Even though digital has asserted its importance for a brand to connect relevantly with its target group, it also comes with challenges of its own. Every advertiser is concerned about whether he has taken the right digital strategy for his brand. And a crucial decision to ensure this is choosing the right digital partner.
Voicing the thought that some brands have on the subject, Charudutta Bishnu Deshpande, Chief Corporate Affairs, Tata Steel, pointed out that the understanding of social media for many agencies is fragmented. He said, “Agencies have a myopic view of the media and that is what they present to the advertiser.”
He cited the story of five blind men and the elephant and said, “Different agencies come and explain what they understand of digital as a media. In most cases, what we get to hear is their own personal perceptions in varied forms and that is a worrisome situation to deal with.”
Relevant agency for an advertiser
Any form of digital media, especially social media platforms, makes a brand transparent and it is then dependent on the consumer as to what they make of the brand’s image. Once a brand is on a social media platform, it has no choice but to let go of the control on the conversations around it. But the right digital partner can help manage these conversations and hence, the brand’s reputation.
Replying to the question of what are the right attributes to choose the right agency, Hareesh Tibrewala, Jt CEO, Social Wavelength, said, “The brand has to be clear on what its objective is and then work with a communication specialist, instead of going to a general agency partner that is doing everything at the same time.”
Rajiv Dhingra, CEO, WAT Consult, on the other hand, said that the two key choosing criteria should be the cumulative experience of a brand in the space and who are the people working on the brand.
Branding challenges in the digital world
Given the constantly changing digital world, every brand faces a slew of challenges when it comes to branding in the space. Gitanjali Sriram, Founding Partner, Naked Communications, explained that digital is a part of a consumer’s life and there are fickle fads all the time that brands can benefit from. She said, “It’s not necessary to look for large numbers, but one has to constantly keep moving forward in order to be able to see the full picture.”
For a brand to reach out in the digital world and make the most of it, it has to constantly reinvent itself and find an interesting way to tell its story to the audience.
Narendra Nag, Co-Lead, MSLGroup, said, “Culture and belief are very important for any brand and they play a key role in forming a brand’s reputation. Brands should tell their story in an interesting manner and keep the audience engaged for the right impact.”
Branding on digital is all about making the reputation of the brand in a parallel universe, where audiences exist, but they are not necessarily there to interact with the brand or influence each other in context to the brand. It is up to the brand to ensure the right strategy to keep a communication line open with its target group.
Charudutta Bishnu Deshpande, Hareesh Tibrewala, Rajiv Dhingra, Gitanjali Sriram and Narendra Nag were speaking at the Engage 2012 Digital Media Summit, held in Kolkata on June 5-6.