By Udit Joshi
Just 12 years ago, we were taught marketing based on the classic case studies by specialised lecturers from premier institutes and veterans in the industry. Today, there’s a radical change, the students learn through tools based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, social listening and more.
The evolution of Marketing took a time leap with technology
Marketing intelligence is synonymous to competitive intelligence and business intelligence. It is the time capsule that combines the past, present and future business environment offering a scientific and intelligent process as the decision-making support. As India will open up from the Covid slumber, growth opportunities will emerge across various regions and sectors of the economy. The India advantage is the reduced adoption-time over the period. People across India and across demographics are utilising technology so well.
We have all been living digital lives for the last five months now. As individuals we have been heavily dependent on the web. The fourth screen, the mobile has now become the primary screen. Imagine the amount of conversations that are happening in our virtual lives. Growth in the number of users makes India one of the most potent markets for marketing intelligence. It has been estimated that by the end of 2022 the number of internet users will be close to 700 million. While markets overall witnessed a negative growth, smartphones companies hardly spent over 10 minutes in an online flash sale. Even despite the recent nationalist sentiments. What are the successful brands doing well? How do they know the consumers so well?
Marketing intelligence as an immunity booster to brands, will equip the industry workforce to deal with futuristic technologies, drive innovation and lead the economy’s expansive structural transformation. According to a Hootsuite study, 90% of brands want to build brand awareness through social media. 77% of the brand managers use it to maintain brand reputation, while 71% of them use it for managing community engagement.
A boon for Agencies
There must be over 5,000 agencies in the organised marketing and PR sector in India. These must be servicing or pitching at least 20 clients on an average. This means that over a lakh monthly plans or pitches are being made by these consultancies! We also go by the word ‘brand advisories’, yet what’s the source of this advice? Unsubscribed Google trends or open social listening, marketing tools? Finding accurate information in a ‘false, lazy or generic report’ can be like playing jeopardy in our business.
By relying on top results in Google we are often mislead by commercial websites with big budgets and not every big budget website contains the right information. Haven’t we at times wondered about the sanctity of the survey and the primary research, unless it is from the way out of the budget big 4.
It simply means that accurate and genuine content is somewhere missing and we’ll have to step up our game. With marketing intelligence, brand managers, agencies and PR fraternity will be able to stay one step ahead of the game. This is what they’ll be able to do:
1. Understanding the customer
- Helps companies in understanding customer requirements and their minutest characteristics ~ Nicki Minaj pulling out of Saudi Arabia concert
- Gauge customer perception about the brand and reputation management ~ The great speech by Paytm founder on battling demonetisation
2. Monitor industry trends and competitive landscape
- Spot trends quickly and find the volume of attention metrics to know where the competitor is promoting the brand ~ The classic Burger King vs McDonald’s clash
- Track the macro to micro level topics, from market value to market share to consumer perception ~ TATA Nano being pitched as ‘the cheapest car’
3. Measure performance
- Measure the performance of the plan and strategies ~ From being No. 1 in India to being sold to Microsoft in 2014
- Responsive to both the active and passive customer desires regarding products and service ~ Dove: “Racist” Facebook Ad
As marketers our focus should be to provide cost effective alternative to MarTech stacks. Data analytics technology and out-of-the-box analytics solutions will bring to the table intelligent operations and marketing ideas. Soon, the scale of it is going to be very demanding, especially for the thousands of agencies in India. It is to prepare for this time that we create affordable MarTech as a service, like a MPO – Marketing Process Outsourcing after BPOs and KPOs.
We envision a time when the brand managers dial a service similar to the Yellow Pages and ask in a very colloquial manner, “Bhaiya, please get me the last 6 months data of my competitors’ share of voice. And do put some sales insights and keyword maps along.”
As a consequence, it will enable marketers to use MarTech tools, insights and guidance for their strategic business decisions or tactical campaigns.
The author is an integrated marketing specialist at Topline Consulting Group.
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