Digital medium apt for marketing, but users still wary

NEW DELHI:While urging advertisers not to be daunted by the new media and learnt to adapt it to advantage, participants at a meet here on Digital Marketing said they were convinced that television would continue to be the primary medium for advertising for several more years.

However, many of the speakers were confident that the Internet would gradually become the second largest advertising medium and would revolutionalise TV with the entry of Internet Protocol TV and other new media. Many of the speakers spoke of the gradual amalgamation of the media.

Organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the one-day meet titled ‘Digital Marketing: Wake up and Smell the Coffee‘ saw the participation of a large number of people from the world of advertising, marketing and broadcasting.

They included Sam Balsara (Chairman & Managing Director, Madison), Arvind Rao (Chief Executive Officer & Co Founder, On Mobile), Dinesh Wadhawan (Managing Director & CEO, Times Internet Ltd), Gurtej Sandhu (Senior Vice President Digital, Star TV), Raj Nayak (Chief Executive Officer, NDTV Media), Gullu Sen (Vice Chairman, Dentsu India), Chaya Brian Carvalho (Managing Director & CEO, BC Web Wise),
Sidharth Rao (CEO & Co-founder, Webchutney), Rajagopal Menon (COO, Contests2win), Bhavna Giani (Associate Creative Director, Mediaturf Worldwide), Jaspreet Bindra (Country Manager, Windows Live + MSN), Lloyd Mathias (Marketing Director, Motorola), Ashok Lalla (Director of Internet Marketing, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces), Rohit Sharma (Chief Operating Officer, Zapak), D Shivakumar (Managing Director, Nokia India), Sameer Suneja (Head Marketing, Preffiti Van Melle India), and Rahul Agarwal (Director Marketing, Lenovo).

Balsara regretted that advertisers had still failed to sufficiently use digital marketing for brand advertising and understand its power and reach.

Carvalho and Agarwal did not agree that the Digital Medium was too functional to allow room for creativity, and said the situation was in fact quite the contrary. Carvalho said the Internet was a vehicle for self-expression and was in fact a most creative medium giving infinite space for creating new ideas. Agarwal regretted that traditional agencies had not been able to grasp the power of this new medium and regretted that very little money was being set aside for exploiting this medium or on research.

Giani said it was necessary to decide the direction those using the medium wanted to take since it was most engaging and interactive, while Menon felt that creativity implied the uses to which this medium could be put.

The speakers were unanimous that the Digital Medium was making a real impact on marketing, promotion and customer acquisition efforts of most major brands in India. Some felt that the current definitions of creativity and the current training and experience of leaders in this area are not aligned with the notions of creativity for the digital medium.

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