Marketers want to embrace experiential

While marketers are actively seeking out experiential experts, deep understanding, flawless delivery, and measurements need to be in place, says HP PSG’s Marketing Head

e4m by Deepika Bhardwaj
Published: Jul 30, 2012 12:49 AM  | 4 min read
Marketers want to embrace experiential

Which medium works the most after a brand has created a halo around it with a jaw dropping 30-second commercial? Can a commercial suffice for entire brand communication? For most marketers, the answer to these questions is “No”.

Echoing this thought, Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, HP PSG, noted that the entire marketing framework on which marketers work has changed. Marketers are now working on a three-structured pyramid, where they are making a big bet at the top of the pyramid to create a larger impression of the brand and what the brand really stands for; big hits at the mid-level of the pyramid to announce new product solutions, new categories and also capture initial interest of the consumer; and finally, the last mile, where specifications and demonstrations come into the picture.

Singh iterated how important experiential is at each of these stages to create a perfect connect with the consumer. “This is the way to go and have an impact on the consumer, tell the consumer’s mind that something has changed here,” he said.

However, while experiential is increasingly gaining importance, Singh pointed out that the agencies have to shift the way they have been thinking about experiential to be more meaningful to marketers.

Understand, Deliver and Excel
“If I had to say what agencies need to realise today, the most important according to me is that they have to really understand what the marketer is trying to accomplish. Very often we have seen that agencies come up with ideas that are brilliant, but miss the basic point. You have to know what is it that the brand is really trying to do, what the marketer has got at the back of his mind. Only then can the creative solutions make more sense,” said Singh, reminding agencies of what clients expect from them today.

He also spoke about delivery and excellence as the other two factors important for an agency to look at. Clients today are expecting a flawless delivery by event partners and while technology is there at everyone’s disposal, the idea is to make use of that technology and not let it come under the way of perfect execution. Flawless delivery has to become a hygiene factor. Elaborating on excellence, Singh said, “Excellence is where passion and personal commitment comes in.” Agencies today just take the brief from the client and that’s it. That leap, that zeal to take it to the next level hasn't come yet. “I don’t want the agencies to get restricted by marketing myopia. Think about what is happening out there in the virtual space. You have to take it to the next mile and create substance,” he advised.

Concluding the talk, he shared why marketers are constantly looking at measurements and numbers and why it is important for agencies to devise standard metrics to gauge performance of events. “I do see the dark side where marketers are trying to reduce the cost, but this is where we seek help from agencies. It is not easy to be a marketer – we have to prove the success of each and every activity we take – so measurement becomes a very important part of the whole thing. Doing a pre- and post-analysis on consumers on how they feel about the brand and how they view the brand is very important. If data is collected before the intervention and after the intervention successfully, we would automatically say let’s invest more in this,” he concluded.

Sameer Tobaccowala was speaking at the CMO panel organised by exchange4media Group at the fifth annual convention of Events and Experiential Marketing Association (EEMA) – EEMAGINE 2012. The other speakers in the panel included Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, HP PSG; noted marketer Lloyd Mathias; and Neeraj Sanan, CMO and Head - Distribution, ABP News. The session was moderated by Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media Group. EEMAGINE 2012 is being held in New Delhi over three days – July 28, 29, 30.

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