'We have seen digital growth more in the past few months than in a decade'

In a chat with e4m, Redickaa Subrammanian, CEO & Co-founder, Resulticks shares her views about India’s digital transformation and innovative marketing technologies in the light of the pandemic

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Published: Aug 13, 2020 3:29 PM  | 8 min read

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life, including business, like never before. Companies had no choice but to reinvent themselves almost overnight as brands re-strategized how they engaged with consumers. A big shift was the adoption of digital by brands as well as consumers as the pandemic forced companies to adopt more robust technologies that can deliver to address scale, speed and complexity of online customer engagement. In a chat with Redickaa Subrammanian, CEO &  Co-founder, Resulticks, we discuss how digital transformation is now the new normal and how marketing automation solutions have been empowering companies.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of Digital. How are brands now looking at imbibing digital transformation and adopting technologies such as marketing automation, AI, analytics, blockchain in marketing?   

The pandemic and the social distancing measures created to minimise its spread have undoubtedly accelerated digital consumption. More digital growth has been seen, perhaps, over the past few months than in a decade. Business leaders are realizing that serious commitment to digital transformation is now a must, as the new normal is here to stay.  

Companies have been pushed to reinvent themselves almost overnight and many are realising that legacy tools that got them thus far cannot carry them into the future, or even meet the expectation of the engagement quality that a customer expects today. 

A new generation of marketing automation solutions are empowering companies to maximize the power of both data and AI to harness deeper audience insights, deliver personalized customer experiences, drive efficient marketing decision making, and attribute the ROI of their efforts. More importantly, these solutions allow them to undertake all these tasks that are key to audience centricity at the scale fitting today’s digital explosion.  

 There is also growing interest in the application of marketing blockchain, particularly from the banking and financial services industry. Growth of digital has also brought with it increasing risks of data privacy exposure and data breaches. The sheer complexity of digital interactions as well as the ecosystem of vendors and systems that enable them will also drive consumers and companies alike to demand more transparency and accountability. It makes sense then, that blockchain is gaining the spotlight given its ability to optimize security, increase transparency, and prevent frauds, while allowing companies to gain a more consistent view of the customer.     

How can Resulticks help brands deliver the best customer experience as seamless, individualized experiences across a multitude of channels and in real-time? 

In the wake of Covid-19, B2B/B2C marketers are increasingly looking to grow revenues and, in a cost, effective manner. All of this starts with quality data so that digital marketers can use that data and insights from data to manage, automate and track the success of marketing campaigns through multiple channels. The final measure of success is a contribution to business growth, reduction in the cost of acquisition and increase in brand KPIs. This is where Resulticks scores. With our AI-powered, real-time omnichannel approach, we are helping our clients emerge as a winner in a data-driven world.

Resulticks was built to deliver on the promise of real-time omnichannel customer engagement, providing capabilities required for future-forward companies. While Covid-19 has certainly pushed companies and consumers alike to rely more heavily on digital touchpoints, it is worth noting that omnichannel doesn’t mean all online and offline channels at all times. It means delivering an individualized journey that evolves with each omnichannel customer through whatever touchpoints they prefer. 

What are the solutions that you have offered to clients in the recent past as they looked to evolve their business during the lockdown?  

Resulticks was created to be the transformative centrifugal force between the brand and its audiences, integrating data, engagement, and insights from any data source to any touchpoint. We were awarded the ‘Elevating Customer Experience with AI’ award earlier this year by Microsoft. The platform has been repeatedly named to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 – perhaps the only brand to be invited by Gartner in just the 3rd year of its inception.

A key focus for retailers in the new normal is how they can get consumers back into physical stores after they have implemented the right measures. For a client with presence in nearly 50 cities across India, we helped orchestrate omnichannel campaigns to assist their recovery efforts as the lockdown eases in certain regions. Beyond targeted communications based on their customers’ product and brand affinity as well as past behaviour, we could boost footfalls with contextual messages. Audiences were encouraged to scan QR codes at the brand’s store to share their contactless shopping experience and memorable in-store safety measures on social in exchange for exclusive offers.

Driving digital adoption during this time is central for almost all industries as offline interactions are suspended, and this is especially true for the banking industry. While younger generations and a good portion of middle-age users have adjusted well to new digital banking touchpoints, senior citizens, by and large, have not. To help a client address this, we enabled them to map out a communication triggered process for senior customers to renew fixed deposits through calls directly, a process for which they would usually visit a branch.

 How has the brand and customer relationship evolved in the last few months? 

According to an EY survey, consumer behaviour in India is radically changing due to Covid-19, with 60% of buyers in the country believing that the pandemic would alter the way they shop. Convenience and safety are key during the era of social distancing, but it is not everything. Simply having digital touchpoints won’t cut it either. 

Companies now have to trove through vast amounts of data generated across their systems and channels to capture a singular understanding of each customer. They need to translate such unified insights into journeys that conform to social distancing measures, maximize convenience and deliver the interactions most relevant to each customer at just the right moment and place. 

What has been the uptick in brands now looking at increasing budgets to Digital, particularly when it comes to technology? 

As I stated earlier, Covid-19 has driven companies to consider/adopt more robust technologies that can deliver to address scale, speed and complexity of online customer engagement in an ever more digitally savvy India. 

Given the pace of India’s digital transformation, the shifts we’re seeing now will continue even after the pandemic and one can expect organizations to allocate bigger portions of their budgets towards the purchase and implementation of innovative marketing technologies. This has been corroborated in recent research amongst business, marketing and technology leaders we commissioned through Valuvox. According to ‘Omnichannel Marketing Readiness in India: A Resulticks Research Report’, 25% of marketers are planning to increase their investments in omnichannel marketing in the coming years.

With data privacy now a big concern, how can brands tailor personalized experiences when reaching out to consumers? 

Personalization is always going to be a balancing act between relevance and invasiveness. Beyond rigorous protections that ensure data privacy, organizations also need to make sure their solutions and processes comply with both domestic and international regulations. 

There also needs to be a coherent, accessible means by which customers can understand and manage what part of their data is used, where, and how. Not every data point should be acted on, and it’s not always good to know everything. Data should translate to experiences that benefit and delight customers, instead of repulsing them with invasive, overly personalized messages delivered with no regard for context or privacy.

 Can you tell us the key takeaways from the recent Resulticks Omnichannel Readiness in India Report?

India’s rapid digitisation and its increasingly tech-savvy consumer population have made it necessary for companies to step up their customer engagement game. The Omnichannel Marketing Readiness in India study surveyed 414 senior marketing executives across 17 industries spanning multiple business types and sizes to get a sense of the challenges, priorities, and platform requirements that define their omnichannel journeys.  

Two key initiatives that marketers consider the most critical to their omnichannel customer engagement strategy include personalization/individualization (75% of all marketers) and a unified, 360-degree view of the customer (64% marketers).

Nearly a third or more acknowledge the criticality of customer data platforms, customer journeys, marketing automation platforms, and real-time marketing to their omnichannel initiatives.

Inability to act on data in real-time and the lack of an effective omnichannel marketing strategy are the two biggest challenges faced by marketers.

Marketers face two more equally formidable challenges—incomplete data across the many diverse channels they leverage for omnichannel customer engagement and lack of analytics and insights.

Omnichannel oriented marketers who have implemented a robust marketing automation platform in the recent past are in a position to successfully leverage newer channels in the communication mix while those with legacy systems are limited by the number of channels they can use.

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