Driving Digital Within Your Company in 2019 – Part I

The Show Stoppers

On the jury of the XIV Digital Marketing Conclave of IAMAI, 2018, it was heartening to get a close-look at the `client’-side of things with a fresh perspective.

Any digital marketer, worth his salt especially one with 2-3 decades in sales or marketing, knows that digital can today totally change the game for his or her business, drive growth, reverse stagnation, input into product development, totally overhaul ROI, etc.  But before we look at  how you can drive digital in your company, let’s look at what are some of the stumbling blocks:

#1 Getting the right `digital’ partner. Digital agencies can execute but can fall short on strategy, or if they are in place, the young-talent there is not `expected’ to really understand the strategy piece, so businesses end-up sharing superficial briefs with their digital partner. As an independent digital agency ourselves, this is a piece we are really working on addressing constantly.

#2 Mature ad network strategize but limit in adopting digital as an integral practice of all they do and continue to treat digital as an add on. Even after acquiring top-rank digital agencies, the story remains the same, an adopted child being patronized or getting a step-motherly treatment, but not its share-of-voice in the big advertising piece internally.

#3 Digital itself is not just about creative communication and media planning and buying, but it has as a backbone an `alien’ territory that the marketer has to deal with, the rapidly-evolving technology piece.

#4 Digital leaderships within companies are not qualified enough. In-house marketing talent, typically brand or sales managers, and in worst-case scenarios – the Media head, is (often suddenly) entrusted with holding the digital mantle either as a new career opportunity / promotion, or simply as an add on to what they were already doing. Which only adds up to the challenges mentioned in the earlier 3 points.

#5 Top management buy-in to investing in digital marketing, moving away from the comfort zone, is a challenge.
Top brass is okay to spend 5 percent, thereabouts, of total budgets on the most familiar digital avenues like Facebook page, getting a website done, and 20-100 words in SEO.

#6 That smartphones are reaching where even TV does not is now being advocated by Bollywood, as they rapidly are adopting digital to market their films. Winning the Digital Celebrity title, cinestar Varun Dhawan, saw that the residents of a village where he shot knew him, thanks to Jio, access to the Internet with their smart phones, and the videos they saw of his on Youtube. This village does not have any television reach. Yet, feeding the Jio phenomenon as a reality to top bosses is mostly a humongous task, (if this applies to you, maybe the celebrity endorsement for digital reach with Dhawan’s video piece may just work). The mobile revolution is only superficially acknowledged.

#7 Digital is perceived to deliver greater ROI and is measurable, so more accountability on small digital spends is expected, which needs to surpass the ROI from traditional media! This despite the fact that TV is where the the brand is spending 500 per cent more than digital. What’s more even if achieved, the proof-of-concept continues to be a small pilot and all the hard work and slogging is just not able to help create an internal shift.

Read Part II of this blog to find out how you can bring the shift.

Part II: Top 10 Things You Can Do To Drive Digital

The Mad Men of Generation Z

Anthony Padayachi, ace wordsmith and Associate Creative Director, BC Web Wise

Anthony Padayachi, digital maverick and Associate Creative Director, BC Web Wise

Potatoes. And a guest lecture in LR-63 at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Having spent over a year with my favourite creative partner, who is a cusp between Millenials and Generation Z; I knew that I had to finish my 21-slide-ppt lecture with “Thank You” and an image of a sack of Potatoes next to it. A sack of potatoes because it was an SY-TY BMM (Bachelors of Mass Media) combined advertising class.

More the people, the more potatoes one needs to offer – that’s the rule.

Generation Z is different. Rather indifferent… to “gas”. So as an advertising professional, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell that sub-12K smartphone, or a no-gas deodorant, you better tread lightly if you don’t know them well. Anyway, since this post is about the Mad Men of Generation Z; here’s a “Listicle” of 5 things about how they’re poised to change advertising.

5 ways how Generation Z will change advertising as we know it!

  1. The Mobile First Revolution

“I don’t watch TV, what are you guys doing to target people like me on mobile?” I hope my answer was convincing enough, but the point is that Generation Z is exposed to ads on mobile more than any other medium. Having spent so much time on their smartphones, they’re all set to revolutionize mobile advertising.

Yes, mobile advertising goes beyond creating a mobile-optimized campaign microsite or even location targeting.

  1. Masters of what Matters (Now)

FOLO (Fear Of Losing Out) may be one of the insights that millennial marketing is using to advertitize to Generation Z. But having gone through the FOLO feeling, Gen Z looks poised to master the use of topical and trending content in advertising.

  1. Adopting newborn technologies #LikeABoss

Still contemplating whether VR is a good investment? A Gen-Z Mad Man pitched a kickass VR idea to me right after the lecture, reinforcing my belief that they will be eager to adopt technologies that are fresh off the oven. Moreover, they’ve witnessed technological obsolescence in their growing years, creating the urge to do the new.

