If I look at the year 2011, in terms of marketing mix, there are certain things that are becoming a reality in India. One is that traditional marketing route is still important, for example, television. The experience point at the retail front is currently being supported very well with social media and the entire Internet.
The Internet marketing side has also graduated from being a banner and an information communicating platform to social media, from where the options are getting formed. From Playstation’s point of view, we have used all the aspects of it, but for us digital platform is also becoming more challenging because we have to balance two things, which include consoles and content as well. This is perhaps what creates the first level of information that consumers are looking for. Second part of the challenge is that with the backdrop of international information easily available to the consumers through the net, how do we localise relevant content for India and that too innovatively.
One thing that all brands have to do today is have their own brand page, where all the information is given. For us even that is more challenging because it has to be refreshed with a plethora of games that gets launched almost on a month-to-month basis. You have to provide an opportunity for consumers to interact with the brand through social media. This not only allows engagement of core games within the country and the brand, but also allows consumers here to interact with international audience. Indian audiences are now looking for Indian specific interaction points, they are also quite comfortable contributing on international forums and therefore, managing those international points with certain amount of Indian insights is becoming important.
So far, people have recognised the importance of digital and social media and we have seen some strategies. Certain products seem to have used the social media very well, but at the same time social media perhaps is also the biggest mental challenge for the current marketer because this is where you have to realise that you have to almost handover the brand building to consumers and be present there as a good referee. And this is a challenge for every marketer and I think over a period they will realise as to how exactly to play in this field.
ATL helps in creating relevance and excitement about the category, but the most important marketing thought process is how we can make the purchase experience exciting. So the retail marketing part of it, especially in large format retail, is perhaps becoming a key winning factor for technology products.
Traditional media is becoming more budget driven than planning it beforehand. And television amongst it is most important, as it gives the widest reach. People with bigger budgets use other parts of traditional media like print, OOH and radio to create a more holistic approach of exposure. And when this communication also reflects at the shop front, it becomes a winning brand.
(Atindriya Bose is Country Head, Sony Play Station.)