Pitch CMO Summit: How is the retail industry personalizing marketing

The panel discussion was moderated by B Srinivasan, and the panellists were Tanuj Choudhry, S Subramanian and Nishanth Chandran

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 5, 2019 8:10 AM

exchange4media hosted the Chennai chapter of Pitch CMO Summit on Friday. The first panel discussion of the day looked at how the retail industry personalizes its offering, with the topic of discussion being ‘Retail play: Building a personalized experience’. The session was moderated by B Srinivasan, MD, Vikatan Group, and the panellists were Tanuj Choudhry, Chief Business Officer & Board Member, HomeLane; S Subramanian, MD, Preethi Kitchen Appliances; and Nishanth Chandran, Founder & CEO, TenderCuts (GFM Retail Pvt. Ltd).

Srinivasan started the discussion with the question: Is there anything in retail that doesn’t talk about personalized experience?

Answering the question, Choudhry said, “I don’t think there is. With Homelane, we provide fully furnished home to people so it is as personalized as it can get. If we, as a company, don’t give our customers the personalized experience they have been looking for, they will walk out of the same door they came from.”

Adding to the point, Chandran said, “Our customer acquisition cost is Rs 60. We are largest in Chennai; 50 per cent of our business comes from retail and 50 per cent online. This really gives a good advantage and understanding of customers from both the sides. The attention span of the audience is becoming shorter, therefore, you have to motivate your customers to take an action and it surely is an outcome of personalization. Personalization saves time.”

“Personalization works well when there is a high degree of engagement. In such cases, consumers keep coming back in search of your brand,” Subramanian added.

The conversation then went on to word of mouth, referral codes and how referral codes are equivalent to personalization. Talking about referral programmes, Choudhry said, “Telling the consumers that a referral programme is going on is only half of the job. The other half is insisting them to take action.”

Subramanian explained, “In order to make referral programmes a huge success, you need to make sure that customers are satisfied. Creating consumer experience is the key.”

Later in the conversation, Srinavasan asked the panellists: In terms of retail experience what is the one thing that they found unique about Chennai and what can be one thing that Chennai can take away?

To which Chandran replied, “Chennai is an interesting market. It is not as big as Bangalore or any other metropolitan city as a retail market. They would want strong referral or understanding. Chennai requires strong referral for consumers to get close to a product.” 

Agreeing with Chandran’s statement, Subramanian said, “Chennai is a different market. It is very entrepreneurial, unique retail market. When you are able to stay close and connected with the consumers, everything is possible.

Choudhry added, “Chennai is one of those pure markets where you can't win customers by just throwing money on marketing. Rather, your product should be genuine.”

At the end of the discussion, Srinivasan played a rapid fire round with the panellists where the questions ranged from choosing between online or offline medium, recession or slowdown, service or products, and more.

B Srinivasan concluded the discussion stating, “Referral is the name of the game. You need to deliver the value continuously in order to make it a huge success.”

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