Online advertising fulfills marketers’ needs and the basic rules of marketing apply even to the digital medium, however there is a need to build awareness about this medium, creat brand leaders and build brand performance for further growth of this medium. These were some of the issues highlighted at the first plenary session on ‘Optimising Digital Marketing Channels - Perspective of Marketing Experts’ at the Fourth India Digital Summit, organised by IAMAI in Mumbai on December 3, 2009.
The panelists included Himanshu Singh, MD Travelocity; Sanjay Tripathy, Executive VP and Head - Marketing, HDFC Standard Life; Mahesh Murthy, MD, Pinstorm Technologies; and Virginia Sharma, Director - Marketing and Communications, IBM Software Group, India/ South Asia. The session was moderated by Kashyap Vadapalli, Director, Marketing and Operations, ebay India.
Vadapalli highlighted, “Digital marketing has delivered a lot of good results and more success stories in this medium will only help it grow. I believe that this is the most interactive medium ever. The basic rule about marketing applies for digital media as well, the medium is not born out of the box. The internet medium helps marketers target their audience better however one needs to be relevant and manage their brand well.”
Tripathy noted, “The consumer’s life has undergone a lot of changes over the years. Today he is spending a lot of time on the internet and mobile. Infact, marketers today have numerous online changes from which data is being generated in an exponential manner be it web, social media, video, search or mobile. Therefore I believe the role of digital media is to build awareness, create leaders, and build brand performance which is a challenge for marketers.”
“Digital channel today is defined by consumers and not by marketers and brands therefore one needs to use each channel for its strength and not use all channels for the same purpose. What we also need to do is find measures which are holistic and determine ROI metric for each channel.”
Singh pointed out, “I don’t think it is about digital marketing versus traditional marketing but, it is simply about optimizing marketing in a digital age. For internet transaction business getting the right and inclusive measures and getting the right marketing mix is very critical.”
Murthy observed, “You won’t find 16- 24 year old urban trend setters on television, print or even on radio but, you will find them on mobile which is with them 24x7, you will also find them online particularly on social media. With mobile numbers growing at a phenomenon pace and the social media numbers also increasing, this is a huge change in consumer usage.”
“Digital is becoming an effective channel, we will see a big turn in the e-commerce business as the decision on buying is growing rapidly in the online space. We have even seen FMCG categories exploring the digital medium. Over the years we have also seen a change wherein it has become an objective driven market and I believe it is the objective driven market that will change the way of thinking in digital marketing” he added.
According to Sharma, “When there are big corporate spends in print or television, I would rather compliment it with online as a good corporate air cover is important to reach broader people.”
Internet is not a new medium any more
The theme address of the event was presented by Ambreesh Murthy, Vice Chairman IAMAI and Country Manager eBay India said, “We as, Internet players, have to carefully look at the customer’s interest in order to ensure more widespread use of the medium. This could be achieved through a better, easy and secured consumer experience.”
A special address was given by Arun Tandanki, Managing Director of Yahoo! India, “Online is no more a new medium for Indian advertisers as the number of online users have substantially outpaced the number of print readers and we need to reach out to the advertiser in order to make them aware of the usefulness of this medium.”