Some of the topmost brands in the country were honoured on July 22 in New Delhi at exchange4media’s Pitch Top 50 Brands 2016 award ceremony. The event an exchange4media Group initiative saw companies like Facebook, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, State Bank of India and Tata Group being rewarded for their commendable work.
Selection of the awardees was made by an esteemed jury with the help of a three-tier screening process. The jury comprised of eminent marketers and was chaired by Tata Group spokesperson Dr. Mukund Rajan.
An intense panel discussion on content marketing preceded the award ceremony. The discussion focused on the definition of content marketing and the scope for growth in the domain. It was chaired by Avik Chattopadhyay, Co-Founder, Expereal.
Chattopadhyay initiated the discussion by mentioning the Panchtantra. He stated that content marketing wasn’t new and that he had seen the Panchtantra being translated and read in different parts of the world.
“What has really changed over the years is that earlier it was a one-way process. It was all about me. Now it has become a two-way process”, said Chattopadhyay.
Building on content marketing’s definition, Radhika Binani, Chief Product Officer at Policy Bazaar flagged the broad contours of such form of marketing. “Content marketing is relevant communication, consistent and measurable”, said Binani.
Binani asserted that the content marketing wasn’t about putting out a certain number of videos or infographics on the web but consistently supplying content for fulfilling users’ needs.
Satinder Juneja, Vice President, Marketing at NIIT Technologies claimed that the first lesson that you learn in a marketing book is to be different. “Content is an experience”, said Junega. Reflecting on the last ten years, Juneja commented, “we are still learning the shape and size of content marketing.”
Members of the panel engaged in a thorough discussion on whether marketing sought to influence or control the customer’s behaviour. Panel chairperson Chattopadhyay stated that he had witnessed an “immense urge” among organizations and individuals to control consumers. However, Binani differed.
“As marketers we don’t want to control consumers mind but influence them,” said Binani. Ashwin Padmanabhan, Chief Operating Officer at Reliance Broadcast Network emphasized on the necessity of according the consumers their due importance.
“Very early on in my career I realized that starting from the consumer is essential”, said Padmanabhan. He stated that companies today had a lot of data about their consumers but the real challenge was concerning psychographics and mapping human emotions.
“You can’t control the consumer. They have their own mind”, said Padmanabhan. He argued that the consumers choose what they want and at which place. He even said that they had the power to reject companies. “We don’t want to control but create bonds with consumers,” he added.
Investment, co-creation & measurement
Claiming that content marketing at HCL was relatively new, Anand Ramakrishnan, Head of Content & Digital Marketing at HCL Technologies said that a lot of companies are moving into content marketing. He described content marketing as “using content for marketing” and suggested that his role in the company was to act as an evangelist for content marketing since HCL embraced it only one year ago.
“To do content marketing well, you need scale”, said Ramakrishnan. Hinting that investment in content marketing was still quite shallow, he batted for better measurability. “You need a supply chain of content that is always coming and you are processing it”, he added.
Juneja argued that the challenge before marketers was that of distraction. He advised companies to realize that the attention level of customers was 140 characters and urged them to work towards enriching user experience.
“I would want to go down to experience. I want it to be memorable for the audience,” said Juneja. When asked about the measurability of content marketing, Binani stated that they monitored the increase in traffic and how that helped in propelling revenue.
“There is no set pattern (measurability), we keep refining it”, she said. Padmanabhan concluded the discussion by highlighting the immense potential of crowd-sourcing. “We work with content creators on a real-time basis. The role of broadcasters is changing. All of us can create content and broadcast it. We want to tap into that potential,” he said.
&TV was the presenting sponsor of the awards. The Gold Partners were Sakshi Media Group and the Associate Partners were 9X Jalwa, Blogmint, Firstpost, News Wiz, India Today and Laqshya Solutions.