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People want to be entertained, not watch ads: Sujit Ganguli, ICICI Bank

10-September-2018
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People want to be entertained, not watch ads: Sujit Ganguli, ICICI Bank

Sujit Ganguli, Head of Brand & Communication at ICICI Bank, believes that the job of a marketer is to bring alive all the cold hard facts of the business and make them interesting for the consumers. And the need to make the communication interesting for the consumers has become even more important in the context of the highly competitive environment in which marketers currently operate.

Speaking at exchange4media’s Content Jam conference in Mumbai on Friday, Ganguli spoke about ‘crafting content for business outcomes’. Exploring the topic, the communication veteran outlined the challenges which content marketers face today and suggested strategies to overcome these challenges. Using campaigns created by ICICI Bank as cases studies, Ganguli showed how good content can result in great business outcomes.


Talking about the challenges, Ganguli said viewers today have no dearth of options to watch content and so marketers need to create communications that can break the clutter and stand out.

“As marketers, when we are pushing out content to people, we need to realise that the other content that our consumers are seeing are on rich platforms. Also, a lot of the content today is video. Consumers are seeing serials, movies and sport on demand; they can choose what they want to see. Even on social media platforms, the content is customised. They get to see what they like… food, travel, sports or anything else.”

“And so this is the context in which we advertisers will have to craft our content which stands out and bring results for us. People want to be entertained, not watch ads,” he said.

Another challenge for marketers, Ganguli feels, is to communicate the core message in a short span of time.

“On a digital or social media platform, if you are not able to catch consumers’ attention in less than 2 or 3 seconds, you have lost the consumer. It takes less than a second for a viewer to flip the feed and go to the next content on his mobile phone. Also, it is very important to create content that can be shared. Because ultimately that is earned content,” said Ganguli.

Going further, Ganguli stressed that the market still operates on the basic principles that were taught to him in his business school 20-25 years ago. According to him, the techniques may have changed but the principles have not changed.

“The basic principles of marketing that we have learnt 20-25 years ago in business schools have not changed. May be the technique has changed, but the principles have not changed. The formats or tricks may have changed, but the principles of doing for the audience, getting insights, reaching out to the rights audience have not changed, and will not change in the near future,” said Ganguli.

Sharing examples of how interesting communication content can give a boost to business, Ganguli showed audience campaigns created for three products of ICICI Bank-- 20% extra home loan plan, Ferrari credit cards and CSR initiative ‘Gift of livelihood’. All these campaigns got millions of ‘views’ and ‘shares’ on digital platforms.

These campaigns were very successful and a lot of it happened because of shareability, said Ganguly, adding, “If the content is good, people will share it. Because of virality, we were able to get reach and we were able to get our message across.”

Finally, concluding the session, Ganguli highlighted five points for every marketer to remember:

• Target your core audience
• Get the insight right
• Keep the creative interesting
• Have prominent call to action
• Keep experimenting

“Keep doing new things. Only that can entail success,” he signed off.

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