Scatter Solutions, a growing content marketplace, is all set to launch a new content marketing tool for brands this year.
Scatter is at the forefront of shaping the conversations brands have with the audience. The company was founded by former IBNLive CEO Rajan Srinivasan along with Mahip Singh (Srinivasan’s colleague from Network18). The core team at Scatter comprises Martha d’Souza (Operations), Indraja Punna (Director-Technology), Garima Sharma (VP - Product and Content), and Abishek Sharma (VP - Customer Success).
The company, which is in its third year, is preparing to add a new dimension to content marketing in India - a talking tool that will tell brands what conversations to have with their audience based on the data gathered by listening tools.
Exchange4media caught up with CEO and Founder Rajan Srinivasan for the complete lowdown on Scatter’s journey from 2014 and what is in store for 2017. Excerpts:
Where did the idea for Scatter come from?
Scatter in its initial days grew out of the idea “why are brands not using relevant third-party content”. Brands were worried about sharing that content because of the concern about sharing third-party content where a competing brand’s ad might be playing on the page. We wanted to enrich the conversation and take it beyond sale and product launch.
Can Scatter be classified as native advertising?
Content marketing puts the consumer at the centre of the conversation whereas native advertising put the brand at the centre of the conversation. What Scatter does is not advertising at all. Content marketing is about making sure that you have a continuous conversation in an area where your brand/service and where the consumer’s interest overlap.
How is Scatter different from Taboola, Outbrain and the likes?
We actually partner with Taboola, Outbrain etc. There are two sides to content marketing: content creation and content distribution. The relationship between a company like Taboola and us is like a car and a road, we can’t do without each other. Companies like ours help brands make content that is engaging and useful enough to make sure that the distribution platforms are able to take that message forward and complete the whole marketing task.
What kind of content do you create and procure?
Currently we create 90 per cent of the content and syndicate/procure the remaining 10 per cent. And the syndication part is growing. Scatter is format agnostic. We create all kinds of content: text, video, infographic, white papers, reports, how to guides, podcasts… The syndicated content from neutral third party websites helps with more time spent, stickiness, faster refreshing, etc.
What does Scatter have in store for its clients this year?
The talking tool - Scatter Recommends a paid subscription service. We have listening tools that tap into consumer sentiment, with the talking tool we will use the conversations that are taking place to generate meaningful content and initiate relevant conversations to plug into ongoing conversations. We are going to make sure brands never fall short of thing to say. This service will be launched in a 3-4 categories in initial stages. We will be launching this tool before October 2017.
Where does India stand in the content marketing space right now?
Brands in India are already in the field of content marketing and in comparison to global markets India stands fair and square in the centre. Indian brands are very much open to adopting content marketing. Content marketing is where social was in its early days. Today brands are hiring content marketers just like they hire people for the Search and Social teams. In two years we may see a rearrangement in teams, maybe content will be the pivot.
What is your vision for content marketing?
Eventually as content marketers, we want brands to own the audience and be a publisher. Today people are willing to listen to brands sharing meaningful content. A classic example of this is Johnson & Johnson’s babycenter.com.
Tell us about Scatter’s growth over the last three years.
We have gone from a full platform service to a completely human service and now we are at a place where we are both human and platform - which is where we should ideally be. We started out with doing only third-party content and now we are at a stage where maybe only 10 per cent of our content is third party.
We currently have two offices in Delhi and Mumbai. By the end of 2017 we will have another office in Bangalore. The team has grown from 8-20 over the years to currently being a team size of 30. We will be a profitable company this year. At last count we worked with 89 brands across category verticals. Scatter also has a very high incidence of re-purchase - almost 60 per cent.