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While consumers have reached Web 3.0, marketers are still at Web 1.0: Bhaskar Das

07-October-2009
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While consumers have reached Web 3.0, marketers are still at Web 1.0: Bhaskar Das

The ‘Sixth Digital Marketing Roundtable’, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Interactive Avenues in Mumbai on October 6, 2009, focussed on the increasing use of interactive media by brands and that the next phase of growth for new media would come from brand-led advertising. The highlight of the Roundtable was the panel discussion on ‘Traditional Media vs Interactive Media’.

Addressing the keynote session, Bhaskar Das, Executive President, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd, said, “When consumers are reaching Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, ironically, the marketing department and the management structure is still at Web 1.0. Marketers are used to shouting, but they are very poor listeners, which needs to change. Online media is a channel for one to one connect or interaction which runs 24x7.”

The highlight of the Roundtable was a panel discussion on ‘Interactive Media versus Traditional Media’. The panelists included Anupam Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, People Group; Sandeep Tarkas, President, Future Group; Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal; Himanshu Singh, MD, Travelocity India; and Shantanu Sirohi, Vice-President - Strategy and Media Planning, Interactive Avenues. The panel was moderated by BCCL’s Bhaskar Das.

Sandeep Tarkas noted, “It takes time for people to understand a medium, especially when it is new, and because the interactive medium itself is highly measurable, is a big boost. However, marketing being Web 1.0 is a reality of life.”

According to Anupam Mittal, “All mediums today need to be interactive. The discussion in fact should be between traditional mindset versus interactive mindset. Traditional agencies have way too much vested interest, as a matter of fact, new medium is doing very well and because we can measure new media so well, brands are beginning to come on board. The next phase of growth for new media, I believe, will come from brand-led advertising.”

Nandini Dias said, “Traditional medium does not mean that they do not evolve to the present times. The questions should be on how to blend the two (traditional media and Interactive media). We start with an idea followed by media positioning and how we want to be seen in various mediums, then the specialist of that medium is assigned the job, who spends 100 per cent of time on that medium. We spend a lot of time on new media too. Everyone is working to get the end result, the crux of the problem, however, is that agencies are structured incorrectly.”

Himanshu Singh pointed out, “Business around us has slightly evolved and we see a complex cross-media communication. Today, consumers are interacting with multiple mediums simultaneously, however, there is more brand building happening in interactive medium and one ends up paying far too less. If you have to get profitable, then you have to reach a level of monetisation.”

Shantanu Sirohi noted here, “Consumers do not differentiate between traditional medium and interactive medium, and that’s how the clients should also be.”

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