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80% Indians Opt For Brands That Use Humour Over Competition: Report

Yet, 83% of business leaders in India fear using humour in customer interactions, the report further adds

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Our lives have changed dramatically in the two years since the pandemic. The unprecedented health crisis has fundamentally altered people's perceptions of happiness and refocused attention on the significance of human connection and relationships. A recent survey commissioned by Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, ‘Happiness Report’ includes insights from over 12,000 consumers and business leaders from 14 countries, with 1,012 from India revealing some astounding insights into the true meaning of happiness for people. It discovered that people are looking for new experiences to make them smile and laugh.

The survey revealed that in India, 47% of respondents said they haven't felt truly happy in more than two years. Moreover, 96% of Indian respondents are looking for new experiences that will make them smile and laugh. Brands play a critical role in catering to this newfound take on happiness, after all, customer satisfaction remains the top priority for brands. Humour has demonstrated great potential for enhancing happiness with 92% of respondents from India believing brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 93% said they preferred brands to be funny. The findings indicate that sales, marketing, and customer service interactions must change. Brands that embrace humour will be rewarded with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases, while those that do not will be avoided.

Talking about the survey findings, Deepa Param Singhal, VP, Applications, Oracle India shares that “A lot has changed in the past couple of years and the findings of our survey have rightly pointed out that customer needs and expectations have shifted dramatically. To deliver true value to their customers, brands must rise to these expectations. Smart tech can help brands in doing so be serving as a facilitator to learn and understand customer behaviour and subsequently apply in their marketing strategies.”

However, the question here is how brands ensure that they use appropriate humour in their customer conversations. Even though business leaders recognise the value of humour, they were initially reluctant to adopt it. According to the survey, in India, only 5% of business leaders believe their brands use humour to sell, and only 3% believe their brand is humorous on social media. This is where smart technology comes into play as an enabler to help brands understand the right approach to using humour. In India, an astonishing 94%of business leaders state that they do not have the data insights or tools to successfully deliver humour. If business leaders had better customer visibility (61 per cent) and access to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, they would be more confident in using humour when engaging with customers (57 per cent). This poll reveals that brands require data-driven technologies to ensure that they target the right audience. AI-embedded technologies are the key here that have the capabilities to study consumer behaviour all backed by data-led insights and help business leaders to integrate humour in their conversations. For instance, in India, 83 per cent would prefer to interact with a humorous chatbot/digital assistant. Hence, AI-powered chatbots play an important role in assisting customers and brands to engage by instilling humour and making consumers smile and laugh.

Shedding light on the importance of AI-driven technologies, Singhal adds, “It is evident that consumers want to engage with brands on a personal level and artificial intelligence can provide this personalisation. Brands must implement technologies that integrated AI with Data Analytics to upscale their consumer interactions.”

It is imperative that brands understand the changing dynamics and devise marketing strategies that seamlessly and intelligently integrate humour without overpowering the brand messaging. “Humour is often considered risky because it does not translate or travel well. However, Brands need to be careful to not appear to be laughing at the expense of their customers in any way - that’s when the possibility of offence arises. Thanks to emerging technologies and the right use of data and insights through digital interactions are helping brands redevise their strategies and tactics” says Jessie Paul, CEO Paul Writer & Marketing Expert while talking about the right approach to employing technology for customers’ happiness.

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