Read below for John Woods’ recent interview with Janet Davies, Marketing Consultant and Digital Specialist. Janet continues to have an amazing career in both a permanent and interim capacity and has been responsible for transforming the marketing effectiveness of some of the world’s best known brands.
How did you get to the position you are in today?
I think I attribute my career success and longevity down to a few key things - sheer dogged persistence, eternal curiosity and a willingness to learn new things, a reputation for integrity and getting difficult jobs done.
Aside from strong technical knowledge, what do you see as the most essential skills for a digital marketing specialist?
The ability to understand customer behaviour with their hearts not just their heads. We have more hard information about customer behaviour than ever before but mixing that with real customer empathy is still what separates the average from the great marketeer.
What has been your greatest business success to date?
I’m not complacent about my achievements and know I have to keep on delivering better and smarter solutions all the time. If I was really pressed though, I’d say that I’m immensely proud of the groundbreaking work in customer information and campaign management that I led at American Express and how that fueled my drive for innovation and results that I’ve had in every role ever since.
What do you view as the biggest challenges in digital Marketing currently?
Keeping up with the ultra rapid changes in direction and opportunities that each new day brings - the growth of mobile and tablets, the dominance of Google and the amount of marketing investment it takes to keep up!
In your view, how can companies use digital channels to enhance their customer relationships?
Phew, how long have you got...? Involvement in order and transaction process- especially for home deliveries or click and collect services, bespoke offers and services based on preferences or location, instant discounts and voucher codes, invitations to events that automatically populate diaries and bring up weather and travel info, really to many to mention.
Could you comment on what businesses are doing well and not doing so well on?
Delivering value for customers whatever the channel is always the most important priority. Developing apps and social media campaigns that just deliver vanity metrics and don’t result in sales or service goals should be avoided, however, we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment or fail so long as we learn from our mistakes and triumphs and move on. I love my mobile banking, shopping and travel apps but I don’t want them to be so memory hungry that I have to delete half my existing apps to add new ones without having to upgrade my phone AGAIN.
Convenience vs. security – has the right balance been struck in respect of internet transactions?
Given the billions of transactions that occur perfectly safely and routinely every day, it’s a miracle more disasters don’t ensue. But unscrupulous people will always try to find a nick in our digital armour. We all have a continuing responsibility to be vigilant against fraud and criminal attacks but let’s keep it in perspective, the benefits outweigh the risks.
The digital take up for retail customers is growing rapidly. Is this the end of high street businesses?
No. ’People’ are always incorrectly predicting the end of something or other. It’s not the end. It’s the next exciting phase in retail strategy. I’m a woman, believe me I know that the exquisite buzz of a real shopping experience as opposed to a virtual one will never die!
What are the most exciting digital innovations on the horizon?
I’m curious about Google glass and whether it will evolve into something that doesn’t make us look like freaks so we’ll actually want to use it.
What can’t you live without?
Tea and my iPhone, in that order!
Janet can be contacted at:
Davies Development Services Ltd