The festive season brings with it a competitive battleground for brands and marketers, with a majority of them throwing in discounts higher than the other or offering a sale lasting longer, and so on. In this cacophony of offers and promotions, the question arises: How do marketers navigate this chaotic landscape to not just keep up but surge ahead?
exchange4media explored last week how MarTech budgets have been raised by marketers this year, especially during the festive season. Personalising consumer offerings, handling customer data etc. remain some of the core reasons for the increased inclination towards MarTech.
However, the narrative has shifted from merely understanding customers to a nuanced dance of decoding competitors' moves, and MarTech is at the forefront of this data-led revolution.
“Brands go all guns blazing during the festive season, with the battle intensifying to capture the consumer’s attention. And MarTech emerges as a powerful ally in monitoring and analysing competitor activities,” says Ankit Grover, Lead Integration Director, Wondrlab Network.
The social media battlefield
The hypercompetitive landscape of the festive season has transformed social media into a virtual battlefield where brands compete for visibility and consumer engagement. As the stakes rise higher than ever, marketers are harnessing MarTech to not only understand their consumers but to dissect, interpret, and strategically respond to every move made by their competitors.
Grover agrees that brands typically use MarTech tools to track what competitors are doing on social media and analyse their advertising strategies. “However, apart from the traditional ways of keeping an eye on competitors, what I have witnessed these days is brands are more into sentiment analysis,” he added.
For instance, Grover shared that Axis My India, a prominent consumer data intelligence company, recently unveiled fresh insights from the India Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI), shedding light on significant trends in consumer behaviour.
One of the standout trends was the substantial interest in fashion, with 67% of respondents expressing a desire to buy new clothes. “This trend suggests that fashion brands are gearing up for intense competition in the marketplace,” he said, explaining why sentiment analysis is securing a crucial spot while tracking competitor’s moves online.
The ability to gauge the sentiment behind consumer actions provides marketers with a deeper understanding of the market dynamics. According to MarTech experts, in the festive race, where every move counts, sentiment analysis becomes a valuable tool to not only track competitors but also to predict upcoming trends.
As consumer sentiments shift towards specific products or experiences, brands equipped with this insight can pivot swiftly to meet evolving demands.
Deciphering real-time & predictive analytics
Another MarTech area that is aiding sentiment tracking is real-time analytics, experts shared. “Real-time analytics tools are instrumental in monitoring essential metrics such as pricing and promotional strategies, while also providing insights into online conversations and sentiments,” said Mahesh Narayanan, Chief Marketing Growth Officer, Netcore Cloud.
While harnessing real-time analytics promptly can help marketers assess a lot of aspects, harnessing predictive analytics as a MarTech tool remains equally important. “MarTech solutions and tools support predictive analytics, which aids in forecasting market trends and anticipating competitor moves. These versatile tools empower brands to respond to evolving market dynamics and fine-tune their marketing strategies,” Narayanan added.
For Rajat Abbi, Vice President- Global Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer, Schneider Electric India, MarTech software has proved to be of immense value when assessing the strategies deployed by different players in the market. “Market intelligence tools such as SEMRush and SimilarWeb are a good starting point to gather intelligence on competitor websites, allowing one to track changes in their competitors’ website traffic and rankings,” he said.
All in all, in the complex dance of festive marketing, MarTech has evolved beyond a mere observer; it has become the strategic choreographer guiding brands through the twists and turns of the competitive landscape. Experts believe that as technology becomes the heartbeat of modern marketing, those adept at leveraging MarTech to decode sentiments and harness real-time insights stand poised to not only track competitors but to lead the way in shaping the narrative of this festive season in India.