Brands must meet customer expectations to win

Senior marketing directors stressed that brand messages must appear where the customer is present and communications must be in line with customer expectations at an industry panel at the annula Marketing Forum.

Simon Carter
Simon Carter

Speaking at the session at the forum held on board the Aurora, the marketing directors that being future-focused and recognising customer needs is essential for both acquiring and retaining customers.

Will Abbott, marketing and communications director for Freesat, told the audience: “It’s about maintaining a point of difference and remaining future-focused. It’s important to recognise that you can’t just rely on one media to convey your messaging. You have to realise that users go online for their research, especially when they are looking for the best value.”

The panelists emphasised that marketing needs to move away from simply being attractive and feel good and instead reinforce the desires of their customers.

Alison Sagar, vice president of global network marketing strategy for American Express, commented: “The real challenge is to recognise and reinforce the consumer’s perspective of value and not just focus on the heritage of your brand and which celebrities can replicate that halo effect. We concioulsy switched our brand positioning to focus on the real values for customers and rebuild the value and trust they place in us, both in terms of rewards and our customer service offerings.”

However, such benefits can only be earned if the brands ensure that content is of a high quality and conveys a crystal clear message to customers that has been accepted within the company.

Simon Carter (pictured), marketing director for Fujitsu UK’s government division explained: “It must start from within and resonate from the frontline and back office staff. Once that has been achieved, it’s about associating with your customers and finding subtle ways to strike a dialogue with them, remembering that the customer doesn’t choose online or offline, they do both, and you ignore that fact at your peril.”

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