Data To Solve The “Customer Profile” Jigsaw

Delusions Courtesy Multiple Data Platforms

Before we talk about data, let’s talk about all the technology vendors who promise to provide a “360-degree view of customers”. Players in this segment include CDP, DMP and CRM software providers. Which one’s really fit for you?

Would you deploy an array of such software platforms to identify a channel you’d rather invest in to drive sales, promote your brand or generate leads? Even if you do, it does not clearly pick and show you all of your customer’s interactions with your brand’s campaign across sites and ad platforms.

Driving Sales But Not Customer Engagement?

Although there isn’t a direct link between a sale and a campaign, having your point-of-sale and digital identifiers synced can get you answers with some level of certainty. Digital identifiers include cookies and mobile advertising IDs. If you have a sale done at your store, wouldn’t you want to match it with the digital campaign that influenced the customer to make the purchase?

Some tech partners can help you achieve this by studying the change in foot traffic at your stores. Oftentimes, GPS lat/long data points, WiFi connections, and the data from Bluetooth beacons are measured to attribute sales.

So you have enterprise software vendors and a good number of tech partners but would you claim that you put all this data and the customer’s proximity to your stores to good use?

Disparate Systems Equal Data Silos

Companies resort to matching customer details with hashed email IDs to attribute sales but no one’s sure of its accuracy. Why? Because, conditions apply. You must identify the user across sites and apps. The user must opt in to share his/her location. Your store’s information about still being in business must be mapped across cities. That’s a lot of data and there’s still plenty of sources that house customer information, like:

  • Customer Relationship Management Software
  • Data Management Platforms
  • Customer Data Platforms
  • Transaction Data
  • Customer Forms or other databases

How do you finish the customer jigsaw with pieces of information from all the above sources? Or can you already tell that these sources have a superset that can potentially cure all your data hiccups? Here’s an article if you’re interested in reading a little more about how to use your data efficiently.

Watch this space for the next blog wherein our founder introduces a new concept to have all your data requirements catered to from one place.


Marketing: Data The Stepping Stone

In today’s day and age, there is so much content available – written content, video content, marketing content and so forth for the end user. Drawing parallels with marketers, it becomes clear that they have a mounting pile of “data”. Where does all the data come from? CRMs, transaction data, customer data and other databases to name a few.

Does your data provide you with adequate insight to answer all your questions related to marketing? Well, one easy way to identify an issue is when you know there’s an element in your equation that just doesn’t add up. Too much data, too many graphs with complicated text is often hard to comprehend. As advertisers you need to be able to understand the data you have at hand in a quick and effortless manner! You’d then be able to predict the consumer needs of your target audiences.

Data analyses equip marketing and sales to construct their respective plans that are in line with the organization’s goal. If you are an advertiser, here are a few pointers to help you mediate and use your data more efficiently:

  1. Profile data: The practice of data profiling helps you comprehend the first-party, second-party, and third-party data; wherein, you identify the missing links and incorrect entries listed within the data set. This promises quality data collection while assuring its relevance to your target audience.
  2. Standardize: Standardizing data across channels enables you to establish an intelligent customer database. For marketers in an organization to know what to measure and how to measure it, it is important to set standards. Start with the external sources or with the internal data your currently own.
  3. Maintain consistency – Data can be interpreted differently by people and even computer systems, for example, if an individual were to list his employer as Tata, when filling out a form to download a white paper, the system might not recognize it since it is only familiar with TCS. Therefore, it is important to have standards set and to record the data in a manner, that is recognized universally. One such example is how dates need to be recorded, whether in the format of dd/mm/yy or mm/dd/yy.
  4. Treat data silos: The information from the various regional offices, departments and different communication channels of an organization contribute to growing amounts of data. Irrelevance or inconsistency in data, can lead to miscommunication or confusion even within the organization. It is therefore vital that you have processes, guidelines and technologies in place to make sure that the branches, and teams sharing data work effectively together.

What if one software could collect, organize, administer, analyze, conduct data quality checks and recognize the trends within the acquired consumer database? It is about time that marketers’ jobs are made a little bit easier by breaking information silos and giving them a leg up with clarity and easy access to the right resource. The result will mean more time for you to get the creativity flowing to boost your brand’s presence.



