The PICNIC Creative Business Club meeting on February 29th focused on “Customer engagement and the trust economy”.

Event report: Consumer Engagement and the Trust Economy...

Companies and Organizations present: Corio, Rabobank, Edelman, Rijksmuseum, Dutch Postcode Lottery, Waag, Hoogeschool van Amsterdam, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Dialogues House/ABN Amro, Amsterdam Innovation Motor, Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, City of Amsterdam, Virtueel Platform, EYE Film Institute, ELM, O’Connell Executive Search, Flight 1337, WiEN’s Ontwerperschap, CloseAlert, Fonk Mobile, Stuvia, Cool Experience, BNO, American Chamber of Commerce, Boom Chicago, Personal Deal, Satorios, Ping Pong, Closed Link, Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship, The Amsterdam Campus, Industrieele Groote Club, Maurice Mikkers Photography, and of course, PICNIC.

The latest PICNIC Creative Business Club event took place in one of our most posh venues yet: Amsterdam’s private Industrieele Groote Club

Click here to see photos of the event taken by the talented Maurice Mikkers.

The topic of the evening was “Customer engagement and the trust economy” and the event featured three inspiring, yet very different presentations by speakers from Edelman, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, and the Rijksmuseum

The panel discussion was moderated by Arthur van de Graaf of Dialogues Incubator, the corporate venturing arm of ABN Amro. Here are the highlights:

Edelman: Robert Phillips, President and CEO EMEA, shook things up by giving an overview of the scary crisis of confidence and trust, especially in government and business. He referred to the findings of Edelman’s 2012 Trust Barometer which was presented at the World Economic Forum in February. The Trust Barometer examines trust in four key institutions -- government, business, media, and NGOs -- as well as communications channels and sources, based on a survey of 30,000 people in 25 countries.

His conclusions: there is a “paralysis of trust in government”, with only 38% of survey respondents saying they trust government which is a record decline. He said general distrust didn’t spread to business (according to the survey), perhaps indicating a general perception that business can solve challenges that governments can’t. To him, “there is a Tahrir Square moment waiting to happen to business and brands” and that they must become more responsible, transparent and customer-centric. Most people do not trust CEOs, academics or regulators. In today’s world, they trust people like themselves (peers, friends, social media contacts) and regular employees, who are now trusted as much as NGOs.

Dutch Postcode Lottery: Jeroen van der Meulen, Head of Database Marketing, provided a real-life case study on how the Lottery moved from a strategy focused on ticket sales to one based on trust. Previously, the Lottery focused heavily on direct mailings, sending out massive amounts of printed marketing.

The Lottery transformed how it engages customers, focusing on customer values such as trust (clear marketing), commitment (more emphasis on good causes), comfort (easier opt-outs and cancellations) and winning experiences (more info on prizes, quicker payout and delivery times). It also put more resources into customer intelligence, database marketing and retention strategies. In January 2011, it launched Operation Knuffelklant (Operation Hug the Customer). The pay-off: Jeroen said that 83% of customers have pledged to play the lottery next year, demonstrating that it pays to hug your customers!

Perhaps what’s most noteworthy about the Dutch Postcode Lottery is its commitment to supporting good causes, including PICNIC. The Lottery supports 81 charity organisations and has contributed more than €3.3 billion to its beneficiaries so far. Since 2007, PICNIC has collaborated with the Lottery to host the awards ceremony for the Green Challenge, a global competition which identifies and rewards the best greenhouse gas-reducing product or service with EUR 500,000 and expert coaching every year.

Rijksmuseum: Erik van Ginkel, Managing Director, talked about engaging customers through art and culture. He gave the audience a sneak peak of Rijks XL, the Rijksmuseum’s ambitious digital platform which will be launched in 2012. The museum will provide the public with access to very high resolution digital images of 125,000 pieces in its collection and challenge people to design and produce all kinds of products and apps. (He showed a particularly beautiful pair of high top sneakers with an image of painted flowers on the side.)

According to Erik, Rijks XL is all about “shared ownership”, everyone being able to own a piece of the Rijksmuseum. The platform will enable people who have never visited the Rijksmuseum or only visited once to “snack on its culture”.

An interesting aspect of Rijks XL is how it will tag the collection and individual images: according to creator, historical period, artistic movements, and elements depicted in images such as snow.

All in all, a lovely event. Thanks to the Industrieele Groote Club for being such a gracious host.

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