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Lessons and learnings at ad:tech New Delhi 2012 - Part 2
Lessons and learnings at ad:tech New Delhi 2012 - Part 2
By: Senthilkumar Rajappan

The day One at ad:tech was the most anticipated one with the keynote by Shiv Singh, Global Head of Digital, Pepsico Beverages. The day started off with the customary inaugural with lamp being lit, followed by welcome remarks by Susan Mac Dermid, President of Digital Marketing Division dmg :: Events and Rammohan Sundaram, CEO & Founder Networkplay.

Mr. Suresh Reddy, Chairman & CEO of Ybrant Digital, (the Platinum Sponsor of the event) also spoke on this occasion. It was delightful to hear him say how some year back Indian brands have looked at ad:tech as a mere participant especially Ybrant and today have come a long way to sponsor one such event in India in all glory. Almost summarises the way digital will be in the near future. India will have a role to play with its ever increasing internet population which is engaging heavily on the net via mobile.

Mr. Shiv Singh took us on a journey of Real Time marketing on digital platform especially with the combination of Facebook and Twitter which has redefined the way brands have started talking to its consumers.

He took an example of how a tweet by Lady Gaga can be a great marketing tool which incidentally reaches over 16 million followers online. Now the way marketers have to plug in their brand communication is with the relevance of what is happening online and probably react or recreate a magic of the brand riding on some of the updates on Facebook and twitter. To me it looked as if those days of pitching in for a client and making a strategic analysis and presenting them are all going to be pre historic in this digital age. How well can we make use of social media in a sense that makes brands the center of conversation across the platforms will be a challenge that has to be met head on.

So Real Time marketing involves realtime insights, response, co-creating content, distribution and engagement. It calls for a multi tasking environment for brands to succeed in this age of digital, and when you say digital its not just the internet but even involves the television and also even the packaging and distribution. The biggest challenge he feels is not technology but the data we can gather on consumer behavior especially the data that focus on consumer preference, his location, style etc probably all the four Ps now will have to be spoken of in terms of the consumer instead of the product and brand, where he is and how he is engaging will probably be the in-thing for brands to associate with.

Most important weave social through all things and this will be the rule than an example in the coming days. And no campaign can be stand alone but will have platforms where all the brand associations will be shared and will be made into an engaging way forward for the brand.

Measurement is and will be an integral part of all these initiatives. And when we say measure, we clearly know where the engagement is from. He also spoke on Location based marketing and mobile marketing becoming the key in all future campaigns.

An absolutely engaging presentation with an eye on the future especially coming from a hip and trendy brand like Pepsi which thrives being connected to the young and happening audience.

Next was the keynote presentation by Arvind Rajan, MD - APAC & Japan, Linkedin. For us at Networkplay, its been a brand without which we would not have scaled the heights we are in today. LI gave enough insights into what is in store for the brands in terms of talking to a select and affluent set of audience.

Its no more about just jobs, its how the brands can make use of the professional network and place themselves in a position to get more followers for the brands. He also dwelt at length how brand pages on LinkedIn can be a one stop destination to handle its communication to the discerning followers on how its making itself more relevant professionally. It is also again the most important way to engage in real-time. The brands could use a number of tools to generate responses and also engage with them positively and he also cited a lot of examples where brands have exploited the professional networking to great effect.

To summarise, data is at the heart of any social network. It will be in brands interest to mine the data and engage with the consumer effectively and of course the time will be of essence.

An absolutely fantastic start to a great day, with two wonderful keynotes and the ball set rolling for the panels and presentations to come. The Marketing Masters, the Innovation track were planned in the afternoon before the final Keynote of the day.

The track on Brand Strategy looked at two different issues at hand – 1.How to leverage digital and 2. How the brands are now becoming publishers.

The Brand side on the panel was looking forward to spending more on digital and invariably has budgets which are now really numbers to reckon with brand marketers promising to hike it up if the publishers came with real metrics and engagement solutions. It was a cracker of a panel with brands and publishers and technology enablers giving their take on how to leverage digital to the max.

The second panel looked at how brands are telling stories with their own content. The final word on content story has not been said as yet. And when you have Coca Cola and MTV in the same panel it will be a session to watch out for. So today apart from mainstream publishers its also the brands which are creating content to a large extent and how! As much as a brand would love to talk about itself today it has become imperative to turn to the earned media to play the content owner in a way they have never done before.

The Marketing Masters had some of the most wonderful brands present their cases in digital and how they had been able to connect and engage in variety of platforms and end up adding to the bottomline. There were cases of interest from Kotak Mahindra Bank, to IBM to Ford which incidentally launched their Ford Fiesta entirely on digital. Also we had Nokia and dealsandyou making it a great set of presentations at the Marketing Masters. Interesting as it may seem the brands gave clear insights on how they have started thinking in digital right from the word go, while yesteryears the digital was an extension of the offline campaigns. It was very good news and most importantly the way forward for the betterment of the ecosystem.

The Innovation track also had presentations in three sets viz., on how technology can increase engagement with users and on how brands can gamify their brand experiences. It also had a session on how video is driving user engagement and advertiser engagement. Clear take away for brands to indulge in technology and games and the next biggest inventory available as yet the video.

The day ended with the third Keynote and the final one for the day by Gian Fulgoni, Chairman and Co-Founder, comScore.

Gian had everyone listening to his magic of numbers and also unveiled some of the most important learning from digital especially with reference to the Indian Internet ecosystem.

Some of the notable points during his keynote included:

US was no longer the centre of the online universe. In 2011, US internet population versus the Rest of the World internet population was a 13 percent vs. 87 percent

Asia continues significant growth in the size of internet audience. Growth has slowed in North America and the European growth is mostly driven by Russia.

Indian internet users are much younger than global average. 75 percent of audience is under 35 years compared to 52 percent of the world and 55 percent of the region and India’s internet usage is relatively low compared to similarly sized countries

Young people drive internet consumption in India today, suggesting future overall usage will rise dramatically. India’s heaviest internet users are in the age group of 26 to 34 years.

He also made it a point to see things beyond just clicks and may be that will be a mindset that will revolutionise the industry

Great insights and makes it all the more interesting because India was central to all these data points. For me personally the way he presented for once I started to love the numbers. Probably the way the masters have a way with words.

A great day of learning at ad:tech New Delhi ended with a wonderful keynote.

Watch this space to know what happened on day 2 in the third part of the article.