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Building Enduring Brands in a Digital Age

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17 July, 2015

Aditya Bhamidipaty

Technology evolution over these years has shaped emerging culture and behavior of the customers, says Aditya Bhamidipity, Co-Founder and CEO, eMart Solutions

Customer centricitiy is the core of every marketing exercise, no matter what the size of the company is. Customer acquisition is surely important, however, the one thing that will enhance brand value is repeat customers. After all, customer satisfaction, customer delight and customer retention are the cornerstones of a successful brand.

With digital becoming the new medium of communication, though the fundamentals of brand building has remained the same – story telling being the most important aspect of it – but the way how stories have to be told has changed very dramatically over the last 10-20 years. Technology evolution over these years has shaped emerging culture and behavior of the customers. Customers today interact with the brands in a much complex manner. Large scale mobile and internet penetration has led to consumers using more channels than ever before to interact with any brand.

Using only conventional broadcasting channels by a brand doesn't work anymore

Brands need to adopt - social media marketing, web personalisation, location based mobile tracking, content marketing, video advertising, mobile application, blogging, data targeting, marketing automation, email marketing etc. - to reach out to and engage with their customers. Brands need to make every effort to make customers' experience unique, unlike yesteryears where brands reached out to their customers in a more broadcast way. The marketplace today looks more like a battlefield of brands; some fighting for survival while the rest fighting against each other; all vying for customer recall. So, creating that unique customer experience becomes the primary business driver.

The canvas is evolving even within the organizations

Historically, enterprises have been vertically organized, wherein you have disciplines operating in silos, with data in each discipline not necessarily speaking to one another. After digital coming in, we believe all of these verticals are actually transforming in to a circular or concentric structure, where the heart is the digital strategy. Everything the enterprise does is fed back to the digital heart and digital drives everything else. And this transformation is happening in real time.

We believe that FirstHive, our SaaS based proprietary platform, sits right at the centre of digital strategy. Essentially this technology platform enables the data from varied channels to come back to the enterprise and also provide them a unique user view. This means a consumer can give you foot prints on internet, mobile, POS, phone calls, SMS, social media, digital campaigns, etc., and we are able to bring the intelligence back, giving a unique holistic consumer view of all the interactions that the consumer has with your brand across all the channels. This was historically not possible and that is where our platform comes in to add value, which also is the biggest differentiating factor. Due to this we are able to add tremendous value to the enterprises we work with.

Brands need to hyper personalise data, unique to each customer

Data analytics tools provide newer insights that were never available before. Marketers are able to track down a customer's shopping pattern, for instance, what kind of brands, products and services he prefers or uses, which medium of brand interaction is preferred by the customer etc. However having actionable intelligence is one thing and be able to use it is another. All this data is redundant in a short span of time. Let me cite an example; if let's say, Mrs. Sharma is a new mother today, her choice of baby clothes, accessories, food, and toiletries will be changing periodically. Baby food might be relevant now, but six months to a year down, it is different. Data analytics tools enable the marketer to hyper-personalise the data, unique to one single customer, in real time. Brand need to have meaningful conversations with the customer, at the channel of her preference, at the time of her preference.

Customer Experience is the ultimate differentiator

Our past research reports in the trade loyalty and consumer loyalty space enlist some of the very diverse practises to build brands among your customers, but each boils down to one single thing, i.e., customer experience. According to a Gartner survey as well, 89% marketing heads predicted that Customer Experience would be their primary basis for competitive differentiation by 2017.

A brands marketing strategy infused with data analytics provides marketers wider insights in developing better engagement with the customer, thus building enduring relationships with the constituents, resulting in a higher recall. Also what is happening is, with every interaction at each of the touchpoints, there is massive amount of data being generated and in extraordinary detail. This gives an opportunity to the marketer like never before to analyze and generate insights at a one-on-one level that enables a brand to hyper-personalize the engagement. Brands today need to step into the data ocean, wet their feet and provide personalized omni channel experiences to the customer in order to build an enduring brand for themselves and their customers.

Aditya Bhamidipaty,

CEO and Co-founder, eMart Solutions

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