Pitch CMO Summit: Advocacy could be the start of consumer decision journey: Kanika Kalra

Kalra, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company talks about the growing importance of brand management in the age of technology

e4m by Eularie Saldanha
Updated: Mar 8, 2019 3:12 PM
Kanika Kalra

2017 was a landmark year for the media industry as Digital marketing exceeded television advertising spends for the first time. Television as a medium is still going strong. However, today, our consumers are very fragmented. 

“Every 12 minutes the consumer looks at his phone as there is an attention deficit and we are actually suffering from potential crisis,” said Kanika Kalra, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company, as she addressed the audience on the topic of ‘Brand Management in the Age of Technology’ at exchange4media’s Pitch CMO Summit. 

There’s too much free content created, combined with the consumer attention deficit today, which means, brands can no longer assume that their consumers are clear to listen to them. Hence, it becomes crucial to not just drive personalisation, but extreme relevance to their consumers.

“We did a study of some 29,000 brands and realised that across the world there was 35% more content generated by brands, compared to 5 years ago. Despite 35% more content generated, there was 17% lesser engagement,” Kalra said, emphasising on the growing importance of quality over quantity. 

This is a golden chance for marketers to start getting to know their consumer better as technology has enabled data forces from multiple sites to come together and take a picture of the consumer that they never had. 

On the importance of understanding the types of consumers, Kalra believes that a demographic perspective, media and exposure perspective, Digital habits, mobility habits, buying habits, engagement with content habits and multiple roots play a crucial part in the consumer’s decision making process for the brand’s category. 

“Consumer decisions have become very fragmented today. Consumers who wanted to consider a purchase, would line up multiple options, make a decision, buy a product and sometimes even advocate their purchase. Today, advocacy could be the start of a consumer decision journey, while experience could be the start of another,” Kalra says.  

Speaking on the automobile purchase decision of consumers, Kalra is of opinion that in five years, 60% of consumers’ buying decisions would be Digital, which was at a 10 odd percent, five years ago. 

Thirty per cent of traction decisions are influenced online, including the beginning, middle and the ending of the decision journey. She emphasises on the importance of brands to get a clear understanding of the decision journey of the consumer. 

“Content is a massive influence on fashion. We decided we would go deep and understand content strategy, by mapping multiple consumer journeys and trying to figure out how they browse through a site. We found nine distinct consumer adtechs,“ Kalra adds.  

On talking about what a consumer is ultimately looking for, Kalra believes that in the first 24 hours of customer contact, a brand’s management of time, quick communication and an ability to keep in touch with the consumer, is what keeps a consumer going in real time. She also adds that there are multiple ways of attracting consumers, if you actually listen, manage the customer and understand the critical points of intervention. 

Last but not the least, the opportunities around technology for businesses and marketers are immense and only takes the right attitude, to drive a brand.

Driving a brand differently in an agile way with your own teams and partners is very important, as it is an opportunity that can be monetised. Use of data technology as an opportunity, is a space that can truly increase the ability of marketers and impact businesses overall. 

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