ICMA 2017: Content marketing - Building brand image or driving conversion?

At the recently held Content JAM by exchange4media, experts discussed how marketing plays a role in building brand image or driving conversion

e4m by Ronald Menezes
Updated: Sep 11, 2017 8:39 AM

At the recently concluded Content JAM held in Mumbai by exchange4media, a panel of experts discussed how marketing helps in building brand image. The panel discussion involved renowned names Roch D’souza, CMO, Brand Factory; Zubin Dubash, COO, Shemaroo; KV Sridhar Founder & CCO, HyperCollective; Anubhav Rao, Head of Sales, Pocket Aces and Mandeer Singh, Chief of Marketing, Big Bazaar. The panel discussion was moderated by Nikhil Mirchandani (Hoop Entertainment). Excerpts from the discussion:


Mirchandani - If content marketing can be defined as delivering the right content in the right place and time, how will you publish such content across multiple platforms?


Rao - I can vouch that my generation does not watch TV and traditional media ads are for that medium.  Digital creates an ad value for users and you can’t mix the two. Brands don’t realise this, digital is all about word of mouth. Consumers must share your content. You need to invoke an emotion. The advocacy also plays an important part. It totally depends on brand awareness. Content marketing can play both roles while digital is the easiest way to measure ROI.


Mirchandani - Where is the role for content being shareable and how do you decide the on spends?


Rao- Truly viral videos come for free if they are your distribution platform. You don’t need to spend and that’s why more brands are coming to us to integrate their content.


D’souza - What is generally happening today is there is a herd mentality for brands during festive seasons and topical content. All are pumping in money and everyone wants to be emotional and take a stand but a brand needs to be clear in the objective and tap into their DNA to reach out to people. Not every brand can do everything same. 


Mirchandani – Zubin, at Shemaroo you are boosting your branded content so how are you doing this?


Dubash - We have made sure that we are relevant at every stage. And all of this is spread to various distribution. The beauty is that at every stage, we see the need for good content. Over the last few decades we have seen that and now we have a team to create the same. We reach out to brands and make sure we give the brand the value they need.


Sridhar - You know a big part of marketing is creating content and sending a big idea to various platforms. It is based on how one makes consumers a part of their story. People are not interested in the brand story anymore. Brands and consumers need to find a middle ground. Using cultural and data insights you have a strong backbone to understand the brand. You may give three million views but it must convert into emotions and ROI. More the engagement, more the affinity for the brand. Today, storytelling has transformed as mobiles give consumers the freedom to watch anything, anywhere. One needs to aim the moving target and bring out the story. There are a lot of stories where content comes from firm strategies, it is not about entertainment always but the cause and message behind it. It is important to understand the context to deliver ROI.


Mirchandani - As a CFO or CEO, I can imagine a conversation between marketing head and CEO talking about sales and generating ROI, how does that work?


Singh - The question is about conversion, so we have been advertising and moving towards content that is relevant. We are people centric as a business and we see it viral if it comes on a WhatsApp group. Shareability is the biggest definition for ROI.


D’souza - There can be a business and brand objective but there must be patience. We tend to get away from the objectives and focus more on shares, views and likes. But if you have patience and concentrate on the content, you will have enough and more pieces for virality on its own and you will get results in one or two years down the line.


Singh- We need to learn and adapt to the audience, India and Bharat is what we need to integrate while Facebook and Twitter are helping us learn this demography.


Sridhar - Viral is the most abused word today and I don’t understand this! I don’t know how that creative works. One of the things we talk about is people and digital; as a medium they are sick of listening to someone else’s story! They want their story.


Mirchandani- In the era of IOT and AI you can study purchase behaviour, search history and can place ads tactically but as a marketing expert you need to be technologically friendly and therefore… more the context, more the ROI, what do you have to say? 


Sridhar – IOT and AI has certainly increased ROI. Sometimes you have various reasons to advertise because of this, there are a lot of metrics for measurement. Digital is no different. You may not have to achieve sales all the time but it is important to know your consumer story, the big data insights will tell you what they are doing. Unless you make the behavioural change, you won’t make qualitative changes to your brand. Try and build content that is independent and you must tie it to your business strategy and if the content doesn’t solve that purpose it doesn’t help, you need to know the instigation to get the right ROI. 

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