Indian consumers want a hi-tech + hi-touch experience: D Shivakumar

“Thirty per cent of the consumers stop interacting with brands after one bad experience and 45 per cent drop out after several bad experiences,” this was the observation of D Shivakumar, Group Executive President for Strategy and Business Development, Aditya Birla Group. According to him, consumers have a divine dissatisfaction with what they have. “They always push you as a brand to do better. Consumers’ money must work harder for them and technology is not the answer for emotions in customer expectations,” he added. 

Shivakumar also noted that consumers in India want a ‘hi-tech + hi-touch’ experience. 

He was speaking at a marketing symposium organised by Adobe in Mumbai yesterday (April 26, 2018). Delivering his keynote address on ‘Experience is the strategy’, Shivakumar elaborated on the value of customer experience for any brand. He noted, “If we look at 2017, 75 per cent of the companies had customer experience as their number one priority for 2018. Online and offline are parts of the same structure, so I would like to call online customers as online citizens.” 

Continuing further, he said, “Classically, developing nations have been weak in their infrastructure and that makes customer experience an absolutely important thing for them to consider. Speed, convenience, consistency, empathy, human touch, etc., make for a great customer experience.” 

Meanwhile, speaking on innovations that will shape the Indian landscape in the future, Gunjan Soni, Head - Jabong and CMO – Myntra, remarked, “The best innovations are powered by consumer planning and not just expectations alone.” 

Talking about the changing cultural discourse, she stated that the difference between Bharat and India is so wide that for Bharat, We < Me and for India, We > Me. “This equation fundamentally changes the behaviour of the consumers and this feeling of self gratification reflects in their shopping pattern,” she pointed out. 

Adobe marketing symposium witnessed curated keynote sessions, presentations, hands-on workshops and immersive activations from more than 40 brands across sectors. It also witnessed a multi-industry audience. The symposium saw a gathering of digital marketing experts and professionals that came together to discuss digital transformation solutions and best practices to help businesses become ‘experience makers’ for their customers. 

Apart from D Shivakumar and Gunjan Soni, the keynote speaker line-up also included Ravi Santhanam, CMO, HDFC Bank; and Ravinder Singh, Chief Information & Innovation Officer, Vistara. It was curated by Brad Rencher, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Experience, Adobe; and Kulmeet Bawa, MD Adobe South Asia. 

Also on the agenda were several breakout track sessions that discussed about Customer Intelligence influencing marketing like never before, Content Velocity where discussions happened about how Creative Agility can be managed without compromising Brand Consistency to deliver outstanding experiences at a brisk pace across all channels and devices, Conversational Marketing discussing that staying relevant for customers is at the heart of customer communication, especially in the face of continuously evolving channel preferences, Digital Brand Advertising, Building Rich Audiences, Building a Digital Experience Engine, Journey Management and Customer Acquisition. 

The event concluded with a session by actor-director Farhan Akhtar and comedian Aditi Mittal.


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