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Author: Abhishek Singh |02/20/19

Data Driven Marketing: Understanding the Consumer in New Digital Age

We all remember the iconic Marlboro man and the impact it had in turning around the fortunes of Philip Morris however going back to its initial days, the target audience for Marlboro were primarily women. It took almost two decades for the brand to move from an image of elegance and class to a rugged mid-western cowboy. Organizations in today’s world still face the same questions, which drove Marlboro to change their marketing strategy:

  • Who are my consumers?
  • What do they like?
  • Am I making a positive connect with my consumers?
  • Does my product portfolio reflect consumer’s needs?

In the times of instant gratification and real time consumer feedback, organizations today have much less time to react to changing consumer needs. We have come a long way from the unidirectional messaging from Marlboro man to multi-directional, cross device and cross platform conversations between Brands and consumers. Organizations are now in a constant struggle to understand their Customers at an individual level in order to define personalized products, advertising and marketing strategies.

Consumer Needs in the Digital Age

Figure 1: Consumer Needs in the Digital Age

Consumers today are omni-present and leave a footprint of their interactions with the brand, and it is imperative for brands to predict individual consumer needs and behavioral patterns to drive brand engagement and loyalty.

What is a Consumer 360 degree View?

The philosophy of a 360 degree view centers on having a single view of consumers. It is critical to understand the various touchpoints in the consumer journey, which can be leveraged to build an enriched view of consumers using structured and unstructured data available through first, second and third party sources. The overall goal is to understand a consumer to drive a one-on-one personalized conversation with the brand for a long lasting relationship and brand advocacy.

Organizations are still grasping the idea of a 360-degree consumer view and even lesser are prepared to realize its full potential.

According to Gartner, fewer than 10% of companies have a 360-degree customer view & only 5% use this view to systemically grow their businesses.

Bringing Customer Eccentricity to Relationships

According to a Mindtree study “Winning in the Age of Personalization; Global survey compares consumer expectations against industry initiatives”, consumer experience is the new battlefield for organizations. Some key observations are:

  • Consumer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator
  • 86% of Buyers will pay more of a better Consumer experience
  • 75% Online Consumers expect help within 5 minutes
  • 61% consumers are more likely to buy from companies that deliver custom content
  • 79% Buyers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 74% Consumers believe personalized promotions will make them buy products they’ve never purchased
  • 70% App-users prefer added functionality over “look and feel” of app.

Customers have taken control over their buying process with access to multiple digital tools like websites, blogs, social media, ratings and reviews, mobile apps on multiple devices. The need of the hour is to bring the focus back on the consumer and understand the consumer interactions at an individual level. Following is a typical consumer journey

Typical Consumer Journey

Figure 2: Typical Consumer Journey

Successful organizations are obsessed with understanding their consumers at every touchpoint to meet and exceed consumer expectations.


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