My latest chat was with Rob Weston, global brand and marketing director at M&S. Rob and I spoke about all the things that keep his job exciting, from the changing customer in retail, to the power of data and AI.
Rob’s role at M&S is broader than most in retail, covering food, fashion and banking, and has recently expanded to include ownership of the customer – giving him an interesting perspective on the overall customer experience.
Keeping up with the pace of change in retail is a fascinating topic. Bringing the customer experience back to when your local shopkeeper could easily figure out with a conversation what was most important to you. Rob shared his thoughts on how technology can be leveraged to get to that level of personalisation across digital channels as well as in-store.
We talked about:
- Keeping up with the pace of change;
- Focusing on the trends your customers actually care about;
- Picking which few things to do really well;
- Keeping an eye on growing markets, like the ageing population;
- Beyond just mobile, what it means to have the world in your pocket;
- Personalisation as a balancing act;
- How a rental retail model is emerging;
- Personal recommendations as the most powerful form of advertising;
- Offline analytics becoming as good as online;
- The concept of ‘one basket’;
- Loyalty propositions;
- The future of efficient bricks and mortar;
- And remembering the questions you’re trying to answers.