Day 2 of IAMAI Marketing Conclave: The Digital story continues

27 May,2016


By Anuka Roy


It was the twelfth edition of the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)’s annual marketing conclave. And as the proceedings concluded on Thursday, some of the takeaways from the two-day event were: focus on context and content, understand your target group, utilise social media tools properly and mobile marketing will be the next big thing.


The digital storytelling journey continued on Day 2 of the Conclave. Saurabh Varma, Chief Executive Officer- South Asia, Leo Burnett Group, carried forward the topic of ‘Art of Storytelling with Digital Marketing’, which was touched upon a little on Day 1. In his presentation, Varma emphasised on the point that organisations need to find a purpose and once they find that everything falls in to place. He also cautioned that in the process of getting the act and purpose right, brands sometimes become too noisy while implementing their plan, which should be avoided. “We need more human brands, especially in digital,” stated Varma. He focused on the need for the right content and context, which eventually helps a brand to be successful. This was explained through two videos, one by Gatorade which paid tribute to a retiring baseball player and the other was Bajaj V, which showed motorcycles being made from the metal of, now dismantled, INS Vikrant. By giving examples of these two videos, he tried to reason that if the context and content of the brand are in proper place, everything gets going for a brand. Varma also spoke about ‘Functional integration’, something which is followed in his company and it pushes agencies to focus more seriously on client needs. He also pointed out that Social tools need to be used more efficiently.


In a marketing conclave which has been mostly dominated by discussions about digital marketing, how can a discussion focused on social media not take place? Karthik Nagarajan, National Director- Content and Social Media, GroupM moderated the discussion on ‘Social Media- Marketing through Videos’, with Sameer Pitalwalla, Chief Executive Officer, Culture Machine, Malay Dikshit, Chief Communications Officer, Tata Sky, Vijay Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Only Much Louder and Shreyas Rao, Senior Vice President, #fame as his panelists. Before the discussion, each panelist made a short presentation on the same topic. Pitalwalla presented the case study of ‘Being Indian’- a brand which they are associated with. Through the case study he showed how this brand expanded using different social media platforms. Taking the unconventional route, just like the videos that Nair’s company makes, he chose to just talk about the topic rather than showing a PowerPoint presentation. Jain stated, “Creators are going to be the agencies themselves and content marketing should not be confused with advertising.” Dixit’s presentation highlighted the fact that very soon traditional media platforms will merge with internet. The presentation ‘Video is the new text’ by Rao showed how just through videos and live video streaming his company made an impact within one year of its launch. The panelists agreed to the attention required for correct content and context, just like Saurabh Varma did in his session. Another very important change in today’s scenario that surfaced in the discussion was that due to the plethora of digital platforms, consumers give their feedback almost immediately and they can be brutal. So, brands need to be very careful about what they are offering. This pre-lunch discussion definitely gave the audience some great food for thought.


The session on ‘Programmatic Marketing- Make the best out of it’ was moderated by Nadeesh Ramachandran, Vice President- Sales and Strategy, Vserv. The panelists of the session were Ashish Sahni, Head- Digital Marketing (Passenger Vehicle Bussiness Unit), Tata Motors, Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer,, Hitesh Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer, Nykaa and Henry Stokes, Vice President of Client Development- APAC, Xaxis. When the moderator asked the panelists to define programmatic marketing, Kalra was quick to reply, “It is a jargon and basically, the use of technology that enables marketers to target right people at the right time.” The discussion was mostly about how advertisers should know their audience and should be clear about the target group. This discussion was carried forward by Stokes, who made a presentation about the same topic immediately after the discussion, explaining the concept of ‘Programmatic Marketing’ more extensively. “Take control, by defining and managing your own target audience,” he said in conclusion.


From programmatic, the discussion moved to ‘Performance Marketing- pay for outcomes only’. The post-lunch session moderated by Siddharth Puri, Chief Executive Officer, Tyroo with panelists Sevantika Bhandhari, SVP- Marketing and Head Products, DHFL, Shivani Dhanda, Director Marketing, eBay, Nikhil Rungta, Chief Executive Officer,, Venkatesh C R, Chief Executive Officer, Adatha, Atit Mehta, VP and Head of Media, Sequoia Capital and Vivek Singh, Sr VP- Marketing and Analytics, Firstcry, made sure the audience was attentive through their insightful discussions. Dhanda and Singh had contradictory opinions on the definition of Performance Marketing, as the former said: “From eBay perspective, performance marketing is when you are paying for a click or the end transaction that takes place, while negotiating with a vendor, the performance metrics come in to play” while the latter opined: “Performance marketing is the process in any kind of marketing. It is about having an end goal while using any form of performance marketing.” The discussion concluded with each panelist giving their view on what they will be discussing about in a year from now, the common consensus was “about integrated marketing devices.”


The last panel discussion was quite a fiery one, with quite a few contradicting views on the topic ‘Using mobile marketing to build healthy brands’. The session was moderated by Chandranshu Mishra, Consultant, Tata Strategic Management Group and the panelists included Ritza Trivedi, Director- Marketing India and South Asia, Visa, Uday Sodhi, Executive Vice President and Head- Digital Business, Sony Pictures Network, Anuj Kumar, Co-founder and MD, Affle, Martin Nygate, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gentay Communications and Lavin Punjabi, President, Affinity. While discussing about mobile advertising, Nygate said that his company conducted a survey which should people are annoyed by mobile advertising. “We believe the industry is in crisis,” he said. Kumar disagreed and said, “I do not buy the survey. The data consumption aspect in terms of mobile ads is overrated. This platform is giving free content.” Punjabi was quick to ask in reply to the statement, “Are viewers ever going to be ready to pay for content?” But everyone agreed to the fact that the future of mobile advertising is brand and eventually the obstacles of this platform will go away. “Mobile content is getting very exciting now. It allows you to communicate to the individual directly. It is the fastest growing space in the advertising ecosystem.”


Day 2 also had three case study sessions taking place parallel to the panel and individual sessions. The case study session on ‘Building a brand on digital’ was taken by Anindita Chatterjee, Senior GM Marketing, Spaces and Ajit Nair, Region Head, Quasar. ‘SME Advertising Market- Big opportunity, bigger challenge’- case study session was taken by Samir Chaudhary, Co- Founder, The Media Ant and another session was taken by Priya Jayaraman, Co-founder and Business Director.


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