Digital Strategy At Danone Early Life Nutrition

We spoke with Vivien Cheng, the food giant's Digital Manager of Brand and Consumer Engagement for its Early Life Nutrition group


Vivien Cheng joined Danone in August 2017 and is currently responsible for driving consumer engagement across the whole brand portfolio. She has since spearheaded inaugural CRM and marketing intelligence implementation programs, and led digital transformation activities across the organization. She is also the project lead for key digital innovation and technology infrastructure builds. 

Ahead of her presentation at the Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit this April 18 - 19 in Hong Kong, we sat down with Vivien to discuss Danone's approach to digital marketing, as well as its preparations for the impending GDPR regulation. 

What, in your view, are the key components of a successful digital strategy?

Everything starts from having the right mindset and support of the organization; to implement the right strategy, there could be a lot of technology infrastructure investment that needs to be done first. Each market will have its own requirements, so it’s vital to separate what you must invest in, from the excitement of emerging technology.

Do you see a future for chatbots in marketing? What other technologies can you see having an impact down the line?

Yes, I most definitely do see a future for chatbots, both in the e-commerce and customer service sectors. As the technology matures, I envision data silos breaking down even more to create a more robust single view of the customer, accessible across all departments.

How central is data to Danone’s consumer engagement strategy?

Extremely. Data is how we understand our consumers and what they’re looking for. At the end of the day, we’re here to serve our consumers the way that they would like to be served, and data enables us to do that.

When venturing into new markets, how do you and your team adjust your digital strategy to ensure it’s the right fit?

Our industry is a heavily regulated one, so we are extremely sensitive to each market’s regulations. Each market has a different way of using digital; China, in particular, is interesting, as it’s important to not view China as one single market, but several different markets. How a consumer in Shenzhen would interact with our brand, for instance, will be very different from how a consumer in Shanghai would.

How is Danone planning for the impending GDPR legislation? And do you think recent data scandals will see similar legislation rolled out worldwide?

We’re working with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that we’re following industry regulations, as well as planning ahead for future legislation. As the public becomes more aware of the type of data they’re giving out, I think there will be stronger calls for more transparency in how we’re managing data. I don’t see this as a negative at all, as it pushes us to meet our consumers’ increasing standards.

What will you be discussing in your presentation?

Chatbots are being adopted across industries, and I want to explore how chatbots can go beyond customer service. With the correct infrastructure in place, chatbots can provide robust data on consumers’ brand perception, how they purchase and interact with your brand.

Hear more from Vivien, along with many other industry-leading digital marketing and strategy executives, at the Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit this April 18 - 19 in Hong Kong. To see the full schedule, click here.

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