"Today, the most successful creative agencies are those that are open & collaborative"
Deepika Warrier, VP - Mktg, PepsiCo, talks about how the digital medium is changing the way ideas are created, the need to go beyond traditional B-School hiring & the scope to create vernacular content
The advent of digital advertising and marketing has revolutionised the entire marketing landscape and has enabled a stronger, more interactive relationship between the marketer and the consumer. There are opportunities galore, but the medium comes with its own set of challenges.
Deepika Warrier, Vice President- Marketing, PepsiCo, feels that the biggest change is the growing importance of digital in the marketing space. “I have started spending 15-20 per cent of my work day on digital from 0.5 per cent two years ago,” she said. Consumers expect more interactivity and customisation. However, according to her, the core essence of marketing hasn’t changed and it’s still about reaching the customers in the best possible way. It is essentially a long term consumer trend. In a country like India, it is even more complex because of the dominance of traditional media that drives the maximum reach. “Driving parallels between TV and this new medium is a great challenge,” Warrier said.
Due to the proliferation of digital, there are new stakeholders who are digitally empowered young consumers. According to her, balancing the traditional and new stakeholders for a marketer becomes extremely important. There is not only a change in the external environment, but there a lot of cultural changes too.
Marketers have started launching campaigns online before the traditional medium as it is highly interactive and cost-effective. It gives instant feedback and an opportunity to tweak things prior to heavier investments on traditional mediums. Warrier explained that the process of creating ideas is also going through a big change. Earlier the traditional agency used to create a big idea, and it was then transferred to the digital agency. Now a big creative idea can come from the digital partners and the creative agency can create a campaign for the mainstream media accordingly. “Today the most successful traditional creative agencies are the ones who are very open and collaborative,” she added.
On the process of hiring talent, she believes that there is a need to go beyond the traditional B-school hiring and employ fresh and young people for this medium, but unfortunately, especially in the FMCG sector, people still prefer to follow the traditional model of B-school hiring.
It is interesting to note that there is a huge explosion of vernacular languages, but unfortunately there is lack of creative partners to help build content in regional languages. "The future of advertising is in the Indian languages but we are not ready because we don't have the creative ability to translate content and create new content. We have the ecosystem for creating content in Hindi and English but there is a huge opportunity in other languages as well which needs to be tapped with the help of the correct skill-set,” Warrier said.
Warrier shared her viewpoints at the India Digital Summit 2014.
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