Data analytics’ global potential stands at $30 billion: Gain Theory’s Muthuraman

MUMBAI: Marketing is in transition and the consumer journey is getting increasingly complex due to the increase in the number of channels. Consumers are now constantly interacting with brands and hence, marketing is now ‘always on.’


Difficulty in discerning actionable information from an expanding set of data and technology, confusion around terminology and jargon, multiple answers to a single business question, the need for faster, smarter predictive insights is what gave birth to Gain Theory.


The company, with three key hubs in New York, London and Bengaluru was born when WPP decided to merge two of its existing companies in order to help marketing and insight professionals solve their pain points.


Speaking to about how the company helps marketers resolve their concerns, Gain Theory worldwide CEO Jason Harrison says, “What we do in the context of marketing is that we don’t necessarily do analytics around the operational aspect of businesses or operations in the supply chain, we instead focus on our unique expertise, which is understanding the knowledge of data and measurements with various event analytics, techniques and approaches, to help marketers arrive at their marketing tactics and whatever they are trying to accomplish.”


With its three centers, Gain Theory is keen to help marketers from all possible markets. However, with marketing being its focus, the company doesn’t plan to target any particular category of clients.


Gain Theory CEO APAC Sunder Muthuraman adds, “Our focus is marketing. So it doesn’t matter if I’m selling soaps or an e-commerce business.  We essentially address to the needs of the clients. We work with CPG, movie studios, retail, finance and so on. As long as there is a marketing problem and that is related to data and has data, we are in for it.”


Throwing light on the importance of dashboard, Muthuraman says, “It depends on how badly the client wants to answer that question. Typically, that’s when they will push us and we will bring in our expertise and try and solve their question. What dashboards are meant to do is to help them draw conclusions or collectively help us draw conclusions and being analysed. So the evolution now is that clients recognize the purpose of data visualisation. A dashboard, just like that of a car, tells you how fast you are driving, how much fuel is left, how many miles you have travelled and these are fundamentally important things. Similarly, clients now have begun to understand the dashboard; what it should contain. It is fundamental for me to take decisions on what could be done differently in the future in marketing.”


The understanding of the firm and that of the client is very different, hence it is a challenge. Muthuraman further asserts, “While that’s the challenge, it is also the opportunity of doing something in a better way and guiding the client accordingly with the data in hand. So if everybody did everything that we wanted them to do, then we have to go find something else.”


He adds, “What we believe is that the only way both of us can speak the same language is by getting the common paradigm and data. As long as you know that the data is reliable, you cannot expect us to flip the results. This is a journey, which not everybody is interested in.”  


Harrison asserts, “The fundamental challenges that marketers face are consistent and they tend to be different from category to category. We at Gain Theory started exploring the audience and consumer level data in this market to better understand consumer behaviour.”


According to Harrison, while there are markets where an extensive research is impossible because of lack of the quantum of data, but such isn’t the case with India. “Then we have US, Brazil and UK where data is available at a large level,” he adds.


Muthuraman believes that the industry is going through exciting times. “We are currently a $30 billion industry globally. This could vary, since there is nobody who has really measured the market. We live in exciting times and data makes it even more exciting,” he signs off. 

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