Why is experience important for brands?

Key factors why experience is extremely important for brands









In today’s economy where digital is a large part of people’s lives, experience is extremely important for brands.


Factor 1 – In-store Experience

Consider the old economy model, you go to a store, you see the display (external) and walk in.


Here, you see neatly laid out aisles of products, with products neatly displayed on shelves, which you can touch and feel, the product/packaging.


You interact with a sales representative, who answers your questions and guides you.

If you see what just happened in the above 3 paragraphs you realise that there were a host of experiences you had, visual, spatial, human, conversational, an experience which indulged almost all your senses (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory etc.).

If your customer is experiencing your brand only via digital, the digital experience needs to evolve, to a conversational, visual, auditory, experiential experience.

You’re obviously going to lack a lot of real world interaction, and hence all the more the emphasis on ensuring their online experience is awesome.

Factor 2 – Competition

Most products have similar functionality.


Brands strive to create a unique USP.


Whatever that USP is, experience can play the role of a huge differentiation in winning the minds and hearts of the consumer.


Factor 3 – Attention

One of the most talked about problems today is the deficiency of attention.


Seeing the same old blog posts, website content, social media posts becomes drab and boring after a while.


If you want the consumers attention, you need to work hard on not just

 getting his attention but


b) keeping it and making sure that


c) when they are ready to make a decision you’re available in a personalised fashion.


To retain the customers attention, you need to bring your brand experience to life at each touch point.


In Summary

Experience is no more an option, it helps make brands relevant offline in the real world and online in the digital space. It helps differentiate from the competition and helps keep the customers attention engaged with the brand.

Content Strategy Report – BCG and Google

Google’s latest report with BCG (Boston Consulting) on Decoding ​Digital Impact in India has some amazing data and insights covering Content Strategy for Digital Marketers in India.

Though the report focuses on FMCG, most of the insights are applicable to other industries and especially to your content creation and marketing strategy.

There were 3 specific insights from the report covering content creation, which caught my attention:

  1. What content should you create
  2. What content gains maximum consumer trust? (This highlights a key weakness in most brand led content marketing strategy)
  3. What content is working now, especially in the Indian context.

Content Strategy: What content should you create?

Higher searches for “problem solutions” vs “products”.

Content Strategy: Higher Searches for Problem Solutions Google BCG Report

Most consumers are searching for answers to questions they have, seems obvious.

However, most corporates fail to create this kind of content.

Most corporate content is corporate speak, or it focuses heavily on the product offering.

Consumers are searching significantly more for solutions compared to convetional products.

For example, “hair style” receives more searches than “hair oil” or “shampoo”.

So if you want to influence consumers it makes sense to create content, which offers solutions to common problems, rather than the products and brands.

Action Item: How to create content which consumers want?

Pour through customer calls, find out the questions posted by consumers on forums and in communities.

Create content which answers the above questions.

Be transparent and open, and share the solutions you are offering.

However, there is one challenge… it has to do with what content consumers trust and that brings me to the 2nd point outlined below.

Content Strategy: How to create content that consumers trust?

Brand content is probably the least trusted.

People trust people and especially advocates and influencers.

Consumers turn to digital to look for view of advocates Google BCG Report: Content Strategy

I feel this neds to be highligted a bit more.

Content created by advocates is generally more trusted as they are actual users of the product and service and share their viewpoints. It’s not just brand speak.

This provides a perspective to the content, a more human validated point of content which increases trust much more.

Action Item: How to create content which consumers trust?

Co-create and encourage your brand advocates to create content.

Leveraging brand advocates provides much more than trust, it provides insight into what your most passionate customers like and want.

Brand Advocacy is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy

(Read more on Brand Advocacy and Content Creation

VideoHow to build a brand advocacy program

BookBrand Advocacy Quick Start Guide )

Content Strategy: What content is working now?

88% of Indian-language internet users are more likely to respond to a digital advertisement in their local language than they are to one in English.

Indian language users have increased and overtaken English language users.

