Day 2 @ad:tech: Nothing’s too small in new digi world

27 Feb,2012

By Shruti Pushkarna


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The final day of ad:tech witnessed engaging keynotes and panels on topics like social commerce and mobile marketing. Here’s a wrap up of the second day at the conference.


Small is the new big: Rethinking digital in a world of smaller, smarter screens

Day 2 of ad:tech 2012 opened with a keynote by Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media for Nestle. Mr Blackshaw opened his session, ‘Small is the new big: Rethinking digital in a world of smaller, smarter screens’ by introducing two broad themes. First, ‘the boring basics still really matter’ and the second, ‘small is the new big’. Elaborating on the first theme, Mr Blackshaw emphasized that the essentials of marketing are the very principles that a company should build its digital strategy upon. He said, “The essentials of marketing in the traditional sense that include: Searching out and identifying big ideas that are contact neutral and have a potential of sustainable communication; engaging with consumers when they are most ready to receive; and creating an attractive and rewarding brand, find unique life on the digital platform.”


Talking about his role in both the areas of corporate communication and consumer communication, he said that a big convergence is happening between the two. “There is convergence between corporate and consumer communications; marketing and research – asking questions has been an integral part of consumer research and now involves a large part of digital too; product quality and sales and; supply chain and digital – as consumers can now look behind the brand,” explained Mr Blackshaw.


He also talked about the three operating pillars of Nestle, listening, engaging and transforming. He said that these three are part of the many winning actions that Nestle has uniquely defined for each function. And one basic that still applies is the power of storytelling. Blackshaw cited the example of Nescafe Know Your Neighbour campaign in India to emphasize his point that good narratives work well with the consumers. One has to device a good narrative, tie it to a big idea to engage consumers.


Speaking of the other theme, ‘small is the new big’, Mr Blackshaw said, “We need to think harder about simplifying our messaging and serving the consumer. We need to shrink, simplify and serve. Our screens are shrinking and so we need to simplify to serve better.”


“This is a great time in marketing…organizations are in transformation, digital is creating lots of new opportunities to connect and bond and add value for consumers. The number of consumers going online, using social media is unbelievable, I think that creates both challenges and opportunities,” concluded Mr Blackshaw.


The evolution of content, commerce and entertainment in the digital world

Satyan Gajwani, Director-New Media, BCCL delivered the second keynote address on Day 2. His presentation was divided into three basic areas, content, commerce and entertainment.


In entertainment, said Mr Gajwani, “…the focus has been on two or three major initiatives. One is gaana which is a digital music platform that’s really oriented around discovering new content. Second is the way we have looked at sports and IPL specifically, that’s going to be a big focus for us in a month from now when IPL launches in April. And last is a new project we are going to launch in a couple of weeks, called Box TV. Box TV is going to be a premium video destination for India where we’ll get full length movies and TV shows and eventually sports, a lot of high end content oriented around a different type of video experience.” Mr Gajwani also emphasized that it’s important to be ‘social by design’ in today’s digital world.


Talking about commerce, Mr Gajwani said it is time to understand the supply chain better. He also said, “Eventually there has to be some sort of molding between content and commerce as a model where the user can engage with content that’s engaging and quickly use that as a means to transact as well.”


Behind all content, entertainment and commerce, Mr Gajwani said, “…we are trying to build a KYC behind it all, which is Knowing Your Customer, both in terms of what is it that he likes and eventually developing some sort of profile of who he is. And behind that we want to launch a loyalty programme where we know what kind of a user you are and then encourage you to be a more active user by giving you badges that validate you for your activity.”


Mr Gajwani concluded by saying that the hottest thing in 2011 was e-commerce and that 2012 will be all about consolidation and a deeper focus on supply chain management.


Mobile Marketing

This session designed to look at insights on how marketers are evaluating the power of mobile as a medium to drive their business objectives, was moderated by Rajesh Jain, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Netcore Solutions. Other panelists included, Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder & CEO, Vserv Mobile; Dr Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO & Co-Founder, Vuclip; Abdul Khan, Senior Vice President & National Head of Business Marketing, Tata Teleservices and Kiran Gopinath, Founder & CEO, Ozone Media Solutions.

Rajesh Jain opened the debate with a fundamental question to every panelist, ‘what are the barriers that are holding mobile marketing back?’

Abdul Khan of Tata Teleservices said, “Mobile marketing has got a terrible press. Creativity is abysmal in this area. It is because of the pricing structure that it is viewed as a commodity.”

Mr Gopinath said, “One of the key barriers holding it back is that a lot of our customers are slow in mobilizing their sites, the lack of mobile sites is holding it back. And secondly, it will take a lot more education of people in the agencies for mobile marketing to fully take off.”

Mr Khan also added, “It is probably just a lazy mindset that is holding back mobile marketing, it cannot be money as people are frivolously allocating money tp programmes like IPL.”

Mr Jakatdar echoed Mr Gopinath’s point of educating people, saying, “We need to communicate in the same language with brands, agencies and publishers.”

