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The increasing relevance of Content to Commerce ecosystems

Authored by Ved Agarwal, Head Of Marketing, True Elements.

We’ve known for a long time that compelling & well-crafted stories that give meaning to products have a significant positive impact on sales. Let’s pause and roll back 2-3 decades when traditional forms of media (TV, Outdoor, Print) & shopping (physical retail) were mainstay. In that context, let us think of the influence that iconic brands like Apple, Nike, Cadbury, Amul had via their speech (not restricted to advertising) on consumer behaviour & buying habits. That was the time of the traditional buying funnel where customers and brands engaged via multiple stages, in an almost predictable manner (refer AIDA model).

Fast forward to today, where the world has gone digital, and consumers have moved online. While the objective of the marketer has remained unchanged (i.e., ‘to influence consumer behaviour’), the tools that need to be deployed have undergone a sea change. With the consumer being influenced by multiple screens, having shortened attention spans, moving inconsistently across the buying funnel – the role of relevant content to influence consumer behaviour cannot be overemphasised. Targeted & curated content to hyper focused cohorts is at the heart of this new toolkit and is nurturing the rapidly evolving buying funnel.

Leading the charge of consumer products focused internet-enabled-commerce in India are marketplaces, roll-up aggregators and D2C brands. Not surprisingly so, that they are also at the forefront of building ‘content to commerce’ ecosystems.

Let us look at some developments in this space that made news lately:

  • MyGlamm acquires parenting platform BabyChakra
  • Good Glamm acquires ScoopWhoop with an eye on the male segment
  • D2C brand Mamaearth acquires content platform Mompresso
  • Good Glamm Group acquires Miss Malini
  • MyGlamm Acquires POPxo For Content-Driven Beauty

All the 5 news-items refer to the acquirer setting eyes to build a content-to-commerce ecosystem.

But what exactly would that mean? To de-jargonize, it would refer to a situation where content is created, published & distributed online by the company to drive sales of its products.

If we look at these acquisitions closely, we will notice that these content platforms are hyper targeted themselves – while BabyChakra has young-parents at its core, ScoopWhoop has the urban millennial male, Mompresso has the mother who knows best of what is good for her household, and MissMalini has the young teenage girl group across large city clusters. These platforms would have invaluable insights of their specific cohorts in terms of media consumption habits, influencers/ motivators, buying behaviour et al.

Not surprising hence, that they gathered interest from brands with products addressing these specific consumer cohorts. To the acquiring brand, not only will these platforms add significant efficiency to the digital-consumer journey, but also make a meaningful impact across the funnel – from generating awareness to driving repeats & advocacy.

Content-based commerce becomes more relevant in the context of digital-native organisations that have a HOB (House of Brands) approach, where similar consumer cohorts are being targeted for different problem-statements thereby driving higher LTV (lifetime value) and lowering CAC (customer acquisition cost).

To summarise, content-based commerce is a natural extension of media assets and is a critical ammunition in a marketer’s arsenal, to land effective messaging that drives conversion differentially. Content is no longer a tactical way to drive sales but a constant yet evolving way to nurture customers into the overall funnel. More importantly, the right level of content also builds credibility for the brand, something that is a quintessential driver for new-age discerning customers.

Marketing
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