"Marketing now is instant, global and on steroids"

Deciphering the digital native, Narayanan Madhavan, Senior Editor & Tech Columnist, HT lists trends like variety on steroids, identity unbundling & digital convergence, which marketers need to watch out for

e4m by Kanika Mehrotra
Updated: Dec 19, 2013 8:42 AM
"Marketing now is instant, global and on steroids"

Born in an era of digital technologies, digital natives are adept at interacting with and using technology from a very young age. Going further, these digital natives are on course to influencing changes in digital media as never before. But how much have brands and marketers been able to know the digital natives, who they are and what makes them tick?

Attempting to decipher the digital native, Narayanan Madhavan, Senior Editor and Tech Columnist, Hindustan Times noted that because of the emergence of different platforms, attention span of the users is scarce. He said, “Now, you don’t bring things to attention, but attention to things, and this is a very big challenge for the marketers. Marketing is not all about numbers, but about experiential marketing.”

According to Madhavan, “Digital convergence is a very interesting animal, it’s so easy these days to see something on television and share it on Twitter, come across something on Twitter and share it on Whatsapp, and then it might be shared back on Twitter. What is interesting to note is that digital lifestyle is not just about people being on one vertical website, but there is an effect where things move around. In the whole of 20th century, we had a ‘ping-pong’ kind of marketing, where there was clear one to one relationship between the audience and person carrying the message, but now it is instant, global and on steroids.”

Madhavan shared how with his extensive experience he has sketched some mega trends to get a better idea of how things are developing. One such trend that he highlighted was ‘Variety on steroids’. He explained this trend by giving an example of how these days it is all self service; the whole array of options available today makes it difficult for people from previous generations to understand the youth.

Another interesting trend on which he threw light on was ‘identity unbundling’. He explained, “Identity unbundling is the opposite of stereotyping, where youngsters are stereotyped as watching or doing only non-serious things. Digital growth makes it possible to have impulsive behaviour on anything that involves the nervous system. The unbundling of identity is very important for marketers to understand as often they end up stereotyping.” Another trend that Madhavan mentioned was ‘celebrating diversity’. He said that marketers need to acknowledge the presence of diverse platforms and understand how not to miss any of them. Hence, it becomes imperative for marketers to tap the new behavioural patterns of its target audiences across platforms.

Narayanan Madhavan shared his views in his special address on the topic ‘The profile of a young digital native’ at the Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards, 2013, which was held in Delhi on December 18.

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