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Time for OTT players to navigate an increasingly cluttered market

With 33 players in the OTT ecosystem in India and an endless supply of content, marketers of OTT platforms have to devise the most innovative communication strategies to work around the clutter in media channels.

Moderator Satyabrata Das, Head Strategic Alliance, Laqshya Media Group & COO, Mediakeys India, was joined by veteran marketers Binda Dey, Head of Marketing, Red Chillies Entertainment; Divya Dixit, Senior Vice-President & Head of Marketing, ALTBalaji; and Manav Sethi, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Eros International, on the finer points on show promotions and how media channels are leveraged to allow them to stand out.

Satyabrata Das initiated the discussion by fielding a question to Divya Dixit, who has a background in television and 2 decades of marketing experience. As she has seen the space evolve, he wanted to understand how show promotions today are different from the straight jacket advertising of the past.

Recounting from her vast experience, Dixit said, “I’ve seen the world of marketingevolving from the traditional medium of print television, outdoor to what it has become of now. Courtesy of the platform I am working with, I know that things have changed drastically. It is no longer a one size fits all approach that we can apply.”

She further said, “As a marketer, one has to deep dive into understand the target audience it is meant for, the geographic sentiments, age sentiments, possible content sentiments and then decide. At ALTBalaji, we don’t believe in doing traditional marketing, rather we actually do relevant marketing that stands out.”

She concluded by saying that the mainstay of their marketing strategy is to identify the two big ideas from every show and communicate it to the target audience through the relevant channel.

Das then asked Manav Sethi, who has strategically deployed campaigns across media channels, what role each channel played in the communication strategy.

According to Sethi, the first things to consider are the core message for the show, the RoI through the medium and maximising impact. He stressed that channels that built trust in the brand were vital. “Don’t forget that TV is still the tallest peak to shout the loudest from. And it helps you build trust in the brand.”

He further pointed out that in the US the top 3 companies that did the most outdoor advertising were technology companies, which indicated the importance of the medium. Now that digitisation has come to the outdoor medium, he believes that this space will see a resurgence of interest, especially from digitally forward organisations. He concluded by saying, “Media channels have to catch up to where the consumer is going, where the market is going.”

Das then asked Binda Dey of Red Chillies Entertainment for her perspective as someone who was working with an international OTT player, Netflix. Dey observed that since OTT platforms are experimenting with new kinds of content, there is a higher engagement and consumer interest in these shows. Dying genres such as horror have been given a second wind because of original shows launched by OTT platforms.

Dey remarked that the marketing strategy involves breaking the campaign into three parts. The first phase is to drive awareness. The next phase is all about engaging with audiences and generating interest about the show. The final piece is to create action and not just action, but brand advocacy. “Word of mouth is critical in this business,” she noted.

Summing up the key observations, Dey said that television works well for communication in the first stage, digital in the second and a mix of print, OOH and digital closer to the release of the film and to drive advocacy.

Watch the full session as they dig deeper into the nuances of OTT marketing.

Media
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