We spend 10% of our overall marketing budgets on digital: Samar Singh Shekhawat

Samar Singh Shekhawat, SVP-Marketing, United Breweries, talks about the challenges in the evolving digital space in the context of successful brand narrative

e4m by Sonam Gulati
Updated: Apr 15, 2014 7:43 AM
We spend 10% of our overall marketing budgets on digital: Samar Singh Shekhawat

Native beer brand Kingfisher’s parent company United Breweries is truly a new age organisation. From capitalising on social media for campaigning to using the digital medium for driving customer engagement, the company is using the medium to its full extent.

In conversation with exchange4media, Samar Singh Shekhawat, SVP- Marketing, United Breweries, sheds some light on how the company is leveraging digital for marketing and the challenges they face.

He points out that curating the right content and remaining consistent with brand stories are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to digital media.

How are you incorporating digital in your branding strategy?

We have seamlessly integrated digital into the communication plans of all brands and brand groups. Our focus pillars have been to create and drive engagement around content that fits in with relevant brand positioning and strategy.

What are the challenges that you face?

There are several challenges that one faces in digital. Curating interesting content is one of them. Remaining consistent and relevant with brand stories, staying with the curve on technology are some other challenges that we face.
In this category advertising directly has become a problem. How do you deal with this?

We abide by the laws of the land in both letter and spirit. For example on Facebook we have two brand pages, one is age-gated and one regular. The main thrust has been to build communities around brand platforms.

Is digital medium useful only for brand engagement or also for lead generations?

It is useful for both engagement and generating leads. It is also very useful when it comes to gathering consumer feedback on campaigns, innovation, research applications, etc.

Social media ranks higher in your branding strategy. Share some innovations that you have done on various platforms.

We have done several, like the Kingfisher Blue Mile, the Heineken Inner Voice, Headbanging, etc.

Do you feel a challenge in getting the right kind of people to execute your digital campaigns?

It was difficult, but we have over the years built up a talent pipeline both within and outside the organisation, with our partners.

How much are you spending on digital out of your total marketing budget? -

We have doubled our spends every year. Currently we spend 10 per cent of our overall marketing budgets on digital marketing.

What digital marketing campaigns have caught your eye lately?

The Tata Salt Mary Kom ad, the Nike cricket ad, the Nike 2014 football ad, etc.

Which are some must have digital marketing tools according to you?
Analytical tools like Unmetric, SAP- Netbase, etc.

Samar Singh Shekhawat is also part of the esteemed jury panel of exchange4media’s Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA). IDMA 2014 is an annual event that aims to celebrate and encourage the work being done in the digital media space. The event will take place on 6th June, 2014 in Mumbai. Click here for more details. http://www.exchange4media.com/idma2014/Registration.aspx

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