Bands must be able to anticipate the needs of consumers and also figure out their demonstrated behaviour if they want to be relevant to consumers, Ravi Desai, Director, Mass and Brand Marketing has said.
Speaking at Goafest 2019, Desai pointed out shifts that have happened in the marketing industry over a period of time.
"It is time to ponder how much as a brand or as a marketing agency, the choice-making for the customers can be simplified. The target audience has changed. The points of influence have changed. Brands need to figure out the ways to read the demonstrated behaviour and anticipation of the needs of customers," he said.
He said time might have changed but the obsession that customers have with brands still remains.
He added, “Earlier it was changing perceptions about brands in customers’ minds. And today it has actually evolved to changing behaviour. Earlier, perceptions drove behaviour and today we are at a stage where usage and behaviour actually feed back into various perceptions.”
Desai pointed out that earlier the target audience used to look like a homogeneous mass. "Marketers actually started with pen portraits of their customers and their personification. Today that model doesn’t work since today a customer is of the size of the audience segment in itself. There is no pen portrait of a customer that can do justice to the entire universal customer and their needs and capture their moments.”
“There was a point in time when the points of influence used to be the customers’ touch points," he said.
“Today your product, your interface literally needs to light the marketing thoughts that you want to create,” Desai added.
Earlier, brands used to capture prime time, now moments in the life of customers matter, he said. Quoting Echo range of products as an example, he added, “You need to know the moment of customers’ life. Let us ask ourselves as we think of customers or our brands or media, what are the key moments that matter to us? How can a brand fit into these key moments through the offerings?”
Talking about the ROI aspect, Desai said there was a time when measurement became the big thing.
“We used to think ROI as a result of the intervention we have done. Nowadays, you actually measure ROI by measuring demonstrating behaviour.”
Brands’ relationship with a customer earlier was actually how to get customers to become loyal and then evolved customers to become even more loyal. In today’s age, it is about reverse or disrupting the entire model of loyalty.
Desai also pointed out there was a time when physical distribution was a game changer. “It was about need fulfilment. Today it has become about need anticipation of customers.”