The third Return on Investment seminar, jointly hosted by ZenithOptimedia and its sister concern Solutions | Digitas, in the capital on September 1, emphasised on the growing importance of digital or new media platforms like the Internet, mobile and social media and how to make the most of this new media.
The event boasted of speakers like David Kenny, Managing Partner, VivaKi; Phil Talbot, CEO - APAC, ZenithOptimedia; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & CEO, Naukri.com; Hemant Sachdev, Joint Managing Director, Microsoft India; Ambareesh Murty, Country Manager, eBay India; and Harpreet Singh Kaintel, ZenithOptimedia’s APAC Regional Strategy Director, among others.
David Kenny started off with his food-for-thought statement about new media strategies in his keynote address on “Ideas for future (referring to new media matrix) don’t fit into containers of past (mass media)”. This was followed by interesting presentations from the top honchos of eBay, Microsoft and Naukri.com on how to increase RoIs and avoid pitfalls of using new media domain areas like online shopping, the Internet and mobile scenario and sensitive issues of online database and content management.
A panel discussion followed these presentations. Opening the discussion, Microsoft India’s Hemant Sachdev pointed out that one should charge on the basis of the time spent by a consumer on a particular site (and not just the number of hits). He said, “Digital can genuinely build brands, but we have to develop it rather than let it go on its own. The industry has to think hard on how we can do it (increasing the ROI on digital media) more creatively.” He also cautioned marketers of the pitfalls as the intensity of a consumer’s interaction with the medium was so strong and personal (with his personal details being online) that any breach of trust like using personal details or spamming could create long-lasting dissatisfaction.
Asked to air his views by the moderator from CNBC (the event’s media partner) on how the digital world is different from the real world, Naukri.com’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani offered a terse “Yes and No”. He went on to explain that unlike say a mass medium (where TRPs and rating can be highly debatable), the online action can be measured much more precisely, hence leading to the evolution of the Internet as a great direct response and customer management medium. He, however, warned about the pitfalls of the medium as well for, say an FMCG advertiser who’s needs are more mass than class or niche-based provided by the still nascent, but rapidly growing new media tools.
David Kenny of VivaKi illustrated the growing importance of social media and its WOM strength, urging advertisers to look at it more closely and start using it carefully and with planning. He cautioned marketers to be smart enough as to not use new media with an old mindset. “Having said that, we got to increase the audience,” he added.
Commenting on the growing importance of the convergence phenomena, ZenithOptimedia’s Phil Talbot said that content management would be the real cherry on the cake. “It’s not about the offline (print, TV) or the online media, it’s about how the content is distributed. And with 3G coming in the country, how the delivery mechanisms are exploited will be interesting,” he remarked.
eBay India’s Ambareesh Murty noted that the fundamental role of a media doesn’t change, the idea should be to stick to the basics.
Signing off, David Kenny had the best advice. He said, “It’s about finding ways to connect people.”