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Decision making in Volatile Consumer Landscape - Four Catalysts

Authored by Ankoor Dasguupta, Vice President – Brand Solutions | Marketing | Special Projects, SHEROES.

Come to think of the most important part of a tree being its roots, likewise the most important part in bringing customer loyalty starts with ‘informed’ decision making.

Let’s start with some exciting data points. The recent Ericsson report predicts that the total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to increase at a CAGR of 23 percent from 4.6 exabytes (EB) in 2018 to 16 EB by 2024. Recent studies also suggest that increasing customer loyalty is poised to become the top priority for about 82% of marketing decision-makers in mid-size organizations worldwide during the next 12 months. Moreover, Internet ad spend is to account for 52% of global ad expenditure by 2021, up from 47% in 2019 and 44% in 2018, according to the latest Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast.

I believe we are at the right time at the right place and I feel good to be a Digital immigrant, being a part of eighties and nineties to see the evolution happen from Marketing 2.0 to 4.0. which is now juxtaposed with complex technology interventions as catalysts for deeper and continual understanding of consumer psychographics.

Today, I will talk about four catalysts which can better the scope of more informed decision-making applicable to a gamut of industry verticals, keeping customer as centripetal force. Also, will help figure out if we are doing both in tandem – deciding while also solving a problem as a thin line separate that.

Venn Diagram- Not to be missed

I believe this is one diagram that has always helped me. Simple in nature, however, makes us answer the most important focus areas. So, listing down say key items under -what we know, what we don’t know, gradually brings us to the sweet spot. If you want to dive bit deeper, a SWOT analysis brings out the true shades. The only thing to realize here is pace comes from correct analysis. Else moving in a direction that may not be the best path, will bring all back to square one. Hence, investing time in Venn or SWOT deeply helps.

Data Science- Choosing the right Tools

Nostradamus did one thing right. He indicated that if properly done, prediction is a science. Starting from rightly implemented A/B tests, disciplined use of a CRM to using various forms of Regression ‘analysis, the ‘R Project’ for statistical computing, and more such tools helps in better sales forecasting while using predictive tools on how to study specific data sets. For e.g. in regression analysis the forecasting accuracy heavily depends on the accuracy of the estimates for the independent variable. Though a consistent relationship between variables is assumed when making forecasts, this may differ from what we are trying to achieve in different situations. So not only ‘having’ data matters but ‘how’ we study those data sets and ‘how’ we use it matters. And not to forget that the data collected from loyal customers is a gold mine that needs to be tapped more along with advanced multifaceted segmentation abilities, including lifecycle stages, customer personas and micro-segments. Essentially an intersection of data, making sense of that data and using technology to use that data for ROI driven insights should be continuum.

Read More: How to stand out in the marketplace of ideas?


Cost Benefit Analysis – Opportunity cost

A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) should begin with compiling a comprehensive list of all the costs and benefits associated with the project or decision. This acts at a key step along with being a catalyst to assess all the costs that will be involved in the decision taken and the benefits that the organization will gain from that decision. Also, helps figuring out the opportunity costs that are alternative benefits that could have been realized when choosing one alternative over another. In other words, the opportunity cost is the forgone or missed opportunity as a result of a choice or decision. Factoring in opportunity costs allows stakeholders to weigh the benefits from alternative courses of action and not merely the current path or choice being considered in the cost-benefit analysis.

Stakeholder Management – The Salt 

Imagine food without salt. This is the ‘salt’, hence one the most important pieces that binds everything together. It is not an easy task identifying the stakeholders for a project, decision and getting a buy-in from them within the deadline. Someone’s got to do this task and do it really well. Essentially this part is best taken care by a people’s person with the ability to negotiate with logical reasoning with a calm mind and most importantly who understands the business and the impact a decision can make. Apart from the conventional planning that we do, this is one piece that is highly relationship driven and needs more on the cultural side to imbibe.

To summarize, a Venn Diagram, right tools within data to leverage its science, a cost-benefit analysis along with stakeholder management are the four catalysts that I believe can enable faster and informed decision making. In this process, create deeper brand governance with repurposing content where required. So, when we say ‘keep innovating’ , the above four will only help decide the need of the hour vis-à-vis the need of the evolution – innovation vs renovation. 

Else, many a times we just keep staring at options for longer than required!

About the Author

A Dale Carnegie and ISB fellow, Ankoor believes in the power of Energy & Energize. He brings with him a pedigree of 19 years in the domain of marketing and advertising across functions in the spectrum of print, digital, mobile, events along with a strong C-Suite network which he drives with the mantra of Return on Relationships. Ankoor also has been part of the core launch teams of multiple international IPs in India and is an avid writer, guest lecturer and active speaker at various forums.


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