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‘Digital media is now user driven, but far from practice’

17-March-2009
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‘Digital media is now user driven, but far from practice’

Ignitee and IAMAI jointly hosted a roundtable conference on ‘Digital Media: From Experimentation to Practice’ in Mumbai on March 16, 2009. The panelists included V Ramani, Vice Chairman and MD, Ignitee Digital Solutions Pvt Ltd; Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee Digital Solutions; Prashant Mehta, COO, Komli Media; Debadutta Upadhyaya, National Sales Head, Yahoo! India; Sumeet Mehta, CEO, Zee Learn, the education division of ETC Networks; and Vishal Jhunjhunwala, Assistant GM – Branding, Tata Consultancy Services. The session was moderated by Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG India.

Srivastava raised several points during the roundtable conference ranging from the lack of conversations with brands to whether the Internet was all about fags.

Debadutta Upadhyaya observed, “Unfortunately, very few conversations happen between digital media and the brands. After all, what are the things that brands want to achieve? They want to know whether these communications between the two are going to re- establish his brand or even deliver the brand message successfully, however, things are certainly changing for the good as there are few advertisers who do brand communication. Digital is the only medium that gives you engagement with your brand. It also lets you know what has been your engagement with your target audience.”

Prashant Mehta said, “Ad network for us is an extension of the way you should look at media buying. Ad networks help us to look at a number of audiences and separate them at different vehicles. Thus, we can get engagement of audiences, which becomes relevant to the brand. I believe it is for the first time that we are seeing a lot of interest in brands, so much that many of us are spending a lot of time with them to know how to create engagement with the brand.”

V Ramani was of the opinion that, “Unlike television or any other medium, digital, which was once publisher-driven, is now user-driven, and as the users evolve, we have to go one step ahead of the users. What is also unique is that the digital medium can give you both reach and frequency as it depends on the client’s objectivity.”

According to Atul Hegde, “What has been consistent in the digital medium is the engagement factor. However, it is how we are going to leverage this engagement factor that remains a challenge. The other set of challenge is recruiting the right talent, are we doing enough to at least bring in the right talent in this medium, because the only way to go forward is to bring in more talent and brands.”

Vishal Jhunjhunwala noted, “We have increased our digital spends by about 40 per cent, therefore, we have experimented with the medium. Eventually, we have to go where our consumers are going. The measurability or parameters will come as long as your faith in the brand is bigger than the medium.”

Sumeet Mehta of Zee Learn said, “For a mass brand, it would not be that wise to spend on digital as right now there is no real hard change to move away from television to digital. If the clients take the onus of learning the medium from long term perspective, only then can we get to where we want to be.”

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