Enterprise Ireland, along with the Ambassador of Ireland to Switzerland, Eamon Hickey welcomed 100 attendees to hear from Ireland’s thought leaders on Consumer and Employee Digital Engagement, to the Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich. The event was a mixture of seminars and panel discussions, divided into two separate tracks, digging deep into the latest trends and recommendations for both customer and employee digital engagement.
In the Customer Engagement track, Frederic Fernandez of Fernandez Consulting led the keynotes with his session on building a ‘Customer Centric’ organisation from the outside-in. Frederic delved into the consumer centric framework and concluded that a user-first approach comes unnaturally to most corporations because of obsession with the bottom-line. An alternative approach is to allow the user’s channels, desires and engagements to define the product, which can then be optimised to impact profitability.
Up next was Alan Wyley, CCO, of Luzern Solutions and he spoke about solving the Amazon dilemma for luxury brands. Shining the light on the power of Amazon and the techniques he uses to work with Amazon whilst also enriching digital capabilities, Alan spoke about how Amazon dictates the inventory and prices of your portfolio when using 1st party. To gain control over your product portfolio you need to consider promoting your products via its marketplace to avoid losing ground to your competition.
AI Powered Brand Protection & Promotion in the Visual Age
The first panel discussion of the day was moderated by Sara Blum, Strategic Marketing Manager, Amcor. Sara moderated an interesting discussion with panel participants, Luca Boschin and Franco de Bonis from Logo Grab, and consultant Jeanette Potts. The key issues discussed were the problems facing counterfeit products via e-commerce and what technology can do to combat fakes.
With LogoGrab specialising in the identification of counterfeit product identification via image matching, the panel discussed the techniques and case-studies they have used to isolate authentic products from fakes using image matching of logos. Separately, the team from Amcor discussed how product packaging plays a role within this space, with product authentication codes for physical goods now becoming a hot-topic in the world of block-chain.
The importance of a seamless omnichannel experience
ChannelSight’s Niall O’Gorman, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, led a lively discussion titled “When Online and Offline Collide” focusing on how to create a seamless Omnichannel Experience. Niall was joined on stage by Fiona Murphy from Frontend, Chris Fesen from Amcor, Niamh Sterling from Recipe Guru and Stephen Jones from Emergn.
With online shopping now a crucial part of a business’s success, the conversation centred around on how in-store experiences are being dictated by online behaviour. The panel discussed the recent success of US department store Nordstrom and how it has revolutionised the idea of click-and-collect. Nordstrom now allows customers to select the items they want to try on, then visit the store to try them on before taking them away. At this point, the customer can either take their purchases home immediately or have them delivered, safe in the knowledge that the clothes fit. This new initiative is allowing fashion brands to combat one of the peskiest issues they face today, product returns.
To close off the presentations Ben Fairclough, Head of Brand Performance at ChannelSight & Mark Opperman, WebIo discussed the importance of personalised content and being ever-present across the user’s chosen channels. Personalised cross-channel integrations are one way to ensure that your brand experience is maintained regardless of the social media or publisher channel.
H.E Eamon Hickey addressed the attendees with his thoughts on Irish trade with Switzerland, stressing how trade between the two countries is thriving, Switzerland being the fifth most important trading partner to Ireland. He spoke about the commitment of the Embassy in Zurich to promoting Ireland and assisting both countries in gaining in their knowledge and appreciation of each other.
The success of the event is perhaps best summarized in a testimonial from Patrick McCabe, Head of Digital, Consus Real Estate AG:
“A great conference overall with a very senior attendee list which presented fantastic networking opportunities. I really appreciated the level of the content that was presented and was happy to see deeper discussions on topics which key decision makers must tackle in their day to day running of their organisations.“