Advertising, promotions and PR are still parts of the “marketing toolbox,” but building experiences is central to building a community around a brand—especially a socially conscious brand, said Becca Hoeft, chief brand officer of Sunrise Banks. The bank was founded in the 1980’s as a financial institution dedicated to community development and social responsibility build on “the whole idea of doing good.”
Social responsibility and user experience are connected, Hoeft told Velocitize talks. Going to market as a social engine for good requires being careful about creating repeated positive experiences, said Hoeft.
“A brand is really a vessel of meaning and trust and its fueled by experiences,” she said.
The public is “tired of being sold to,” Hoeft noted. At the same time, a desire to belong is at the core of most human desires, she said. Experiences—both consumers’ and employees—are key to the brand, to build that community, said Hoeft: “You’re creating believers in your brand.”
Data and technology have a place in that experience by facilitating those relationships. Hoeft noted Sunrise Banks is redoing its online experience to leverage artificial intelligence to push content that is more relevant to each customer. “It becomes a very special curated experience to every individual,” she said.
Those tools are bound to have a bigger effect as they get combined with other emerging technologies, as well as refined applications of older technologies, such as the new version of Google Glass for business being developed, Hoeft explained.
“We’re just starting to just understand what AI and machine learning can do,” said Hoeft. “As marketers, we are playing around with it on the website, we’re starting to understand what it can do, but I think there’s more to it.”
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