Humanized messaging, data drivers and integrations will drive the business of mar-com

Guest Column: Komal Lath, Founder of Tute Consult, writes about what drove her firm's growth in the last 10 years

e4m by Komal Lath
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 1:39 PM
komal lath

The world has been brought to its knees with the ongoing pandemic. As we dust off to hobble back to the “new normal”, it has got people to dwell upon the way forward, undo certain mistakes, implement new ideas and processes and gear up for what’s about to come. As Tute completes 10 glorious years as an independent company, we are more charged than ever to take on challenges long inflicted in this side of the industry! Be it measurement or retainer sizes or simply relevance through exemplary work! Having worked with over 350+ clients and campaigns across geographies, we look at our pillars that make us stand out for all the businesses we work with!

 Architects of Paid Owned Earned Platforms

 PR has come of age. We are no longer looked at magicians who were limited to just one act of garnering earned media. Today we own the stage, we use the powerful spell of storytelling to an expansive universe of owned and paid news medium. In fact, the ability as strategists skilled across various platforms gives us the unique edge to think across mediums and be architects (successfully) of laying cost-effective yet powerful campaigns across. When Tute was in fact only 2 years old, when we saw potential in influencers and put together paid campaigns for Mahindra Rise or executed events for Kingfisher in The French Riviera with top-notch designers and models. Circa 2020, we design campaigns ranging from website creations to bespoke events (now virtually) or use tech to create brilliant innovations just as many specialist agencies would! It is the future and our clients and partner agencies are accepting the brilliance of this!

 Multi-Lingual, Multi-platform landscape

This time has unleashed a barrage of news onto consumers thanks to cheap data packages and deep smartphone penetration. This has led to information vulnerability and harboured general distrust amongst the audience. Moreover fighting fake news, rapid dissemination of information using social and digital means has emerged a clear winner. This trend not only signifies a huge revolution in the way marketing has been perceived until now, but it is also here for the long haul. Traditional modes while in existence, digital will gain and has already seen a huge surge in adoption. Social and digital ads will be more targeted and will be adapted as per demographics. In this environment, the need of the hour is "Positivity - that too in my native language on my resident platform" It will start being more multilingual in order to reach larger audiences while abiding by minimum spends.

Agencies need to communicate over versatile mediums not limiting it to print and digital aka news channels only. The depth and width of digital penetration in India enable news to flow like wildfire (with no checks for authenticity) and in a scenario like that, an authentic, clear and compassionate message in consumer's native language and on his/her resident platform would go a long way in building positivity around the brand's persona. We are using mediums like Telegram, regional platforms and translations in local languages to seed messaging across the country which are even Whatsappable and shareable for brands.

 Building softer aspects of the brand Vs tone-deaf messaging

COVID 19 outbreak and the lockdown that followed has brought out the compassionate side of the consumers and its high-time as brand custodians we take note of it. Messaging which is shallow, outright selling, hypocritical or lacks a purpose is going to die a very quick death! Hire young, hire experienced, hire risk-takers. The messaging will not be “only gut” but on facts, data and conclusions from research reports and analytics. Look at scale reach outs via city champions than usual influencer marketing routes. Look at the content than how many followers they have! Gone are the times (at least in the near future) when "sale", "buy 1 get 1", "50% off" messages were something that consumers looked out for. In the last few months, adversity has hit both the rich and the poor alike. Current times demand brands to steer away from strategies like "fear psychosis" and "tactical messaging", and rather bring out stories from the brand's stable that are enriching and inspire positively. Instead of talking about their products, we are helping brands like Global beauty Secrets talk about how we can tackle real problems like ‘mascane’ or launch apps to help get essentials like WOW. Build astute leadership for fragrance houses like Ajmal or even doing up your WFH desks with India Circus! 

Ushering in the era of more collaborations and joint campaigns

Quoting a copy from a popular whiskey's advt. "are we going to succeed alone, or take people along?". The current business environment is apt for swearing by this adage. The current business situation is challenging to say the least - demand is on an all-time low, consumer income has plummeted, production and supply chain has come to a screeching halt - basically, these are unprecedented times. And such times call for unprecedented measures. We've already seen FMCG giants like HUL, P&G, ITC, Dabur etc. come together, join hands and work cohesively with the GoI to execute "Suraksha Stores" at scale pan-India. The rest of 2020, calls for more such collaborations and joint efforts not only in business but also in marketing efforts to revive the Indian economy juggernaut. As a mar-com practitioner, it would be worthwhile to see competing brands come together to ensure the right news reaches the end consumer and misinformation get pruned out at an industry level. We are working on a very exciting campaign for décor brand like India Circus that will change the way an expectation is from a standard PR agency! It is about collaborations and thinking unique! 

Don’t ignore your touchpoints

Quoting marketing guru Byron Sharp's famous mantra "Be Always On" gets a new meaning in the current times. While the marketers might poke holes in the "Be Always On" strategy quoting depleting marketing budgets, reduced spends etc. the underlying message here is to look beyond "paid" media and focus more on "owned" and "earned" media

Use this time to mend all points - be it your personal LinkedIn Page or the WhatsApp status to even signatures where your social handles can be leveraged, the detailing is the new discovery in a cluttered market! Brands will more likely be trusting integrated agencies who speak an all-rounded language as compared to specialized agencies only. Time to skill-up and step-up! We have always suggested Paid, owned and earned strategies to clients and that has given us a unique edge to think multi-media, multi-platform and even advise clientele on their LinkedIn’s to build a strong narrative! 

Rise of real consumers as influencers

With marketing purses shrinking by the day (and will continue to do so till the end of 2020) its fair to assume prudence in spends from brand's coffers and ROI being the talk-of-the-town for the rest of the year. That said, as a communication expert, we foresee accelerated efforts towards shortening the communication channel with the end consumer and increased focus on what s/he has got to say to the brand. This coupled with greater acceptance to WFH and collaborating on video telephony platforms, its safe to assume market visits of the future to happen on a real-time basis without the need to travel physically. While this is on the supply chain side, real-life video testimonials, product feedbacks etc. is definitely a touchpoint that will emerge, thrive and grow from a brand's marketing perspective. And this shall serve a dual purpose: not only will it shorten the communication chain from a brand's side but also incentivize consumers to talk more to the brand. We have done some very interesting campaigns in the FMCG space for this and seen the impact of real vs the same size fits all influencers. As we move deeper into this, Tute has also successfully been able to provide metrics on measurement and ROI as well as ROO (Return on Objective) for these!

  It is a reflection Like Former US President Barack Obama said “In times of crisis, leaders should keep it simple”, one is expected to tell the truth clearly and compassionately! Certain sectors are in the red while others have seen a rise. All of these ongoing trends not only give fodder to the mind to predict the foreseeable future but also help to establish certain patterns which could be adopted henceforth. Call it precautions, new norms, fads or whatever; some of these trends (hopefully) are here to stay!

While we all are bracing ourselves for what is to come, we are supercharged to usher in the next decade with more powerful and result laced campaigns for domestic and international brands across sectors.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

 

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