Marketers should understand the principles of guerilla marketing: Gibson

MUMBAI: Indian marketers have started adopting the "Guerrilla social media marketing", an unconventional marketing strategy intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. It is about achieving conventional goals by unconventional means. Instead of investing huge sums of money, people and time, it uses innovation, information, creativity and community to succeed. Social media is often referred to as a guerrilla media, but that‘s only true if the people and their organisations understand the principles and processes of guerilla social media marketing. These were the thoughts shared by International speaker and author Shane Gibson, while his keynote at the World Brand Congress (WBC) 2011 that began here today.

"Building community helps messages go viral over social media. However it is a messy media and people are looking for us to be authentic and engaging. The companies should have the ability to run marathon to stay in the game. Social media is an earned media. Many people want to know you. One should build a community so that people can talk to each other, share thoughts and practices. Social media marketing is about listening to what consumers say. It is a real time feedback. You need to know your customer, discover them. By listening and monitoring customer, you get to know more about them," he said.

"Its time to nano-cast through Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and sub-group for B2B markets, offline events and seminars, Webinars and podcasts, #tags and Twitter lists, one-to-one dialogue and fusion partnership," he added further.

Later, there was a panel discussion on ‘Application of guerrilla marketing in businesses‘ with speakers- Nita Kapoor (EVP-marketing and corporate affairs, Godfrey Philips India), Sandeep Sharma (Sr VP -marketing and sales, Times Now and ET Now), Sanjeev Kotnala (VP-brand communication and national head, Dainik Bhaskar Group), Neeraj Sanan (EVP-marketing and distribution, Media Content and Communications Services) and Rohan Vaidya (GM-strategic sales, Wipro Infotech).

Kapoor emphasised on three key points - firstly, culture of social media, language, and interface, all is guerrilla. Secondly, one can deliver messages of integration with social media and third, today there are very good measurements to be able to track your target group, activities and responses on social media. "Organisations in India must look at these perspectives. One has to understand that social media is media, it can‘t take over your brand strategy, distribution strategy and production strategy," she averred. 
Kotanala, meanwhile, felt that none of the media can work in isolation. He said, "There should always be a right mix of media to deliver the message to the audience. There is a lot that can be done on social media but there has not been enough education about it."

However, for Sanan, social marketing is a complement and not a substitute to marketing. "It is far more a PR tool than an advertising tool", he said.

Kapoor also feels that when a brand has to address the regional audience, it has to go regional way, engage them in their own language.

Sharing his views on social media, Sharma said, "Social media is big. You should be there all the time."

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