The Aimia Institute had its coming out party in the US this week with an impressive gathering of top brands and marketing thought leaders held in Chicago. The launch event was hosted by Aimia Institute leadership, Aaron Dauphinee and Laura Hewitt.
Among the by-invitation only crowd was Dr. Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago. Dr. Kotler is the author of over 50 books.
Speaking about the role of loyalty marketing in today’s marketing mix, Dr. Kotler queried if it was truly customer advocacy rather than loyalty that brands should be seeking to develop. Some discussion ensued and the group agreed that advocacy is the high-value by-product of a loyal customer group. Offering the opportunity for these “fan-vocates” to co-create with a brand in product development and other projects might be considered a solid retention strategy for the most highly engaged and loyal customers of any brand.
Rachel Botsman was the keynote speaker for the evening and she capably exposed the group to the world of the Collaborative Economy. Ms. Botsman is a valued advisor to emerging brands and venture capital groups seeking to transform the business landscape through collaborative business models.
She shared first hand views of how companies like Uber and Airbnb found their way to public prominence and offered glimpses into the future of business relevant to every brand in the room, whether a bank, pharmacy, or e-commerce giant. One of the many great takeaways was her comment that “the currency of the new collaborative economy is trust”.
Ms. Botsman also talked about what the future use of Big Data will mean to many brands, sharing a quote from Airbnb data head Riley Newman “data is a record of an action someone in your community performed, which represents a decision they made about what to do (or not) with your product”.
The Aimia Institute took a strong step forward in the US market through its launch event this week. We are looking forward to following their future work as this online thought leadership property develops.