Emakina @Vlerick: the new reality is blurry/bright

Author: Luc Malcorps

Power is shifting from marketer to customer, and the new reality is blurry/bright. Starting from this provocative statement, the Vlerick Marketing Alumni gathered several hundred marketeers and business people for its annual colloquium in Gent this week.


Emakina very much was part of this marketing get-together, with participants from Emakina.BE, The Reference and Design is Dead, a key role of a colleague in the organisation, and a special interactive session plus lunch with keynote speaker Peter Hinssen.

The New Normal

In a private interactive session for Emakina’s clients and guests, Hinssen – author of  ‘The New Normal’- shared his views on how companies should address a society without digital limits:  they have no choice but to match the speed of customers. Peter told exciting stories on tough challenges in media, banks, pharma and retail companies, and spiced things up up with examples of digital game changers such as Google and Twitter and Ripple.

Peter_hinssen_EmakinaPeter Hinssen explains how to create a fluid organisation to the Emakina guests.

The case of UK retail giant TESCO is also striking, says Hinssen.
The company is establishing multichannel leadership, by building a seamless experience around its customers. They not only shop instore, but also online, in the Tesco restaurants, at the Bank or across a combination of them all. The result is that digital is winning ground fast. International online sales grew by 46.5% to £281m in 2013, contributing to online sales for the Group as a whole of more than £3bn. And the physical and online offerings learn from eachother, leading to a future in convergence, integrating the online reality in the physical world.

British Airways also dramatically improves its customer experience, through in-flight technology. 2,000 senior cabin crew today consult the ‘Enhanced Services Platform’ on iPads. They have the ‘lowdown’ on who is on board and can check relevant passenger details in real-time, such as itineraries and meal preferences.

Emakina_lunch_VlerickAnimated conversations during the Emakina Lunch at the Vlerick Colloquium.

 In his next book ‘The Network Always Wins’, Hinssen will stress that we live in a world of networks, that grow without a grand design. In that respect, they’re much more organic than any structure we deliberately create in our organizations. Hierarchic and silo-structured companies are in trouble. Business today needs to be fluid, flexible and quick-paced, to guarantee its future.  They need to mirror the network, because the network always wins.

Marion_Debruyne  Professor Marion Debruyne shares the idea that companies need to move fast.

 The colloquium offered some valuable ideas to get to work with. And besides this, there was also plenty of room for real-life networking with many enthusistic marketing colleagues. A lot was said, a lot of energy in the room. A good vibe. All took something positive with them.

To repeat the words of first keynote speaker Neil Bearden, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD: “It is not what you say, it’s what they remember. And memory is reconstructive.”

Catering Fluid organisation in action: the catering team receive a last minute briefing.

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