Marcel Ribbens – An Outside Perspective from an Insider

When it comes to winning in this digital age, there are few people better placed for giving the majority of people on the outside, an educated perspective from the inside. Marcel Ribbens is one of the few, as the former Global Client Partner at Facebook. He took to the stage his insights into this at the EL/WLA Marketing seminar.

Ribbens outlined what he believed we needed to challenge, in order to move into the digital age that is ever growing in the current climate. His first point was amending our way of thinking – we need to think mobile first. With more than 50% of media consumption now being digital this is a crucial point. Mobile gives marketers an opportunity to reach people in the place they are the most engaged, the most accessible point. Think how often you personally scroll through your phone? Phones will now calculate just how much screen time you spend on your phone a week, a surprising feat. The average person spends 3 hours a day on their phone and checks it up to 80 times a day, that’s 1/8 of a day spend in a digital sphere; to not tap into this would be a wasted opportunity. Think of the ways mobiles are used, it’s extended simply beyond online sales. They are used to connect people, to fully encourage consumer journey engagement. Brands need to acknowledge this, to use them to amplify their message. You only have to examine your own behaviour whilst watching television, the moment the commercial breaks appear, what’s the first thing you do? Most likely reach for your phone sitting next to you. Mobile marketing has never been so dominant in taking the consumer from brand awareness to purchase conversion. Through stories, feed video, in-stream video interests are canvassed and formed into collections leading to the drive through video link ads and clickbait. From the fact that people are thumbing through the height of the Statue of Liberty per day, to the way that it only takes 1.7 seconds on average for people to consume content on mobile feed. Consumers are hungry for mobile knowledge, received 41% faster than that from a desktop, this is the way to effectively reach them.

From this, Ribbens’ next perspective is obvious – to have a ‘Test & Learn’ mindset. Having mobile at the forefront of your mind means you, as the brand, can build processes engineered for the consumer. The learnings from these processes can then be used to improve marketing strategy. A recent finding is the use of creative storytelling – personalised connections drive business. We can all vouch for the effectiveness of a storytelling angle, no doubt every one of us has welled up at a charitable advertorial or marketing campaign. It is the brand’s responsibility to get personal, embracing the creative messaging through these narrative tools.

In fact, the Lottery content is a prime example of this. They released a series of short videos, you probably saw one, you probably felt emotionally connected to at least one. The videos, short to capture attention and memorable through the emotion evoked, depicted scenes a consumer audience could relate to; scenes that celebrated the truly life-changing effect the competition can have through the eyes of ‘normal people’.

One doesn’t have to be an ‘outsider’ or an ‘insider’ to know that messaging is taking over the world! Our knowledge is collected on the go, through social media, the internet. So, as insiders, brands need to have the awareness of narrative tools and how to create through these. Through stickers, face filters, GIFs, memes, polls, boomerangs brands engage this creativity to grow their profile, to grow engagement. These creative ways of ‘enlarging’ a message make their marketing strategy personal, it’s a way of directly communicating with each individual consumer. With Facebook Messenger, a personal and direct communication, users were noted as having 53% more convenience, receiving 62% better care and 67% higher confidence. It’s more than just an app, it’s aiding building relationships. Brands need to define business objectives to encourage this personal customer journey that will be solved by conversation.

To tie all this together, to really underline what marketing should now be all about, Ribbens quoted Seth Godin in that ‘marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell’. It’s true. People need to have access to immersing themselves in the brand experience, into the story. Every possible piece of content created needs to be with mobile in mind, to capture consumer attention, imagination and encourage action based on the marketing strategy within the content.


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En matière de succès à l’ère du numérique, peu de personnes sont mieux placées pour évoquer ce qui se passe réellement à l’intérieur à ceux qui se trouvent à l’extérieur. Marcel Ribbens est l’une des rares personnes dans ce cas, en tant qu’ancien partenaire client mondial chez Facebook. Il a présenté ses idées lors du séminaire Marketing EL/WLA.

Prenant l’exemple de la loterie, Ribbens a expliqué comment cibler réellement le marketing sur le consommateur. La loterie a publié une série de courtes vidéos, vous en avez probablement vu une, vous avez probablement ressenti un lien émotionnel avec au moins une d’entre elles. Les vidéos, qui sont courtes pour capter l’attention et mémorables à travers l’émotion évoquée, décrivent des scènes auxquelles un public de consommateurs pourrait s’identifier ; des scènes qui célèbrent l’effet réellement bouleversant que la compétition peut avoir, vues à travers le regard de « personnes normales ». Dans cet exemple, l’importance de la narration émotionnelle est claire. Ajoutez à cela l’ère numérique immersive dans laquelle nous vivons, et la stratégie marketing est évidente. Le marketing mobile a été le principal point à retenir de cette conférence, mais il s’agit du marketing mobile ciblé, de la relation avec le consommateur à travers les médias, via la communication.

