The Role of Data & Analytics in Business Success ft. Prakash Chandrasekar

Prakash Chandrasekar is a forward-thinking Director of Customer Experience at Oracle with a proven track record in building seamless customer journeys. He’s adept at infusing technology and marketing to drive digital transformation. With a rich history of leadership roles at Levi Strauss & Co., PayPal, and Standard Chartered Bank, Prakash combines strategy, analytics, and innovation to shape exceptional customer experiences. In

The Role of Data & Analytics in Business Success ft. Prakash Chandrasekar

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    Summary

    In this podcast episode, Prakash Chandrashekhar discusses the power of data analytics. He emphasizes the importance of leveraging data to make informed business decisions and drive growth. Chandrashekhar explains how data analytics can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends, and overall business performance. He also highlights the role of data analytics in optimizing marketing strategies and improving ROI. Chandrashekhar emphasizes the need for businesses to invest in data analytics tools and expertise to stay competitive in today’s data-driven world. Overall, this podcast episode sheds light on the significance of data analytics in driving business success and offers valuable insights for organizations looking to harness the power of data.

    Key Take Aways

    8 Key Takeaways for Digital Marketers from “The Power of Data Analytics” by Prakash Chandrashekhar:

    1. Importance of Data: Data analytics plays a crucial role in digital marketing as it helps marketers gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends.
    2. Personalization: By leveraging data analytics, digital marketers can create personalized experiences for their target audience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
    3. Targeted Advertising: Data analytics enables marketers to identify and target specific customer segments, ensuring that their advertising efforts reach the right audience at the right time.
    4. Optimization: Through data analytics, marketers can continuously monitor and optimize their campaigns, making data-driven decisions to improve performance and ROI.
    5. Competitive Advantage: Utilizing data analytics gives digital marketers a competitive edge by understanding their competitors’ strategies, identifying gaps, and capitalizing on opportunities.
    6. Customer Journey Mapping: Data analytics helps marketers map the customer journey, identifying touchpoints and optimizing each stage to enhance the overall customer experience.
    7. Predictive Analytics: By analyzing historical data, digital marketers can make predictions about future trends, allowing them to proactively adapt their strategies and stay ahead of the curve.
    8. Measuring Success: Data analytics provides digital marketers with accurate and measurable metrics to evaluate the success of their campaigns, enabling them to make data-backed decisions for future initiatives.

    Read Transcript

    Prakash Chandrasekhar: – Go back in sort of early 2010 or probably mid-2015. A lot of gut-based marketing was prevalent where I think this will work, I think my competition wants to do so. I also want to do it, whether you have the appetite, whether your customer needs it, they were never a question. And I think this is where data driven marketing is. It’s take it or leave it. There’s no longer debate that I don’t think it’s going to work for me you’re either on it or not, if you’re not on it you’re going to be behind. How has that changed brand marketing, right? So I think previously brand marketing, like I said, was about promoting a product, making cool – getting in celebrities, you know, making cool sort of quick catchy phrases, but sustainability is sort of the new mantra of marketing because brands are realizing that if I am making sustainable products let’s shout out loud.

    Shelly Singh: – Hello and welcome to The Growth Genius series brought to you by DMAAsia and Infidigit, my name is Shelly and I’m the country director – America’s at Infidigit, I’m also the founder and director at DMAAsia. In this Growth Genius series, the world’s best marketers and business leaders are interviewed about the brands they have worked on, their successful campaign strategies, how they got noticed by their customers and how they delivered better customer experiences to drive growth. In each episode we want to share about the big idea that inspires these marketers, the campaign trail they used to execute it and how it all came together.

    Today our guest speaker is Prakash ChandraShekhar, director, customer experience ASEAN at Oracle. Prakash is a result-oriented marketing leader having close to 20 years of extensive experiences across APAC and North American markets with a key focus on driving data based decision making. His experience working across multiple markets and verticals has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. His career has been built  from the ground up using data and analytics for making smarter decisions, let it be finance, fintech, retail or IT verticals. Welcome, Prakash.

    Prakash: – Thank you. Thank you, Shelly.

