Savant Talks: Gianfranco Cuzziol on CRM, Personalisation, & more

Gianfranco Cuzziol, a seasoned professional in the realms of CRM, Data, and Technology, brings a unique perspective to his journey through the world of customer relationship managment. Join us as Gianfranco Cuzziol shares insights into his career trajectory, including his pivotal roles at iconic brands like Aesop, as well as his views on the evolving landscape of CRM and personalization marketing.

Tell us about your career so far. How did you get to Natura & Co?

With a name like Gianfranco Cuzziol, let me apologise in advance as you might expect me to look (see obligatory PR photo) slightly more Italian. If I ever get the pleasure to meet you (if I haven’t had that pleasure already), I don’t particularly sound or behave like an Italian. But I am indeed the collaboration of a Venetian father and Neapolitan mother. With a career in CRM, Data and Technology it will be of no surprise to you that my first degree was in Astrophysics.

With some conviction I can also claim to be one of the worst astrophysicists to have come out of the University of Birmingham. As a failed Astrophysicist, however, I can state with some confidence that most of what I have done in that 20 plus years career is not rocket science. I must now confess that my first job out of university was as a second-hand car salesman. But that job gave me some insight into human behaviour that has stuck with me. 

My first real role in CRM was really for an outsourced customer service organisation where I looked after the print and fulfilment of mobile phone and store card communications.  

I then worked for the Royal Mail as a product manager and direct marketing consultant. In the latter role I spent much of my time convincing FMCG brands to switching some of their TV and Press budgets to data driven communications. 

The next 20 years was spent mainly agency or freelance, but always in the world of CRM, Data and Loyalty. I was lucky enough to work with some amazing brands: Center Parcs, Disney, BMW, Adidas, BT, SKY. The list goes on. I moved on from planning roles to setting up CRM and data capabilities in a couple of agencies. 

About 5 years ago, I made the switch to brand side, where after many years of talking the talk, I got to walk the walk. I joined Aesop as Global Head of CRM, where I had the opportunity to reset their CRM vision and build out the business case and rollout out the tech stack and organisation to deliver on that vision. At the time, Aesop was part of the iconic brands at Natura & Co alongside The Body shop, Avon and Natura LATAM. I spent a year at Group, looking after CRM and Personalisation before spending some time with Avon in a similar role.

CRM & Personalisation marketing landscape – what has changed, what is driving the changes and where is the market segment headed?

In the world of CRM and personalisation marketing, we’ve seen some pretty exciting changes recently. Let’s chat about what’s been happening.  

First off, AI and machine learning are really shaking things up. They’re like the new superheroes of marketing, giving us superpowers in data analysis and predictive modelling. This means we can understand our customers like never before and tailor our strategies to fit them perfectly. 

Then there’s this big move towards what we call omnichannel experiences. Imagine being able to provide a smooth, consistent experience to customers whether they’re shopping online on their phone, or in a physical store. That’s what omnichannel is all about, and it’s changing the game in how we communicate and personalise. 

Now, let’s talk about privacy. With all the new rules like GDPR and CCPA, companies are really having to step up their game in how they handle customer data. It’s all about being transparent and secure, which honestly, is a good thing for everyone involved. 

And have you noticed how businesses are becoming more customer-centric? It’s no longer just about selling products; it’s about understanding and meeting the customers’ needs and preferences. That’s where real, effective CRM strategies shine. 

So, what’s driving all these changes? A few things. Technological advancements are a big one. They’re providing us with tools that were once the stuff of sci-fi movies. Then there’s the change in what customers expect from brands. They want more personalised, relevant interactions, and they want them now. 

Regulatory changes are also playing a part. As the rules around data privacy tighten, companies are having to rethink their strategies to stay compliant. And of course, there’s the competitive landscape. In a world where every brand is fighting for attention, personalisation can be a key differentiator.  

Looking to the future, things are only going to get more interesting. AI and automation are going to become even more sophisticated, leading to what we call hyper-personalisation. Real-time personalisation is going to be big too, thanks to advances in technology and data processing. 

Predictive analytics will also become more important. Imagine being able to predict what your customers want before they even know it themselves! And as privacy concerns continue to grow, we’ll see a stronger focus on ethical data practices. 

Personalisation isn’t just going to be about marketing either. It’s going to spill over into product development, customer service, and pretty much every area of business operations. 

To wrap it up, the CRM and personalisation marketing landscape is evolving fast, and it’s driven by tech advancements, changing consumer expectations, new regulations, and the competitive market. The businesses that can keep up with these changes and use new technologies ethically and effectively are the ones that are going to lead the pack.

The next generation of consumer brands.

The next generation of brands is poised to transform the landscape of business and consumer interaction. Picture a world where brands aren’t just companies from which you purchase, but entities that comprehend you deeply, akin to a close friend. 

These future brands will be anchored in advanced technology, primarily AI and machine learning. They’ll utilise these tools not merely for efficiency, but to create a deeply personalised experience. Imagine a brand that knows your preferences and anticipates your needs, even before you articulate them. This level of personalisation will extend beyond marketing and influence product development, customer service, and the entire business model. 

 Additionally, these brands will prioritise ethical use of data and transparency. With increasing awareness and concern over data privacy, they will need to earn the trust of their consumers by being open about how they use their data. They will need to strike a balance between personalisation and privacy, ensuring that customer data is used responsibly and with consent. 

 Omnichannel experiences will become the norm. Brands will provide a seamless experience whether the customer is online, in a physical shop, or interacting through a mobile app. This approach will ensure that the customer feels a consistent connection with the brand, irrespective of the platform. 

Sustainability and social responsibility will also be key characteristics. As consumers become more environmentally and socially conscious, brands will have to align with these values. This means more than just occasional CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives; it means integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of their business. 

 The competitive landscape will also play a crucial role. In an increasingly saturated market, brands will have to differentiate themselves. This will likely lead to a surge in innovation as brands seek to offer unique products, services, or experiences that set them apart. 

 In essence, the next generation of brands will be more like living entities—dynamic, responsive, and responsible. They will be integrated into our lives more seamlessly and will operate not just for profit, but with a genuine understanding and respect for their customers and the world around them. 

As we look forward, these brands will be the ones leading the market, defining not just consumer trends but also setting new standards for how businesses operate in a rapidly changing world. This is an exciting time for both consumers and businesses, as the future holds the promise of a more connected, personalised, and responsible marketplace. 

The future of consumer brands is on the cusp of exciting transformations, marked by technological leaps, hyper-personalization trends, and a strong ethical and sustainable focus. Having recently graced the stage at Savant eCommerce London, Gianfranco Cuzziol shared his expertise, unraveling the driving forces behind this evolution.

Stay tuned for more captivating insights from thought leaders like Gianfranco as we navigate the dynamic landscape of digital commerce. Experience the excitement of recent events and ensure you don’t miss out on future ones by exploring our events page. Join us in the thrilling exploration of the future of brand-consumer interactions!

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