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CII Brand Summit: There’s a shift from brand communications to consumer engagement: Punita Lal

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CII Brand Summit: There’s a shift from brand communications to consumer engagement: Punita Lal

“There is a clear shift from brand communications to consumer engagement today, and customers are not the destinations for the marketing messages, but are partners in production,” remarked Punita Lal, Executive Director (Marketing), PepsiCo India. She urged advertisers to talk about share of conversations, instead of share of voices, and conceive campaigns based on big ideas rather than on brilliant advertisements.

Presenting a case study on co-creation of commercial content at the Plenary Session on ‘Co-creation of Products, Commercial Content and Enhanced Consumer Experience’ at the Brand Summit 2010, the two-day international convention on brand building, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bangalore, Lal said that the advertisers needed to come up with new ways of capturing young people and gain their attention by understanding their needs.

“Gone are the days when you can gain their attention by wowing them with just glamour. We need to make them significant and make them belong. This is a very new trend. Getting their attention is the biggest challenge, and making them stay with you is even more challenging,” she remarked and added that the youth always made statements – in the past their statements resonated with the assertions: “I have my point of view” and “I define my rules”. However, today it is, “I am my own star”.

In his presentation on enhancing consumer experiences, Rohit Bhargava, Senior Vice President – Strategy & Marketing, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, USA, said, “New media is enabling E2C conversations, wherein E stands for evangelists and employees of organisations. Evangelists/ employees to Consumer Communication is far more effective than Business to Consumer and even Consumer to Consumer Communications.” He observed that though word-of-mouth marketing existed all along, the birth of new media gave it a new power – the consumer conversations today travelled much further on the Internet.

Talking about the role of technology, Bhargava said that content creation had become very easy – consumers could create and publish text, audio and video content without knowing technology. And, technology had several answers to enhance the ‘virtual trust’, which had become more real and powerful, enabling people to trust people they did not know.

Ravish Kumar, Executive Vice President and Region General Manager, Star India Pvt Ltd, chaired the session.

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