How marketers can best conquer social media?

Banking on video, leveraging big data & marketers and agencies working in tandem are three key steps to reap benefits from social media, say digital honchos

e4m by Sneha Ullal
Updated: Jul 27, 2013 9:33 AM
How marketers can best conquer social media?

There’s no denying that the medium of the future is now that of the present. Marketers, whether for or against social media, understand its power and are analysing how it best benefits them. But can marketers and brands best reap its benefits? There are three unique ways:

Bank on video
Facebook and Twitter might be the most used platforms at the moment. However, experts predict that video will be huge soon. “Our bandwidths have improved, and so have our devices,” notes Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Social Wavelength. “People can consume video comfortably. There are no major problems with buffering or real-time streaming. So video for web, as opposed to video for TV or cinema, has to be an independent priority for brands to consider.”

Sabyasachi Mitter, Founder, ibs, explains this with an example: “The Cannes-award winning campaign ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ for Metro trains delivered the brand objective the most through a single video. No one remembers if it had a Facebook or Twitter presence! The most common mistake is asking what will happen on Facebook or Twitter, without first addressing what will happen to their brand. If the brand objectives can be addressed without any platform presence in the most cost effective manner, that is what should be pursued.”

Collect your big data
The PwC Digital IQ survey in May 2013 says big data, that is, information collected from various sources, is “growing exponentially and is too large, too raw, or too unstructured for analysis using relational data analysis”. “Big data is an important factor to consider for both marketers and agencies,” explains Sanjay Mehta, Joint Founder, Social Wavelength. “From the context of advertising and marketing, there is a lot of intricate data generated about users, which will affect how campaigns are created and rolled out: what are users doing on the Internet, what do they like/dislike, what links do they click on, and much more.”

Pratik Gupta’s agency Foxymoron, for instance, is working on better ways to target people efficiently using big data. “It’s about gathering live data for intelligence. With proper, analytical numbers, we’ll know what the lakh followers of brands are actually doing, what are their buying decisions, whether they are active or inactive. We can also get to know how our online campaigns are affecting the offline ones and vice versa. With such data, our intention is to make brands efficiently communicate to their target audience in the digital space.”

Get by with a little help… from your agency
Constant communication is key for marketers and agencies to work better together, despite obstacles like lack of budgets and understanding of the space. Prashanth Challapalli, Head, Jack In the Box, however, has an interesting solution: “I’d like to see a client say, ‘I’m going to send our brand manager to your agency, let him work with you for a month’. We’ve had people from our agency sit in the client’s office for one to two months. When we do this, we understand where the pressure points are in our system. It’s easy to say, ‘the client doesn’t understand, they don’t get it’. But the point is, are they allowed to, they have a lot of other things to worry about.”

Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee, has a solution not just for existing clients, but for brands who aren’t on the space yet. “We have a separate team that meets brand categories that are not on digital yet. They evangelise the medium to them, and talk about its benefits. For existing clients, they try to update them about developments in the medium; for instance, Facebook launched graph search and hashtags a few weeks ago. They constantly keep them abreast of what’s happening, and how it’s going to change their marketing campaign.”

Read Impact’s cover story, ‘The Curious Case of Social Media Marketing’ here:

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