In certain cases local language content is generating significantly more views than English content on popular YouTube channels.

Local Language Content Google and BCG Report - Content Strategy

Much more gold in the report…

There is much more gold in this report. For instance the rise of video content, how online behaviour is best predicted by digital age, not demographics.  How rural consumers are increasing rapidly in India.

The report is freely downloadable from https://apac.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en/articles/decoding-digital-impact-india-45-billion-opportunity-fast-moving-consumer-goods-2020.html


Artificial Intelligence Marketing in India

AI in Marketing is taking off in a big way.

At the recent Microsoft and PaulWriter event in Mumbai “Will AI Fuel Marketing Strategies for CMOs”, there were some extremely enterprising Indian entrepreneurs (Microsoft Partners) showcasing their products and the business challenge they are solving with AI.

AI brings amazing possibilities in enhancing marketing at scale

For instance I’ve been exploring how it can be used in predictive analytics for lead management.

Identifying, the leads which the sales guys should focus on depending on the probability of conversion.

This is particularly relevant in industries where the volume of leads are high and there are few sales team resources to followup with them.

Machine learning an aspect of AI can help here in studying historical conversion data and identifying prospects who are more likely to convert.

We’ve seen the accuracy of such tools increasing dramatically.

Key Indian startups leveraging AI

All the companies featured during this event, leveraged AI. Whether it was a chat bot which intelligently looked up data in your systems and provided more realistic conversations beyond just acting like an IVR system.

Consider FirstHive one of the firms showcased, which created unique customer identities and provided an advanced machine learning based predictive algorithm to optimize your marketing.

For instance reducing the wastage due to re-targeting wrong customers, or targeting the correct customer with the correct communication depending on the stage in the customer journey.

Additionally, having a single view of your customers across various points in the consumer journey – Social, Web, Email etc. Providing that unified view of the customer or prospect.

Or consider another key challenge. DATA, or too much of data.

Most organisations have huge volumes of data within them.

However, finding the correct data, i.e. data which is relevant today, not old data, and which is applicable in this communication with a particular client can be a nightmare.

Here’s where large corporate plans go awry.

Content driven by AI

WittyParrot gives you instant access to data and content on the desktop.  Their key promise being You don’t have to FIND and DIG for files and then attach them.

This is where AI shines, as it doesn’t tire and depending on customer, and context it can go through volumes of information and provide you the the most updated and correct data at the correct time.

This is immensely useful especially in regulated industries or large organisations, where you want to ensure consistency in the way in which information is communicated by all your people.  It helps your company speak with one voice.

AI Powered Bots

Talking about one voice – you want to provide a replacement to the normal queries handled by say your support staff and that’s where AI powered Bots come to play.

NLPBOTS showcased how to integrate with your online product or service; web, intranet or mobile, to give your users an always available help feature via an intelligent chat-bot interface.

The potential saving on operational costs of support centres can be huge.  It can also save on time for feedback, product review cycles and new development cycles.

Scale with AI

Lastly, when you want to scale your marketing efforts, this Indian platform provider with 50 Thousand+ clients was at another scale itself.

ShepHertz enables a digital transformation. With over a billion+ calls made to it’s API’s this platform is on a different scale altogether.

It has numerous products and services covering a large spectrum of use case, from push notifications, recommendation service, user management, reward management and email over 800 APIs and 25+ modules and SDK’s allows organizations wanting to build their own apps and services all with actionable analytics embedded within.

AI to solve business problems – Microsoft

Microsoft shared briefly about their cognitive services, these have matured considerably,

Covering Vision, Knowledge, Language, Speech and Search.

For instance their Vision Service contains within it an Emotion API, allowing you to personalise user experiences with emotion recognition.

Each of us attending this closed door event, took a lot from the event organised by PaulWriter and Microsoft India.

Artificial Intelligence Marketing in India is taking off in a big way. Indian CMOs have no option but leverage AI.

P.s. You might find this page where I’ve been collating a list of resources (Research, Articles, Tools etc.) on AI in Marketing useful.