Bloomberg Growth Summit
November 3, 2022
Top executives from some of the world’s most exciting companies came together to talk about how they’re taking their businesses to the next level with customer-centric strategies. They discussed workforce transformation, the ethical use of customer data, sustainability, technology and much more.
- Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce
- Nick Caton, Chief B2B Officer, AB InBev
- Andrew Deye, Vice President, Strategy, JobsOhio
- Camilo Durana, Executive Vice President, Club Services and Fan Development, Major League Soccer (MLS)
- Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, Virgin Atlantic
- Derek Gordon, Chief DE&I Officer, Colgate-Palmolive
- Haris Khan, Vice President of Operations Services, Chipotle Mexican Grill
- Niki King, Head of Sustainability, Unilever, North America
- Scott MIlls, President & CEO, BET
- Manish Misra, Vice President, Strategy & Integration, New Energies, Chevron
- Mark McCombe, Senior Managing Director, Chief Client Officer, BlackRock
- Holly O’Neill, President, Retail Banking, Bank of America
- Arpan Podduturi, Vice President of Product, Shopify
- Kristine Poznanski, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Business Solutions, MetLife
- Nicole Rafferty, Senior Vice President, Customer Care, AT&T Services
- Sriram Raghavan, Head of AI Research, IBM
- Sokwoo Rhee, Corporate Senior Vice President for Innovation, LG Electronics, Head of LG NOVA
- Tom Rivers, Vice President of Global Marketing, Automotive, HARMAN
- Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President & Group General Manager, Electronic Arts
- Bunita Sawhney, Executive Vice President, US Financial Institutions, Mastercard
- Mihir Shah, Head of Enterprise Data, Fidelity Investments
- Sami Siddiqui, President, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
- Jonah Smith, Global Head of Environmental Social Governance & President of the Kraft Heinz Foundation, The Kraft Heinz Company
- Lili Tomovich, Chief Marketing Officer, Barclays US Consumer BankNaz Vahid, Managing Director & Global Head, Citi Global Wealth at Work
- Naz Vahid, Managing Director & Global Head, Citi Global Wealth at Work
- Anton Vincent, President, Mars Wrigley North America
- Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Lisa Abramowicz, Co-Host, Bloomberg Surveillance
- Brody Ford, Reporter, Bloomberg
- Scarlet Fu, Anchor, Bloomberg TV
- Katie Greifeld, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg
- Caroline Hyde, Anchor, Bloomberg TV
- Carol Massar, Anchor, Bloomberg Businessweek TV & Radio
- Mark Miller, Global Editor, Bloomberg Live
- Anurag Rana, Technology Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence
- Taylor Riggs, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
- Lucas Shaw, Head of Media and Entertainment Coverage, Bloomberg
- Tim Stenovec, Anchor, Bloomberg Quicktake & Bloomberg Radio
- Janet Wu, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg
In Conversation with Scott Mills, President & CEO, BET
When he came onboard four years ago, Scott MIlls, President & CEO, BET was faced with the decline of the cable network, but was determined not to lose the unique role BET plays in the Black community. They landed on a framework of content, community and culture, building out the other pieces of the ecosystem to create a series of interconnected platforms – studios, streaming services and expanding digital. “It allowed us to expand our relationship with talent, our advertising partners, with content providers, and it ultimately strengthened our legacy cable business.”
Workforce Transformation: Creating a Customer-Centric Culture
“DE&I is not an initiative for us,” said Derek Gordon, Chief DE&I Officer, Colgate-Palmolive. “It is who we are and the way that we think and operate.” Restructuring their marketing perspective to be digital first and connect with customers got a boost from their existing culture. “If you have a diverse organization, it gives you a headstart in terms of understanding customers.” Believing the company could drive cultural change required first stepping back and really learning about diversity.
