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Technology Plays A Big Role In Marketing: Experts

At BW Businessworld’s Marketing Whitebook Summit in Bengaluru, industry experts tried to analyse what are the trends that marketers should stay on top of to stay relevant in the age of technology

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Is marketing keeping pace with technology, what are the trends that marketers should stay on top of to stay relevant in the age of Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and the likes, industry experts tried to analyse this and many other pain points during a panel discussion at BW Businessworld’s Marketing Whitebook Summit in Bengaluru. The event was held in association with ICFAI Group.

The panel included MA Parthasarathy, President, Product Strategy, Mindshare; Parag Amalnerkar, Director Marketing- India & South Pacific, Net App; Satish Vishwanathan, Chief Product Officer, NxtGen Datacenter & Cloud Technologies; Srihari Palangala, Sr Director and Head of Marketing, Dell EMC; and Vasuta Agarwal, VP & GM, India & South Asia, InMobi. The panel discussion was moderated by Srinivas Uppaluri, Author, Advisor, Mentor, and Leadership Coach.

Uppaluri in his opening remarks said that consumers only engage with those brands which align with their purpose, understand their context and allow control over engagement. He also added that technology plays a huge role in building and making marketing truly one to one.

According to Uppaluri another major thing which technology has changed for marketers is the way the customer is engaged with and customer experience. “How do we choose what is the right technology and how do we prioritise between each options of technology available?” he asked.

Agarwal spoke about the cases which makes Artificial Intelligence Modelling Language (AIML) very exciting. “The second technology that is revolutionizing the marketing sector is voice technology. AIML usage in the context of marketing, it helps in detecting, preventing, and controlling fraud and second is in the usage of creatives. Marketing is ultimately about storytelling and there are lot of emotions involved while coming to creatives. AIML can play role in the creative side, they can help in optimising things which cannot be detected by human eye."

She continued, “To highlight on the Voice technology side, we can take Alexa and Chatbox as examples. Voice tech plus marketing can revolutionize marketing in a country like India where next set of customers can come from Tier 2 cities and rural areas.”

Amalnerkar spoke about two trends namely Augmented Reality and Virtual reality. He said, “Let me give an example of used cases. One of the biggest problems with Myntra as a brand was while the customers buy shoes online, the size doesn’t fit, and due to this reason return of purchased products were very high. They used technologies where a consumer can take the photograph of his or her feet, there was a virtual ruler using you can measure your size and place the order and the returns and exchanges went down drastically after this. I think it is a classic example how technology is helping to solve a problem.”

When asked to identify the biggest technology in terms of marketing, Palangala said, “Technology is playing a big role in marketing and there is a plethora of options available and it is very difficult to pick one among them. So, the points I concentrate on are - does the technology help in targeting customers, personalisation, ability to figure out ROI and fourth my ability to respond to it in the market very quickly.”

Viswanathan spoke about biggest challenge technology poses for his organisation. “The first challenge is the number of options available for us. Technology is the new enabler, and should we adopt tech to solve a marketing problem? We go with a technology only if that is inevitable, we don’t use technology in our business just because it is available. Value delivered from technology is one of the key criteria to use it,” he said.

Parthasarathy added, “Despite all this marketing hasn’t changed, it is still segmenting, targeting, and positioning. It is still trying to identify where your growth, who are the people who is going to provide you with the growth. Technology and data have transformed our knowledge of consumers.”

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