Kvantum has launched the new blog series - Marketer's New World. When it comes to marketing, the world is flat. Each marketer in this world is struggling for consumer's mindshare, while making sense of data generated by countless different devices, platforms and tools. At Kvantum, we believe in sharing wisdom. So here we are with a blog series that will share marketer's excitements, their fears, their challenges and their hopes about this new era of marketers. Let the journey begin!
As part of the blog series, Kvantum team is connecting with fearless marketers across the globe to learn how are they leveraging data, technology and marketing. While exploring their love for data, we try to understand how do they perceive artificial intelligence and its role in making their lives better.
In our inaugural blog of the series, Meet Mohit Doda, one of the top digital marketing leaders in India who dived into the world of digital marketing when it was still in its infancy in India. Mohit has worked with the best consumer brands ranging from Fashion to Finance and Real Estate to Automotive. Some of the brands are: Reliance Retail, Zoffio, Koovs and WebChutney. Mohit is one of those who has sat on both sides of the table - Agency & Brand.
In this blog, he discusses his love for Google as a brand, impact of platforms like Instagram, and his expectation from AI. He also shed some light on challenges related to media planning and attribution specifically online to offline impact.
Which brand really connects with you at an emotional level? And why?
Google sits on top of the list of my favorite brands. I can't think of a more impactful brand which has some of the world's best products, is one of the most innovative brands, believes in doing the right thing and is among the top employers.
While for any other brand, we may have equally good surrogate brands, it's certainly tough to imagine a world without Google Search, Gmail, Android, Chrome, Maps, YouTube and its other awesome products! I am sure Google will continue to lead the startup narrative for years to come and keep on inspiring budding entrepreneurs across all corners of the planet.
How are you continuously learning about your evolving consumers on digital and non-digital platforms?
Looking at the transaction and interaction data, we get a good idea about the consumer's demographics, taste preferences and changing choices. We can also use consumer's social and public data to create a richer profile which can throw interesting insights about their media consumption patterns, interests and relationships. Tracking the cultural trends and behavioral shifts at large also need to be mapped to understand your customer in the right context.
What are the top category headwinds that may impact your industry/category in next 2-3 years?
In the post-recession and post e-commerce boom era, among the low consumer sentiment and online/offline price wars, consumers are enjoying recurring sales and constant discounts. This is hitting the margins hard.
As more and more consumers get exposed to international fashion trends on platforms like Instagram, it's putting pressure on the industry to churn out 'in trend' styles on the shelves faster than ever. Brands either have to keep up with the pace or fall out.
In the ever changing digital ecosystem and rapid consumer evolution, brands are often struggling to make sense of what’s happening around them. The traditional brands specifically aren’t used to changing their business models or marketing mix. Businesses have always focused on the product & distribution and most of the product development is usually incremental. While they are busy churning out another ‘new and improved product’ someone else is disrupting the entire business model.
With which emerging marketing channel, you think brands are struggling the most when it comes to engaging the consumers? And why?
While Facebook is losing steam, consumers, especially youth are flocking to Instagram. However Instagram as a platform works really well for categories like Fashion, Travel, Entertainment, Food & Beauty because of the aesthetics involved. Brands falling into categories like banking, insurance, education, software are struggling to engage users on such a platform. Their content is mostly a blotch on a millennial’s insta feed.
What is "one thing" you would like to change about media planning in general?
The silos in media planning! There's nothing like offline media planning and online media planning. The planners need to plan media for the same consumer.We are living in a time where the consumer is reading newspaper and watching TV on mobile. The lines are already blurred.
With which marketing channel, you are struggling the most when it comes to measuring its impact on business? And why?
Measuring the impact of online platforms in delivering footfalls to brick and mortar stores isn't easy. While we are working with a few partners which help us do so, scaling it remains a challenge. When we serve ads on mobile device and we already have mapped the store locations, matching this with the user location isn’t difficult. Still, not all publishers offer this solution.
When it comes to marketing measurement - what are you most frustrated about?
Attribution. The same consumer gets exposed to the brand over online and offline media. Measuring what triggered the purchase remains a frustrating exercise. There is some development in this area but we are yet to see solutions with higher accuracy.
How do you feel about Artificial Intelligence? How can Artificial Intelligence help brands?
AI has use cases across all industries like Automotive, Logistics, Stock Trading, Insurance, Aviation and what not. In fact, it's difficult to think of a field which isn't getting disrupted by AI & ML. AI is certainly bringing efficiency into the processes, reducing costs and is helping businesses scale up faster. Marketers are already using AI in retargeting ads, product recommendations, personalization, dynamic pricing, social listening, real time marketing and buying ad inventory among many other applications. AI can make marketing more meaningful and intelligent through personalization and optimization which can directly impact the user experience and sales. We have innovative products which are using AI even in customer care calls to analyze the emotions and to digitize the call content. These are exciting times when marketers have access to so much data and marketing technologies; it’s interesting to see how marketers blend these two, along with a strong brand narrative to deliver compelling results.
Top 3 things AI can do for you to make you a productive marketer.
Through AI powered precise ad targeting, we can reduce the wastage in ad spends and get more bang for each buck. When we have the options of serving ads to consumers based on handset, network, geography, weather, interests, relationships coupled with purchase / browsing history, with the ability to create ads on the fly, “Display doesn’t work” can hardly be an excuse.
Since the same communication can’t work for all your consumers, personalization is the only way to customize the experience. AI makes it possible and scalable. Right from emails to app notifications, from tailor-made offers to personalized UI and product recommendations, most of this shopping journey can be unique for each customer.
There is enough data available in the public domain related to every industry. This includes search trends, competition’s data and consumer’s social data. Your consumers also talk about your brand on blogs, review sites and social networks.
AI helps you listen to all this, find patterns and predict what it may result in future. It can dig deep into this data and come up with insights which otherwise may not be evident to humans easily.