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Insights                   Consumer Genome                   Understanding What Makes Consumers Tick                - Vaid...
Predicting musical tastes is whole lot simpler than predicting and influencing                                            ...
marketers recognized the importance of this information earlier                        We see enormous potential in applyi...
About InfosysMany of the worlds most successful organizations rely on Infosys todeliver measurable business value. Infosys...
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Consumer Genome: Understanding What Makes Consumers Tick


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It could well be the next leap in thinking - the consumer genome. This phenomenon is set to play a key role across industries and drive personalization to the next level. Digital media is redefining consumer mind-sets, patterns of purchase and decision-making. Read the insights from thought leaders who are helping clients build their tomorrow's enterprise.
Keep your phone number. I'll take your genome instead. Read more>>

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Consumer Genome: Understanding What Makes Consumers Tick

  1. 1. Insights Consumer Genome Understanding What Makes Consumers Tick - Vaidyanatha Siva For those of us who aren’t rocket scientists, the genome is simply, “the entirety of an organism’s hereditary information”. It’s what makes us human beings unique as individuals. The human genome not only determines an individual’s physical characteristics but also influences one’s skills, attributes, attitude and even behavior.
  2. 2. Predicting musical tastes is whole lot simpler than predicting and influencing consumer behavior which remains the Holy Grail for marketers. John Wanamaker, a marketing pioneer of the 19th century was resigned to spending large sums of money on advertising while knowing half of it would be wasted – “the trouble is, I don’t know which half”. My all-time favorite marketer, Don Draper from “Madmen”, had no need for data, trusting his own instincts and clients be damned The biological genome has inspired if they disagreed. Marketers have toiled with tools and dabbled in technology many of its cousins in the virtual for years. But there’s been steady progress made in understanding customers world with less grander but still useful and huge advances achieved through digital marketing. purposes. Most famously, Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project allows The first quantum leap occurred when ecommerce took off and marketers began users to create their own radio stations to decipher clues to consumer behavior through on-line shopping data. We to play music reflecting their personal expanded the marketing lexicon with terms like “abandoned shopping carts” tastes. Create a station based your and “click streams”. Social media was the next great leap that allowed buyers favorite Dave Brubeck song and you’ll to invite their friends and family to become active participants in the purchase be served similar songs from other process – from very large purchases to the trivial. Influence is the new coin of artists. Don’t like a song? Tell Pandora the realm and every marketer want to know who has it. The more we learn, the and your playlists will evolve with more we want to know. your tweaks. Pandora’s music genome Now here’s where it gets really interesting. At Infosys, we’ve created what we call consists of over 400 musical attributes the Consumer Genome and it could well be the next leap in thinking. Just like covering quality attributes of melody, its human counterpart, the basic premise of a consumer genome is that certain harmony, rhythm, composition and intrinsic attributes strongly determine consumer behavior. The list includes lyrics. This capability took years to demographics, connections, influences, interests, needs and buying behavior. develop and the more you use it, That’s a marked departure from current consumer understanding practices, with the better it gets at predicting what an over reliance on demographic metrics as predictors of behavior. you like. Sure, there’s lots of music to choose from and more being created The consumer genome has its own complex DNA, made up of rich information every day. But no matter what type about an individual that can provide unique and compelling insights into that of music – from electronic dance to person’s consumption behavior. By decoding it, consumer product companies, hip-hop to classical, there’s only so retailers, indeed all types of marketers can personalize their offerings, channels many parameters that describe this and campaigns to each and every individual. Call it “extreme relevance”. infinite body of work. Create a fancy The genesis of the consumer genome concept can be traced back a year or two algorithm, allow it to learn from your when some initiatives at our Innovation Labs started showing incredible results. behavior and problem solved. We witnessed a client’s marketing campaign registration rate shoot up threefold after some fairly inexpensive and straight forward social media hooks were introduced. Another client’s average order size from a pilot group of customers increased 25% when the in-store shopping experience was enhanced with some non-intrusive personalization from other data sources. Although these interventions impacted clients in different ways, they shared certain similarities. In each case, the client organization began to look at its customers through a clearer lens, that of real information, rather than guesstimates or proxy data. This sparked an effort to use technology to “connect the dots” to arrive at a genome for an individual consumer or one who is part of a larger group with the same “genetic” makeup. Our initial inquiry developed into a quest for the key characteristics defining the consumer genome, their influence on shopping behavior and a consumer’s level of influence on others through word of mouth and social media. The key characteristics to emerge, in order of priority, turned out to be: immediate needs and interests, buying behavior, connections and influence, and demographics. It became immediately apparent that marketers had been relying on the least influential factor of demographics to influence sales conversion. If2 | Infosys
  3. 3. marketers recognized the importance of this information earlier We see enormous potential in applying the consumer genomethey could have shifted focus to studying consumer needs and across industries. There is virtually no limit to the amount of datainterests instead. sources that can be incorporated into to the mix. Machine learning algorithms improve the accuracy with each turn of the crank. We’llThanks to advances in technology, like Cloud computing and likely see several well defined use cases burgeoning in variousBig Data, it’s now possible to interpret both stated and implied domains.customer needs and interests in real-time, even as the interaction istaking place at the store, on the Internet, or through the call center. Is it perfect? No. But we’re making headway and expect the consumer genome to play a key role across industries and driveWhile the other genome characteristics like social connections personalization to the next level. Imagine actually being excitedcertainly influence buying behavior, they don’t drive conversion to that a retailer reached out to you the moment you realized youthe same extent as need and interest. However, social connections needed something and provided a special customized offeringare still important in driving word of mouth. that fit your needs precisely. We’re almost there….Our consumer genome trials have concentrated on the retailingindustry so far but the concept is equally applicable to otherdomains, ranging from insurance to financial services. For instance,knowledge of a consumer’s genome could affect the way financialproducts are marketed if a prospect’s appetite for investmentrisk could be inferred along with other latent needs that are notcommunicated. About the Author Vaidyanatha Siva Associate Vice President and Technology Officer for the Global Retail, Consumer Goods, Life Sciences and Logistics Business Unit at Infosys Limited Siva is responsible for development, articulation and deployment of technology strategy for the global Retail, Consumer Goods, Life Sciences and Logistics Business Unit. He is a member of the Unit Executive Council and is also responsible for the setup, organization and delivery of technology consulting services aligned with the Unit’s strategic plans. Siva has about 16 years of industry experience and has spent the last 10 years with Infosys in various technology leadership roles. He is recognized as a technology visionary and has incubated several innovative technology products and solutions. He has also authored two books - on next generation architecture and big data. Siva received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and his master’s degree in Business Administration from the SMU-Cox School of Business. Infosys | 3
  4. 4. About InfosysMany of the worlds most successful organizations rely on Infosys todeliver measurable business value. Infosys provides business consulting,technology, engineering and outsourcing services to help clients in over30 countries build tomorrows enterprise.For more information, contact© 2012 Infosys Limited, Bangalore, India. Infosys believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. Infosys acknowledgesthe proprietary rights of the trademarks and product names of other companies mentioned in this document.