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Ajay Gupte on metaverse, personalisation, persuasion powering brand strategies

The marketing world moves at the speed of light. But after the pandemic that speed has further increased as brands are enthusiastically geared up for the festive season. Adgully’s third edition of CMO’s Charcha 2022, held in Bengaluru yesterday (August 10, 2022) witnessed a day-long session consisting of insightful Keynotes and Panel Discussions by industry stalwarts. Keeping in mind the post-pandemic revival story, the theme for CMO’s Charcha 2022 was ‘The Festive Blueprint for Brands’.

Ajay Gupte, CEO - South Asia, Wavemaker, delivered a keynote address on ‘Digital and Pandemic have given new opportunities for brands to surge ahead’. While commenting that there were several things that were created in the last two years that would stay with us and that the acceleration will continue, Gupte said that six points stood out for him while talking about how the pandemic has impacted us in the ways that we have developed ideas to help propel our brands further. “In all this, digital has been a great tool for us to pull this off,” he added.

According to Gupte, these six points are:

  • Web 3.0 driving the next generation of digital experience
  • Commerce - Hyperlocal & Accelerated by personalisation
  • Persuasion powering commerce beyond priming
  • DIY to the fore
  • Privacy-first leveraging of data to build stronger consumer connections
  • The rise of Voice assistants

Web 3.0 driving the next generation of digital experience

Continuing further, Gupte noted, “This next generation has grown up playing games. Games are the most proliferated form of the metaverse and their experiences have been very rich in that space and they expect their experience to be similar when they engage with the content. We also know that the technology is getting better and there are better creations in the metaverse, which these consumers will engage with, and, therefore, the onus is on us to create the ideas for brands to enter their lives through metaverse, and how you do that are a few thoughts that we implement for our brands.”

Sharing an example of the first couple to get married on the metaverse, Gupte said, “We saw this as a fantastic opportunity to engage with and we had the couple on the metaverse. We also had an e-commerce store in this venue, where the guests could go and purchase Fable chocolates that would get delivered in the offline space. This was a very nice online-to-offline experience and usage of the opportunity for creating a powerful presence in the metaverse. This was a small beginning, but we all learnt a lot about the ways to engage, what works, what does not work, etc., and this will continue, so it is important to identify and make the most of these opportunities, there is a lot of learning that will come on the back of it. Currently such experience costs virtually nothing and gives you the ability to experiment.”

Commerce - Hyperlocal & Accelerated by personalisation

There is a moment of truth when a consumer really thinks of buying or upgrading his inverter, and that moment of truth comes when the electricity goes off. One seldom thinks about an inverter when there is electricity. “For one of our clients, Luminous, we partnered with a site called Urja Mitra, which actually collects data on a real time basis on where a power outage has happened. We collected this data and based on this, whenever a locality would have a power outage, the consumer in that area would receive communication about Luminous and about the store in the vicinity,” Gupte said.

He claimed that Luminous saw a 3X increase in CTR; 45% users who clicked on the ad were interested in knowing where the nearest dealership was, while there was a 6% lift in sales. “This is something that we are really proud of and it is extremely successful and something that we are continuing to do,” he maintained.

Gupte also noted, “The consumer today is impatient and he is not looking for his order to be delivered in 24 hours or 48 hours. Brands have now come up with a 10-minute delivery promise. We work with MTR on their e-commerce space. We noticed that fresh idli or dosa batter is not something that the consumers are okay with getting delivered the next day, they want it the same day. So, we worked with a few partners to ensure that there was sub-3 hours’ delivery and we doubled our sales and the sales are still growing. A simple intervention of just making sure that there is immediate delivery has improved the sales of the product.”

Persuasion powering commerce beyond priming

“We always knew that the kind of content that advocacy and influencers create can create awareness and make the consumer inclined to purchase a brand. However, what we are seeing is the fact that this is not only the top funnel, but it’s the part of the bottom funnel. Consumers are engaging with content created by influencers and immediately taking the step towards purchase. Using this insight, we work with a couple of brands to create content which drives purchase,” Gupte said.

These are edited excerpts. For the complete keynote address watch below:


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