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New Media Congress: Consumers too are going digital

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 09, 2008
The third and fourth sessions of NDTV's New Media Congress focused on the challenges traditional media companies are facing in the current media scenario, in which consumers are shifting their media preferences to digital

In the & #BANNER1 & # third session of NDTV Convergence's New Media Congress, the panellists discussed how traditional media companies should evolve and the challenges or issues they are facing in the current new media scenario, where consumers are shifting their media preferences to the digital medium. The session was moderated by Vir Sanghvi, advisory editorial director, HT Media Ltd.

Viren Popli

Kevin Obi

Tarun Katial

Manish Vij

Rohit Sharma
Viren Popli, senior vice-president and head, mobile entertainment, STAR India, said, "Mass media is impacted by issues related to content, technology, delivery options, advertisers and regulation. Like a traditional media company has to decide which technology option it should choose, a faster technology, cheaper or easier technology. Similarly, which delivery option will be used - cable, IPTV, DTH or digital cable? Will the existing format of content work on mobile and the Internet as well?"

Kevin Obi, senior vice-president, digital assets, NBC Universal International, said, "Convergence is reality and the present scenario is actually an opportunity and threat to traditional media companies."

Obi added, "Mass media companies should think about consumers and understand what they want. There are huge changes happening in the way consumers are consuming content these days. Consumers are multitasking, as they watch TV, talk on the mobile and log on to a social networking site at the same time."

Tarun Katial, chief operating officer, Big FM, talked about how traditional media companies are fighting back in the new media scenario. "Newspapers are launching blogs, RSS feeds and offering audiovisual content. On radio, mobile is being integrated with the programmes. SMS and the interactive voice response system are being used to add interactivity to radio programmes."

The fourth session focused on the use of the digital medium for creating brands. It was moderated by Anurag Batra, managing director and editor in chief, Exchange4Media.com.

Manish Vij, co-founder and chief business officer, Smile Interactive, focused on "where the digital advertising business is going wrong". He talked about issues related to digital advertising and gave suggestions to advertisers for digital marketing.

Vij said, "Advertisers should stop allocating 100 per cent of their digital advertising budget to lead generation activity. If marketers are not focusing on online reputation management, they are actually wasting their leads. Marketers should spend 20-30 per cent of their advertising budget on experimentation. They should focus on analysis of their campaigns and see how social media marketing, search marketing and banner advertising are doing."

Lloyd Mathias, marketing director, India and Southwest Asia, Motorola, said, "Most marketers are not savvy enough to understand the digital media and new media is still new. Even consumers are actually flirting with the digital medium and they are not really creating or defining these spaces."

Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak.com, showed various video clips to point out that marketers should understand that consumers are changing and this is the age of screenagers. Sharma said, "Gaming is acting as a platform in the media space and helping brands as well. There are options like in-game advertising, and brands such as Nike, BMW, Burger King and Coke are using them. Gaming is a good option to integrate the brand message with the content. It involves consumers with the brand."

Ravi Kiran, chief executive officer, Starcom, Southeast and South Asia, said, "Life has changed and a lot of things have become digitised, but advertisers are not ready to believe this fact." People are living and using digital brands such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Linkedin in their daily life, but it surprising to see that when advertisers reach office, they start classifying things as digital and non-digital.