IPRCCC 2019: Taking a stand & humanising a brand are essential today: Experts

A panel discussion saw industry experts share their insights on new-age marketing, communication and its impact on brands

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 9:46 AM

Needless to say that the lines between PR and marketing are increasingly blurring. Today, new-age marketing and communication collectively defines the messaging, storytelling and sentiments driven by a brand. At IPRCCC 2019, a panel comprising Rahul Mishra - Head of Marketing – Shemaroo; Pawan Soni, Vice President & Head, Content & Communications - National Geographic India and Jasrita Dhir - Head - Brand, Marketing & CSR at Fortis Healthcare discussed new-age marketing and communication defining the message that brands want to deliver. The panel was chaired by Neeta Nair, Assistant Editor- Impact.

Signalling the broad change that the advent of digital has brought in, Dhir remarked, “The brand is today what consumers tell one other over what we tell them. Social Media keeps a check that we are not drunk on power. Any issue can be raised on public platforms.”

Meanwhile, Mishra spoke about digital’s attribute of allowing consumers themselves to create content. “Digital is blurring the lines between marketing and PR very, very strongly,” he asserted.

As per Soni, when it comes to PR campaigns, today there are a lot of metrics thrown at a brand manager. “While there are enough data-points, the real need right now is to create the right benchmarking for the right conversations which will define whether the numbers you have fetched through your campaign are enough because today you don’t know whether getting 1,000 people to share your article is enough or the number should be 10,000.”

When discussing how to deal with brand fiascos, Dhir said that the way digital has democratised the whole landscape is a big thing, so the need is to listen carefully to what’s being said and then respond carefully. “Put a hold on all other promotional activities. It will help if you can get a third-party who can give the other side of the story too. And be available. Be responsive and responsible as a brand,” she opined.

Soni advised that it all boils down to being consistent with your messaging as a brand, thereby continue building a community of like-minded people and having fans who defend the brand themselves in times of such crisis.

When speaking about leveraging influencer-marketing, Mishra suggested that choosing the right influencer and medium is important to create impact after determining the brand’s KPI. He further addressed the need of having a long-term association with influencers versus a sporadic one. “There should be a sense of co-working with influencers so that you can reap the benefits fully,” said Mishra.

Expounding on the same, Dhir said, “I can speak for the healthcare industry. We don’t get swayed by numbers. I would say: keep it authentic and real. For us, it’s more important, the impact you will have and not the reach.” Here Soni added, “If you understand the value proposition of your brand and you know whom to rope in to create meaningful conversation on social media, your job is done.”

Panelists contended that taking a stand and humanising a brand is essential today and went on to establish that the more integrated marketing is with PR and vice versa, the better it is for brands today.

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