From a pandemic into a renaissance of human-centred digital experiences

Angela Tangas, Chief Executive Officer at dentsu ANZ

The pandemic has resulted into acceleration of new ways of thinking and creativity.

This offers a prime opportunity for brands to combine an evolved understanding of their customer base with powerful technology and design truly customer-centric experiences.

The 2nd Renaissance: The Pandemic, Technology and Human Creativity was hosted by Merkle.

Sitecore and Salesforce gathered some of Australia’s top business and marketing leaders to explore key themes on the intersection of technology and human-centred experiences.

Technology and human experiences

The digital touch is the human touch

Designing transformative and human-centric customer experiences, enabled by technology

Connectography’ curates culture

Nurturing creativity and experimenting with risk-taking behaviour can occur successfully within an organisation with the right approach

Diversity drives disruptive innovation

Building innovation intersections between divergent thinkers, focused on customer outcomes.

Green swans are emerging

Finding ways to generate more than twice the results with half the planetary impact, to account for the growing trend of conscious consumption.

Reality is evolving

Having to re-design and digitally verifying brand stories, as a continuum.

The 2nd Renaissance’s discussants

Angela Tangas, Chief Executive Officer, dentsu ANZ

“Different brands are on different pathways depending on by their maturity curve for transforming customer experiences. Strategies should not be a big bang, but a journey.”

“There is a tension point in that not every company has a huge budget, and there is a big onus on Chief Marketing Officers in order to maximise their investments while continuing to grow their customer base in meaningful ways to really drive customer lifetime value.

“It comes to where you are, what building blocks are required and what’s the best pathway.”

“At dentsu, we are getting quite inventive around what good commercial models look like so as to support our clients’ investment curve and to unlock that potential now and in the future.”

“This is in order to further the trust between our client’s brands and their customers.”

“Our own dentsu intelligence has facilitated us in showing that it is emotion, more than facts, that will eventually determine the speed of recovery for brands post-COVID.”

“The way consumers view trust in brands is the key currency as 40% of clients consider their trust in a brand as a more important factor in their purchasing decision than a year ago.”

Jo Gaines, Area Vice President, Salesforce Digital360

“There are lots of options to shop and have brand experiences, but consumers are looking for options that they can trust to be personalised and careful with their personal data.”

“The great thing about technology and always-on digital is that brands can keep having conversations with customers in a really meaningful way, but trust has to be there.”

Oonagh Flanagan, CMO, Funlabs

“For Funlabs, we had focused on these amazing experiences in our venues.”

“However, we had not thought about bringing the very best of those physical experiences into the digital realm – before customers came through our doors or afterwards.”

“As a result of the pandemic, 25% of revenue from online bookings pre-pandemic jumped to 65% overnight and we knew very quickly that the journey wasn’t optimised.”

“Right now, we are currently working very closely with Merkle in seeking to optimise that journey so as to make this booking process as seamless and frictionless as possible.”

“We have developed a whole roadmap to fast track the digital experience piece over the next 18 months for our website and into our analogue experiences, which is very exciting.”

Anders Sorman-Nilson, Futurist

“Technology is now enabling us to focus less on the menial and the mundane. Instead, we are being facilitated to be liberated and tune into the meaningful and the humane.”

“I therefore believe that all innovation undertaken today needs to be purpose-led and that we as purpose-led capitalists urgently need to meet the conscious consumer.”

“From extensive research, we now know that recessions and plagues have a tendency to lead to baptisms of fire for new business models, new creativity and new brands.”

“For example, Airbnb and Uber arose out of the recent recession in America.”

“The likes of Taobao, Alibaba and emerged as the Chinese found themselves emerging from the SARS epidemic and found themselves overtaking America in terms of eCommerce.”

“Currently, we are at the dawn of the emergence of a brand new style of human creativity and these innovations will be boosted by technology and new ways of thinking.”

Blair Cooke, Managing Director, Merkle Australia

“I really love the concept of a second Renaissance as it facilitates a sense of optimism off the back of =all =the challenges = we’ve lived through =in the last couple of years.”

“It also highlights an urgency to act. Now is not the time for complacency and whatever roles we play in life, the events of the last couple of years have given us the opportunity to be a little more creative, look at things a little differently and, most importantly, take action.”

Steve Hawkes, COO, APAC and Japan, Sitecore

“Digital is the most dominant form of brand and human interaction in the pandemic.”

“Corporations are rushing to ensure that they provide existing and potential clients with the right digital experiences to ensure that they build their e-commerce businesses.”

Real-time customer experience platforms, optimised content on websites and apps, and leveraging innovations in the cloud, AI, and machine learning to support marketing automation and personalisation, are quickly becoming must-have parts of any business growth strategy.”