    Shelly: – You have extensive experience of working in data and analytics with the many top brands in diverse Industries. Tell us how you develop your interest in this subject and also about your experience so far.

    Prakash: –  Yes, thank you for having me here, Shelly. Yeah, look it’s a great question that you ask. It’s funny that taking time way back, right. So back in 2000, Quant was my favourite subject, quantitative. So anything applied was great, maths used to get a bit too dry for me, so I think statistics at that time was pretty applied and it was pretty exciting , right, also which is why I think I pursued my degree of Masters in statistics from UNSW. But the funny part was when I used to walk around in Australia in Sydney and when folks used to speak to me, they used to say, “What subject did you study?” Statistics, I mean most people didn’t even know how to pronounce the word statistics and I was like, oh my God, how am I even going to get a job, people don’t really know, people don’t even know what this subject is, forget about their applications. And from then to now, the world has moved, right. At that time, you know, my first job at GE was perfect. It was like a university where it kind of teaches you on the job and, yeah, how about your first job for sort of big role after Masters. I had to build a predictive model which was a million dollars in terms of the implementation value and no one was worried, you know, there’s a new guy coming in, I’m sure he’ll pick it up. And that’s how GE was, GE was very data driven and I learned a lot there. 

    So, yeah, given from where things were to now, I think AI, ML and all these cool terminologies that have come up, the background and the base is still statistics.  However I think the whole sort of – it has moved from a statistical or like a – you really needed someone who understood the background but now, you know, you have tech people running AI, ML models. So I think this shift has kind of happened from mathematical to more on the tech side of it, but although the background still remains the same and it’s funny that now everyone wants to do AI and ML and back in 2000 no one really knew what it meant. So yeah I think it’s been quite a ride, I must say.

    Shelly: – Wow, that’s a great journey. So tell us how data driven marketing has evolved from pre-COVID to post-COVID era. What are the significant growth drivers now which are prevalent?

    Prakash: –  Right. So I think a lot has sort of happened in the last few years, I think most of you guys listening to this video will also agree, a lot has sort of – a lot of water has gone under the bridge, if I may say. So let’s talk about pre-COVID, right. So, look like Shelly introduced myself, I have sort of begun my journey as a lot of marketers who actually are marketers and then have adopted data, I have the other way around I started with data and analytics and then sort of grew myself into the marketing section, right. So in that aspect, I think when I started off initially so, of course, GE was very data driven, but I think the other companies that I worked for I think the marketing specifically, marketing was a lot of brand marketing, right. I think back in 2010 when you raised the word called Performance Marketing, people would just ask a question like what do you mean Performance Marketing, right. We love to put the ads on the sort of bus stops, on the train stations and newspapers and, you know, all these out of the home media and all that, it was great, but then it was challenging enough because you don’t know whether the campaign worked or not. And you’ll be surprised, I mean I worked for PayPal, a digital led company way back in 2013 and, you know, to be honest to you, I think there as well the tracking and campaign tracking and campaign performance was not really established. So when someone did a campaign, the success was, what do you think, Shelly, did the campaign do well? Oh Shelly will say oh, you know, yes, I think it’s great. Oh great, so maybe next year let’s do it again. That’s how it worked. And nowadays something like that would never fly past anyone, right. 

    So I think I would call it as gut based marketing, so I think back in sort of early 2010 or probably mid 2015 a lot of gut based marketing was prevalent, I think this will work, I think my competition wants to do so I also want to do it, whether you’ve the appetite, whether your customer needs it, there was never a question. A lot of marketing dollars was also spent on product features. So if let’s say you’re marketing Levi’s denim, or let’s say you’re marketing let’s say this purse of tissue paper box, right. So you will keep talking about how good the product is and how useful it is and how great it can absorb water from the surface and whatnot, right. So all that pretty much a lot of dollars was spent around that, I’ll maybe also talk about how it has changed but I’ll quickly probably talk about a couple more bullet points on how things were, right, before. So a lot of dollars were spent on features, even I think the whole spend as well, right. So when you talk about dollars, where are you, how are you spending it, so there was a lot of this hoo-ha around programmatic buyers. So back then in the ad space programmatic was growing especially US was spending a lot more money, I think it was doubling, tripling every year the programmatic buy, people are pretty excited, liker DMPs and whatnot were getting built and I think most of the sort of ad agencies, the big ad agencies had DMP, so the brand sort of quickly jumped onto it. It might even mean that your ad like, for example, Singapore Airlines got in trouble once where during the whole – the plane was shot down, the MH17 was shot down in the Ukraine airspace because of the whole programmatic buy, they actually put this ad on the same page where it was talking about a lot of lives lost and because programmatic just picks up the keywords, right, it says oh, you know what, airline – airline, great. But the people there were a lot of backlash, right. 

