The market is in your hands today! There is a lot to cheer about for consumers who have been empowered like never before with information, potential information that helps them make important decisions, most of which are buying decisions satisfying their materialistic ego.
There is another side to the story. The marketers have come closer to you than you think and they have invaded your privacy and your personal lives. The digital technology and mobile computing devices have made all this possible while you were busy buying the latest smart phones and gadgets for your loved ones, and filling small customer response forms inside a swanky departmental store or a mall.
Market research firms, data analysis software, and analytical wizards have all dissected our behaviour to the benefit of marketers who are constantly and consistently trying to update their CRM databases with an aim not to miss out on any link to a changing behavioural pattern and stimuli to a possible change in our response to certain parameter. With such close and virtually invisible interaction taking place between marketer and consumer, the message that marketers have been trying to convey has become more personalised than generalised, and is also more targeted at the focused audience through various points of contact with media.
The advantage of such evolved marketing and communications is further enhanced by the quality of content, hence, despite having so many more brands and products in market today, the message gets ensconced in consumer’s mind and brand recall, thus it gets easier because the message does not focus on the product attributes rather on how it makes our lives de-stressed and easy. Not that this was not the case earlier but now with visuals so easily being viewed with 4G connectivity, the consumer has the option to make informed decisions at his or her choice of time.
Increased competition has also helped, it has actually benefited the average consumer in a sense that delivery of quality and prompt service has improved vastly. And there are companies who have improved their services and have been able to quickly collect and collate feedback data and response from customers and use it as a word-of-mouth publicity and marketing tool.
The share of digital marketing will further go up in India as companies and marketers ascertain that the impact of digital marketing is positive and it actually gives decent return on their investments.
This decade has seen some conventional media going obsolete with digital technology, e.g. yellow pages being substituted with “just dial” kind of services, sale of music CDs being subdued due to freely downloadable audio, and with the advent of e-commerce platforms, the retail industry facing challenging times getting buyers inside their stores.
The whole supply-chain dynamics and logistics have seen dramatic turnaround. E-mails didn’t make post-offices and courier & cargo shut shop because the physical traffic of buyers to retail stores got replaced with people shopping online and thus more valuable and pricey items started getting shipped.
It was much anticipated about three years ago that e-book reader and tablets can pull off people from buying fictions and non-fictions in paperback and hard-cover but jury is still undecided and divided largely because readers probably are loyal enough to retain some old world charm instead of falling prey to gadgets for something as naïve as reading. Some things, they say, are worth keeping in ‘black and white’ on their living room cupboards, rather than in e-files!!
Marketing 3.0 is largely driven by smartphones’ penetration with an aim to capture the buyer’s viewshare as and when data is consumed.