BPRISE At India’s #1 Digital Marketing Event Ad:Tech 2018 New Delhi

ad:tech New Delhi was indeed all about what’s trending in the digital ecosystem. An unparalleled marketplace where marketing, technology and media biggies come together to share trends, insights, disruptive technology news. 


ad tech new delhi 2018


As BPRISE gets closer to becoming exactly 2 years old, we cannot keep calm and are wrecking some healthy havoc in the adtech space (especially at our Mumbai headquarters)! All our adtech experiments and analytics research gets fine-tuned by the day and we’re making our presence known.


ad tech new delhi 2018


We recently made our debut at Ad:Tech New Delhi (March 8-9, 2018) which was held at The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon and just had to share the news with our new readers (you!).


ad tech new delhi 2018


At Ad:Tech we met with industry leaders in marketing, technology and data. We discussed the latest trends, obstacles and areas that need innovation. Our goal was to engage in open and collaborative discussions circled around past learning and also future opportunities.


ad tech new delhi 2018

ad tech new delhi 2018


We would love to hear from you, especially if we connected at Ad:Tech… <3

Or you could drop in a greeting at [email protected] if you want to catch up or know about our adtech gig!


Changes In Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm; Must You Panic?

If I were to get downright real with you, I’d say advertising with a “spray and pray” approach is not really ideal. You do not like ads on your social media pages that are drab and/or generic, basically irrelevant to you; I do not like them either. If advertisers/agencies want to get my attention today, it can be achieved by means of authentic conversations with solutions or product recommendations (read ads) that are truly relevant to me right now. Another approach which may be donned by the brands/agencies that are tempted to do so are controversial and/or polarizing content to win a glance from netizens. All said and done, I for one am down with Facebook’s News Feed algorithm update.

Tactics like clickbait and engagement bait are put to practice by certain groups or agencies; clickbait is any content that attracts and encourages visitors like you and me to click on a link to a specific web page (think of headlines like “You Will Not Believe How The Deliveryman Reacted To The Barking Dog” or “He Put Garlic In His Shoe And What Happens Next Is Shocking” et al.) and an engagement bait goads people into liking, sharing or commenting on their posts (think of headlines like “Like This If You Are An Aries” or “Share With 20 Friends For A Chance To Win The New Convertible” or “Comment Below Your Favourite Food Item” or “Help Us Find The Missing Child” et al.).

To address users’ feedback on clickbait, Facebook made an update to News Feed ranking to reduce clickbait headlines. With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and instead more of the stories that they want to see higher up in their News Feeds like those from family and friends. It must have been quite a relief for those that fell for clickbait when Facebook finally took care of that.

The massively used social network Facebook wants to get back to being a “social” network and are now tackling engagement bait (hallelujah!) on their News Feed. They are set to demote individual posts from people and pages that use engagement bait. Any post that goes against their News Feed value – authenticity – will get demoted. The teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized countless posts to inform a machine learning model to detect different kinds of engagement bait. They claim that posts that use such a tactic will be shown less in News Feed.

Pages that use engagement bait to gain reach in News Feed need to watch out. Facebook will roll out page-level demotion that systematically and repeatedly use the above tactic. It would be wise of advertisers and publishers to adapt and avoid using engagement bait in their posts by accident.

It must also be noted that the days of reaching the right audience the organic way has dwindled and if you’re a brand and you want to reach the most potential customers, you got to pay! The ad rates on Facebook have risen by 35% in the last quarter alone and although John Hedgeman, VP of Product Management at Facebook claims that advertising on the social network will be “unaffected” considering the algorithm update, agencies disagree.

In addition to paying for genuine reach, agencies/brands/publishers will have to work their way with authentic content into the digital eyes of people to withstand the competition against treasured moments with family and friends.

After some major reading online and from my little understanding since working at this humble ad tech startup, I’ve got the following to say to agencies, advertisers, brands and publishers:

  • Concentrate more on the quality of the content that fortifies the key brand messages than the number of posts on your Facebook page.
  • Advertise on Facebook for raising awareness and for promotions.
  • Stop using engagement bait like “Like for Yes and Angry for No” on your posts as this will not promise reach anymore.
  • Rely not on Facebook posts with links to your blogs etc. for traction.
  • Deliver more live videos as opposed to pre-recorded ones; Facebook said that live videos have nearly six times the interactions of non-live ones.
  • Set up groups to educate people interested in your offers (products/services) as opposed to randomly bombarding people with irrelevant, generic content.
  • Speak about subjects that are growing and remember that social CRM is key!

