Welcome, Content Marketing

20 Nov,2014


By Tanushree Bhatia


It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in the media these days: content marketing. Advertising agencies are being forced to look beyond traditional ads to also include this new form of messaging in their offerings. And marketers have had to rejig their teams to be able to manage the new challenges thrown up by this new form of outreach. These and other issues were touch upon at a panel discussion at premier marketing and communications school MICA last Friday. The discussion was part of MICA’s annual marketing management festival Micanvas at its campus in Ahmedabad. The panellists were: Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP-Marketing, Product, Digital and e-Commerce, HDFC Life,  Kunal Jeswani, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy India, and Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Social Wavelength and the proceeds were moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari, Editor-in-Chief and CEO, MxMIndia and Consulting Editor, dna of brands.


Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP-Marketing, Product, Digital and e-Commerce, HDFC Life

Content was always a one-way communication. We then moved to blogs, social media and now there are multiple channels. It has increased manifold. It is very important to understand how the generation is changing. The readership of blogs has diminished over time. It is a checklist generation for example: 5 things to do, 10 things to do. It is all about instant gratification. Nowadays, constant monitoring and responding to user-generated content is more important than content creation.


You can allocate 5 percent of the spends pie on digital and that can do a great job. I feel our social space is like personal space. Our social spaces are very segregated. You have to have a strategy as to what this strategy is best suited for.


It’s not easy – but the age-old principle holds true: know your audience. For many companies, that audience is the always-on generation, which represents both their current (and future) customers, so smart marketing with them now can yield invaluable loyalty later on. If one is able to accurately target a few words or phrases that resonate with them, they will conjure a positive memory around your company, and, hopefully your product – so stay ahead of their game.


Kunal Jeswani, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy India

It’s about push/pull communication. Communication strategy focuses on push whereas content is around pull. It thus need not be created but can be sponsored. The content is designed to be either entertaining or add some value to the consumer. In the process of consuming the content, the consumer makes a brand association.


My job didn’t exist five years ago. Things are changing and capabilities are being built. The digital medium plays a very important and large role in telecom, finance and auto sector.


We have started to see things differently and the British Airways ad is the best example. The producer of the ad is not an ad filmmaker in fact he used to make expensive wedding videos. But the characters are real and none of the interactions are scripted. When you start capturing that kind of stuff is what I mean by content and not advertising.


Consumers are very intelligent that way. No one can be fooled into it. Everything is usually branded example the Google ad. It’s clearly a Google film and no one is misleading you. But you still watch it like a piece of entertainment. What digital does is that it lets you do visuals. The only issue is how interesting you can make each element with a push.


Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Social Wavelength

Today every company is a media company and they have a huge onus of creating tens of thousands of pages of content. A dilemma that is often faced by companies is the short attention span of a consumer. Gone are the days when there used to be long stories. We have shifted from emails to Whatsapp from SMS. And now there’s the Yo app. First the companies need to create content and then create content of interest. And who is the competitor? Everyone is a potentially great content producer. The world is rich with the quantity of content that gets created each day. Content has to align the agendas of both the brand and the user.


There are question marks on user-generated content, but there are enough genuine reviews on the sites. There is a rating of the reviewer also for example in when I go to a Zomato, I see reviews by my connections first.


This report first appeared in the dna of brands issued dated November 17, 2014


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