Dippak Khurana made an interesting point that the ecosystem today is quite complex and for mobile marketing to kick off, dedicated resources have to be allocated. He said, “Currently organizations are busy with digital and social, leadership needs to take a call and put dedicated people for mobile.”

Rajesh Jain concluded the session by drawing out the main points from all panelists. He said, “There is a need for dedicated people in organizations to look at mobile. The lack of mobile sites needs to be addressed and finally someone needs to look at the ability to convert clicks into cash. Clicks are not getting converted into cash because of lack of payment options on mobile.


Social Commerce

The session was moderated by Rajan Srinivasan, Senior VP Marketing, Web18 Software Services Ltd and the panelists included- Narasimha Jayakumar, COO, E-commerce, Homeshop18; Kirthiga Reddy, Director Online Operations, Facebook India; Ramesh Chembath, Asst Vice President, Head- Marketing and Modern Trade, Godrej and Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99labels.

The session centred on how brands can make the most of social technologies to transform shopping experience.

Ms Reddy making her initial comments on the subject said, “E-commerce sites need to rethink the whole e-commerce experience and think of how to put people at the centre.” She also added that online behaviour is nothing but a reflection of offline behaviour.

Mr Jayakumar emphasized that before we get into engaging the consumers we need to get the basics of the e-commerce in place. He said, ‘First ee have to make sure that the consumer is happy with the experience and then we start engaging.”

Answering a point on whether there is any difference in the digital social and the traditional social, Mr Chembath of Godrej said, “When it comes to appliances, it is really a social activity. Buying an appliance is when a whole family goes out to make the purchase. But there has beena huge shift in consumer buying behaviour off late. In traditional social, one would ask members of the family, neighbours or even friends before making the purchase. But now with nuclear families, people are willing to experiment with brands. Instead of asking their peers, they want to go online and check the reviews posted by users on products and brands. That’s the new digital social.”

From the debate it also emerged that brands need to see the value of social in fundamental areas like connecting with people, sharing experiences etc. The power of social really comes from the personal connection brands can provide on the web with the help of social.


Exploring the future of storytelling

Richard Dunmall, Vice President, Global Accounts & Agencies, Microsoft Advertising made his keynote presentation on ‘Exploring the Future of Storytelling’. Mr Dunmall shared a glimpse of futuristic technologies being adopted by advertisers and publishers in connecting with their audiences and telling their brand stories. He started off by talking about how to master the new digital storytelling world. He said, “What consumers want, technology delivers through self-expression, enjoyment, connection and discovery.”

The four trends according to Mr Dunmall that marketers are making big bets on, are


i) Everyone’s a storyteller

ii) The new face of fun – the ability for people to play, share experiences

iii) Increasingly contextual world

iv) More human experiences


Mr Dunmall said, “Everyone is becoming a storyteller in the new digital world, becoming a relevant owner of content. Every brand has a story to tell and digital is enabling new ways of storytelling.”

Talking about the new face of fun, Mr Dunmall said, “Technology allows human to play in a much more enhanced way, the ability to compete with each other and have fun is what leads to engagement.”

Talking about the third trend of the world becoming increasingly contextual, Mr Dunmall said, “Every surface can become a digital source of content in the future.”

And of all this leads to a more ‘you’ centric experience that allows brands to customize and build a brand narrative around it. Mr Dunmall concluded his presentation by reemphasizing, “Possibilities of technology are endless.”


The DigiMarketing Imperative

The last keynote of Day 2 was a presentation on ‘The DigiMarketing Imperative’ by Kent Wertime, Chief Operating Officer, Ogilvy & Mather, Asia Pacific. Mr Wertime started off his presentation with a question on how ready are marketers to make the shift to DigiMarketing and everything it entails.

Mr Wertime said, “Market despite the enormous opportunity is dramatically under-spent around the world. Agencies need to be much quicker in moving and they need to add a lot more capability than they have. There is definitely a continued lag in digital and as an industry, marketers need to fill the gap increasingly.”

Mr Wertime also said that the shift to DigiMarketing needs to be a tectonic shift. He said, “It’s really not about the fast movers but about the slow movers. If one looks at the shaping of the future, it has actually followed a very logical course. Similarly the shift to DigiMarketing needs to be a tectonic shift. Marketing money is going to go increasingly to the digital and within a global context, markets like India have enormous room to grow.”

Mr Wertime also added that the number of people armed with digital devices is increasing and so as an industry we have to take opportunity of this shift in a way that will please customers.

Talking about whether the shift to digital will be that of a replacement kind, Mr Wertime said, “The digital is an additive story and not replacement, it is a relational story with traditional media.”

Concluding his presentation, Mr Wertime said “There has to be a shift from POE to PUC, that is, Paid Owned and Earned to Participation Utilty and Contribution.”




Delhi will play 3rd time host to ad:tech in 2013. Rammohan Sundaram, Event Chairman and Founder, CEO & Managing Director, Networkplay Media Pvt Ltd announced that ad:tech will be back in New Delhi in 2013 between Feb 20 and 23. He also announced that the launch of ad:tech Bangalore will take place sometime towards the end of September.


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