News as it is -

Best Media Info

Partner Content

Elevate from transactional relationship to offering great consumer experience: Vineet Ahuja of Accenture caught up with Ahuja, Managing Director and lead of consumer, sales and service, Accenture in India, to understand the requirements of new-age marketers and customers

Vineet Ahuja

Earlier a brand strategist’s role largely consisted of creating advertisements and to broadcast the same. People would come to the store to buy products after watching ads and it was really simple. Therefore, go-to-market (GTM) and Kirana stores became two big channels for traditional companies. Now, both channels are being challenged with the advent of digital media.

According to Vineet R Ahuja, Managing Director and lead of consumer, sales and service, Accenture in India, to stay relevant in the digital era today, brand strategists should have the ability to target various customer segments and not see the customer as a unified entity.

“Think end-to-end transformation and not in bits and pieces, and provide value to the consumers. Most importantly, elevate from a transactional relationship with consumers to offering a great consumer experience. Therefore, being able to offer differentiated marketing and selling experience,” Ahuja said. 

He further said, “Today, consumers span across different age groups – millennial, Gen Z, and more. Each segment acts differently and so, brands have to be where their consumers are and at the place where they consume media. One has to be omnipresent.”

Attributing marketing success to a particular medium has become one big challenge for marketers, which makes it difficult for them to decide where the actual leads are coming from. For example, a person might have seen some content on TV but bought the product after scanning the QR code on some mobile app. How does one navigate through this problem?

To which, Ahuja answered that it is really important for brands to build their first-party data. He explained, “There is an old saying that half the money spent on advertising is wasted; the trouble is not knowing which half. In the digital era that we live in, there are better tools and trackers to trace this in different forms. There is a lot of talk about first-party data that the brands own when consumers are transacting on their platform. The more you own first-party data, the better is your visibility – from the time the customer came on your platform to the time of the purchase and even post-purchase behaviour.”

To fetch first-party data is easier for D2C or digital brands, but how do traditional brands go about building first-party data? Ahuja answered, “When planning campaigns, one will have the ability to the understand campaign at least in the pre-purchase part and stitch it together with the consumer journey to see which part of the environment responded and in what manner. For example, we were surprised by the response we got to a lipstick ad that was on a job employment site. We also saw that this ad got a good response through vernacular languages and then there was a certain part of the country where English worked. All of this came from campaign analytics. Today, we also have the marketing worldview as consumers migrate to e-commerce, and in that bridge, brands can capture data.”

One needs data about consumer behaviour in order to provide personalised content and engagement with the consumers. But in the process of doing so, many a times, brands and platforms cross the privacy boundaries of the consumers, which irks them.

Ahuja said that to overcome this challenge, the brands must establish trust among the consumers. He commented, “Taking customer data and converting it to value will always translate into a win-win proposition. Once you provide more value, the consumer will provide more data, and this can then become a virtuous cycle.”

After the pandemic, when various industries started to come back to normalcy there was a big shift in the way customers behaved. Speaking on the shift of consumer behaviour post-pandemic, Ahuja said he noticed that consumers’ trust in select channels such as neighbourhood Kirana retailers and e-commerce had strengthened post-pandemic. 

The other two trends he noticed were that the consumers want to have seamlessness across omnichannel presence or multiple touchpoints of brands along with a greater degree of personalisation.

Talking about how Accenture is making a difference in this ever-competitive world of marketing, he said, “We have been helping our clients reimagine their business through the lens of experience to enable them to stay relevant to their stakeholders. This could translate into product or service innovation and design, marketing transformation, future-facing sales and commerce, brand communications, understanding and embracing new frontiers like the metaverse and more.” 

Ahuja concluded, “We are the only professional services company with deep and wide experience in strategy and consulting, technology, and operations services including consumer experience redesign. We have deep industry skills on top of technology expertise to re-engineer our clients’ business models, enhance operational capabilities in terms of customer experience, and transform cost benefits. Not many organisations can lay claim to this end-to-end value chain.”

Post a Comment