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Gut is more powerful than data: Sanjay Nazerali, Chief Strategy Officer, Carat

08-April-2017
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Gut is more powerful than data: Sanjay Nazerali, Chief Strategy Officer, Carat

Armed with infectious energy, Sanjay Nazerali, Chief Strategy Officer, Carat, kick-started the morning session of Day 2 at Goafest 2017 on Friday. Nazerali spoke about the need for media agencies to change their perspectives on the key factors that underpin success in the industry. He said that four key areas—globalization, convergence, data, and innovation—need serious rethinking.

He drew attention to the global movement towards a protectionist society and said that the trade barriers will adversely affect India. While protectionism is threatening trade, Nazerali said that cross-border e-commerce is changing how we look at globalization. “Globalization is not dying; it is dying into the flames like a phoenix and what is being reborn is a very different kind of globalization,” he said. Nazerali believes that it is the knowledge-based and the service-based industries that will be the winners in this new kind of globalization.

Looking at the growth rate of ad spends on digital advertising, which is on a decline, Nazerali wondered if the industry was falling out of love with digital. He said that digital need not be measured by how much time people spend on their screens. “Digital is about everything we do, and everywhere that we live,” he said. Citing the example of Amazon Go, he said that by next year there will be more connected things than there are connected people. Nazerali said that of the digital tools available, it is Augmented Reality that will be the winning horse he will bet on as opposed to Virtual Reality. He said that Augmented Reality has the ability to enhance the life that people already lead, and that makes it a more favorable tool than Virtual Reality.

Data will play a crucial role in getting as close to the consumer as possible, he said. Nazerali also recognized that despite the power of data to get intimate with consumers, consumers don’t love advertisers. “In India alone, 250 million USD was lost to ad block and globally a loss of 20 billionUSD,” he said. The reason consumers don’t like us is because data is not delivering the kind of intimacy it should, Nazerali added. He said that while data is the greatest tool there is in marketing, it needs to be looked at differently. Contextualizing data and translating it into simple terms are key to using data better, he said. “A dashboard is the difference between data terrorism and data nirvana.”

Innovation is not about doing something differently but doing something different, he said, and urged all those gathered to discern this difference and strive to do something different.

Nazerali said that advertisers should use lateral thinking, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes to succeed. In conclusion, he said that there is no algorithm for human rationality. “Gut is more powerful than data.”

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