Marketing, branding and customer acquisition in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities [#IRE 2014]

Building one’s own brand is a difficult challenge and in the current era of digitalization, this certainly has increased by multiple folds. Today’s consumer is connected on every possible platform, thus putting them at an edge wherein he could not only take informed decisions but also has the potential to build or destroy the image of a brand.

Most marketers are grappling with how to engage and entice this new smart consumer. More often than not, marketers have not managed to leverage the opportunity of interactive media, to converse with this consumer.

At iamWire’s Internet Retail Expo 2014, Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consultants, shared the opportunities available and the challenges one faces while acquiring consumer in the digital space.

Harish believes that Ecommerce is a roller coaster ride with no time to get into the nitty – gritty. Here, the customer is real while the process is virtual, thus making him just too distant to be understood. “One single digital transaction has 19 touch points. Even if 2 go bad, customers switches off and many more,” he added.

He also made a point that service has always been a strength of retailers in the physical world where it has evolved from the level of customer service to customer ecstasy. However, in the digital world, the etailers are still stuck to Gen I efficiency, i.e. Customer Service.

When asked about the challenges in the digital era, he answered, “Customer acquisition in the digital age typically faces the key challenge of clutter and what clutter does to consumers. Acquisition is a challenge and more importantly retention is a bigger challenge. The digital age customer is promiscuous, multi-tasking and completely in command. The last is something typical marketers find difficult to fathom.”

The digital world also offers other challenges to the retailers which includes:

1) Transforming from Tactile marketing to ” Less – Tactile marketing”

2) The digital impatient marketing formats versus the physical patience marketing past.

3) Span of attention is shorter; multiple formats and platforms are there and finally, reverse marketing and selling, i.e. consumer chasing markets today are another big challenges the marketers in this segment are facing.

“Brand loyalty is a myth. Loyalty itself is a myth. Loyalty is anti-gravity. Service loyalty is the only reality in the future. You are loyal to a store and not to the brands. Test it out if you want”, said Mr, Bijoor.

For an overview of the social media discussions around this session, see this Storify. You can also watch this three-minute trailer or the full video.

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