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How brands are using tech in marketing

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 04, 2017

From smart watches to mind-reading headsets, firms are going hitech with promotions

As consumers tend to use an increasing range of tools and technologies, from smartphones to social media, to make informed purchasing decisions, corporates are transforming their marketing into an increasingly technological function.

Like Tata Consultancy Services, which recently teamed up with SATS Ltd, a provider of airport ground handling and food solutions services, to develop a smart watch, in what is being termed the world’s first mobile solution for airport operations. The smart watch will support SATS’ operations at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

To help propel sales in the domestic market, Maruti Suzuki launched its Ignis simultaneously on the physical as well as digital medium. The result: 20 per cent of pre-launch bookings came from digital in the first 10 days.

Marketing to the consumer is fundamentally becoming a technology-powered discipline, contended Ab Gaur, Founder and CEO, Verticurl, a WPP company that is into marketing automation. “The evolution in the consumer mindset is transforming marketing. Since everyone is selling the same thing, any gimmicky effect in the marketing world is gaining attention,” he adds.

KFC decided to do just that, with its 3D selfie figurines and electronic headsets, in a bid to attain the ‘wow’ factor with consumers. At a mall in Mumbai, the company got consumers lining up to get their selfies taken. KFC used 3D scanning and printing technology to reward some of their customers with a personalised 3D printed figurine as a keepsake.

Speaking about the activation, Lluis Ruiz Ribot, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India, said the company is looking to push the boundaries on the traditional QSR (quick service restaurant) meal. Aiming to change the monotonous experience in a QSR, where the meals remain the same and the accompanying toy is impersonal and unexciting, KFC, in association with digital agency Blink Digital, introduced a limited edition meal accompanied by a personalised smart toy.

Earlier, the company had introduced NeuroSky — a mind-reading headset that tracks a person’s brain waves to monitor concentration. At an on-ground event in Mumbai, consumers were asked to test the power of their concentration, with the gadget on their head measuring it and automatically opening a treasure box.

As to what brought on the idea to introduce these tech-based concepts in India, Ribot said: “We are a young brand. Our consumers are largely millennials and they spend a considerable amount of their day on social media. They are more discerning and are appreciative of brands that are bold.”

With better informed consumers, KFC decided to be relevant to this target audience. As did Maruti Suzuki with its Ignis launch. Given that social networking sites are proving to be a rich resource to reach Gen Y, a simultaneous launch on the physical and digital medium got “astounding results with the millennials,” said Sanjeev Handa, VP and Head of Marketing, Maruti Suzuki. The auto launch was viewed digitally over 10 million times.

“The way consumers consume content and interact has changed. Customers have started consuming content on the net before they come to physical stores. Advertisers need to leverage digital effectively if they want to reach out to their target audience,” he said.

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Published on April 04, 2017
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