Understanding and Listening to Consumers


On last Friday at the Global Digital Marketing Summit, Ellen Hou, CEO of Carat China, and Carol Wu, Associate Director, Consumer Connection of Pernod Ricard China, on behalf of media agency and advertiser respectively, had a dialogue – “Understanding and Listening to Consumers”, on how to optimize the organization structure and work together to tackle the challenges and better communication with consumers in the digital economy.

Understanding and Listening to Consumers Understanding and Listening to Consumers Understanding and Listening to Consumers

Ellen Hou started with a question: "Carat has been committed to redefining media, and one of the prerequisites of redefining media is to redefine the organization structure. Carat has transformed from a traditional media agency to an agency with over 50% of the media spend is digital. In terms of digitalization, is there a similar goal for Pernod Ricard? "

Carol Wu said: "As a leading spirits brand in the global market including China, Pernod Ricard will need to adapt to the changes in the digital economy from organization structure, mindset to execution. First is our people. Digital Acceleration, especially the mindset is one of the eight strategies of Pernod Ricard Group. This will be achieved mainly through training and transformation of the organizational structure. In terms of organization structure, Pernod Ricard has transformed the former media team to Consumer Connection team. Although the people from this team are specialists in different areas, they still need to know all aspects about media and consumer connection, namely, they need to be a generalist as well.”

Carol then introduced the "Consumer Decision Journey" model co-launched by Pernod Ricard and Carat, in order to better understand consumers' decision-making and purchasing path through the use of big data, especially in the ecommerce area, it can target consumers with different creatives and optimize the media use. She also shared the great work done by Pernod Ricard China in live streaming and content cooperation.

Ellen Hou concluded: First, brands and agencies need to better understand consumers through research and data and leverage scenario marketing to bring change to consumer connection, and this change should start from within the organization. Second, always focus on people. Externally it’s about consumer at the core, and within the organization, we should create a culture of diversified talents and specialist + generalist. Third, be bold, innovate and collaborate. "To create change is to build influence internally and externally, which is the foundation for sustainable cooperation with our clients," she added. 

In addition, Ellen Hou also took part in the panel discussion of "Shift Happens: Math Men + Mad Men", moderated by Arlene Ang, Director, Google Marketing Solutions, Greater China and joined by Jane Lin-Baden, CEO of Isobar APAC & Tze Kiat Tan, CEO Greater China of BBDO as guests, on behalf of media agency, digital agency and creative agency, on how to strike a balance between data and creativity, rationality and sensibility. 

Ellen said: “data is the competitive strength of media agency. However, how to find a creative way to analyse data is more important in the ever-changing digital economy. Data brings us closer to people not only in what he does but also in what drives him to do so. Redefining media is not just about media channel but redefining the whole media ecosystem, in order to do that we need to redefine our organization, which is why we developed our own e-commerce, social and content teams from scratch to create business value for our clients.”

When talking about what kind of talent an organization needs, Ellen said, "curiosity is fundamental, and we also encourage our people to go beyong what they do as a job, e.g. understanding what creative and digital agency do, what new products technology companies such as Google has created, namely, knowing everything about something is not enough, you will need to know something about everything in the related field."

“Your consumers are changing every day, so treat your consumer as a new person every day. With the emerging new technologies and experience, there is no brand loyalty. Whether you work in a “math” world or “mad” world, you will need to keep redefining meaningful connections with your consumers”, she added. 

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