Nishit is a technophile and loves all things virtual, cloud and code-driven. He is also an avid student of human behaviour, with his interests continuously sharpened by how people behave, buy and share in today’s melted age of data, technology and connected dynamism. When he joined the family business of jewellery retail in 2013, he made it his mandate to disrupt positively the age-old ways of doing business by infusing accountability, data democracy and technology-led initiatives in the way jewellery was made and sold.
Even till a few years back, cable TV and Tier 1 dailies ruled the roost when it came to ‘marketing’ – which essentially was mostly about visibility of the brand and its various features and benefits. Sure, there were interesting and even entertaining advertising, a funny TVC or a cute in-film placement once in a while but it was mostly about ADVERTISING. Brands were on TV during season or on hot shows like the IPL, essentially betting on the premise that the more people see their commercial messaging the more would be the chances that they will consider or buy the product or service that the brand represented.
All this has dramatically and radically changed in the last couple of years. The pandemic, with its various impacts on behaviour, habits, lifestyle choices and economic decisions as well as every aspect of work, home, play and consumption has created a paradigm shift in the way consumers consume. From the classical uni-media approach that brands adopted to talk to consumers we are now living in the times where brands need to ‘be with’ their communities and audiences. This is the age of the always-on brand, where it needs to constantly strive to be consistently present and provide unique and happy experiences and services to its audience segment across all conceivable touchpoints.
In other words, this is the age of omnichannel consumer engagement and the single biggest and only focus of Marketing is to ensure that the consumer discovers, experiences and advocates the brand being marketed. No wonder then that as per a recent study by the CMO Council and Netsertive, 94% of Marketers believe that providing an omnichannel experience is crucial to business success and customer retention.
In the wake of the COVID 19 era, consumers are not only more open to digitalising their consumption journeys but are more often than not actively choosing digital over physical or even phygital (a blend of digital and physical) when it comes to discovering, evaluating, sampling and purchasing various products and services. There are various reasons for this, from economic to health and safety but the undeniable truth is that these changes are unalterable. Imagine our own humble grocery shopping or even some high end and deep involvement consumption journeys like buying jewellery or a home. Almost every single step in these journeys have been digitised and marketing these steps with deep consumer understanding and insights is the key to a brand’s success.Statistically also, it is eminently clear that the shape of things to come is going to be increasingly digital – consider these facts:
- According to McKinsey, India is among the world’s largest and fastest growing digitally enabled consumer markets with a billion plus mobile phone subscribers, more than half a billion people connected online and over 300 million social media users.
- According to a recent Resulticks Research Report on the Omnichannel Marketing Readiness in India, personalisation and a unified 360 degree view of the customer are considered two of the most critical customer engagement initiatives by all Marketers.
Marketers that are not afraid of experimenting with innovative strategies and new, emerging media and platform options will be at the forefront of this change. Experimentation never guarantees a positive result but not experimenting guarantees a net-zero result. As they say – you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.
Today’s marketing strategies are all and only about deep and sustainable engagement. The relationships are not defined by purchase occasions like Diwali advertising or summer promotions. Relationships are more about human and authentic partnerships between brand and audience and those brand marketers that are present always and everywhere for their consumers will win.