    So I think DMP sort of people started to realize that, hey, , you know what, maybe everything is not hunky-dory. And I think probably taking a lead from there, also I think a lot of marketing dollars were also spent on something called as MDM, right, which is Master Data Management, so a lot of databases. Is Prakash Chandrashekhar the same or is Chandrashekhar Prakash the same, you’re not quite sure, so a lot of dollars spent around how do we get all this data, streamline it and pass it back. And I think once the data was done, when marketers came back and even analytics guys like me came to the IT team to say, hey, , you know what, I need to do some segmentation, they would push me to a data lake and say, here is a data lake, go figure it out. And data lake for most people would know it’s structured plus unstructured data, right. So I think it was a little bit challenging I would say for marketers to pull out absolutely sometimes gibberish data and make sense of it. So people / marketers started moving away from this data lake sort of approach and which is where I think the whole disconnect between data marketing and IT was. So I think all were in silos and they didn’t really talk to each other which I think was sort of crux in terms of why data lake marketing didn’t really take off. 

    Although that said, I think, you know, there was this – beginning of 2018-19, I think there was a digital transformation and fintech, right. fintech 2017 – 18 everyone knows what finance went through and banking have gone through like even Standard Chartered bank, one of my ex-banks that I worked with, they basically have come up with a new bank, I think it’s called the Trust Bank which is 100% digital. And when I worked in Standard Chartered 2011, we were just launching credit card applications online, most people didn’t even believe in it. So in 10 years’ time they have launched 100% digital bank, you think about how things are moving. But at that time it was the start of the digital transformation, so I think a lot of green shoes were appearing in fintech and there’s a lot of proof points but MarTech no one was sure, right.  So this was all sort of pre-COVID era, right. How has this moved, right. 

    The classic statement I’ll give before I move on is, my previous CEO at my previous company was not a big fan of CRM and loyalty, right. So, CRM, database, oh customer level data, who cares, but when stores closed down during COVID, we wanted to reach out to customers to say, hey, , you know what, stores are closed but you can still buy online. But that’s when he realized that there is no customer data set and that’s where he came rushing to me and said, “Hey, Prakash, where’s CRM, where’s data?” and I said, “Well, finally you’ve come to the party, right.” So I think from that time on things have changed and even for a company which is not really pro–data but thinking about it COVID really changed a lot. So I think I would say the first thing that I sort of changed is a lot of this digital first and this data driven marketing has sort of come in, it is take it or leave it, right. When marketplaces came in like Taobao and Alibaba and Amazon, most of the brands didn’t really want to go on to brand.com. they said oh, you know what, I’ll have a brick and mortar store. I don’t want a dot com, marketplaces forced them to sort of decide, you want to take it or leave it. And I think this is where data driven marketing is. It’s take it or leave it. There’s no longer a debate that I don’t think is going to work for me, you’re either on it or not, if you’re not on it you’re going to be behind ages, I think you never know and you’ll be out of business. So I think it’s very clear.  

    I would say a lot of these sort of membership programs and a lot of these programs have become customers – it has become more experiential. So previously it was more about cash back, cash back, discount, discount, you know, 5% off, 10% off, people are moving away from it because it’s not sustainable. So I think the birth of the experiential program where a new product gets launched, your members get a first preview access. For example I’m a priority banking member with one of the banks in India, every time I touch down I just need to send them an email. There’s actually a chauffeur driven limo cab waiting for me at the airport. So small things like that I think take a long way, it’s not just giving you a discount or a promotion. So I think that’s sort of how programs are looking in the future. DMPs of course I think the death of third party cookies, I think there’s a lot of action around CD3 now, so I think most of the brands are looking into a CDP. So I think even with me working for Oracle I think we’ve developed a great sort of product which I think most companies are happy with. So I think first party data is everything now and how can you sort of harness it, how do you sort of win a single, so it’s MDM, DMP and all sort of past and now CDP is sort of the future. 

