AIMAnalytics India Magazine: What are some of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of analytics approach and policies at your organization?
VJVenkatesh Juloori: Our endeavor is to help our clients to set-up, use and embed analytics as a part of the marketing decision making process. To enable this we provide
- End-to-end services in marketing analytics – Consulting, technology deployment and analytical framework development.
- We offer platforms that enable analytics on a SAAS (Software/Analytics as a service model)
AIM: Please brief us about some business solutions you work on and how you derive value out of it.
VJ: Meritus is the Analytics and BI center of Excellence set up by WPP, we are an analytical hub for large CPG clients delivering services across 50+ countries.
In the last 12 months alone, we have delivered 300+ brand/market focused ROI analysis and recommendations; which easily makes us the leading player in Asia in marketing analytics space
We have the expertise and analytical constructs to deliver every component of a typical marketing journey starting with NPD, Segmentation, Market Estimation & forecasting, Marketing Prioritization, and Key sales driver identification with a strong focus on better marketing ROI.
With our experiential learning and robust frameworks, we are empowering client users to build complex analytical solutions on the fly with minimal new IT knowledge which we foresee as the new paradigm in this space
Typical questions we answer include:
- Can I increase the price of my brand without significant impact on sales?
- Should I cut spend on bigger brand or a growing smaller brand?
- What will be the impact of macro-economic environment on category demand?
- Is my offline and online marketing efforts structured to maximize ROI?
- How to allocate budgets for my portfolio of brands to maximize ROI?
- What personalization rules should be used to maximize revenue from our e-commerce site?
AIM: Would you like to share any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?
VJ: A large multi-national client wanted to reduce price by 5% to increase volumes and gain market share in a particular market. Our analysis showed the price reductions were not required for the immediate future. Client maintained the price and was able retain $ 7 million in the bottom-line.
The key point to note is that the analytics just cost a miniscule fraction of the value the client generated from the decision.
AIM: Where do you see the bulk of your business coming from? Do Indian organizations have the same affinity towards BI/ Analytics as that of organizations from other regions?
VJ: Our clients are mostly the top 50 of the fortune 500 with a global footprint. Most of our work is delivered for North America, Europe, Asia pacific and Middle East markets. In the last 2-3 years we have observed the appetite for BI /Analytics steadily increasing in India. With multinational firms operating here, we expect them to bring in their best practices and adapting to Indian context.
AIM: Do you think it’s possible to become too married to the data that comes out of analytics? Where do you draw the line?
VJ: While analytics is about learning from the past and having a better future, it is also possible that the past may not repeat. I guess this is the where the question about being too married to data comes up.
Our view is that this is unlikely to happen as any decision, especially when driven by analytics is measureable. So if an expected outcome does not happen there will be enough reason to question the analytics and make suitable course corrections.
AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of analytics space?
VJ: The pace at which established analytical practices and approaches are metamorphosing the ability to keep pace is one aspect.
Another aspect is the limitation of today’s technology in handling unstructured data. For example how to understand, process and derive insights from social media?
AIM: What do you suggest to new graduates aspiring to get into analytics space?
VJ: A combination of numeric abilities, domain understanding and skills with data management technologies are critical for success. What will make them sought after is in their ability to convert what analytics brings to meaningful and contextually useful directions to solve the business problem at hand.
AIM: How do you see Analytics evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important contemporary trends that you see emerging in the Analytics space across the globe?
VJ: We see a few trends
- Analytics is moving from expanding out of the domain of the specialist. Better tools and analytical applications are driving this trend. Self-service Analytics is a reality today
- The ability to make sense of unstructured data is improving by the day
- With the amount of data available about individuals and their behavior online that targeting is increasing in sophistication