DAN e4m Conference: ‘Creativity & performance marketing need to go hand in hand’

The DAN e4m Digital Advertising Conference saw industry experts share insights during the Mad Men versus Math Men panel discussion

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 24, 2020 6:14 PM  | 4 min read
DAN e4m Conference

The fourth edition of the Dentsu Aegis Network exchange4media Digital Advertising Conference witnessed with an interesting panel discussion. Mad Men versus Math Men- How fusion of Technology and Creativity is evolving digital to the new branding media.

The session was moderated by Sidharth Rao, Chairman, Happy Mcgarrybowen (HMB) India & Chairman- Webchutney. On the panel were Gulbahar Taurani, Vice President, Indian Sub Continent, Personal Health, Philips; Sapna Arora, CMO, OLX; Vaibhav Kumar, VP & Head- Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, Max Life Insurance, and Ankit Mehrotra, Co-founder & CEO, Dineout.

Opening the floor for discussion, Rao asked the panellists if they were on the side of the Mad Men or the Math Men.

According to Taurani, “For me marketing has always been from the creative side but there is a pressure which inclined us to look at the numbers and then decide. As far as I am concerned, if it's marketing it has to be creativity.”

Arora said people are investing more on the performance side, especially on the end results if the KPIs for the team are linked to the numbers which are direct derivatives of investments.

Citing an example, Mehrotra said Dineout works with the restaurants which are traditional in nature and has always done creative marketing. “We have seen the shift in the last 2-3 years. For the restaurant industry the cost of running a restaurant has become more and more expensive. For us now it has gone from display to orientation on performance with a clear ROI. We split the spend between creative and performance marketing. If earlier we were spending 70:30, now we have reversed the ratio,” said Mehrotra.

Sharing more insights Kumar said, “This creative performance conundrum is the most exciting part for the marketer. We, at Life Max Insurance, are more towards performance than creativity. But clearly all of us know that there is no performance without creativity.”

Arora further added, “Since performance marketing gives immediate results a lot of money is invested in performance and it does give results in the short term.”

Rao took the discussion ahead and asked that in the definition of performance how do companies justify spending on social media and how would the KPIs be measured?

Kumar said, “It's an optimal mix. Over a period of time you see so much data, you realise that you are getting these many impressions on social media which is the most potent tool to measure creative efficacy in the shortest period of time by spending the least money.”

Speaking about the opportunities for both sides of the spectrum, Arora shared, “One area where we can do better is when we look at the numbers. There are aspects behind the numbers for which we don’t get answers. We understand what is happening but why it is happening. That's where the human element comes in.”

On the other, Taurani suggested the agencies that “Let’s not get carried away with the KPIs.” “Numbers are taking over everything. Till the time you will not innovate these numbers will not give you the results.”

For Mehrotra, “Sometimes the agency people don't know what is going to work. The end result is totally different from what they have said and this is why it becomes difficult for a brand to believe and go with data.”

In the closing segment, Kumar said, “I think too much focus is on the spending side.”

Concluding the discussion, Rao said: “The other way to look at the Mad Men vs Math Men discussion is that digital perhaps is the only media where creativity can subsidise the cost of media, both sort of needs to work in hand in hand.”

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