In a nutshell, it isn’t the end of the world no matter these algorithm changes in News Feed; you needn’t panic. Instead, up the relevance of the content you display to your audience, tap into technologies like VR for enriching the user experience, make your content more human, cut the generalization, build on personalization and I can say you’ll be thumbs-upped by me for sure!

Life Of A Marketer

Who cares about “ad effectiveness” at 08:30 AM? Ah, my bad. What marketer hits the office at 08:30 AM, anyway? Of course, considering the innumerable tasks that a marketer oversees (sometimes, overlooks), performs (or preempts), the 24-hours-in-a-day-thing does not really work for them.

As someone who works in the Marketing Department primarily, I can tell that no marketer ever has “enough time” on them. All the pre-planned schedule goes for a giant toss and what’s more is that the coin lands on its edge more often than all of us care to admit. You may wonder what’s a marketer onto, that consumes all of their sane time. And if you’re a marketer, then this can be your “constructive read” (sic).

A day in the life of a marketer (let’s call her Jane!) concerns the working on the following…

Scene 1: Digital Marketing 

Jane-the-marketer, works her way through multiple creatives, multiple platforms, multiple log-ins, multiple campaign goals, multiple reports, multiple vendors on a regular basis. Although she’s a dedicated marketer, she finds it humanly impossible to smoothly transition between all the aforementioned “multiples“. Now, if her employer (i.e. the advertiser or brand or retailer) is kind enough to split her work by adding new members to marketing, it will mean that the size of the marketing team goes up, in turn increasing the firm’s ad spends. Does having a bulky team deal with multiple platforms and countless vendors ensure that the advertised products meet the respective real-time needs of its target audience?

You and I both know that one-ad-does-not-fit-all. We also know that quantity does not guarantee quality. It is the quality and appropriate fitting of an ad to a situation in the real-life of its target audience that counts. And it most definitely is not the mammoth-sized-ness of the marketing team that counts.

What if we could resolve these issues, for Jane (and marketers like her!) in one shot? How much of an ease would it be on brands (i.e. advertisers/retailers) if they could keep their marketing budgets from skyrocketing and still reach the right customers precisely when they’re in need of a solution/product? How does a relevant, ad-for-a-human sound like? 

Scene 2: Analysis

So, marketer Jane, successfully runs ad campaigns across the web and mobile apps and has received reams of data capturing the performance and reach of her ads. She consults a number of third-party vendors to analyze the data and tell her what all the numbers and graphs of data, means simply. A thorough analysis is possible only when marketers have all the information about their target audience’s preferences as consumers. Although Jane divides her time between consulting with various vendors and gathering insights from distinct sources, she’s still deficient of her target audiences’ offline preferences as consumers. What this means is that customers often walk into stores near them and grab what they really need, for a price. There are times, they hop into branded shops or retail stores more than once just to get product-related information. Is Jane even aware of this practice? Let’s say Mary visited A Shoe Shop a couple of times. She spent a considerable amount of time at the heels section but walked out of the shop each time without buying anything. This offline consumer behavior of Mary is invaluable to Jane. Because if Jane was aware of Mary’s offline behavior as a consumer, she could target Mary with an ad of a footwear right when she’d walked out of the Shoe Shop without having made a purchase? Hence relying solely on users’ online data sounds like one is building a lopsided launchpad for the advertising campaigns to take off from.

Wouldn’t it also benefit if you could understand what happens across web, app and stores? What a winner of a deal if the marketer’s ad platform could serve as a one-stop-solution to all of the ad campaign needs? What if the marketer could enjoy the luxury of not having to consult a multitude of vendors for campaign results and customer insights? What if the analysis helped marketers with target lookalike customers? And what if the marketing platform was automated so well that it understood brands’ customers as well a human marketer could?

Scene 3: Targeting & Retargeting

Targeting Prospects

Jane markets products/solutions to prospects as ads over the web, mobile phones and even apps. But given Jane’s limited knowledge of her prospects’ offline consumer behaviour, her ads do not completely resolve their real-life, real-time problems. This results in the ads becoming somewhat irrelevant to her target audience and thus gives way to unimpressive CTRs. Targeting without insights is like driving without the headlights on.

Wouldn’t marketers be able to provide genuinely useful solutions/product recommendations to potential customers in the form of ads had they been aware of the customers’ real-time needs? Imagine all the gains (for the marketer, for the advertiser/retailer and for the customer) when an ad is truly apt for a customer and solves one of their immediate problems?

