Starting with the customer’s point of view is the best place to build trust and brand loyalty.

Jason Jercinovic, global head of marketing innovation at Havas Worldwide, talked to Loyalty360 about this and many other customer-related issues in a compelling interview.

“The fragmentation of today’s media landscape (mobile devices, multi-screen content consumption, social media, influencers, etc.) has created a very complex and challenging marketing universe,” Jercinovic explained. “The complexity is only growing. To try to find a POV that grounds strategy, I have always started with the user (the customer). Start from their point of view. Try to answer the basic question from the customer (not the business) POV: Why should I really care about what you are saying, how does it pertain to me? Or even better: How does it solve a problem/challenge that I’m having? Then you can work through your strategic process with a grounding philosophy.”

Jercinovic owns an eclectic and compelling background as a digital marketer, holding deep experience across numerous fields, from global sports marketer (Nike) to pop media superstars (Taylor Swift, Olivia Munn, and Justin Bieber).

“I’ve tried to work many sides of the business (Agency, Publisher, & Startups) to force a diverse understanding of the business,” he explained. “To be a complete marketer, you have to try to see the bigger picture. What I’ve come to learn is that the more you do these things, the more you realize how much we really do not know. You have to become more comfortable with the unknown. It’s very hard to control the whole enchilada if you know what I mean.”
 
For Havas, it is all about the customer journey.

“Customers/users do not think of brand communications through the artificial construct of Media vs. Creative,” Jercinovic noted. “This construct was created by the ad industry and Havas has broken that down, integrating both media and creative into one P&L. We look at the customer from search to loyalty as part of a journey. There is flexibility in this journey so it’s not a ‘locked’ purchase funnel sort of thing. In fact, with smart digital/social marketing, you can go from awareness through purchase to loyalty in one click (Instagram and Facebook are good platforms for this type of immediate conversion).”

Typically, Havas uses a process of defining these journeys for clients and, most importantly, has used data-driven insights to inform this journey in real time.

“Depending on the level of sophistication of the client/user, we can additionally add in cognitive (artificial intelligence) tools which enable deep understanding of people,” Jercinovic said. “In fact, if done correctly, we can market down to the level of an individual–moving past ‘personas’ or ‘cohorts’ as example groups of consumers. Due to the success of the digital unicorns (Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, etc.), people now have an expectation that brands must demonstrate ‘knowing them’ and that expectation of personalization and knowing me as an individual is a theme of the moment.”

Subsequently, Jercinovic said, Havas moves from a single customer journey to the journey of the individual.

“People are not the same and they move through the journey in different ways, so we now enable dynamic data-driven journeys to be managed in real time through a myriad of channels and touch points,” he added. “Once the informed data-driven journey framework is set up, the value to the user is created through data-driven personal experiences. Havas has been very successful in scaling our CX (Customer experience) offering and these people use the details about the users to create data-driven experiences.”

Jercinivic’s musical background informs his current position.

“I like to say we are always on stage,” he said. “The music metaphor is a good one as managing a successful global brand is like conducting a large jazz ensemble. You have a score, but the best moments are when you have improvisation happening over the changes in real time. In music, the changes are actually the chord progressions, and in comms/marketing/digital, the changes are not always as structured and linear as a predefined chord progression. In fact, sometimes the changes are changing. Enabling your team to have confidence in their skills to play the changes is the key.” 

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