PR 2.0 and Embracing MarTech

As an optimist we believe that 2020 is the year of PR 2.0. With the catalyst of the digital, it is time that Public Relations is driven by measurements and insights which are scientific and not straight from the gut. This year, we will be part of a lot of buzz words such as Marketing Intelligence, Social Listening, Targeted content, AI and more.

As marketing communication consultants and advisors, it is our ancillary function to research, analyse and create business solutions heavy on ROI. This capability also includes us to investigate and decode information along with the problem statement and client objective most of the times.

This is very similar to Law. You’d remember how in the series Suits, Harvey Specter and his team churned out full-fledged reports overnight to dig out information and connect the dots in favour of the client which even the competing lawyers missed. They didn’t have a superhuman capability. They use Marketing Intelligence.

There are highly skilled, tech-rich companies which provide computer-assisted legal research, business research and risk management services which enables electronic access to legal and journalistic documents. LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, Meltwater, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Equifax, S&P Global are some of these.

Akin to the law firms, the marketing firms are expected to be most accurate in their analysis of the brand. It is vital to know more than the client to earn their respect and attention. Many firms are yet to take the technology plunge and rely only on the unorganised and noisy World Wide Web resulting in long contemplation, deliberation and assessment. The sanctity of the research done is heavily based on a writer’s bias, a consumer trend overlooked or misread, or a false, expired report released. 35% of the consultancies or firms are far from the client’s thought and their pitch presentations end ahead of time.

What’s the solution?

To be fair with all sizes, large, mid-size or boutique the solution should be democratic and accessible. In this data-rich world, Technology offers us on a platter the brilliant, life-changing ‘Marketing Intelligence’. It allows managing digital consumer data, from the stage of collection to analysis through software tools and applications. With MI we can evaluate the key growth drivers of a solid business strategy and its communication roadmap.

The focus is on attributes such as sector attractiveness, segment-wise growth drivers, potential synergies, financial models, competitive strategies and more. Finally, we have in hand the most accurate marketing and communication proposal that aims to solve the brand’s business problem.

Is MarTech our magic wand today?

Yes, the MarTech fraternity is able to interpret and analyse any data scientifically now. Because it is derived from unbiased algorithms, this information helps us to prepare truthful insights.

Marketing Intelligence allows determining successful product alignments with its viable customers. 

With Social Listening tools we can study and implement enhanced social media analytics that provides a customer sentiment analysis, predictive analytics and business performance indicators. Giving an edge to Influencer Marketing it enables us to track recurring themes, identify emerging trends and target apt KOLs.

With machine learning and data analytics, information pertaining to individual consumers can be deduced and translated for campaigns, targeted ads and predict behaviour and trends.

Building a fool-proof Marketing Campaign

Consultancies, support the brand managers and CMOs with insight to make the best business strategy possible communicated through tactics and campaigns. For planning a campaign –

Know your channels – With tools such as Lexis Nexis, Quid, Meltwater we can identify the communication channels used the most. 

e.g. We have seen a splurge of online certification courses on Linkedin and Youtube via programmatic ads.

Know your products – Combine the data to understand our brand’s strengths, weaknesses and evaluate risks and opportunities. 

e.g. MarComm and PR can give a boost to support sectors such as stockbroking and medical insurance in the Covid 19 times.

Take over the market – Identify with statistical analysis the gaps in audiences and consumers and discover the next big opportunity. 

e.g. Smartphone brands running the message of ‘Make in India’ as first movers in the anti-China sentiment.

And the Mandate goes to…

A few companies that have been absolutely precise in their marketing decisions are –

  1. Paytm – They caught the consumer’s nerve and lead them to change the payment habit. The spread of Paytm has been evenly across India and demographics. Its understanding of all stakeholders has helped create the most precise messaging for them for all its campaigns.
  2. BookMyShow – Understanding the millennial convenience problem was their mantra. The company was a pioneer to develop personalised campaigns for users using demographic, booking, payment and loyalty data.
  3. Travel Experiences – Airbnb, Ixigo, MakeMyTrip are among the internet disruptors who use behavioural analytics, MI, Al and data to identify and segment consumers. As they assess the impact and influence of campaigns they continuously re-align marketing spends to incentivise top consumers.

Adapting to change and survival of the fittest are the takeaways from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Imbibing Marketing Intelligence, as marketers and brand professionals, is celebrating Darwin with our actions. Integrating Marketing Intelligence as an everyday function is not only a natural progression, but it is also the ammunition required to maintain the wiser consultancy and awesome advisory tag.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Udit Joshi
Integrated Marketing Communications Specialist at Topline Consulting Group.

Udit brings along the highest communications experience and positioning acumen to create the highest brand equity. An avid practitioner of Brand Positioning, his foundation lies in the art of story-telling to create highest brand recall. He has emphasised to play a role which is on the strategic side of PR for brand building and impact. Udit is credited with making brands achieve their due visibility among the target audience in domains and has won the prestigious Abbys (Goafest) and several Industry awards in over 11 years of Marketing and PR experience.

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