Laarni de Lusong | Ernst & Young

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What is the one marketing platform / app / solution you can’t live without? Why?

– Today, when search is ultimately the first touchpoint for most audiences, Google Keyword Planner. It not only provides media insights, it provides insight into what people are actually thinking about or searching for which informs their current mindset. I can then apply these ideas to other marketing channels.

How do you see the skillsets needed for the marketing profession changing?

– The only constant is change. For most marketing professionals now, the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn new tools, new platforms and new approaches will be key to the ever changing marketplace.

With the recent developments and incorporation of technology, should we still perceive marketing as a social science?

– I still believe marketing is a social science. In the end, people still are driven and influenced by the society and the people he interacts with in an emotional, sometimes non-logical way. However, we have to consider that more and more, we have the tools to measure in an objective fashion what was once considered “unmeasurable.” Social science after all is a type of science and a scientific approach to marketing is essential today.

With the exponential rise of technology, is there still room for offline marketing?

– Yes. With increasing concerns about privacy and data protection, there will be channels or areas in a markets decision making that we cannot measure, monitor or quantify. Eventually, people will increasingly desire to be offline or off grid, albeit a specific segment is inclined to do this. These are moments we still need to plan for and be prepared to address. After all, not every product or service is bought or chosen through online channels.

How do you balance experimenting with new technologies vs investing in current technologies that you already utilise?

– I still believe in simplicity. Adopting technologies for technologies sake is the wrong approach. We start with understanding what our marketing problem is. Whatever solution, whether old tech or new tech, solves it at the right price and at the right speed is the right technology. The speed at which we check which tools are better for solving the problem is also a key variable.

How do you connect, engage and build a persistent relationship with your customers?

– It boils down to seriously putting oneself in the customer’s shoes and honestly addressing his needs, pain points and relating with him at a personal level, even anticipating a need he never thought of before. That takes time and cannot be built overnight.

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