    The last couple of points are how marketing is moving ahead. Now most of the companies I’m speaking to IT are driving the digital transformation agenda, but marketing is also part of it. so MarTech is a realistic thing where IT is sort of driving it but the marketing team is sort of proof pointing it. And I think the whole piece around the competition and promos and all that, I think that’s where people are realizing that it’s no point just comparing against competition, let’s build our own data sets, let’s bring the first party data and then do targeted personalization, right, which is where the birth of AI and ml has come in, in marketing. Five years back no one really wanted predictive modelling in marketing, but now even CDPs actually have out of the box data models. Even though I think I’ll speak to a few marketers and data science is their best friend right now. So the acquisition model or a retention model all that is being pumped back into marketing and all these sort of cute sort of segmentation and sort of execution on Facebook because Facebook is getting more and more expensive, so how do you manage that is coming up with smart sort of predictive AI, ML models that help you sort of personalize that conversation.

    So I think that said, and the last sort of bit before I close on this particular point is, look I told you about how they are pushing on product features, right, pre-COVID. But times have changed, people don’t care about just oh your product is great, oh your product is great, but there are other questions to answer, right. Is your product sustainable? When you make the product are you harming the climate? Is it sustainable enough marketing? Is the marketing that you’re doing worthwhile? Are you just talking about a product? Are you concerned about the realistic issues that my kids are going to face 20 years from now , are we going to have enough trees, are you burning a lot to, you know, generate your product? Even Oracle for example, you know, there’s a lot of data centres that we have, how much energy are you consuming. So a lot of questions, even Bitcoin, it’s very sort of energy intensive. So I think that is sort of changing the game from product features to more on the sustainable marketing bit. So I think that’s probably the long and short story, maybe I spoke a bit longer but I think that’s sort of the quick crux of how things are moving ahead.

    Shelly: – Yeah, very good points. So regarding personalization, you said that it has become very easy now to personalize, but is it really important to personalize every brand? And do you think that the consumers might get scared of over personalization that the companies know so much about them?

    Prakash: –  Yeah, it’s true, you know. When I speak to sort of my folks who are my friends who are not in marketing space or whatever, when I speak to them as real customers yes, you know, you have one set of people who are very happy for getting the right recommendations, but you have the other side who are a bit concerned about oh my God, how did the guy know that I booked a flight yesterday and he’s recommending me a sort of a cab service in the country that I’m visiting. So I would say look before I sort of hamper and give you a yes / no answer because I don’t think there is a yes / no answer, but I think, let me quote a survey, right. So I think there was a survey which we did I think about a year back, I surveyed in Australia and India specifically, but the results were shocking. The survey question said, would you want your brand to recommend you the next best product or next best need, right? 75% of the individuals who came back in Australia and India said, no, we don’t, we don’t want the brand to tell me what should be the next product which is a bit surprising because I thought the Amazon model works really well, you know, horses for courses, right. So not every market that you are in would mean that they want stuff to be personalized to a level that it gets scary. So I think the first answer I would say is first figure out which market you are talking about and what does the customer needs or like doing a market survey before you start off sort of personalizing it. Second is what happened is that some of the brands whom I’ve spoken to, right, they think personalization means just looking at your last two months data and actually then recommending you something. That’s not it, right. So I need to have first your single customer view, what are you buying on a marketplace which is like a Taobao, that is again what I need to analyze, not just my own website, not just my own store. Can you get all that data first, can you get at least 24 months of data to actually come up with some smart personalization because the model is as smart as your data. If your data is not great, if it’s not extensive, if I can’t even tell let’s say Shelly Singh versus a Shelly S whether it’s the same person, what do I recommend? So before you do something I would hate the word sort of immature, but I think, you know, you have to first have the right piece of data personalized. If you don’t have it don’t personalize, because the last thing you want to do is if you bought – let’s say you bought this beautiful sort of a top three months back my own sort of store and then a few months later you basically bought a stole from let’s say one of the marketplaces, let’s say in India Flipkart, I didn’t know that and I’m recommending you on the website, hey, Shelly this stole will go awesome and you’re like hello I just bought this two days back from Flipkart and I don’t even know that, right. as a brand. There’s no point of recommending something for the sake of it, right. So I would say that I think these are probably the two point that I would probably say that look one figure out what market you’re in, second, first make sure you have enough data to personalize and third, I think look, it’s easier said than done but I think everyone does it right now is about the GDPr and whatnot. I think customers are more aware of your sort of third party cookie. So look, you do all this hard work, set up a CDP, all this sort of AI, ML, if you don’t have the right data you just waste a lot of money and the company will say personalization doesn’t work for us. You don’t want that [inaudible] (0:17:50) statement to come, so I would say, you know, make sure that you sort of do your homework, do your groundwork before you get to personalization. But, yes, I would say that’s the Holy Grail of marketing right now which is every brand is competing, everyone is competing on price, price is not sustainable so the only way you can get ahead is experiential based and personalized base where you exactly know I’d love to see emails on a Wednesday afternoon, just only send me your email on a Wednesday, you only ship a product out on a Sunday because that’s when I’m at home. So that is not going to go away anytime soon, but do you have enough data? That’s a big question.

