Data is offering more insight than ever before into how Indian consumers shop – the challenge for brands is navigating the amount of data and gaining actionable insights from it, according to a senior executive at Indian conglomerate, Aditya Birla.

D Shivakumar, group executive president of corporate strategy & business development at Aditya Birla Group, believes that marketing organisations need to rethink and restructure their operations in order to face the challenges posed by the mobile technology boom in India.

In particular, data-driven marketing will force brands to reconsider how their marketing efforts are structured. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Data offers challenges and opportunities: Aditya Birla.)

“I think the big change overall now, not just for the FMCG sector, will be about data… I think marketing organisations will be staffed with data scientists in the future, and not brand managers and marketing managers,” he said at the recent MMA Forum event in Mumbai.

“The amount of data you have is just humungous and the challenge is to get insights from that data,” he added, citing point of purchase and payment method as just two examples.

Shivakumar believes that, in India’s digital era, cycle of relevancy for insights will also be much shorter than before.

“Those insights could be valid for ten hours or a week or could be more. In the old world of marketing, once you mined the data and had the insight, you did a brand relaunch and ran a campaign that lasted for two to three years. This doesn’t work in today’s world,” he said.

The problem, he believes, is that decision-making cycles are very different from information-gathering cycles.

“Every organisation collects data by the day but decisions on schemes and promotions are taken by the month. I would urge the marketers to ask themselves this question every day: What is the news from today and how can I use it?,” Shivakumar said.

“Those days of briefing the ad agency and they would come back after a month, we would then have three rounds of hierarchy meetings, and then finally approve a campaign, are over. It doesn’t work like that anymore. Your decision-making cycle has to match your data-collection cycle. If you don’t do that you will continue to work in the old way of marketing.”

Sourced from WARC