More than 150 C-Level marketers gathered at the 14th annual Forbes CMO Summit in Southern California to examine the reality, challenges and opportunities of CMOs at the center of business, cultural and societal shifts.¹
Top four takeaways from the event:
- Past and future success will depend on continuous innovation fueled by data and technology that are predicated by new and existing customer expectations
- Customers are not thinking about advertising channels, they are just shopping, so consider a holistic approach that engages and delights them and they will be loyal
- Strive to create a unique and customized experience between merchants and customers
- Quality consumer targeting is only as good as the data used to reach them —not all data is created equal
Visa products highlighted
Visa Advertising Solutions and Visa Commerce Network were spotlighted in an on-stage discussion between Visa's Chief Brand and Innovation Marketing Officer, Chris Curtin, and Forbes' Janett Haas. Chris shared work that has been done to evolve the Visa brand and how Visa is helping the leading brands in the QSR space, such as Dunkin', and other industries, identify new audiences, create incredible customer experiences and drive brand preference.
In this year's topic, "Taking the Brand Experience from Transactional to Transformational," Chris and Janett talked about the evolution of Visa's iconic brand over the past 60 years. Visa has grown beyond simply a payments platform and built out Visa Advertising Solutions and Visa Commerce Network businesses that provide robust audience targeting, data solutions and analytics tools for marketers. As Chris put it, "…we don't want to just celebrate the past, but be fueled by the past."
Bringing this to life, Chris talked about how the conversations Visa has with banks and merchants are about the value Visa can bring through insights and data. One such case study was Visa's work with Dunkin'. Janett started, "people might assume folks who are do-it-yourselfers at home would tend to brew their own coffee, but not so. The heaviest spenders at Dunkin' locations index 2x on home improvement compared with the national average! And they tend to spend more on home improvement in the hour just before a coffee purchase."² Looking around the room, one could see the attendees' minds racing as they thought about the Dunkin' data points, and how they might apply similar learnings to their businesses.
Given where Visa sits in the marketplace, Janett asked Chris how Visa was helping brands better understand their new and existing customers. Chris discussed the strength of Visa Commerce Network and the value it is bringing to merchants. "For big retailers, many leverage the program to incentivize new customers with discounts and 40 percent of customers that go through the program end up being new to the merchant."
Expanding on the value that this kind of data can bring, Chris dove into other merchant opportunities like card-linked advertising and the impact that it has on the user-experience for companies like Uber. "As part of the Visa Commerce Network, Uber riders can receive unique offers and deals from merchants that Uber works with." He later talked about the "surprise and delight" moment at the point of sale that helps to foster unique and personalized interactions between brands and their customers.³
The discussion pivoted toward addressing how powerful Visa transaction data is, given where it comes from, and how it could be used, not only in terms of reach, but also in terms of customization of marketing initiatives to the consumer. As Chris put it, "we are trying to reach everyone, everywhere —but in a tailored and smart way." 4
Looking toward the crowd, a question was raised about Visa's view of companies in the Fintech space. Chris answered, "Visa would rather work with Fintech than compete with them. We want to ensure every party of the ecosystem succeeds, and Visa plays a key role in that. We have the Visa Everywhere Initiative that supports startups through grants and guidance. We want to support—we don't want to pick winners and losers."
Janett closed the session by asking Chris to explain 'the floor is now the ceiling,' a statement which Team Visa Olympic athlete, Ashton Eaton, stands by (a concept brought up in the previous night's co-hosted dinner interview with Ashton). Chris elaborated by saying that "Ashton has taught us to be better corporate athletes and set the bar higher and higher."