The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Anna-Roisin Ullman-Smith, Journalist

March 2, 2015 | 4 min read

Digital chiefs at Adidas, Barclays and Nectar discussed how digital convergence is affecting the sportswear, banking and retail sectors while speaking at The Drum's Digital Convergence conference.

Mark Brayton, marketing director at Barclay’s, Alexander Matt, senior director of brand communications at Adidas, ans global strategy director at Aimia INC, Scott Seaborn spoke to The Drum about how their companies were changing to suit increasingly digital consumers.

Talking about banking in the digital era, Mark Brayton said that the convergence of digital had a huge bearing on the banking industry.

"Our big focus at Barclays is making sure we leave no one behind and help everyone through that transfer into digital," he explained.

“Within marketing interaction it’s all about looking at lots of different touch points, how do we join these up in a really strategic way, how do we focus on making the best brand impact, and brand experience for our customers and clients.”

Alexander Matt from Adidas talked about new difficulties when trying to keep consumers interest and getting them to buy for Adidas over other sportswear stores. He said; “The blurring worlds of digital and analogue change a lot for us, they change everything actually - the way we do business and of course the way we do marketing - and it pushes us a lot to become much more consumer centric because the consumer today, the global consumer, they can select from all brands, all kinds of brands, all over the world.

“If you don’t inspire them, if you don’t come up with something exciting, you’re not interesting anymore, and the consumer expects us to entertain, every day, every hour, every minute.”

Adidas has recently opened newsrooms all over the world, including Tokyo and Shanghai, and have started to work with colleagues, Matt continued; “We opened offices with colleagues, who actually help us to try for conversation every day, every hour, and really stay close to the consumers.”

Talking about how the digital conversion is putting new pressure on customer service, Aimia INC's Seaborn, said; “Everything’s kind of converging on mobile, and for retailers that does mean things like; communicating with their customers in store, customer services near the store and relevancy when they’re not near the store.

“A lot of that kind of comms tend to circle with around push-messaging. So from our perspective we’re looking to make business more personal and I think this is all part of that, so we’re conducting significant research studies globally in many countries about push messaging, finding out what people like and what they don’t like.

“We’re also very concerned about sending the wrong message at the wrong time, which can have a much worse effect then advertising interrupting you, and I think this is going to be the big challenge as we all try and work out how to create a service and make business more personal.

“It’s going to be about doing the right thing at the right time.”

The Digital convergence is affecting every company across the globe; the customer in this modern, digital, world has so much more choice than ever before, and can now look globally, not just nationally. Competition for clientele is no longer about just having the cheapest or the highest quality service, it’s also about having the best user interface and the best communications team. Each of the speakers touched upon this necessity during the event.

Barclays Nectar Aimia

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