Scope of Digital Marketing in India After COVID-19July 13, 2021 2021-07-13 9:48
Scope of Digital Marketing in India After COVID-19
Scope of Digital Marketing in India After COVID-19
It is safe to say 2020 was an exceptional year and 2021 will not be the same. What can marketers learn from this pandemic when they think about building brands in 2020 and beyond? What can we do for companies to grow faster? What is the future of marketing in this age of Covid-19 and how can it be redefined?
These questions are critical for marketing success over the coming months and years. In the past few months, I have been comparing what my 20-year career in marketing and media has taught me with what we all learned in this one year of massive change. Particularly, I identified 10 ways that the pandemic challenged fundamental truths about marketing and provided us with a new set of rules for moving forward.
1. An old truth: Marketing starts with understanding your customer.
A new truth: Marketing starts with understanding your customer segments.
We know that brands need to communicate with specific consumers in localized and precise terms. This is based on the consumer’s circumstances and what is most important to them. This means understanding the local situation, country by country, in every state and zip code. It may also mean tailoring communications store to store for some businesses like banks, restaurants, or retailers.
Marketing messages must be relevant to the individual, not just geography. To create a human connection in commercial messages, it is necessary to define consumer segments. These are people who can be described according to multiple dimensions that affect their buying behavior.
Five waves of research were conducted by EY Future Consumer Index with more than 14,500 people in 20 countries. The index has identified five distinct cohorts of consumers.
1. The affordability of housing is the first priority (32% of consumers). Living within their means and spending less on brands, and focusing more on product functionality.
2. Health first(25%)They need to protect their health and the health of their families by choosing safe products and minimizing risk when they shop.
3. The Planet First (16%)They will try to reduce their environmental impact and buy brands that reflect their beliefs.
4. Society first (15%) Buys from transparent and honest organizations to work together for the greater good.
5. Try it first (12%)To make the most out of life, live in the moment. This opens them up to new brands, products, and experiences.
Using customer segmentation and personas to gain deeper insight into media strategies and creative marketing methods can be very useful. These insights can also be used to help you understand the customer journey.
2. An old truth: You compete with your competition.
A new truth: Your customer’s last great experience is your competition.
Before Covid-19, consumer expectations were on the rise. Generation Z was raised with technology integrated seamlessly into their daily lives. Because they are adept at our personal data, direct-to-consumer businesses (like Parachute or Glossier) had already taught us to expect hyper-personalization.
Digital transformation was accelerated by the coronavirus. Consumer expectations of digital transformation soared as a result. Customer expectations go beyond seamless digital transactions. This is what Carla Hassan (City’s chief marketing officer), explained earlier this summer to me. Companies now have access to their customers’ personal data and want personalized, anticipatory experiences throughout the customer journey.
To meet customers’ increasing expectations, companies should adopt three strategies:
1. Brand scores should be a key KPI in customer-facing organizations. This can be done using real-time analytics, rather than looking backward from a point in the past.
2. To support customer use cases, you must have the right technology and data foundation.
3. Align your individual and collective goals throughout the customer journey to ensure that any gaps between functional silos, such as marketing, sales, or customer service, are not visible to your end customer.
3. Old truth: Customers want what you have.
A new truth: Customers expect you have exactly what they want.
We must strive for new customer experience values in both B2C as well as B2B settings if the bar is not set higher. Today’s consumers expect seamless, connected, intuitive, timely, and relevant experiences. They are focused on getting what they want when they want it. They insist on their independence and will not be stopped.
These experiences require companies to put data and technology at their core. This will likely mean that machine learning and/or artificial intelligence are part of the mix. Why? Because data allows us to create more relevant experiences across a number of dimensions of the four Cs.
• You can provide content in the form of emails or mobile apps.
• Commerce can be described as either physical retail or e-commerce.
• The community can be as simple as gathering B2B buyers at an online trade show or hosting a webinar about home repair for consumers;
• Convenience: This could be offering customers coupons or benefits through a loyalty program.
Currently, the majority of the 4Cs can be delivered in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. However, as consumers demand more personalization, companies will need greater data and intelligence to improve their decision-making, drive greater relevance in customer interactions, and build stronger human connections with their brands.
4. An old truth: Courting customers is like dating.
Neue Truth: It is not difficult to court customers.
Marketing was for a long time about purchasing mass reach, or targeted reach, at the highest rates in media and hoping it converts. It was basically like going to as many bars and parties as possible in the hope of meeting that special person. It was full of serendipity and spontaneity. There were many face-to-face encounters.
Swipe through dating apps and online dating. Finding your perfect match is less about luck than it is about data and algorithms. Marketing terms have changed from brand marketing to increase reach to performance marketing to generate leads. This trend was only made worse by the rapid growth of digital channels in response to the pandemic.
While performance marketing is an important part of the mix, CMOs must recognize that it is a delicate balance between brand and performance that produces the best results. They must also fight against any bias towards the most quantifiable. Many CMOs are now bringing their customer relations management (CRM), team closer to their media teams in order to better understand the entire continuum and increase efficiency. CRM is powered primarily by first-party data or customer data that the company has (with consent from the consumer), and is the driving force behind initiatives such as couponing, personalization, and email marketing.
This first-party data can be used to increase media efficiency, especially digital media. It allows companies to target customers on a one-to-1 basis. Third-party data is losing value as the key browsers introduce rule changes in January 2022. Marketers are becoming better at designing the online “dates”, learning new ways to harness their data, and creating new partnerships with publishers. Even though the dating (or targeting) strategies will change with the new rules, it is important that companies allow for both brand performance marketing and bottom-funnel strategy to drive top-funnel goals. They work together better.
