Media fragmentation & proliferation of devices makes consumer behaviour complex: Torrence Boone, Google

Boone, VP Global Agency Sales, Google says that the popularity and rise of digital has resulted in fragmentation of media and proliferation of new devices which in turn has made consumer behaviour complex than ever before

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Published: Dec 6, 2017 8:53 AM  | 3 min read

As marketing gets increasingly defined by technology, there are constant attempts being made to devise more innovative technological solutions to accelerate business growth. During a recent event in the capital, Google shared insights into new consumer expectations and the way to address it.

Speaking about how digital has made consumer understanding more complex, Torrence Boone, VP Global Agency Sales, Google said, “It has definitely made it more complex because the customer journey is so much more complicated, especially with the fragmentation of media and proliferation of devices. The good news though is that we are getting much better at understanding those diverse signals and using them to deliver more relevant advertising for consumers.

There is no denying that diversity in any market has its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Given the fact that India is a diverse market in terms of consumer behaviour, tracking it is definitely a challenging task for people looking to provide market solutions. Underlining the inherent challenges that define the Indian market, Boone further said, “India is an incredibly different market. The complexity of language is a good example. Clearly all the vernacular languages complicate the ability of marketers to connect with consumers holistically across the entire market. But again the good news is that we have things like machine learning that helps us. A great example is our “Life Events’ which allows you to reach consumers during their critical moments.”

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have become buzzwords for today’s marketers, the critical question being asked is their ability to match the emotional connect and the empathy factor that human interaction ensures.

Talking about the next phase of evolution in machine learning and AI, he explained, “I would say we are at the super early stages of being able to train machine learning capabilities and the subtleties of something like empathy. I think the more important point is that machine learning is an enabler so we still have things like context; we still have creative executions that creative agencies are developing and there is still the power of storytelling that is critical in marketing and advertising. The machine learning is just helping us deploy that content, those stories and that emotion more effectively. You are going to see machine learning transform all sorts of industries even beyond marketing.”

Talking about the challenges in understanding consumers in today’s fragmented media world, he added, “Knowing the consumer deeply is the biggest challenge particularly today because consumer behaviour is changing so rapidly. We have to compete with other ways of garnering attention from our consumers because marketers across the globe are struggling with —how do we know our consumers and build those insights that allows us to create the content with the right message at the right time and in the right context.”

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