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Guest Column: Expansion of marketplace in digital age

Digital – the word itself exudes the possibility of limitless outreach. The fierce pace of digitization and technology adoption has almost redefined the entire industrial scenario, transcending the physical barriers and lending it a virtual persona – all this while, rewriting the rules of surviving and winning in the marketplace. This spell of change casted by the advent of technology is not only limited to the organizations, but has also led to the birth of a new-age consumer breed who has clear-cut expectations from brands, takes pride in its dynamic choices and is relentlessly volatile in purchasing behavior. 

With all these complexities plaguing the trade setup, organizations these days are faced with a catch-22 situation – Where are my new set of customers? How to cut through the saturated customer pie and reach out to new potential consumers? How do I expand my potential market place?

In this chicken and egg situation – where digitization is one significant causative agent for marketplace saturation, it is also the solution for marketplace expansion.  To begin with, thorough assessment of the current state of affairs will form the baseline for deciding the future course of actions for any business. The huge gap between the addressed customer base and the actual addressable segment can be regarded as the premise of the whole situation, while being an opportunity as well. 

Addressing the HOW of marketplace expansion

Digitization and globalization are making it necessary, as well as, easy for organizations to parallelize their market roll-out activities in a way that enables access to this available, yet untapped marketplace. With digital, while the marketer can become omni-present in the consumer mind space, it also equips the customer to have instant access to the product info, reviews and services etc., all available at one click. Even in such scenario, technology dons the role of a catalyst in enhancing the industry in entirety. 

Aspects detailing the role of digitization or technology-advent, in the augmentation of marketplace could be summed up as follows:

- Given the growing adoption of digital by consumers, staggering amount of information becomes accessible - from proprietary data to completely new open data sources. 

- Digital networks, often lodged in the cloud, helps in understanding the consumer preferences, habits and consumption patterns through the application of analytics. Such trend mapping takes into account the sales history, purchasing seasonality, etc. and helps in ascertaining the probability of converting an ‘interest’ into a ‘consumer’. 

- This, in turn, aids companies to develop a near accurate prospective database for themselves. 

- Based on this propensity calculation, digital once again enable the marketers with the requisite set of marketing tools, which eventually helps in building a communication that is personalized, automated, timed and made relevant to the precise requirement of the audience. 

- Once the potential audience is tapped and the market-pie share is augmented, the role of technology just does not end but rather becomes amplified. Software-driven retention strategies, when applied optimally, also helps organizations to drive repeat purchases, thence, leading a successful sales lead conversion whereby a prospective entity becomes a loyal customer eventually. 

Ultimately, even after having an expanded marketplace and new touch points at hand, the facility of constant customer-reaction tracking and thus, provision of requisite support at the right time, is also something which becomes possible with the technological advances. This endowment, in fact, can be termed as enabling better sales interactions in totality. With digital boom enabling the organizations to deliver a custom-tailored experience to the consumer, in return, it facilitates their transformation into on-ground brand ambassadors who ‘advertise’ their experiences through the digital ‘word-of-mouth’. 

While any change brings with itself its own set of challenges, it also precedes great deal of opportunities. Many brands are adapting and thriving in this current wave of digitization and expanding their outreach, and the one’s that do not align with this burgeoning trend will take on a one-way road to obsolescence. To summarize, by embracing digital, one can be certain of being on the winning side of the shift - by edging out competition, delivering better and personalized experiences and creating an evolved, long-term connection with the customers -- all of them leading to an expanded marketplace in the end.

public://sehans.jpgSnehashish Bhattacharjee is the global CEO & co-founder of Denave. Views expressed here are of the writer's and may not subscribe to them.

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