e4m Martech League: Experts on leveraging consumer data for brand building

Thought leaders shared insights on the acceleration of digital marketing and whether it’s here to stay post-COVID

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jul 11, 2020 9:38 AM  | 6 min read
e4m Martech Fridays

On the latest virtual session of e4m’s Martech League, Fridays the topic under discussion was ‘Digital Marketing in a Post COVID World’. The virtual session had MarTech thought leaders like Sowmya Iyer, Founder, DViO Digital; Rahul Chopra, Chief Digital Officer, Clix Capital; Rishi Sharma, AVP Marketing & Head Digital, Liva, Grasim Industries Ltd; and Sandeep Chaudhary, Co-Founder, ADOHM on the panel. The session chair for this webinar was Chetan Asher, Co-Founder & CEO, Tonic Worldwide. 

Starting off the virtual session was Iyer who shared her insights on whether the digital shift will stay post-COVID: “There has been an acceleration in the adoption of digital. So, all the facilities that were available to us today were available even some time ago. But there was always this friction about the traditional way of doing things and the new way. The adoption was slow and going at its own pace. Now with the pandemic, suddenly the friction has disappeared and people have embraced the digital way of doing things. 

"Digital Marketing is a subset of the digital transformation journey. Brands are already looking at plotting the entire consumer journey at the backdrop of the adoption of digital. Each industry in a way will interpret this differently to suit their context. The way I look at it is that it is here to stay and is the basis for us to innovate for the next orbit.” 

Sharma on his part observed that digital did exist but it was part of a lot of other things we were doing. He said that there was a lack of "focus" and "concentrated push" on digitisation. 

"Now, the acceptance level has increased and people are using different digital tools to share and get information. A lot of e-commerce sites have been adopted by different age groups," he said. 

The acceleration level, he says, has been triggered by the increase in consumption levels, which in turn has been made possible by people getting comfortable with the usage of various digital platforms. 

"At a business level, we use to spend enough time in explaining internally on why and how it has to function and its benefits. Now, people have experienced them for the first time through virtual launches and conferences and they have seen the benefits. For business, digital is here to stay. At a consumption level to it takes 21 days to change a habit and it has been more than that and it will grow further," he observed. 

Chopra shared his thoughts on whether digital transformation is keeping pace: “It is very important that you should be absolutely clear about your digital transformation agenda before you start picking pace of spending dollars around digital marketing. Because if you start spending on digital marketing without having a canvas around your digital transformation, you will not get a better return on your efforts. Map the marketing funnel no matter what business you are in then start tracking and have the digital transformation in place that you get to know everything around what you are doing."

He stressed on the fact that while Data is the king in digital marketing, the single biggest blindspot use to be reading the data. "So, while doing the digital transformation agenda definitely find out a way to know the quality of data so that your marketing efforts are seen," he added. 

Chaudhary shared his opinion about brands reaching out for automation tools: “Due to the lockdown, people who were hesitant to move towards a technology-driven marketing have adopted it. The decision process has improved and the demand for technology has increased manifold.” 

“But there is a misconception on digital media”. Chaudhary went on to explain, “There is a misconception that I will put one dollar today and start getting the return the very same day. So, it is a job of marketers and agencies to educate the customer first in the right manner on how and when they will get the results out of it. It needs to be data-driven but you need to be patient. COVID has taught people how to drive marketing in an efficient way. Now, post COVID we have to see whether the same audience percentage remains on digital platforms or not.” 

All the companies conceptualizing only ROI based campaigns will not have a successful run in the digital space in the long term. Brand building should be the focal point. 

“CPC drive has increased because of increased digital traffic. If someone is coming for a specific reason, that is where there's a lower CPA comes in", commented Chaudhary. 

Iyer remarked, “Digital is a very complex ecosystem one is playing in. It is about holding the brands single narrative.” 

Chopra went on to say that they are now implementing AI-based campaigns, creating a content library for hyper-personalization. 

There has been a change in the adoption of how consumers have started to curate content and also consume them. “These are the go-pro days. We're going to see more of handheld, self-created videos, it'll be quicker, it'll be more personalized as it won't look staged. It makes it easier for the consumer to accept", commented Sharma. 

Asher shared that we don't always have to be on-ground to get insights and that mobile phones can be a key factor to garner insights too. 

Iyer stated that democratization content is important for everybody. “If we are talking about the high quality of content its all about the experience”, she said. 

Sharma went on to say that the consumer is spoilt for choices but is also very smart. “As a marketer, for us to choose influencers for a campaign is based on their history- brand association, past content, and quality. Influencer marketing has got matured now and the consumer will not get confused as to who they should follow and believe when it comes to choosing a brand”, shared Sharma. 

Signing off, Sharma concluded saying, “Social media won't take a back seat because people spend more time here than anything else. It's about driving the brand purpose more than continuing with likes, dislikes, and comments.”

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