Unlocking their technology to support the employee base, and be able to connect, led to a program called “Unlocked” at Mastercard, said Bunita Sawhney, Executive Vice President, US Financial Institutions. It’s an AI-driven, employee-led platform that facilitates peer networking, mentoring, upskilling, trying out new roles and finding short-term assignments. “So, as much as we’re about attracting new talent and having a great, purpose-driven brand, it’s also about ensuring that we’re retaining and engaging our employees, and fostering their growth.”
Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce noted that for the first time, there are five generations in the workforce, which means a diversity of expectations when it comes to career growth. Add to that the hyperfocus on the customer, and employees can be neglected. Their research of companies supporting both revealed they have 1.8 times the growth rate. “For a billion dollar brand it’s a $40 million impact. I’m excited to see that people are starting to have these difficult conversations around the need to pay more attention to our employees.”
JobsOhio Sponsor Spotlight: Model for Growth – Ohio’s Competitive Advantage
Andrew Deye, Vice President, Strategy, JobsOhio left his New York City investment banker job and returned to his home state with a mission to foster prosperity and help build the leading private economic development organization in the U.S, offering statistics that support their success. Currently, 25% of their customers are large capital, 50% are middle market and a quarter are small businesses, and one in six are international. “The common denominator is the search for a stable, profitable and sustainable place to operate.” In 2022, Intel announced the building of a $20 billion advanced semiconductor chip factory in central Ohio.
The Art of Anticipation
“You get to know your clients in ways that you didn’t before, ” said Naz Vahid, Managing Director & Global Head, Citi Global Wealth at Work, of a silver lining of remote working. “You see their dogs, their kids, their lives. It created a conversation that was deeper than if you were sitting at lunch or in their office. A good banker has been able to carry that beyond Zoom life.” That said, relationships are more solid when people meet in person, and there’s been a need to refocus employees who prefer the ease of virtual meetings.
Listening to clients led to new and lucrative opportunities, according to Nick Caton, Chief B2B Officer, AB InBev. They learned that B2B clients would not only accept tech-based interaction, they embraced it, particularly the option to communicate outside business hours. Clients asked to be able to order other products on the AB inBev ecommerce platform. “We now have more than 200 partners in our marketplace and added nearly $1 billion in revenue.” They launched in Tanzania and Uganda this year, where bandwidth is an issue. “We had to tailor our offerings, know customers very deeply, and meet them where they are.”
Mark McCombe, Senior Managing Director, Chief Client Officer, BlackRock offered an introspective look at connections, thinking of the pandemic as a continuously tightened spring. As new ways to interact came into play, “We were all surprised to the degree to which productivity levels and processes all worked pretty smoothly.” Yet the craving to stay connected amidst remote working wound the spring tighter. “What’s amazing is when you let the spring go, what happens is a degree of emotional connectivity, to see clients again, in person, people you’ve spoken to six times but never met. it really is quite extraordinary.” The world is experiencing a “quiet PTSD” as people now try to figure out hybrid working models.
Customer Service as a Driver of Growth – Leisure
At some SoCal Chipotle restaurants, “Chippy” the robot is frying up the tortilla chips. Haris Khan, Vice President of Operations Services, Chipotle Mexican Grill, said it’s part of a test of back-of-house streamlining to free up team members to be where the customers are. “You’re never going to see a robot on the front line.” Supporting the food supply means addressing the 40% decrease in farmers. Their efforts include committing $5 million over the next five years toward local farming initiatives.
Camilo Durana, Executive Vice President, Club Services and Fan Development, Major League Soccer (MLS) is hoping to “own” Saturday nights, with major league soccer and total fan access; a single subscription, no blackouts. “The idea is for a place fans can go worldwide to watch our games.” Eighty-three percent of fans are already live streaming sports on a weekly basis. “We’re really excited to provide that service, and think about new opportunities, as well.” He added that with players from 82 countries, soccer is the most diverse league.
