ETBrandEquity.com, an initiative by The Economic Times, hosted a live webinar dedicated to marketing professionals on 28 August 2020, in association with Oracle India. With an overarching theme of ‘Conquering the Path to CX Excellence in Changing Times,’ the webinar had discussions on managing scalability with speed and delivering personalised and contextual content & experiences to customers in agile times like these; and how technology, big data & data analytics can help achieve these objectives, thereby leading to long-lasting customer loyalty.
The panelists for the webinar were Prabhakar Tiwari, CMO, Angel Broking; Jai Ganesh Ramnath, Managing Director, Fresh and Honest Cafe (Lavazza India); Prasad Shejale, Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital; Madhukar Uniyal, Director, Solution Engineering, Oracle and Sandeep Pandey, President – Product and Strategy, Wavemaker India; who also moderated the discussion. The panelists shared their experiences on how their organisations managed during the lockdown period when the economy was down and how their marketing ideas and approaches were interesting enough to help them see through these difficult times.
Experts’ thoughts on business continuity leveraging digital
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with itself a mountain of challenges. Not only there are health and medical support related concerns, the industries and businesses are struggling to survive. However, some brands have gone beyond surviving and have rather taken advantage of the same situation. With people spending more time on various online channels and indulging in online activities, these brands have planned and executed their marketing ideas in such a way that they are able to get more customers even at this critical time of economy. With this view, Ramnath explained how Lavazza, a 125-year old brand, has witnessed many tragic economic difficulties but managed to keep up their good work.
“Lavazza used to derive 95% revenue in India from B2B, hotels, restaurants, cafes, public location before the lockdown started. However, as coffee is such a general yet important commodity that it is like an essential for the coffee lovers. Lavazza quickly scaled up and leveraged its eCommerce platform to satiate its customers’ desire of ‘that perfectly brewed cup’, and has seen a steep rise of traffic on their eCommerce platforms recently,” said Ramnath. He also added that the pandemic has brought about shifts in trends, habits, training which will leave an everlasting mark. These shifts could both be permanent or temporary and will show us how the market will again start to behave once things get back to normal.
Tiwari who is the CMO of Angel Broking was one of them who hadn’t anticipated such a huge attraction of investors even before the lockdown had started. But, as rightly said that the stock market is an extremely dicey arena of interest and has seen values of lots of stock falling during this lockdown. Angel Broking saw this as an opportunity for business without any additional infrastructure and attracted customers as nothing extra was required and through effective marketing campaigns, the brand was able to attract and persuade the inactive customers (having a demat account), to invest in the stock market.
Tiwari termed this situation of the pandemic as a ‘pressure situation for digitisation’ as people have witnessed a 100% digitalisation of various businesses. Angel did benefit massively from the same, by leveraging the customer data, making it the second-highest benefitted organisation in terms of incremental customer addition past four-five months.
Madhukar Uniyal spoke about the huge surge in website traffic like ‘deluge’ since lockdown’. When asked to share his thoughts on technology and its effect on marketers, he first appreciated the product team at the Oracle Labs for their tremendous work. He then explained that, earlier, marketers had to invest a fair amount of time and effort in surmising the statistics of the market and then in pitching comparable tactics to achieve target. But now, with technological innovations like artificial intelligence and automation, these processes have become much more lucid, accessible and accurate. Based on recommendations and guidance achieved through machine learning, marketers are getting aided by technology on how and when to pitch their ideas and if it would go on to be fruitful in bringing revenue or not.
Shejale spoke about how the pandemic has brought about humongous changes in the world and has affected consumer behavior. Their consumption patterns have changed radically and they are pushed down to the hierarchy of needs. Health and safety have become the first priority.
He further discussed upon the deeper aspects of modernisation and spoke about the simplest yet bespoken strategies of marketing by mentioning that before marketers or technology-savvy we are consumers first.
Technology has played a substantial role in fortification of marketing strategies and helped brands attract and stay with them for long. The idea is to provide a wholesome user experience and make sure the process is seamless at the same time. Components of machine learning clubbed with the brilliance of artificial intelligence is now touching new heights of success as we see, companies inherit the same idea to attract new customers and sell their ideas or products.
As customer expectations have gone up exponentially and need to be met seamlessly across channels in real-time, a unified view of the customer is the only way to meet their personalisation expectation. The basic idea is to enable them with relevant information and equip them to take right decisions.
The brands that crack the code of meeting customer expectations can not only survive but also thrive despite all odds. However, to be able to predict your customers’ requirements and expectations beforehand and deliver them smoothly requires brands to leverage the data and advance technologies like AI and ML, and those brands who have chosen this path of achieving CX excellence are winning in these tough times as well.