Siddhartha Mukherjee: Another New Normal: ‘SEO’ showing potential to  become the New ATL!

02 Jul,2020

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


Of the jargons – Shared, Earned, Owned and Paid (modes of brand communication) – Covid-19 is catalysing the symptoms of a struggling paid industry – ATL! An industry that is scampering to manage revenues and sustain its effectiveness. However, like for every (grim) Yin, the (bright) Yang here is that a new “SEO” is on the rise! No, it is not what the world of Google Analytics has taught us! The New SEO stands for Shared, Earned and Owned Media.


If not by way of big-ticket budgets, but certainly by way of brand owners’ trust, dependency and priority, SEO is tending towards becoming the New ATL, the New Normal! And yes, so far, ‘SEO’ has been rightfully owned and driven by the CCOs (Chief Communication Officers) and PR Communication Consultancies!


This New CCO-Consultancy-SEO Collective is doing all it takes to maintain brand and business relevance fdor their reporting line C-suite. Sustaining Brand Reputation and the health of the Balance Sheet has been the prime focus. The SEO machinery has been nimble, adaptive, customisable, holistic and certainly effective!


Now, for this yet another New Normal, there has to be a quick recalibration of our mindset an the framework for Brand Research & Data Analytics. Shared, Earned and Owned modes of Brand Communication will need a different template of Brand Research & Data Analytics.  It is a good time for Brand Owners and SEO service providers to come up with a Blueprint!


Disruptions, like the ones we are currently in, demand high EQ (Emotional Quotient) in the Communications Planning and Delivery matrix. For real effectiveness, Messaging, its Frequency and creation of Innovative Target Audience Touchpoints have to be of extraordinary levels.


Here is where recalibrated Data & Analytics will play a central role.

:: The definition and structure of Primary & Secondary data will need recalibration

:: Creating the machinery, sourcing the responses and interpreting them will need a broader understanding of Brand Communications, Marcomm, CorpComm, Corporate Reputation, Target Audience, Stakeholders, Custodians, Thought Leadership, Balance Sheet management, etc.

:: Simply looking at Shared, Earned and Owned data in silo will not work. They have to be cross tabulated. This will lead to gold mine of learnings, insights and fast action points.

:: Data Analytics should be able connect the dots across multiple stakeholders, over and above just the customers – the revenue generators.


The C-Suite-CCO-PR Firm collective have a wonderful playing field ahead of them. The new calibration of Brand Research, Data and Analytics will form the ammunition to protect brand scores and balance sheet, increase acknowledgement of the SEO Industry, bring in more investments and budgets into the industry.



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