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Technology for Marketing 2022: Creating an Authentically Inclusive Marketing with Citibank's Jaslyin Qiyu

Technology for Marketing 2022: Creating an Authentically Inclusive Marketing with Citibank's Jaslyin Qiyu

With personal data the 'golden goose of marketing', Citibank's Head of Client, Digital Channels and Content Marketing, Jaslyin Qiyu, shares her thoughts on how marketers can create an inclusive experience for their consumers. Get your free ticket to hear more from Jaslyin at Technology for Marketing 2022 on 12-13 October.

Q: What do you feel is the biggest challenge for marketers within the next year? What impacts does this challenge have? And how can we overcome this challenge?

With the restrictions in cookies and media platforms putting up their own wall gardens in a bid to offer more privacy to their end users, media costs will only go up. Personal data becomes the golden goose of the marketing and advertising world with the owner of the most geese and highest quality geese emerging as the most profitable media owner.

This essentially means marketers need to relook at how they are using programmatic buys, though I anticipate media platform owners will also start to redefine and reinvent how programmatic will work, so it remains attractive to the media buyers. Digital Out-Of-Home will be another hot advertising space but marketers need to really harness their creativity to ensure they can capture the attention of their target audience amidst the 'noise' and to turn it into an omnichannel experience and engagement for their target audience.

Marketers essentially need to start building their own so-called first party customer data platforms and leverage customer relationship management systems, so they can own the voluntary information given to them by their target customers and use it for retargeting, nurturing and hopefully conversions.

Q: Considering your sessions on authenticity and inclusivity in marketing, why do you feel this is important to achieve for brands?

The consumer society has become increasingly "woke" so to speak, and as such, almost everything and anything can sometimes be taken out of context, depending on individual perception. When combined in a collective setting of shared experiences, that's where it can become a viral "social movement" for or against companies, depending on which side of the fence they find themselves at.

As such, brands need to be equally conscious and "woke" themselves towards all types of possibilities in how consumers would perceive and react towards the messaging they put out there.

This can be done through the models they use; the slogans, colours, imagery, partners or suppliers they work with, locations they operate in, and the types of people they hire to work for them. Everyone is watching and forming an opinion, judgement and ultimately, brands cannot please everyone. They need to be guided by their own brand values and purpose. It's the equivalent of a moral compass in the corporate sense.

Q: At Citibank, you have people from all walks of life who use your services and need to be communicated to in lots of different ways. Do you have your eye on any specific technology or digital opportunity that can help you deliver more authentically inclusive marketing, and why?

Based on my experience in other companies, it used to be that everything was driven globally or regionally, and top-down. This means that local markets often need to still spend time localising the language, tone of voice, meaning and images from a marketing perspective so it is more relatable to their own consumers. 

The Covid-19 pandemic was an interesting example whereby, at one point, everyone needed to pivot in the same direction of featuring models wearing masks in their visuals and creative ads so it is more realistic. However, when countries started to reopen and respond to the reopening of the economy in different phases, markets started to then have to apply their own guardrails locally on what makes sense.

This is also where having a shared platform that's accessible to everyone, regardless of location would help to both keep up to date of trends, and have access to a ready library of shared assets that can be extracted for use instead of having to spend time and money creating from scratch.

That's just one simple and basic aspect of how the use of technology or platforms can help. Other more advanced technology would be things like the application of smart AI combined with human intelligence to automate the use of voice recognition, stress signals and other emotive signals by the behaviour and reactions of your customers to deliver the right response in a timely manner. This can be what they are messaging on your social channels, your in-app messaging channels, or down to what they are doing on your digital platforms; be it transactions, purchases, browsing patterns and things they are reading that you push out to them.

For example, if I l know you are a married person but with no kids, I shouldn't be pushing you an offer or content related to "things to do during school holidays with your kids". I would know that from the topics you subscribed to, the transactions you made on your card spend and the ads you have been responding to over time and the channels you responded from. 

Q: When faced with solutions that can help digitally transform your marketing efforts, what is your usual approach or philosophy in applying such technology?

It's important to regularly review your entire MarTech and technology stack that's enabling your customer communications and sales delivery. Most global companies that have existed for more than two decades have to, till today, deal with a lot of legacy tech, platforms and systems they built from scratch mainly because of previous costs, availability and appreciation.

Before jumping on to the next shiny new technology, we need to evaluate a few things, including scalability, sustainability, cost versus benefit to the customer, and reliability. It's also this build versus buy dilemma and whether to get a one-size-fits all versus a stackable plug-and-play approach that most companies need to deal with, regardless of size.

I find companies that often just jump on to the band wagon without a comprehensive and holistic evaluation end up with an equivalent of "too many Ferraris and not enough drivers or places to use them for". What you want is a suitable car with the right driver for every setting and occasion. 

Q: What would be your biggest piece of advice for fellow marketing leaders who are struggling to achieve an authentically inclusive marketing strategy?

An inclusive strategy starts from within. Get rid of your own unconscious bias by being more conscious about it. 

If you find yourself hiring and wanting to only work with certain people who come from certain professional, cultural or industry backgrounds, then you're not being inclusive, period. It's not even about gender or race, but rather being open to different perceptions and ways of doing things to avoid groupthink and to have more diversity in your overall approach.

Don't be afraid to hire people who think and act differently from your core team. It's also a learning experience to hone your people management skills!

Q: Finally, what do you feel is the value of in-person events like Technology for Marketing, and why would you encourage fellow business leaders to attend your session?

Beyond the great opportunity to network and learn from other subject matter experts, it's to learn about everything at the forefront of tech innovation and how to apply it efficiently and effectively!

Jaslyin will join two panels of esteemed marketing experts focusing on Creating an Authentically Inclusive Marketing and Influencers VS Customers VS Celebrities: Is There a Winning Formula?

Jaslyin will be joined by Sean Loh, Global Gaming & Content Partnership Senior Manager at Mindshare; Joe Escobed, CEO of Esco Media; Rahil Bhagat, Global Content Lead at Binance; Wilmer Ryan Cu, Global Marketing Director of Wella Company; Benjienen Toledo, Digital Campaign Analyst at Philips; and Demi D'Cruz, Senior Enterprise Account Manager at Acquia.

Secure your free ticket to Technology for Marketing 2022 at Marina Bay Sands on 12-13 October.

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