Adobe Summit: What went down

I joined 6,000 marketing and tech professionals at the London ExCel for Adobe Summit recently. Their CEO Paul Robson kicked it off by setting out their mission: to “change the world through digital experience”. I couldn’t have felt more at home.

A lot of talks centred around ‘data-driven organisations’. The definition goes deeper than simply having a lot of data collected from a variety of touchpoints – the key is how we actually use it and how it is compiled, to give us that all-important single customer view.

Speakers over the two days were brilliant. Clare Darley VP of Digital Media at Adobe talked about the company’s new customer journey dashboard initiative, capable of driving data-driven organisations (something that’s looking promising for the market). Jane Moran at Unilever then gave a walkthrough on data-embedded processes and operations that deliver real-time, hyper-personalised experiences.

We listened to Abhay Parasnis EVP and CTO at Adobe, who explained how common it still is to see businesses paralysed by silos. It’s something we see a lot. He explained how Customer Experience Management strategies are a key way to break them down. These issues were big at our recent event series across Amsterdam, Dublin and Stockholm, and it was encouraging to see other big players in the market come to the same conclusions we did.

Then we came on to a great B2B case study showing CX in action. The team at Grundfos, pump manufacturers based in Denmark, gave a great presentation on their 3-year digital marketing transformation that put wholesale managers, pump installers and facilities managers at the heart of their strategy. It was, frankly, inspiring.

Going to events like this makes it clear the CX agenda is still young, but that it’s also growing up quickly, covering a number of aspects:

– Consulting and strategy

– Data management and intelligence

– Technology

– Campaign design and execution

CX requires a cultural shift, and for many, it’s a radical transformation that’s not for the faint-hearted. We love it.

Jason Talbot, Managing Director



Comms giant Ericsson talks CX

It may not be surprising, but the internet and comms giant, Ericsson are big on CX and catering to the needs of the customer. They spoke in Stockholm at our Connected Customer Roadshow last month, and so we caught up with their digital marketing specialist, Eliot Freed to dive a little deeper into the subject, and find out where he sees the market going.

‘The key thing that brands can do in 2019 is to simplify their customer journey experience’, Eliot shares. We need to get closer to our customers, and closer to understanding what they really want from us as brands.

CX is fast becoming the phrase of the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually being executed yet – far from it. Eliot thinks the reason for this is that there isn’t enough transparency in our operations when viewed from the outside-in, and that it has become over-complicated. Reworking your organisation around CX is a big deal. Particularly for small brands, this can seem too complex and overwhelming – and is nearly impossible without buy-in from the top.

But, especially at the beginning, CX doesn’t need to be a huge overhaul. One place to start is with engaging content. ‘Brands need to start conversations and be genuinely genuine.’ From here, tech helps scale this messaging, and then the whole thing becomes more doable.

‘My biggest piece of advice is to really listen to your customers, adapt to what they really want, and be ready to make some hard decisions on priorities,’ Eliot continues. ‘I’m most excited that CX will bring a more seamless, simplified experience that is fully transparent and respects privacy.’

Eliot Freed, Global Experiences & Digital Events Manager, Ericsson




Defining Customer Experience


There are many terms and buzzwords around customer experience. We like this simple and straightforward definition from Don Peppers:

Customer experience is: The totality of a customer’s individual interactions with a brand, over time.

Each of the terms in this definition is important, because each term identifies some aspect of the CX to focus on when it comes to making improvements.

Let’s break down some of the terms:

  • “Customer” is meant to include both current and prospective buyers and users. When you make it easier for a prospect to find information about your firm or your product, for instance, you are improving the “customer experience” even though the prospect may never actually become a customer.
  • “Individual” means that we are talking about each different customer’s own individual perception or impression of the experience. What you intend to provide a customer is not nearly as important as how the customer perceives what you provide.
  • “Interactions” occur in addressable or reciprocal channels, i.e., non-mass media. Marketing campaigns, taglines, and brand messages may be important, but they aren’t interactions, so lie outside the “customer experience” domain. On the other hand, improving your mobile app by, for instance, embedding voice or chat connections into it, would certainly improve customer experience.
  • “With” a brand means that only direct contact counts as part of the customer experience. The interactions a customer has with others about a brand are not really part of it, although of course how your company actually engages with customers and prospects within various social channels is, because it is a direct interaction.
  • “Brand” is a proxy for all your marketing, selling, and servicing entities. In addition to your own company, it includes dealers and distributors, marketing and advertising agencies, any retailers that sell your product, and any service firms that install or repair your company’s product, or handle customer enquiries or interactions of any kind. For each of these interactions, you can contract out the task, but not the responsibility – at least not as far as the customer is concerned.
  • “Over time” recognizes the ongoing nature of a customer relationship. Each customer’s experience is not an isolated event, but accumulates through time. You improve your customer experience, for instance, when you make it easier for a repeat customer to get back to their pre-preferred configuration, or when your call centre agent already knows what a prospect was just trying to find out on your website.
  • And the very first word in the definition, “totality” means that you cannot improve your customer experience without considering all of these issues in total, including how each one impacts the others. Integrating your interaction channels may be the single most important step you can take today to improve customer experience, and there are all sorts of new technologies available to do this.

If you want to discuss this further why not join the conversation on Twitter #IAMCX or speak directly to or 0207 749 4400. At The Crocodile we exist to help our clients build customer driven growth engines. To break down silos and create sustainable, repeatable models that unite our clients business around the priorities in their customers lives.

Don’t say it. Be it. #IAMCX

Introducing the new faces in our digital team

From a boutique agency in Vancouver to the best of Adland London, we are searching out the best talent as we continue to grow our digital and creative teams and ensure we are delivering the best digital experiences in B2B marketing.

Elliot Cromwell has honed his development skills within agencies based in the UK and Canada. He’s a cool head and can work at temperatures as low as -15!

Elliot will bolster our development capabilities as we accelerate our response to the growing demand for progressive web apps, and for marketing platforms that deliver more personalised customer experiences.

“Elliot has a rare combination of problem-solving skills and excellence in execution that will allow The Crocodile to bring new innovations to the industry,” says The Crocodile’s Head of Digital, Simon Hurrell. “I’m very happy he’s decided to join us.”

Next up, meet Connor Dyer. Connor has spent a year learning his trade at VMLY&R. Keen to continue his professional development, Connor has joined the team at The Crocodile as a Junior Digital Designer.

The Crocodile’s Creative Director, Chris Tongeman, says: “We are really pleased to welcome Connor. His energy and enthusiasm are great, and he’s also really ready to learn and develop. We see a great future for him here.”

Finally, Andrew Sayward recently joined the team as a junior front-end developer and has quickly grown his capabilities as we push to create great mobile-first experiences for our clients.

“Andrew is a great addition to the team, bringing new ideas on how to develop and optimise the UI for websites and marketing platforms such as Hubspot and Pardot,” adds Simon. “We’re really excited to welcome Elliot, Connor and Andrew to the team. Delivering great digital experiences requires a diverse range of skills along with a team that are curious, inventive and passionate about their craft.”