This week, we are in conversation with Ritu Gupta, Marketing Director, Dell India. With over 20 years of experience across various
marketing functions such as consumer insights, brand management, product
management, new product development and innovation across FMCG, retail banking
and consumer durables, she specialises in new product development, brand and
product management, advertising, market research, CRM, and leading big
Have millennials and GenZ transformed
the way businesses approach marketing?
and GenZ are shaping the future of marketing. India has the world’s largest
population of young people and they constitute a crucial consumer group for
most brands, directly influencing the way brands approach marketing these days.
marketing to millennials and GenZ, traditional approaches alone will not be as
effective. Digital tools and platform must be leveraged by including them in
the marketing mix. The narrative has also changed. Marketers need to speak the
language of millennials and GenZ, rather than just convey what the brand wants
to say. The story is also no longer a monologue, but a two-way communication.
Brands need to understand what the audience wants to hear, how it is relevant
to them, and integrate that into their marketing initiatives.
to this young audience must also be on their terms, through platforms and
channels that they most prefer, such as social media and video content.
Millennials and GenZ are always on the go, and they love consuming different
kinds of content. Hence, it becomes imperative for brands to understand these
preferences and tailor their marketing strategy accordingly.
are the best ways to connect with and sell to these groups?
is essential to understand that these generational segments view brands as a
form of self-expression. Brands can no longer sell to them; millennials and
GenZ have to buy into the brand. The best way to connect with them is to be
present on the same platforms where they are and speak about what brings value
to them. A key differentiator among brands is how they create value for this
few generations earlier, there were not as many brands as there are today, so
it was easier for brands to sell to their audience. Today, millennials and GenZ
are spoilt for choice, surrounded by a huge number of brands and categories.
Consequently their attention span is very short, and they are distracted. The
best way for brands to navigate this clutter is to connect with their value
system, speak their language, demonstrate how the brand adds value to their
lives, and be present on the same channels as they are.
to global research commissioned by Dell Technologies, GenZ has a deep,
universal understanding of technology and its potential to transform the way we
work and live. Having grown up as digital natives, most of GenZ have confidence
in their technical prowess. In APJ (the Asia Pacific and Japan), 70 per
cent rate their technology literacy as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Hence brands have
to increase their digital presence and engagement to reach this audience effectively.
What are the specific technologies that have
driven these changes?
mobile penetration, affordable internet data, and the amplified consumption and
use of social media, have driven the evolution of how marketers engage with
millennial and GenZ audiences.
a) We want to focus on cross-customer
b) I will give you four: Artificial
do you need to win in the marketplace – better technology or better
in the marketplace needs a combination of both better ideas and better
technology. While a better idea can help differentiate a brand in the market,
superior technology can undoubtedly give the brand an edge over the
competition. However, in isolation, neither are enough since they will only
give the brand a first-mover advantage, as both ideas and technology can be
replicated. Therefore, it is vital to have a great idea thriving on superior
makes customer experiences the differentiator of the future?
customer’s relationship with the brand is a huge differentiator. Earlier, this
used to be driven predominantly by marketing and advertising, and it was easy
to foster these relationships. Now, there are far wider choices among brands as
compared to those available to earlier generations.
brands are also more confident in their offerings. They rely on customer
experiences, to the extent that if a customer wants to explore a competitor’s
offerings, brands that are confident of their strengths know that the customer
will soon be back in their fold. What brings these customers back is their
experience with the brand, which competitors may find hard to replicate.
How do you bridge the gap between
expectation and experience?
engagement with customers to derive insights and implementing them wherever
relevant is key to bridging this gap. Social media is today a big part of
consumers’ lives and an enabler for consumer brands.
listening is an important part of understanding the customer experience. World
over, and including India,
at Dell, we have one of the largest social listening teams and have made
significant investments in that area. Since everything that we do at Dell is
kept with the customers in mind, we are continually listening to what they say
on multiple social platforms and taking feedback. Using social listening, we
can understand our customer’s needs and expectations. With these insights, we
can deliver enhanced product or service experiences.
What does it take for brands to stay
competitive in today’s dynamic economy and market?
Dell, we believe in having the right product in the right place with the right
differentiator, whether it is the experience or technology. To stay
competitive, brands must have a loyal customer base because this can give them
an edge against their biggest competitors.
Can a one-size-fits-all approach work
in a differentiated market such as India?
Unlike in other countries, for a
country as diverse as India,
‘a one-size-fits-all approach’ doesn’t always apply. Brands need to identify
their target audience and curate branding initiatives and campaigns that
resonate with them. In the end, it is all about differentiating one’s brand,
and adding value to consumers’ lives while retaining the brand’s core values.
and how should brands think local?
India is an ethnically diverse country.
Every State is unique, and so is each city within it. As such, it is important
to think local. At Dell, we tailor our communications and marketing outreach
during regional festivals to suit the State and the festival. For example,
during Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, we roll out promos and offers specific to
How do you approach markets in the
south when it comes to branding and consumer engagement?
it comes to tech and adoption, while we cannot categorise it in terms of South
India versus North India, we do see great
potential in these markets, and our marketing activities are curated to suit
local trends. For instance, we believe that small businesses are flourishing in
the South, and Dell opened its first-ever small business solution centre in
Bengaluru. It is interesting to note that this is also Dell’s first-ever small
business solution centre in the world.
This article is part
of a brand initiative by The Hindu BusinessLine to profile marketing
professionals from across India.