Asda reveals digital marketing insights
At the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing's annual Northern Conference held at the University of Bradford, Asda's head of corporate communications and social media gave new insights into the company's digital strategy, explaining how businesses can exploit online channels to improve customer experiences and engagement.
The event explored the theme of 'The Power of Marketing' and reflected on the past 100 years of marketing, starting with keynote speeches from Dominic Burch (head of corporate communications for Asda) and Jonathan Rigby (head of marketing for Manchester United).
The opening speech from Burch looked at how businesses can exploit the online space to improve customer experience, connect with consumers, and ultimately bring them closer to the brand.
Burch observed that the 'listening' element of digital communications is the most crucial. Whether this is replying to customer's tweets or featuring customers on the Asda website, bringing customers closer to the Asda brand has been at the heart of the company's digital strategy. By improving transparency, flexibility and engagement, Mr Burch is certain that the company's work online has contributed to the bottom line.
Burch explained, "The aim of our digital journey was to tell our story to customers and lift the lid on how we do things at Asda. We wanted to insert ourselves into our customers' conversations by bringing our personality alive online. The old rules no longer apply - we have succeeded in the digital space by being a connector, not a collector. It's about conversation, not broadcast."
Burch offered marketers top tips for success in the online space. He highlighted how Asda is using customer views to bring its Chosen by You range to life; seeing other customers that they can relate to getting excited about the products online has helped to drive sales. He also stressed the importance of creating communities, whether this is using social media or other channels. Passing control of social media to local teams, rather than having a static, centralised approach helped to develop real, local communities online.
Jonathan Rigby, head of marketing for Manchester United, and Professor Malcolm McDonald, marketing professor and author, also gave keynote speeches. Rigby emphasised to delegates the importance of having a clear understanding of their organisations' broader business strategy, and ensuring that measures are in place to evaluate the results, whilst also highlighting some of the non commercial work that the club does. McDonald focused on the exceptional value add that professional marketers bring to industry and called for the delegates to fight for greater recognition amongst the business community. The conference also heard from a number of other marketing experts, on issues ranging from creativity to pitching, as well as sector-specific advice.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is an international professional marketing body with members worldwide, established in 1911. The institute aims to maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners by providing qualifications and training globally.