As technology evolved, now there is an evolution of the consumer as well. Marketers need to understand the new-age connected consumers for effective targeting.
With the ubiquity of smartphones, cheaper data plans and the government’s Digital India initiative, there is a rise in connected consumers. It all started with the rise in the purchasing power capacity of people, where mobile stood out to be one of the basic necessities. There are 462 million internet users in India, 80 per cent of which come from mobile.
What does this disruption bring on the table for the marketers? Are they able to cash in on this opportunity or face their own set of challenges, given the power that comes vested with the virtual consumer today.
“Marketing is all about being consumer centric. Therefore, the strategy of the marketing companies need to revolve around this connected consumer,” mentions Sulina Menon, Managing Partner India, Omnicom Media Group.
Coming from the perspective of a tech company, Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Tech Mahindra, says, “We have varied clients from banking, airlines, manufacturing and the major difference between the connected consumer and the consumer of this type, is the connected consumer’s ability of take a decision and hence our ability to make a sale.”
Mitra elaborates how it is imperative for a technology company to keep a constant engagement with the consumers, both online and offline, given the multiple sectors that they deal with.
Data, data, data
Next, comes the challenge of consumer data that is being put in front of the marketers. It is no more just the demographic data that the marketing teams are availed with, but also the behavioural information that comes along with virtual access.
“Most of the discussion that revolves around today is what our strategy and attitude would be, whether the consumer is affected by it or not. We need to take a step back and understand the consumer’s decision journey. Next, we need to map what particular data actually works and find the right medium for that data to get us consumer conversions and further improvement in business,” says Amit Tiwari, VP Marketing, Havells India speaking at the panel discussion at the launch of BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook in Delhi on July 21.
He goes on to elaborate on the social media platforms and mentions how different data works differently on each platform. “Social media will work only when the activation is big enough. Sometimes the consumer might not be there in that zone at all. We are following only what the data says, not understanding if that data holds relevance for us,” says Tiwari.
Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager & MD, India, Adecco Group mentions the disruption caused by Reliance Jio in making data affordable or rather free. Earlier, the companies were able to make a distinction between the consumers who are able to afford the data and therefore had the ability to
buy the relevant product. This brings the challenge of segregating the target audience for the marketers.
Addressing ad blocking
Staying connected with the relevant target audience, virtually, comes with its own set of challenges. The most common challenge being – ad blocking.
“The challenge of blocking arises when we do not target the right consumer. In some of the categories, it is as high as 45 per cent. We need to keep ourselves relevant to the right kind of audience one is targeting,” ends Tiwari.