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Connecting with consumers in a contactless world: Vikram Raman, Ariston Thermo India

Engagement with consumers and getting to know them and their views are going to help significantly for brands to succeed writes Vikram Raman, VP – Marketing and E-commerce, Ariston Thermo India.

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The world has seen a digital boom over the last few years and especially so in consumer oriented industries due to the new age digital-savvy consumer demographics and trends. Industries all across were, therefore, using the digital platforms as well as offline to appeal to the new consumer behavior. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, industries and segments across the world have been impacted to great extents. The changes have led to a lot of businesses adapting their systems to adhere to the social distancing, no contact socializing and zero physical interaction rules to combat the virus. While these temporary measures are helpful for now, we might need more in-depth and a permanent shift to digital and contactless ways of working post the lockdown. Because we have to brace ourselves for a new “normal” in a world post Covid-19.

As a consumer-centric brand, we are taking proactive measures to understand the industry changes and are actively observing the developments currently. Right from developing future products to bringing them to the people, everything will undergo a shift and changes to adapt to the situation. The old marketing strategies will not yield efficient results due to the shift in the global psyche and skepticism about the future. So engagement with consumers and getting to know them and their views are going to help significantly for brands to succeed. A humane approach will also help build a relationship of trust with consumers and help in creating better quality products too.

The current emphasis on social distancing will spill over to this new world due to people now being well-aware of the nature of this infectious virus. This means that consumers will still prefer online modes of buying and paying instead of physically going to the store and buying it due to the fear of infections. The new behaviors are likely to be permanent and normalized over months instead of being temporary precautions. Furthermore, even the older generation who were traditional in their approach when it came to buying, have started becoming tech-savvy during the lockdown. So, companies need to closely observe their consumers, their patterns and their needs during this time. Consumer interaction and surveys are going to be prevalent as companies and their audiences will have to coordinate to develop and get used to an efficient system.

Right from placing an order, to pick up or delivery and making the payments, everything will become digital. A digital and contactless system is safer for both, the company representatives as well as consumers. And it is also more convenient for consumers to check out the products in detail, place the order and track the delivery and payments. Convenience and safety are key aspects that will play a big role in shaping up better systems. Even the marketing strategies will revolve around digital and online modes of ads and posts. This will also give an added advantage of brands to get more user-engagement and easily interact with their consumers and even track what their preferences are.

The future is going to be data and information-driven. So it won’t be wise for marketers to rely on assumptions about new developments and previous experiences. The marketing processes and ideas are undergoing and will undergo massive transformations due to the pandemic. However, on a brighter side, it gives companies the perfect time to collect data, invest time into research and create new models of working. The post Covid-19 world is something that we are all waiting for with bated breath, but trooping through these times with your teams to build strategies will help in regaining all the losses and sustaining your brand in the new digital, contactless world.



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