Archive for category Best Practices

Creating Single Vision of a customer – The Digital DNA

We talk about unified platform, data driven marketing, big data and so on, unfortunately, when we look at feasibility of such practices among brands, its far-fetched reality and just a board room discussion. Just the way we have clutter in customer segment so is the IT platforms in many of the organization, which are a sheer tick mark in terms of investments or legacies which have not been reviewed with changing trends, but not seen from one vision point of view.

For example, today if we have to perceive the persona of a customer from the company’s prospective, he would be seen through different filters such as CRM, Loyalty, Social Analytic, web analytic, BI tools drawing different persona of the same customer instead of building one customer persona, resulting in irrelevant & multiple campaigns, promotions targeting the same customers, most of the time irrelevant and not hitting the ROI mark.

The crux is customer centricity, not in terms of a single department, but in terms of the entire company looking at it. A persona is a result of collation of various signals from different sources; offline & online modes. It is matter of drawing a strategic view to draw those visions, because they translate the investment pattern into technologies which help you to optimize, predict and monetize in terms of understanding the right behavior, customer segment, place to target and offer.

Just as time & tide waits for none, so is the customer today, it doesn’t take time to become irrelevant to them, with irrelevant messages which flows in from various sources where he/she are in at the time of display. For instance, the FB ads or any other form of displays, excepting contextual mapping, how many time do you even look at it, forget click “know more”, the answer is majority of you ignore or don’t even see it.

The digital DNA, is just not building websites and creating brand presence across various online vehicle, it is more to understand your customers by delivering the right content at right time. The time has come where in your brand should deliver the experience by making the customer feel  special, through knowing or predicting who he/she needs and innovating your offering to them.

Industrialization brought in masses with economy in scale whereas digitization is going to bring in personalization with understanding customer behavioral signals. As said by Marcel Proust “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes”. Implementing the right unified platform which integrates applications of business technology & Information technology holds the key of success. The digital empowerment today is going to fade data silos in organization, in a vision of building one single customer persona.

 

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Best Practices of one, can’t be true for all: Balancing Regionalization with Globalization is the key

From the world of technology to theories of Marketing, everything revolves around the Best Practices and Principles; we the professionals, iterate, refer and suggest to the ecosystem, where we belong, quite often. We love to throw the jargon, drop names when it comes to weighing our decision on others. Do we ever try to think on the ‘Recipe To Success’ being the same everywhere, where the consumer behavior, buying patterns, rules & regulations, paradigms defer and in some case we see it changing even within the boundaries.

Usually, in the case of technology (either in the form of consumer technologies or enterprise level) conceptualized in the developed countries, flow into the developing countries as one form or the other, Best Practices, no doubt India & China are the growth engines for these companies, but are they doing enough to penetrate deeper, to achieve broader marketer, where the actual buck lays. No doubt, first mover customers evolving out of the growth engine and spreading their wings through the developed nation, adopt with the best practices sooner, thanks to their operational demand & deeper pockets, but what about the segment which is untapped and are so called gold mines,  where the affordability is not a question but adaptation & reach rules over.

Lets’ play around with some examples, Apple, no doubt Indian market waited for long for their products, it took the company some time to open their shops, to have their innovative products up for grabs. In spite of non-availability, consumers in India used all their way out to own & experience the Apple mobile handsets, either through reaching out to their friends in US or Singapore or wriggled through eBay or Amazon to have it. The question at this point, which comes in mind, Shouldn’t the company have kept the growth engines in their priority list, for consumption. The adverse reaction to it led to duped Apple stores in China, black marketing & in some cases, usage of patches to unlock the locked version. The essence is very strong, availability to fight piracy & creating accessibility for the brand to increase the much required presence.

Honda, the renowned car brand playing in the band of premium segment took around 15 years to crack the strategy in terms of price, variant & go-to market in terms of ‘Brio’ and bringing the price of ‘City’ to make it accessible, after the competition had stepped in with a variant tagged made for India with made in India, in terms of Toyota ‘Etios’ and planned it for other emerging countries for exploring the markets with similar behavior.

We are now seeing a trend where in companies not only bringing in technology, but a technology which is closer to its customers but made available locally to play in the price variant, companies like ABB into the power generation infrastructure is in line & planning to set up their manufacturing. Volvo, which is into the commercial vehicle segment redesigned its commercial vehicles to suit the country requirement, giving them an edge and much required market share against the competition. The take away is being closer to customer not only in terms of cost to customer but also in terms of product configuration, manifestation & adaptability.

No doubt, the way economies are shifting from the growth centers which were economies of  scale, manpower & talent once, to the consumption buckets in the value chain. In other words, where India & China were once known as the center for lower cost & talent pool, which helped many of the development companies in IT sector to move in, are the epicenter of growth engine for consumption of the same developed product. So it is very important today, to have consumable products close to their tastes and preferences, which were produced for the developed economies, to capitalize and accomplish the value chain or use the same talent pool which developed, maintained & released for other countries, for building the value proposition for these regions.

Google which never loses a chance, and tops the chart for drawing a parallel in regionalization, have been able to crack the country wise products, through their strategy of reach, if they can’t open a shop, they implants their personnel to tap, very recently, I have seen lot of their openings in the very remote urban places too, to achieve the objective in being close to their user and tap the untapped.

As spoken & manifested in the form of ‘Triangle’ in explaining the markets, companies have now exhausted the top most part and are in the phase of Mid size laying in the middle, where ‘The Best Practices’ still holds good to a extent but the bottom most portion of triangle, where the broader marketer exist, is where   “Adaptation & Adoption, customer centric strategy using ‘The Adopted Practices’  becomes the value proposition and are the key for the Gold Mines of the untapped segment.”

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