Retargeting Potentials

Marketer Jane finds that numerous visitors have looked up her brand’s products online but have left without buying anything. Abandoned carts are one of her main concerns as a brand marketer. And she offers discounted product recommendations to her customers in order to win them back. However, customers could have skipped buying the product online given a number of reasons. The product could have been too pricey for them, they could have been browsing just like that, they couldn’t have found what they’re looking for or maybe they wanted to check the same products at a brick and mortar store. Insights that are derived exclusively from an individual’s online activities will never constitute genuine “customer insights“. A customer’s activities are not limited to their online conduct alone and the sooner marketers tap into customers’ offline preferences and consumer needs as well, the better!  It is quite the combination of online and offline customer data that constitute true customer insights. 

What would make it absolutely easy for marketers to join the dots with customers’ online and offline behaviour and figure out their precise needs? What if all the abandoned carts would suddenly overflow with products of happy patrons?

Scene 4: Conversion

Marketer Jane hits the bull’s eye with her marketing campaign for she sees immediate hike in sales. Let’s say Jane’s ad convinced Mark to buy her brand’s shoes. But does this mean that Jane’s done for the day? Forget the tens of documents she’s got to edit and release! A successful sale or a conversion calls for brands to build on the patron’s interests as a consumer. Brands partially achieve this with the help of loyalty and membership cards; but this practice does not capture all of the user’s online and offline consumer traits. Building a profile with the help of web analytics and proximity-based analytics for every patron will not only help marketers retarget them with relevant content but also help them establish a database of lookalike customers. A lookalike customer is anyone who resembles one or a group of the marketer’s paying patrons. They’re basically prospects that marketers can target on. Also, lookalike customers are external to the database of customers that the advertiser/retailer already has.

Once analytics helps marketers with valuable insights about existing customers, targeting lookalike customers becomes easier. Marketers can target lookalike customers with fitting ads based on the success of their previous ad campaigns.

Insights from Mark’s conversion will help marketers up-sell and cross-sell effectively. Targeting a lookalike customer therefore (say Joe) will not constitute a shot in the dark because Jane has historic data to substantiate the possibility of Joe (who is a lot like Mark as a consumer) converting!

What if marketers could target lookalike customers as soon as their inventory gets restocked? Nothing like the ability to up-sell and cross-sell relevant products to patrons; how do marketers achieve all this?

Having a simple but powerful ad platform that not only optimizes marketers’ reach with ads that are truly relevant to the brand’s customers, right when they’re in need is quite the evolution in marketing. This evolution will not only bring down the firm’s marketing expenses but also allow the brand to have an efficient, slim marketing team. Which is why, marketers, rather advertisers/retailers that are quick to adopt the same could save considerably. Predictive analytics ad platforms like the one BPRISE offers, gathers information and learns user behavior.

If marketer Jane, were to use BPRISE’S programmatic platform, she’d be able to accomplish everything right from marketing, to targeting, to analytics, to sales, to retargeting, to conversion, to up-selling/cross-selling and looking for lookalike customers, all using a single dashboard. This unified ad platform cuts the need for marketers like her to jump between platforms and wait on countless vendors saving the marketers’ time   and money immensely!  If you’re a brand that’s looking for answers to the above questions, get in touch with BPRISE asap. Oh, also if you’re the marketer who’s concerned about ad effectiveness at 08:30 AM, we’ll definitely be worth your time!


12 Lessons From A Year As A Start-Up Entrepreneur

My first full year at BPRISE, the company I co-founded in mid-2016, has been very much like the opening lines of A Tale Of Two Cities. However eventful the journey so far, there has been a learning curve at every juncture. I thought I’d share some of those prickly lessons and pearls of wisdom with you, as we introspect on the year gone by and toast to the one to come…

1. Is The Market For Your Product, Desperate Enough?

Start-ups have been fashionably sprouting all over the global spectrum for years now. But only a few survive. Does your start-up satiate a thirst and hunger for a service or item? That should be the first logical question you ask yourself. Look for signs like customer acquisition costs going down, exponential demand and revenue growth (on a weekly basis) and the virality of word of mouth. If you don’t find a convincing enough justification, then you quite simply, have no business! Start off on the right foot, so that the journey ahead is on solid ground with real potential.

