There Is A Risk For Brands To Become Too Digitalized

Martin Roll Speaks at INSEAD Luxury Conference - Nov 2016

In the upcoming conference Arab Luxury World in Dubai from 22-23 May 2017, Martin Roll will be part of the plenary session “Passions and Emotions”. The Arab Luxury World is a platform for businesses to engage in topics relating to the luxury business in the Middle East. He will also be moderator of the executive workshop “Disruptive Innovation & Luxury: Ideas Implemented” that is hosted by INSEAD Retail Consumer Goods and Luxury Club in Dubai, on 23 May. INSEAD is one of the leading global business schools from which Martin Roll holds an MBA.

Leading up to this conference, Martin Roll was exclusively interviewed by the Gulf Marketing Review (GMR), a trusted source of marketing and media intelligence in the MENA region which publishes analysis, research and insight, and provides critical information to businesses and decision makers. In this interview, Martin Roll discussed how emotions play an under-valued role in modern marketing.

3 key factors to consider when developing a brand strategy

Martin Roll drew a parallel between a good brand strategy and an hourglass. The first part of a brand strategy is ensuring a good set of data and insights externally from the market and the company’s competitors, and internally from the company’s practices and values. With data and insights, the brand strategist can then figure out the gaps between its current situation and its desired future state, and think of solutions to achieve its future state. Martin Roll expressed caution in this step, as he has seen many brand strategists either trying to strategize too quickly or rushing into execution.

The second part of a brand strategy is to narrow a strategy down by focusing on creating the brand identity. Again, Martin Roll shared that many marketers try to cater to too wide an audience and geography. A good strategy is not about trying to accommodate everyone, instead, it is about narrowing and de-selecting options to create a distinct position.

The third part is to ensure that people in the organization are enabled to deliver on the brand promise. Factors as internal education, standard operating procedures, training, workshops and culture are critical in making the brand a success.

Taking culture into account

When leadership realizes that the business model in the past is no longer working in the present, it is important that they must do something to rejuvenate the organization. One good example is Danish toy brand LEGO, which has lost focus in connecting with its target audience, children. Instead of investing in something new, they went back to their roots of the building brick and rediscovered that the brick was still a very compelling idea to children. With that realization, they rejuvenated their marketing of the idea.

Martin Roll feels that culture and emotions play an under-valued role in modern marketing as everything is extremely data-driven these days. If brands are able to successfully understand what affiliations and connections their audiences have, they will stand an incredible advantage in today’s world.

Ensuring personalization within the digital branding age today

With the digital age becoming more and more a reality, there is a risk that brands can become too digitalized. Although brands can leverage digital to a large extent, it is important to not forget the personal experience that customers have with brands. Brands need to strike the perfect balance between leveraging digital to maximize brand awareness and yet staying sensitive to consumers’ wants and needs.

Martin Roll believes that the brands that will become successful will be those that dare to do things differently, while at the same time having a distinctive and appealing message at the right time and place.

Challenges in digital marketing

One of the largest challenges that digital marketers face today is omni-channel. Competing effectively in a digital age is not just about excelling on the digital platform, but it is about ensuring that omni-channel can effectively combine all marketing resources.

Another challenge is being able to de-clutter, to go back to a brand’s roots and connect with the consumer. Consumers in the digital age are very fickle and expect companies to constantly be updated with competitors’ offerings. Martin Roll advised that marketing agility will be one of the critical success factors of brands in the digital age.

Media link

This interview appeared on in May 2017 in English.

Read the full interview here: Martin Roll Featured In Gulf Marketing Review – There’s A Risk For Many Brands To Become Too Digitalized

Read more: Arab Luxury World 22 – 23 May 2017

Read more (download PDF): INSEAD Executive Workshop – Disruptive Innovation & Luxury: Ideas Implemented