What is technology’s role in brand loyalty? Coca-Cola, Columbia University, and HelloWorld discuss.

At the recent Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum, we brought together a team of thought leaders to discuss best practices and innovative marketing strategies.

Our CEO, Peter DeNunzio, hosted a candid fireside chat with Greg Chambers, Group Director of Digital Innovation at Coca-Cola, and David Rogers, a faculty member at Columbia University and author of The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age. Their conversation explored how brands set themselves up to successfully -- and unsuccessfully -- evolve their business through technology, as many brands hope to drive ultimate loyalty with the ever-changing digital consumer.

Here are a few key themes that emerged from the discussion.

Overall, brands are all fighting for relevancy in the lives of our customers. So the major question was, “How do you implement technology to truly differentiate your brand in this day and age to drive affinity and loyalty?”

Role of Technology in the Digital Transformation of Companies

Ready for this? Digital transformation is ultimately not about technology. It’s about establishing a definitive overall company strategy, your market leadership and new ways of thinking. Once these are determined, you layer the technology roadmap and corresponding operational changes to meet these goals. It’s about adapting.

Big data. Small data. What about the data?

We all hear these buzz words multiple times a day. But don’t let the ominous “Big Data” discussion be daunting for your business. All companies are gathering it, all the time, in everything they do. Just start using it. It’s about putting all the little scraps of data together that you are collecting throughout different parts of your organization – and start to build contextual awareness. This can lead to reinvention and transformation.

Innovation and Implementing New Technology

First and foremost, priority number one should always be about creating the best customer experience. Keep it simple. We all know what a great customer experience is – we are all customers. Technology should just be an enabler to creating this magic – behind the scenes. If the tech implementation does not feel seamless and “like magic,” it’s not done yet. You have to experiment in market quickly, fail fast, and then try again.

What’s Next: Taking a New Look at Your Operation

No matter which way your company divisions are set up, start developing an integrated view of the business. As predicted by many, this year the CMO will spend just as much or more than the CTO on technology - so the marketing and tech sides of the house must join forces if they have not already.

Bottom line: know your brand strategy and focus on creating the best customer experience as the number one priority. Test, fail, test, win, test, fail again…and you will win.

What does success mean for you this year and beyond? Start answering that question and lay the groundwork for small incremental changes that will transform your business.

For more ideas, check out our downloadable resources, or contact us to brainstorm