Rahul Welde, Vice President, Media, Unilever, Asia, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, had the audience’s attention with his special address on ‘The New Age Marketer: As the dust settles on slowdown, what are the new rules?’ at the exchange4media Conclave n Mumbai on June 11.
The annual flagship event of the exchange4media Group, the Conclave is special this year as it marked the commencement of the Group’s 10th Anniversary celebrations. The theme for the Conclave this year was ‘Rebooting the Indian media and advertising industry’. The exchange4media Conclave 2010 was presented by Dainik Jagran. CNEB was the Associate Sponsor.
Welde commenced his address by stating that after the fallout from the slowdown, there was a wake-up call across the spectrum and that there was a renewed focus on costs and heightened competition. He further said that there was widespread impact on media and communication due to the slowdown.
According to Welde, “Marketing is all about having brilliant marketing ideas. The two big themes that will ride the future are ideas and accountability.” He pointed out that return on marketing spends was an ongoing challenge and that consumer value was the top most priority and in-store activation was important.
He further said that agency performance was under focus and that there was a stronger linkage to delivery.
“Great ideas still rule and marketers want big ideas that travel across the globe, besides ideas that can be crowd/open sourced. One such idea was the Axe Call campaign, where a user had to dial a specific number and could hear a pre-recorded voice message, which could be set as an alarm. This idea was originally used in the Japanese market and it was a success there, following which it was implemented in the Indian market.” He shared some statistics and said that awareness for Axe increased by 80 per cent, while sales went up from 14.2 per cent to 30.8 per cent following this campaign.
Welde further said that idea generation and execution was a non-linear process and that the life cycle of ideas was getting shorter, hence the number of ideas required had gone up, which had, in turn, upped the speed of response. He added that the true acid test of engagement was conversations.
Taking the marketing principles of marketing guru Philip Kotler further, Welde said that today, “participation is the fifth ‘P’ of marketing”. According to him, the influence of traditional media was waning and it was driven by digital and new media. He further said that social media was important to marketers. “Consumer participation is the big shift and opportunity for marketers,” he added.
He concluded by saying that too much advertising was annoying and there was a growing fatigue and cynicism towards ads.