Customer Service as a Driver of Growth – Business
Figuring out the best customer experience requires looking beyond their industry, said Holly O’Neill, President, Retail Banking, Bank of America. “We look at everybody, Apple, Amazon, Zappos, you name it. We really think about how we translate that into finance. Looking at what’s innovative out in the marketplace sets the bar for our teams.” Asked to name one great customer experience, she gave a nod to Nordstrom for always making the experience feel very personal.
For Kristine Poznanski, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Business Solutions, MetLife, Zappos’ customer service is second-to-none for their seamless experience where the customer is always right. “They are a company that gets it.” For MetLife, it’s about focusing on a high-tech, high-touch experience, but maintaining human connections. “Talent is critical to building the right product.” Clients often focus on one thing, but they are hearing about available digital advantages during conversations with bank employees. “We really partner with the client to get them there.”
The Development Process: Partnering with the Customer – Services
“We are big believers that everyone is a product thinker inside of the company, ” said Arpan Podduturi, Vice President of Product, Shopify. “If you’re a salesperson, you’re a product thinker. If you’re in customer service, you’re a product thinker. It trickles through every decision we make. Having no broken windows in the experience is something we are very proud of.” Quality of product execution and removing friction from the merchant experience is how they ensure their competitive spends.
Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President & Group General Manager, Electronic Arts offered a look at customers through a gaming lens, noting that two-thirds of Americans game online, and are engaged with their products an average of 13 hours per week. Data around player behavior is used to fine-tune offerings. They even have conversations with super fans. “We marry the qualitative and quantitative, and that’s how we engage with our players.”
Lili Tomovich, Chief Marketing Officer, Barclays US Consumer Bank spoke to moving from lagging indicators to leading indicators. When they launch new credit card portfolio products, they use large command centers to get real-time data. “So we know exactly what’s happening on the phones, through our website and our mobile app, and we’re able to aggregate information.” Moving to real-time KPIs and metrics allows them to be instantly reactive, or to get ahead of issues.
The Development Process: Partnering with the Customer – Products
A sales mission to create something from “something from nothing,” was described by Sokwoo Rhee, Corporate Senior Vice President for Innovation, LG Electronics, Head of LG NOVA, speaking to data and solution goals. He noted their work in digital health and the metaverse, neither of which has a footprint. It’s basically working with startups. “We say, you guys are experts. Please bring your suggestions and ideas. We ask how they are going to work LG instead of us telling them how we are going to work with them.”
Tom Rivers, Vice President of Global Marketing, Automotive, HARMAN spoke to developing the industry’s first driving experience index. After next year’s planned launch, any type of trip, from running the kids to school to a vacation, will prompt the driver to submit a rating, right on their dashboard. The initiative includes an advisory council comprising 33 companies. Scores for vehicles will allow consumers to say, “I would like that car because it delivers that type of an experience for me.”
Customer Growth: The Ethical Approach
Mihir Shah, Head of Enterprise Data, Fidelity Investments suggested consumers read user agreements on apps, noted trust is their top priority, and that they have to abide by many controls over data, including the ethical, legal and contractual. “You can be very comfortable with large companies who are putting in a lot of effort to make sure the data is safe.” There are companies purely in the business to collect data, but those like Fidelity, he said, use it to drive product development and customer service.
From a marketing perspective, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, Virgin Atlantic, explained there are two types of collected data; what is required to do business, like they would with any transaction, and what customers choose to provide in terms of preferences. It’s a value exchange that leads to personalization, such as meal preferences or the need for special accommodations. “We have seen a 10 point improvement in NPS for customers who partake in that service.”
Sustainability as a Growth Strategy
Niki King, Head of Sustainability, Unilever, North America spoke to stakeholders beyond the customer and how they demand sustainability. The climate transition action plan they created last year put them among the first of their size to do so. “It really lays out our climate goals and how we’re going to achieve those goals. It’s our road map to decarbonization.” They put it to a shareholder vote, expecting maybe half would go for it. “We were very shocked to find that 99.6% of shareholders voted in favor of it.”
