Catalyst

Viewing consumers through the data lens

| Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 29, 2016

Charulata Ravikumar, CEO India, SapientNitro & Razorfish

Charulata Ravikumar, CEO India, SapientNitro & Razorfish

Scrambling for trends has to be the biggest trend in 2017! And the smarties, who predicted 2020 as the year of mobiles, e-commerce and e-payments, are now shredding their slides and hunting for the neuralyzer. With the uncertainties our political jugglers promise to throw at us, it’s anybody’s guess which ball is coming our way next.

Marketers will now begin to take their digital strategy more seriously than rely hopefully on trending posts and videos. Engagement through content will now take a quantum leap towards commerce driven by videos and pictorial. Technology will move towards ‘blended trends’ using a combination of two or more platforms that allow for unique experiences and seamlessly weave into a positive intent to buy. No, 2017 will not see a mad rush towards adopting AR and VR as India still has to evolve to a better online experience from its legacy systems, unresponsive websites and un-intuitive mobile experiences.

With Indians adopting a new way to live, all research on their behaviour, lifestyle and traditional outlook in adopting the new goes out of the window. Data-led behaviour will be sought after more than ever before to impact sales. Data science will begin to take over from traditional research expertise. The now and the future will become more important than the past.

Yes, mobile will play a big role but the urban-slooking marketer will miss a big opportunity with smart feature phones if they keep believing that all feature phones will now be discarded. As new inner markets take semi-urban shape, smart feature phones will keep creating new avenues.

A lot will also depend on how the banking policies and experiences roll out. If it persists long, some very interesting developments may be coming our way. The reliance on the BFSI sector will keep eroding and a long-lasting cash crunch will get consumers used to new trends of spending less, partying less, tipping less and gifting less while saving more, sharing more and maximising more will dominate. Marketers and technology will have to become relevant to this new mindset – both in terms of positioning and offering.

Published on December 29, 2016
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