Finding Human Connections through Customer Experiences

Adobe Conference March 2019

Seventeen thousand participants. Easy-to-use app. Stunning expo center. Pages upon pages of notes. Celebrity speakers including Reese Witherspoon, Drew Brees and Mindy Kaling, all of whom were incredibly inspirational. Eight miles walked each day from the hotel, to the conference center and back again. A brain swimming with new ideas to bring back to our clients. Quite an experience! I’ve heard the Adobe Summit is a “must attend”, however, this was my first time at the event and it certainly did not disappoint. Except for my lack of luck at the blackjack table, it was an insightful and memorable trip to Las Vegas.


The theme of this year’s Adobe Summit was Customer Experience and one session that exemplified that theme was titled Humanizing Your Brand: How to Align with Your Customer’s Values. In this session Rachel Curry, Director of Marketing at Volvo, and Resh Sidhu, Group Creative Director at AKQA, shared how they are evolving and aligning their brand with their consumers and their values. They believe their success is based on focusing on what their customers believe in even more importantly than what they want or need.

Their customers want the process to be easy, they live in a fully connected world and they want the same in their car experience. Volvo will never give up on the safety focus that is their legacy, but in researching their customer they leaned into the changing demands and started focusing on the experience. They partnered with Amazon for orders delivered right to your car. They launched “Care by Volvo”, a subscription-based car purchase option. And they are now piloting augmented-reality (AR) technology to be used for ordering your car, allowing you to customize all aspects in the AR environment ahead of purchase. Just one example of a truly innovative and game-changing approach to creating an exceptional customer experience.

It was validating to see that the content presented and the speakers at the Summit were in lockstep with our focus and positioning as an agency. At closerlook, we’ve been obsessed with relevance for years, and more recently empathy has risen to the top of how we think about the work we do. I’ve always maintained that natural curiosity is a feature that we must possess to be successful as a firm. Curiosity about the patients and families that need our products. Curiosity about the product itself and the science behind it. And as a client service lead, curiosity about our client contacts and what inspires them——to truly provide great client service, you need a dedication to deeply understanding the person on the other end of the line. We are a customer-centric team, and we work with our clients on customer-centric solutions.

Aligning with customer values is particularly important in the healthcare marketing world. We must begin by understanding the beliefs and values of the customer and let that inform how we reach those customers and what we say to them. Not unlike the auto industry, we too are facing emerging markets, rapid innovation, sustainability and changing consumer behavior. Pharma brands could use a little “humanizing”, and by starting with the values of the customer we can find that connection that will differentiate our clients’ brands. We must help them find the story to tell that sets them apart and find the stories that aren’t the standard pharma set of moves.

  Allison Davis, Chief Client Officer

   Learn more about closerlook here.



Tags: events, healthcare, industry, innovation

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