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Making customer approaches tighter to reach a wider base

A stream of client or customers for any brand comes through organic reach, but then there are the ones that brand ones to acquire and lastly it is all about keeping these acquired customer base loyal to the brand. Over the years, the customer approaches have changed and with each category in retail the approaches have diversified and intensified too. Arpan Biswas, Brand Marketing at Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd. talks to us on about focused customer approaches to pack in growth in the new normal.

What excites you the most about digital innovations for customer acquisition?
There are several but I am a fan boy of providing customers immersive experience on digital or otherwise. As physical footfalls are dwindling due to these uncertain times, providing the customer with a store-live experience online is imperative.

There has been much talk about marketers needing to choose content over simply commercials.  What is your advisory on customer acquisition strategies? What are you learning from your exposure to Indian retail?
It has to be a mix of content and commercials; each has its own objective. If I have to generalise, commercials are made with an objective of brand building or pushing transactions while content is more to drive day-to-day engagement. Commercials are often used as short term ploys while acing content is a long term game.

What are the most exciting advancements in ad tech and martech? How can retailers/businesses in India benefit from the top next-generation martech solutions?
Personalisation and attribution would be the most exciting advancement in this space. A seamless omnichannel strategy is the key for success for retailers. Understanding customer discovery and buying behaviour across channels and establishing a consistent brand language across all touch points.

How would you characterise the key Indian consumer sets for retailers? How has the consumer mindset evolved over the years, especially given the pandemic?
Different retailers have different ways of segmenting customers based on their businesses. But the segmentation is moving more towards psychographic considering a spike in lifestyle category sales. Analysing consumption habits, customer lifestyle and preferences is important. Because of these uncertain times, consumers are willing to wait further for non-essential purchases. Strong propositions (value ads, promotions, ease of ownership) are needed to convert the fence sitters.

When it comes to customer retention, how do you specifically handle it or what is your mantra that you closely follow?
All other retention tactics are futile if core product or service don’t have a market fit. Analysing consumer feedback, benchmarking with competition are some ways to improve the product/service delivery.

The challenges related to your function that you foresee coming this year for businesses and how do you look to cross the hurdles this year?
Due to the pandemic, non-essential purchases are deprioritized. So it’s important to provide additional value to the customers without hurting the bottom line too much.

What was the strategy or technology push you brought forward to stay closer to the customers during the pandemic?
Providing physical retail like experience at home so that customers get the same level of information sitting at home and the purchase process doesn’t get stretched.

Customer experience plays a very big role for any organisation. How do you ensure that the experience they get from your business is holistic and cut out for them?
Consistent customer experience across all points of sale. Omnichannel presence for customers to choose discovery and purchase channels as per his convenience. Customer reach outs and ORM to understand and incorporate customer feedback.

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