Brands have been encouraged to retain a firm focus on connecting with their target audience on an emotional level.

According to Zaid Al-Qassab, Chief Brand Marketing Officer at BT, the emergence of digital platforms means there is a danger of marketers concentrating on “chasing clicks” above all else.

While he acknowledged that brands must “get brilliant at using digital channels and the world of data” he stressed that the human element must always remain part of the equation.

“If marketers focus on that without understanding customers, it will end up costing brands dearly as they won’t be able to connect with customers properly,” he observed.

Mr Al-Qassab pointed out that many of the digital channels available today can actually help brands connect more closely with their target audience.

For instance, he said they can communicate with people instantly to reassure them if they have heard something that has caused them to worry.

Furthermore, Mr Al-Qassab said brands can react quickly to both positive and negative stories.

“It is expected these days,” he observed.

“People have lots of means of accessing news – not all of it accurate – and as a brand, if you have a good relationship with customers, have to work out what they’re thinking about, talking about, enjoying or worrying about and be able to communicate really fast.”

BT’s CMO says brands have ‘forgotten how to connect’ with customers Marketing Week