2. Do you have a problem?

I’ve always believed that solving a big problem is a bigger deal and leads to a huge business opportunity. Do your buyers have urgent needs that need to be addressed as soon as possible? Great! That means they are more likely to adopt your solution AND pay a premium for it. Put every idea you get through the test, of whether it solves a big conundrum or not. You can’t build a billion-dollar company without solving a billion-dollar problem or one that a hundred million people are willing to pay for. If Facebook today is almost a $500 billion company, it’s because it addresses one of the humans’ most urgent needs: The need to be Social, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

3. Start With Part-Time. Grow into Full-Time

Start-up initiation is mostly about having a smart, self-starter attitude. Most Hall-Of-Famers start out as garage bands. Every entrepreneur may not be able to work full time at a start-up from the get-go. Even a part-time commitment can be a decent beginning. Ideating, meeting with a bunch of potential users, building a testing version of the product, seeking user input – all of this can be done on the weekends or for a few hours every other day. Baby steps, till you’re able to walk with a full team and a structured venture is better than doing nothing. Have a clear target plan of what it will take to quit your current job to run the start-up full time. 10 paying customers or 200 active users? About $2000 in monthly revenue? Or A $10,000 investment? Work toward whatever the goals may be, so that even on a part-time basis, you can eventually turn the side-gig into your owned and operated outfit.

4. Put the Pro in Prototype

A prototype is a functional or visual example of what you envision building in the future. Potential customers, Investors and/or Team Members are who you would typically build one for. When potential buyers see how a product might look (visual prototype) or work (functional prototype), it becomes easier for them to believe in its value. A prototype could make ideating and brainstorm with your team much easier and possibly, even get you funded.

Personally, I didn’t need to spend money producing many units of the actual product, just to sell my idea. I gave presentations to a couple of big banks and heads of large agencies armed with just a laptop and something that looked like a full-size motherboard sprouting wires from every end. Not a pretty sight, but it helped me confidently prove my point and notice what exactly the customer appreciated it.

5. You And What Army?

Just because you’ve started up with a gem of an idea, frame-worthy vision and unshakable passion to build the next big thing, doesn’t mean that it’s a sure slam dunk just yet. Human Capital is what drives every success story. Investors and accelerators always judge a founder by the company he or she keeps, quite literally. So, while it may seem obvious to hire key talent who are aptly qualified for various positions, they should share your parental passion for the start-up and express vows for the long haul. Make it a priority to be very selective about your hires, so that partners, potential VCs, and clients recognize this value and seek to join the club.

6. Hi, I’m Jack. Of All Trades.

Sure, founding team members each have unique designations and departments on their business cards. But the reality is that all their cups runneth over. Sometimes, a business development or marketing professional might be M.I.A, so the founding members need to step in and multi-task. Teething issues and responsibilities like programming, recruiting, customer service, cheerleading, and designing need to be shouldered by the founders, over and over again. Now granted, you might not necessarily be a trained programmer yourself, but that doesn’t absolve you of your duties. Having a basic understanding of new technologies and knowing a little bit of everything will only help you propose viable solutions, evaluate teamwork and hire the best. This can be painful since you might not be spending much time perfecting the craft you love. But along the way, you will pick up complementary skills that will only boost your core talent. Once your start-up grows to a position where it can afford to build a bigger team with leaner KRAs, then you can go back to be the Master of One. Just like your card says!


7. Don’t Be A Big Fish In A Puddle

The modern-day Confucius – Jack Ma advises to ‘hire people with superior technical skills than yours”. He couldn’t be righter. You can win a running race by outsmarting peers who are not as good as you. But, if you train with the best of the best, even if you are placed last in the race, you’ll have timed better. High levels of competence in a company only help soar efficiency rates and speeds progress by default. So, hire smart people and then listen to them.

8. Are They Positive?

It’s not enough to stay hungry and foolish. You’ve got to stay positive too! I had a major falling out with an employee, only because of their negative attitude. I’ve come to realize that you can always train people to carry out certain tasks and handle certain machines, but professionalism and positivity are character traits that come inbuilt for the most part. Your quarterback may “Show You The Money”, but if he is a big sourpuss, then his vibe might bring the rest of the team down and cost you that Super Bowl. Headhunt people with enthusiasm and a sporting spirit.

