By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

November 27, 2023 | 7 min read

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In the fifth and final episode of the ‘In Concert with the Customer’ video series, leaders from Vodafone Business and Accenture Song discuss how CMOs can balance technology and creativity with humanity.

Leaders from Vodafone Business and Accenture Song discuss how CMOs can balance technology and creativity with humanity.

Leaders from Vodafone Business and Accenture Song discuss how CMOs can balance technology and creativity with humanity.

Today’s customers and businesses are demanding more from brands – but that is bigger than purpose or sustainability. Recent events have generated massive shock and change in how people feel about everything in their lives. It’s a decade of deconstruction – one of Accenture Song’s 2024 Life Trends – where people are reevaluating their purpose and looking for businesses to do the same.

It’s about contribution not consumption; seeking products and services that make life easier and add value to people’s lives. This is the human moment. When the true drivers of human actions are more typically values-driven, CMOs have an opportunity to be more human by communicating the value that’s in it for customers and give back – bringing technology together with creativity as a driver for change.

“What any customer wants, whether they’re a B2C or B2B customer, is to align themselves with brands that have meaning, purpose, and inclusion around our societies as a whole, and are demonstrating that they’re doing things in those areas that are meaningful,” says Amanda Jobbins, global CMO and director strategic partners, Vodafone Business.

"People are looking for purpose and thinking about what actually matters to them in their lives,” adds Nina Holdaway, managing director, marketing, Accenture Song. “They’re holding brands to account, and saying to brands, what are you going to do to help us save the planet? What are you going to do to help impact society? How are you going to prove to me that these products and services are actually going to play a meaningful role in my life? This is our human moment. The prediction is this will be the decade of deconstruction, and we’ll see something very different grow as a result.”

Jobbins speaks to some initiatives from Vodafone business – including V-Hub which supports SMEs with free expert guidance and tools to help them take the next step in their digital journey and Vodafone’s Extreme E sponsorship using the internet of things (IoT) to help with climate and sustainability challenges.

“Lots of my job is storytelling – both inside and outside the company – about what we’re doing, why it matters, why it matters for the planet,” she says. “We’re able to tell these stories, share it with our customers and they can see technology in action on a purpose-specific agenda that’s meaningful to all of us around climate and sustainability – so it’s a winning combination.”

“Consumers spot a promise – when there is one – from a million miles, so it needs to be unique, concise and compelling and then it comes together,” adds Holdaway. “But what it takes behind the scenes to make things like this happen – the role as CMO in terms of being the orchestrator across the C-suite is not easy. It takes a huge amount that as a customer, you will never see, but therein lies the art, science and skill of the marketer to play that role if you’re going to truly be a growth driver.”

To engineer true customer led growth, companies and brands will need to facilitate the perfect marriage of creative brand marketing and the science of data-driven marketing that puts not only the customer, but talent, society and the planet at the center of everything.

“You can integrate a human approach in a number of different ways – on the digital side or the analog side where people are thinking about these things differently,” says Nina Holdaway, managing director, marketing, Accenture Song. “These two worlds have been coming together for some time but now we’re really seeing that come to the fore.

“Bringing creatives and techies together is some of the best moments that we have because that’s where new thinking is born – that’s where the magic happens. If we can make that work properly, that’s when we’re going to deliver for customers and make progress in the world.”

Watch part five ‘The encore: creating our human moment’ and catch up on all episodes in this series, on The Drum TV.   

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