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Techमंच: Marketers have to behave like entertainers and move like startups: Lloyd Mathias (video)

29-June-2018
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Techमंच: Marketers have to behave like entertainers and move like startups: Lloyd Mathias (video)

At the exchange4media’s digital marketing conference Techमंच, Lloyd Mathias, Former Asia-PAC Marketing Head, HP Inc, shared his perspective on how marketers are perceiving the digital onslaught. He recalled that the digital medium did not exist until the early 90s. But today, for most brands and company, digital spends comprise 15, 20 and sometimes even 50 per cent of the budgets.

Watch the entire session here:



In an insightful presentation, Mathias spoke on ‘Battleground Digital: The challenges staring at the marketer in 2018’. Mathias, who has also worked for brands such as Pepsi and Motorola, feels that the pace of the digital medium is immense. “The key question that arises is that there is more content than what anyone can consume. More is not good for consumers anymore as their attention cannot command it. Also, now, consumers are co-creating brand stories. Consumers’ participation is getting critical.”

Mathias feels that the challenge for marketers now is to engage with the consumers closely. “The media universe is expanding and fragmenting. Nearly 2.5 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook every minute. So much of data is out there on the internet that it's impossible to get a lot of share (of consumers’ attention). The whole idea is to closely engage with the consumers. And that is the challenge for marketing now.”

I think what matters to businesses and marketers is the fact that every moment counts. There are no off-time and on-time moments. Consumers can engage with your brand at any point in time. There is a constant flow of information,” he shared.

According to Mathias, in the fast-paced digital world, decision making by consumers takes place a million times in a day. “The decision-making takes place a million times in a day on connected devices. As a brand, we need to own these moments. We need to have something relevant to say to the customers and we need to create shared experiences. It should not be about putting a brand’s point of view, but it should be about the consumer’s point of view. This point of view should then be integrated with the brand purpose.”

So a marketer has to think like a marketer, behave like an entertainer and move like a startup,” he added.

In his presentation, Mathias came up with five suggestions for marketers: Use the always-on digital to own the moment: Digital is an always-on phenomena and so owning the moment is critical. The challenge is to come up with a big idea to have the consumers engaged on a regular basis.

He asserted, “Staying topical and relevant and, most importantly, staying authentic is important. This brings us to questions like: Do we have enough digital creative heroes in our Indian ecosystem? Are the creatives still dominated by the guys making classic 30-sec television commercials?”

The challenge essentially is that the mainstream advertising is yet to embrace the privacy of digital. “I think some of the superstars, still focus on a big budget for television and print. The challenge is to create superheroes in a digital era,” he shared.

Avoiding the metric trap: It's important for the digital medium to move beyond this very basic metrics. We need to define success clearly and measure often. He explained, “Ask for transparency from your digital agency. Success is not fans and followers, but conversation and engagement. For B2B marketers, the big challenge is that digital is just a lead generation mechanism. Also, it is important to recognize that digital is dominated by few large names. As much as 25 per cent of digital ad spend goes to Google and Facebook and doesn't include YouTube and Instagram.”

Be ready for technology disruption: Digital is a relatively even playing field. Also, mobility is the priority. Develop all your content for mobile first. The third aspect is using customer data sensibly and responsibly.

Give the control to consumers: This is something that marketers often fear. They are faced with the question that they are the ones who have been entrusted with the brand, how could they let consumers take control? But the sad truth is that marketers have no choice.

Enhance customer experience and protect brand reputation: Customization and entertainment are important for customer experience. Also, as a brand, you should ask yourself if you should take a stand on issues of the day or leave it to news channels? Another thing is to think if we are overplaying the influencer card? Are Indian brands using influencers well enough? Influencers have their own following. They won’t stick to the script.

Mathias concluded on the note that digital is out there and it is not just the responsibility of the marketers. “It's the collective responsibility of marketers, your corporate communication team and the senior management to spread the message.”

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