9. All Aboard?

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, like many other entrepreneurs, had to deal with quite the Catch 22. At the start of the journey, no travelers would come to the Airbnb website without accommodation listings and no homeowners would list their space without legitimate travelers on the site. Chesky said that he had to build the business, literally one home at a time, block by block, street by street and city by city. We too, at BPRISE, find it tricky with publishers and advertisers being our proverbial chicken and egg. This period of setting up meetings with clients and time flying by as we wait for early deals to culminate is stressful, to say the least. The ship can only start to sail once you have those initial clients and partners on board. Our unwavering faith, zen-like patience, and persistence are what will see us through the painfully quiet work days.

10. Plans Change. So Should You.

Most start-ups end up charting a course that’s different from the one that was initially sketched. This is normal and typically has little to do with having industry knowledge or experience in the line of work. There are many factors that could spoil your ideas and carefully planned projections. Don’t be too precious about them. Everything happens for a reason and change should be embraced as chances for better ideas and directions to present themselves.

Remember that the battle plan is the first casualty of the war. As soon as the first bullet is fired, the plan goes right out the window.

11. Draw A Budget & Pinch Pennies

In the business world, especially for start-up entrepreneurs, financial prudence plays a crucial role in the sustainability and transition from a small-scale boutique business to medium or large-scale organization. The initial euphoria of a newly established venture distracts entrepreneurs from keeping an eye on the cash flow statement. Many start-ups fail because of overspending. So, restrict withdrawals to adhere to a strict budget and regularly review it with discipline.

Don’t be ashamed to hunt for bargain deals online and at nearby stores. Strict financial discipline is a habit. Unnecessary spending leads to business failure.

12. Sales. Duh!

No matter what kind of company you run, the mission statement is one and the same across the board: ‘Decrease Overheads, Increase Revenue’. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the day to day affairs of operating a company, creating systems, corresponding to emails and updating social media pages. But do you have your eye on the prize? Are you acquiring new customers and improving sales? Isn’t that what you work for? Make sure you are staying productive and profitable with everything you and your team do. Segregate tasks into billable and non-billable jobs, evaluate the time spent on different accounts and make every action and person accountable for the bottom line objective. Because without customers and sales, what you have is not a business, but an expensive hobby!

To sum it up…


The start-up race is started by tens of thousands, but only half of them take the first steps. A mere hundred emerge from failures and even fewer make it to their first ‘ka-ching’! The ones who survive are living proof of perseverance and competitiveness. That’s what sets apart the dreamers and thinkers from the doers. It’s the survival of the fittest out there, so strap on your best-armoured suit and don’t forget to take notes while you battle on.


Lessons from a “Kirana” shop in omni-channel retail

I often have thought of technology as an extension of human behaviour. It is evident in the way technology has evolved through the ages. From riding horses to carriages to cars to planes and now even to space crafts. We first invented solutions that reduced laborious work and then went on to build complex systems that have propelled humans into space and even beyond. But irrespective of all the new technology we invent, our basic needs remain same and necessity is the mother of all inventions.

Retail sector is no exception to this phenomenon. We can draw many parallels from the ye olde methods of retail that resonate with today’s omnichannel solutions. India has been the land of “kirana” (translates to grocery) stores, which can be found in almost every locality and which are thriving despite of the dawn of supermarkets and online grocery giants. Why wait for 60mins superfast delivery, when one can get the product immediately from the store-next-door?

When talking about Omnichannel retailing, often, one gets distracted. The complexity of technology distracts you from the simple solutions that it is set out to provide. When I envision retailing in the future, I will always think of the kirana shops. They have catered the excellent service and personalised engagement that extends comfort and trust.

Kirana, Retail, Omnichannel,
A regular “kirana” store can be found in almost every locality.

We tend to purchase from those retailers that make shopping hassle free and assuring.

Today, omnichannel retailers complain about the following challenges:

  • Lack of unified dashboard for viewing insights about their clients across all channels.
  • Knowing when to reach out to their customers with relevant products & services.
  • Retailers have already invested and deployed store systems that aren’t dynamic and would take too long to upgrade.
  • Retailer’s IT systems were designed to measure sales and not keep track of consumer behaviour.

