Touch of personal note

In present business scenario, mass marketing is taking a back seat with the emergence of personalised marketing, which is the buzzword in the retail sector. As explained by Hari Shetty, Vice President & Head, Retail Vertical at Wipro Technologies, “There is a shift in spending globally from traditional advertising channels like print and television to social media.  We expect to see similar trends in India and some of it is already visible.”


What’s the trend in marketing?

There are various solutions and new platforms which are making wave to meet the needs of today’s customers. Digital marketing is the growing trend among retailers at an unprecedented pace which cannot be ignored.  Rishi Modi, CEO, Fresh Rank explains, “There are two important mediums which can make difference to the retail business-SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and Social Media.” Search Engine Optimisation (part of SEM) has the biggest advantage that gives world-wide exposure to the company and therefore to the products. It brings the targeted audience straight to the site where a retailer can display the detailed information which is not possible in print on the brochure. With the cost between Rs 60,000-100,000 in 6 months, this medium has shown the businesses growing in leaps and bounds, especially in banking sector and air ticketing sectors. Last year 18 per cent of the financial transactions were done online.


The internet and mobile are proving to be excellent enablers for retailers in India. Jasper Infotech has brought various technology enabled couponing and loyalty solutions which help retailers to retain customers. “We give location-based marketing solutions on mobiles known as proximity marketing to our retailers where stores are within the reach of consumers, say approximately 1-2 km. This helps in giving resourceful information to the targeted audience about their surroundings,” says Kunal Bahl, CEO, Jasper.



Understanding the need of retailers and personalised marketing, DVS (Dynamic Vertical Solutions) will soon be launching an Intelligent Marketing tool for retailers to help them reach out to their customers in a highly personalised manner. There is a need to bring technologies which could help to reach the targeted audience. “Retailers therefore need to deliver targeted, personalised messages to customers at all touch points in the store - on a receipt, at the POS, by follow-up e-mail, on the web, Facebook, by digital signage or on any appropriate device. Besides, there are others tools like Profitbase, which can help the retailer take better informed decisions for their businesses and leapfrog ahead of their competition,” opines Rakhee Nagpal, MD & Chairperson, DVS Technology. She further elaborates, “Intelligent Marketing solution understands that no two consumers are the same and helps a retailer devise specific promotional activities for different kinds of consumers.”


The process is fast and targeted, takes less time than credit card authorisation and is personalised for each customer based on knowledge the system has generated from collected data. IMR (Intelligent Marketing for Retail) also ensures an effective measurement of all marketing efforts through a unique ID, with the knowledge being applied real time by preventing any inappropriate promotional messaging to a customer.


 Emphasising on digital marketing, Shetty of Wipro Technologies says, “We provide a variety of services to retailers right from helping them develop an effective marketing programme to market mix modeling, campaign management and performance management.  We are also seeing an increasing trend in cross-channel marketing programmes that address both the brick-and-mortar stores and the online channels. Electronic delivery of coupons on hand-held devices is beginning to see some level of acceptance in the developed world and we should start to see some of it in India soon.”


Apart from these platforms, applications such as iPhone applications and Bluetooth applications are capitalised to reach out to the customers. Google Places, an application from Google, helps to create free listing of retailers. When potential customers search maps for local information, the technology helps to locate the store, hours of operation, even photos of a storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and don’t need a website of your own.


Challenges and future of marketing

The main point of consideration is to determine which internet marketing solutions proves right for you to meet the respective needs of your customers. This solution could be email marketing, search engine optimisation, or creating web pages and sites.  Another challenge is that the availability of customer information is limited and there are challenges with measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. In short, it is important to understand and contextualise implementation of the standard tools in the Indian context to make it relevant.


Recently Internet Mobile Payment Service has been launched by the Reserve Bank of India with seven banks on board including State Bank of India. This is surely going to revolutionise retail payment services and the coming years will see much of marketing activities towards this end.

















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