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‘We are using AI to understand, learn & interpret data faster and on a bigger scale’

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Salesforce Presents ‘Moments Made By Marketing: Mayank Shah, Sr. Category Head, Parle Products, tells us how Parle leverages insights to identify & target prospective consumers

exchange4media Group has curated a series of interviews, Salesforce Presents Moments Made By Marketing’ where we focus on how brands are building connected experiences in a multi-platform environment to reach their consumers. In the fourth interview of this series, Mayank Shah, Sr. Category Head, Parle Products, tells us how the food products major uses data-analytics tools to identify and classify audiences, and strategize data-driven marketing campaigns to reach the right audience at the right time on the right device. He elaborates how Parle utilizes AI to understand, learn, interpret, and reason data faster and on a much bigger scale. Shah also highlights how Parle’s marketing teams have fine-tuned capabilities such as detection, insights, decision and delivery. With this, they are able to determine whether or not it is time to sell to the customer, nurture the relationship or potentially, decide not to engage if it’s impossible to add value within a given situation.

Edited excerpts

The past few months were tough for most brands, since we all were trying to understand this unique situation caused by the pandemic, determine the consumer sentiments towards different subjects and trying to be more empathetic. We noticed dramatic changes in consumer behaviour with children and adults staying up late at nights till 2 am or 3 am and with easy access to the internet. Hence, consumers were glued to mobile phones, television, gaming or laptops while absorbing content on OTT platforms. Such consumers look for something to eat while enjoying leisure time and this has led to a huge demand in the FMCG industry.

Our strategy was largely to be true to our brand voice. Our CSR initiatives along with government’s initiatives on ‘Vocal for Local’ and helping needy during lockdown led conversations among our audience. We invested in more digital advertising, Instagram AR filter and influencer marketing to begin our new approach to the 2020 marketing plan. 

How do you target existing and new consumers with relevant communication about your offerings across platforms so that communication reaches the TG and ensures the mandated RoI?

We are using data-analytics tools to identify and classify audiences at a significantly deeper level and to gather an extra layer of data about our audience, regardless of the data source. These insights into our most valuable customers allow us to identify and target prospects who look and act exactly like them so we can increase our customer base. This way we are able to fuel high-performing data-driven marketing campaigns to these audiences, so we can reach the right audience at the right time on the right device.

How do you record the customer feedback on their experiences with the brand? Taking this ahead, how do you then work to further enhance their future experiences?  

Social listening helps us monitor mentions of our brand, competitors and products. It also allows us to track, analyze and respond to conversations about our brand on all digital and social media platforms and is a crucial component of our audience research.

How do you leverage data-driven analytics while strategizing your media campaigns?

It’s one thing to capture the necessary data to curate the marketing efforts, but quite another to have the operational technology and skills to activate it into customized and relevant campaigns. We are utilizing AI to understand, learn, interpret, and reason data faster and on a much bigger scale. Thereby, taking full advantage of this accumulating data from both data management platforms and the operational technology to enable effective media campaigns.

How do you leverage automation and technology to optimize your campaign and increase efficiency? What uptick has been seen in adding new consumers and up-selling new products to existing customers?

We are working with IBM to create an “intelligent supply chain”. We are making use of IBM’s Watson AI solution to predict demand, reduce time-to-market and right-size inventory across the supply chain.

Our marketing teams have also fine-tuned capabilities such as detection, insights, decision and delivery. With this, they are able to determine whether or not it is time to sell to the customer, nurture the relationship or potentially, decide not to engage if it’s impossible to add value within a given situation. This helps us to optimize our campaigns and increase efficiency.

With content being a big piece of marketing, how do target existing and new consumers with data-driven content? What are the key challenges?

SEO along with digital platforms have been massively utilized for existing consumers to provide content that they can associate with Parle Products. To tap into potential customers, we are using technology and personalization for digital and TV ads by assessing a customer’s sentiment, intent and behaviour. 

How have you leveraged Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to gain insights and activate it to drive outcomes, both for marketing and product design? What are the challenges?

While big data is instrumental to effective data-driven marketing campaigns, you can’t do much with the raw information. Data management platforms have been a backbone to most of our strategies at Parle Products for various reasons. The insights provided by these tools not only allow us to decide the size of allocation of budgets to target specific audiences but also identify technology for outreach. At first, it was merely a tech but now we utilize it to personalize our marketing efforts since it is a productivity bridge, closing the functional gap between asset management and content delivery. We also use it for AI-fueled digital tagging, audience enrichment, paid search and social.

This is a partner content article in association with exchange4media.

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