    Shelly: – Yeah, so know your customers before personalization.

    Prakash: – That’s it, absolutely.

    Shelly: –  That’s most important. So another thing you were talking about is sustainability, right. Sustainability is a big significant growth driver after a pandemic. So in the past sustainability was seen as a superficial, very expensive way of doing business with little marketing potential and now post pandemic sustainability has become a significant growth driver to bring success to the businesses. But as per the study I was reading somewhere, a study done by Accenture showed that 63% of consumers prefer to purchase from purpose driven brands. So what is sustainability marketing and what are its benefits?

    Prakash: –  Right. it’s a great point you bring in which is, you know, the earlier chat you were having around sustainability. It’s real, right. A few years back it all looked like oh yeah, maybe it’s coming day after, maybe next year, maybe a few years from now, it’s real, right, it’s on the face.

    What is sustainability? I think sustainable products, I think everyone knows it, sustainable products are sort of those which don’t really harm the environment or do very less damage during your entire life stage of production, right. So whatever be the product that you’re developing, are you using a lot of water? Are you consuming a lot of energy? You know stuff like that, your greenhouse gas emission, how much are they? So I think that more and more consumers want to know more. How do you sort of manage it? Look, the big sort of Holy Grail is that you can sort of reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by, say for example, making power on-site with sort of renewable or probably other climate friendly energy resources. In the U.S for example a lot of these companies already have rooftop solar panels, , you know, in residential, sort of even my relatives in U.S have solar water heating even though it’s a bit expensive but it sort of helps you in the long run. So that is real. In Levi’s, Levi’s was pretty passionate about reducing the water intake while sort of the making denim because denim uses a lot of water and also I think around the sourcing as well, right, the cotton that they were picking up is the cotton how much effort or resources or energy resources spent on keeping those products alive. So I think that everyone is sort of aware of and I think most of the brands are really, I think the retail I would say it’s probably a step ahead of the others because people sort of every time I pick up a fabric these things go in your mind, right. So I think it’s very-very natural. In fact I think from the tech side as well, from a tech product development side, I think there’s Asus in India if I remember, right or it’s Acer I think who basically came up with an ad in India which I saw where they said that the laptop is 35% recyclable or whatever. Who thought about that a few years back, right? It’s pretty astonishing that most brands are thinking about it. 

