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‘Sometimes, there’s too much romance around the big idea’ – Nikki Mendonça at Mumbrella360 Asia

In a Q&A session following her presentation at Mumbrella360 Asia in Singapore, Accenture Interactive global president Nikki Mendonça expressed misgivings about the primacy of the ‘big idea’. 

After her presentation in which Mendonça made a case for a more customer experience focused approach, an audience member said: “Historically, brands were built through simple ideas that became big. While processes are great, how do you not lose sight of great ideas?”

Mendonça said: “Sometimes, there is too much romance around the big idea that has not translated into growth for the company. Marketing can grow a business and while locking on to the big idea, we have to put it under pressure to see if can deliver. 

“We also need to quantify the effectiveness of brand purpose – to see if it makes people move from Brand A to Brand B or makes them more inclined to stay. We should put some more rigour into the big idea, now that we can.”

Mendonça also fielded a question about the Droga5 acquisition and confirmed that more acquisitions were on the cards. She said: “The honest answer is we are always looking. We are highly acquisitive in terms of companies and talent. We are particularly looking to fill any gaps we have in any shape or form, or areas where we need to scale quickly. It is important to have that first class creativity.”

Explaining why Accenture Interactive picked regionally strong agencies instead of global giants, she said: “We don’t need a global footprint. We have created a network that can take the strategic brand platform and activate it across countries.”

In her presentation, Mendonça said: “The experience economy is the new battlefield: gone are the days of passive communication. 

“Within this field, execution is one of your most powerful weapons. You can articulate on a whiteboard the best experience on the planet, but can you execute it seamlessly across a 100 plus countries?”

The presentation dealt with the ways companies could give primacy to customer experience.

Responding to a question about the reasons driving an orientation towards customer experience, Mendonça said: “The customer has become very unforgiving and demanding. And today, you only exist if you are serving them. Are companies even listening properly? If you don’t listen to and serve your customers, you will go under.”

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