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“Brand experience will be demanding & will need a huge tech readiness from brands”

Shrugging off the disruptions of last year, businesses and agencies are looking for a strong revival in 2021. Adgully – as part of our annual TRENDING NOW endeavour – has been presenting the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of 2020.

In conversation with Adgully, Prasad Shejale, Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital, speaks about the shifts in the consumer behaviour, the growing power and spread of the Internet and much more.

Outlook for 2021

We are in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic, and the unpreparedness and ferocity of the second wave underlines the uncertainty that we are going through.

Enough and more has been talked about how the consumer has changed, the way they shop, learn, communicate, entertain and consume as well as interpret information.

While the consumer is changing, brands are trying to adjust to these changing consumers too. Tech companies have been helping bridge the gap as well as address consumer and Govt needs of making the internet a safe place for interactions as well as for doing business. 

Thus, I feel, there will be a focus on three main areas where we will see action:

  • Consumers’ behaviour changes
  • Brands enhancing the Consumer experience
  • Role of tech and data to understand the consumer in privacy protected world

While the Internet population moves from 450 million to 700 million in a year, the spread of the Internet deepened in Tier 2 and 3 areas. The new found power of the Internet not only enabled people to be more aware about what they want and choices they have, but the lockdowns pushed them to start using payment apps. While many of the imminent changes got accepted, the second wave will further accelerate the trends of 2020. Stepping back is just not possible, the sustained lockdowns will further accelerate consumer changes and the importance of digital touch points further increases.

The changing consumer will need better experience and brands are definitely looking to reach out to consumers where they are. Thus, marketplaces and D2C will gain momentum. A deep understanding of consumer journeys and personalisation will be key. Brands who do not understand the interplay between touchpoints (Digital or non-digital) as well as connection between various channels will fall to satisfy the expectations of the evolved consumers.

Data plays an important role to understand the interplay and chart out a personalised approach. But with the imminent demise of 3rd party cookies, brands must be ready with a plan to upgrade their infrastructure as well as own up customer identities while being compliant with data privacy acts. It will see a huge amount of rush to be compliant and also the great deal of work in this area.

Brand experience will be ever demanding and it will need a huge tech readiness from brands’ side. ‘One tech suits all needs’ will not be applicable at all.

Great Expectations

Firstly, the worst of the COVID-19 crisis should be over once the huge drive to complete vaccinations is achieved, which should help to unlock the demand. As people will feel safe and start hearing positive news, the start of the roaring 20s should be visible.

I expect to see digital viewed as an integrated solution, with transformation being at the core. Focus on data and enhancing of customer experiences will gather huge momentum. 

Key learnings for 2020

Firstly, the largest learning is to be agile and keep up with the efforts. Agility will help you sustain and continue growing. Another key learning has to be around being and building resilience. It goes a long way and helps you as a person as well as a professional. The last but not the least of the learnings is that you should not always be someone who picks up trends. Rather you can also try and build new trends and share with others. You never know how a new innovation you created can make an impact in other people’s lives too and become popular.

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