The best campaigns drive empathy, relevance and convenience for consumers: Maps, Mindshare

We speak to Parthasarathy Mandayam (Maps), CEO, Mindshare South Asia, in part four of our interview series with the big winners of IDMA 2021

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 9, 2021 8:21 AM

The 12th edition of e4m Indian Digital Marketing Awards (IDMA) 2021 was marked by some momentous wins. A slew of brands managed to shine through the storms with clutter-breaking work in a rather difficult year. Despite the odds, brands and agencies display resilience and stole the show. Recognizing these champions, our ongoing series will feature chat with the big winners from IDMA 2021. Today we speak to Parthasarathy Mandayam (Maps), CEO, Mindshare South Asia, on the agency’s spectacular victory at the event, staying on the top of the digital game and more.

Edited excerpts below: 

What do you attribute the agency’s big win at IDMA to? What according to you made the work clutter-breaking as it managed to fetch the accolade contesting and cutting through reams of entries?

At the core of our success are two things – on one hand, the challenges and support given to us by our clients and on the other, the energy and enthusiasm of our teams to find innovative solutions to brand and business tasks. Mindshare has always had a culture of winning awards across fora, and we are very happy to continue this at IDMA.

What according to you are the elements that make award-winning, clutter-breaking digital campaigns and what is the right approach to reach out to consumers during these trying times? 

For a start, I think there is a breakdown of the concept of a “digital” campaign. Digital has become so ubiquitous across all the Ps of marketing and at every stage of the consumer journey, that it is no longer just a medium or channel of communication. This is even more obvious over the last 15 months.

The best campaigns are those that drive genuine empathy, relevance or convenience for consumers. They obviously need to be powered by data and creativity and forge a meaningful, valuable relationship between our brands and consumers. There is also an increasing need for brands to live their values & beliefs, with consumers rewarding brands which do this. Digital, being such a personal medium, is all the more powerful in this space.

In such uncertain and turbulent times, how has the agency ensured that it stays ahead of the game when it comes to the digital marketing space?

As we all know, the rate of change has increased dramatically over the past year. Transformation is the mantra, both for agencies and brands. At Mindshare, we believe this transformation has to occur on two fronts – a high degree of specialization and expertise and a culture of collaboration and orchestration of solutions. On the first front, we have invested significantly in talent onboarding and upskilling. We have brought in highly skilled senior talent in areas like data science, technology and analytics. Working with GroupM, we are also on an ongoing program of upskilling and certification across platforms and technologies. On the second front of orchestration, we have transformed our structures to strongly integrate the disciplines of audience insights, strategy, content, platforms and performance in order to deliver an integrated solution to clients. 

What are the trends in the digital marketing space that you see gaining momentum as we go forward? 

The most important area is the acquisition, enrichment and utilization of data in a compliant and responsible manner. This translates to far more meaningful, sustained and valuable engagement with clients. This is obviously enhanced by the rapid development in technologies like AI, AR, Hyperlocal marketing, Immersive audio and Voice Search Optimization, Dynamic content, Social Commerce and Accountable Influencer Marketing to name a few.

Brands need to leverage AI and machine learning technologies to create highly targeted, custom- made and hyper-personalized experiences for consumers.  

The enormous user base of social media will accelerate social commerce. It will be one of the key trends since it urges people to connect with a business through two-way communication. This allows buyers to not only engage with a particular business but also allows the use of social media as an efficient consumer service channel. 

As the competition in the digital space heats up for brands, what would be your advice to brands and agencies when approaching the digital space? 

The core principles for driving brand growth still remain as relevant as ever – identifying the right consumers, connecting with them at the right time with the right message, making it easy for them to select you and rewarding their choice so they come back for more.

Digital, as I had mentioned earlier, is not just a medium. It offers the ability to deliver through the funnel and across various marketing levers. Also, it comprises various specializations.

This sometimes leads to a highly fragmented approach to digital, with fragmented metrics and success parameters, that are sometimes sub-optimal in the larger picture. There is more than ever a need to synchronize and orchestrate the strategy and activities across this spectrum to drive the larger objective of brand and business growth.

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