Unlocking technology for new consumer experiences

These are volatile and uncertain times today, and it has become all the more challenging to stay on top of one’s game, especially for marketing heads. CMOs today have to adopt numerous strategies to stay on top of the constant evolution in the marketing space.

The 2023 edition of CMOs’ Charcha – Delhi Chapter, held on February 10, 2023, reflected all the inflexion points facing marketing and marketing heads today. The 4th edition of CMOS’ Charcha turned the spotlight on use of technology in a panel discussion on ‘Unlocking Technology for New Consumer Experiences’. The panelists shared their insights on how brands are using technology in their favour.

The session was chaired by Aditi Mishra, Chief Executive Officer, Lodestar UM, and the panelists included:

Akshay Kapoor, Associate Director - Marketing, Perfetti Van Melle

Sagar Pushap, Co-founder and CEO, ClanConnect

Shantanu Chauhan, Associate Director - Marketing, Noise

While discussing on how traditional market is looking at technology, Akshay Kapoor spoke about how Perfetti Van Melle is helping brands achieve maximum optimisation of technology. He said, “I think it is really important to be digitally and technology wise and creative. When I say that, I mean technology should be an enabler, it should help us solve problems, it should help us build narratives, help us communicate or just make life efficient for the consumers.”

Citing an example of a recent Valentine’s Day campaign done by Perfetti Van Melle, he said, “Center Fresh is a brand we all have been attracted to, consumed and have grown up with. It is about girl-boy magnetism with the tagline – ‘Dil ki Baat Zubaan Par’. For the Valentine’s Day this year, we recently launched a limited edition gum priced at Rs 2. And why it is relevant to this forum is because the entire marketing sits on the back of technology. So, if you pull out technology, the marketing falls on its face. What we did was we put a small QR code on the gum that you can scan and personalise a playlist, get a link and dedicate it to someone you love. We have put their text to speech. So, you can put a name A to name B and this translates it into an audio message. Imagine a Rs 2 gum adding so much value to your life. Even if you are a lazy boyfriend and you have nothing to give, you have a Rs 2 gum to dedicate a playlist to your girlfriend. So, that is one way of leveraging technology.”

Sagar Pushap emphasised on technology’s role in influencer marketing. He noted, “This entire influencer marketing community is essentially tech. One thing we realised is there is a lot of efficiency that we can bring through using technology and make this a much better experience for brands. Three to four years back when people wanted to work with influencers, they reached out to sub-agencies to whom they would give a list of influencers, but there wasn’t much insight to help you make the right decisions as to whether the influencer was right for you or not. So, what we did was we provided them with the information that is important for brands to finalise the influencer – such as demographic bifurcation of the followers of influencers, what is the age group of the followers, the top five cities from where these followers come from.”

“So, if a brand is focused more in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, perhaps you don’t want to work with an influencer whose followers are more indexed to Delhi or north India. Thus, this is where we use technology; obviously with full consent of the influencer,” he added.

Shantanu Chauhan stressed on the need for marketers to prioritise customer behaviour and accordingly work with technology. “It is always exciting for us whenever new tech comes, and as marketers we have a mindset to try it out and see how it is going to help in mind marketing. But the framework should be a little different, it should be first about what are the needs and expectations of the customer. Is this tech serving you?,” he cautioned.

Chauhan further said, “No one is particularly coming onto the virtual reality platforms because India still can’t afford oculus. So there are things you can come up with, for instance, we recently did a campaign for Valentine’s Day with Flipkart, wherein we involved three influencers to do live commerce, which gave us a spike in our sales.” He highlighted, “Live commerce is such a great experience because when a person is talking about the product, it gives you a direct link to buy it immediately. So, we used this framework first by understanding what our customers need and then jumping onto the tech side of the business.”

At the same time, he acknowledged that AI is improving in terms of product recommendations and especially the way augmented and virtual reality can be utilised for product demonstrations.

These are edited excerpts, for the complete conversation, watch below:



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