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Indian firms can become leaders in advance analytics usage: McKinsey’s Jesko Perrey

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-07-2017 Sapna Agarwal

Mumbai: Marketing has come a long way from the days of push advertising and traditional mediums of television, print and radio channels. But the transition to new media such as a Snapchat, Facebook or e-commerce apps is not easy and not all companies can adapt quickly, says Jesko Perrey, senior partner, at McKinsey and Co. in an interview. 

Edited excerpts: 

Marketers are talking about using big data and technology a lot more now. Are you seeing companies leveraging these concepts? 

Everybody uses the word big data, but nobody really knows what it is. Big data means unstructured data. But when big companies talk of big data, they talk about how to leverage customer data. This is so far away from big data. 

You have everybody saying big data, digital and customer experience. All these new opportunities are tempting. The number of opportunities now is so huge that the one thing I keep stressing upon is that always ‘learn to drive before you can fly’. Start with some things, do them well and then go on to the next thing. 

Where do Indian companies stand on digitization and use of technology to enhance customer experience? 

They are extremely self-critical and self aware and willing to improve. They are showing a huge agility to make things happen. They are very fast and keen to introduce new things. Even when we compare to very mature markets like Germany, some companies, in terms of data and infrastructure, are ahead. Indian companies could become the front runners in leading usage of advance analytics; many leading data scientists are Indians.

However, interestingly on an average, Indian companies are still to step up in terms of having a new mindset or thinking about personalization and customization. 

Why are we seeing this disconnect? 

Firstly, as you get bombarded with so many opportunities it’s probably difficult to organize and actually prioritize and get started. Also, what most companies do is that they first start collecting data, internal data, external data, social data and they put it all together. However, then the complexity increases as they are still to figure systems for what to do with all this data. 

What changes should companies make to get the digital mindset? 

In the new marketing model the company would require a completely different set of partners. In countries like the US and Europe, this is leading to an integrated marketing approach.

We are seeing some global companies rethinking the entire media landscape. They are getting different smaller digital pieces, more data enabled, they are controlling the customer experience journey much more themselves. So what we are seeing is more fragmentation of the partnerships and better control of intelligence. This model has to be adopted by Indian companies. 

That is easier said than done.. 

This is about focus. For companies that are not getting the results they are trying many different things together. If you try multiple things in this complicated environment it will not work. Even optimising paid and unpaid search, something which every marketer and even kids at universities know. It’s very complicated. How do you market your own assets, your own webpage? You have to link your page to many other pages, find the right keywords which then Google search can look up. How do you actually bid for keywords? 

Now, if you look at personalization, there is a different learning cycle. It is a test-and- learn cycle, that is repeating continuously. So, my point is that all of these things are so difficult compared to a life of a marketing boss 20 years ago who would know a little bit about TV, about newspaper and radio and who could then come up with a very creative idea.Today, you have to understand hundreds of different vehicles and still accelerate on creativity.

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