How Hero MotoCorp is Leveraging Data and Insights to Accelerate Business Transformation
How Hero MotoCorp is leveraging analytics, AI and machine learning in collaboration with Accenture to reach new customers
*This is in partnership with BQ Prime BrandStudio
Hero MotoCorp became largest two-wheeler manufacturer (by unit sales) over two decades ago, and has maintained pole position since, with over 100 million customers today. But the global auto major is busy reinventing itself for the future. Because smart companies always try and stay one step ahead. The sector itself is ripe for transformation. According to Manish Gupta, Managing Director & Lead - Products, Accenture in India, “Transformation has been overdue in this particular sector. In other sectors such as consumer goods, retail and also life sciences to a certain extent, massive transformation has already happened.”
Like every other business and industry, the pandemic brought disruption, but Hero MotoCorp leveraged the disruption to drive change that builds resiliency and agility. As customers took to digital during the pandemic, Hero MotoCorp pivoted from a traditional dealer-centric model to an omnichannel one. Buying behaviour changed during the pandemic and so have customer expectations and Hero MotoCorp stayed ahead of the change. The two-wheeler segment is also one where electric vehicles have made a significant impact in India and the manufacturing giant is differentiating its traditional products while staying ready to embrace the future that includes electric.
Reema Jain, Chief Information & Digital Officer, Hero MotoCorp, spoke about how Hero MotoCorp is leveraging analytics, AI and machine learning in collaboration with Accenture to reach new customers, stay on top of industry trends and fulfil its global ambitions, even while transforming its supply chain.
Customer Experience is Key
With innovation at the core of its philosophy, Jain explained that Hero MotoCorp is continuously working on improving customer acquisition and loyalty strategies by identifying the right digital interventions based on changing customer aspirations.
The sector that Hero MotoCorp operates in today is no longer divided into physical and digital worlds, but a ‘phygital’ world where customers seamlessly move across platforms as they interact with businesses. As the pandemic shifted buying behaviour to digital, an internal study by the company revealed that 74 percent of two-wheeler buyers are influenced online. This meant that the company needed to deliver the right information to prospective customers even before they reached the showroom and met product specialists.
"We got segmentation right when it comes to the marketing technology stack. For instance, if the customer is looking for a practical, day-to-day use bike, like the HF Deluxe or Splendor, we highlight practical features of the bike, such as length of the seat, mileage, an EMI calculator, etc. But if millennials are looking at the premium segment, and a bike like our Xpulse 200T, which is about off-road experiences, our content speaks about dirt bike challenges, the exclusive membership club for buyers and the Hero Experience Centre that we have recently launched,” Jain explains. And while 74 percent of all two-wheeler buyers are influenced digitally, she believes the figure is closer to 99 percent for millennials.
Ultimately, Hero MotoCorp’s new approach is leading to higher walk-ins and better conversions at dealerships, and also contributes to building the loyalty journey. From its GoodLife programme to engaging with customers on the app and at physical service stations, Hero MotoCorp is creating key interventions to build customer stickiness with the right digital nudges.
Customer data platform
The customer data platform is at the heart of all of these initiatives. “This platform will stitch our offline as well as our online data together and put together a 360-degree single view of the customer, which helps us deliver the right message to the right segment and through the right channel. That will further help us improve the conversion ratio,” Jain added. It must be noted that with over 100 million customers across different economic strata and region in India, Hero MotoCorp has access to a humungous amount of first-party customer data, perhaps second only to the telcos.
With a connected platform and high-quality data being generated, Hero MotoCorp will not only be able to serve customers better and drive sales growth, but also use this data to feed insights to R&D engineers who are working on product enhancements.
Supply chain transformation
With supply chain at the heart of modern manufacturing and key to keeping costs and complexity under control, Hero MotoCorp is also collaborating with Accenture on supply chain transformation.
“We want our supply chain to be very, very responsive. We want decision making to be much faster in our supply chain and that can only be enabled if we have strong analytical capabilities which will help our leadership team track performance of the overall ecosystem and thus take quick decisions,” explains Jain.
“For example, we are implementing concurrent demand and supply planning, which should enable scenario-based planning, which will help us to enable our financial goals. Machine learning will provide our supply chain users with recommendations in terms of how to deal with particular situations, such as changes in material planning and scheduling in response to new customer orders. It will also help us with improved phase-in and phase-out of models with minimum impact on obsolescence in inventory,” she added.
Commenting on the digital transformation journey that is driving Hero MotoCorp forward, Manish Gupta added, “At Accenture, we are excited to be collaborating with Hero MotoCorp and being a part of its growth journey. This transformation will also set the baseline for the sector because Hero MotoCorp is the market leader not only in India but globally as well.”