Going digital is vital not only for recovery but also for future growth

Guest Column: Rubeena Singh, the CEO, iProspect India, outlines key rules for brands on the path to digital transformation with respect to reaching, engaging and converting consumers

e4m by Rubeena Singh
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 9:35 AM
rubeena singh

The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways - our approach to health, interactions with our friends, the way we work, the way we run our homes and most definitely, the way we shop!

We have witnessed that many first-time consumers have adopted digital commerce channels. More and more people are shopping for everyday needs and luxury items online. From groceries to sanitisers and from clothes to washing machines, the need to physically visit a store to shop continues to reduce. Even post the lockdown, consumers that hunkered down at home to avoid contracting coronavirus are turning to online shopping for products that they traditionally bought in stores. Going forward, one can expect these new digital interactions to remain sticky and gain at the expense of offline commerce at physical stores. 

And, as the behaviour of the consumer changes, brands are forced to focus on their digital transformation. Brands will need to build digital experiences for the consumer & the brand will need to win its love in the digital world.  

Brands will need to think about omnichannel commerce which spans across brand.com (website and apps), marketplaces, social commerce and also retail. They need to focus on:  

Availability – Ensuring their products/services are available across all commerce channels such as marketplaces and brand.com – and also on emerging channels such as chatbots and voice commerce. This also involves managing inventories and product assortment so that consumers have the best vantage point. Social commerce especially assisted buying, AR/VR experiences, voice apps are gaining momentum.  

Findability – Getting maximum visibility of the brand and its products across paid, organic channels by maintaining a strong SOV vs competition. 

Buyability – Making certain that their product content (listing content, product shots and videos) is carefully crafted to attract consumers. Brands also need to create a strong value proposition - pricing and promotion strategy being key here. 

Repeatability – Long-term growth and success is dependent on repeat purchases and loyalty programs. It also requires personalised cross-device experiences. Using data and machine learning models to create a recommendation engine, which can suggest products/offers to relevant audience segments can help improve repeat purchase rates. 

Desirability - Finally, it is about brand love and the product’s desire value. This can be created using innovative and immersive content formats. 

The key question faced by brands while embarking on their digital transformation journey from a marketing perspective is that “What is the best way to reach consumers, engage with them and convert them?” 

The most effective option is to create an integrated full-funnel solution. The full-funnel solution has 3 parts: 

  1. Generating awareness or launching a product /service or a go-to market strategy. Today with the availability of fast connectivity, many doors are open for utilising VR or AR where advertisers can build surreal experiences for customers digitally to showcase their products and services. This will enable lower bounce rates and increased CTR & ROI.
  2. Creating more personalised experiences and journeys to drive consideration. Machines can make automated content creation possible! Banner ads, email campaigns, or social media posts can be generated and applied into different formats native to every channel. This is a big stride in the area of personalisation of content at scale. Content can be created for hundreds of segments of customers based on their demographics and interests. Based on performance, messages can automatically be changed to match the content that is performing well.
  3. And finally, closing sales using performance media, chatbots, other interactive touchpoints, etc. that are responsible for delivering leads, sales, ROI, etc. Data is the cornerstone of all digital activities.  By using data, marketers can track customers along the journey from initial interest to final purchase. Building a multi-touch attribution model will allow marketers to have a much clearer picture of what's working and what isn’t and make data-driven decisions, allowing them to prioritise expenditure in the right channels. However, a common constraint with the data captured in most lead management systems is that they don't capture the media and campaign data by default.  Thus, brands lose out on having valuable enriched first-party data.   

Going digital is not just vital for recovery in 2021 but is also critical for future growth. Digital marketing is growing at an exponential speed, bringing the change businesses need to not only survive but thrive. The modern ways of engaging with the customer base, and the ability to draw valuable insights from captured data are just some of the key benefits helping businesses grow. Digital can help businesses discover new frontiers and find new possibilities to design and deliver a better experience for their customer. It will be the preferred way of interacting with customers while generating a strong ROI.

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