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Consumer journey leading to brand journey - Disruptive currents joining hands

Be it Last-click, First click, Linear, U-Shaped, Time decay, Algorithmic or Custom attribution, Ankoor Dasguupta, Vice President – Brand Solutions | Marketing | Special Projects, SHEROES, believes it is time to more tightly embrace Trust, Empathy, Transparency and Data Privacy and make it the pedestal for our workings making, it easier for our us in navigating the consumer journey. 

Let’s start by saying - Understanding the approach and steps a customer takes before getting converted can be just as valuable to marketers as the sale itself. Attribution models basically assign credit to touchpoints in the customer journey, which is now becoming more complex than ever. Maybe it is time to go back to the white board and uncomplicate, starting with first indulging ourselves in how we envisage immersive consumer experiences. 

Good news – The game must keep changing for the spirit of it and guess what, it is changing making show even more exciting. 

Broadly, Mobile (both handsets and internet) have changed the game and now Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Science coupled with Video, Voice is gradually disrupting a lot of verticals. 4G data usage grew by 144 per cent in 2017. So, imagine what 5G can do. Fire! 

‘Make in India’ has provided the right impetus to the mobile manufacturing in the country. Approximately, 65 per cent of phones sold in India are now assembled in India. 

Internet user base is still is a male dominated world in India. There are an estimated 143 million female internet users in India, which is about 30 per cent of the total internet users. Among the rural internet users, the male to female internet users’ ratio is 64:36. The proportion of internet users by gender in rural India has seen much change over the last year, with internet users among females growing steadily. 

Motherhood is being rebranded. From fashion models and comedians to influencers and high-profile execs, women are leading a positive new dialogue about what it means to be a mother. 

Community building and a new Internet for women is being powered by platforms, and initiatives such as SHEROES are making it happen for a women-only constructive space which is driven by ‘Empathy’ and ‘Trust’, which is building not only something social, but something which is formed by emotion and real stories with powerful narratives. 

The telecom ecosystem in India is being changed by Reliance Jio, which has added 200+ million new mobile subscribers and is shaping it’s vision of Internet for every Indian. 4G in India is becoming mainstream, in both network and smartphone tech adoption, and has completely dominated the market. 4G featurephone is an innovation that will take the Indian market by storm. Lower data cost has caused massive growth in data consumption via mobile devices. Gaming, OTT Video and Digital Audio platforms have become the flagbearers of increasing data traffic. India saw the launch of big OTT platforms in the last 2 years (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot, ZEE5, SonyLIV, Wynk, ALTBalaji). With the growing OTT consumption, vernacular content users are anticipated to grow by five folds by 2020 than English content users. 

The MMA Mobile Marketing Ecosystem Reports states that India is ahead of China and is expected to add over 200 million new subscribers by 2020. 20 per cent of the total mobile subscribers globally, now reside in India. By 2020, 27 per cent of new subscribers added globally will be from India – making India the largest contributor globally to the mobile economy, placing India significantly ahead of other emerging economies such as Indonesia and Brazil, who contribute to less than 5 per cent of new subscriber growth. 

India continues to be the fastest growing mobile internet economy in the world. Worldwide mobile internet users grew by 9.2 per cent in 2017, while India grew at over double the rate at 22 per cent. The pace of growth in mobile internet users puts India ahead of the other two major economies – China and the US, which saw a growth rate of 5.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively. India’s growing millennial population and it being a developing country are the main reasons behind the mobile growth. 

A recent research by Buzzoka reveals some stunning facts on how Influencer marketing is creating a paradigm shift in advertising. 

69 per cent brands spend $50,000 per year on Influencer campaigns, while 27 per cent of the brands spend $100,000 per year. Instagram leads as the primary choice of brands and 77 per cent of the brands see it as a huge potential. This is followed by Facebook at 54 per cent. YouTube as a platform has seen a huge rise in Influencer Marketing due to higher consumption of videos. Over 50 per cent of the brand custodians considered branding and reach as their primary objective to use influencer marketing. 88 per cent of brand custodians felt that influencer marketing has the potential to drive engagement and reach. 33 per cent of brand custodians consider content quality as a key proposition before finalising Influencer for campaigns. 88 per cent of brands feel that common people play an important role in the Influencer Marketing ecosystem. 

