A decade ago, the creative process was dependent on the talent pool for expressing selling ideas with originality and simplicity to capture the attention of consumers. But today’s consumers are very sophisticated. They are aware of all the marketing techniques and it’s difficult to surprise them.
Since companies have limited resources, bridging the gap between the brand and the consumer is important to increase the effectiveness of business communication. All the marketing channels need to secure consistency and create synergy among themselves. Today the communication ideas need to be so intimate with consumers that they feel compelled to see the product, service or brand and are willing to pay for it.
It would be safe to say that consumers wield almost all of the power today. The social media has given voice to the countless who can sit anywhere on the planet and instantly let a brand know whether they like it or not. Word of mouth spreads much faster than a wildfire in the age of the internet. Brands can no longer do as they please, the consumers’ opinion and needs have to be accounted for.
In 2010, an average consumer checked up to five sources before making a purchase. By 2013, it moved up to 12. An average buyer today spends about 23 hours a week using social networking sites, apps, video streaming, etc. So, brands have to be omnipresent across all channels and provide a unified experience to the consumers if they want to stay relevant.
Big Data was hitting the headlines a few years ago. Many started to amass terabytes of data on consumers but then they asked, “now what?” Then the second phase arrived with the onset of practical applications of artificial intelligence and automation. Now, the focus is not on just amassing latest technology but to seek deeper understanding of human behaviour. Bombarding users with irrelevant ads is no longer cool and the way forward is offering tailored experiences.
The advertising industry is taking the bottom-up approach of focusing more on micro-influencers than major movers and shakers as it has been traditionally. This shift is in conjunction with marketers who increasingly prefer to include audiences to be part of the greater brand stories. A lot is happening quickly and it is easy for brands to miss the bus.
Manish Thapliyal is Head of Operations, North India, at Rediffusion Brand Solutions.
First Published: IST