Role of marketing has shifted from changing perceptions to changing behaviour: Ravi Desai

The Director, Mass & Brand Marketing, Amazon India, shares the shifts in marketing practices he has observed

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 30, 2019 8:59 AM



“There is a ton of data that is available. At times, that data can be simplifying, at times it can be complicating, as far as making decisions are concerned,” said Ravi Desai, Director, Mass and Brand Marketing, Amazon India.

Desai was speaking on the topic ‘New Realities of Marketing’ at an event organised by Advertising Club Bangalore and FCB Ulka in Bangalore on Friday.

Desai said the role of marketing communication as well as product design has evolved from what it used to be, about changing perceptions, to changing behaviour.

“There was a point when perception drove usage. Today, because the barrier to adoption are so negligible, it has almost become the other way around, where usage is driving perception,” he said.

Elaborating further on this, Desai said, “We often have a lot of people who download the Amazon app, use it in the sense of not transacting, but using the app to browse, to check things out and to understand the ways in which the entire application works before making the first purchase. And for them, they have already become an Amazon customer in some sense because they have started to understand the way this particular site operates.”

Desai then spoke about the shifts he observed in his stints as a brand marketing person.

Speaking on target audiences, he said, “There was a point where brand teams used to build pen-portrait of a cluster of consumers. We did that very recently, and then realised, through one of the case studies of building our brands, that today, the target audience is actually a very specific person, identifiable by a very specific marker.”

He elaborated this with an example of a category where Indians are currently obsessed with, smartphones.

“There are some of us who are the consumers of the brand OnePlus. You probably are looking for what is great about OnePlus-7, and therefore I don't need to tell you about OnePlus. I just have to tell you why you should shift from OnePlus 5 or 6 to OnePlus 7. There are a bunch of people who are brand Apple customers. If I represent the brand Oneplus, I need to market to them on why they should buy a phone which is 2 times better and half the price of your current device. That’s the Apple transition to OnePlus.”

He continued, “Gone are the days where you made one TVC. For last Diwali, we made 1,00,000 different creatives just around the smartphone category, targeting the different needs of the consumers. So, you created an asset at a point of time to speak to the average customer. This year, the team will comeback with 10X more creatives than this.”

Talking about the media and what remains important to target the consumers, Desai said, “What used to matter was core-prime time, non-core prime time. That still remains important. But in today’s DNA, what really matters is the moment where the customer is receptive to the message that you have for them.” He elaborated it with examples of campaigns Amazon did during the launch of Amazon Echo in India.

Speaking on measuring consumer behaviour, he said, “In today’s DNA what you have to really worry is about measuring demonstrated behaviour. Unfortunately, the measurement system in India is pretty fragmented. Television GRPs don’t speak to digital impressions or to print reach or OOH impressions. This is a space where the industry needs to come together and find a single wholesome view of what both media as well as messages are doing in terms of influencing people.”

Speaking on customer relationship management, Desai said, “There was a point where you rewarded a customer and celebrated royalty. The more you buy, the more points you get. The more points you have the more loyal you become. Today, you democratise benefits to accelerate loyalty.”

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