The digital age has been threatening to arrive for a decade and more now. Experts in India believed that we finally arrived in 2018 when the markets were growing at 28% CAGR and online shoppers were expected to reach 200 million people from 120 million in 2018. And then came SARS-CoV-2. And the world changed once again. In the last few months as the pandemic wreaked havoc from New York to Nagpur and from Cape Town to Coimbatore, as world economies kept free falling and as Governments, preachers and pundits were reduced to shadows of their glorious pasts, the virus did one major service to the future of humankind – it has finally ushered in the promised Digital Age.
Big Data and Big Markets – that is what is in store for tomorrow and India is rightly poised for an amazing V-shaped recovery.
The big changes that one can look forward to: Truly Integrated Marketing – where the real and digital world will fuse like never before. The generalisation of businesses including large format targeting in campaigns will now get replaced with hyper-personalisation. Wishy-washy & generic marketing will now be replaced with authentic storytelling, real ROI and value for money. Customers and their needs will be central to every business model. Finally.
The tech that every business should be mindful about: IOT, NLP, AI and ML will help churn big data like never before but we will have the processing power to extract that one crucial bit of information that will tell our marketeers to target a single customer in the remotest part of our nation. VR, AR and XR will bring in realism in everything we do. Virtual tours, exhibitions and product displays will take centre stage in every business – from retail to education to healthcare. Social Media and the Internet will bring much-needed democratisation and those who will be able to adopt new-age marketing will be able to compete with the big players. Finally.
A popular meme on the Internet aptly summarised – the real digital transformation was brought to our businesses not by CEO, CFO, CIO or any other CXOs, but by COVID. Yes, they have unleashed unprecedented mayhem but like in every crisis, the post COVID world will bring in amazing opportunities to the ones who learn and adapt quickly, innovate and understand the changing landscape and embrace this new digital age. The New Normal is the Digital New Normal.