eCommerce expo

26-27 SEPTEMBER 2018 | OLYMPIA, LONDON

SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ECOMMERCE LANDSCAPE THROUGH ACTIONABLE, MEASURABLE INSIGHT

eCommerce Expo - Q&A with our speakers

notonthehighstreet: Making the most of data to understand your customer

Following his packed-out session on social media and customer engagement at this year’s eCommerce Expo, The Stack spoke with Ben Irons, digital director at notonthehighstreet.com, about making the most of your data, understanding the customer, and avoiding the ‘silver bullet’ philosophy. 

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A Q&A WITH DAVID HICKS, CEO AT TRIBECX

Ahead of his appearance at eCommerce Expo 2017, David Hicks spoke to us about what makes him tick and lessons learned in the industry.

Ahead of his appearance at eCommerce Expo 2017, David Hicks spoke to us about what makes him tick and lessons learned in the industry.

What are your biggest concerns in the workplace?

Tech that doesn’t address end to end issues from a customer’s perspective. A lack of core capabilities to deliver cross business customer experience at all levels in the business - it’s not just about the technology but the need to get everyone aligned, onto the same page.

Unfortunately, technology often exposes these problems and gets blamed for it. Finally, vendor noise can make it hard to really hear what's truly right for your organisation.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on the industry throughout your career?

Organisations with strong values and authentic principles seem to do well; think of traditional, centuries old, customer-centric organisations such as the John Lewis Partnership, M&S, and the RNLI. As well as this, organisations need to be able to pilot and test quickly and learn what works and what doesn’t – networking, sharing and discussion can really help with this.

Which industry figures inspire you and why?

James Dyson – he always looks to tackle end to end issues.

Jeanne Bliss (author) – really the only voice in the industry that focuses on building core capabilities to deliver customer experience.

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A Q&A WITH JO FAWCETT, GROUP DIGITAL DIRECTOR & MARKETING DIRECTOR, ZIZZI

Future-Proofing Your Digital Strategy — Gamechangers, Gimmicks, and Remaining Relevant to Tomorrow’s Consumer

Future-Proofing Your Digital Strategy — Gamechangers, Gimmicks, and Remaining Relevant to Tomorrow’s Consumer

What will attendees learn from your session?

Brands are successful because of the value they add to consumers’ lives, this value should transcend changes in behaviour and technology.

Digital is a tool to enable brands to remove friction along the customer journey to unlocking that value.

Tell us something about yourself nobody else knows.

My degree was in mechanical engineering, some people find that unusual. Engineering is all about problem solving and for me, marketing is also about problem solving with satisfying customer needs at the heart of the “problem".

Who is your retail superhero?

Topshop

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A Q&A WITH NEIL ROBERTS, HEAD OF DIGITAL, EUROSTAR

Customer Connections: Do Customers Behave in a Consistent and Measurable Way?

Customer Connections: Do Customers Behave in a Consistent and Measurable Way?

What keeps you awake at night? 

My children, especially if there is a thunder storm.

What will attendees learn from your session?

I’ll be sharing some of my most painful lessons from the last 10 years. How to build to build a team and create the environment in which they can excel (and how not to). How to build a digital strategy with your business, that addresses you core customer needs (and how not to).

What are your key business priorities for 2018?

Going direct to Amsterdam in under 4hrs and bringing as many customers with us that we can.

Tell us something about yourself nobody else knows.

After 5 years of kickboxing, I’ve just switched to pilates and it’s really, really hard.

Who is your retail superhero?

My dad. He taught me, listen to your customers, don’t sell them what you have, sell them what they need and they will come back time and time again.

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A Q&A WITH RYAN SKINNER, SENIOR ANALYST AT FORRESTER RESEARCH

How a new focus on customer needs and technology is reinventing what marketing means.

How a new focus on customer needs and technology is reinventing what marketing means.

What are your biggest concerns professionally? 


I worry that the average person's natural senses of critique, their defenses and filters are not up to the task of handling today's information maelstrom. Neuroscience, behavioral sciences, and persistent and pervasive communications may be more than we can handle. I'm worried that the modern tools of persuasion are the equivalent of nuclear weapons for democracy and reasoned discourse. 
 

