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Contributors

Writers

Priscilla Thomas

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A content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.

Moulishree Srivastava

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A freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.

Avanish Tiwary

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Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya

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Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others. 

S.Sahu

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A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications. 

Prajwala Hegde

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Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others. 

Rajesh Nanarpuzha

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Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.

Designer

Priyokumar Singh Naorem

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He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.

Artists

Dyuti Mittal

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A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.

Sumakshi Singh

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She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.

Parul Gupta

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A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.

Shweta Malhotra

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Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.

Rithika Merchant

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Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.

Aniruddh Mehta

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Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.

Paramesh Jolad

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Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.

Chandrashekhar Thakur

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Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.

Concept and Direction

Nimish Vohra

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Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.

Enquiry

+91 9560509289

aishani.majumdar@regalix-inc.com

Know when a new article is published


We stand at the threshold of a virtual world of experiences and an incredible expansion of the science by which experiences are experienced – Achrol and Kotler (2012, p. 39)

In a seminal academic article in marketing literature, Belk (1988) argued that material possessions, are in fact, extensions of consumer selves. The primary objective of the article was to bring into sharp focus the close relationship that consumers share with their material possessions. In a more recent follow-up, Belk (2013, p. 488) states that "self-transcendent possibilities are magnified in the digital world."

A key implication is that the ubiquity of the digital world has made distinctions between material and virtual goods, all but non-existent. In this context, a marketer’s ability to seamlessly integrate the virtual world into the consumer’s consumption journey becomes a strong differentiator. This, in turn opens up multiple possibilities for a marketer. Of these, the ability to augment reality, could open a window towards achieving this integration more creatively. Here, I attempt to put into perspective the significance of 'augmented reality' (AR) in the marketing process.

Augmenting reality

In a recent interview (Phelan, 2017), Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, professes his excitement about the possibilities inherent in the use of AR for consumer applications. He maintains that AR allows consumers to remain a part of their own worlds, even as they make improvements to it. In contrast, he describes ‘virtual reality’ as a technology which effectively shuts consumers out of their real worlds, albeit temporarily. This is particularly relevant as technology becomes more personable and wearable.

As Kannan and Li (2017) argue, search and purchase behavior could shift significantly as consumer interactions become increasingly contextual, aided by greater precision in predicting consumers’ physical location coordinates. This is important as there has been a tendency among marketers to focus on the superficial, or the most obvious applications of transformative technologies like augmented reality – think AR as a tool for consumer entertainment. However, as Kannan and Li (2017, p. 23) state, digital marketing is now an “umbrella term describing the process of using digital technologies to acquire customers and build customer preferences, promote brands, retain customers and increase sales.” In this scenario, the use of AR needs to be explored across all facets of the customer journey.

Some potential cues

First, any potential application of AR in the marketing process should be cognizant of its essence – the ability to enhance a story. Green and Brock (2000, p. 701) have described narrative transportation as “a convergent process, where all mental systems and capacities become focused on events occurring in the narrative.” If AR has to become an effective marketing tool, narrative transportation needs to be its bedrock.

Second, there could be merit in considering shoppers, rather than consumers as the focal point for new experiments in marketing related to AR. Buoyed by the rapid advances in technology and its increasing proliferation in the guise of consumer apps, multiple touch points have opened up for marketers to access shoppers. Shankar et al. (2011, p. 30) consider the primary aim of ‘shopper marketing’ to be the ability to “influence triggers in the shopping cycle.” As the authors argue, the focus in this approach is therefore on the shopper in the ‘shopping mode’. By considering the shopper rather than the consumer, the marketer’s scope for influence is widened, and would include all shopper actions across multiple channels, and across multiple product categories.

Finally, it is important that AR is introduced to customers in unobtrusive ways. A promising alternative is to use AR to augment an existing product. Hilken et al. (2017) suggest that this could be done by using AR as a tool for service augmentation. They note multiple customer benefits for this approach. First, AR offers the possibility of creating an environment of higher personal relevance, especially for customers moving across marketing channels. Second, AR based applications could be a lower-cost alternative to current methods of generating customer trial. Finally, AR could be used as an important tool to enhance postpurchase customer satisfaction.

Summary

The scope of digital marketing, and the different means to which it can be put to impact customer decisions, continues to broaden. Of the many tools which are getting added to the broad umbrella of ‘digital marketing’, AR based tools and applications are very promising. The applications of AR are still in their infancy, and it is therefore the right time for CMOs to include them in their marketing strategies. The focus should be on its very essence – the ability to enhance a story. By avoiding the pitfalls of gimmickry, AR in the right marketer’s hands, has the potential to transform customer experiences.

References

  1. Achrol, R. S., & Kotler, P. (2012). Frontiers of the marketing paradigm in the third millennium. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40 (1), 35-52.
  2. Belk, R. W. (1988). Possessions and the extended self. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (2), 139-168
  3. Belk, R. W. (2013). Extended self in a digital world. Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (3), 477-500.
  4. Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (2000). The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79 (5), 701-721.
  5. Hilken, T., de Ruyter, K., Chylinski, M., Mahr, D., & Keeling, D. I. (2017). Augmenting the eye of the beholder: exploring the strategic potential of augmented reality to enhance online service experiences. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-22.
  6. Kannan, P. K. and Li, H. (2017). Digital marketing: A framework, review and research agenda. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 34(1), 22-45.
  7. Phelan, D. (2017, February 10). Apple CEO Tim Cook: As Brexit hangs over UK, ‘Times are not really awful, there’s some great things happening.’ The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/apple-tim-cook-boss-brexituk-theresa-may-number-10-interview-ustwo-a7574086.html.
  8. Shankar, V., Inman, J. J., Mantrala, M., Kelley, E., & Rizley, R. (2011). Innovations in shopper marketing: Current insights and future research issues. Journal of Retailing, 87, S29-S42.