    How has that changed brand marketing, right? So I think previously brand marketing like I said was about promoting a product, making cool – getting in celebrities, you know, making cool sort of quick catchy phrases, but sustainability is sort of the new mantra of marketing because brands are realizing that if I am making sustainable products let’s shout out loud because why, right. Previously people were not ready to pay more for sustainable marketing, right, or even for let’s say a product that is environmentally sort of friendly, it will cost you 20% more, most people wouldn’t pay for it. This research that came out that about 46% of your sort of baby boomers would – only about 46% would pay probably higher for sustainable products, but for Gen Z who are all your sort of 20 to 30 year old folks, close to 65% of them would be okay to pay for a sustainable products which means the younger generation of today are more sort of sensitive about the nature and they’re ready to pay more. So you see previously people thought, oh this is just a waste of time, guess , you know, we want to save the environment but look I don’t want to harm my business, right. Guess what, people will pay more if you are doing right for the environment. 

    So no longer is that not a sales argument anymore. So marketing can make a sales argument by saying as long as we’re doing the right thing, let’s shout out loud, people will listen and it is going to help us in the long run and the environment as well. So I think Gen Z is making the change happen from the sales side of this panel as well but because look at you and I can keep talking about how beautiful all this technique is or this mantra is, but if it doesn’t give you sales the company might close down or the strategy might not work. But I think in this case gen Z is making a very strong argument by saying, guess what, we will pay more as long as you save my environment because I’m going to live here for the next 80 odd years , right. So I think it’s a great sort of a place that we are in and I think it’s only going to get better.

    Shelly: – So that’s very interesting to know. So can you please tell us a few examples on how the companies are using sustainability marketing to drive growth?

    Prakash: –  Cited a few examples here, but I think if I have to sort of bring everything together, look I’ll start with Oracle, my current company. So I think Oracle sort of has a statement, in fact it takes pride in what it does. It says that, you know, I think by 2025 all 100% of them want to use some sort of renewable energy, 100% like complete by 2025, right. I think that’s a massive statement to make. There’s even a statement saying that, you know, there’s this – they actually recycled, Oracle actually recycled and reused almost 100% of retired hardware in FY22, so which means in all this year whatever hardware was retired it was recycled, right. 99.9% so how good does it get, right? 

    So possibly on the tech side I think Apple as well I think is committed to having, you know, 100% carbon neutrality by 2030 I think, across their supply chain and product life cycle. I think on the retail side, right, I think this is why I said I think it’s pretty interesting on the retail side, so actually Lacoste, one of my sort of favourite brands that i love wearing is they actually what they did was, I’m not sure you saw that marketing, so this is actually great sustainable marketing campaign in fact where they said that look, you know, this Lacoste, the crocodile logo on their Ts,is sort of the prominent, right. it’s been there.

    Shelly: – Very famous brand in Canada as well.

    Prakash: –  Fair enough, yeah, so I think it’s a massive French brand, everyone recognizes that crocodile logo. They said guess what, because the environment is under threat they basically replaced the crocodile logo with 10 sort of threatened species that basically might get extinct very soon if you don’t care about them and they basically had these sort of 10 threatened species instead of the crocodile logo. So there were 10 separate different prototypes and each of them had different sorts of the animals who were being threatened. How would you as a brand think of changing your main logo to a crocodile, moving it away and putting other animals out there. Think about that, that’s a massive step to take and it’s almost like threatening your own brand presence but no, it was probably one of the – I think it won a couple of awards at a couple of ceremonies. So I think that was sort of awesome in terms of very bold steps to take, but it was pretty awesome in terms of how they sort of moved ahead with it.

    Of course I think like I said about Levi’s, when I was there at Levi’s we had a campaign called “Buy Better Wear Longer” so which is about, you know, are you making sure that the product that you’re wearing is sustainable and yes, you know, Levi’s takes pride in what it builds in terms of the amount of water we use and the cotton that is sourced and so on, so yeah. So I think these were some of the few examples that come to the  top of my head.

    Shelly: – Very interesting examples. So great, let’s talk about some of the trends which you see are shaping up post pandemic, so any locally and globally what do you see?