The Kirana store is relevant and thriving today is because of the following qualities that makes it unique:

  • Is open at odd hours not 24×7 – Opens store for Milk & Bread sales early 530 am and often closes late at night by 11pm or so to cater to last minute late-night customers. Modern retail needs to be for their customer with relevant products at relevant hours.
  • Personal rapport – The store vendor calls you “Bhaiyya” or “Bhabhi” (uncle, aunty, big brother etc) and instantly bonds with you over small talk while he fetches your items. He might not remember your name, but does manage to serve personalization with his presence of mind. It is very difficult to up scale the same level of personalization in an omnichannel environment. But with social media connected intuitive tools personalization can be made more human than mechanical.
  • Extends credit – Accepts cash – Tenders change –These small shop owners extend monthly credit to their loyal customers and maintain a record in a simple easy to understand ledger. If you are short of cash, they accept your order and let you pay ahead. Such services build loyalty and build deeper rapport with their clients. Retailing would always be about experience. Once your store supports the customer through a difficult time, they would stick around with the same vendor for long-long time. The short-term expense/losses that you make while extending discounts etc would lead to long term loyal customers who would always reach out your store first.
  • Knowing your customer: As you have been purchasing since long, the store vendor suggests products in accordance to your buying behaviour. In your monthly grocery list if you forget to add an item, he would remind you of the same and at times, also suggests new products that would suit your requirements. Modern retail can easily keep track of customers past buying behaviour and intelligently suggest relevant products.

All your efforts to brand, promote and sell your solutions/products go in vain if they are identical to your competitors. Hence aim to customize and personalize each interaction with your clients based on their preferences. Build relations like the nearby “kirana” store owner has and reap long term customer loyalty.

Supermarkets, Omnichannel, Retail, India
Supermarkets and Mega-marts try to woo in customers by promising a unique shopping experience.

Personalization is Powerful.

It is also difficult to master. It requires real time intelligent insights. In depth customer analytics and relevant dynamic data. Your clients today are present both online & offline. This duality is the key to develop key insights.

At BPRISE, we are analytics based customer engagement company. Our vision is to make marketing innovative and intelligent, which would enhance ROI for your establishment. We built a unified dashboard that visualizes your customer’s profiles and helps you take informed marketing decisions to reach your customers at the right time. Our up-to-the-minute solutions help you build focused meaningful campaigns and equip you with relevant insights to drive better sales and effective customer satisfaction.

To know more about BPRISE visit:

24×7 Shopping experience in Mumbai

Mumbai being a cosmopolitan city in the perfect sense, is famously known to be the city that never sleeps. Recently, I read an article in the newspapers. The government may permit shops in Mumbai to stay open for 24 hours. The headline ‘You may get to shop 24/7 in Mumbai’ though eye-catching, doesn’t come as a novelty to people from Mumbai who will not attribute very high importance to the subject. Mumbaikars have always known eating joints and hangout places that cater to the requirement way past midnight. The urgency or need to procure utilities at odd hours is not so common.

How does the event affect us then? Or is it just strategy to stay ahead of the digitized businesses by the sheer promise of being available at the buyer’s whim. It is all an experience, the comfort of online shopping and the joy of grabbing a bite at late in the night. Each experience has its own sense of leisure. As a buyer, a traveler, a foodie I welcome this new aspect of freedom attached to the city. As a marketer I wonder how does it benefit the commercial world?

Evaluating the benefits and efforts on a balancing scale, the profit margin over and above the regular hours of business is debatable and the discomfort attached to the smooth functioning seems to have more weightage. This fact is true for both local shops and those situated in malls. If we keep a tab on the amount spend on the basics to keep the show running for just a few more hours, would it balance the profit made?

We have had the option to shop at just about any hour of our liking, if not in-store, online. Though I welcome the announcement, I wonder how does it change my life?

Not on every single day. Not if I am proficient at planning and keep my household stores in tact but it would make a difference to me had I been a college student. It would have made a difference to me if I were a small-size business owner, a business that depends on the availability of another vendor. The move may not have a major impact on the everyday life of people in general but it will definitely make an impact on the city’s trade and commercial acumen. I look forward to this new episode in the city.

Another very famous epithet-whoever comes to Mumbai, falls in love with it and can never truly leave it. The city stays in the heart forever.

The world gets digitized. We are still human.

I needed a pair of running shoes. The morning breeze works on me like the most invigorating drug. I get up every morning and go for a jog by the lakeside. It’s springtime, the ground is a carpet of green and the trees are lush with life. Yellow flowering bunches of the laburnums, red of the Flame tree make the entire experience worth more than missing couple of hours of sleep.

