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“It takes more than just diverse advertising or optics to win over young consumers”

Deloitte Global has unveiled its ‘2022 Global Marketing Trends – Thriving through customer centricity’ report, which enumerates seven key trends emerging in the marketing industry – from inclusion of technology to elevating the hybrid experience. The report provides a blueprint for action for Indian businesses.

The report also highlights that customer engagement and experience plays an integral role for businesses across the globe to meet the challenges of today’s volatile markets, shifting the dynamics of the marketing industry. According to Deloitte’s survey, business leaders need to refine their approach to deliver a more holistic experience to their customers, employees and society.

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Deloitte 2022 Global Marketing Trends report provides blueprint for action for Indian biz

In conversation with Adgully, Ashvin Vellody, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, speaks at length about the Global Marketing Trends report and its key findings, the major shift caused by the pandemic in how marketers need to build and amplify their brand, recovery and Deloitte’s role in the new normal, and more.

What have been the most pertinent findings from Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends Report and the India findings?

The annual report published by Deloitte has seven key trends that are highlighted and is sure to create an impact with businesses based on where they are in their respective marketing journeys. Globally, the high-growth brands are ahead of their lower-growth peers in several ways, including measuring diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts across the organisation and deploying more sophisticated first-party data strategies. All this is powered by more precise use of a set of MarTech technologies integrated with AI and data.

In India, we are witnessing a much higher degree of interest, with businesses taking specific actions in three key areas:

  • Revamping customer experience to thrive in an online offline ecosystem, where brands can deliver unique, timely experiences without being repetitive
  • Stating brands’ digital ambitions to build verticalised customer data platforms in relevant to their business which will serve customer insights as the nucleus for the entire business value chain
  • Rapidly integrating AI and establishing customer partnerships to provide best customer experiences in a cookie-less world

According to you, are young consumers shopping more with brands that commit to addressing concerns such as social inclusion?

It is not enough for brands to market inclusiveness or diversity as 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to actionably addressing social inequities (Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends). Younger and more diverse demographics notice diverse advertising and purpose led products and services. They are drawn to brands that serve a greater cause and believe in investing in the ‘why’ of the brand. But it takes more than just diverse advertising or optics to win over young consumers. The commitment for true DEI starts within the company with its employees, partner networks and in turn inspires consumers to take favorable action towards the brand. The boundaries and contours of our society are changing, and marketers should champion diversity, equity, and inclusion to underpin their brand messaging with authenticity. There are many examples of such brands in India, who have had an authentic approach to integrating purpose with their value propositions and are leading the way for a cause while growing their ROI.

What kind of key trends have you observed in the marketing industry since the pandemic struck? What kinds of new innovations/ market developments are you expecting in the marketing industry?

The pandemic has caused a major shift in how marketers need to build and amplify their brand. A few trends that are redefining the industry would be hyper customer segmentation, customers at the heart of the business journey and not just the marketing strategy, omnichannel personalisation presenting a case for being omnipotent and that marketing is at the center of the growth agenda for the full C-suite. Moving forward, a stronger investment will be in:

Purpose and human centered marketing strategies will work - A clear roadmap on how to translate purpose driven marketing and a human first data experience by showcasing this in every customer interaction to build trust and connection with the customers of the brand.

Technology at the core of marketing transformation - Acknowledging that the complexity of providing world class customer experiences can only be done by an active, integrated use of a set of digital tech to simplify, integrate and provide meaningful insights.

Could you give us an idea of the kind of costs/ budgetary allocations that it will entail for brands to factor in AI strategy?

Technology is the most impactful lever for brands to catalyse customer acquisition and timely engagement to achieve brand success. AI plays a crucial role in enabling this aspect. Brands can build and leverage stand-alone or integrated machine learning apps and task automation apps, and the costs for implementing such transformations largely depends on their current state. A whole host of factors such as technical debt, brand vision and commitment, in-house versus outsourced will all get into play in determining the budgetary allocation. In my view, inaction is not an option.

How do you view the marketing industry’s recovery in a post-pandemic world and what can be Deloitte’s role in the new normal?

Every function of business is rapidly trending upwards, and every sector is experiencing a sustained recovery. Marketing as a function leads the way in centrally connecting the customers across the entire value chain of the business. Marketing works to fix disjointed and broken customer journeys, deliver personalised experiences, and extract deep insights all while driving profitable growth and gaining ROI. We are actively engaged with clients in every sector, enabling them to deliver their digital ambitions by building customer-first enterprises and reimagining their brand experience. We are creating an impact across strategy, operations, and implementations.

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