Indian businesses are more often seen tapping the popularity of cricketers than taking marketing lessons from them, but a top Aditya Birla executive believes they can learn from how top players approach the game.

Sudip Mitra, senior vice president for consumer insights and brand development at Aditya Birla Group, looks to former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting for inspiration.

“Usually when batsmen go out to play, they scout the field to check where the fielders are standing,” he told the recent Consumer Insights & Analytics 2019 conference in Mumbai. But Ponting, who had an amazing scoring rate when it came to taking one, two and three runs, said that when he went out to bat, he only looked at the gaps and not at the fielders.

“I do the same thing when it comes to online, which is to figure out the gaps in what offline can’t deliver,” said Mitra. (For more, read WARC’s report: Aditya Birla on connecting India’s online and offline consumers.)

“Having said that,” he added, “for the younger guys who are coming in, it’s the other way round – they look at what online cannot deliver to fill the gaps. In my team I have a 31-year-old data scientist who has no understanding of offline at all.”

An example of how this approach can work comes from Mitra’s work with Kaya Clinic, a provider of haircare, skincare and beauty solutions, where consumer satisfaction scores come in after three months.

“We can’t talk to consumers one-on-one, so, we used the services of conventional anthropologists, people who are face-readers and can understand body language,” Mitra explained.

That involved them visiting a number of Kaya stores and understanding the customers at various stages of servicing – at the till and during delivery – to figure out happy and sad customers through facial recognition.

“They did that and shot a hundred videos with permission, and we built all those algorithms into a software,” Mitra said. “We then started chatbots to talk to customers based on their facial recognition profile, and it led to a huge amount of positive conversations, now we could convert a customer if there was a problem.

“This wasn’t just offline or online or artificial intelligence at work, it was a mix of everything.”

Sourced from WARC