Guest Column: Get ready for a multi-layered TV viewing experience

Digital strategy & content plan of broadcasters need to be in sync with the evolving consumer behaviour, says Zapak Digital’s Rahul Avasthy

by Rahul Avasthy
Published - Jul 19, 2013 1:37 PM Updated: Jul 19, 2013 1:37 PM
Guest Column: Get ready for a multi-layered TV viewing experience

Digital has taken a strategic seat at the table – it’s not experimental or emerging. Strategy is doing the right things and tactics are doing things right. For broadcasters to get their digital house in order, they need to be ready to change tactics quickly. The ability to rapidly discover and adapt to changing consumer behaviours and interaction models is as critical for success as being able to adapt strategies and tactics to the needs of a specific title.

A digital strategy that is a mix of story, scale and innovation works brilliantly for broadcasters. It is crucial for a broadcaster to have a digital marketing plan that clearly defines short hand and long hand positioning for the digital medium, clarity on exclusive assets to be used in digital media and a definition of social currency to be used and shared with the target audience.

We recently saw Twitter finalising an advertising deal with Viacom, where the two companies will come together to create social video ad campaigns to insert brand relevantly in between fan activity. Globally, and in India as well, video growth trends are very strong. The trends do not imply that viewers are throwing out their television sets and moving exclusively to digital video consumption. In fact, most con¬tent consumption pat¬terns indi¬cate that dig¬i¬tal and pre¬mium video con¬tent con¬sump¬tion aug¬ments rather than replaces tra¬di¬tional ways of watching TV. A fantastic example of that is the recently launched Star Cricket app.

Integrated digital marketing is another important and effective path for marketing in a digital age, especially for broadcasters. We live in an era where consumers have more power than ever before; Generation Y is not a conventional marketing audience. They cannot create influence by just increasing their media spends, reach and frequencies. To create an impact, broadcasters need to connect with Generation Y. Hence, story, scale and innovation play an important role in the digital plan DNA.

An example of innovation is gamification, which is using game mechanics like leaderboard, levels, badges, challenges, rewards, points, progress bar, etc., to engage users around a TV show.

The col¬li¬sion of mobile pen¬e¬tra¬tion, high speed data avail¬abil¬ity and usage pat¬terns of dig¬i¬tal video con¬tent have demonstrated that consumers will be demand¬ing  and broad¬cast¬ers need to pro¬vide additional lev¬els of access to their con¬tent in the future. I expect these shifts to have pro¬found impact on the future of the media business.

I believe, television viewing will be a multi-layered experience, with people from different cities connecting via social TV (read GetGlue kind of tools), Twitter, and other real-time, online, social platforms.

The writer is Head of Digital Strategy and Social Media at Zapak Digital Entertainment 

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