Ribbens a cité Seth Godin, pour lequel « le marketing ne concerne plus ce que vous fabriquez, mais les histoires que vous racontez ». C’est vrai. Les gens doivent pouvoir s’immerger dans l’expérience de la marque, dans l’histoire qui est racontée. Chaque contenu possible doit être conçu pour le mobile, afin de capter l’attention du consommateur, son imagination, et d’encourager les actions basées sur la stratégie marketing au sein du contenu.


Cuando se trata de ganar en esta era digital, hay pocas personas que tengan una buena posición para ofrecer a la mayoría de la gente de fuera una perspectiva instruida desde dentro. Marcel Ribbens, antiguo encargado de relaciones globales con los clientes en Facebook, es una de estas pocas personas. Compartió sus conocimientos sobre este tema en el escenario del seminario de marketing de EL/WLA.

Usando la lotería como principal ejemplo, Ribbens expuso cómo orientar realmente el marketing a los consumidores. Las loterías publicaron una serie de vídeos cortos. Estamos seguros de que vio alguno y de que muy probablemente se sintió conectado emocionalmente con al menos uno. Los vídeos, cortos para no perder la atención de los espectadores y memorables gracias a las emociones despertadas, mostraron escenas con las que la audiencia de consumidores podría identificarse, escenas que celebraban el efecto verdaderamente transformador que puede tener la competencia a través de los ojos de la “gente normal”. En este ejemplo se observa claramente la importancia de narrar historias que despierten emociones. Si sumamos esto a la era digital envolvente en la que vivimos hoy en día, la estrategia de marketing a seguir es obvia. La importancia del marketing a usuarios móviles es una de las conclusiones claves de esta charla, pero siempre que este marketing sea específico y cree una conexión con el consumidor a través de las redes y la comunicación.

Ribbens usó la famosa cita de Seth Godin: “el marketing ya no consiste en lo que haces, sino en las historias que cuentas”. Y esto es cierto. La gente tiene que poder sumergirse en la experiencia de marca, en la historia. Es necesario tener en cuenta a los usuarios móviles a la hora de crear cada pieza de contenido para atraer la atención de los consumidores, despertar su imaginación y animarles a realizar acciones en función de la estrategia de marketing del contenido.


Wenn es in diesem digitalen Zeitalter darum geht, zu gewinnen, dann sind einige Leute besser positioniert, der Mehrheit der Menschen außerhalb eine fundierte Perspektive vom Inneren zu verschaffen. Marcel Ribbens ist als ehemaliger Global Client-Partner von Facebook einer dieser Wenigen. Er vertrat seine Kenntnisse zu diesem Themenkomplex auf dem Podium des EL/WLA Marketing-Seminars.

Unter Verwendung der Lotterie als Musterbeispiel legte Ribbens dar, wie sich Marketing wirklich auf den Kunden ausrichten lässt. Die staatliche Lotterie hat eine Reihe kurzer Videos gezeigt, möglicherweise haben Sie eines davon gesehen, und wurden von mindesten seinem emotional berührt. In den - kurz gehaltenen - Videos, um mit den darin geweckten Emotionen Aufmerksamkeit zu erzielen und um in Erinnerung zu bleiben, wurden Szenen dargestellt, mit denen sich Konsumenten identifizieren könnten; Szenen, die den tatsächlichen lebensverändernden Effekt zelebrierten, die dieser Wettbewerb in den Augen „normaler Leute“ haben kann. Dieses Beispiel macht die Bedeutung emotionalen Geschichtenerzählens deutlich. Bringt man dies mit dem immersiven digitalen Zeitalter in Verbindung, in dem wir leben, dann wird die Marketingstrategie offensichtlich. Mobiles Marketing war die wichtigste Schlussfolgerung dieses Redebeitrages, dann jedoch ein gezieltes mobiles Marketing, eine Verbindung mit dem Kunden über Medien, über Kommunikation.

Ribbens zitierte diesbezüglich Seth Godin mit den Worten: „Beim Marketing geht es nicht mehr um die Sachen, die man herstellt, sondern um die Geschichten, die man erzählt.“ Und das stimmt. Die Menschen müssen Zugang dazu haben, sie müssen selbst in das Markenerlebnis, in die Story eintauchen können. Jedes Stückchen geschaffenen Inhaltes muss im Zusammenhang mit dem Begriff Mobil stehen, um die Aufmerksamkeit und Vorstellungskraft des Verbrauchers zu erregen und zum Handeln auf der Grundlage der Marketingstrategie im Inhalt zu ermuntern.

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