Experiential marketing will have a great place and a lot of that will be driven by digital: Shenaz Bapooji, CMO, Shopmatic

Brands have no other option but to find ways through which they can stay connected with their customers and continue their selling through the digital universe.


The challenge of modern marketing is to interpret the mood of the consumers and to woo them through a perfect strategy. The pandemic has further complicated the situation for marketers. To compensate for the physical distance, we have to maintain, we came closer to the digital world. Rather than a meeting, we preferred a video call. In place of going to the market and buying stuff, we have started ordering more online. The pandemic has pushed more consumer towards online shopping than ever. Even for our small needs, we have started depending on e-commerce platforms. This change has not only increased the number of online customers but also changed the way for the organizations which help the companies go online.

From advertising to marketing everything started witnessing a change in their dynamics. Shenaz Bapooji, CMO, Shopmatic spoke about how the industry is grossly affected by COVID-19, how should marketers gear up in the current situation, and what are their strategies to help businesses run smoothly.

Shenaz thinks that by default the digital has taken perceiving over anything else. People had no other option left but to connect with the world through digital. And, brands likewise had no other option but to find ways through which they could stay connected with their customers and continue their selling through the digital universe. 

Must embrace digital wholeheartedly

“We must embrace digital wholeheartedly with open arms and not reluctantly, as we may have been doing in the past. Digital is not the place only for social connections, friends, family and fun. Digital can work well for you by way of business. I would urge everyone to invest time learning digital and invest time in being able to decipher what works for you as a brand,” says Shenaz.

“Everybody’s got their learning curves and everybody looks at digital through their lens. So, go in deep and pick up digital now because there’s no better time to be then now. Digital online commerce and e-commerce will be here to stay. It’s time that as a brand, you must embrace digital and even as a professional, you understand the nuances of how digital works and why is it important to make it a pivotal part of your strategy,” she adds.

We invest a lot in digital

According to Bapooji, their platform helps businesses go online. “We invest a lot in digital and right from the start and we are encouraging more and more people to come into the digital world. When it comes to digital strategy, we go through the entire marketing funnel starting from awareness to helping people who are interested enough with the offer to go out and build their websites and even handhold them through the process before, during and after they take on e-commerce,” she mentions.  

“We have learnt the art of balancing out of brand building activities with performance media activities. There is a whole social play where you want to be relevant amongst individual entrepreneurs, businesses, SMBs, and all kinds of people who want to go online.  

We provide the entire ecosystem for anyone. We’ve got a whole host of services and everything is complete and within the platform. How do you leverage digital depends on the platform you choose to go online with. Before you go online you need to have your understanding of what you want digital to do for you. We are extremely happy to get people online,” says Bapooji.

When marketing budgets are reduced…

Budget slightly reduced from a traditional way of looking at marketing budgets, then still television advertising on YouTube, website or social networks run. There’s a lot that can be done to reach out and stay relevant to the audience. There’s no point doing advertising if one is not readily available for the customers. If you make it difficult for them to reach out to you or reach out to you through a digital sell, then there’s no point doing the advertising. One may pause the advertising then, save their money, and invest behind building a great e-commerce store.

Sales are very much part of the marketing base

Talking about what can marketers do to change cost centre into a profit centre, Bapooji says, “those who think that marketing is a cost centre then they don’t know enough about marketing. If you understand how marketing works then sales are very much part of the whole marketing base. If your communication, your brand building activities, and identity exercises all of that is not helping move the engine, then you don’t feel fulfilled as a marketer. It all works completely in tandem and it’s never a cost centre. It’s an investment in a brand and if you have a long term view of what you want to build in the market, and what you want out of this entire play, then you would find the money to invest behind marketing.”

The changing paradigm of experiential marketing

“Experiential marketing will have a great place and a lot of that will be driven by digital. A lot of companies are experimenting with a large number of digital tools to try and dry experience so that buyers don’t feel hindered on what they were able to get before COVID-19 state. This is like a work in progress piece but already happening. People are trying to find innovative ways through which they can connect with their customers and drive experience in marketing,” describes the CMO.

Customer must get deeper into the solution

As Shenaz talks about her digital brand building strategy, she states, “from a digital perspective one needs to build the entire piece from awareness right up to all the efforts to ensure that the customer gets deeper into your solution set. The CRM being mapped across the funnel is something that we take very seriously. We do a lot of performance marketing to get results. We also balance that of the brand-building activities because more people will get to know about you, the more people will seek your solution.”

“We’re getting thousands of customers signing up with our platform on a daily level. They suddenly want to see the benefit of going online for their products and services. We are also available on the browser and via an app. As a brand, we don’t only focus on one market. We are present here because we want to make entrepreneurs and SMBs avail the digital opportunity across emerging markets. Apart from India, we are present in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and different other countries. Few new countries are in pipeline for addition this year,” she adds.


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Shopmatic experiential marketing digital Covid 19

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