Marketing Insights From the World's Biggest Brands

This entrepreneur got a few insights from over 100 marketing leaders from the biggest brands in the world.

I recently attended the Incite Marketing Summit, a gathering of more than 100 marketing and communications executives from the biggest brands in the world. This summit delivered discussions in a panel format with advice about building unique customer experiences, achieving success over multi-channel, tracking ROI and more. Here are a few of the top findings from an eBook summarizing the 2013 Incite Marketing Summit.

Don't ask customers what they want; ask them which they want.

This insight shared by CCO Nicki Briggs from Chobani Yogurt demonstrated that asking the right questions, rather than providing a blank page, can be more productive when developing customer-centric products. Briggs found that posing either/or questions was far more productive when generating customer feedback. It seems as though a few constraints can foster creativity with customer-led product offerings.

They may buy the product, but they stay for the story.

Bill Tolany from Whole Foods shared observations learned from maintaining a close attention to storytelling. As a close second to delivering great products and experiences, enhancing the overall customer experience with powerful brand stories creates a deeper emotional connection with customers. Brands that start with why their movement is meaningful have a tendency to build fanatical customer bases.

Don't blindly follow channels.

Michelle Klein, VP of Global Marketing at Smirnoff, found that industry standards regarding marketing channels aren't always true. For example, a widely-accepted rule for success with retail brands has been building email marketing lists. Klein found at Smirnoff that social media channels and experiential events have been exponentially more powerful than email marketing when driving brand engagement. There are very few best practices in digital marketing, so be sure to experiment instead of simply settling for industry standards that might not provide the best results for your brand.

Break the boundaries, not the rules.

Managing the delicate balance between breaking boundaries and rules is an art that can drive incredible success for marketers at large brands. Robin Rotenberg from BASF suggests getting started by finding out "which rules are unbreakable, and which are actually just boundaries waiting to be challenged." Understand the unbreakable rules at your organization, and use them as a filter to push the boundaries and inspire change when evolving your digital marketing campaigns.

Drink the other team's beer.

For obvious reasons, this nugget of advice happens to be my favorite. Dan Lewis of Molson Coors fosters collaboration between teams by reminding the teams that they need to drink each other's beers. Lewis has found that this simple and particularly enjoyable task maintains a culture of collaboration from the CEO to the lower ranks. After all, who doesn't want to collaborate after a few beers?

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