The Pitch CMO Summit held at Mumbai on March 24 saw an enviable gathering of marketing and brand heads, advertising thought leaders and other media luminaries who exchanged thoughts, ideas and notes on all things marketing.
As the advertising and marketing media continues to be driven by reams of data from multiple sources, Gaurav Anand, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, L’Oréal India, appositely spoke on ‘The Future of Marketing with Consumer Data.’
"At L’Oréal we are busy crafting out what the future of marketing would be. We work across a lot of different markets and take inspiration from China and Brazil, “he said, adding that in its simplest form, he broke up marketing into three buckets. “The first would be who's the audience I show my content to, the second what content I show, and third, how I measure its impact.”
“When it comes to describing consumers, marketers have never been short of flair. How often have you seen a brief that says ‘looking for affluent consumers in the X-Y age group, who are into high end fashion, styling, etc.’ And if you don’t have these well-defined psychographics, there’s been a lot of research done like TAO segmentation or Sociovision which can help you define those psychographics,” continued Anand.
While appreciating these means in helping create content, Anand said one basic practical question remained to be answered, “Where do you find these consumers?”
“When the media is struggling to go beyond basic demos and age groups, how do we start getting into these nuances? Where do we find these consumers? That’s the challenge marketers are facing, especially in big markets like India,” he said, circling back to the hypothetical brief of finding a particular set of consumers, and elaborating on the conflicting metrics that can muddy particular demographics and definitions, akin to finding needles in the haystack.
Giving an example of when L’Oréal was launching Lancome in India, Anand said the brand initially looked at targeting women over 25, with high disposable incomes, but was then pleasantly surprised to see a large influx of consumers from younger cohorts, and so had to correct their assumptions.
Noting that while there were a lot of buzz words and flashy terms being used when speaking of targeting audiences (his personal least favourite being ‘affinity’), Anand said that a lot of it was just jargon and distracted marketers from figuring out the correct content for the correct consumers in the correct context.
"The first thing we need to do is to stop moving away from claim based signals to deterministic signals. For instance, what a consumer watched can tell you a little bit about what this consumer is going to buy,” he said, continuing, “The second thing I've started seeing, and Google is doing a fantastic job at it, is using their household panel data on their entire YouTube audiences, which gives a sense of affluence targeting to brands at scale.”
Anand continued to break down how smaller datasets could lead brands into creating and visualizing the larger picture and therefore help determine future targeting and content programming. He elucidated on various methods that different categories of brands could employ, both consumer-facing as well as backend models, to gather data on the likes, dislikes, purchase decisions, aspirations and expectations of consumers and how to sell to them.
“Hence, in my view, the best way to find your future consumers is the data of your present consumers,” said Anand.