2015 edition of exchange4media’s Indian Digital Media Awards were held in Mumbai yesterday. IDMA recognized and celebrated the best work across digital, social and mobile from the last year. The occasion was also apt to have some of the brightest minds in the digital space give their thoughts on a medium that is changing the way we live, communicate and consume content; namely the mobile.
A panel discussion on mobile advertising was moderated by Lavin Punjabi, President of Affinity and comprised of Anuj Kumar, Co-founder & Managing Director of Affle, Anupama Ahluwalia, Chief Marketing and Customer Services Officer of Reliance Retail, Nandini Dias, CEO of Lodestar UM, Ronita Mitra, Head (Brand and Consumer Insights) of Vodafone and Vivek Bhargava, MD of iProspect Communicate 2.
Punjabi started off proceedings by stating that the world is moving to a MoSo model; which is, mobile and social. This was a point that the panelists agreed on though each had their own thoughts on it. Mitra was of the opinion that these days campaigns cannot survive in isolation and the reason mobile is becoming so important is that it allows for targeted campaigns.
Dias said that the ecosystem would only evolve if all components; data, technology and content evolve together. “I believe digital is about connectivity. Mobility is just 20 years old. We have a long way to go in terms of gaining experience in different platforms,” opined Ahluwalia.
Bhargava touched on a very pertinent point. According to him, brands are not thinking in terms of mobile vs desktop vs social. “They (brands) are looking for a solution to a problem. Mapping the right medium to the challenge is how you should look at things,” he said.
Elucidating the importance of the mobile, Kumar opined that in India the one device that helps us to connect with everyone is the mobile. “Social and video are where the trends are moving towards. The data part is really important. That is where a lot of work is happening and we will continue to see it going forward,” he added.
Punjabi then queried the panelists on how they looked at advertisement opportunities on new age platforms like Snapchat and Instagram which have no model right now. Mitra agreed that tech solution providers are creating means of online promotion. “There are some products that we only promote online because it makes more sense,” she said. Punjabi gave the example of the traditional approach to marketing where it was more about creating one communication and blasting it to everyone and asked whether this challenge was still existent and whether new methods of advertising like programmatic help address these challenges.
Mitra agreed that it was still too early in the programmatic phase to say anything but she did say that it was something that they were looking to try more. The challenge, according to her was in mapping data. “We have so much data,” she said, further adding that it was important to use it properly.
Dias opined that brands will always go where the consumer is but Bhargava was of the thought that historically brands have been late to get onto platforms; he even suggested that the delay was in terms of years and not even months. “ They say this is the year of the internet but according to me it was 10 years ago,” he said.
An interesting point made by Dias on the topic of new platforms was live TV, especially with the recent launch of Hotstar. “Is live TV being seen?” she asked, which brought the discussion to whether digital is the new TV.
“It is and it is going to keep getting bigger. As soon as BARC comes out with its second and third screen data, I feel there will be a 25 per cent increase in viewership,” suggested Dias.
Ahluwalia was of the opinion that digital lends itself to content snacking. “Mobile supports curiosity and intrigue value. As much as we are pushing content we have to see how much is actually being consumed. We need to find new ways to increase relevance through targeted marketing,” she advised.
Speaking of apps, Kumar opined that mobile apps have made search redundant and it is something that marketers need to start realizing. “a lot of people just replicate what they do on PC on the mobile,” he said, echoing something that a lot of analysts feel.
The talk then turned to metrics with Punjabi asking whether there was a need for new metrics for the mobile. Both Mitra and Dias were of the opinion that metrics will change depending on the needs of the campaign . Bhargava had a very interesting point to make. He felt that a campaign on digital might generate a lot of interest but the final transaction might happen offline. No medium, according to him, has metrics to measure this interest created. “ Mobile should not be considered special just because there a lot of metrics available. There should be same metrics for all mediums and there should be a common benchmark,” he said.