Carlton D’Silva’s Checkbox 2017 is all that needs to be done in the coming year to take the digital medium in the right direction, at the right pace.
Whilst I do stick my head out on the line and call out trends that are going to define the digital space in the year ahead, this year I would like to try something different. I have decided this time I am going to ask a few pertinent questions and state a few ‘must haves’ for 2017 that would take the medium in the right direction at the right pace. We have seen tremendous growth in the space but that does not necessarily constitute to brands putting more money behind the medium.
Do you know what to do with your data?
We now live in an age where we can pin point our consumer to the last detail and yet we do not know what to do with that data. I believe that most brands (and agencies) are content with having access to information (it looks good on your presentation slide) but it needs to go beyond that. Using that data to improve your business or customer engagement is now hygiene but we need to do more and I believe those that can decipher that data which in turn leads to innovation will be the true winners of the game. It has never been a better (and easier) time for marketers with this huge data access but let that be the start of something great and not just remain a data dump.
Who needs Wallets anymore?
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation it really did not affect the digital natives. They were not the ones to cart along cash. The wallets they carried mainly housed cards (we can see that with the evolution of the wallet design). The announcement was the BIGGEST marketing campaign for the credit and eWallets business. It would be interesting to see the rise in accounts in the period post demonetisation. I will not be surprised if the user base has quadrupled. With cash out of the way, eWallets take over. PayTM and PayU (along with the newer players like Jio) will set the stage for the next wallet war and with that the growth in the eCommerce industry.
If content is King, who is the Queen?
Content will play a pivotal role in marketing. With the introduction of true 4G (finally!!!) in the country this will give rise to video as the defacto form factor of communication. Storytelling through video has been talked about for a while now and I see 2017 being the year where we see an exponential increase in the same. This content will be created with the help of scientific data and extension of Ad films (like we have now more than less) will begin to diminish. This will give rise to specialised content creation companies too. Traditional agencies will also attempt to make an impact in this space but without the analytics they will be somewhat lacking (so I guess there is more investment in the right kind of people required).
Is your brand thinking ‘Mobile First’?
With the mobile phone become your primary device it is only obvious to think ‘Mobile First’. Whilst most people use this term loosely I am hoping that the true meaning of the term comes alive in 2017. Brands should already be ready for the mobile revolution but a majority of Brands in India have a lot of catching up to do. The numbers are here (as far as users go) and the engagement too is far higher through mobile as a form factor. Thinking ‘Mobile First’ is just common sense. Let’s hope that common sense becomes more common.
Are you brave enough to be an innovator?
The last question is the most important one. Bravery. Are you brave enough to take the first step rather than following the herd? Innovation is based on scientific data but there is no data that will show you whether that innovation will be successful and if people will take to it like moths to a flame. You need to be a bit brave and listen to your gut sometimes. I have seen a number of fine ideas that just did not see the light of day being executed by brands out of the country resulting in the brand sulking over its lost opportunity. Innovation is also about timing and if the decision to innovate is swift it usually results in success.
So be BRAVE and act SWIFTLY. STOP treating the medium like a secondary medium. ACCEPT the potential and INVEST in the future.
(The author is CEO, CCO, Hungama Digital Services)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com