    Prakash: –  Look I think apart from what I spoke earlier I would say look, you know, people talk about, it’s not because my role is customer experience I’m going to say that customer experience is the number one sort of data driven trend that I foresee, but I think look I could see that when your product competition on let’s say taxi booking or telco or anything else, right, on the retail like say Flipkart versus Amazon versus Myntra versus what not in India and here it’s Shopee versus Lazada versus Zalora versus whatnot, you can be rest assured that if you basically give the right customer experience, right buying experience for a customer even if you’re 5% more expensive than another brand whose experience is broken, I can tell you for sure 80% of customers come back and buy with you, because customer experience doesn’t just end on the website journey or an in-store experience. With the product that I ordered, if I ordered it on a Monday 6 to 10 pm slot and you deliver it on a Tuesday 3 pm when I’m not at home, that’s a customer loss right there. So it’s not just the website, people somehow think customer experience means the website journey or the in-store experience, no, it’s the end to end win. So now if I ordered something 5% cheaper, 10% cheaper and the product arrived on Tuesday where I’m not there and someone stole the product, I’d be pretty disappointed, right. How about the product came on time but the product is not really packaged well, so the cup or the mug holder that I bought is broken and returns you’re making me go to the nearest Simpos or my sort of postal office which is two kilometres from my home to go and package it again and send it back, that’s a horrendous experience for me to ship back. But that was not my problem, right. I didn’t break it, because I looked around everybody. So I think customer experience is going to be the number one.

    I think another thing which is sort of green shoots again, I think I’m hearing a lot about it is the metaverse, right. I think I’m sure you’ve heard of metaverse sort of how meta sort of meta has sprung up all that. So the brands are in a flux. Brands are waiting on the fence by saying who’s going to go first, who’s going to go invest more but I think what I hear is the best use case I’ve heard is next time a pandemic comes not a problem because you will have virtual houses on metaverse, I just need to put on my 3D glasses and I can do the house viewing as like I was inside the house itself. So I think what does that mean for marketing you can have a store work through, I don’t need to go to a store, think about that. I can try out the product, I can see how it is, I can touch look and feel through a – but again I think the big question is how many people are going to buy these 3D glasses. Microsoft is coming up with a few products which don’t need a 3D glass, I can just use my mobile phone and do it. So it’s still in the making but because the question is what are you seeing trends, I feel this is a space that might get interesting and because the beauty is this might open up a lot of opportunities for a lot of brands and the question is how you want to do work.

    And the last bit I would say is the loyalty program. This is one field which hasn’t really evolved. You still get point based programs, cash back, whatnot, right. I feel blockchain maybe I think it might sort of sprung up I think I’ll probably open a new can of sort of beautiful worms I may say, I think it is going to open a lot of opportunities where at the moment, you know, you have a lot of cards in your wallet for getting to a particular store I need to open that brand, for another particular store I need to open another particular card, so I think it’s getting a bit challenging whereas blockchain will centralize all of it. I’ll just have one sort of redemption, let’s say metric or redemption sort of how do I say a token and if I have 10 tokens of that I can go Starbucks and buy coffee at the same time I can go to a Lacrosse store and buy a product, right. So it’s much easier for me, much similar to just one wallet so I think that’s probably the future as well for sort of membership programs and how probable things are possible these are the top two three things I would probably see.

    Shelly: – Great, yeah. So what do you think that for the next year and for the horizon or three to five years what should the marketers do? What should they focus on?

    Prakash: –  Yeah, look I think I would say look people ask a question to me three to five years ahead. To be honest no one thought five years back we were going to be here, so I would hate to talk about…

    Shelly: –We have to be predictive.

    Prakash: –  That’s it, so I would say about three years, right. So let me talk about three years because I feel that’s more realistic. It might be a good goal post for us to aim at. So I would say CDP is the adoption of CDP at the moment are only these big companies, the enterprise level like the big companies like Amazon and let’s say SingTel and let’s say the Airtels in India and one let’s say your sort of big, big boys in the market are sort of even like say, you know, companies like Ferrari and stuff who basically are coming up with the CDP who are investing or harvesting on first party data. I feel that in three years’ time from now in the next three years you will see a lot of mid markets and small medium-sized companies as well investing a lot in it because there’s no DMT anymore. And a lot of these CDPs are coming up with these sorts of connectors with Facebook and Google and whatnot so you don’t really need a DMP. You actually can do a lot with CDP, so for sure that’s something where people are going to look at and it’s instead of congregating IT, marketing, multiple data sets around. So it’s like this one database but everyone will use it, right, even the data science team who’s a part of IT will use it. 

