IAMAI Conference: Brand champions are media agnostic

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 03, 2009
The fourth session discussed the role of the digital agency and how marketers can use the technology to their advantage

The topic of the fourth session of the Fifth Digital Marketing Conference, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in New Delhi, was, 'Transformation of digital agencies from technology enablers to brand champions'.

Shantanu Sirohi, co-founder and vice-president, Interactive Avenues, talked about the role of digital agencies. He pointed out that brand champions are media agnostic. To prove this, he gave examples of some of the ad campaigns that Interactive Avenues did for ICICI Prudential, Travelguru.com and Travelocity.com, wherein the core idea was conceptualised for the internet and then taken forward, either as a print ad, a television commercial or an outdoor campaign.

Sirohi added that digital agencies need special teams to track different areas within the digital medium, such as social media marketing and search engine marketing.

Mahesh Murthy, founder and chief executive officer, Pinstorm talked about the role of technology in digital campaigns. He said, "Brands have to become technology savvy in order to derive the benefits of the digital medium." Citing the example of live Twitter posts updated by some of the conference participants, he said, "Technology enables you to carry out live researches, listen to consumers and track performance of your efforts and allows you to react quickly."

He gave examples of the use of technology to build better online ad campaigns. Murthy said, "Technology helps you to track what consumers are searching for on the internet, which you can use to develop search marketing campaigns." He added, "A technology savvy marketer will use search engines to track the popularity or coverage of its competition."

Pushkar Sane, chief digital officer, North and South Asia, global head of social marketing, Starcom MediaVest Group, pointed out that in order to derive better return on investment (ROI), marketers needs to become closer to consumers and understand their online behaviour. He added, "Marketers should engage consumers with their brands over the internet, if they are really interested in building their brands online."

Kushal Sanghvi, managing director, Media Contacts said, "The definition of digital agency has changed." He explained that agencies have moved from buying exposure to extracting response from consumers. Instead of intruding on consumers, campaigns are now targeted to reach relevant audiences. Advertising has moved beyond banner ads to search ads.

Prasad Shejale, managing director, Logicserve said, "The basics of brand building do not change from one medium to another. It is the same for print, TV and digital medium as well." He added that the internet has unique characteristics, such as it allows one-to-one interaction, which marketers should use for brand building.

Ruchira Raina, managing director, Dentsu Communications, and national business head, Dentsu Media, said, "Marketers should use the internet to connect, share and discuss with their target audience." She added that marketers should move beyond investing in the digital medium for experimentation only; instead, they should invest in the internet with more seriousness and conviction.

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