Last week Hendrik and I travelled to Hamburg to take part in the annual iConsmr conference organized by our good friends at defacto X, the leading consumer centricity company in Europe. This year the confernece had hundreds of top media and marketing executives from Germany attending to learn about the latest trends in how to attract customers and keep them in a world where attention spans are shorter and the number of options growing by the day.
Having attended numerous conferences in the past month, this one stuck out because of the excellent networking event the night before. Where in most cases you fly in in the morning and jump straight to the program, then here was a good chance to mingle with the crowd with excellent food and drinks from the top chef Steffen Henssler. A very relaxed way to get to know people and prep for the day ahead 🙂
The main takeaways from the excellent speeches by other presenters was that consumers are looking for smart and real experiences. What that means is that the as companies around the world create new experiences they educate the consumers and as internet has levelled the playing field, those innovations spread like wildfire. So what you have is rising customer expectations that your brand needs to keep up with.
On the other side it is tougher to break out from the noise and those that do make it do it with authenticity and realism. Real people, real stories, real struggles, real victories. This is what moves crowds. Talking with several people around those topics, it was understandable that keeping customers happy in ways that appeals to them personally is a theme that many companies have growing interest in.
We also hosted a panel on Artificial Intelligence and chatbots and removed some of the black magic from AI and showed what it actually meant to be deployed in practice with Autotie, one of our customers from Finland. The main questions from the room about chatbots were about the languages that the bots are capable of supporting and the integrations into existing CRMs and in-house databases.
For companies it is becoming more and more important to offer the customer tailor-made information and tying existing customer data into chatbots for better context is of interest to many. To that end it was great to get insight and showcase some of the work we have been doing in taking customer data and context into account when automating customer interactions.