To connect with new-age consumers, you need the right skills, technology stack and a hundred growth loops: Harminder Singh Ari of WebEngage

Speaking at the Brands of New India Mega Summit, Harminder Singh Ari, VP - Sales, WebEngage shared the recipe for success when it comes to engaging the new-age customer.

Remember how back in the day, we used to sit around the TV with our families to watch soap operas and wait for ads to pop up, enticing us to buy that latest appliance. Today, we sit before that same TV with the same family with our own devices in our hands, busy browsing various marketplaces for things we need. The pandemic has only accelerated this usage and organisations had to leverage multiple digital means to grow their business. And the most important part of their growth trajectory is customer acquisition.

Delivering a keynote at YourStory's Brands of New India Mega Summit, Harminder Singh Ari, VP - Sales, WebEngage said, "Today's consumer is spoilt for choice, driving loyalty is harder and retaining customers through superior service has become tedious. And so, delivering hyper-personalisation has become the need of the hour."

To adapt to the growing needs of the new-age consumer and maintain the digital momentum, Harminder shared the five digital capabilities identified by McKinsey that provide enterprises with the opportunity for growth and to create market differentiation.

1) Deploy a customer experience platform

Emphasise a lot on building emotional engagement which can further be influenced by building a customer intelligence data repository. "Customer data plays an important role while acquisition, operations on a particular product or platform plays an equally or even more important role," said Harminder.

To build operations, you need key skills in the team. It's not necessary to reskill the team for this, rather have skills in the team that can help you devise new strategies and designs to connect with the customer.

To achieve this, you need to aggregate and unify data, test design, and have reports and analytics that are dynamic. You need to have copyrights in place and build your website on hypertext markup languages that can help connect with the user's behaviour. And last but not least, you need to deploy these platforms on engagement channels.

"The spirit of a true experimenter is to devise new strategies and designs to connect with customers at the right time, with the right product, and deploy it on the required channels of engagement," he said.

2) Build the necessary business model

The model should embrace the multi-sided platform strategy and offer digital enhancements for your evolving customer. In other words, you must have the product or engineering bandwidth to meet changes. This can lead to multiple iterative experiments. So, do you look for new customers everywhere or optimise your existing platform? Do you keep a velocity-meant platform or a perfection-based platform? The answer lies in deploying the correct technology stack and maintaining the right data.

Harminder added that there are four components to a technology stack. First is data aggregation of all your consumers which includes contacts, devices as well as the environments they operate in. The second is reporting and analytics. Third are the multiple engagement channels that the consumer leverages. And fourth is the personalisation toolkit to customise every channel.

3) Build an experienced platform

The platform should provide marketers with all the necessary skills and flexibility to adapt to the new consumer. He said that you can go technology shopping to a certain extent, but what is key is to look at the ease of adoption, time to value, a single system, and an economical product that delivers relevant ROI.

4) Create a journey

According to Harminder, this is the most important part of the process as this is where you start personalising for the customer.

"Optimise the platform so that you know when the consumer opens the platform, clicks on something, and you can even decide on the point you want to convert them. The compounding effect of such a journey creation takes you closer to your consumer," he said.

5) Create a digital infrastructure

This should consist of multiple core backend systems which are complemented by external-facing applications and services, and should have an increasingly valuable engagement and retention abstraction layer. The retention stack must come in early as connecting the right stack at the right platform has a compounding effect.

Closing the keynote, Harminder said that having small loops rather than large loops actually takes you closer to the consumer. "Consumers around the world are adapting to new ways of purchasing essentials. Using automation and AI, connecting with consumers with the relevant product at the appropriate time is the essential component to address," he said.

You can watch videos from all the sessions of Brands of New India Mega Summit here. Don't forget to tag #BrandsOfNewIndia when you share your experience, learnings, and favourite moments from the event on social media.

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