'Digital presence has never mattered more than now to create meaningful conversations'

Rohit Sakunia, Chief Business Officer & Co-founder, Art-E Media, and Tejender Sharma, Chief Creative Officer & Co-founder, talk about the current landscape of marketing technology

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 4:13 PM

Knowing the preferences of audiences to create meaningful conversations has become quintessential for the new age marketers. Technological upsurge has presented brands with a plethora of options in front of them, but choosing the right one demands wit. MarTech companies have been helping brands transform consumer experiences for a while now, but the pandemic has given it a push.

Art-E Mediatech, a startup in the MarTech diaspora, tries to integrate creativity, technology, marketing, and consulting under one roof. Incepted two years ago, Art-E Mediatech has created successful case studies of some campaigns for leading companies like BharatPe, Flipkart, etc to name a few, and has provided creative and marketing support along with various branding solutions to diversified brands.

We caught up with Rohit Sakunia, Chief Business Officer & Co-founder, Art-E Media, and Tejender Sharma, Chief Creative Officer & Co-founder, Art-E Media, to talk about the current landscape of marketing technology & creativity, re-strategizing creative thinking in allignment with marketing technology and navigating the traditional vs digital landscape.

Edited Excerpts

What is the current landscape of marketing technology and creativity?

Technology has always been coming in with creativity and scripts adapting to it. Changing times have added new terms for our references, MarTech being one of them. The landscape of advertising and marketing has widened with the upsurge and betterment in technological infrastructure. Earlier, target advertising used to be a cult, but it has now been replaced by interactive advertising. So, being creative enough to adapt to technology in a more intelligent, quick and interactive manner is the current scenario for the marketers.
The biggest change has come in the face of reduced turnaround time for creating meaningful conversations. In order to be absolutely relevant and up-to-date in this ever-changing world, brands now need to increase the pace of creating conversations. Hence there is a reduction in the turnaround time.

How has the current scenario pushed brands to re-strategize creative thinking?

According to me, the methods of traditional conversations have not changed. Neither has the talent usage changed. People still love to see their favourite brand on the newspapers or their favourite celebrity endorsing a product on television. The change has come in the ways customer behaviour has changed which has forced marketers and brands to re-strategize their creative thinking, leading to a new era of marketing technology. Customers now believe that brands need to take a stand and being real cannot be only a moral science lesson. With more and more conversations happening on social media, being real is appreciated now and fakeness is trolled. The re-strategizing has majorly come on grounds of morality, authenticity and being real on the face.

In the times of curtailed marketing spends, how can brands stay effective and top of mind?

Well, frankly speaking, budget has always been a problematic area for marketers. It has always been a bit difficult to calculate ROI on marketing and advertising with curtailed marketing spends. There has always been a big fight for better ROI. Stating the obvious, brands with deeper pockets will spend on advertising and marketing to stay effective and top of mind while others would be more apprehensive. These brands will learn from experimenting newer avenues in advertising and marketing.
Also, with deep penetration of smartphones and data availability, digital presence has never mattered more than now. Marketers have a plethora of options available to drive conversations, experiment on creativity and innovations without loosening their purse strings much.

How are brands navigating the traditional vs digital divide? What is your reading? 

Until recently, digital was considered a separate segment, and brands had varying priorities when it came to marketing budgets. A lot had to do with the product and the target audience for it. They understand the limitations of traditional marketing, as it is usually time-consuming. For high profile product launches and promotions that reach millions of consumers, brands adopt all the means available to them.   

Digital gives them the flexibility to go back to the drawing board and make quick changes. Consequently, brands that cater to a younger demographic recognize the influence of digital marketing in achieving their growth. However, traditional marketing is here to stay, even while the scope for digital might increase. By en-large, brands are observing the evolution and hedging their bets on diverse marketing avenues.  

How can traditional platforms leverage MarTech?

Technology is transcending electronic devices in piquing the curiosity of the customer. Print, billboards, television, radio, etc. are opening up to new avenues to sustain viewership and readership, and tech innovation can make it possible. 

For example, we can see QR codes printed in newspapers. When customers scan the code, their smartphones directs them to the product site/page, in a unique mechanism that is broadening the scope for integrating traditional marketing with new-age inventions. 

A slew of creative marketing campaigns is coming to the fore. Outdoor advertising is becoming the new fad, and vinyl billboards and digital screens are everywhere, in public places, and on top of vehicles. Marketers could manage ads remotely through an app, deciding the duration, location, etc. of a given brand in real-time. 
There are several such ideas and innovations taking place in the MarTech space, and traditional platforms stand to benefit by thinking out-of-the-box. 

What are the emerging trends in digital marketing post Covid-19?

The pandemic has changed peoples’ perceptions and practices overnight. Retail businesses and brands that were reluctant to come online or expand their web-presence have limited choices now. They are reworking their marketing budgets and seeking advice from firms like Art-E on optimizing gains through digital marketing. 
Ever since the lockdown, people depended heavily on digital transactions for financial activity, e-commerce websites for essentials and groceries, and delivery-based services for medicines from local pharmacies, to name a few. Several fintech companies, including B2B, as well as payment gateways/e-wallets, have seen a meteoric rise in user activity. Cashless transactions have become the norm, as people are getting into the habit of contactless order placements and deliveries. Several small and medium e-commerce players have emerged, including grocery and retail chains that have gone digital. E-commerce companies are showcasing products from a lot more sellers.

Additionally, the emphasis is on digital marketplaces where brands can access social media influencers, affiliate marketing channels, etc. These avenues provide reams of data on consumer choices, allowing them to target their products to specific customers. Brands are also adopting community marketing as an empathetic gesture to share stories and connect with prospective customers. 

Even the entertainment platforms are giving a fillip to the ad economy. People have switched to several OTT platforms that are providing an extensive selection of local content. These are some of the developments that stand out. 

How important is it for new-age marketers to prioritize innovation in the post-Covid world?

With the economy struggling and corporate houses grappling with uncertainties, industries are working to cut down costs in an effective manner. Sustainable usage of resources to minimize spends and maximize ROI has become top priorities of marketers and creative people across sectors. Innovations in traditional methods or newer techniques need to be prioritized in the post COVID world.

For instance, we used a technique called Reframe for one of our clients. In this technique, the framing was done in a way which had the same orientation in both vertical and square ads. In this way, we not only cut the cost of production but also less wastage leading to less carbon footprints. Likewise, marketers need to quickly adapt and change according to the scenarios and help in driving growth for brands, keeping the cost in check  and proving marketing ROI.

Some of Art-E Media's recent campaigns


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