e4mMarTech League Fridays: 'We need to look more closely at behavioural data'

On the virtual series, MarTech leaders shared that Conversational Marketing needs to be paramount in today’s digital marketing space

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 4, 2020 10:13 AM
MarTech Fridays

The e4m MarTech League series on Friday put the spotlight on the topic ‘Powering Digital Conversations’. The panel shared how AI and ML can enhance the digital conversations with consumers.

The webinar had MarTech leaders like Neena Dasgupta, CEO & Director, Zirca; Ramakant Khandelwal, CMO, Payback India; Prashant Dixit, Co-founder & CRO, TorcAI Digital Media Private Limited; Namrita Mahindro, Chief Digital Officer, Aditya Birla Group; and Sujoy Golan, Chief of Marketing & Omnichannel Platforms, Affle. The Session Chair for this virtual roundtable was Arnab Mitra, Managing Director, LIQVID ASIA.

Initially, it was all about the traditional funnel of purchase, sales, and marketing. However, currently digital has been able to break those funnels making it a lot shorter and engaging for consumers to directly connect to the brands and vice versa.

Starting off the virtual discussion, Dixit spoke about Conversational Marketing saying, “I would look at a definition where each and every action of yours is communicating to the end-user or consumer. Right now, everything has to go through one lense because your user at the end is evaluating you across different parameters. The user can be watching your TVCs, looking at ratings, blogs, and reviews about your product or commenting about it. It is a well-known fact that people research a lot nowadays before ordering. Everything that an organization is doing today should be focused and communicated in one piece. Your strategy of content, digital marketing as well as your product strategy should all have one view. Once you have achieved that and all your data sets and communications are together, that is the right definition of Conversational Marketing.”

Sharing his view on Conversational Marketing, Khandelwal remarked, “Our sense about Conversational Marketing is that it is a two-way communication. The first thing is that it isn’t the standard push communication that we have been traditionally engaging in more in the legacy environment. Conversational Marketing is where you listen to the customer and you respond to the customer. There can be some key aspects to it like contextual, real-time, and personalized. It is a two-way listening process and it is something where you listen to your customers more and respond. Most of the response is going from the machine. I think at the back-end the machine is talking to the customer a lot more.”

About how this automation is empowering brands, Dasgupta stated, “Conversation is the new paradigm. Communication and advertising are actually going to be under conversation; it is the new paradigm given the way technology has moved. Conversation Marketing is a typical space where the brand and consumer connect as if they are only made for each other and the only two people talking to each other. Now, that conversation will happen only if a brand understands a consumer and the consumer feels that understanding coming from the brand. Therefore, it is not linear in my opinion. It starts possibly in the offline world totally where you need to understand the consumer mindset. What we do is connect the mindset of the consumers to a single brand conversation and agenda so that every consumer feels special. Technology plays a massive role in making sure that the continued communication is happening on an ongoing basis. You are learning more about the consumer and responding in relation to the consumer’s mindset.”

Golan talked about how mobile makes it easier to identify psychographics saying, “Mobile is a huge enabler and has been so for years. If you look back at the evolution of media and marketing, everything that starts small, starts offline makes it easy to drive conversations. Desktop advertising at the beginning of digital again was one way. Mobile is a channel and by the nature of the device, we have seen the ability to personalize conversation takes it to a greater level.”

Mahindro shared how the conversations have changed and where we stand today. “Over the last decade, we have seen conversational marketing really evolve. So, I think a decade back when we were looking at it, it was predominantly around what we were doing on social media. About 5-6 years back I saw that the first transition happened where we started saying that social is great, performance is great but actually customers were making bookings at the Taj website while I was working over there. We asked ourselves what can we do over here because we have analytics which is giving us some information on how do we start looking at combining those analytics to start creating different conversations on our website. That was our starting point. In my Mahindra days, where I have been for the last four years, we have been using AI elements a lot more, which has been a huge factor in identifying consumer personalized conversations. At Mahindra, we wanted to impact the lives of farmers. We did the primary research, understood the psychology, and then developed a software, chatbox with meaningful conversations which led to an e-commerce portal. We also did customer profiling and looked at second party data and added that as a unique value in understanding the consumer.”

Speaking about data and how that enables them to drive conversations Khandelwal shares, “With our partnerships with retail brands and banks, we get certain data. That data goes down to the level of SKUs on what the customers are purchasing. We have a holistic data on their spending, to their travel and retail spends. It’s a good set of data to understand the customer's spending potential and life stage. Core business is really about the behavioural and purchase data.”

Talking about how one can build tech for this conversational marketing approach and what to keep in mind, Dixit remarked, “Digital and brand marketers need to see where the user's mind is going. AI in marketing looked more at data insights and page views, datasets. But now, AI can tell you what the subject lines can be when you send an email. You want loyalty, be a repeat user, and be engaged. To achieve that, you need to look at the user and keep the communication intact.”

Speaking more on AI and ML solutions, Golan commented, “Today AI and ML aren't necessarily in the higher range. On the B2B side, it helps understand intent and sentiment. On the consumer side, we built Chauffer which helps them store inventory. There is also a conversational interface through chat.”

Dasgupta, sharing more insights on data, said, “We anticipated a part of the cookie-less world a while back. It is more about the estimation and the use of data without revealing identities. The beauty of our data is panel-based. Layers of validation gets added via blockchain. Your data today is sitting hidden. Now we are going back to the panel world because that's where it's real.”

Dixit advises, “Don't put specific rules while making your AI tool to gather data. Let the algorithm tell you what's best for the consumer. The more measurement of each touchpoint is very critical. You need to start looking at behavioural data. It’s more of a challenge of looking for useful data.”

In conclusion, Mahindro signed off saying, “In the B2B world, there are no conversations happening. It’s like the customer coming to an empty store and no one to talk to them. With our interactions with farmers, in the side of the fertilizer, we're beginning to make sense of the data. The conversations are more but it's still going to be a journey.”

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube