Please describe your job: What do you do?
Well, for starters, I am home talking to screens as opposed to being on an airplane and meeting customers and our teams face-to-face. And consequently, my commute to work has dramatically improved. We are meeting with clients and prospects everyday and while the discussions are productive and we continue to demonstrate value with our services, the personal connection has been impacted. Some days it is surreal to contemplate that “work” is now “talking to screens.” Due to all of this, I have not seen my dry-cleaner in nearly six months and my dress shoes now have a solid layer of dust – making me wonder when they might be used again.
Sinch for Marketing is the mobile engagement and personalised mobile messaging platform and consultancy of Sinch, a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement.
How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?
My advice for a marketer right now would be: work from the inside out; stay close with your customers, as building upon that relationship is top priority. Personalisation is essential to ensuring your customer relationships remain productive and healthy.
Microsoft Teams and Slack have served as essential tools to provide us with an easy and seamless virtual environment to supplant in-person communications. Both are excellent in bridging both desktop and mobile environments seamlessly. It has been fascinating to watch the rapid evolution of Teams over the last six months, responding to tremendous demand and customer feedback. The product has come a long way in a very short time, delivering valuable collaboration for virtual environments.
What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?
I am most impressed with the smaller local businesses that have been able to adapt quickly to local restrictions or embraced digitalisation. There are so many great tools available to make digital connections, not to mention facilitate delivery or take-out. Those who have made the digital transition effortlessly will survive – and those who haven’t, won’t.
What advice would you give a marketer right now?
As president of Sinch for Marketing, I support a global team that is working closely with leading enterprises to transform their brand experience in order to strengthen relationships with their customers as measured by churn reduction, increasing revenue and enhancing overall NPS. Our team utilises our proprietary mobile engagement platform and global network to deliver personalised video, rich media and mobile landing experiences on consumers’ mobile phones no matter where they are in the world. My job is to offer clear direction, resources and efficient operational processes for my global team to ensure the best service and tools are being provided to our clients.
Obviously informal, spontaneous “coffee machine” conversations have also changed – they are now more structured over Microsoft Teams. In some ways the content of those conversations have greater intent, considering the deliberate focus. On the other hand, the frequency of those conversations has decreased.
Which companies have impressed you during the pandemic?
We are in the customer relationship business using mobile messaging. Right now, brands are focused on holding onto their customers and, as a result, seeking new channels to drive engagement. This is squarely in our expertise and we are seeing continued growth in messaging volumes as enterprise drives those connections and facilitates service delivery.
What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?
In fact, I just received an SMS from a major hardware chain, indicating a substantial flash sale on tools. While the offer headline was compelling, clicking the link did not personalise the offer by location or curate based on purchase behaviour – and this lack of relevance will not only deter conversion, but now makes me weary to click their future offers and may drive me to opt-out from future programs.
What does long term planning and strategy look like now at your company?
At Sinch, we are currently planning against multiple scenarios to ensure we are prepared for any and all realities the market may throw at us. This includes both short and long-term planning, and the pace and frequency of that has increased in order for us to better respond to global markets or near-term opportunities.