Vienna Lee

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Vienna is a digital marketing leader, specializing in driving growth through user-centric approaches and data-inspired strategies.

Vienna leads CRM and Analytics at Livi Bank, an innovative financial institution in Hong Kong. She has also led Digital Marketing at global brands like the South China Morning Post, and for airline and insurance clients at McCann World Group.

Third Party Cookie Sunsetting and User-Centric Digital Marketing with Vienna Lee

Here we ask Vienna three key questions on the changing marketing landscape and the value of user-centric digital marketing.

Over the past months or years, what trends or changes have you noticed in the Digital Marketing landscape that are worth paying attention to?

The trend of AI created content is definitely catching on in the digital space. With AI generated content and AI chatbots, we need to evaluate how much these AI influences could impact users’ behaviour and their digital journeys. 

From product awareness, consideration and evaluation, AI chatbots select the information for the users, determining how the information is presented and the narrative being used.  Brands and businesses need to be ready to redesign the customer journey, from discovery to conversion and retention. We need to formulate new ways to work with AI tools; to keep up with the exposure across different stages of the journey, and at the same time, build smooth connections between AI recommendations and the on-premise conversion journeys.  

Another area marketers need to consider is how to manage users’ expectations. 

How can we reconnect with the AI recommendations and create seamless experiences for our customers to make their conversion? 

We need to be more cautious on managing customers’ expectations. When the AI chatbot recommends a product / service, we have minimal control over the type of content that the AI recommends. Users’ expectations will be influenced by the AI recommendations, making it much more challenging for marketers to ensure these AI chatbots reference the accurate and consistent content for similar recommendations.

There is so much more for digital marketers and businesses to explore and to learn to “work with” AI recommendation algorithms in the near future.

With the sunsetting of third-party cookies, how do you currently approach first-party data acquisition as well as the wider digital strategy?

With the final count-down on third-party cookies, we have become more creative in our quests for alternative data points that help us identify our customers and to connect with more personalized journeys. 

When we look beyond cookies, we focus on engagements happening in mid to bottom funnel. With CRM engagements, engagement programs and conversion / transaction data, we have more quality data points that help us understand our customers’ preference. We call it the “Mission Center” or “Engagement Center”. 

This is where we design “specific interactions” with goals to learn more about our customers.  We segment users, and their journeys by how much more (or how little) we know about them. We learn about our customers through their actions, and improve the engagements and understandings through incentives, delightful interactions and gamified experience. 

The up-side for this approach is more accuracy in understanding our customers and more opportunities in nurturing habitual engagements. The down-side is adjusting to the lesser volume of data, compare to third-party cookies.

Tell us about what makes you passionate about User-Centric Digital Marketing and your general approach to it

Digital Marketing has evolved a lot in the past two decades, there is always something new to test and to learn. Through the years, digital marketing tools have changed, strategies redefined, and measurement metrics have evolved; the only thing that remains constant is the people - the Users.  

I have had the luxury to drive and witness the digital transformation in business and in multiple industries. Having been a part in driving digital transformations in the past decades, I feel obligated to provide better user experiences, and continue to bridge the change between the evolution of digital tools and users' expectations.

I consider User-Centric digital marketing as the perfect combination of art, science and technology. The evolutions in technology give us more ways to interact with our users; the science in data applications and data modelling help us understand our users; the design of the journeys and craft of the communications are the artistic medium for digital marketers (the artists) to engage with our audience (the users). 

There are a few questions that we ask ourselves when we design any user-centric digital marketing strategies, campaigns or communications. 

  • What is the problem / users’ painpoints we are trying to address? 
  • Who are we here to serve? Will our users enjoy this experience?
  • How can we simplify the process? Can we build on positive emotions in this experience?  
  • How should a user feel when they go through our journeys? Is this how we want them to feel?

There is so much more to learn and to evolve with the user-centric approach. With the rising popularity of AI-supported tools, the next revolution in digital marketing will circle around AI-tools, and how users continue to interact with them. Digital marketers and businesses need to be ready for this change. 

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