Day1@Goafest: E-commerce calls the shots at Industry Conclave

12 Apr,2019

By Rahul Chandawarkar


E-commerce held centre stage on Day 1 of Goafest 2019 which kicked off at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Bambolim, Goa on Thursday, April 11.

Sponsored by Discovery Channel, the Industry Conclave had the marketing chiefs of the leading e-commerce brands, Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra explain to the audience the dramatic changes that have taken place in the field of digital marketing.

Ravi Desai, Vijay Sharma, Achint Seti and Velumani

Ravi Desai, director, mass and brand marketing, Amazon India explained how the old system of ‘pen portraying’ a customer was completely passé now. Desai said that Amazon India had created a mind-boggling 1,00,000 digital advertisments during Diwali 2018 to address hundreds of customer-types across multiple segments.

Desai explained how primetime TV advertising was also passé. According to the senior executive, the modern-day, urban consumer was consuming content in very different ways. Desai demonstrated with the help of a video clip, how consumers were comfortable directing Amazon’s artificial intelligence device, Alexa to play songs of their choice on Amazon’s Echo, smart speaker system. “If consumers are hooked to this, we need to devise ways and means to catch their attention on this platform,” Desai said.

Citing the example of his teenaged son and his friends, Desai said that multiple TV channels did not interest these teenagers anymore. “They were more keen to play PUBG ( Player Unknown’s Battleground), the popular, online multiplayer game and live streaming video games. Our advertising needs to cater to these new trends,” Desai said.

Quoting Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who said, “Focus obsessively on customers,” Desai explained how building customer loyalty was a prime objective at Amazon. According to Desai, the ‘Amazon Prime’ programme where a customer paid INR 129 every month to avail of a free and fast delivery, advertisement free video streaming, audio streaming and exclusive deals was a step in this direction.

Likewise, Vijay Sharma, associate director, brand marketing and head digital media, Flipkart said that digital marketing and digital brands had changed the face of modern-day marketing. According to Sharma, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) like Coke and Pepsi had made way for brands like Apple and Google as the world’s leading brands.

Explaining the challenge of digital marketing, Sharma said that artificial intelligence was being used extensively by Flipkart to run its latest advertising and marketing campaign, ‘The Big Billion Days’.

Multiple celebrities and models were roped in to run the popular, ‘Ab Hoga (name of city) budget se mukt!’ digital marketing campaign, which was made to reach a wide audience across the entire country.

In a similar vein, Achint Setia, vice president – marketing, Myntra, explained how the modern-day customer was consuming information across a wide variety of platforms like the internet, television and the android phone. “In such a scenario, we necessarily have to use artificial intelligence to make a customer experience a joyful moment with the mere touch of  button,” Setia said.

Explaining that Myntra was a cool and youthful brand, Setia said that the company had put a customer loyalty programme titled, ‘Myntra Inside’ in place. With the help of a video clip, Setia demonstrated how the programme treated the customer to a personality make-overs, gifted new dresses and curated the experiences of the customers using cutting edge technology. Myntra also gifted select customers overseas trips.

Earlier in the afternoon, popular singer Shaan regaled the audiences with many of his hit Bollywood songs and also sang several English-Hindi medleys.

The audiences were also regaled and kept spellbound by a very peppy presentation made by Dr A Velumani, creator and managing director of Thyrocare, the company which has made a mark in the field of healthcare. Velumani touched many a chord when he narrated his rags to riches story. Advocating the philosophy of frugality, Velumani explained how he did not own a home despite being very rich. “As an entrepreneur I feel it is more important to grow my business and create more employment,” Velumani said.


Rahul Chandawarkar, a former newspaper editor, is a communications strategist and superactive triathlete based in Goa. He has been covering Goafests for MxMIndia since 2017.


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