Jonah Smith, Global Head of Environmental Social Governance & President of the Kraft Heinz Foundation, The Kraft Heinz Company said the push for sustainability comes from all stakeholders. For enterprises, it’s not just the boutique ESG firms anymore. “It’s your big Blackrocks and your Vanguards, and all these major investment platforms that are making ESG a centerpiece of their platform, because they know their clientele are asking for the same thing. It’s undeniable, like the climate crisis. It’s here, and you have to address it.”
Addressing the costs, and the willingness of customers and investors to pay for them, Manish Misra, Vice President, Strategy & Integration, New Energies, Chevron said that although they don’t have any pricing power, from a broader perspective, their stakeholders, “expect us to start developing solutions that do lower the carbon intensity.” For instance, at a customer’s request, they recently sold a cargo of liquified natural gas paired with offsets. “The customer wanted a lower carbon product and was willing to pay for it. This is where it comes back to the scale aspect.”
In Conversation With: Anton Vincent, President, Mars Wrigley North America
Getting the most important thing out of the way, Anton Vincent, President, Mars Wrigley North America, confirmed Halloween commerce is back. Moving out of the pandemic – “a textbook example of a black swan event” – they are seeing changes in buying patterns, with consumers no longer fearing unavailability and buying in bulk, and their employees reevaluating the relationship between their jobs and lives. “For global companies, it’s about how we feed into that, how do we co-create around what that experience should be and how do we deliver a work experience in particular where we can attract talent. Producing work is not the issue. It’s what the culture feels like.”
On innovation and growth in the candy space, it’s become about experiences, such as going to an M&M’S store, customizing colors for purchase, and adding purple. “We’re trying to make M&M’S mean something, have a point of view in the world and hope that it’s consistent with our growing consumer set.”
Making it Possible: Technology
When it comes to keeping customers happy when interacting with chat bots, Nicole Rafferty, Senior Vice President, Customer Care, AT&T Services said she shares in the frustrations, and they are working on a more robust system that can go beyond answering one question at a time. “They can be more natural, with more of a conversational tone. You can use technologies to make them smarter,” such as explaining to customers why their bill changed, and then letting them pay it on the spot.
Sriram Raghavan, Head of AI Research, IBM spoke about two elements to automation; empowering the customer to get answers quickly and empowering customer service employees to provide the best possible experience. “To me, automation and better customer experience are actually two sides of the same coin, when you are talking about processes that touch a customer.” For the future of automated technologies, he sees the need for a better basis for technology deployment.
Sami Siddiqui, President, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen said ROI is very important, but it’s different for them, as a fully franchised system with 3,000 restaurants in the U.S. “We’re trying to convince franchisees, ultimately, to make the investment. In a lot of cases, they are mom and pop entrepreneurs who are managing to a slim margin.” Technology ROIs are critical on a financial basis, but what it comes down to is digital begets success. He spoke about launching a successful app and loyalty program, which is demonstrating the value of technology and prompting more investment.
In Conversation With: Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
On current demand, Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, said he can only guess more lighthearted films, but it’s always challenging to know what will work. This past summer, their “original” films outperformed blockbuster/superhero fare.
The goal is to stay out of politics, but it comes to bear on the world stage. Spiderman made nearly $2 billion at the box office, he said, and would have made up to $500 million in China alone, had it been distributed there. “We don’t have Russia anymore. It was one of our top five markets. It’s a challenge, but you have to go with what you have. We are not going to have any impact on countries embroiled in geopolitical issues.” As to controlling the narrative, it’s simply not something they strive to do.
In Depth With Lucas Shaw: The Future of the Entertainment Economy
Predicting what’s coming requires looking at the last 10 years, when Netflix was “the driver of everything.” With the economy, growth has slowed down over the last 18 months. “Streaming is not profitable. “Right now, if you take Netflix out of the picture, all the other companies, collectively, are losing $10-15 billion per year.” Investors in the industry look for profitability along with growth.
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