Brand Love: Going Beyond Algorithms

While data is seen as the holy grail of marketing today, does it dampen the emotional spirit of a brand with its consumers?

Having data that is correct and accessible at the right time ultimately defines success for data-driven marketers. While traditional practices helmed around long-held assumptions or the gut feeling, data in marketing today helps lay quantifiable facts- your consumer data. What once used to be a mass, untargeted marketing campaign is now a factual effort of what you know to be true.

However, does too much data melt the emotional connection with the brand?

Agreeing that no marketing is complete without data, building emotions while we remain data-driven, makes a brand stand out from the crowd. Emotion is seen to be a powerful force here, given it can influence the consumers’ decision-making. With the deliberate use of persuasive messaging, marketers are aiming to tap the right chord that forms a deep connection with consumers, and ultimately reach their business milestones. 

Speaking on whether data begets elimination of emotional connect Simeran Bhasin, VP - Brands and New Ventures, Licious shares, “The world of brands is one that cannot work without human connection. The only way data and emotion can coexist is when you look at numbers and figure the human connection, as they tell stories and reasons. This separates a good decision from a great decision. How we read and what we put is as important.” 

In most cases, marketers carve their brand positioning in accordance with the available consumer data and algorithms. Explaining how they get insights into emotional messaging, Amit Sethiya, Head - Marketing, Syska Group says, “Marketers love to make things complex to show we have done something meaningful. At Syska, while data has always been around, there is a focus on strong customer insight too. Data can always help you but remains small. 

With the help of insights, we were able to position ourselves in India strong. A compelling story must be narrated. Data is important but how much of data is also important to look upon.”

We are, of course, inundated with data. In the online world itself, the volume of information is growing at lightning speed. Each minute on average, more than 200 million emails move across the Internet (though most are spam). Twitter users post more than 300,000 new tweets. People across the globe share more than 38,000 Instagrams. YouTube users upload another 100 hours of video. Google processes more than 3.6 million web searches. And 2.2 million things on Facebook get a “like” or a comment. Huge, isn't it?

Admitting that we all are obsessed with data and that it can become noise sometimes, Nicholas Kontopoulos, Asia Pacific Regional Head of Marketing, Adobe DX Commercial professes that we are swimming in a lot of data. “This will continue to increase. As brands, we need to become that one signal in noise for customers, so they are able to find us. If we become that signal, the pull marketing will be in our favour. They will search you out,” he suggests to marketers aiming to cut through this noise.

Highlighting how marketers can strike a balance between data and emotions in their approach, Narayan Sundararaman, Head of Marketing, Bajaj Auto comments, “My experience says a lot of data is noise. There must be certain principles and frameworks in mind to float in this sea of data. Second, it is important to bounce off from this data and create meaningful insights. Read what your audience is trying to tell you. Read their signals. In short, look at good insights, facts and stories and then act.”

*The speakers' comments have been taken from a recent industry forum