Digital marketing is about data, connected systems bringing things together

MUMBAI: Digital marketing is about several things. It is about data, connected systems bringing things together. It looks at how technology is helping take the eco system through a self destruction process. New processes come in as a result. Digital marketing is about engaging audiences rather than shouting at them. Digital marketing is about intelligent communication.

These points were made at a panel discussion at the Mobile Digital Marketing Summit held during World Brand Congress 2011. The topic was ‘Social, Mobile and Video - The Future of Digital Marketing?‘ The speakers were Vdopia VP India Debadutta Upadhyaya, Dentsu India chief experience officer Krishna Prasad and Interactive Avenues co-founder and COO Shantanu Sirohi. The session moderator was IBM India/South Asia CMO Virginia Sharma. Sirohi noted that one can add efficiency in marketing campaigns by using technology. He gave the example of American Express which sent out mailers to platinum card holders. The campaign worked on a Linkedin API. Thousands of referrals happened as a result.
Upadhyaya noted that marketers are sitting at a cusp where consumers often don‘t got to a showroom for something like a car. They visit social networks and read reviews of what people are saying. "A brand has to be their catching their attention."

Prasad noted that CMOs earlier made decisions based on small sample size data. Analysis took place in a controlled environment. Now in digital the number of respondents have gone through the roof. There are insights on a social media page. There was debate about which route is better - mobile, video or social. With mobile one can do search, ad delivery and video delivery. At the same time people will gravitate towards video. Youtube will complement television viewing.

IBM, Sharma noted, did a study among CMOs globally. Indian CMOs said that social is the highest area of marketing but it is also the one where they are the least prepared. Prasad noted that CMOs want the fan count in pages to grow. At the same time engagement cannot be measured. He noted that a senior person has to look after the social media function in an organisation. It needs maturity and understanding of a brand. It cannot simply be left to a 25 year old. That is because it is a form of communication like a press release. If a press release does not go out before many people agree on it then how can a kid manage social media for an organisation?
Upadhyaya noted that CMOs have to be users of social media. This will have a bigger impact on marketing initiatives. Sirohi gave an example of Mahindra where Anand Mahindra tweets and responds to tweets. This keeps CMOs on their toes. They have to be in the social space. The youngest guy can then add things later.

The issue of performance metrics in digital was also discussed. [Prasad noted that from a publishers perspective a lot of inventory is unsold. A network has to differentiate itself. As an agency there has to be the incentive to do something. Sirohi noted that performance metrics will evolve. The digital ad market is worth around Rs 15 billion out of which Google has Rs 10 billion. This is because of performance.

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