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Ritesh Ghoshal

Head - Brand Marketing | 09 Oct 2013

Outdoor plays a critical role in telecom communication as products/ tariffs tend to be different in different markets. Outdoors is an effective way of communicating specific products/ plans available in the local market. Tata Docomo builds its business by weaning away customers from their current operators, leveraging the recharge moment of truth to deliver effective churn arguments.

Ritesh Ghoshal had over 18 years of experience across brand management, business leadership, advertising, and consumer insight. A post graduate from IIM Bangalore, Ghoshal has worked with companies such as Millward Brown, Bharti Retail, Coca-Cola India, Reckitt Benckiser and IMRB International.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Ghoshal speaks at length about Tata Docomo’s latest ‘Open Up’ campaign, his views on the outdoor industry and much more…

Q. Could you elaborate on strategies of your new marketing campaign ‘Open Up’?

With ‘Open Up’, Tata Docomo has started a fresh chapter in its conversation with the youth of India. The campaign encourages people to leave nothing unsaid, never hold back, and never go to sleep wondering ‘what might have been’. While our simple plans and affordable tariffs enable longer conversations, the brand encourages people to engage in richer conversations, invest more in current friendships, and explore opportunities to make more friends.

Q. Where does outdoor fall in this campaign? What are the markets that the brand plans to focus on with the launch of this campaign?

Outdoor plays a critical role in telecom communication as products/ tariffs tend to be different in different markets. Outdoors is an effective way of communicating specific products/ plans available in the local market. Tata Docomo builds its business by weaning away customers from their current operators, leveraging the recharge moment of truth to deliver effective churn arguments. The outdoor strategy is geared to set this up by following an in-retail, at-retail, near-retail strategy. In simple language, the strategy is to accost the guy with attractive tariff/ plan communication as he is on his way to recharge his current SIM card. In this campaign, outdoor will be placed in strategic locations presenting aggressive products/ tariffs in the packaging of the ‘Open Up’ thought.

Q. It has been observed that Tata Docomo has been focusing a lot on innovative outdoor displays in the last one year. What are the reasons for including such innovations in your media plan?

Like I said, the task for outdoor is to accost customers on his way to his routine recharge. This conversation has to start with an in-your-face message. Getting noticed is the biggest challenge. Therefore, the focus on innovation draws eyeballs.

Q. What are the essentials that a brand should have for an on-ground activity?

Eyeballs, engagement, control of the conversation and ROI.

Q. What percentage of your marketing spends is allocated to OOH?

After television, OOH is the largest single element of marketing spend for Tata Docomo.

Q. The OOH industry is largely labelled as unstructured. Where does outdoor feature in your media plans?

The industry is unorganised, unstructured, and it is difficult to measure effectiveness. However, given that this is the only media for marketers with specific products for limited markets, one has to find ways to make the investments work hard, rather than reject the medium because ROI can’t be measured.

Q. Beyond innovation, do you think smart planning should be the ground rule while designing an outdoor campaign?

Yes. Scientific planning of outdoor sites, based on traffic flow and catchment profiles, along with effective monitoring can help sweat investments in OOH.

Q. What are the changes needed in the outdoor industry to retain and attract more brands towards it?

Measurability of impact, a unified currency for value and control of execution are questions the industry needs to find answers to. In other words, what is the equivalent of TAM for OOH?

Q. The outdoor industry doesn’t have a common currency. As a marketer, how much does this worry you?

It is a worry. The marketing team has to work harder and depend on correction mechanisms, aka audits, rather than relying on the planning-implementation-post-evaluation cycle as in TV or the internet.

Q. What are the key elements that you would want to see incorporated in an outdoor campaign?

Location and innovation.

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