Ketchum Sampark forays into digital media

MUMBAI: Ketchum Sampark, the Indian affiliate of global communications network Ketchum today announced the launch of its digital media business Ketchum Sampark Digital. Aimed at garnering market share in the emerging digital media business, Ketchum Sampark Digital will offer full-service interactive strategy, web design, video production and multimedia development to help companies tell their stories and build engagement with their audiences on digital media (internet and mobile).

Ketchum Sampark MD NS Rajan said, "The launch of Ketchum Sampark Digital reflects the emerging significance of engaging with consumers through prolific use of digital domains. There has been a distinct shift in usage patterns wherein consumers look beyond email and casual surfing to complete engagement and internet as the media of choice for information. We are initially launching our digital business with a team of young social media experts and progressively build a bandwidth of skills and digital capabilities including a team of interactive strategists, digital designers and producers."

Ketchum Digital partner, global director Jonathan Kopp said, "Globally, Ketchum Digital has created innovative digital media solutions for clients including FedEx, Kodak, ConAgra, Absolut amongst many other industry-leading companies. With the launch of Ketchum Sampark Digital India joins other Ketchum Offices and digital experts around the globe in the Ketchum Global Digital Network bringing digital social media solutions from around the world for our clients everywhere."

The company will offer products and services catering to digital media. The Indian team will be trained on the systems and processes. "Digital will grow in importance. The growth curve ahead will be big given the spread of mobile in India. Digital is blurring the lines in traditional communications. The distinctions between advertising, marketing, public relations no longer exist in the social media space."

He also notes that the difference between paid media and earned media is disappearing as well in the digital realm. Paid media refers to advertising while earned media refers to when a journalist or a blogger feels the content is worth writing about and writes from the point of view of a brand.

"The consumer in the digital space though who uses things like RSS feeds does not make a distinction. Each line of content is the same no matter where it comes from. This has created a level playing field. So it is the quality of content that drives conversation. Our aim is to create compelling content for clients which fuel the art of conversation."
The aim of the agency is to listen to conversation, understand how the client is perceived by customers and then become a part of the conversation by adding value to what is a shared experience. Now communication is no longer top down but bottom up. For a brand to succeed in the digital space transparency is very important. The brand needs to be authentic and very clear about what it stands for and what its message is. The aim of Ketchum Sampark Digital is to help brands be more responsive and personal.

He is clear that all companies need to be in the digital space. "Companies cannot afford to sit out of the social web. Some companies think that digital is only important for them if they are consumer facing. However my experience shows that there is opportunity in the B2B sector as well. Mistakes will be made as digital media is still an evolving beast. It is important to tread judiciously, do your homework. You have to experiment, adapt and learn as you go along," Kopp said.

He spearheaded Barak Obama‘s social media campaign during the US Presidential Election in 2008. Things have changed though since then. Three years back it was about driving traffic to a site. Now with the explosion in social media it is about getting your message across to places where people are having conversations. "Your message has to be available in places where people are ready to hear it."

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