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Technology needs to be embedded in path to growth, say industry experts

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Technology needs to be embedded in path to growth, say industry experts

At the 15th edition of the e4m Conclave held last week in Mumbai, eminent marketers got together for a panel discussion on 'Time for Paradigm Shift. Are marketers ready to partner Technologists?'.

The session was moderated by Shireesh Joshi, Head - Strategic Marketing, Godrej Group of Companies and included Carlton D’Silva, CEO & CCO Hungama Digital Services, Devendra Chawla, Group President - Food FMCG, Brands, Future Group, Nandini Dias, CEO Lodestar UM and Saket Saurabh, CEO, #fame.

Starting off proceedings, Joshi gave a short presentation that detailed Godrej’s approach towards using technology in their latest campaign—Free G: India’s first non-web based mobile browsing experience.

 “How do we think about digital and technology as a way to embed in our path to growth rather than just a form of communication,” said Joshi. He asked the panel whether clients are understand that they have work more closely with agencies to take a more holistic view of available technology.

Carlton D’Silva responded that not all clients think things like social media beyond it being just about a “cool video” and it is the job of agencies to educate them and bring them over to this kind of thought process. 

“At this point of time when we speak to brand and clients, a lot of them do get it. They might not see the big picture but they are getting there. I think a lot of clients that don’t get it are the ones that think that digital and technology is only social media and they are the ones who do not invest in the media and finally end up failing with whatever they do but the ones that invest in technology innovation, for example, Mahindra, they have done especially well in the digital space. The ones who understand this also have digital knowledge bearers within the company and these are the individuals who are driving digital within the company so they know exactly what they want from the medium,” he said.

Dias also said that marketers have moved on quite a bit. “It is unfair to say that marketers do not get it. I think there has been a paradigm shift and this shift, unknowingly, has happened across organizations. For example, earlier we used to do only brand tracks. No longer will you see insights only through these two or three mediums. There is no doubt in our mind that many organizations have put up social command centers which they used to get insights via social data,” she added. She gave the example of Coke Zero, which she called an output of learning derived from social media. Another example she gave was of Coke Studio, which began as a way to keep communications open with people. “It is not about TRPs or a one way communication,” she said.

Chawla admitted that deriving insights from data is important and Future Group has partnered with dunnhumby for this. “This is bringing a lot of insights. The use of technology is so much more relevant in the shopping journey of a customer. Everything that a customer does in the shopping journey is connected to technology. It all leaves digital prints and you can build a profile if you study the pattern,” he said. He also said that the Future Group is trying to move from using data for “postmortem” to a more active rule by forecasting and acting on the insights. “Of course the results are mixed but that’s the journey that one has to take and learn from it,” he opined.

Speaking of content, Saurabh said that they believed that traditional media is on the decline. “For the longest time we have seen that data like TAM is retrospective. What we are trying to do is a whole new set of content creators. We try and get analytics right up the value chain. How do you ensure analytics drives what script or theme you pick or what property you create?” he said.

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