MUMBAI: Brands must keep pace with Indian consumers or risk becoming irrelevant, according to Harish Bijoor, the respected Indian branding consultant.

“We all reinvent ourselves, there is nothing called static with so much churn in our lives. Business needs to keep pace with the fast-moving consumer, and if you don’t keep pace you turn antediluvian, and it means you don’t know your consumer. You are then a business of the past, a business whose time is gone,” he said at the Consumer Insights & Analytics 2018 conference held in Mumbai earlier this month.

For more on the future of marketing in India, including the role of digital, read WARC’s in-depth report: In India, keep pace or perish.

In this digitally driven environment, Bijoor said consumer insight becomes critical. “You cannot do without it, it is like a weapon – the more that insight is exclusively yours, the more you win,” he said.

“If you have an insight that is unique to your business, and if you keep it quiet until you actualise it into your business proposition, then that insight is a cutting edge weapon of the future,” he explained.“If you don’t have an insight and you think about the thoughts that every Tom, Dick and Harish is talking about, then you don’t have an insight and are an also-ran business that grows at 8% or 10% and not at 46%,” he added.

Calling himself the “biggest enemy” of traditional market research, which he believes is becoming less relevant, Bijoor argued that machine-oriented consumer research is the way forward, given the amount of data brands now have at their disposal.

“Massaging life out of the dead data we all have is really the task at hand. The number of people who can actually automate the understanding of analytics in the Indian market is very, very small, and that is a problem,” he said.

Bijoor emphasised his point on machine research by stating that ‘Gen H’ is here: the hyperlinked generation.

“All of us live the machine life, we are totally networked and inter-linked. In the future, humans cannot manage customers wholly, but systems will, sensors will, data will, automation will. From one-is-to-all type of marketing, we are going one-is-to-one, and digitalism provides us that contact. We are digi-living today.”

Sourced from WARC