5. An old truth: Customers should be at the center of your marketing strategy.
A new truth: Your customer journey must include customers.
Customer-centricity is not a new concept. But, functional silos that interact directly with customers often become disconnected due to geography, politics, org charts, and technologies. It is difficult to conceal these internal gaps from customers, who assume that the entire company knows about them. All of us have called customer service to speak with a chatbot or call center representative who did not know the exact location of a retail store.
Marketing is only one part of a relationship with a customer. In a B2C context, we engage them, convert them to a sale either directly or indirectly, and hopefully retain them so that they become advocates and open to cross-sells and upsells. Marketers must view marketing in the context of the entire end-to-end process and work to connect all the dots where possible.
It is unrealistic to assume that all customer-facing functions could or should report to the exact same location. It is common to believe that reorganization will solve all problems. It is much more important to examine the operating model carefully and to consider the technologies, processes, talent, data models, and KPIs in order to identify the best ways to align the operations around customers’ needs and then drive change.
6.Truth: Relationships are important.
NeueTruth: Relationships matter.
Building trusting relationships with customers is essential. For example, advertising makes a promise, and then it falls on the product, customer experience, and service to fulfill that promise.
Covid-19, however, has placed a greater emphasis on relationships in B2B sales. With virtual sales, existing relationships have helped teams to retain revenue momentum and capitalize on their previous bonds. Prospecting for new customers requires a different set of skills.
Trust and integrity are essential to driving market momentum in both cases. This has required a significant recasting of talent for sales and marketing executives in B2B companies. They need to find people who are best suited to drive relationships in the new world of online interactions. A world that is less dependent on charm and even expense accounts and more on solutions and insights. Trust will be built and rewarded by those who listen to customers and create solutions.
Trust is also crucial in a B2C environment. Trust is essential to the value exchange between a business and a customer. Companies rely more on the personal data they get from consumers. They must comply with regulations and secure the data. However, companies also have the chance to build loyalty and differentiation by creating more transparent privacy controls interfaces. Clearer information will help consumers make better decisions and foster trust.
7. An old truth: Agility can be described as a technological process.
A new truth: Agility is a modern marketing strategy.
For years, we have known that agile cycles are better than a linear or sequential “waterfall” approach to technological development. Covid-19 set an unstoppable trend in marketing to adopt a similar agile mentality. A company might quickly discover that its message is not correct or that its supply chain is not ready to deliver. This could lead to a crisis in advertising and public relations. Imagine a commercial that shows people grouped together, but not showing social distancing. The traditional approval mechanisms became restrictive and long-lead creative processes felt obsolete.
It was a fortunate outcome that the crisis created a mindset of marketing agility, which is likely to last. Continuous consumer listening and demand sensing are essential for marketing to be able to capitalize on the current zeitgeist of consumer sentiment. It also allows for faster decision-making and greater flexibility in key areas such as budgeting, creativity, and media.
8. An old truth: Great products should be the foundation of your brand.
A new truth: Your brand must stand behind great values.
Brand loyalty was severely affected by the pandemic. EY Future Consumer Index showed that 61% of consumers were willing to switch to white label products, regardless of the category. This dynamic, combined with the growing consumer awareness and activism triggered by the 2020 social unrest, should lead brands to be very focused on the values that they represent.
EY research shows that, while price, convenience, and quality still matter, consumers are now more concerned about factors such as trust, ethical sourcing, and social responsibility when choosing products and services. Marketing has the opportunity to educate the C-suite and the board about the importance of brand values in order to differentiate in a post-pandemic market where consumer preferences have changed.
9. An old truth: Modern marketing requires the right technology stack.
Neue Truth is, modern marketing requires a balance of factors.
It has become easy to see the “tech stack” as the ultimate marketing tool. It is useless to drive 40 mph in a Ferrari.
Your technology architecture must be well-matched with the right data, use cases, and a human enablement approach in order to achieve results. This last requirement is probably the most crucial. Human enablement is about understanding the use of data and technology across an organization and making sure people have the skills and the measurement tools to encourage innovation and success. The desired return on investment in marketing technology cannot be achieved without technology, data, human capability, and the right use cases.
10. An old truth: Marketing is essential for growth.
A new truth: Marketing is the core of the growth agenda for all C-suite executives.
Marketing was, undoubtedly, a cost center in companies during times when the primary responsibility was to maximize return-on-investment. It was often the first area to be cut in difficult times when topline results were compromised.
Marketing has been elevated to the top of the C-suite during the pandemic as a leader in digital transformation, a key player in the customer journey, and a voice for the consumer. All of these are vital functions that other functional leaders must understand. The C-suite must understand the market zeitgeist in order to adapt to new opportunities and navigate the future.
Covid-19 has established a culture of leadership that encourages immediate collaboration and focuses on the urgent need to build resilience. Marketers now have the chance to play a central role in this dialogue and drive the organization’s wider growth and innovation agenda.
Science and art
Marketers are responsible for balancing science and art. To unlock the future of better analytics, and to enable AI deployment at scale, we must find the perfect balance between humans and technology. To create meaningful human connections, we must both use data and respect the art of storytelling. It is important to distinguish between branding and performance marketing. We recognize that our current bias towards what can be easily quantified makes it difficult for us to maintain a balance. We must also understand the difference between what should be centralized and what should not, and identify where consistency is helpful and hindering.
These new marketing truths reflect this mix, highlighting the convergence of strategies, operations, and technologies needed to drive growth in a post-Covid-19 world. These are the keys to long-term recovery from pandemics and success. A period of adjustment will be required for marketers and companies that are accustomed to the old ways. Even in this period of change, it is possible to find comfort and confidence in the most basic and crucial truth: The customer’s perspective must be prioritized now, next, and above all else.