Economics of Communication – by Ms Ushamrita Choudhury

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On the 12th January 2017, Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics played host to Ms Ushamrita Choudhury, who is an expert in the core digital marketing domain. Ms Choudhary apprised the students about the ‘Economics of Communication’ highlighting the real-life dynamics of businesses across the world especially the banking sector.

She began by giving a brief timeline of the banking sector in India right from the pre-independence era, post-independence challenges, nationalisation of banks, privatisation of 1991 to the present digital era. She highlighted the challenges in banking sector when it was highly localised which led to inefficient lending and exploitation of the borrowers. As banks nationalized in 1969, the autonomy of the private banking was stopped leading way to effective monetary transmission through formalized credit availability. The financial sector reforms in 1991 ushered the country by capturing the untapped markets. It increased competition and led to the standardization of banking products and services.

The discussion emphasized the significance of Big Data in the modern industry, its application in the banking system and the ways it reshaped the consumer preferences. Data and technology have turned the tables and the markets have shifted from being product centric to customer centric. The banks cater to customized needs of an individual through product positioning, effective pricing, branding and differentiation. This is done with the help of a large amount of data and the analytics that predict consumer preferences and associated behaviour. As the marketing efforts are scattered through disparate channels, social media is one of the major drivers for reaching out to the customers. She used day-to-day examples across the web and social media to elaborate the topic. She explained how the internet traces various actions and clicks of every individual and advertises with the customized product one was searching on the web and social media. In order to retain customers and remain competitive in the market, the firms bundle and customize their products for different market segments with the help of data analytics. It also helps them in making marketing budgets effective.

She further explained how linking of customer induced data to ‘Aadhaar’ has become a tool for mass surveillance. As Aadhaar is becoming an all-purpose identification tool, the risk of data privacy is rising since the precise information about the bank accounts, telephone subscriptions, residential address, etc. is easily available to many global organisations.

The companies have now shifted to innovative ways to reduce their costs which were not possible earlier. The companies are becoming cost efficient by gathering granular data through continuous experiments and innovations. Thus, strategy-driven digital marketing operations are required to ensure that each penny invested in an individual gains maximum possible returns. Explaining the big 5 strategies briefly, she spoke about how consumer insights, customer experience, governance process, key performance indicators and measurement and, effective marketing technology and infrastructure have brought a paradigm shift into the digital marketing world, thereby playing a critical role in driving the bottom line growth.

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