Digital has changed the way we look at the world. While there are environmental changes in any industry, marketing especially seems to have been impacted by the growth of the digital medium. On day two of Goafest, the industry folk discussed, debated and tried to find out what exactly is changing in the marketing ecosystem, and what can one do to tackle the challenges.
Guy Abraham, global strategic planning director, ZenithOptimedia Worldwide
Abraham further added that, in the new age, companies and brands must mine insights from new sources. They must also find the difference between reported behaviour of the consumer and his actual behaviour. It is also important for brands to move to a content-based model.
Neil Stewart, head of agency, APAC, Facebook
At Facebook, before the launch of a product, the product experience and consumer experience is checked before any advertising is done. Stewart was also of the opinion that the currency brands have used so far - the count of likes and followers - will not be viable any more. The future will be more about building brand awareness, increasing online sales, promoting an app or even launching a new product. It is also important to target specific and correct TG. Just as spam ads can drive people away, so can cramming too many factors into one ad.
Jonny Stark, senior vice president, APAC, Razorfish
Stark also gave examples of Guardian, Huffington post - both of whose editorial process are adapted to digital first, as well as of YouTube - which of course is user generated content. He urged brands to try and understand why people use the services of a YouTube or Facebook like platform, 24x7. Naming 3 Cs as the main ingredients to get better results, Stark spoke about Content, Community and Commerce. He enumerated some solutions for the challenges of the future. Firstly, he said, it is important to consider the usefulness of each item, medium or product. Secondly, brands must collaborate with consumers and treat them as humans, as against ad targets. Finally, providing a seamless experience will also be a much needed quality, he observed.
Ashish Hemrajani, CEO, Bookmyshow.com
Bookmyshow, he informed, uses discovery, research, validation and AB testing to understand what the consumer needs - which becomes all the more important because the new 'instagramming', 'snapchatting' generation is very clear about what they want to spend their money or time on.
Chetan Bhagat, author, motivational speaker, youth icon
He spoke about how he knows his target audience - that of the mass English speakers or the ones who actually still think in their vernacular languages and talk in English, as opposed to the elite English. While good writing or even luck had favoured him for the popularity of his books, he scaled it up by tying up with movies. Most of his books have been adapted into hit Bollywood movies as well, and he has written the script for Hindi movie 'Kick'. While this may be seen as not furthering his literary career, it did reach out to the larger population who may or may not read books. His recent move to judge a reality TV show is also part of his strategy, as this will put a face to the name of Chetan Bhagat. The numerous talk shows and book releases in popular spots have given him the luxury of enjoying the benefits of a huge marketing plan, without actually spending a penny on advertising.
Bhagat is of the opinion that Twitter is the literature of the present. If one needs to reach out to the current generation, it should encompass all available platforms. He concluded the discussion with some success tips - one must lead the industry before planning any change. Second, he must broaden the view of competition. Third, it becomes important to reinvent - to thrill, excite and surprise. He also felt that passion in intent will show as long as there is humility. Balancing credibility with popularity and trying to stay relevant has been a challenge for him, as it will be a challenge for brands trying to find the perfect marketing mix.