'To stay relevant, make customer experience rather than technology the hero'

At the e4m e-TechManch Virtual Digital Conference, industry thought leaders participated in a discussion on 'Digital Strategies to Survive and Thrive in the New Normal'

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 10:09 AM

At the recent e4m e-TechManch Virtual Digital Conference, a discussion on “Digital Strategies to Survive and Thrive in the New Normal” was held which saw the participation of industry thought leaders. 

The speakers for this virtual panel included Ajay Kakar, CMO Aditya Birla Capital, Dilen Gandhi, Sr Director & Category Head-Foods, PepsiCo India, Moksh Chopra, CMO, KFC, Nidhi Hola, Director, Integrated Marketing, Microsoft India, Ruchira Jaitly, CMO, HMD Global, Siddhartha Butalia, CMO, Air Asia and moderated by Vivek Bhargava, CEO, DAN Performance Group, Dentsu Aegis Network. 

Speaking about the new normal, Ajay Kakar, CMO Aditya Birla Capital said that due to the ongoing pandemic people were discovering hi-touch within the high tech. He also emphasised that this pandemic has taught us that we all need to continue to learn. 

“The problem with us today is that we start and end with technology and the consumer comes next.  If we start with understanding the consumer pain points and then find a technology, we can find out that hi-tech can lead to even higher touch. So we need to keep the customer experience the hero rather than the technology.” 

“Last few months have tested our ability to adapt and there has been an accelerated habit shift. Digital adoption has accelerated quite a bit. Also, people's relationship with their homes has evolved over the past few months and they are actively participating in comfortable indulgences and it is going to stay in people's psychology for some time, ” stated Moksh Chopra, CMO, KFC. 

For Hola, surviving in the new normal and staying relevant finally comes down to aligning your teams to what you're trying to achieve. 

“You have to first inspire your teams to make it happen ultimately for the customers. At Microsoft we believe it's the people, process and the technology, people always come first”, she said. 

Speaking about the need to create differentiated experience Butalia accepted that though airlines across brands do not have a highly differentiated experience to offer, however, it was something that Air Asia is trying to focus on and alter especially through the use of digital.

“Indian consumers prefer omnichannels and are looking at a blended experience.  This pandemic has heightened the need to get closer to the consumer and those brand that manage to do so will keep staying relevant,” added Jaitly.

According to Gandhi, the current situation is not a disruption, it's an exception.

“Everything that we see today would have happened eventually, we are just witnessing a significant acceleration in that adoption.  Now we need to adapt to the changing context of the consumers to stay relevant. Also, we have pushed decision making lower down in the organisation to those who are at the frontline of the work that we do--the young brand managers.”

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