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At ad:tech New Delhi 2013, the first interactive session on ‘Brand Storytelling Gets Tech-ified’ witnessed industry bigwigs namely Deepali Nair, Country Head - Brand, Customer Service & Corporate Communications, L&T General Insurance Company Limited; Sanjay Tripathy, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Product and Direct Sales Channels, HDFC Life; Nikhil Rungta, Country Marketing Head, Google India, and Rajdeep Endow, MD, Sapient India and Global Delivery Lead, SapientNitro. All of them present at the session stressed upon the fact how technology can amplify brand experience and create a powerful source of differentiation and competitive advantage with relevant technology expertise.
Sanjay Tripathy says, “In such a tech-savvy world marketers should get connected across the world. As a marketer you have to be 360 degree integrated not only in terms of communication but in terms of business as well.”
Rajdeep Endow stressed on the fact that today consumers glance and do not read, so communication has to be really fast these days. The story that the marketer wants to convey should attract the consumer in just 5 seconds. He says, “The marketers should concentrate on targeting and leveraging content for all the screens whether it is a mobile, laptop, ipad or anything else. Also the video consumption has increased to a much larger extent. The brand is no longer a concept it has become an experience altogether.”
Nikhil Rungta touched upon the point that traditional communication with respect to product positioning should be clear. He believed that the role of marketing has evolved from communication to experiencing hence using and engaging necessary info to the customers is really important. He said that technology can only help when the story that is told becomes engaging. Giving Google's own example, Rungta said that they tell stories about real people and how technology helped them achieve their goals.
Deepali Nair was of the opinion that, “The world is changing a lot and it is very important to use the right strategy with the right content.” She delved on general insurance being a tough category to be sold through stories. Hence, she said, the brand made its distribution channels tech-enabled to achieve the end goal. "Today, we use tablets, mobile phones and flash videos to reach to the consumer directly and thus simplify our distribution channels," Nair added.
An engaging session on ‘Integrated Marketing’ focused on how brands can plan, create, execute, and measure cross-channel tactics for advanced digital marketing initiatives was another highlight of the day. This session was conducted by Shivanandan Pare, Head - e-commerce, Madura fashion and Lifestyle, Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd; Chandrakanth B.N., Co-Founder and Managing Director, Theorem India Pvt Ltd.; Nitin Mathur, Senior Director & Head of Marketing, India & South-east Asia, Yahoo!; Gaurav Seth, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sony MAX and Ajay Kaul, Executive Director, Global Brand Communications Worldwide Marketing, Lenovo.
Nitin Mathur says, “Advertisers and marketers are smart these days and display and video is growing at a faster rate so it’s important to realize the fact that instead of fighting with traditional media concentrate on the mix use of media.”
Ajay Kaul says, “We (Lenovo) are a global company so we look at different markets with different mindsets and trade owned and earned is how we look at the media mix.” He said that Lenovo relies on paid media, owned media and shared media while spending on digital.
He went on to elaborate saying "In paid media, we look at campaigns and activations on different high-traffic websites and also on social. In owned media, we spend on increasing our own web presence across our corporate websites and blogs and on shared media, we spend on PR. Thus we device our integrated marketing approach."
The session Marketing Masters included eminent speakers like Sandeep Amar, Founder, Pikboo.com, Rajesh Chakrabarti, Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Innovation Officer, Reliance Commercial Finance & Reliance Home Finance, Manisha Lath Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Axis Bank, and K. Ramakrishnan, President - Marketing, Cafe Coffee Day.
Sanjeev Kapur, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi (India) and Harneet Singh, Vice President - Marketing, Domino's Pizza India presented their view points on leveraging best practices and optimum usage of the digital space that they have done for their brand in India and worldwide.
Rajesh Chakrabarti says, “Internet is becoming an engine of economic growth and is expected to contribute over USD 100 billion by 2015 to India’s GDP.”
K Ramakrishnan believes that not only the industry but the way of communication has evolved. He says, “Today it is important to not only communicate with the customers but to make them communicate on your behalf. Creating engaging dialogues makes the brand evangelize.” He added, “It is equally important to grab an opportunity to create an experience and one has to strive for a good friendly relation.” According to him the best part of the social media is that it makes you listen and also helps marketers and brands to evolve their products and services.
Manisha Lath Gupta shared her views saying, “The most important task is to reach out to the multi-screened customers and engage them with your brand. I believe that connective branding starts with collective thinking.”
Sandeep Amar believed that it is really important to have brand strategy that influences purchase. No doubt that the market is changing; more products, more brands and hence higher competition. Consumer is high on information so the marketer has to be really careful with what he sends to the customers. The change is quite visible if you see, consumer is cognizant with choices and information that are overloading him/her.” He believes that the social media presence should be really high.
Harneet Singh stressed upon the fact that digital growth of Dominos has seen a double digit growth. He says that digital HAVEs are increasing significantly day by day in India. He strongly believes that we will be catching and matching up with global competitors sooner than later.
The last key note session by Ruth Stubbs, CEO, iProspect & Digital Media Asia Pacific highlighted facts such as Digital technology which is creating more media and more devices on which to consume that media and greater interconnection between those devices, thus bringing convergence between technology, consumers and content…this is apparent with more and more business being done online.
She also avers, “Consumers are drawn to and interact with brands in new ways, through media that is more searchable, social, mobile, addressable and transactional. In response, we believe agencies must move to a new way of working with brands. We will share some insights.”
According to her as the market moves to convergence, the elements that combine to make successful marketing communications have become both more complex and more specialist-driven. At the same time because of the interconnectedness and interdependence of an increasingly convergent world, all those complex specialist elements need to work together. She says, “Brands today have kind of managed to survive in such a changing and evolving world of today. Jumping from one idea to the other in an effect to please the consumers’ ever changing needs and demands is quite often these days. We are witnessing convergence and the media landscape hence it is important to re invent ourselves at a faster rate.”
Day 1 of the conference saw power-packed discussions and a break-out session but ended with a huge networking bash.