Customer experience is the new battlefield: Oracle

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on November 28, 2019

Shashi Seth, Senior Vice-President, Oracle Marketing Cloud. Photo: Special Arrangement   -  Special Arrangement

Incorporating micro-moments set to strengthen the customer experience

Shashi Seth, Senior Vice-President, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle, says micro-moments are redefining and reshaping contemporary marketing. With consumers in charge and demanding a seamless, frictionless experience, the traditional ways of engaging with consumers has become obsolete, says Seth, pointing out it is time for marketers to be contextual in real time.

Customer experience is rapidly becoming a crucial topic in modern business, especially with technology handing customers unprecedented power to dictate the rules in purchasing goods and services.

Speaking to BusinessLine at the Ad:tech seminar in Mumbai, Seth says high-speed broadband and faster, smarter devices are now universal standards and though India's largest demographic slice (millenials) are digital natives, few marketers know how to address this group.

“India has 600 million people under the age of 25, and 25 per cent of these are under the age of 14. The opportunity size for marketers in the next 10-20 years is extremely large, but it is also a challenge,” says Seth, since these millennials and Gen Y are not the same kind of people that marketers have traditionally been marketing to.

Noting that this group has always had computer connectivity and an expectation of immediate answers, Seth says what adds to the melee is the significant number of consumers from non-metros spending time on the internet.

“Because these set of people are so used to modern technology, they are partaking in what are called micro-moments,” he adds.

"Young people are used to great experiences"

Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device, increasingly a smartphone, to learn something, do something, or buy something. These are intent-rich moments where decisions are made and preferences shaped. And this is where marketers need to be present, says Seth.

“Young people these days are doing lots of things that take small amounts of time. And they are used to these great experiences, like what they get from Netflix, Paytm or Uber,” says Seth. “These things, when you have great experiences, leave a long-lasting impression and ensure brand loyalty. But when you get it wrong, people are not easy to forgive.”

Customer experience is the new battlefield, Tackling challenges and incorporating micro-moments into the marketing strategy is set to strengthen the customer experience.

Seth maintains the selling environment has changed and consumers are not going to wait for the marketing message to reach them, but are instead going to use their devices to solve their needs on the spot.

Brands, in turn, have to deal with these micro-moments since these types of customers and brand interactions are now becoming the norm.

The Oracle official notes it is getting difficult for marketers to win the game, since too many companies tend to focus on individual interaction touchpoints, whereas a customer journey spans a progression of touchpoints.

“Even today, new CEOs coming onboard companies are asking their CMOs to acquire customers at the right price point, increase lifetime value, reduce churn, and increase basket sizes. Most marketers, traditionally, have been focused on content-oriented marketing. This is a new art for many which requires more mathematical and statistical thinking, planning, and coordinating," says Seth, adding marketers are not ready for the new consumer.

The changing landscape brings on confusion, but Seth says for marketers it is time to ensure “a new style of thinking, a new paradigm for marketing, new tools and vendors that can support the ability to market to these kind of people”.

Giving up privacy in exchange for better experiences

Pointing out that the new generation is looking for hyper personalisation, the official says most want brands to know them “really, really well. They are looking for great experiences. Products are important, but experiences are even more important. And they are willing to give up a lot for it.”

For instance, studies have shown that young people are willing to give up their privacy in exchange for better experiences and that buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Speaking about some studies that Oracle has conducted, Seth says results have revealed that “when people have one bad experience there is a pretty high chance that 30 per cent of them will probably want to move on to another brand.”

Research has also shown that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Seth says marketers need to get ready for the next 10-20 years and ensure marketing is fuelled by data and intelligence.

“The more you know about your customers, the more you know about their preferences, their choices, their wants, their intent, then you can get in front of them and offer them products and services that make sense for them,” he adds.

Marketers need to make sure the interaction is smooth, pleasant and seamless, since it can drive brand loyalty. If not, they end up giving their competitors the best gift — their customers.

Published on November 28, 2019

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