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Thursday, March 14, 2019

CEIBS CMO Forum Explores Brand Growth in Digital Era

March 14, 2019. Shanghai – Co-organised by CEIBS Executive Education Department, CEIBS Alumni Association CMO Club, and Alibaba Uni-Marketing Center, the first CEIBS CMO Forum kicked off at our Shanghai campus today, bringing together over 500 marketing leaders and members of CEIBS CMO Club. The event featured numerous industry experts from the fields of branding, consulting, and advertising, including CEIBS President (European) Dipak Jain, CEIBS Professor of Marketing, Associate Dean and Director of CMO Programme Wang Gao, Alibaba Group CMO Zhang Wuji, and Alibaba Uni-Marketing Center GM Gong Yi, for a series of a talks exploring how data is fuelling brand growth in the era of digital economy.

In his opening address, Prof. Wang Gao stated, “An increasing number of technologies are posing challenges while, at the same time, opening up opportunities.” He noted that as the mobile internet continues to transform our lifestyle, marketers must harness digital technologies that could power sales growth. He also emphasised that marketers could empower the data about brand concept, target markets, marketing materials, and member management as a way to find effective marketing solutions.

Next, Alibaba’s Gong Yi delivered a keynote speech on the theme of Brand Growth Driven by Uni-Marketing in which she said, “Data is Alibaba’s biggest asset.” In addition, she pointed out that Alibaba has successfully leveraged a huge amount of Uni ID data (also known as “consumer assets”) mined from the digital footprints of 600 million Chinese consumers across its O2O ecosystem. In the process, the company has gained numerous consumer insights and optimised the consumer-brand relationship through an awareness, interest, purchase, and loyalty (AIPL) model, allowing them to personalise brand campaigns across all marketing channels.

The speeches were then followed by a roundtable discussion that centred on how to boost brand growth. In terms of organisational architecture, for example, pharmaceutical company Wyeth has created new functional teams responsible for new retail, digital marketing, product development, and consumer insights to integrate its online and offline retail through digital technology so as to give a new impetus to brand growth. Similarly, sportswear brand Nike has integrated online and offline user data and constructed a 360-degree profile of each consumer through digital technology to gain new consumer insights and thus deliver a more personalised service.

Alibaba CMO Zhang Wuji also stated that he believes that instead of just performing traditional functions of brand building and reaching consumers, marketers need to pool and leverage consumer assets to boost ROI and their company’s sustained development. He added, “In the context of digital transformation, digital marketing is one of the most powerful engines that drive sustained brand growth.”

Teresa Wang
Amy Liang and Michael D. Thede