Look at everything from data privacy lens to act responsibly: CVL Srinivas

WPP held its first ever 'Date with Data' meet in Mumbai on Tuesday to decode issues including user privacy, case studies, data mining, and insights leading to award winning creatives

date with data

WPP brought together industry leaders to discuss the data conundrum at its first 'Date with Data' meet held in Mumbai on Tuesday. Among the major themes discussed during the day were data protection, using data in various innovative ways, tapping into consumer data for e-commerce, and leveraging data to derive creative inspiration. 
 
In his opening remarks, WPP India Country Manager, CVL Srinivas said that the community needs to act responsibly with regard to data. “The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that data is not leveraged without explicit consumer consent. GDPR puts the consumer in the driver's seat of control, enabling when, where and by whom, his or her data can be leveraged. When GDPR went live, businesses all over Europe had to re-engineer the way they handled data, to regain consent from every individual, in order for that data to be used in marketing, analytics or insights,” he said. 
 
“In India, we have an advantage where actually, on the ground floor of this change, if we can get our fundamentals right, we'll be better prepared. Let's discuss how we should look at everything in data from a data privacy, or “DP” lens, so that we all can act responsibly," he said, setting the agenda for the day.

Expressing concerns over what the implementation of data protection regulations could mean for marketers in India, Shuvadip Banerjee, VP Marketing Services, ITC Limited, said, “We do not know how much of our ‘golden records’ will remain golden.” Siddharth Banerjee, EVP, Marketing, Vodafone, also noted that the enriched data which has been very useful to marketers in drawing insights might take a hit. “The era of the Wild Wild West is over,” he said alluding to the impunity with which consumer data has been used so far. Banerjee said that rewarding customers to share their data would be one way to extract data in the future. 

In a panel discussion on ‘Connected Commerce’, Kashyap Vadapalli, CMO, Pepperfry, and Sanjay Suri, CTO, Nykaa, shared innovative and counter-intuitive case studies of tapping into consumer data collected online to actually shape offline activities like deciding where to locate stores and warehouses. Another person who truly wowed the audience was Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director, India Sales, Google. Agnihotri listed numerous examples of using online data to inform offline business activities. Google has worked with the government to zero in on locations for the next 30 airports based on tickets searched online and where those searches are originating from. Google is also working with Big Bazaar to decide the locations of the retailers next 9000 stores. Interestingly, Google’s data mining has shown that Big Bazaar does not need 9000 stores, but can actually make do with 6600 strategically placed stores for maximum ROI.

Later in the day, a panel comprising Gauravjeet Singh, Head Media, South Asia, Unilever; Vasuta Agarwal, VP and GM, South Asia, InMobi; Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India; Karthik Sharma, CEO South Asia, Wavemaker and moderator Sunder Muthuraman, CEO and Global Chief Client Officer, Kantar Analytics, discussed audience planning and the most appropriate and effective ways to use a Data Management Platform. The panel concurred that every marketer needs a DMP which could either reside with the marketer, with the agency or a partner like InMobi, but there is no two ways about having a DMP. 

Finally, after a day loaded with the discussion on the science and math of data, it was the turn of the creative minds in the room to throw light on how they use data to kindle creativity. Kainaz Karmakar, CCO, Ogilvy West, noted that a mere data point about the how likelihood of a child dying due to diarrhoea or a respiratory disease is connected to hand washing habits, leading her and her team to design a huge campaign for ITC Savlon. The campaign went on to win the Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. 

Aditya Swamy, Head - Agency Partnerships, Google, noted that while data is being used to inform creativity, it is the coupling of data with environmental data that can really sway a campaign and take it to the next level. 

“I'm sure you will start joining the “data dots” to see a bigger and more beautiful picture emerge at the end of the day," said Srinivas at the start of the sessions. We couldn't agree more. 

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