IAMAI India Digital Summit – Session on the changing marketing landscape
Scatter is covering the 13th edition of IAMAI’s India Digital Summit held at the LaLit. This is the last of the reports that will be flowing in. Explore this space for the other four.
13th India Digital Summit
18th January; Day 2
Hall 3: Future of Marketing
Session 2: Emerging Tech: Changing the Marketing Landscape
Changes in the marketing landscape mean changes in how consumers are serviced. And with the increasingly bigger role technology is taking on, marketers need to re-evaluate three key spheres:
- Persona mapping
- Content marketing
- Performance marketing
These are precisely the areas this panel discussion tackled.
Moderated by Deepali Naair, IBM’s Director of Marketing, India & South Asia, the panel hosted Prashant Puri, co-founder and CEO of Adlift; Anuja Mishra, Associate Director of Marketing and Category Head of Flavours for PepsiCo; Abhishek Sharma, Vice President of Customer Success at Scatter; Naval Khosla, Senior Director of Solution Engineering and Customer Experience (CX) at Oracle; and Jahid Ahmed, Head of Digital Marketing at HDFC Bank.
With the session cut short for lack of time, Deepali skilfully segmented the discussion through timely questions that helped cover greater base than might have been possible otherwise. She began by asking what the consumer of the future is going to look like.
Jahid fleshed out his understanding in the context of banking: the Gen Z consumer wants everything now. Like the previous consumer, they aren’t willing to invest time in reward points, but instead desire promptly delivered services like instant cashback.
As Bill Gates said, “Banking is necessary, but banks are not”. And so, Jahid’s company looks to offer the consumer of the future facilities like AR-powered gesture banking, and bot- and voice-based transactions; all to make the customer experience from their end simpler, faster, and more convenient.
While that relates more to product enhancement, with regard to marketing the company intends to take a more data-driven approach.
Coming from PepsiCo, Anuja offered her perspective on engaging with the young consumer: a company like hers would have to cater to a persona that was more “fleeting, flirtatious, and demanding than ever”.
That because of the way they have been brought up, the new consumer is looking for experiences (this reminds us of Sunder Madakshira’s ‘pizza, pyjamas, and purpose’). Moreover, to win their loyalty, they have to see brands making a consistent effort in trying to bring the best to them.
Brands can no longer hope for the last experience to bring the consumer to the next. And finally, brand positioning will have to be reconsidered.
With regard to the future of marketing, Prashant felt that demographic details such as the level of education and literacy, and experience with handheld devices, will largely determine how the consumer of the future is serviced. And as for the future of technology, India has shown tremendous growth in the market of wearables. Therefore, that is also where the future is headed.
Naval put forward his outlook through an example picked from his personal experience. He believes that consumers are becoming increasingly well-informed. And that they expect the brand servicing them to possess adequate knowledge about their requirements and pain points.
On asked about his understanding of the consumer of the future, Abhishek pointed out that the customer will be spoilt for choice. As for the future of tech, he sees potential in the recent marriage of Google Home and Alexa with screens. And that voice search will play a significant role in the consumer’s interaction with technology.
To help the audience assimilate better, Deepali helpfully summarised what had been discussed until that point, and then offered her insights on the same: that kids of the future will not approach their parents for answers to their questions; that role might soon be taken over by AI, which is rapidly becoming adept at addressing queries.
Moreover, chances are that parents will have programmed those AI-driven devices with four languages to enrich the child’s learning process.
Deepali then furthered the discussion by posing another pertinent question to the panellists: how has technology impacted both content marketing and performance marketing?
Coming from a space dominated by content marketing, Abhishek explained his perspective with an example: these days, automobile brands demand that agencies help them improve the store-based customer experiences they offer.
For instance, upon visiting a store, a consumer finds only one model and make of the car they wish to purchase. At this point, a tablet becomes a critical viewing lens and helps the customer see what their dream car would be like, with the help of AR. Additionally, a VR-powered facility would also help a consumer visualise how their car would look while on the highway.
Abhishek conclusively highlighted that content marketers who work with brands driven by visuals can especially look to utilise AR and VR to tell brand stories in the future; a move that will be supported by platforms like Facebook and YouTube which now host 360-degree content.
Coming from the FMCG market and having worked on some of the biggest youth engagement projects, Anuja explained that the future of content should focus on two areas: content creation and content dissemination.
She believes that the storytelling distributed should be consistent with a brand’s identity and purpose. For instance, by not focusing merely on the taste and look of their product, Mountain Dew has built the biggest e-sport sphere in India, called ‘Dew Arena’.
Therefore, the key is to share a brand’s narrative through the context of the consumer.
Prashant took forward one of Anuja’s points about the changing dynamics of SEO. He pointed out how a few years back ‘more was more’. However, now, especially when working with the BFSI segment, ‘less is more’. The goal is to deliver a message that is customised to mobiles and wearables.
With reference to his extensive experience within the banking space, Jahid rightly emphasised the need to engage with consumers by touching base during their exploratory journey rather than pushing CTAs at them that lack context and urge purchase.
Because a consumer doesn’t wake up thinking that they need a bank loan; instead they think about their next holiday or their honeymoon.
Wishing to offer the audience three significant points of action to improve their brand’s performance marketing, Jahid highlighted the following:
- Data-driven marketing
- Campaign orchestration
- Fashioning hyper-personalised creatives
As the panel discussion neared its end, Abhishek wished to bring attention to a few things that had not been discussed as being powered by AI:
- Planning the user’s journey
- Grammar and plagiarism checks for content
- Repurposing of content
- Easier creation of content at scale
- Effectively reaching organic audiences
It was perhaps this that evoked an audience question about the ratio generally seen in a brand’s organic and inorganic audience, and about the one which brings better results.
As insightfully answered by Jahid, most brands see a greater percentage of organic audiences, and the goal is to always increase their numbers since they bring better financial returns.
It was after this that the session wrapped up, the panel posed together for the customary photograph, and audience members headed for lunch (well-fed on industry knowledge but with stomachs hankering for more than just a bite).
Did you happen to catch the keynote by Adobe’s Sunder Madakshira? If not, click here to get all the meaty bits.