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Every Business Needs To Become An Experience Business: Kulmeet Bawa, MD, Adobe South Asia

Experts take on a consumer's changing taste at BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook Summit, 2018

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At the Times Network presents BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook Summit 2018 powered by Adobe in Delhi recently, Kulmeet Bawa, Managing Director, Adobe South Asia spoke about the importance of creating compelling experiences for the current day consumers.

Speaking about the critical role that experiences play in enabling long-lasting consumer connect and thereby brand loyalty, Bawa said. "I believe it is the experiences that actually influence who we are, what we do, where we spend our money and which brands we are loyal to. We have seen what was the back office era, the front office era and now we are in the middle of what we call the experience era. Experiences are dictating everything today. We are living in a world or on the cusp of what I call the art and the science, the magic and the math, all around us. Come to think of it, the finest of products or solutions and experiences today are actually being created on the periphery of design, art and data sciences. That is how you come up with best or the finest of experiences. It is all about art and science and it is all about math and magic."

Math & Magic
According to Bawa, digital experiences are made up of content and data. Content which is mesmerizing, beautiful and amalgamated to data. In his words, "Creating such compelling experiences lie in the realm of the right and the left brain, which are then optimized in real time, thereby rendering to us in the digital and the online world those experiences which are so fantastic."

"If you look at the world of marketers, it is still a world of art and science; it is still a world of math and magic. So the marketer has always been responsible for creating a brand and in addition generating a pipeline to help grow the business. One side is art and the other side is science. So you find today that there is huge jostling of the magic and math in the world of a marker or for the attention of the marketer. And the great part today is that everywhere businesses and individuals are realizing that people today are not buying products, they are buying experiences.  This is the fundamental truth and most of us have come to terms with it," added Bawa.

So what is it that makes up an experience or what is it that today's consumer wants in terms of the experience? According to Bawa it is about two things: 'know me' and 'respect me'. "Each one of us wants that from the brand irrespective of the channel and the change here we are seeing over the last few years is that the 'knowing' part is easy, because of the humongous amount of data that is available. However the 'respect' part is something that the consumer is getting more and more wary of and demanding of. What I mean is that it is easy to serve personalized experiences to the consumers today but how do you serve personalized experiences that are not frustrating and repetitive," questioned Bawa.

Moving Beyond Data Silos
Bawa believes that given the large number of communication channels, it is difficult to have similar messaging across the channels. In his view, it is getting difficult for the brands and the organizations to actually fathom that it is the same profile or the same consumer that they are dealing with. "The only way to solve  this is  to break those immense number of data silos in your organizations in order to create a unified profile and that is when you can get to the blueprint of what the experiential business looks like," explains Bawa.

Speaking about the importance of delight factor in consumer engagement, Bawa said, "The delight factor is getting more and more demanding everywhere. A lot of brands and organizations across the globe, and in India, have started to delight their customer often enough and in a good manner. My advice is to try to see the mundane, repetitive tasks that the consumers of your brand face and see how you can actually convert those into a delight factor. So experiences are critical and every business needs to become an experience business. At the centre of everything that your consumer wants is the experience and the consumer demands today a ubiquitous, simplified, beautiful, magical and mesmerizing experience."

Underlining the need to keep pace with the disruption happening in order to stay relevant, Bawa added, "The pace at which disruption is happening all around us and the pace with which organizations are heading back to the drawing board to reinvent themselves is extremely fast. So in an environment like this it is critical to invest in a platform which allows you to fail and also allows you to test waters time and again. Indian businesses have realized that experiences are critical and it can become a competitive advantage for them. The best part is that there is this relentless energy in India and an urge to claim our logical position globally."

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