Anirban Roy Choudhury
Post Lockdown

"Consumers have made a seamless transition to digital mediums in a matter of a few weeks": Sapangeet Rajwant, Viacom18

In an interview, Head - Marketing and Digital – Hindi Mass Entertainment & Head of Brand Solutions - Viacom18 shares how life can change Post Lockdown.

Once the lockdown is lifted what will be your top 3 big priorities?

In its entirety, the Covid19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have taught us to prioritise, ration and collaborate. And I feel these three will continue to hold true even post lockdown. Our viewers are of prime importance to us and our biggest priority henceforth would be to continue to create awareness and to educate people about the dos and don’ts. Next comes the rationing aspect - as marketers, we would need to see how quickly we can make the most of our budgets without letting reach and impact suffer. Finally, we should also re-look our launch strategies and leverage collaboration and barters that help everyone in the ecosystem to survive an economic downturn.

On the personal front, post the lockdown, I will continue practicing social distancing and limit stepping outdoors to ensure the safety of myself and others. I would like to meet my team members who have been working from home in these challenging times and have a freewheeling conversation with them about their experiences. The greatest learning and gratitude in life always comes from listening to others’ challenges.

Will your market behave the way it was before the lockdown or there will be subtle changes?

I feel the pandemic has bought a change in consumers wherein they’ve made a seamless transition to digital mediums in a matter of few weeks. I think marketing, therefore, will be redefined and we would look at investing in the right places to ensure the mediums we choose hereon are more effective and collaborative. We would focus on recalibrating our communication keeping in mind awareness, safety and compassion, which is the need of the hour.

Also Read: "It's time to recalibrate thinking, budgets, advertising": Shashank Srivastava, ED, Maruti Suzuki India

Will your broad view of marketing communication be different from before in some way?

In adversity, we learn the effectiveness of communication in a more direct manner. Understanding the situation, our communication from the brand’s point of view will focus more on health, safety, solidarity and compassion. Sending out the right message to the audience while they stay indoors and struggle with the calamity will remain our focus. As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about finding newer mediums or methods to engage with them. Brands that manage to strike the right chord with their customers will certainly enjoy a loyal base for a long time. There is no better time than now to forge a strong bond with your audience beyond just '30-second communication'. Reassuring them, that as their entertainment partner, we are in this together, strength to strength, from our homes to theirs, is what we would focus on singularly.