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Interview with Christian Frei

by | Aug 17, 2021 | Interviews,

Christian Frei

Christian Frei

Digital Transformation Coach & CEO at Livecon LLC

Key Topics:Digital Transformation, Experience Industry
Location:Switzerland
Bio:

Christian is a Strategic Business Leader with a remarkable depth of understanding of technological leadership.

Over the course of an 18-year career at Microsoft, Christian has attracted and worked with top and diverse talents across local, regional and global fronts, while completing multiple technologically-driven projects and digital transformation interventions with measurable bottom-line impacts.

Since leaving Microsoft, he has developed a bias for Transformative Coaching, Bridging the Digital Divide, Strategy, and Social Development. Using a blend of personal experiences, empathy and passion, Christian has mastered the delicate art of delivering impactful and engaging executive coaching.

When Christian is not speaking or coaching, he is carrying out the responsibilities of a board executive for companies in the experience industry. His overarching goal is to help this industry leverage the digital revolution as an opportunity.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

Worked long time at Microsoft in various capacities. From Business to Technical. That forged the perspective I can now have. Beside that experience, I created my Master Thesis on the topic of Marketing 2.0 and its impact on leadership with Homa Bahrami who is an Expert on organizational flexibility and dynamic leadership at Berkeley. Together with skills developed as certified coach and the various companies I was able to accompany during their successful or failed transformation led to the unique experience with which I support companies in the experience industry today in their transformation.

What sub topics are you most passionate about?

Impact of Digital for the Experience Industry

Who influences you within these topics?

Multiple leaders. Not a single. From Richard Branson, Satya Nadella, Bob Iger. Given the Experience Industry is only as it’s verge of digitalization, few shiny examples are available. But looking cross industry and more from a leadership perspective, there are a lot of leaders to be influenced from.

What challenges are brands facing in this space?

Digital transformation in the experience industry (Hospitality, Sports, Entertainment and related) are mostly only digital for transactions. Digital Transformation means more than just digitalizing processes. It means creating new experiences, new business models, innovations and operational experiences in a new level. Most brands in this industry are at the very beginning.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

Cultural changes, customer expectations and new channels are continuously evolving as we evolve more and more in the 4th industrial revolution. Customer engagement has to evolve further. It’s not anymore about a transaction, a ticket, where customer remains anonymous. It is about providing a total experience through different channels across all stages of an engagement, of a customer journey. Technology opens new doors for Fan Engagement, Loyalty or content distribution across different channels. Technology/Digitalization also creates an incredible opportunity to increase operational excellence to a new level, enabling new innovations through saved costs in daily operation. Real time data combined with AI or ML suddenly provides an incredible set of data and insights. E.g. Imagine combining weather data with online purchases of tickets, hotel bookings or alike. Analyzing this with AI/ML suddenly gives also insights when it’s best to run campaigns, recruit more staff or anything alike. What we’re seeing in other industries has yet to come to the experience industry.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Disney has invested hugely in this space, combining strengths. Creating IP once, reusing through different channels and experiences
In a similar area but in Europe, Germany’s largest entertainment park Europa-Park, has also understood that it’s not only about getting audience to come to the park, but go into their house.

In Sports, Real Madrid and others are pushing for smart stadium and new fan experiences.

Some of the largest companies in the experience industry got the “groove” but it requires them to change their culture and massive investments. Smaller brands have partially not even understood the basics of the new era.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Whitepapers, speaking opportunities, product innovations as reference case for others and out of these innovations spreading the word through any type of communication.

I believe there is an incredible opportunity for brands to lead the “pack”. I love working with these disruptors.

What are your passions outside of work?

Work and passion are blurring. If I’m not passionate about something, I wouldn’t work on it. Having said that, family and my kids are at the core, the passion, outside “work”.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?


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