Adapting to the new normal: Abhishek Joshi, MX Player
Guest Column: In ‘Marketers Playbook for 2020 Post COVID-19' series, Abhishek Joshi, Head of Marketing & Business Partnerships, MX Player, says new habits will be the new normal even after the crisis
We're at the beginning of a major shift – be it behavioural, economical or overall lifestyle choices. Consumer attitudes are changing with a renewed appreciation for the outdoors and the simple pleasures of life, along with more use of technology whilst indoors. I believe, marketers must start there. Digital experiences have replaced in-person experiences. And we must keep in mind that some of the newly formed habits are going to become the new normal – even after the crisis. Herein lies the opportunity to pick up on these new consumer patterns and virtually engage with them in innovative ways.
While every industry will battle its own fair share of challenges – marketing will always hold centre stage because the communication to the end-user is reflected in every campaign done by us. It sets the tone for how audiences perceive the brand during any given situation.
Primarily, marketers will have to do what they have always done best – adapt. Staying on top of the latest trends, relying on the data for insights along with understanding and anticipating new consumer behaviours will be key in driving successful marketing strategies moving forward. These changing times make it crucial for marketers to see consumers as individuals and arrive at more personalised/ focused audience buckets.
At the moment, all on-ground initiatives have been disrupted and there’s a large void created with the lack of OOH and events. Brands must reallocate campaign budgets in a bid to reach consumers where they are most active.
With the stay home, stay safe mandate – a lot of us have turned to OTT platforms to find solace in stories about faraway places, mafia gang wars, cooking shows or anything at all that helps us forget about the crisis for a little while. In our small way at MX Player, we’ve tried to keep our viewers entertained with a slew of seven shows ranging across genres in a span of five weeks. Like other brands, we’ve also turned to available outlets of promotion in these trying times.
We’ve run these campaigns on social to create personalised experiences, pushed digital PR that makes for a good read in the absence of physical newspapers, increased spends on mobile marketing as well as optimised performance marketing so that we can reach out to viewers at every possible touchpoint.
Another avenue that is most contextual (pun intended) in these times is contextual advertising. We’ve been advertising for our slew of shows on digital platforms and other relevant sites which has added a significant number of new users to our platform. More so, since our own platform hosts 75 million daily active users, we’ve used our own internal inventory to cross-promote across categories.
Influencer marketing will see an uptake as well in the days to come. We are now seeing influencers partnering with fitness apps to help people stay fit at home, listing their favourite binge-watch titles, making videos of day to day chores and engaging with the consumer on a regular basis. At a loss of what to do and how to do it, having an idol practise and preach is something that the common man always turns to in a crisis such as this.
We are currently focussing on building end-to-end, personalized digital strategies while ensuring the end consumer is not affected by the on-going situation, at least in terms of entertainment. While there may be a downturn in customer spending, there is an increase in customer touchpoints and attention. Easier said than done, but all you need to do is adapt and offer them value in your product/ service in this time of uncertainty.
(Abhishek Joshi is Head of Marketing & Business Partnerships at OTT platform, MX Player)
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