Customer Engagement

Transform Customer Engagement with the Trends from Cannes Lions

Team Braze By Team Braze Jul 2, 2024

This year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity was a dazzling showcase of innovation, captivating marketers and brands from around the globe with visionary trends set to shape the future of customer engagement

Braze had a phenomenal week brimming with brand-building activities, engaging meetings with top brands and partners, and stellar events alongside WPP, Raconteur | B Corp™, VCCP, Accenture, and Forbes. From the groundbreaking integration of AI to the art of personalized marketing and the clever use of humor in campaigns, the insights gleaned from this year’s festival are nothing short of transformative for marketers eager to elevate their customer engagement strategies.

Interest in AI remains steadfast

AI and its intersection with creativity were once again a huge topic of conversation. For the first time, brands were prompted to disclose in their Lions award submission whether AI was leveraged, and 12% said it was.

So, while everyone was talking about AI, most brands were still unsure of how best to integrate it into their business strategy and use it, especially for practical use cases.

What this means for customer engagement:

AI is an impactful tool, capable of enhancing both creativity and strategy in marketing. As seen in the Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review, many marketers are facing challenges such as focusing too much on KPIs, spending excessive time on routine tasks, lacking technology for creative execution, and demonstrating the ROI of creativity. AI can alleviate these issues by automating repetitive tasks, freeing up time for creative thinking, and optimizing strategies in real-time.

However, there's still potential for growth in using AI to generate creative ideas, enhance data analysis, power predictive analytics, and personalize campaigns. Those who lean into AI and adopt use cases like these early can overcome roadblocks and drive innovative, strategic customer engagement faster.

So where should you start with AI? As Braze SVP of Growth Spencer Burke remarked during the VCCP and Raconteur | B Corp™ panel on maximizing effectiveness and creativity through tech, "I try to reassure everyone you’re not behind, you’re right where you are if you’re asking this question, that’s the first step."

Personalization wins at relationship-building

Personalization continues to be a dominant theme in the marketing landscape, as highlighted by numerous award-winning projects. More and more brands are leveraging data analytics, AI, and machine learning to deliver highly tailored experiences to individual customers.

In one Lions session, “Commerce x Creativity,” Jeriad Zoghby, Chief Commerce Officer at IPG, and Tiffany Rolfe, Chief Creative Officer at RG/A stressed the need to make transactions more conversational, personal, and inspirational and to use the unprecedented opportunities to differentiate, such as with technology and design, AI, and data.

What this means for customer engagement:

Personalization can significantly enhance customer engagement by making each interaction more relevant and valuable. By leveraging first-party data to deliver personalized content, offers, and recommendations, brands can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and conversion rates.

Marketers can use first-party data to create a more seamless and intuitive customer journey, from personalized email campaigns to customized website experiences. This data, collected directly from customer interactions, provides invaluable insights that enable brands to tailor their messaging and offers precisely to individual preferences and behaviors. However, it’s crucial to balance personalization with privacy, ensuring that data is used ethically and transparently to build trust with customers.

This trend underscores a shift towards creating more relevant and meaningful interactions by understanding and anticipating customer needs and preferences. This, in turn, elevates customer relationships from reactive to predictive and provides unparalleled convenience. It’s also cognizant of consumer demand, with 80% of Braze surveyed consumers saying that personalized experiences are at least somewhat important when making purchases.

Comedy has re-entered the chat

From witty advertisements to clever social media campaigns, humor emerged as an impactful theme across multiple Lions award-winning projects this year. Light-hearted yet smart content captures an audience’s attention, creates connections, and fosters a positive brand identity.

This is perhaps why more brands are incorporating humor in their creative campaigns to delight their audiences and navigate serious topics, making their messages more relatable and engaging. The festival's lineup featured a diverse selection of humorous content, proving that laughter truly is a universal language that can bridge cultural divides and foster a sense of community. Wendy’s, winner of three Bronze Lions, including “Social & Influencer–Use of Humour,” took a bold step by adopting the social media style of their active older audience. By charmingly poking fun at them–typos, annoying all caps, and over-sharing–the Wendy’s campaign resonated with both younger and older audiences. The social media experience felt authentic and relatable and had +136% increased engagement year-over-year.

What this means for customer engagement:

When used appropriately, humor can break down barriers, humanize brands, and create a sense of connection with audiences. Kenan Thompson from Saturday Night Live fame acknowledged during a Lions panel with VML that humor can be tricky because you can’t manufacture a cultural moment or know exactly what will go viral. “Be true to your brand,” he said. “Be confident and be consistent, because we’re all ready to laugh again.”

Marketers can leverage humor to stand out in a crowded marketplace, drive social sharing, and build a loyal customer base. Just ensure that the humor aligns with your brand’s voice and values, while also being sensitive to the unique perspectives of your audience. And if it does go viral? Be ready for it.

Final thoughts

In the world of marketing, it's all too easy for the brilliant ideas sparked by the magic of Cannes Lions to get lost in the shuffle, confined to the pages of a presentation deck. Yet, the true enchantment of these ideas lies in their execution.

Transforming these innovative concepts into actionable customer engagement campaigns is essential for forging meaningful connections and achieving business objectives. When great ideas are brought to life with the right technology, they possess the power to captivate audiences, distinguish the brand, and cultivate loyalty.

Our advice is to seize the moment and actively implement these ideas without delay, creating dynamic and impactful experiences that resonate deeply with customers and turn your creative visions into tangible results.

Team Braze

Team Braze

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