The afternoon sessions of NDTV Convergence’s New Media Congress, which was held in the Capital on May 8, dwelled on ‘Mass Media Internet Companies’ and ‘Branding, Marketing & Advertising Strategies’. The focus was on New Media and how developments within the digital media were stimulating other industry sectors to change their business models.
Chairperson for the session on ‘Mass Media Internet Companies’ was Vir Sanghvi, Advisory Editorial Director, HT Media Ltd. The speakers included Viren Popli, SVP & Head, Mobile Entertainment, Star India; Kevin Obi, SVP, Digital Assets, NBC Universal International; and Tarun Katial, COO, Big FM.
Verin Popli remarked, “Consumers today are impacting the mass media space and they themselves are being impacted by it. Audience is much younger and far more mobile than in the past.”
According to Kevin Obi, “Convergence is now a reality – a great opportunity as well as a major threat. Smart companies who really want to lead the way in future will follow the consumers. Choice proliferation and TV monitoring are giving consumers a huge choice to see and hear what they want. Keeping this in mind, we have to focus on the speed of changing technologies and deliver as per demand.”
Tarun Katial said, “New era in traditional media is democratised and atomised. Content is king, but distribution is god, and that is the pattern that has to be kept in mind to evolve in this generation.”
The session on ‘Branding, Marketing & Advertising Strategies’ covered building brand value in a digital world where business models were constantly evolving and changing. Chairperson for this session was Anurag Batra, Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media. The panelists included Lloyd Mathias, Marketing Director, India & South West Asia, Motorola; Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom South East & South Asia; Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment; and Manish Vij, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Smile Interactive Technology Group.
In his opening remarks, Manish Vij said, “A person from the online medium starts his day thinking ‘Where are my leads?’, ‘What are my page views?’ But what he does not realise is that he is slowly getting into a vicious circle of a leaking bucket, where he ends up spending too much money without getting as much result. And as soon as this spending stops, page views stop. So, the need is to build your digital brand to gain stability and leadership.”
He further said, “Usually a person creates leads, but is not able to maintain it. These are called ‘18-month brand manager’. He is not thinking on long-term goals, but is just bothered about the near future. So, spending more money on analytics and building your brand is important. Digital world is moving so fast that there is a constant need of experimentation. So, investing in experimentation of the digital medium is very important.”
“As we are 24x7 marketers, we must control our spending,” he added.
Speaking about Motorola, Lloyd Mathias said, “I represent a client as well as the media itself. We have around 27 per cent penetration in India. Most of the phones today have GPRS connections and this has made connection to the Net far more accessible. It is how we adapt ourselves to the device. Besides being connected to office and family, it has several other purposes such as entertainment and commerce. As a matter of fact, most of the marketers have not accepted New Media.”
“However, if we take a look at what drives the digital medium, we find four elements in play – personalisation, expression, information or content, and vital capabilities. A major cause of concern is that there has not been much experimentation. However, it should come from all corners and not just marketers. Experimentation can help one reach one’s destination. The whole challenge is about how we evolve and how we use this medium. New Media is still new and specialists have to still evolve. Consumers are flirting and not really defining or creating these spaces, and the marketers are still from the analog world.”
Rohit Sharma stressed on the fact that it was a world of the digital consumer. He said, “The consumer today has become more prominent. Due to this the world has become more about personalisation. Consumers want to see only that content which they demand. Also, the language is changing and it is important for marketers to understand that language. Everyone has a story to tell, but the question is, can you reach all of them?”
“Another major innovation gaining ground these days is the ‘Adver Game’, where a person can create a monster from scratch. Therefore, what we need is the right platform that would enable our brand to position itself in a better manner,” he added.
Ravi Kiran pointed out, “Digitisation of life divides the world today – new digital TV, the Internet, and radio are much more than just mediums. Our world today has been digitalised and so are the relationships, as today smiles and winks can also be sent through the Internet. Browsing is a mantra and that is what we are living on; from Internet to everything in our lives, the world revolves around this one word.”