"Never has there been a more transformation change than now. Never a better time to be a marketer. We now have the opportunity to change the world." So Antonio Lucio, CMO of Visa informed us at the morning keynote. Why is he so optimistic? What does he know that others don't? Well, he pulled back he curtain on what Visa has done to change the model. First, Visa doesn't issue credit. When it comes to the consumer it is Visa's role to convince the consumer to use Visa instead of cash. That's how they make money.
Two years ago there was a shift in Visa. He realized that digital could no longer be an island with it's own budget, for when it was, winning just in digital was not moving the needle. It was no longer an experiment, no longer a "lab" that could be kept in isolation. What did he do? He destroyed the digital marketing team and embedded those resources inside the core team. Digital moved from the periphery into the middle. It became a core focus. He was tired of agencies, vendors and internal teams talking about their "little digital world." "If you're able to use digital to build the total brand, then that is success." If you don't believe that, then try this on for size; YouTube alone has 2 billion views a day, which makes it bigger than the three major networks combined. But TV is not dead he informs us, it's use for advertisers has shifted from long-form programming to "live events." That is where the magic of TV now lies.
They were finding out through their data that the concept of purchase moved from an "action," to a comprehensive "Social Experience." They were finding that although "Search" is powerful, it has changed to an emotional connection being developed through "Social Search." When someone tweets out a request and crowd sources their network. The Social Web has changed how consumers engage with brands. From a "Yell and Sell" funnel to an "Army of Advocates," and that is why the shift to the new model is necessary.
To operate in this new model he had to create a new strategy to inform Visa's decisions.
- Think audience first
- Guided by three social principles
Sharing is the new giving
Participation is the new engagement
Recommendation is the new advertising
- Activate with Paid, Owned and Earned Media
But more importantly, he advises that the way advertising has been done should profoundly shift from a "create the magic with the creative and find where to run it" to a "media plan first, and then do creative to activate where you should be." This channel shift strategy moves the focus from the creatives within an agency to those who understand the social dynamics of consumer intent, and that is a profound shift… if you can convince your agencies to get on board.
Why the shift? Because the power of the social connection on recommendations and purchase is essential. And Visa realizes that even Digital goods are purchased with real money.