Pitch CMO Summit: ‘Digital is a saviour and keeps the business running’

At a panel discussion, marketers decipher the art of engaging the digital audience and understanding the consumer’s perspective in terms of what helps them connect with a brand

by exchange4media Staff
Published - May 31, 2019 8:54 AM Updated: May 31, 2019 8:54 AM
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The Pitch CMO Summit Bangalore, a flagship property of the exchange4media group, played host to marketers across industries as they gathered to break down the process of the brand building experience. The theme for the Bangalore Summit this year was ‘Demystifying Brand Building Experience’.

The topic for the first panel discussion was ‘Survival of the Fittest: How Brands can win in the Digital Age’. Digital Marketing is now at its peak with the e-commerce market in India growing at an annual rate of 51 per cent, the highest in the world. With a plethora of options available to the digital consumer, brands struggle in their way to keep pace with the decreasing attention span of the consumers. So what is it that successful brands do differently on digital? At the session, marketers deciphered the art of engaging the digital audience and understanding the consumer’s perspective in terms of what helped them connect with a brand.

The session was moderated by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President and Chief Knowledge Officer, EQUiTOR Value Advisory. The esteemed panellists included Aarti B Iyer, Marketing Head, Unibic; Ashutosh Vaidya, Chief Marketing Officer, Kurl-on; Mangesh Panditrao – CEO, Shoptimize; Meera Iyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Medlife.com; Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, Head of Marketing, Baskin Robbins India, and Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder, Social Beat & Influencer.in.

The discussion started off with a pinch of politics and how the current government gave a tough competition to the opposition. Moving on to the topic of the panel, Ramesh started the discussion by talking about building recognition for brands and building relevance. To which Vaidya replied, “If a brand has to be in the business and the brand has to be relevant, I think the brand needs to become a brand of an individual.” 

Meera continued the discussion by saying recognition and relevance was really about the science. “To get recognition, you need a specific number of frequencies to the selected audience. And you can do it with system if you do it with offer, you can do it with a combination. Therefore, recognition is something that any and every brand, if it has the money, will be able to do it right.”

Samyukta said, “Relevance is something that is closely associated with resonance that you agree with the audience. Sometimes you may build relevance, you may stay relevant over a period of time. I think we're talking about survival of the fittest and according to me change is the only constant. However cliché that may sound, but a brand needs to be agile in adapting to changes.” 

According to Aarti, “If you were to say like from minimal branding, if there's no relevance, there's no recognition. So, with relevance comes recognition.” Suniel said it’s important to gain trust of a customer. “The brands which advertise and reach out to consumers automatically get a lot more trust and visibility.” 
 

Adding to this Mangesh said, “The brand needs to be relevant to your user cohorts and you could have multiple of them.” 

The panellists shared anecdotes to keep the mood light. Ramesh asked the panellists about the businesses that can do a five to eight fold on earnings. 

Mangesh said, “One of the things that we've seen is just the amount of data that is available today and the ability to process that and use that to improve customer experience. The ones that are doing it really well, the Amazons, the Swiggys of the world, are really good at understanding, processing and getting meaningful insights out of this data and taking action on it.”

“And most of the brands that are still focused on traditional, also, that's a great mode of driving transactions, it's not probably the best way to understand very granular data,” he added.

Suniel says that Digital is a saviour and keeps the business running. “Digital is making men create shortcuts or patchwork, which makes them respond faster, but that would not go away.” 

According to Meera, “Today, digital has enabled every customer of your product or service, to be able to instantly post both good and bad feedbacks. And unfortunately, the bad feedback is what gets posted much more in terms of percentages. And the good ones, who are happy, tend to be just and not quite accurate.” 
 

To which Samyukta added, “It is about that speed to market. It is about understanding. Again, it's going back to saying I know my customers. I know which kind of customizing that is what digital lends itself today, which traditional media has still not managed to catch up. We can never do away with traditional media. But digital helps you understand I can literally crawl through each of my pages, whether it's on Twitter or Facebook.” 
 

So will survival rates get worse? “I don't think it's going to be any different. The only thing that's constant is change, companies that change and evolve and modify themselves to really move as the consumer trends will survive. Those that don't will die,” said Meera.
 

Disagreeing to Meera’s analysis, Mangesh said, “There is so much more data now it is your ability to process data that's going to define whether you survive or not. The challenge is how do you make a signal out of the noise, and that's going to be the bigger challenge.”
 

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