India 20.03.2024

The Full View™ of consumer buying behavior is a must for winning brand strategies

Excerpts from an interview with Economic Times – ET Edge Insights on the sidelines of the 8th edition of the Global Business Summit, where NIQ-GfK, positioned as the official "Intelligence Partner" for the 3rd consecutive year. In this interview, Nikhil Mathur, Managing Director – India, GfK – An NIQ Company, sheds light on navigating business resilience in the consumer-centric era.

In adapting to evolving consumer needs, what role does innovation play in the arsenal of strategies for contemporary marketers? 

Every day, and everywhere around the world, consumers have been tested in more ways than one over the years. Pockets of growth have emerged as consumers pivot spending behaviors to survive and thrive. As consumer needs continually evolve, innovation serves as the lifeblood of modern marketing strategies ensuring resilience and driving sustainable growth. Innovation is vital for premium positioning and adopting 'value-driven' strategies for success in competitive markets.

According to the NIQ Consumer Outlook 2024, manufacturers that embrace innovation are 1.8 times more likely to witness overall sales growth. Moreover, during crises, innovative companies outperform their counterparts. Notably, 63% of global consumers express willingness to purchase affordably innovated products.

Thus, NIQ combined with GfK delivers the most complete and clear understanding of shopper and market trends so that brands and retailers understand what is happening, why it is happening, and what to do about it. This is imperative to stay ahead of the curve and maintain business resilience in the customer-centric era.


What steps can companies take to enhance their ability to collect and analyze data, thus enhancing adaptability and responsiveness to market dynamics?

Firstly, investing in robust data infrastructure and analytics tools is essential to efficiently gather and process large volumes of data from various sources. Next, fostering a data-driven culture should become intrinsic to the organizational DNA.

GfK Global CMO Survey Report reveals that 33% of senior marketers globally face challenges integrating data from diverse sources, and 29% experience internal resistance to change. To address these obstacles, prioritizing data democratization through centralized platforms is vital, requiring leadership attention. Partnering with data management experts can significantly support this initiative.


How can businesses in India capitalize on ongoing digitization trends to drive innovation and sustainable growth in the coming years?

India's business landscape is rapidly changing due to digitization trends, with Gen AI emerging as a major disruptor. Harnessing these trends effectively enables businesses to drive innovation, achieve inclusive growth, create jobs, and contribute to economic development. Gen AI is predicted to add $1.5 trillion to India's GDP in the next 5-6 years, boosting productivity and creating new revenue streams. This technology marks a turning point in consumer marketing, with AI systems evolving rapidly. The expected arrival of General AI by 2027 emphasizes the need for businesses to align their strategies with the 3Ps - positivity, practicality, and purpose.


What potential risks or pitfalls should companies be mindful of as they seek to capitalize on digitization trends, and how can these be mitigated effectively?

As companies embrace digitization, they must remain vigilant of cybersecurity and privacy concerns. Firstly, investing in robust cybersecurity measures and resources is crucial to mitigate these risks effectively. Privacy-first approaches should top the agenda for brands in a world where consumer engagement with technology is rapidly evolving.

Next, brands must adapt cautiously, keeping their focus on brand purpose and building trust to navigate these shifts successfully. In summary, by prioritizing innovation, data utilization, and risk mitigation strategies, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth and success in today's dynamic marketplace.


How do you think the need for data might evolve and change over the next few years?

The pace of technological advancement is bound to accelerate, and the opportunities data provides are endless. As consumers now shop across multiple channels, there are more retail touchpoints than ever before. With more data available at our fingertips, brands, and retailers need The Full View™ of consumer behavior, leveraging the right omnichannel data to build winning strategies.

Businesses will use AI, machine learning, and IoT to make better decisions, improve operations, and stay ahead of the competition. Real-time data analysis will become more important, helping companies respond quickly to market changes and customer needs. There will also be a stronger focus on keeping data secure and private due to stricter regulations and increasing cybersecurity risks.

Future leaders won't just adapt to new technologies; they'll need to cultivate the ability to seamlessly integrate ongoing changes into their strategies, turning them into a competitive advantage.