Global Disruptions Influencing Consumer Behaviour: Nikhil Mathur, GfK

Brands must be relevant and engage Gen Z, with price being a key determinant to win the game

Highlighting Indians’ lifestyle and behaviour, Nikhil Mathur, Managing Director – India, GfK said that global disruptions are influencing consumer behaviour in the country and that they are more focused on sustainability, education and lifestyle.

The world is going through massive disruption across different sectors and it has an impact on people’s lifestyle and behaviour. He added that brands must be relevant and engage Gen Z, with price being a key determinant.

Mathur mentioned, “The next two priorities for CMOs in the coming years are media optimisation, bringing data culture and maximising the potential of data, whether inside or outside the organisation."

While citing findings from the Gfk report, he informed Indians are interested in improving their lifestyles, whereas the rest of the world is focused on meeting basic needs. Consumer confidence is where a big difference is evident between a developing nation and a developed nation.

“India is a developing nation, so people here anticipate what the upcoming year holds. This gives marketers hope to target specific customers and goals by focusing on what can be achieved," Mathur added.

The development of consumer habits is determined by several external factors. Technology disruption is the most potent, with an extensive and enduring effect. For example, most people check their phones first in the morning, preferring quick service delivery and ordering food online. The most significant driver of change is technological advancement. However, he added, “Developing trust in brands has become more difficult in the digital age due to issues like cyberattacks and data protection."

The MD advised the brands to be straightforward to understand customers who want personalised recommendations. Brands that create relevant products for the mind, body and soul have greater growth potential. Consumer concern for the environment is real and eco-friendly options are now the norm. It impacts the consumer's purchasing choices.

“The new potential buyer segment is Gen Z, who prefers product information, and this is where brands can benefit from intelligently engaging with customers,” Mathur stated. Price remains a major determining factor for Indian consumers, who still consider a brand's age before trusting it with their money.

Notably, more than 70 per cent of CMOs surveyed worldwide reported seeing growth in the previous three years, and 80 per cent predicted growth in the upcoming three years. The market is filled with optimism regarding India's rise, both domestically and globally.

“There are three things that marketers can look after to engage consumers in evolving marketing benchmarks, 'R.O.I.' - where ‘R’ stands for resonates, ‘O’ for optimisation and ‘I’ for innovation,” said Mathur while addressing the 18th edition of BW Marketing Whitebook Summit 2023.