When my running shoes wore off, I started missing the best hour of my day. I work long hours. Lack of time demands me to do most of my shopping online. Visiting a mall has become a luxurious once in two months affair. I was browsing on my phone for the perfect pair of sneakers and spotted a gorgeous blue pair. As I went on to the payment tab, the site reflected the shoes to be out of stock.

My heart was set on the very same pair. I decided to make a visit to the nearest store and check if they had that product in stock. Sunday afternoon, I was parking my car into the basement of the mall. A message flashes on the screen of my phone, ‘Dear Shipra, you left the blue sneakers in your cart. It is available at our Pali Hill Store. Checkout if you are nearby.’

There are two things I realized that day. First, though digitization occurred to satisfy the need for speed and comfort, we can still go to any length for something that has our heart. We are ruled by our passions. The strength of our desires and the will to make them pass makes us human. Our thoughts make us human. I receive so many marketing messages but I buy only whenever and whatever I want.

Second, I pondered on how digitization can benefit the commercial world. The power of data can be utilized only when brands truly understand and serve what the buyer wants. As a buyer, I have so many choices. I will buy from someone who best meets my requirements and at the earliest. I will buy from the shop that knows me best, greets me best.

Why Personalization Matters


Personalization is an often repeated topic across the internet. The internet offers a million solutions on how to achieve it. However, we still don’t have the perfect solution on how to personalize the communication for a lot of people at one go.

At the heart of anything that we do, there are relationships. More often than not it’s the people behind the product who matter, not the product itself. Especially when two products are almost the same.

When I was a kid, we used to pick milk from a local shop. The folks at the shop took the business for granted. They never had change for a large bill and literally fired the daylights out of customers for not bringing smaller denomination notes. None of the other shops nearby stocked on milk, as it needs a good refrigeration facility. Two years later, the shop shut down. Why? Because a young couple opened a new shop in the vicinity. They were a bit far off and not centrally located as the shop I used to visit. But they were an enterprising folk. They always had change, they knew their customers and were always friendly. If something was not there and could be arranged in a short time, they would promise to deliver it home.

The erstwhile local shop that I used to pick milk from, shut down because of it’s attitude. Not because of some large retail chain coming and wiping out mom and pop stores.

Today, when I enter a large supermarket or store chain, I do not expect personalization. It’s almost as if it’s dead.


If you see the above Google Trends report on the interest of the word, you will notice some interesting facts. There is a lot of talk about personalization every time and it’s increasing every year.

  1. The buzzword has been growing at a slow pace over the years.
  2. It peeks in the month of December. Looks like the Christmas Shopping newsletters are going out with a lot of personalization. Or, large retailers are searching for what is new in this area to plan their strategies accordingly.
  3. Regional interests have some really interesting facts about the countries interested in the word. The top 5 are USA, India, Philippines, UAE and Singapore. Of course, this is skewed data as the term is used only in the English speaking world. There would be an appropriate word for personalization in the Russian language which does not get covered in the trend analysis. However, many other English speaking countries are ranked below – and that is particularly interesting.

At the bottom-line, my feeling is, that this word has only caught up with emails and websites and not so much in-store.

When you personalize, you need to have an omni-channel strategy. Its not enough that your email knows me and your store does not. There is a huge disconnect here.

We don’t need reams of write-ups on personalization. Can we return to the good old days of personalization? Can you give me a seamless experience across bank branches, stores and restaurants? Can you make personalization feel less robotic and more – personal?

You are familiar with your bank branch manager, he comes to speak to you when you enter your home branch. That’s a personal connect. But what if you went to a different branch today? Then the connection is lost. Wouldn’t it be nice to be recognized and taken care when you are at another branch as well?

The same goes for stores. Without being creepy, if you can simply address people by their names and speak to them about products that interested them in the past, doesn’t it help? Imagine the increase in R.O.I. per employee and the R.O.I. for the organization! More importantly, you would have a customer for life.

  • Cross Channel shoppers gave a 30% higher lifetime value to the organisation than a single channel shopper – google
  • Companies with a strong omni-channel customer engagement strategy had an average of 9.5% y-o-y increase in annual revenue – internet retailer

We know achieving this is a daunting task. It might feel like moving mountains. And that’s why we are here. Speak to us to get insights on how we can assist you in building higher R.O.I. across channels and keeping a consistent experience for your customers. Let’s bring personalization back – 360 degree.