Pratik Seal, Group CMO, AGS Transact Technology Ltd talks about looking at the ever-evolving Digital world as an opportunity rather than a challenge and acknowledging that technology will continue to reshape businesses, and that the digital revolution is here to stay
By Pratik Seal,
Group CMO, AGS Transact Technology Ltd
In today. Out tomorrow. And I’m not even talking about fashion here! Brands, products and ideas are all struggling to keep pace with the digital world and barely making the mark.
Building a brand in today’s connected ecosphere is a Herculean task for any marketer. Before one can find their feet in the marketplace, for even an established brand, a competitor steals the show with an improvised product, or technology simply outdoes itself. There are negligent entry barriers and consumers are not shying away from switching brands overnight. However, as much as the digital world maybe a behemoth of a challenge, it is an even bigger opportunity.
As it is rightly said ‘Consumer is the king’, brands need to stay abreast with the latest in technology to become a part of digital conversations. New or old, without aligning the communication with the changing environment, one is bound to become an ICU brand. To stay competitive, taking a higher order benefit will give the brand the flexibility to creep into a broader (and safer) playground, and navigate the transient nature of product development while retaining the same consumer base.
PLUNGE INTO I&D
Strategically leveraging digital capabilities and investing deep in Innovation & Disruption (I&D) is the only chance at staying a step ahead. Without understanding industry trends or consumer insights, brands cannot channelise their efforts for effective results and are most likely to fall into the trap of Digital Darwinism. Perhaps the most successful brand to make a disruption in the recent times is Pokémon Go. The video game brand reinvented itself to suit the ‘smartphone’ generation and rose like a phoenix.
Digital innovation isn’t just restricted to struggling brands. Even successful brands such as Ikea, a leading home furniture brand, took its own success a notch higher by launching an AI augmented catalogue app where consumers could preview Ikea products in their own homes. This was after the company realized how their store consumers enjoyed envisioning their catalogues. Posing a challenging environment for their competition, this single move brought the store home.
In this digital combat, the ebb and flow of brands will continue to happen, as long as one’s eye is on the emerging industry trends. And, with technological advancement in big data and analytics, it is easier than ever for marketers to measure the effectiveness for each campaign.
NO MORE NPD PLEASE!
Lastly, spare the consumers (and your brand) any form of kitsch advertising or vapid marketing. The last thing a brand would want to do is suffer from NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A brand with ‘I, Me, Myself’ attitude can drive its existing consumers away.
Needless to say, it is a social media world and consumers are all there. By understanding where the consumer ‘really’ is, brands can learn how their consumers are consuming content and modify their marketing efforts to stay ahead of the curve. Yesterday’s Twitter audience may be on Snapchat today, and the onus is on the brand to customize its content to suit the new platform (and the new mood). Unfortunately, brands take a lot of time to identify or understand the technology that’s going to impact their brand in the first place. Sometimes, it’s a tad too late. Also, brands must learn to interact and not interlude by staying fresh and speaking their language to be relevant.
Digital innovation is like a loose cannon and no brand can afford to stay in a suspended bubble. What one can do is be ‘future-ready’ and be equipped with a winning strategy. Brands that fail to survive are the ones who have been resistant to change or oblivious to the high tides soaring by its shore. Competition or not, it’s important we acknowledge that technology will continue to reshape businesses, and that the digital revolution is here to stay!