Pioneering vision at the Digital Strategy Summit

Marketers need to reshape their approach to integrating on and offline channels or face losing customers to rivals, according to speakers at the Marketing Week 1-2-1 Digital Strategy Summit.

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Jay Altschuler, head of global communications planning at Unilever, says that brands should move from an interruption-based marketing model to an engagement-based communication model to drive engagement.

Altschuler says: “Unilever’s ambition is to be the best marketing company in the world, and to do that we have to be the best digital marketing company.”

He adds: “The twin trends of globalisation and a digitalisation feed off each other. We have to learn to be more nimble and tell the same brand stories through digital. It takes a pioneering vision to make it work and we had to make changes within our business mindset to reframe our thinking for the digital space.”

Other speakers at the Summit said consumers expect joined up thinking across online and offline channels but brands often struggle to get beyond “luggage tagging” media in different channels to achieve genuinely integrated campaigns.

Sonia Sudhakar, head of online marketing at Virgin Media, says: “Just because media looks the same, it doesn’t mean it’s integrated. There is a misconception that digital marketers aren’t as good at brand communications but marketers are becoming more hybrid so the silos will reduce.”

Other speakers at the interactive event included: Barclaycard global head of digital strategy and development Giles Dunning, Daniel Heaf, director of digital at BBC Worldwide and Richard Clark, head of online at Best Buy.

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