TechManch: Marketing is not just using digital channels: Ramakrishnan Ramamurthi, Polycab

Ramamurthi, CEO, Polycab, listed key parameters for marketers to bear in mind in today’s cluttered digital world 

e4m by Christina Moniz
Updated: Jun 28, 2019 2:28 PM

On Day 2 of TechManch 2019, the special address was delivered by Polycab CEO Ramakrishnan Ramamurthi on the need for marketers to break the mould by packing an impactful punch to create a real impact in a cut-throat and highly cluttered marketplace. 

Today’s marketers must understand that marketing and communication in a digital world is much more than marketing through the use of digital channels, Ramamurthi pointed out. 

“When it comes to marketing practices in the digital world, it is essential to understand customers. With the changing dynamics of the marketplace, new trends, new brands and target audiences, consumer touch points are changing and are becoming increasingly digitised. Marketing in a digital world is about harnessing automation, making marketing practices more productive and agile and mining a lot of sources in terms of customer data,” he said. 

Ramamurthi listed out key parameters for marketers in today’s cluttered marketplace:
•    Understand the customer better 
•    Put yourself in the customers’ shoes
•    Use data to understand the customers better
•    Understand what the customer wants
•    Engage with the consumer better

Brands must also move beyond old, outdated modes of delivering messages. Brand touch points have grown and become digitised, offering more options to the marketer today. Within the maze of multiple digital tools and competing brands, you must make a mark for yourself in the customer’s mindspace, Ramamurthi added. “Advertising as we know it, is undergoing a change. Brands that are staying ahead of the curve develop immersive campaigns and build customer engagement and that’s what really matters. Marketers are frustrated because consumers today also are wary of interruptions,” he said. 

According to Ramamurthi, 51 per cent of Indian internet users block ads on any device, thereby compounding the marketer’s problems, 122 million users block mobile ads in India and 0.18 per cent is the average click through rate in India, while the global number is significantly lower.

Ramamurthi illustrated just how marketers can do this by various brand examples from around the world. One such example was the Starbucks Shanghai outlet, with the help of Alibaba’s AI technology thus driving a whole new level of user engagement and interaction. “The brand should focus on the experience instead of making itself the star,” he added, saying that the brand should instead be embedded in the experience. 

In a crowded travel market, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ #HappyToHelp campaign helped distinguish the airline from other players in the market, he said. The campaign looked at prospective customers, giving fliers of other airlines a really special experience. This drove customers to consider the airline for their next flight, added Ramamurthi. 

“The campaign showcased how an employee can make a difference to the customer, creating an experience of a lifetime,” he said. Ramamurthi went on to illustrate with examples such as the Burger King and Google campaigns, and the #HashtagBanking initiative from Kotak Mahindra bank, both of which drove clutter-breaking brand recall in their respective categories. 

Drawing from campaigns like Microsoft’s Xbox ‘Changing the Game’ and Gillette’s response to the Dollar Shave Club, Ramamurthi emphasised that at the end of the day, brands must look at how they can go the extra mile to not just offer an enhanced customer experience but customer happiness. 

He concluded his special address with a few points for marketers to ponder as far as the Indian Digital marketing space is concerned.
•    Are we emphasising too much on data and analysis, and losing sight of what is really important in the process?
•    Are we respecting the customer enough? 
•    Are we becoming too intrusive with our focus on customer data?
•    Are we willing to take risks and innovate with creativity?
•    And when it comes to spends, are we taking the big bets? 


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