For years, most discussions about mass customization were about products and services. A car built to your specifications, rolling off an assembly line and headed to your chosen dealer and held there for you. A shirt designed to fit your exact proportions with your initials sewn in – a shirt, unlike anyone else’s shirt. A watch made with your favorite artwork on the dial and your engraved message on the back.
This was about the mass personalization of products. Enterprise software for collecting customer preferences and assembly line technologies that tailor each product according to those preferences have made this possible. And the trend continues unabated in a Business 4.0 world.
But there’s another personalization trend that has received far less marketplace attention but is just as important: how today’s digital technologies are letting companies mass personalize the brand experience they provide customers. That’s a very different topic. It’s about what their marketers do to reel you in. It’s about the channels they use, data they leverage, and messages they give to the sales department to make the product/service highly relevant to you and get you to purchase it. And it’s about the channels, data, and relevant content that marketers give customer support to ensure customers stay loyal and buy ever more.
Powerful digital technologies and treasure troves of digital customer data give marketers unprecedented opportunities to personalize messages to prospects and customers throughout the time they will experience a company’s offerings – to identify you as a potential customer, reach out and gauge your specific interest in their offerings, sell you, communicate with you after the sale, sell you more, and turn you into a brand advocate.
It’s about keeping the customer mesmerized – not just satisfied.
This year TCS is conducting in-depth research on the digital personalization of the brand experience. We will be shedding light on a central question in this Business 4.0 era: with powerful digital technologies and an abundance of customer data, what strategies are most effective for marketers in using digital channels, harnessing digital data and using digital technologies to create individually relevant messages that attract prospects, turn them into customers, and keep their business?
On this topic, we have already surveyed more than 500 CMOs in large North America and Europe companies (average revenue of $10.6 billion and average marketing budget of $392 million). These marketers work in B2C and B2B companies and in 11 global industries: banking and financial services, insurance, telecommunications, high tech, retail, consumer packaged goods, media/entertainment/information services, travel/transportation/hospitality
healthcare, and life sciences, industrial manufacturing and automotive.
We have also conducted in-depth interviews with leading marketers including those at an airline, chemical producer, travel services, telecommunications, credit card, energy, investment management, and business services firm.
Over the next few months, we are going to tell you exactly how these companies are using digital channels, data, analytics, AI and other technologies to digitally personalize brand experiences for thousands and in some cases millions of customers. Most of all, we will be telling you what the best are doing differently than the rest – how they’re keeping the customer mesmerized, not just satisfied.
So stay tuned for the series of reports that we will issue in the next few months.
We predict you will be as fascinated as we are with the best practices and trends that our research has uncovered. We are convinced that innovative CMOs are profoundly changing the world of marketing, using digital technology to intercept prospects before others get to them, tailor offers they can’t resist, provide tailored support information they can’t get elsewhere, and keep them in tow through personalized information that’s highly relevant at the moment of need.
About the author(s)
Krishnan Ramanujam is President and Head of Business & Technology Services at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He leads Consulting and Services Integration, Cognitive Business Operations, Cloud Platform Services and Digital Transformation Services globally. Krishnan drives forward the vision, direction and go-to-market strategy for TCS’ Services Lines. In addition to fostering the development of new services and solutions, he also guides the complex global transformation initiatives for the world’s leading enterprises.
He also drives growth and profitability for companies by spearheading and leading their evolution to next generation, agile operating models and transforms business functions. Krishnan has successfully positioned TCS as the industry’s leading expert in enterprise transformations by developing and leveraging best-in-class experts and offerings in Consulting, Cloud, IoT, AI, Analytics, Enterprise Applications and Interactive Services.
In addition to helping TCS’ clients transform their businesses, Krishnan is focused on transitioning TCS to be fully agile by 2020 – upskilling and reskilling thousands of employees, building collaborative workspaces, enhancing the management of contracts and partnerships and improving customer service.
Krishnan has been a part of TCS for the past 28 years and has rich experience in business and technology consulting. He has held several key leadership positions such as the global Head of Consulting Enterprise Solutions, Chief Operating Officer of TCS Financial Solutions, Director for the State Bank of India Group Core Banking Program, and head of TCS’s Global e-Commerce & Enterprise Application Integration practice. He also had a brief stint with Tata Internet Services as its Chief Technology Officer.
Krishnan joined TCS in 1991 after completing his Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana, USA. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, India. Krishnan is an excellent speaker and as a thought leader, he speaks in global conferences and actively interacts and shapes opinion among industry analysts.
Krishnan lives in Mumbai, India with his wife and two daughters. An avid reader, he enjoys non-fiction books, music, movies and tennis, and is passionate about promoting education in India’s rural communities.