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Guest Column: Digital marketing is a capricious industry: Arnav Ghosh CEO, Blippar India

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Guest Column: Digital marketing is a capricious industry: Arnav Ghosh CEO, Blippar India

From data mining and implementation, mobile wallets, emerging media like visual marketing & machine learning, clubbed with AI leading, 2016 will be all about enhanced customer experience, writes Arnav Ghosh, CEO, Blippar India.

Digital marketing is a capricious industry. Technology is changing so fast that it has become important for brands to be pro-active and embrace change constantly. It is important to adapt to trends and have short-term strategies aiding a long-term goal.  One key thing that has not changed over the years is the importance of data.  The way we use it has changed with time. Data driven marketing & customer experience has seen a phenomenal growth. The world wants an experience and an offering like no other.

The current year will focus on data mining and implementation, mobile wallets, emerging media like visual marketing & machine learning clubbed with AI leading for an enhanced customer experience.

Role reversal for digital:

2015 was heavily performance driven with E-comm. industry shelling out millions of dollars, with an aim to convince users in every path to purchase. Brands have tried all forms of performance driven campaigns, keeping a close watch on the ROI of the campaign. The ones who had deep pockets kept flexing the media muscle, while others were just tactical.

In today’s market, most of the app-economy is serving the customer’s experience along with the customer need. Customer experience is the source to engage with, delight and monetize in the modern world. It will be increasingly important for brands to create a positive customer experience, converting a user to an influencer and an influencer to a loyalist.

Nowadays, we find diminishing brand loyalty, considering the competition in the market and the challenges that brands face due to start-ups emerging every single day. The clear winner will be the one who understands and invests in Customer Experience Management.

Transactions via E-payments & Wallets:

With the rise of e-wallets like Paytm, PayU, HDFC Chillr and others, the audience is in for a new experience through new payment options. This is still in an evolving stage and has the potential to disrupt payment landscape. According to a report, payment volumes through e-wallets is going to increase by 100% year-on-year. The growth is expected to be dramatic and even banks will go with the trend. The success of e-wallets is because of rise in mobile commerce, cheaper internet and rapidly increasing mobile penetration

Rise of visual marketing:

A famous saying goes ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’ – and true in today’s times. Content in the internet space is evolving. White paper is no longer the formula to marketing success, visual is becoming the norm. In 2015, we moved to a new internet era where visual content like infographics, visual notes, memes, instagram and gif’s attracted significant attention. Taking the classic example of Facebook & Twitter – we have seen better performance when a tweet has an image and FB post has a video embedded – it is an example of the rise of visual social media.

2016 will witness a rise in visual internet consumption, not limited to social media. Content will be short, snackable, precise and will deliver an unforgettable experience to the end user. It will be smart and intelligent – will understand your likes and dislikes and churn our relevant content bits. Brands would want to capitalize on this trend - visual attention to action will be the end goal. The success of visual content will rely on its relation to good content. Visual content is the ammunition that can fire up content.

Rise of automation / driven by machines and AI:

If year 2015 was when programmatic buying saw a superlative growth, 2016 will add artificial intelligence to the mix.

The success of programmatic is largely because of technology, the features, inventory, data and most importantly the algorithm that optimizes the campaigns.

Apart from Google SEM, most of the internet has been a push based ad-serving mechanism. Push has its benefits and limitations. We are using all forms of behavioural data, audience mapping, intelligent segmentation to be as contextual as possible – nothing is accurate as it uses simple data packets to serve up an ad.

Imagine a world where both traditional and online display ads are automated: live interaction, facial recognitions & moods, that can be identified instantly and you are served an ad that is a result of hundred and thousands of data pointers historically collected (based on your behaviour).

Your mobile device already knows so much about you that it can practically predict that you have your early morning coffee stop at Costa coffee on Mondays between 9 am to 10 am. It may also know what coffee you had, your choice of muffin and the bill amount (because the receipt is now in your inbox). That user can be influenced by multiple factors if AI comes into picture. I am sure one day we will get there – which will change everything.

Going forward, machine learning will take over completely – right from creative rendition to ad placement and it will deliver best industry results.

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