Luca Antonietti

Interview with Luca Antonietti, Managing Director of MetrixLab

What was the socio-economic reaction of Italians to the crisis due to the recent geopolitical instability?

A big talking point is the cost of living. As a reaction consumers will weight in value for money, and consider more often value-brands, retailer brands and/or value-offers. Delivering value is key for brands in a fragile economy. In order not to lose touch with consumers in these times of economic stress, brands have to provide people with a sense of value. But it’s critical that as marketers we don’t fall into the Cost = Value trap – and that we reframe the value equation for consumers as well.

Gone are the days when people simply choose the cheapest available brand. There is a big opportunity for brands to demonstrate that value is not simply a price reduction. It’s all about getting the value equation right. Value = Price / Costs.

What actions and interventions do you think are useful for companies to manage the current situation of crisis and uncertainty?

The caveat in these times is to shift too much budget to performance and away from brand building. Brands risk to take a hit on brand equity. We have seen this before – during the financial crisis in 2008 and more recent during the Covid-pandemic, that ‘going black’ is saving you some money on the short term, but will need significantly larger future investments to gain back lost terrain.

What initiatives can Brands take to enhance the “Customer Journey” and respond to new consumer needs?

It all starts with a deep understanding of touchpoints across each phase of the Customer Journey. Customize your story and message according to the situation and need of the consumer across different phases of the customer journey. In the initial phase it’s all about getting the promise of your product or service across, to trigger that initial consideration. Once consumers are in the Active Evaluation phase, you should play out Reasons-to-believe. Eventually, close to the moment of purchase, (social) proof drives persuasion.

What strategies should be implemented to segment and personalize offerings in order to keep the consumer always first?

The consumer should always be first. Across all activities, which is not exclusive to segmentation or personalized offerings.