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Epsilon-Forrester study analyses why marketing in India needs to be personal

There is a huge chasm between what marketeers believe they need to do to reach consumers, and what consumers actually prefer, a new study – titled ‘Marketing In India Is Personal, Not Just Business’ – by Epsilon has revealed. The study was conducted by Forrester Consulting. 

The study analysed the marketing techniques used by Indian brands and the areas they could improve to optimise their Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). The findings indicate that 74 per cent of marketeers use marketing technologies to reach consumers via SMS, while only 2 per cent of consumers prefer to receive marketing updates through this channel. 

The online survey of more than 600 people that included both consumers and senior marketing professionals in decision-making roles from retail, consumer packaged goods, financial services, insurance and travel, and hospitality brands in India. The study sought to understand the use of marketing technologies across targeted industries and its relationship with consumer expectations regarding advertisements, loyalty and brand engagement. 

Key findings:

  • 63 per cent of Indian consumers prefer personalised marketing and are inclined to purchase from brands that provide relevant content and offers
  • About 78 per cent of consumers expect companies to have a mobile app (50 per cent regularly keep in touch with their most frequently-purchased brand on their mobile apps), and 68 per cent feel frustrated when a website is not mobile-friendly
  • In the next 12 months, 60 per cent of marketeers plan to increase their technology spends
  • 71 per cent plan to increase spending on advertising and marketing performance measurement solutions
  • 72 per cent of the 25-34 years old read product reviews online
  • 63 per cent of  Indian consumers are not willing to share personal information with companies to receive more relevant advertising however over 90 per cent will give up information for perks and benefits
  • Consumers require transparency and privacy protection, but only 15 per cent of marketers in India consider preparing for GDPR as a priority

In line with this, Ashish Sinha, Country Head, Epsilon, shared, “This research is a barometer for marketeers to guide them in reorienting their strategies and priorities to serve their consumers better and more effectively. We need to help marketeers understand what they are misreading when it comes to customer engagement. The study helps understand consumers and their predilections to help marketeers evolve. For instance, the study found, although about 92 per cent of marketeers in India consider improving their ability to personalise capabilities as priority in marketing, the Indian market is unfledged in terms of data and technology readiness, cross-channel expertise, and in bridging organisational silos.” 

He further added, “It is a big challenge for marketeers to opt for and use the right technology to help them make sense of data and make triable marketing decisions as fast as possible. Matters like privacy are sensitive areas for Indians and hence, marketeers need to sustain a balance between personalization and privacy. Indian marketeers need to find good partners with proven expertise for strategic guidance around collecting, cleansing and integrating consumer data and break down the internal data layers to improve their ROMI.” 

Marketeers need to better understand how consumers want to be served in order to align their (Enterprise Marketing Technology) EMT investments and optimise their omni-channel marketing.

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