Brands Talk About Digital Engagement at Ad Age Conference September 27, 2012 by Sirpa Aggarwal Ad Age Digital, Brands, British Airways, Digital Marketing, Heineken USA, Lenovo Last week’s Ad Age Digital Conference in San Francisco featured leading brands talking about engagement in the digital era that is becoming increasingly social. These customer-centric brands have all integrated social in their efforts to deliver engaging quality content and experiences for customers. Here are some strategies shared by the brands during the day’s presentations. Many consumer brands have realized the power of humor to engage fans, among them beer brands. As Lesya Lysyj, CMO of Heineken USA, said: “Humor does work in the beer category.” Dos Equis ads featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World” are examples of humor delivered via engaging videos that rank among top TV commercials. Heineken ads in the meantime have frequented Ad Age’s Viral Video Chart. Lenovo, the Chinese PC maker, has also explored use of humor in its latest innovative videos. This is part of Lenovo’s new efforts to improve the brand’s visibility, especially among younger people. Brands partnering around major sports and sports events is another venue to drive fan engagement. Heineken, for example, has partnered with UEFA Champions League soccer. Heineken provides also an example of a brand that is successfully using social networking sites to engage fans. The brand has amassed a loyal following on both Twitter and Facebook, using fan feedback from Facebook to understand what resonates with fans. British Airways is an example of a brand building customer engagement by improving the quality of its service. Since travel experiences are among the most-shared experiences among people, the airline has been striving to make those experiences positive for its passengers with the use of the airline’s “Know Me” program. The program is tapping into all the data collected about passengers traveling on British Airways to elevate the level of customer service before, during, and after flights. Use of relevant data at the right time has enabled the airline to tailor its service to match each individual passenger’s unique needs and preferences. The specialized attention has resulted in increased customer satisfaction. Simon Talling-Smith, EVP, The Americas at British Airways, said that improvement in service quality builds loyalty that is more valuable than product investments. The above were some examples of how brands are using digital tools to build engagement. Digital marketing has grown into the biggest channel in the $160 billion advertising market. Brands’ ability to integrate digital marketing with engaging content delivered across all platforms is now a new key success metric.