Addressing the advertising community on Day three of GoaFest 2011, Laurie Coots, Chief Marketing Officer, TBWA, delivered a thought provoking session, wherein she presented her learnings from the Indian market and highlighted the trends and lessons that marketers ought to be aware of or “at least be worried about”.
Online gaming in all its various avatars – from the literal to the more evolved role playing activities in the form of Facebook, Groupon or social networking – has people live on gaming. The instant gratification appeal in playing online games is giving brands a real opportunity to elevate their brand image, provide services and effectively connect with consumers. “Life is a game and ‘gamification’ is today’s overused term,” Coots noted.
Information overload is another area that marketers need to conquer. “It is now pathologically important to handle the information overload to make the digital brand experience more emotional. Deciding not to decide has become a fundamental management strategy with clients, and though finance is getting stronger, marketing is suffering,” said Coots.
The power of the Internet-mobile brand experience was next on her list. E-marketing, mobile marketing and the “shopper” are the three aspects of the Indian shopping culture and Coots coined them into a collective term, ‘Com-vergence’, with the ‘m’ standing for mobile. “While the Internet may be global, the power for India lies in going hyper local. Have we learnt to give a brand experience in the palm of the consumer’s hand?” she asked.
‘Purpose and Strategy’ were two terms that will be increasingly popular in the distant future as Corporate Social Responsibility comes to the forefront and companies and brands look for meaningful ways to connect with consumers. “Consumers have not only recalibrated what they are buying, but have realised that the collective prosperity is better than the ‘I’,” observed Coots.
Urging the industry to be creative as a whole, Coots spoke on how the challenge for advertising agencies to be creative and coherently strategise for brands, without compromising on the philosophy was the shared responsibility of both advertising agencies and their media counterparts. “We need to demand everybody to be creative. We need to get over how good we are and start at the beginning. Media is not the enemy, it is the other creative department and we need to make sure we embrace this. We are not in the advertising, marketing or communication business. We are in the brand belief and brand behaviour business.”