  1. Socially Suaver

According to a popular advertising portal, Generation Z consider their ‘virtual’ pals as important as the friends they meet in person. Most of them also believe that this is where their real social life takes place.

So as and when Gen-Z step into agencies or brand floors, it is very likely that they’ll focus on connecting with their TG on social as if they’re meeting each of them in person.

  1. Making Digital the new Mainline

Gone are the days when a BMM-Advertising student would dream about creating TVCs. Gen-Z wants to create the next cool thing on digital. Be it a cause related campaign site, a potentially-viral video, or a cool game app for the brand; they’re keen to be on the digital side of advertising, cuz that’s where they’re living the most awesome part of their lives.

Sorry for the long blog, here’s a potato for you! ;D

potatoP.S. – Big thanks to Perrie ma’am (Head of Department, BMM – St. Xavier’s College) who invited me for the guest lecture cum nostalgic trip; which turned out the be an insightful session with Gen Z – the Mad Men of tomorrow.

Top Digital Trends to watch out for in 2015

The Indian digital market today has become a cornucopia of exciting action with over 200 million people using social media space and more than 250 million smart phone users. In fact as a nation of consumers who primarily use search engines to frame purchase decisions, we rank 4th in the world! Close to the heels of search engine marketing, is social networking that also accounts for a major chunk of digital marketing trends, and is expected to grow to phenomenal heights in 2015.

In Social Media, Million is just a Number!

By the turn of 2014 last year, India had reached an astonishing figure of 155 million mobile internet users with an impressive 100 Million mark for Facebook alone (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/.

Digital marketers have instinctively been drawn towards the inherent potential of social media marketing, where every platform provides an opportunity to channelize information towards a particular target segment. Brand communications and content marketing constitute the key strategy-drivers for providing a high impetus to brands on the social media. Brands are engaging in powerful story-telling and witty ways to create that instant connect with consumers.

What Does 2015 has in store for us in terms of Digital Trends?

Digital Marketing has altered by leaps and bounds in all these years and if the companies want to stay in the game, they need to up the ante and create a seamless branding experience across all media channels. While customers have the option to access information across various channels, it is also a challenge for the marketers to tweak their campaigns as per the platforms. Here’s what we can expect in terms of digital trends for 2015:-

Content & Customized Marketing Will Lead

Digital marketers will retrace their steps and get back to the basics of evaluating and analyzing their target audience, a trend that has sadly declined in the past few years. Tailor made content and customized marketing campaigns have already reached a tipping point and the way further would be to re-prioritize resource allocation.

Value Added Selling Will Rule

Placing all your eggs in the ‘sales basket’ will no longer work. Selling alone will not make the cut and the consumers will start ignoring the ones that do nothing but sell. Marketers will now have to realign their resources and energies into adding more value to the service – very much digitized – along with the product that they are selling.

End to End Customer Experience

Digital marketing will take a deeper approach by shifting its focus from demand creation to providing an end-to-end solution to the consumer. The idea is to make it a journey and a continuous experience.

Emotional and Intellectual Connect Will Dominate

2015 is the year when digital marketing will face a paradigm shift and will gain acceptance as an ecosystem rather than being a marketing strategy. This ecosystem will integrate process of attracting, engaging and retaining the customers by giving them readily available access to information regarding what they want. Gone are the days when the marketers could get the customers on board by just preaching them. It is now about creating an excitement towards their brand that provides information and connects with the prospects at intellectual and emotional level.

Innovative Interaction Will Win

It is likely to see many large brands usurping media channels to gain a more loyal base of audience as end-user patience runs low, while competition is at an all time high. More human contact is expected through the intensive digital marketing strategies as the dull and boring campaigns stand no chance to sustain the mounting competition. It is the age of innovation and human interaction through video marketing and short, witty messages.

Transparency & Genuine Relationships A Must

Virtual story telling is the name of the game in emerging digital trends. This will not only help the brand stand out but will also help them engage with the target customers at a one-to-one level. Brands will now focus on creating genuine connections online if they want to earn trust and loyalty of their target customers.

Mobile Data Analyitcs Will Evolve

Mobile data will be the crowning glory of 2015 when it comes to digitization. It helps in eliminating barriers between receiving a message and then taking a subsequent action. Smart digital marketers should be able to use the mobile user base as the unifying principle to create effective strategies that can integrate marketing and human centric business models.

Youtube & Facebook

Facebook may continue to be the main tool when it comes to connecting with users, despite becoming a platform that will get more expensive to reach your use base, and will be shoulder to shoulder with Youtube to iwhere the secret to viral hits lies (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/).

The Bottom Line

Digital trends will continue to reign supreme when it comes to 2015 and still be the preferred choice for the marketers to reach out to their target audience. However, to retain the loyalties of flippant consumers, it is imperative to keep quality of the marketing initiatives well-curated and thoroughly engage the audience by creating structured campaigns.