India is home to the world’s second-largest online population. Peaking at around 700 million users in 2020, studies predict that the volume could reach around 900 million by 2025. No longer can brands who do business in India afford to ignore these freshly minted digital natives. The pandemic too served to accelerate digital adoption across sectors from retail to health and finance.
The question for marketers is how to capture the hearts of Indian consumers in this new era of digital-powered markets?
The answer may lie in integrating new technologies to propel everything from user segmentation to personalized advertising and support. Covering the entire journey of a customer transaction with smarter technology may be the way forward for brands.
Let us examine the top 5 technologies for Indian brands to factor into their digital strategies to win over markets in 2021 and beyond.
A few years ago, the only practical AI applications that Indians were accustomed to were search engine results and social media suggestions powered by tech giants like Google and Facebook. Today, Indian consumers have matured into the fastest adopters of intelligent and smart devices and software for their every need.
From smartphone assistants to voice-enabled shopping and tech support, AI-powered platforms are thriving in the Indian market. Brands need to capitalize on AI-enabled marketing. Data analytics-based AI strategies can prove useful to drive personalization, digital ad strategies, and self-service digital services that will help customers pick the best offerings for their needs while ensuring that brands get their share of audience attention.
India is not just the world’s second-largest online population but also one of the world’s fastest-growing eCommerce markets. By 2026, studies show that the Indian eCommerce market will be worth over USD 200 Billion.
Brands need to consider the eCommerce options that an average consumer has today in India while deciding on their digital strategies. eCommerce platforms are constantly evolving to fulfill roles as powerful Demand Side Platforms.
Planning ad strategies around their user characteristics and user preferences and deploying impactful personalization and recommendation engines will become crucial as these sales channels’ worth grows.
Smart Home Integration
By 2022, it is estimated that the Indian Smart Home market will be worth USD 6 Billion according to current growth trends. While planning their digital strategies, consumer brands need to factor in the presence of smart devices that can complement their services. For example, makers of smart lighting and ventilation devices can include a provision for controlling the devices via Amazon Alexa or Google Now voice commands. Retailers can include smart purchase options via voice commands directly from smart speakers at homes. Analytics can deliver engaging and useful content to help these buyer journeys along. These are just some of the several use cases that can be made possible with smart technology for Indian brands to leverage.
Fostering Subscription Economy
India is witnessing a huge boom in subscription-based services along with its fast-growing digital economy. In a country that was once famous for a notoriously high volume of free and pirated media content consumption, there has been a paradigm shift in recent years. According to studies by PWC, India is today the world’s fastest-growing market for OTT services and is expected to be the world’s 6th largest by 2024. Obviously, video streaming growth is a key consideration for Indian marketers to bake into their strategies. But more concerns are emerging.
Similar to the entertainment and media sector, the average Indian consumer is slowly moving away from a full ownership model for most of their needs. From cars to furniture and travel, subscription services are winning hearts in most sectors. India Inc certainly must consider the need expressed by consumers to experiment with new services and products without spending on their entire value at once. Subscriptions also allow businesses to have a regular earning path and an easier channel for up-selling in the future. Therefore, brands must invest in content that addresses customer apprehensions and questions about these new business models. Addressing concerns and growing trust can prove crucial in driving up subscription volumes for brands’ service offerings.
This is being seen as the crux in a digital-first market approach. Indian brands need to have smarter control over how their advertisements are personalized and targeted to the right customer. Intelligent marketing and advertising will ensure that there is maximum ROI for campaigns. Data analytics can help marketing platforms identify the most favorable market conditions, the ideal customer persona, and the best ad budgets for comprehensive success. With intelligent AI-enabled analytics, it will become easier for brands to deliver appealing campaigns across multiple digital channels and leverage their potential to the maximum.
In a fast-growing digital economy like India, brands can’t afford to lag in rolling out a digital strategy. The COVID 19 pandemic was a sharp reminder of the fact that disruptions can occur at any time, and businesses have to be prepared to adapt to the new normal in a matter of just days or weeks. The smartest digital decisions that enable better customer communication strategies will largely decide the future champion brands of India Inc.