Pandemic-infused lockdowns transformed the consumer-marketer dynamic as brands conversed with their customers through newer channels, making this one of the most interesting periods ever for the marketing world, writes Adobe India head of marketing Sunder Madakshira. Here he outlines what the future of marketing could look like.
Creating an unparalleled customer experience
With customers waddling through an endless sea of mobile apps, the question that matters is are you creating a customer experience like no other? With the digital economy picking pace, we know brands are not competing with just one other brand, but the last brand their customer was exploring. With digital transformation acceleration at an unprecedented pace, consumer expectations are soaring high in terms of what companies can provide them.
Personalized customer experiences hold the key to the future. And how do we create them? By using consolidated data to power those experiences by saving time. Data is all around us. Brands need to find the right tools to make it work effectively and quickly so that every team in an organization can leverage that data to create a seamless consumer experience.
Marrying art with science for results
As dependence on artificial intelligence (AI) marks a new beginning in the world of marketing, marrying the deployment of AI to storytelling in a perfect blend will be critical. In the process of using data to fuel business numbers, it is important to keep the craft of storytelling alive to build human connections. What does this mean for businesses?
Simply put, there is a thin line that divides brand marketing from performance marketing. Today, brands are using every trick in the book to unleash their creative potential by integrating the power of data analytics – blending creativity with science to humanize their brand experience.
Understanding why D2C works for brands
Purchase directly! All our marketing theories saw a complete overhaul as the pandemic pushed the markets on a completely digital platform. From brands such as Pepsi launching PantryShop.com and Snacks.com, as well as asking consumers to buy directly from the brand, to ‘Heinz To Home’ by Kraft Heinz, D2C is now helping businesses stay ahead of the curve. What’s interesting is that now we have aggregators enabling D2C for brands.
These aggregators are using technology to cut the risk for brand owners in a market dominated by multiple players. From helping brands choose the right delivery partners to automated warehouse management, D2C brands have options galore. These aggregators can also use advanced analytical tools to use the data they gather to further strengthen the customer journey for the brand.
Measuring data and adjusting accordingly
The market for brand campaigns exploded exponentially as businesses moved to digital platforms. So while marketing is about creating campaigns that resonate with the audiences, it’s not just about creating assets but measuring their impact.
Businesses will have to invest in tools and technologies that enhance measurement capabilities. How are you measuring the data for your campaign? Are you able to use this data in real-time to make the changes you want – when something works, or it doesn’t? Are you able to adjust this data to suit your marketing plan? Those questions will drive the marketing going forward. Each aspect of marketing campaigns should be automated, personalized and measured.
Looking at life beyond mobile advertising
Consumers are more connected than ever before. They are spending long hours on their mobiles shopping, searching, discovering, browsing and experimenting with various mediums. Now there’s a challenge for the brands here – the consumer journey is no longer linear. What this essentially means is that while they shop in-store even as they search online, in all probability their purchase is ending on some other medium.
How do marketers stay relevant in this case? The answers are many. The most important ones are:
Creating a consumer experience that compels them to stay
Driving personalization by using the power of data
Leveraging the power of mobile-first consumer intelligence for tapping on data across all touch points and then tracking the consumer journey
The future of marketing will be decided by players that know how to leverage the power of big data and AI to turn the tables in their favor. The objective will hinge on creating a perfect consumer experience, but the journey will be steered by technology and innovative tools.
Sunder Madakshira is head of marketing at Adobe India.