Influencers on social media are the new leaders of the free world: Parveez Nasyam- Xenium Digital

Parveez Nasyam, CEO & Managing Director - Xenium Digital Pvt. Ltd. speaks about current trends in the digital world and whether Adblocking software is a sign of worry for brands

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Sep 5, 2018 7:35 PM

This year Cannes was unique in many ways, and among the few takeaways, Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever announced an urgent call to action to rebuild the trust with consumers before it is lost forever. He also declared that Unilever would not work with influencers who buy followers and urged the ad industry to do the same. This need to take a bolder step was important, as the fake- follower problem is seen as part of a much larger data fraud problem plaguing the advertising industry.

In India there are a number of digital marketing agencies, who works with various brands to help them gain a bigger and better reach to the audience. Xenium, is also in the same league which lends the digital experience to the consumers using advanced technologies while bringing the brand to life.

We spoke to Parveez Nasyam, CEO & Managing Director - Xenium Digital Pvt. Ltd. to know more about the current trends in the digital world and whether Adblocking software is a sign of worry for brands.

Edited Excerpts

Keith Weed said, no more fake followers and bots. What's your take on this?

Influencers on social media are the new leaders of the free world. They govern over their humble followers by providing them with relevant content in exchange for their engagement. These leaders hold the power to make real changes, ignite a digital revolution. Influencers, who have come to power with the help of fake followers (bots), never have and never will be able to create an impact of any kind. Not long ago popular YouTuber and influencer Logan Paul was in a hot mess for showcasing a corpse in his video and making fun of it. He had to take down the video and temporarily delete his account before resurfacing after some time.

On the other hand, YouTubers such as Casey Neistat always have a positive influence on their subscribers and brands love to collaborate with him. Unilever has always been a Goliath in the world of advertising, online and offline, they are the torchbearers for ‘sustainability’ and to fulfill their long-term objective it is very important for them to have on board people who can soldier on their humble cause. Unilever wants ‘U’ to be the new symbol of sustainability and they are not subtle about it

What companies should do, to invest in both incremental and transformation innovation?

Transformational innovation in marketing is hard to come by these days and while our ‘Innovation Lab’ is constantly working on something new, we do not want to push those transformational innovations over to our clients unless it is the absolute need of the hour for their business. At the same time, incremental innovation is hardly working out these days. There are no, ‘new ideas’ in the market any more and most of advertising’s ‘out-of-the-box’ and mad ideas are done to death in some way or the other. We did not try to change the product; we brought a ‘break-through’ medium on the table for marketers to explore.

There is a popular saying, ‘try and try until you succeed’. There is also another popular saying, ‘Why tinker with a winning recipe.’ One cannot adopt any one of these and proceed to have a successful business. Some companies have come into existence due to their breakthrough innovations, the mobile industry being a popular example; some companies became successful due to incremental innovations, Apple phones being an example. None of these companies have stuck to any one strategy and have kept switching back and forth in order to sustain, depending on what the market demands.

Digital marketing is a domain that needs lot of hands on and deeper delving to really get a hang of it. What strategies work for you to connect the brands with customer easily?

There are three ways:
i. Connect on an emotional level with your clients–People reciprocate most to emotions. Many brands have been successfully utilizing this approach. Apple, Johnson and Johnson’s, Maruti have been making this work for many years.

ii. Know yourself – When you know yourself, you will be clear about what you are capable of. This is why you won’t over commit, or have unrealistic expectations and will be ultimately extremely confident about the outcome of any project that you take on.

iii. Know your competition, client and consumer – Awareness is extremely important when you approach a task. It goes without saying that analysing and staying updated about your client, competition and consumer will make or break your brand.

Last year we saw programmatic trading as a foremost digital trend, which trend do you see this year?

Two things, the first being, ‘Going live’ and second being, ‘making augmented reality’s appeal more widespread.’ Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, have gone guns blazing with the ‘live’ feature and the world has been going gaga about it. Live news updates, live events, live everything; there was no delay in between capturing the experience and sharing it. It has caught up with professional agencies as well and very soon we might have live marketing campaigns, live movies, and live ads! The potential is endless.

Augmented reality became mainstream and a household name with, ‘Pokemon Go’, it took the world by storm, people loved it, and it is going to make a comeback along with many other applications as well. Augmented reality will be incorporated in social media, games, film and other applications. This is the future and there is no escaping it.

Do you think the use of AdBlocking software’s is a sign of worry for brands?

AdBlocking software has existed for decades and with the growing need for privacy it has evolved and become more sophisticated. Apple had adopted ad blocking in its IOS9 for all its Apple mobile handsets followed by implementing it in its Safari browsers. Google saw the light in Apple’s decision to do so and did the same. It is important for brands to understand that there is so much noise in the world of advertising that creating something appealing and path-breaking is difficult. That along with the constant intrusion of ads is unwelcoming, to say the least. Considering alternate approaches such as paid partnerships, product placements, creating experiences and not being ‘salesy’ are very essential in the world we live in. So Adblocking software is simply irrational fears among people creating irrelevant content for an irresponsible market.

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