India is undergoing a dramatic transformation. From being data dark, we are now one of the largest producers of digital data in the world. Statistics show that almost the entire adult population has a cell phone. You are already leaving a digital exhaust with your phone usage. Many are on smartphones.
A smartphone means you may generate GPS data or your location, your internet surfing habits, what video you watch, what time you slept and woke up and where you spend a lot of your time. If you are the sophisticated elite, you probably have several social media profiles; a blog digitally enabled smartphones on which you use several apps to watch your news, surf the internet, track your friends, buy your grocery and clothes, transact with your bank. Even purchase coffee. Collectively, this leaves rich data for others to use to build consumer profiles.
Using customer data is much debated. There are those who err on the side of privacy. Others suggest finding a balance between being privacy compliant and being useful to your customer. Imagine having to tell your customer where an ATM is when she has run out of money to pay a taxi at night. No one would argue the utility of knowing where she was and matching it to the location of the closest ATM to help. Did we cross the line of privacy? Would it be sufficient if she gave us her consent? Such issues need debate and discussion.
In the meantime, with consent, there is a lot of data available to companies seeking to serve their customers. In the end, customers do request a personalised and customised experience that is relevant to their context and persona. Providing such an experience can only happen by knowing your customers well and providing the right user experience.
India is in the middle of this boom in understanding and using data. No proper marketing department would want to start building their data strategy first. Partnering with good data providers or even just creating clean internal data is a high starting point. Next, you want to convert that data into insight. What this means is looking at patterns of exhibited behaviour and using that to create customer segments or cluster.
Once you know what groups you are targeting, you can begin the journey of personalising your product or services to meet their unique needs. Remember, it is a journey in which you will learn every day. There are no right answers just better ones. The path ahead for people marketing to customers and also the customers themselves is an exciting one. If you are not a part of this journey, you are missing out.
About Author : Ritesh Bawri is the founder of Quantta Analytics. He is an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds several patents to his credit.