DigitasLBi’s new CRM hub has launched in to the market today (18 April) with a focus on building valuable relationships between brands and their consumers via ‘transformative’ new strategies. Drawing on the expertise of Kitcatt Nohr and Chemistry, the new division believes it can break category norms. The Drum caught up with the hub’s lead Hattie Whiting to find out more.
Can you explain the idea behind the hub and how it will operate?
We have managed to bring together Kitcatt Nohr and Chemistry, so two brands that have best in class CRM and customer data expertise and also credibility over many years. We’ve brought them together to give us scale, more people and a better mix of skills and we are combining them into DigitasLBi because we believe the future of CRM will rely on us being able to really create impactful experiences that are enabled by technology and data. We believe that DigitasLBI’s marketing and data capabilities mixed with the CRM and loyalty experience of Kicatt Nohr and Chemistry give a great jumping off point to do different work.
Will you be pitching in for new business or working on accounts from the wider DigitasLBi business?
We plan to do both. Over the next four to six weeks we will start to go to market with our new proposition and offering, that’s a watch this space at the moment. We are already pitching for scalable opportunities in the market and we are also starting to talk to those clients in DigitasLBi and also the wider Publicis Group clients about how our skills in CRM can help build bigger experiences for some of the brands we already work with.
For example, where there are clients that are already working with us on data driven programmatic media, being able to think about the customer experience right from the moment of acquisition to the brand to generate retention, development and a valuable relationship over time will give us a different way of helping brands build value.
Will the new hub result in any redundancies?
We have brought together the teams that we have already got and in fact we are augmenting the team now by aligning members of the technology and data teams with the CRM team, so the team itself is actually bigger.
What makes the new hub different to other CRM offerings?
I suppose more around CRM as we see it. Digitas LBi is all about making brands count and part of bringing the CRM expertise of Digitas LBi and building the hub out is because we believe CRM has an important role in creating meaningful relationships between brands and people and I’m excited about the vision we have of breaking category norms and doing something different. We’re not just thinking of CRM as a channel but thinking about CRM as services and experiences for our brands so that they become more valuable to people.
What we can offer is a really unique combination of the technology and data smarts of Digitas LBi with this this deep understanding of customer service strategy and customer loyalty and bringing those two things together we should be able to offer the brands we work with transformative customer strategy.
What are your thoughts on GDPR and are marketers ready for it?
We have been working really closely with the DMA to try and understand as much as we can about GDPR and my point of view is that everybody is aware that it is coming, but most marketers and brands are not yet ready for it and the implications that it will have on the way that we can behave.
One of the biggest challenges is not so much that, but there is still a lot of ground to cover to understand exactly how the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will actually interpret the guidelines and give us a steer. We are advising lots of clients on how GDPR will change how they think about their data, thinking about appropriate consent, and what that might mean for the things they can and can’t do and what they should be doing now to prepare for that.
Until we start seeing instances in market where the ICO has enforced the guidelines or not those are the things that will actually define how it is going to behave in the real world. It is a really interesting situation, so for the next year my advice to all the clients that we work with, and the ones that we are talking to, is we must start to prepare and assume the worst to some degree but it’s better to have more in place than less.
Clients will end up with lots of customer data that they can’t use, but I think over the next 12 months we will start to see cases evolving in the run up to it being implemented in May next year… through seeing how it works we will learn where we can push the boundaries and what is appropriate and what isn’t.