The world around us is on board a digital transformation journey. India is well placed to capitalise on this transformation – our software developers stand with the world’s best, our consumers are tech savvy and our brands are gearing up to deliver powerful customer experiences.
Consumers want the business they deal with, and buy from, to treat them as individuals. Businesses need to use the data created by each consumer interaction to fulfill this desire. The key for businesses is knowing what data is important, and how to use it. We need to drill down into consumers’ real-time journeys. We need to show them we are Experience Businesses – that we put people first.
In 2017, I believe we will see the biggest brands in India bring customer experience to the center of everything they do, and harness the power of digital transformation to differentiate themselves – to become Experience Businesses.
India is no stranger to technology. From Bangalore to Silicon Valley, our software developers stand with the world’s best, so let’s just say that India has its fair share of tech geeks.
India’s rapidly expanding mobile and internet uptake is setting new international benchmarks. Internet traffic via smartphones increased by 290 per cent in the three years to January 2017, delivering 268.9 million new consumers to the internet, the latest Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) mobile report found. ADI forecasts that smartphones will account for 46 per cent of all Indian internet usage by 2018, up from 34 per cent in 2014.
India is undergoing a digital transformation. The government has spearheaded this transition. Its push to create national digital infrastructure for government services through its Digital India program, together with last year’s demonitisation drive, have been major drivers of digital consumer uptake.
Many Indian companies and business leaders, even those with a record of embracing enterprise technology, want to see where the value lies in transforming their businesses into digital organisations, which is understandable. There’s a reason why we talk about the digital ‘transformation’ – it requires a new organisational culture, new leadership and management mindsets, new skills and competencies, and in some cases new business models. That’s a lot of new.
The impetus to make this all happen has been placed squarely on the shoulders of marketers. Marketers are no longer peripheral to business. Marketing is no longer about pretty pictures and long-winded reports, it is based on deep data analysis.
The coming year will see a renewed thrust on user experience and the emphasis on making it more consistent, compelling and relevant. This means, marketers need to literally experience their brand from the customer’s perspective, and deliver a compelling experience across the various touch points of the customer journey.
In the digital age, how companies market their brands will determine their success or failure. Marketers are swimming in a vast sea of customer data – you need to have both an intuitive sense of how the currents are running, as well as a deep technical knowledge of where and how the tide is rising and falling.
It is this combination of empathy and analysis that turns a good marketer into a great marketer. It is also the reason why great marketers wind up getting involved at every customer touch point.
Great marketers don’t make messages anymore, they make Experiences. Great marketers are the heartbeat of Experience Businesses. They have a deep understanding of their customer’s journey, and are managing the Experience across every touch point. They are speaking to customers in their own language, deploying tailored messaging across all devices and platforms they inhabit.
Driving digital transformation
As I wrote recently in this space, competitive advantage will be the biggest driver of brands’ digital transformations, and customer experience will lie at the core of it all.
India’s economy is vast and diverse and digitisation is not going to be a linear or uniform process. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to understand, and respect, the pace at which these organisations move. Some are quick to adopt new technology, others are more introverted or cautious. Companies that in the past have invested heavily in hardware and data centres want to better understand what the cloud or digitisation means for their business. Yes, the needle is moving, but it’s a work in progress.
As businesses come to appreciate the true value of digital technology, they will find that the early benefits are just the beginning. That will be when a whole new journey starts.
Join us on 4th May at Grand Hyatt Mumbai where business leaders, marketing professionals and tech experts will come together at Adobe Symposium 2017 to discover how any business can become an Experience Business with the right creative and marketing tools.