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Day 1 at ad:tech New Delhi 2012
Day 1 at ad:tech New Delhi 2012
By: iMedia News Bureau

“With 20.99 million internet subscribers, 373.84 million wireless subscribers and 112 million claimed internet users, India is critical to overall global economy.” Unveiled ad:tech New Delhi 2012 yesterday.

The second edition of this world’s renowned digital conference took off  on 24th February, on a high note with leading digital experts from India and 15 other countries, 18 panel discussions & presentations, 14 workshops, over 70 hottest digital media companies, and 7 keynotes sessions.

Welcoming the delegates, Rammohan Sundaram, Event Chairman and Founder, CEO & Managing Director, Networkplay Media Pvt Ltd., said, “We promised to make this second edition of ad:tech in India bigger, better and bolder, and I’m excited to see such a huge turnout this year which is set to surpass our footfalls during the last ad:tech.”

The day started with usual rituals but the staggering facts after facts, shared by various speakers and panellists took the audience by storm, compelling them to believe in the power of digital media and the way it’s showing exponential growth in India.

The first keynote presentation by Shiv Singh, PepsiCo Global Digital Head,  focused on Real-Time Marketing in a Hyper-Connected Ecosystem, which cited several mass scale, digital examples to show how a concentrated real time strategy involving insights, response, content studio, co-creation, distribution and engagement, is the most important strategic imperative for marketers around the world today.

Laying extreme emphasis on engaging the consumer in absolute real time Shiv said “There has never ever been harder time for marketing and especially digital marketing to engage consumers more effectively.”

He also brought a significant point into everybody’s notice, that with digital media there are new forms of researches to leverage from, which help you see celebrity endorsers and media companies from a different lens.

Giving an example of a platform created by them named ‘Pepsi Sound Off’ which they built as a campaign and is now treated as a platform for the engagement around various shows they sponsor, he tried to explain that how a campaign alone is not enough and the engagement is created through regular interaction over a sturdy platform. 

After this, Arvind Rajan, LinkedIn’s Managing Director and Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan presented the second keynote by sharing that how data-driven networks help in enhancing brand engagement.

He broadly distributed digital media in three actions: Identity, Relationships and Activities and based on all the three actions he defined the usage of the entire active and highly used social networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Other points that he touched upon included the willingness of consumers to contribute in content and how liking and sharing is an incredible reservoir of data.

Following the keynote the convention moved on to parallel panel sessions on brand strategy, performance marketing, retargeting and remarketing, branded content marketing, innovative technologies for improving brand engagement, advertising opportunities in online and social gaming, and video as a driver for user and advertiser engagement. These sessions made everybody realise that there is so much to discuss that attendees had to juggle between two rooms full of provoking thoughts and an ensemble of panellists that you cannot afford to miss. Ad:tech kept everybody on toes! 

The first panel discussion highlighted the importance of ideas and how to push the industry to invest in the ideas. The panel consisted of LK Gupta, CMO, LG Electronics India, Arun Sharma, VP Marketing- Head, Media & Rural, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Sanjay Ahuja, Director- Telecom & Media for India & SAARC, Avaya, Gaurav Seth, Sr. VP, Marketing & Communications, MAX, Rishi Kiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited and the Moderator, Harish Bahl, Founder & Chairman, Smile Group.

All the marketers when asked about their expectation from the medium and the agencies said that the foremost thing on their list is to reach and engage consumers in the most effective way. Gauging the interest of the viewers is the key and they now do not have to put enormous monies into doing all sorts of researches.

During the discussion Arun pointed out that “Do publishers understand the actual needs of the advertisers?” and on that Rishi reverted “The core objective of the marketers should be to actually believe in digital media and move ahead of being apologetic internally about the digital ads and discuss the scale with agency to look for more strategic goals.”

Marketers were of the opinion that money is not a problem but to experience a shift in the digital domain there are lack of path breaking ideas.

Marketers like Wasim Basir, Director, IMC, Coca Cola India & South West Asia, Atit Mehta, Country Media Manager, HUL, Nikhil Rungta, Country Marketing Head, Google India, Aditya Swamy, EVP & Business Head, MTV India and Ravi Kiran, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Friends of Ambition (moderator) constituted the second panel discussion about the brands being publishers today. Each one was of the opinion that Content is the currency of today and off course future. Quoting some of the best innovations on the digital platforms, where all these brands showed that how it is done. One thing that really surfaced during the conversation was that, how video is gaining popularity and putting a well fabricated content online as a video that can generate huge consumer awareness and engagement at the same time.

Underpinning the conviction in digital media, another highlight of the day was the Marketing Masters featuring experts from Yahoo!, IBM India, Ford India, Kotak Mahindra and Nokia among others. All these marketers showcased 25 min snap presentation explain their outlook of Digital media and the initiative they did to have a separate definition of this medium for them.

Arun Tadanki, MD Yahoo! India, moderated the session quite well, bringing out the best in these marketers by his questions after every presentation.

The first presentation was piloted by Viral Oza, MD Nokia, stating that Digital is a part of life and not a way of life. Talking about the challenges with traditional media Viral said “In traditional there is only one source of data per medium but digital gives you an opportunity to dissect it in any dimension you want.”

He further added that “give the people the tools and a story and they will tell your story.” Commenting on the Nokia’s mission to join the digital wagon, he said that “Nokia needs to change the perception of the people and that is our mission on the digital network.”

To take ahead the relay Karthi Marshan, EVP & Head, Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd joined the session by his simple yet effective approach to the entire discussion. He spoke about Chanakya, the first realised marketer in the Indian history to the modern age relevance of Sam Dham Dand Bhed. He laid great emphasis on innovation and not just following others. Describing his corporate website, he showed how a bit of innovation brought them huge success in terms of customer number and equity.

Three more marketers, Virginia Sharma, VP Marketing & Communication, India/South Asia, IBM India, Anurag Mehrotra, VP Marketing Ford India and Gaurav Kachru, CEO & Co-Founder dealsandyou.com, through their presentations gave few excellent examples of simply pulling off a basic idea with a ground breaking approach to build customer engagement and actually drive in sales.

The glass named ad:tech remained full till the end of the day, as the closing session was also equally awaited with Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman and Co- founder, comScore Inc, aboard. If its comScore then a lot of data sharing is binding and not beating the expectation even by an inch, Gian started off by providing the growth and prosperity rate of internet in India. According to him Asia Pacific is the largest region in terms of distribution of worldwide internet audience. He also stated that internet in India is skewed dramatically towards younger audiences. 75% of web users in India are under 35 years of age. 3 in 4 min on social networking sites are spent on Facebook, he said.

Ad:tech’s extensive format surely builds a great traction and the specially and creatively designed expo area also had a lot to offer this time. The day one ended with slotting in a lot of people, whether as audiences or panellists. Groups on both sides were seemed to be having a great time with their eyes set on today.