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In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our podcast conversation with Rod Banner, most passionate digital entrepreneur, visionary and worldwide respected  brand architect.

Welcome to Growth Interviews!

Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth. Our mission is to provide valuable insights from the eCommerce arena and each episode is a fascinating quest through the best-kept business secrets and money-making strategies of an insightful world-class expert.

Rod Banner has been acknowledged as part of the TechCity Insider 100 list, the Fresh Business Thinking Power 100, The Maserati 100, The Smith & Williamson Power 100 and GQ’s list of the 100 Most Connected Men in Britain.

Having sold his first business to WPP, Rod founded something fresh – amusingly titled 3LA.com (3 letter acronym). 3LA is a collective of brains and technologies that help businesses become more agile and relevant. Its ingenious approach melds innovation from the entrepreneurial revolution with proven techniques plucked from brand design and proposition architecture.

It’s one of the most insightful talks of the season!
Here are the best takeaways:

  • How to look into the future – 00.30
  • The secret of translating customer needs – 01.44
  • The danger of losing control in digital marketing  – 03.04
  • How to grow your company – 07.46
 
 

Foreseeing the Future

One of the most important qualities a successful tech entrepreneur should have is foreseeing the future of the next best thing in terms of software, hardware, tools and how to solve the customers growing needs with all of that new technology. Rob Banner is a talented visionary who saw the immense opportunity the tech world was offering while doing advertising for Casio. He was a part of the disruptive revolution Casio made with its electronic watches and that was the moment he decided to take a chance and go fully digital. The opportunity was there in a time when a cip began to cost more than its own weight in gold. 

The most important factor in becoming a digital visionary is, like in any other sport, to exercise what you love and become the master of it. Foreseeing the future will always be a mix between scientific information, understanding of the markets and the willingness to take risks and shift everything in the blink of an eye.

Digital Marketing. Translating the customer needs

Rod Banner has a clear vision on what a digital marketer should do, and that is translating the needs of the customers into requirements and specifications into need-fulfilling materials.  No matter how visionary a dev team or a tech product creator might be, putting technology in an easy-to-understand language without overwhelming the customers with too much or too specific information is crucial.
Keeping communication objective and attractive for the customers is not something that comes in handy, especially for the development teams and this is the point where the digital marketers take over. Information technology is by itself an industry with its own language already and all devs speak it fluently, so in their vision there is not much else to tell about a tech product after it’s ready and launched.

As Rod Banner said in our last Growth Interviews talk we had together: ‘It’s never something that comes to their attention that customers may need a detailed explanation of what someone is to do with a product that they’ve created or why they should want to buy it.’  This is when digital marketers come in to do their magic and put all those mind-blowing useful tools and technologies in understandable information that the future users will take in easily and joyfully.
With more companies entering the online medium, the role of the digital marketers is rapidly increasing. Among the traditional responsibilities, the most important is creating and enhancing the relationship between products and customers and communicate the products in a friendly and easy to understand manner, as ‘it’s more apparent every day that technology becomes more complex and people have much greater difficulty understanding it.’

The Relationship with the Customer 

Digital marketing is one of the most interesting segments in marketing as we speak and its importance is rapidly growing due to the implications the emerging marketing tools have and the power over data they give to a specialist. We also live in an era where the customer is not a king but a god and the entire marketing industry has put the customer in the middle of everything.
The relationship with the customer has become crucial not only because of the mere buying process but also because of the formidable capacity of  influencing other a customer has in the digital environment. Even if all eyes are fixed on this and all efforts are going into this direction, one of the biggest frustrations Rod Banner has with this industry is that big companies are letting valuable customers slip between their fingers and the relations are consequently fading or becoming nonexistent.
The lack of sustained interaction and presence in the life of the customer transforms a brand into an ordinary service provider that can be replaced anytime. Although technology and new platforms should help brands be more customer centric, although digital marketers have all the data and instruments necessary to keep the customer relations in check and in their backyards, integrated platforms, with their seductive technologies and super fast sales results are seamless making brands give up their customers

Birds of a Feather Should Flock Together

Competition is harsh in any industry and adopting technologies to improve processes or services is only giving the phenomena more speed. In general, technology has changed the game entirely, as most industries are not only in the race for the customers, they are in the race of the innovation too. It really does not matter if you got to the customer first, the most important thing is who has the most impressive product. 

Rod Banner is an experienced marketing expert who has helped many businesses grow and choose the right path towards development by adopting and integrating the most suitable technologies. By observing the market trends and evolutions his opinion is that collaboration is the key to success, especially collaboration between companies that are in complementary industries like hotel chains and airlines.
In Rod’s examples the collaborations should only have the customers at the centre and should be organized accordingly. For example, to the hotel chains and airlines collaborations there are also a lot of other companies that could be brought in, like transportation, shopping centers, cultural venues and so on. There is no secret to the business recipe of making alliances, the secret is in leaving no gap uncovered so that the experience of the customers is complete and completely satisfying, to the benefit of all companies involved. 

Conclusion

Customer centricity is not just another marketing tactic but the most important aspect that drives any digital marketer in the endeavour of shaping the image new products, transforming ideas and  building perceptions. With the adoption of each new technology, the development of each new product and the creation of each new strategy, the goal is to get closer to the customers and remain in a perpetual round motion around them, satisfying their needs and exceeding their expectations.

We hope you enjoyed our video interview with Rod Banner!

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