The first session after lunch on the third day of the Knowledge Seminar at Goafest 2011, held at Zuri White Sands, Goa, on April 9, had magazine publishers and advertisers stress on the fact that for any brand to succeed, it's vital for it to build a relationship with its consumer. That can only be achieved when the brand is honest and clear in its communication strategy, and its marketing experience is focussed on its association with the consumer.
Bittu Sahgal, editor, Sanctuary Asia -- wildlife and ecology magazine, said, "A good communication is one which does not preach its target audience, but rather highlights the core issue and involves the consumer in resolving it."
"There is no point in trying to fool the consumer through the creatives; rather the communication which is being drawn should be simple, and most importantly, 'honest'. Agencies need to remember that there should be truth in advertising," said Sahgal.
Meanwhile, according to Susan Clark, managing director, CEMEA (Central Europe, Middle-East, Eastern Europe, and the African countries) and Group marketing director, The Economist, communication is fast becoming community and experienced-based.
Clark further added, "Mass media is becoming niche and interactive -- from one-to-many, to one-to-one communication, as marketers are now shifting focus from above-the-line (ATL) activities, to below-the-line (BTL) activities."
Focussing on the point of consumer-savvy marketing experience, Clark explained that brands and agencies have found a new way to draw the attention of consumers; the game has, therefore, now shifted from consumer engagement, to product sampling.
Interestingly, Clark highlighted the aspect of marketers making good use of social media, thus providing a huge opportunity for interaction. She said, "As far as social media is concerned, brands should try to understand whether they are talking to consumers or listening to them. The approach has to be right in case of social media, as every one is interested in social media at present and is completely updated with what's happening there."
Citing the example of the three most successful brands -- Google, Apple and Facebook, Clark explained, "The reason behind the success of these brands is that they have total control on the product, the message, and even the consumer."
Clark stressed the need for agencies to push for greater integration of media.