Marketers should use AI, ML-based models for right media mix: Anand Bhadkamkar

At the e4m eTechmach, Bhadkamkar, Dentsu India CEO, deliberated on how marketers should adapt to digital acceleration in terms of their relationship with consumers

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 26, 2021 9:30 AM

With the pandemic bringing about significant changes in consumer behaviour, it has become incumbent upon marketers to reorient themselves to connect with consumers in the new normal. The acceleration in digital adoption also means that marketers need to change their marketing mix.

Speaking at e4m eTechManch - Tech Marketing Conference, Dentsu International India CEO Anand Bhadkamkar noted that the pandemic has had a multiplier effect on businesses. He also noted that e-commerce, telemedicine, e-learning, and digital entertainment have seen a massive uptake due to changes forced upon by the pandemic.

During his presentation, Bhadkamkar said that e-commerce has reached a scale in eight weeks that would have otherwise taken 10 years. Similarly, telemedicine saw 10X growth in adoption in 15 days, while 250 million students were reached in two weeks through remote learning. There has been a 20X growth in video conferencing in three months. Online entertainment achieved in 5 months what would have taken seven years. He cited the example of Disney+ which achieved in five months what Netflix took seven years to achieve.

"That's the kind of adoption and growth which we have been seeing in the last year. Some consumer behaviour has changed, and it will be long-lasting," he stated.

Bhadkamkar suggested that marketers should use AI and ML-based models to derive the right media mix, target segmented customers, and micro-segment markets to reduce customer acquisition costs. He further stated that marketers should deploy tools like touchless payments, virtual commerce, AR and IOT to accelerate digital transformation.

He noted that marketers should build communities besides building brands that showcase empathy and driving affinity through brand purpose. Brands need to go hyperlocal by investing in local influencer networks to drive community-level change. Retaining customers should become a priority for brands by building immersive experiences.

While stating that quality of product, ease of purchase and value are driving customer behaviour, Bhadkamkar said that the marketers need to map the entire customer journey on digital.

He also suggested that marketers need to reboot their relationship with consumers. "Marketers need to unlearn and relearn how they reach out to consumers, personalise and innovating product, pricing & engagement," he stated.

Marketers, he said, also need to reimagine brand in the digital-only world.

Bhadkamkar said that there has been a 1.2X rise in first time online shoppers. Further, the number of categories that are purchased online has also gone up. The share of consumer spends online has also registered a 45% increase. "There has been a tremendous increase in daily e-commerce shopping. The key categories are grocery, medical supplies, and books & stationery. E-commerce is expected to grow 3X in the next four years. However, e-commerce will continue to be only 8% of the retail market," he noted.

Digital has emerged as the second-largest advertising medium after TV on the back of categories like gaming and OTT, which continue to grow and provide a tremendous opportunity for brands. At the same time, TV continues to be a key medium with an unparalleled reach, while print still carries a lot of consumer trust.

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