Data democracy, online consumer engagement and brand advocacy are influencing modern

Bengaluru, 10th January, 2018: Digitisation is changing the paradigms in marketing across sectors. This global phenomenon is introducing new practices in marketing communications and renewing the significance of online media for B2B and B2C businesses. How marketers can adapt to a rapidly evolving arm of marketing in the world of business and what are the challenges and opportunities in the next decade were some key topics discussed at International Research Conference organized by S.P. Mandali's Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool) And Academy of Indian Marketing. The symposium under the theme "Marketing in the Next Decade", revisited the fundamental pillars of marketing in the backdrop of technological advancements. The event was consequent to the three day 6th AIM - AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium that invited doctorial students to share their research about ‘’Marketing in a Connected World." Noted academicians from international universities participated in both events. The conference saw marketing leaders discussing the influence of digital technologies in marketing and also the academic scholarly work on this subject.

The inaugural of the conference was attended by theleadership team from WeSchool and AIM (Academy of Indian Marketing) atWeSchool, Bengaluru Campus. The Chief Guest, Mr. Sharad Sharma,Founder, iSPIRIT emphasized on the power of data empowering lives throughdata democracy and bringing in economic prosperity. He showcased the progressof technology by citing the fact that more people have mobiles phones thanwrist watches. He also highlighted that advertising was shrinking in asignificant way and that video content would continue to be a non-advertisingsupported model in the foreseeable future.  

Prof. Dr. Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professorof Marketing at Emory University said, “Technology enables innovationhence, it is bound to have a profound impact on marketing. In this digital ageone cannot maximize profits but organizations need to focus their energies onscaling up and minimizing the cost.” He rightly pointed out eye opening factson consumer behavior by stating that demographics were changing globally withmore individuals staying alone on an average for ten years. As a result,influencing the consumption pattern. More individuals are attached tounanimated objects and the virtual world of internet. The world is moving in adirection where people are experiencing stress due to paucity of time thanscarcity of money.  Basic chores of cooking and baking have becomehobbies. Dual income is no more a choice but necessity. 

Addressing the dignitaries present at the conference,Prof, Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “We believe incatalyzing knowledge exchange between academia and businesses. The conferenceprovides exposure to evidence-based researches undertaken by academicfraternity that may find a productive utilization in coming up with innovativestrategies in marketing practice. We are confident that it will provideprofessionals an opportunity to get ready for future changes and challenges inmarketing domain from both academic and practicing perspectives.” 

The Chief Marketing Officer roundtable with Mr.Ragavendra Prabhakar, Strategy Lead on Digital Marketing, BOSCH; Mr. VikrantBhargava, Digital Practice Leader, IBM; Mr. Vivekanand Venugopal, MD, HitachiVantara; Mr. Indroneel Das, Principal Technology Architect, Flipkart wasmoderated by Marketing Guru, Prof. Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. KellstadtProfessor of Marketing at Emory University.  The discussionunderlined how consumerism was driving companies to become digital. Thepanelists agreed that consumer engagement as key to influencing the dynamicprofile of a consumer. 

Speaking on the future trends in marketing, RagavendraPrabhakar, Strategy Lead on Digital Marketing Bosch said, “By 2020,30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. It is imperativefor the IoT to blend with business ethics in this digital world. In the retailsector omnichannel presence and e-commerce penetration will see rapid increasewith more physical stores launching apps and adopting IoT in their marketingmix.” 

Emphasizing on how marketers can enhance customer experienceusing digital tools, Vikrant Bhargava, Digital Practice Leader, IBMsaid, “Three things that companies need to focus are to know your visitors,let them be advocates of the brand and create best in class web experiencethrough data driven knowledge.” 

The following session on “Marketing Research inDigital Age’’ saw Mr. N. S. Muthu Kumaran, Executive Director, Hansa Research;Mr. Ashutosh Pujari, Founder, Chief Epic Maker and Mr. Lokesh Sewak, Head of DigitalMarketing and Analytics, Loccitane. The session moderated by Prof.Dr. D. N. Murthy, Dean Marketing & Research, WeSchool asserted thesignificance of data as the new currency and business analytics.

 On a concluding note, Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director,WeSchool expressed the need to nurture talent in a super VUCA world. Hementioned how placements in 2025 will be cloud based and open to a wider groupof individuals. He stressed on the need to develop skill sets that are changingwith changing time. 

The valedictory session saw Chief Guest, Beena Patil, VicePresident - Human Resources, Indegene Lifesystems, describing the event with anoutcome that is practically viable. The event concluded on a positive note withclosing remarks from WeSchool and AIM leadership.

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