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Facebook brings marketers together to explore growth in a mobile first era

Today’s marketers are working in a complex environment with increasing consumer choice and fragmenting media environment. With mobile becoming central to our lives, people are spending more and more time on mobile and consuming more content on their phones, which has not only led to a very different and dynamic consumer purchase cycle, but has also created an opportunity for businesses to find newer sources of growth. 

Addressing the needs of industry, Facebook hosted ‘Discover Growth’, an event which brought together marketers and advertisers to discuss key strategies focused on growth marketing and how Facebook solutions can help businesses drive growth. 

Participating in the discussions were Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network; Alok Agarwal, General Manager, Marketing Excellence, GSK Consumer Healthcare; and Ambuj Chandna, Head - Retail Liabilities, Investments & Payment Products, Kotak Mahindra Bank. 

The purchase cycle has completely turned on its head and there is no longer just a single moment which influences the consumer’s buying decision. Speaking at the event, Sandeep Bhushan, Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia, said, “With over 217 million monthly active users in India – most of whom are active on mobile – Facebook is at the heart of a mobile-first shopping journey. We want to help all marketers and businesses drive revenue growth by tapping into the shift in consumer behaviour towards mobile, and help them adopt practises to drive both penetration and loyalty.” 

Attendees at the discussion gained an in-depth insight into Facebook’s mobile solutions that can help marketers grow and engage consumers at every step of the purchase journey. Some of the top strategies included: 

Acquiring customers and generate intent - Consumer journey, with the adoption of products and platforms such as mobile, has changed so much, to wait for people to come to them. Brands need to acquire customers on mobile by reaching people earlier in the purchase journey. They can no longer wait for purchase intent, they need to create it. 

Creativity - With declining attention spans and impatience on the rise, it is imperative to capture attention quickly with compelling short creatives. The short form creative ad formats on Facebook that are built to deliver better experiences on mobile can not just help drive awareness but also generate purchase intent. 

Measuring what matters - What ultimately matters is measuring what is actually working so that marketers can refine their marketing spends. Facebook’s people based measurement solutions can help measure what’s working across channels to enable optimised spending to those attributing to the best results. 

Brands and businesses across industries in India are already taking advantage of Facebook’s full-funnel marketing solutions. Brands like Lakme and Magnum have run impactful feed friendly short form creatives on Facebook and seen lifts in Purchase Intent. E-commerce and travel brands such as Jabong, Shopclues, MakeMyTrip have used Dynamic Ads to capitalise on intent and find interested customers. With Facebook’s Lead ads, brands like Raymond and Mahindra have been able to drive offline sales, while others like GSK, Vodafone, Mondelez and Myntra have leveraged Facebook’s measurement solutions to measure outcomes that matter to them and refine their marketing spends. 

As of Q2 2017, there were 217 million monthly active users on Facebook and 212 million mobile monthly active users. 

Navigating the digital world 

Ashish Bhasin observed, “Mobile today has become equivalent to digital. 100 per cent of the businesses are impacted by the internet. Mobile world is impacting the more physical parts of every business... In this area, consumers are leading the marketers like us; they drive the business for us.” 

Ambuj Chandna added here, “Almost 60 per cent of our customers are digitally active and almost 80 per cent of those are mobile-only users, which is a big number. There is a large number of transactions happening on mobile. At Kotak, we have observed a dramatic shift in numbers. We have see 30 per cent growth in two quarters. Therefore, it is important to curate product propositions and value propositions for digital services as the formula that applies for physical propositions doesn’t apply to digital propositions in terms of banking.” 

Talking about digital technology and Facebook, Chandna also noted, “The funnel is becoming very fungible. Spends have increased by 40x and we found the ability of Facebook as a medium to segment customers finely and have been able to do some dynamic content optimisation for our campaigns.” 

On GSK’s adoption of digital, Alok Agarwal said that one of the challenges seen in digital in terms of brand management in the FMCG sector has been how to measure outcomes on digital. “We have, therefore, invested on creating a parallel brand track as a collaborative with Facebook, which has given us fabulous results,” he added. 

While commenting on building capabilities across agencies and client organisations, Bhasin said capability had never been an issue in India. At the same time, he added, “We need to work on the trust deficit. Moreover, there is need for a common agreed industry measurement metric.” 

The Dos and Don’ts 

All the industry experts stressed on keeping the focus on consumers. Alok Agarwal remarked, “We need to be consumer-centric and use it as a push medium. Use the huge amount of data to make insights and combine them with your representative data and can make really good product propositions…many creative and measurement tools are possible. That’s the beauty of the platform. You are only limited by your imagination.” 

On the ‘don’t’ part of it, Agarwal added, “You should listen to your consumers and be authentic, otherwise the negatives will also get highlighted.” 

Referring to the latest ‘Burger emoji’ debate, Bhasin also mentioned about how digital platforms can create a dangerous edge under the scheme of things if not handled well in the digital era. He also stressed on a better understanding of the idiom of communication in creative media under the digital domain by the agency and similarly for the entire DNA of the organisation of the brands and creative agencies. Also, listening to young consumers formed part of his ‘Do’ list. 

Sandeep Bhushan’s ‘Do’ list for using digital effectively for branding and advertising across demographics of mobile users include:

  1. Be clear on what you, the brand, want to achieve.
  2. Measure only against that.
  3. Creative is appropriate to the ad.

According to Chandna, the opportunity of data should be used with creativity, While Bhasin maintained that the holy grail of advertising is to create a creative appeal to the targeted customers and not to the rest of the areas. 

Elaborating on the content strategy for a digital platform like Facebook, Sandeep Bhushan said, “Every platform has a certain guideline to most effectively use that. For example, many folks can be accessed through videos of various types like a 360-degree video, short video or a follow-up to a non-video ad. It depends on what your task is, what assets you possess and what you consumer understanding is.” Commenting on the smaller agencies and start-ups in India that benefit from Facebook in terms of expertise in digital brand marketing, Bhushan said, “Facebook will constantly strive to build an over-all appreciation of the ecosystem and will include several tools of communication and business resources.” 

Client speak 

Alok Agarwal, General Manager, Marketing Excellence, GSK Consumer Healthcare:
“For the first time, we measured the reach and impact of an integrated media plan (TV and Facebook) from a single source of measurement on an ongoing basis. We are encouraged by Facebook’s ability to drive brand reach and impact. The campaign delivered better results than just TV-only campaigns. For us, Facebook and TV worked better together.” 

Case study link:
https://www.facebook.com/business/success/horlicks-india

Saujanya Shrivastava, Group CMO, MakeMyTrip.com and Goibibo.com:
“FB in no time (within a period of 6 months) has become one of the key contributors to our business for orders from retargeting channels. It is heartening to note the level of ownership and spirit of partnership that has led to such effective and impactful campaign.” 

Siddharth Banerjee, EVP – Brand Communications & Insights, Vodafone:
“Partnering with Facebook on the launch campaign for Vodafone Supernet 4G helped us cut through the clutter immediately, build awareness with the right audience and achieve incremental reach over television. With the target audience leaning towards digital, Facebook delivered some of the highest impact across all media vehicles on driving salience and key brand messages.”

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