    I would say MarTech is also sort of yes, you know, people are much aware of MarTech now, people think that yes, you know, it’s up there but I still feel that from a use case from a ROI standpoint, some companies are cracking it but the others are still kind of figuring out what to do with it. So I would say that, you know, the next three years you will see a lot of sort of beautiful use cases around MarTech and the ROI driven strategies come up. At the moment fintech has a lot of them but I think MarTech is struggling a bit because the last two years has been the investment phase. Now you will see the returns phase of it, right. So it’s gonna be pretty exciting.

    And the last thing I would say is when was the last time sort of you remember a particular brand that you’ve seen. You would have seen something on Facebook just a few moments ago walking into a store but now if I ask you, hey, Shelly, can you tell me last week what was the brand that you saw you might not even remember you might tell me about a name or two. So I think the big question is going to be there’s so much competition out there there’s so much screen space time for a customer. There’s so much after I’m overwhelmed by information about how brands get more customer facetime and how can brands get that recall, right. This is the old marketing metric or brand recall. Now how do you make sure that in a crowded tablet world in a crowded mobile space so many things popping up everywhere, you walk into a store as well there’s so many displays and all that how do you ensure as a brand that you get in more sort of customer face time it’s probably the third element I would mention.

    Shelly: – That’s very interesting. Great points. So that brings us to the last segment of our episode so, you know, what passion do you follow other than your work which elevates your profession and, you know, which recharges you?

    Prakash: –  Yeah, I mean look I’m going to say that look I don’t know how to put it but I would say look I’ve not been terribly lucky in any sort of job space where I’ve always got this green verb where everything is hunky-dory or beautiful, you know, first thing I implemented oh success it’s never happened like that. In fact, to get even the first proper campaign up I had to secure a budget which I had to speak to four different people, beg, borrow, steal. So I think it’s every time in my world every time I learn I look at it I hit a brick wall every time and, you know, I keep hitting my head on the wall till so that’s, you know, something else opens up. So that sort of resonates a lot with sort of why I’m a massive sort of sports freak, you know, I play tennis, I play badminton, and I’m pretty passionate about it. I’m not just social, right. so I’m pretty competitive. 

    So I think there as well you have times when you’re playing tennis your five sets you five games to one down, you know, your chips are down and that’s when you feel that, you know, you have nothing to lose, right. And you’ve got nothing to lose you sort of come back and I think it really helps me in my job life because things are not easy, you know, And like I said it’s not everything that I’ve invested in has turned out very easily I have to convince five different stakeholders, people don’t believe in me, people don’t believe in the idea. So I think sports sort of helps you keep fighting because not every time you are in the best team, not every time you have the best of resources, maybe you are playing with sort of a stress in the mind. Your mind is not focusing on the game when you come back you think about it so I think sports really helps you sort of de-stress at the same time keep fighting. I think that’s only the only ,mantra I have and it works as well like I’m told me I’m like a woodpecker, keep pecking at it and I think that sort of helps this sport sort of helps me elevate to that level so I think that’s what I’ll probably end there.

    Shelly: – Wow, that’s great and where can our viewers find you and connect with you if they want to ask any question?

    Prakash: –  Yeah look I think, you know, you have my email and feel free to share the email address with them, LinkedIn as well Prakash Chandrasekhar you can find me on LinkedIn as well, so yeah, I mean look anything that you need more on or just want to have a generic chat where you disagree with some of our points or you want to learn more or you agree with some of them it’ll be awesome, yeah I’d be happy to have a chat.

    Shelly: – Great. Well, thank you so much, Prakash for sharing tons of actionable insights. And to all our viewers, thanks for listening and please subscribe to this channel. If you enjoyed this episode and you would like to help and support this podcast, please share it with your friends, post about it on your social media, leave a comment, leave a rating, leave a review and I’ll see you next time in a new episode with a new speaker. Till then peace. Thank you.

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    The Role of Data & Analytics in Business Success ft. Prakash Chandrasekar

    The Role of Data & Analytics in Business Success ft. Prakash Chandrasekar