out. And then to start dealing with it. Any volunteers?

 

Question 5 of 100: Will brands continue to be one of a business’s most important assets? Let’s look at that next time.

 

 

Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 3 of 100:”Are a lack of time and the desire to live a less complicated life the decisive drivers of the customer of the future?”

Question 3 of 100: Are a lack of time and the desire to live a less complicated life the decisive drivers of the customer of the future?

Although our Agency of the Future survey is not a consumer study, we have asked CMO’s  a number of questions about what they think will drive the consumers of the future.BANNER_theagencyofthefuture_sv

We previously reported that 80 percent of these managers consider their clients to be their most important advertising channel. So what will drive their future consumers? When we look at value surveys like Sweden Study*, we are told that our fundamental values will change very little. But if we look at society as a whole, almost everything is going to change, and significantly.

A few years ago we put together a focus group of Swedish consumers and discussed customer loyalty schemes. You know, the old style comprising a card, points collection and a tiny financial bonus. When we asked about the reward, the group was completely unanimous in dismissing the importance of the paltry reward outright.

So we asked: “Why have you still got that worthless little card in your wallet then? Why haven’t you thrown it away?”

The answer that slowly emerged, after much careful questioning, was:

“It makes life easier!”

They said that this ridiculous little card simplified their lives. Despite the fact that the reward was humiliatingly small, the card was the symbol of a whole way of shopping that saved time! You got simplified payment, easy tracking of your collated invoices, and no less important, you knew your way around the store and didn’t have to go looking for all your different purchases.

In our survey, 72 percent agreed strongly or very strongly that lack of time and a desire for a more simple life will be the key drivers of tomorrow’s customers.

But so much of the technology we use today is so complicated. Has anyone worked out a truly simple way to use their mobile in the car yet? No, not if we’re honest. Or a foolproof way to remember all your dozens of passwords? Didn’t think so. Get voice control to actually work? Hah, be honest.

If the marketing managers are right, technological development is going to focus on the customer’s desire for a life less complicated. It doesn’t take too much imagination to predict that the mobile phone of the future will become your smart and totally-customized personal assistant. It will know what brands you like, what you’re interested in and it will record your behavior. The more you use it, the more it will learn about you. In the future, I will definitely be able to answer open questions, like: “Where can a buy a nice new shirt?”

Your future mobile will then consult different databases that know what you like and don’t like, be aware of when exactly you are going to need it and then show you five great-looking shirts that fit perfectly — because it will have calculated in your Christmas excesses!

Delivery and payment are done. No queues, no changing rooms and hassle-free payment.

To offer simplicity in a complex world may well be seen as the new luxury. Luxury in the future might no longer be opulence. Fewer features; fewer benefits. Instead, luxury will be about not having to waste time wading through an array of options.

Maybe this is not a vision of the future?

Maybe simplicity already is the new luxury?

Question 4 of 100: Will customers have access to information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel?

We can talk about that next time.

Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 2 of 100:”What attitudes and values do you take with you to work?”

Question 2 of 100: What attitudes and values do you take with you to work?

Nowadays, the overwhelming majority of business managers place great emphasis on their customers and on customer strategies. However what is more difficult is ensuring customer focus receives equal emphasis throughout an organization. If you look at the results of the latest values in the workplace ranking, customer satisfaction sits in place 55. I know, astounding!BANNER_theagencyofthefuture_sv

Sweden Study (Sverigestudien*) is an annual study of Swedes’ values and attitudes in the workplace. Our personal values don’t differ as much as we might imagine, but when it comes to our workplace values, they tend to be a touch more dynamic. And our findings are unfortunately somewhat bleak. Cost-cutting is the value that most strongly reflects modern culture in our workplaces. But attitudes like confusion, bureaucracy and short-sightedness can be found pretty high up on the list.

But what stands out most of all, is: Where is the customer?

Customer satisfaction comes 55th on our list of priority values in the workplace. When you ask about desired values, or attitudes, customer satisfaction comes in 47th place! Pure comedy!

Comparing our values internationally is to rub salt in the wound. On top of the fact that a number of countries place customer satisfaction first, our neighbours in Finland put it second. Sheer tragedy. (See table below.)

