'Companies in India will use up to 25 data sources to build unified customer view in 2021'

Salesforce-e4m webinar: The panel concluded that to manage building a unified view of customers, there are five key areas to look at - quality, timeliness, data integration, consent and identity

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 20, 2021 8:42 AM  | 5 min read

exchange4media Group has launched a series called ‘Moments Made By Marketing', presented by Salesforce. The focus is on how brands are building connected experiences in a multi-platform environment to reach their consumers.

As we know, brands today look to build a one-on-one connect with consumers through hyper-personalized messaging. This creates an experience for the consumer, and this connection between the consumer and brand in turn creates a moment made by marketing.

As a part of this series, exchange4media curated a panel discussion on the topic ‘Redefining Marketing Moments & building Personalised Experiences’, looking at how automation and technology help brands create ‘Marketing Moments’ for the consumer.

The Session Chair for the panel discussion is Nawal Ahuja, Co-Founder, exchange4media Group and the esteemed panel members include Ajay Dhyani, Head - Marketing &Ecom, Timex Group; Christopher Jacob, Sr. Director - Product Marketing, Salesforce; Deepti Sampat, Vice President, Marketing, Vistara; Kishore Mardikar, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata CLiQ; Mahesh Kumar, Vice President- Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India; Pawrush Elavia, Head – Digital Marketing, ZEE5 Global; and Vivek Sabharwal, Head - Marketing & PR, Aero Club.

Speaking about the consumer insights gathered over the past 11 months since covid-19 has been around, Ajay Dhyani, Head - Marketing & Ecom, Timex Group said that though Timex is mainly an offline driven brand, one thing big thing that he has noticed in a positive manner in this crisis is the digital adoption by consumers.

“We also noticed that there is aspiration among consumers to buy our global marquee products. This crisis has allowed us to understand consumers beyond our physical retail format which has in turn completely changed our perception.”

Talking about how consumer behavior has changed drastically in the aviation sector, Deepti Sampat, Vice President, Marketing, Vistara said that a visible change now is how consumers are in favour of web-check-ins compared to pre-covid days.

“Also the consumer priority has shifted from pricing to safety, and for us winning the consumer trust as far as safe travel is concerned is the big focus now”, she explained.

Sharing his observation about the impact of covid on marketing and consumer patterns, Christopher Jacob, Sr.Director - Product Marketing, Salesforce, said that globally 63 percent of end customers and buyers, both B2B and B2C, say that businesses have transformed in the last 12 months.

 That number jumps to 93 percent when you are talking about India alone, said Jacob.

“If you think of this kind of rapid transformation in such a short span of time, that is a massive amount of change that we need to adapt to, and a massive amount of understanding of the customer that we need to achieve.”

Jacob also shared that 71 percent of customers in India feel that brands need to increase their digital transformation because of covid. He also underlined that the context of messaging and reaching out to customers has drastically changed in the last 12 months and one has to be a lot more empathetic to cater to the new consumer expectations.

Vivek Sabharwal, Head - Marketing & PR, Aero Club, while sharing the brand story of staying relevant in the time of crisis said that though digital has grown exponentially, however India will continue to remain a touch and feel country and this fact  will come alive in next 3 to 6 months.

“In the last 4 to 5 years we have started our digital journey and that has been a blessing in disguise for us. Last year we started working on our new website and that came alive exactly when covid hit us. So we were able to give a fresh look and feel of the brand to the consumers along with the omnichannel approach that we undertook. All of this has helped us tide over this challenging time.”

Speaking about the biggest challenge for OTT brands, Pawrush Elavia, Head – Digital Marketing, ZEE5 Global said the lockdown period for the category has been great from a growth perspective since people have been sitting home and consuming a lot of content.

“The biggest challenge now is—how do we engage with our users, how do we keep them on board and how do we make them keep coming back to us, especially when people have a lot of choice”, said Elavia.

Sharing his insights on the way customer behavior has changed over the last 11 months, Kishore Mardikar, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata CLiQ said, “ While we are a digital-first brand, when covid hit us, we saw our digital curve grow exponentially. There were many categories that were not known for exploration earlier, we suddenly saw people looking at such categories and comparing products. That created a need to generate content that can be consumed in what we call “I want to know moment”.

When asked to explain the pain points of integrating digital and offline data, Christopher Jacob of Salesforce said that in 2020 companies in India were using some 20 different data sources to build a unified view of the customers, which can go to 25 in 2021.

“To manage all that there are five key areas to look at—quality, timeliness, data integration, consent and identity”, he underlined.

Mahesh Kumar, Vice President- Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India while explaining about building a unified view of customers in an organisation of the size and complexity of Maruti-Suzuki said, “In our category, touch and feel is going to remain important, the physical world remains a reality with us. We have many lines of businesses (LOBs) and we have been able to stitch all these customer interactions into one. It is a challenge to stitch such diversified data together but we have been able to do it reasonably well.

“Once you have the unified view of the consumer, the next big challenge is how to use it well for the benefit of the consumer as well as the company”, he added.

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