William Hill PLC, one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies and trusted UK high-street brand, has recently undergone a significant strategy review. The strategic changes came in response to the fact that more and more of its customers want to engage with the company via digital and increasingly also via mobile platforms — which at Forrester we refer to as the mobile mind shift

In this new business context, William Hill now focuses on three main initiatives for expansion: 1) develop a wider product range, 2) encourage greater multichannel usage, and 3) increase internationalisation. To better understand how it is tackling these business priorities and, in particular, how the firm is driving multichannel usage by delivering visible value (and in context), we invited Kristof Fahy, William Hill’s Chief Marketing Officer to deliver a keynote presentation at Forrester's Forum For Marketing Leaders in London coming up on May 13-14.

In the run-up to the Forum, Kristof was kind enough to answer a few questions to provide a sneak preview to the content from his speech. I hope you enjoy his responses as much as I did, and I look forward to seeing many of you in London!

Q. You’ve led marketing efforts at a wide variety of companies, from big and established brands like Orange and BlackBerry to challengers like Yahoo. Are there key things that all brands—regardless of size and industry—should be doing today to stay relevant and top of mind in our hyper-connected, multi-channel world?

Firstly, listen to your users. As we become more connected and continue to be always on you users are saying more and more about you to the people they know, to the organisations they work for and to their social and any other networks they may be part of. You need to be listening to them, for the good, and the bad. And, you need to react. So, if you are not listening – start now. If you are listening, make sure you are acting on what you hear. This doesn’t mean that your business should stop innovating and doing what it does well – it just means that you can’t and must not do it in glorious isolation. Secondly, be curious. If a marketers or a marketing team are not curious about the world around them then that’s a real shame. Curious about technology and what it might mean, curious about changes in human behaviours, curious about anything that could change how you make money.

Q. In your view, what is the role that mobile and location-aware devices can play in a consumer's context and — by extension  in a marketer’s attempt to engage with that consumer?

Mobile is vital. All you have to do is examine your own behaviour and those of the people around you. So, providing relevant, engaging and useful products services is key to engaging customers through mobile.

Q. How do you think multi-channel brands  like William Hill — should orchestrate the store and digital platform experience?

I just want customers to be able to interact with us how, and where, they wish. Retail can provide a real personal experience compared to digital, and people do like to interact with people. Digital provides the ultimate in accessibility and convenience. There is a place for them both – how we bring those together and use the best of both is a live opportunity for us at the moment.

Q. In your session, you’re going to talk about how highly personalized user experiences lead to more-meaningful engagement. Will there still be room for personalized brand experiences when Siri and Google Now will intermediate most interactions? 

Really, will they? They may for some and not for others. And, you will still be expected to deliver those experiences either directly or through an intermediary.


Hear more from Kristof at Forrester's Forum For Marketing Leaders, May 13-14 in London.