Table 8: Customer satisfaction ranking; an international comparison

Country Existing culture Desired culture
Sweden 55 47
Australia 1 3
Canada 1 2
Denmark 9 10
France 7 9
Finland 2 2
UK/North West 1 1
USA 1 3
Iceland 13 2

 

It does make one wonder just what exactly are the values and attitudes of Sweden’s advertising agencies. Do you have customer focus when you go to work?

Our industry seems to contain two contrasting views of customer focus. On the one hand, a great many agencies provide their clients with an incredibly high level of service and deliver campaigns involving timeframes and conditions that are almost impossible to achieve – which is great. But at the same time, it is not uncommon to hear agency staff talking about their clients in a superior and even condescending fashion. My client’s too scared; our client doesn’t understand. Perhaps this attitude is most apparent when agency staff don’t make enough effort — or simply can’t be bothered — to understand a client’s customers or business model.

The distribution of creativity is changing the advertising industry’s customer focus. In terms of changes in the advertising industry, the distribution of creativity is one of the things that is changing most. We are entering a new creative era where the successful brands of tomorrow are created by a combination of customers’ own experiences and their countless conversations both with other customers and with the brand; online and off.

82 percent state that the customer is the company’s most important marketing channel. In our Agency of the Future* survey 82 percent of respondents agreed, either strongly or to a large degree, with the statement: “The customer is our company’s most important marketing channel.” This changes a lot. Not only how we view creativity, but it also means that everyone at an agency has to understand their clients’ customers. Now customer focus is not merely desirable, it is absolutely critical.

If we become better at recognizing the values we take with us to our work, maybe we can begin to better understand just which values we need to change in order to create the agency of the future.

Which values did you take to with you to work today? Which will you take with you tomorrow?

Question 3 of 100: Are a lack of time and the desire to live a less complicated life the decisive drivers of the customers of the future?

We’ll talk about that next time.

100 Questions for the Agency of the Future

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 At a time when we have the power to change just about everything in marketing, there is a marked lack of vision and direction. The time has come to start preparing to put that man on the moon …

My name is Christer Soelberg and I feel honored and excited that Resumé (largest newspaper – Marketing & Media in Scandinavia)  have asked me to write a blog on the agency of the future. But I must make it clear straightaway that I do not consider myself to be some sort of soothsayer or visionary and I will not be using this blog to promote my own ideas or opinions. Rather, I aim to channel the collective energy and knowledge of advertising Sweden.

So this blog will concern the 100 questions we need to ask in order to create the agency of the future. Or, to be more precise, the 100 questions we have already asked. During the autumn of 2013, we asked Sweden’s 2000 leading marketing managers a range of questions about how they saw the future. However, this survey was merely the starting point of a Co-Creation project in which we will discuss and develop ideas concerning the agency of the future; in cooperation with Sweden’s marketing managers and agencies, throughout 2014.

We will be conducting surveys, holding workshops and creating idea communities. I hope this blog will be an open and honest attempt to describe the project as we go along and to share its findings. Over the course of the year, the editorial team will dedicate further investigation and analysis to several of the issues arising.

So I plan to ask questions, listen carefully to responses and make use of the wealth of knowledge and ideas emanating from marketing managers, creative, researchers and, most of all, Sweden’s consumers. Which questions should we ask? Well, here are a few obvious

question areas:

• How should the agency understand and deal with new technology in a way that achieves business results?

• How do we build tomorrow’s brand when consumers are turning their backs on advertising?

• How do we adapt to the new consumer decision journey?

• How do we create insights from a sea of data and advanced analytical tools?

• How do we get your customers to talk about your products and services?

• How will the agency of the future be organized?

• How do we objectively measure the business benefits of this new marketing?

• What type of creativity is needed by the marketing departments of the future?

• Will social media and the mobile phone be the primary communication channels?

• How do we need to change the education and training of tomorrow’s agency

professionals?

I believe advertising is of the utmost importance. At its best, it is powerful, intelligent and engages competitive intelligence. In its worst form, it dumbs down, is boring, unprofitable and decimates people’s free time. My Christmas season’s overconsumption of old and new media has unfortunately left me with an overdose of the latter. But we can change that. Bill Gates apparently said: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” Well, one thing is absolutely certain: the agency of the future needs to be incredibly flexible. Right, let’s get started.

Question 1 of 100: Do today’s advertising agencies successfully adapt their offerings to the digital age?

We will talk about that next time.