Learnings – It is LOVE (Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi) v/s MILK (Micromax, Intex, Lava, Karbonn) as the Chinese Vs Indian brands are popularly known. LOVE brands have been mono-channel brands, offering great value for money with aggressive marketing. The success in the transition to Omni-channel would be a key factor for them to maintain their standing in the market. MILK brands, as we observe, have not been able to support a consumer’s journey in the way it is required. 

After all this good news, it may be good to recognise that everything mentioned above is in some way or the other related to mapping the Consumer Behaviour, which has not been easy for the mar-tech and ad-tech space. 

Our ‘Wants’ (unlike needs) are juxtaposed with ‘Intent’. The inter-disciplinary social science with ad as a proportionate blend of psychology, sociology, ethnography, and behavioural economics is what marketing is continually trying to solve. Sometimes we solve it and sometimes we learn from it. 

When it comes to the Indian diaspora, there are several characteristics amalgamating into high volumes of data. Considering just the behavioural variables such as loyalty, usage, brand advocacy, personas, and lifestyles – perhaps the key question to ask is what should be the brand investigation methodology to understanding a few things deeper, not only in terms of analytics but first ourselves wearing the Consumer hat: 

  • Horizon - can we predict a specific disruption to the effect that we are also able to predict how it may change or impact existing consumer phenomenon?
  • Our Product Behaviour – the certain way that our product communicates with the audience and the need to predict the stimulus and response for the next set of internet users.
  • Brand Journey – How do we envisage our brand journey to be vis-à-vis what it is looking like at present?
  • Is our CRM being utilised optimally to its full potential?
  • Should we bring in ‘Trust’ in monetisation, say, build a model like Cost Per Trusted?
  • Are too many jargons complicating the space?
  • Are we collaborating in the way we should be?
  • Is entrepreneurship becoming for the sake of it – do we need to double check deeper and larger vision for a socio-economic impact?
  • Are we adopting new technologies that have the power to Revolutionise?

Also, as industry stakeholders, I believe it is high time we pondered over the value and potential impact of ‘user engagement’ as a key campaign model. This may uncomplicate attribution, projecting a more real picture while sampling a good and relevant size of the market. Today, the term ‘marketing’ is bifurcated into so many different stakeholders – Digital, Non-Digital, etc. What the market needs today is deeper collaboration in terms of understanding jargons. Cross, Multi and Omni channel – can we forget these for a while and simply specify the ask to ourselves? 

What we need is probably one data analytics platform which has the potential to simplify the game – one platform that is able to belt out a customised dashboard for what happens for a brand, product wise breakup of what is happening across Television, Digital and Outdoor. That level of collaboration will make this easier. 

Coming to simplifying things – as we are aware, Consumer Experience is a direct derivative of how we understand and translate our efforts towards a unified decision making in terms of attribution. 

The Challenge – As marketers invest in more channels and digital mediums, getting a unified view of a customer’s journey is only becoming more difficult. It becomes even more complicated due to increased investments in influencer marketing and Amazon, where there are significant challenges in creating unified IDs. 

As Chris Mechanic, CEO & Co-Founder of digital agency Webmechanix, says, “Any attribution model is going to be messy. Find one that makes some degree of sense and stick with it. Whether it’s first touch, last touch or blended, the really important thing is getting everybody in a team to buy into it and then stick with that over time.” 

With the convergence of data across platforms and the ability to understand interactions that occur across channels in both an impression and click capacity, given the increasing fragmentation of platforms and the types of media that marketers have available to them, attribution has never been more important from a marketing measurement perspective. Be it Last-click, First click, Linear, U-Shaped, Time decay, Algorithmic or Custom attribution, I believe it is time to more tightly embrace Trust, Empathy, Transparency and Data Privacyand make it the pedestal for our workings making it easier for our us in navigating the consumer journey. 

(Ankoor Dasguupta brings with him a pedigree of 19 years across the full spectrum of print, digital, mobile and event productions along with C-Suite relationship. His forte has been as an enabler and undertake special projects – be it marketing or production.)

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