As the media landscape continues to splinter, staying on top of new and emerging digital media is a challenge for all CMOs. For Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Brand Officer of Visa, this challenge means that a digital mindset has to be integrated into the core of his company's marketing strategy, not easy for a business with as much history as Visa.
"The imperative has never been greater for us to better communicate the strengths, values and mission of Visa to our full range of stakeholders in an integrated way," says Lucio. "This meant that some structural changes needed to be made to set us up for success. We have made significant progress on this front, but it is a constantly evolving ecosystem, so our work is never done."
With many types of digital media available, each with its own set of rules, it can be hard to deliver a personalized message digitally that also has global appeal. Lucio and Visa found digital success by developing a strong foundation of social media that they constantly monitor and refine, and then leveraging emerging technology to deliver shareable, social experiences.
Social At The Core
For Lucio, embracing social media goes well beyond likes and retweets. He believes that we've entered "a social era that extends beyond any platform or community," and that "social is a mindset that empowers consumers and connects communities." Social media has become so important to reaching consumers that Visa bakes social strategy into the core of all their marketing instead of trying to create social extensions after the fact. "We strive to develop social-at-the-core campaigns by designing for share-ability and planning for conversations," says Lucio. "We invite consumers to drive the conversation while structuring our ecosystem to make sharing frictionless."
"Social media is a great equalizer in so many ways," Lucio continues. "It enables global brands like Visa - and myself personally - to stay close to customers in markets around the world." For Visa, understanding what's important to consumers and engaging them directly with media they understand is critical to remaining relevant.
Social Media Metrics
Although social media has many benefits, the difficulty of measuring social media's effect on sales has caused many CMOs to abandon the medium altogether. Lucio counters these concerns by using KPIs that measure digital performance instead of relying on traditional indicators like growth percentage and drawing tangential conclusions. "Our key performance metrics evolve to address changing dynamics in the industry," says Lucio. "For example, we recently added metrics to address social marketing which enable brands to build direct relationships with consumers. We closely track our progress and have timely and transparent accountability across leadership towards delivering against these business-driving KPIs."
Keeping a close eye on KPIs lets Visa know which new technologies are driving the best results, and helps them monitor a complicated mix of digital media.
Maximizing for Shareability
The shift to digitally focused campaigns brought opportunities for Visa that couldn't be achieved with traditional media. Lucio explains, "We want to ensure we are delivering unique and relevant experiences across all these screens by using the unique capabilities of the technology or platform the consumer is engaged with and delivering them a message that will interest them."
This focus on digital paid off for Visa with their recent #GoInSix campaign, which was optimized for mobile screens and rapid sharing, utilizing 6-word stories, 6-picture vignettes and 6-second films that let customers express their passions. This hit Visa's main positioning throughout the campaign of being the credit card for on-the-go-customers, and reached out to digital natives in a way that appealed to them.
The campaign was also highly measurable, delivering six times the number of earned impressions and over 10 times the number of engagements per post than industry standards. In an industry where being top-of-mind translates directly to consumers using the product, Visa started an organic conversation with their audience and gave their customers a unique and enjoyable experience. As Lucio says, "Through technology, we are better able to measure engagement with our brand and understand the impact of the experiences we are delivering to our customers." By tailoring their strategy to work with new technology, Visa showed that even an established brand can deliver relevant and engaging content.
In partnership with www.thecmoclub.com">http://www.thecmoclub.com">The CMO Club, The CMO of the Week series profiles CMOs who are shaping, changing and challenging the world of modern marketing. For Neisser's complete interview with CMO Award Winner Antonio Lucio, click http://bit.ly/1qJ5udr">here.