Adgully Exclusive | Content generation and content based engagement is the new focus: Interface's Mitter

The August 2011 Engagement Analytics Report by Socialbakers, one of the biggest social media statistics portals in the world and a recognized independent Facebook page rating agency, published the ranks of the leading 100 global brand pages on Facebook. The report indicated the top six slots occupied by Indian Brand Pages on Facebook outdoing the world's biggest brands, out of which the top five of the six are managed by Interface Business Solutions namely Kingfisher (83 %), Bingo! (82%), Tata DOCOMO (78%), MTV India (77%), Tata Photon (76%). The scores indicate the strength of the page, comprising of engagement, response rate and quality of content management.

Adgully caught up with Sabyasachi Mitter, Managing Director, Interface Business Solutions to know more about the feat achieved and the know ' how of the digital solutions agency.

"Interface has always relied on innovative strategies to deliver a disproportionate bang for the bang for its clients", said Sabyasachi Mitter, MD, Interface brand Solutions. Talking about the various innovative strategies used by the company for its various clients he said, "When Tata DOCOMO launched 3G ahead of the private operators it launched a 360 degree digital campaign to help the brand own up the 3G mind space. It launched award winning innovations like slowing down YouTube videos through pre-loaders to entice people to upgrade to Tata DOCOMO 3G". Similarly, citing other examples on these lines, he added, "When Tata Photon wanted to launch a VAS service on Music, it delivered the world's first banner driven Facebook music updates through which people could wish their friends a happy friendship day".

For Bingo! Interface grounded a complete brand launch and product sampling was carried out on Facebook. "Over a 3 week period people were engaged in a promotion to guess the name of the new Bingo! Snack Tangles. More than 5000 people were sent the sample of the new snack free", added Mitter.

Speaking about a few challenges faced during this entire process, Mitters mentioned that for many brands that have a brick and mortal legacy understanding the full potential of digital is often a time consuming process. "The speed of response on digital necessitates fast decision making and course corrections and optimizations on the go, for brand managers used to the mainline marketing process this sometimes becomes a challenge to manage", he added. He also stated that "some brands are not yet ready to let a digital agency lead an integrated campaign fully and certain overlapping areas like video production or BTL are still not considered the expertise of digital agencies".

Mitter is of the opinion that with more and more consumers, especially the youth spending a lot more time online and with close to 50% of India's online population on social platforms, the importance of engaging the audience on social media cannot be overlooked. Highlighting the trends that he perceives in the social media space, Mitter said that, "Today consumer's especially the youth form brand preference through peer reviews, word of mouth and their social networks. Brands need to be equipped to monitor such conversations through listening and proactive response mechanisms."

Adding further, he said, "They need to join the social conversation pretty much like a friend of the community and work towards keeping the brand and its values salient at all points in time".

Social media has actually renewed interest in digital among many brands who had previously maintained token presence on digital. "We are seeing brands in FMCG, retail, BFSI, auto and durables increasing their digital presence and budgets manifold. This trend is likely to continue with brands who are today watching this space likely to evolve a long term digital strategy in the near future. Going forward monetizing communities and/or establishing a clear ROI linkage would become more and more important and the honeymoon period with social media gets over", he said.

As the medium evolves it is becoming imperative to engage with consumers in more innovative ways. Mitter said that sustenance of the brands in the media space shall be done by, "Content generation and content based engagement is the new focus of many of the brands we handle. Similarly digitally led 360 degree campaigns are increasingly being worked out for clients where multiple agencies work together to launch large format engagement and activation programs. For many brands we handle, direct monetization using digital as a key focus area and we are working to implement both direct and indirect revenue linkages."

Aiming to be the most innovative digital strategy and solution provider in the Indian market, Sabyasachi Mitter said that, "Our aim is to help brands better understand and leverage the digital medium to gain tangible and measurable impact in terms of brand perception, preference and revenue generation."

Lastly, talking about the growth and future of Interface, Mitter states that, "From being a web design and development agency today Interface has evolved to become a full service digital agency. In the last two years Interface has added digital media planning and buying and social media monitoring and marketing as two powerful service verticals."

With the evolution of e-commerce and mobile space, Interface has further strengthened its offering. "As a Microsoft Gold Partner it offers enterprise class e-commerce products and solutions and is working with clients like Croma to launch end-to-end e-commerce platforms. Apart from building strengths in mobile web content delivery and CMS's it is also expanding into mobile application development from its third office being setup in Kolkata."

Sabyasachi Mitter is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta with 15 years of experience in the digital domain. He had a 7 year stint with Asian Paints, as the Manager Marketing; apart from other digital marketing duties at the company. He formed Interface Business Solutions in 2003 which is one of India's leading independent full service digital agency. The company has its expertise in 360 degree digital marketing including online media planning and buying, social media marketing, e-commerce software and web management. Mitter is helping iconic brands like Kingfisher, Bingo, Tata DOCOMO, MTV India and many others leverage the digital space. | By Ankita Tanna [ankita(at)]


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