Make your message the medium: Industry gurus

With the communication explosion that is taking place, the line between various media is diminishing. Brands need to focus on the message rather than obsess with a 360-degree campaign

e4m by Gunjan Verma
Updated: Sep 13, 2013 8:21 AM
Make your message the medium: Industry gurus

With the communication explosion that is taking place, the line between various media is diminishing. Because of the multiplicity of media, the role of media agencies today has become even more challenging.

Citing an example of how complex the landscape has become for brands and media agencies, Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD, Madison World said, “When we launched Cinthol several years back, we had booked just 10 spots on the TV series ‘Mahabharat’, divided over four Sundays, which was enough to create a buzz. But years later, when we re-launched the same brand, almost 10,000 spots were booked.”

Thus, a lot of content management is needed today to make the journey of the brand less complex. Agencies play an important role in bringing the brand as a complete package and with the best possible communication strategy. However, in doing so, agencies do not get their due credit, noted Balsara. “Clients have paid only lip service to changes in advertising,” he added. Moreover, agencies have not been able to market themselves well and make this ecosystem work more efficiently.

Giving the client’s side of the story, Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Micromax highlighted the role of advertising in changing the perception about the mobile handset maker. Micromax, a relatively new player in the mobile market, has been able to find a place among the big players in the country. The company’s feature-rich phones at affordable prices have made the phones quite popular. However, the company had to fight the general perception that Micromax was a Chinese venture, hence the quality could be a suspect.

Sharma shared, “Our ad agency played a major role in building our brand. When people perceived Micromax to be Chinese, our agency helped us communicate our unique product features, especially to youth of the country, who are our primary target audience.”

Experts feel that in today’s day and age, the medium is really a mess. To break through the clutter, marketers need to pay attention to every detail and touch-point to deliver the complete experience to their customers. “The solution to the problems that agencies face while delivering a message across varied platforms is that they should focus towards delivering a ‘core idea’. Brands should focus more on delivering the central idea and not an idea that can be absorbed across all media,” said Sanjeev Kapur, CMO, Citibank. Elaborating further, he said, “Media plans need to be changed as they are still happening on the old formats. The kind of audience that existed earlier has changed a lot now and thus, the media planning also needs to be changed to keep pace.”

Challenges have intensified and multiplied today because of the explosion of various media, which has led to media fragmentation. Addressing the problem, Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman, Dentsu India Group suggested, “Make your message the medium and do not be obsessed with a 360-degree campaign. Focus on the relevance of the message to build a connect with the customers.” According to Ohri, marketers need to think of ways to turn each consumer into a brand champion.

In the age of social media, word-of-mouth has emerged as a key factor that can help brands break through the clutter. Industry experts agree that when marketers create relevant messages, the problem of fragmentation of media is taken care of.

The speakers shared their views at the 10th exchange4media Conclave, presented by NewsX, which was held in New Delhi on September 11, 2013.

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