“Consumers don’t wake up to see an ad”
Ajay Kakar, CMO, Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group
I don’t think that 360-degree is an over stretch. I don’t know any consumer today waking up to see an advertisement. The sole aim and objective today is not just to create ads, but to attract consumers’ attention and to engage them.
Now what succeeds is something we call in the industry as WIFM (What’s in it for me). If today you are able to reach consumers in a simple, relevant and differentiated manner, you are bound to succeed. Very often, in categories like technology and financial services, we speak our language with ‘jargons’ and technical words and we assume that consumers will understand our language. While being simple, marketers today need to tell consumers how they are going to make a difference in their lives. Consumers today are not interested in particular advertisements nor is she interested in particular products. So, it is very important how, as a marketer, I make it relevant for her. So, talking about my product features is not enough, the important thing is that what role I can play in her life.
The last important thing is ‘differentiation’. Today, there is huge proliferation of brands in every category where there are multiple choices, but most of the brands come with similar communication; for example (Cold drinks brand will say, ‘I am refreshing’; and mobile service providers say, ‘I can connect you’). So, it is important today how you differentiate your product, even if your product does not allow you to differentiate much.
“Be more specific in your communication”
Suparna Mitra, Global Head, Marketing, Titan Industries
In India, consumers are getting tired of hearing about brands and products. Therefore, brands have to come up with more innovative ways. The communication has to be above product benefits. Younger consumers are more aware, therefore, brands have to be more specific in their communication. They need to be clear as to what extra they are offering their target group.
“Sharper consumer insight will work”
Anisha Motwani, CMO, Max New York Life Insurance
When it comes to brand communication, what is working is sharper consumer insight and adapting to changing consumer preference. The communication needs to be effective as well as engaging.
What is not working in terms of communication is just trying to grab consumer attention and stopping them. Also, an attempt to do too many things in terms of communication is not working. Trying to do everything and being present on every single touch point and trying to talk to every single consumer is something that doesn’t work. For example, a financial brand trying to be present on a cricket property, advertising on a saas-bahu serial, being on digital... trying to speak to everyone is something that’s not working.
“Communication should be insightful”
Sumit Sahay, Head, Marketing, Croma
Brand communication should be unique, insightful and something that the consumer will value. Many brands today are communicating with the consumer in a fun and engaging manner after gathering a well-researched insight on the need of the consumer. On the flip side, there are brands that lack thinking in their communication. There is a whole gamut of communication where the consumer is looking for what relevance the brand holds for them.
“Challenger brands are more innovative”
Pratik Seal, Head, Marketing, Micromax
Interestingly, none of those categories, wherein a good brand communication can be made, has been done. For instance, in case of apparel and shampoo, the communications made are on the safer side rather than being something bold or daring. What is more interesting is that challenger brands are coming up with innovative communications.
Therefore, in general, most brands fail to make a communication cut, which is of utmost importance in this volatile and ever changing marketing landscape.
“You cannot just depend on TV”
Peshwa Acharya, Senior VP, Marketing, Reliance Communications
No, 360-degree is not an over stretch. Over time, all CMOs would have to think 360. You cannot just depend on TV or press, etc. It has to be OOH, retail, live marketing, activations, digital, etc. However, what is important is to remember the context: situation, geography, category, relevance, TG, etc. Thus, the marketer needs to evaluate all this and take a call on what is 360 in each case.
As consumer experience with the product becomes increasingly important vis-à-vis consumers’ buying decisions, the circumference of 360-degree campaign is ever-expanding. With increasing fragmentation of media, where different genres cater to different segments of consumers, marketers today need to be very precise on where and how they can connect and engage with their TG.
Besides, the traditional media platforms, smart marketers today also need to look beyond 360-degree communication, to perfect, maintain and foster their connect with consumers. Marketers need to monitor the emerging channels where the consumer can have an experience with their brand.
In a market where there are options galore, consumers don’t wait for a message to come to them. Irrespective of degrees of communication, it is important for marketers today to be present at every touch-point from where their target consumer passes through.
Social media has, undoubtedly, opened ways for a multi-way communication, where consumers can criticise a brand and share their product experience with the whole world. The ‘people’s platform’ has proved that consumers can play a vital role in marketing, right from product development to selling points.
Finally, marketers today need to ensure that their communication engages and entertains consumers and brings relevance into their lives in a differentiated manner.