What lessons have you learnt in your current role?


Everyone always knows everything, until you start probing. And then people quickly and readily admit that much of what they 'know' is an oil slick of hearsay and guesswork.

Who inspires you in the industry?


I'm inspired by Byron Sharp's commitment to science in marketing. I'm inspired to see start-ups emerge who, in focusing on customer needs and technology, reinvent what marketing means. Against my better judgment, I'm inspired by cute branded videos (TD Ameritrade's "Cat's In The Cradle" brought me to tears, dammit), by marketers who are trying to get on with it and learn at the same time, and agencies who think they're Michelangelo's second coming and they're kind of right sometimes. I'm inspired each time a marketer actually finds a way to make consumers' lives better, and easier, with integrity intact.

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A Q&A WITH JONATHAN DAVIES, DIRECTOR OF MUSIC PARTNERSHIPS, SHAZAM

Leveraging organic consumer behaviour

Leveraging organic consumer behaviour

What are your biggest concerns professionally?

Rather than concerns, I like to see an opportunity in every challenge. One of the great things about working at Shazam has been how the app has continued to evolve. Each time we launch a new feature, the challenge for us is how we find the best partners to amplify this. We recently embedded our technology within Snapchat and the amount of positive reaction we saw from our users was fantastic, even looking across other social networks like Twitter and searching ‘Shazam & Snapchat’ gives you hundreds of positive messages. Our challenge then is how we continue to expand on this organic behaviour, so we’ve started to partner with some of the biggest artists in the world and offer fans exclusive content on Shazam to unlock campaigns.

What lessons have you learnt in your current role?

I’ve been at Shazam for coming up to ten years, so I’ve seen it grow from a very small startup to a global company: so well-known that its name has become a verb! I’ve been lucky that my role has evolved from literally typing track titles from CDs into the database, to working and sustaining partnerships with some of the biggest media companies in the world. I guess the obvious lesson I’ve learned is to never under estimate your gut feeling, when I first joined Shazam we literally were around 30 people in an office in London. We weren’t anywhere near the scale we are now, but I felt the idea of the service was so strong that it had to take off. Then, with the invention of smartphones, the technology caught up with us and we evolved to where we are today.

Who inspires you in the industry?

We’re very lucky at Shazam to work very closely with the music industry, for many of our users our app is the first place where they will not only discover an artist but then start to consume their music through one of our streaming or download partners. It’s hard to ignore the power of artists as that vital trigger not only from radio but also across other media. Songs on TV ads are Shazamed millions of times a year; it’s also our job to work closely with the brands to ensure they're capitalising on this fantastic organic activity. 

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Q&A WITH LUCIA ASANACHE, GOOGLE DIGITAL GARAGE TRAINER, UPSKILL DIGITAL

Developing skills to meet the fast pace of technology innovation

Developing skills to meet the fast pace of technology innovation

What are your biggest concerns professionally? 

Working in digital, one can easily feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information, tools and resources available to achieve goals online - this applies to both individuals and businesses. Skills must be developed at the fast rate of technology innovation and as a digital marketer and trainer, it is challenging to be on top of everything. That's not to say you have to know it all, but an open mind and an appetite for debates and conversations with peers is key to not becoming overwhelmed or siloed in a specialism. 

What lessons have you learnt in your current role?

In my current role, I am fortunate to get first-hand insight into the world of UK SMEs and their journey getting to know and using digital to improve or maximise opportunities in their business. Some SMEs get it, whilst others are still figuring out what questions to ask but they are driven and determined to learn what's best for them. In that haste, it's important for them to learn to filter information, understand applicability of digital technology, processes and software and where their opportunity lies, so that resources are not wasted. I value this insight because it informs my training sessions and feedback for the Digital Garage project, part of our commitment to bring the skills people need the most to succeed online.

Who inspires you in the industry?

I'm often inspired by people most would not have heard about, because they tend to be low profile. I am inspired by young entrepreneurs at networking events speaking so passionately about technology and changing the world, as well as by academics and researchers in the field of digital technology and learning because of the immense work being carried out in the background to ensure policy and other high-level decisions are accurately informed.

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