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Lessons and learnings from ad:tech New Delhi Part - 3
Lessons and learnings from ad:tech New Delhi Part - 3
By: Senthilkumar Rajappan

The day 2 at ad:tech was another day of learning and also involved great discussions on Social Commerce and presentations on metrics with special reference to Social Media. There was a track on Spotlight, one on Mobile marketing and ofcourse on Search too.

The first keynote of the day was that of Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media, Nestle.

Prior to his being on stage, we were treated to a wonderful walk through of the last day’s events and learnings and even a look at the exhibition area by our Brad Berens who incidentally has become a rage for his special Good Morning New Delhi! Some of the Twitteratii felt he was giving our very own Vidya Balan of Lage Raho Munnabhai a run for her money – viz her Good Morning Mumbai!

As Pete started the sheer statistics of Maggi being sold than 1.2 Billion packs became quite a rage, I saw that was unintended but when it was compared to Indian population as a number it was in the news. He also unveiled what Nestle was doing differently with regards to the digital and how corporate communication is also being run under digital it makes for interesting take out. As he rolled out his ideas on Small is the new big in digital marketing, he also made it a point to reiterate that basics still matter in digital and social.

The Digital and social media strategy at Nestle is based on excellence in listening, engaging and inspiring. Moreover he also said that Nestle plans its digital strategy on the local scale and makes it a success. The strength has been that of decentralizing the digital marketing programme and it has been able to deliver excellent results across.

They call it Brand Building the Nestle Way – BBNW.

As the screens are getting smaller or say our screens are shrinking, we need to think harder about simplifying our messaging and serving the consumer. He also said the whole process got to be social by design. It had to be 24/7 sense and respond a tactical way to be engaging a consumer.

When the screens get smaller it is also a big challenge to get the attention span to yourself. He shared one of the most important point on a successful mobile phone application - it has to provide rich content, excellent service and consumer focus. His keynote brought back some of the boring basics to be taken seriously, and more so because in digital its the basics which still matter.

In one of the game changing context he said ‘Think about a way to take your big ideas on other media to digital. Digital strategy for any brand should not be isolated.”

As he concluded he was on target when he said ‘shrink, serve and simplify, and yes its great time to be in Marketing’. I am sure everyone out there seconded this statement and yes Pete made a lasting impression to kick start the days’s proceedings in a way that was unique to Pete and the brand Nestle.

The next speaker was Satyan Gajwani, Director, New Media, The Times Group with his keynote on the evolution of content, commerce and entertainment in the digital world.

He took us on a journey of how the Times Group was instrumental in identifying the consumer connect and of late has been having a great effort fructify with Gaana.com being a part of FB apps. He also said that now everything has to go social it has to be inherent by design and we cannot have two different stand alone strategies even when its content. With the social media becoming all pervasive, any initiative in digital has to be Social by design and cannot be a plug-in anymore.

It was true that inspite of low internet speeds videos still command a large chunk of the broadband traffic. This was very true of cricket videos being closely followed during important matches – especially IPL.

IPL he said will have a greater impact this year because it will have a lot of engaging features.

Satyan also unveiled the new initiative of TIL in BoxTV.com an answer to Hulu in India. He said that Indians have a penchant for watching online videos and it is only increasing day by day. If we can get them socially engaged with the same, it will be a great way to go futuristic.

He also said that there was a relook in the ecommerce part of the service offering and it could even make people sit up and take notice in the days to come. A visually seamless and thought provoking presentation from Satyan, and the day has had its perfect start.

The session on Mobile marketing gave real insights on how they need to actually see the fit in the first place, apart from SMS to making it an engaging platform. The marketers needed more of innovative solutions to engage and also how we could make it happen with different screens and the need to have a solution cut across the platforms.

In the next presentation session we were treated to extensive use of mobile application on retail and in-store and extended location based advertising using mobile.

So the mobile with its ever increasing penetration especially with smart phones or even with blue tooth connectivity can make a lot of difference while being on the move or sometimes being in store. Lot of retail brands have experienced successful engagement opportunities with some of the service providers with blue tooth and some have used Augmentative Reality to awesome effect and results.

Days are not far when shopping will be socially relevant and will be happening on the move may be time targeted to the core so as to make it absolutely engaging experience. You could be asked for a choice to order from a menu as you pass by a restaurant around noon! Chances are, if you updated you are ‘hungry’ you could get a call from one of those people delivering pizza near you!

During the Spotlight session, we saw how Angels are making their contribution in a fast growing internet economy if I may say so, and their contributions in terms of engaging with the startups has raised the high stakes game to better VC funding for the companies.

That will change the complexion of the game in terms of more angels coming in and making it easier for VCs to identify and support such ventures.

We also had a discussion on B2B marketing strategies and we saw how B2B brands are leveraging the internet and making successful contributions to the marketing plan. The targeting capabilities are making it easier for the B2B marketers to use the power of internet and deliver value in terms of leads sometimes build brands among the most important users.

The afternoon sessions on Social and Search was a mix of wonderful panel discussion and a presentation session.

The Social going commerce or Social commerce in the times of Facebook and twitter and now the coming of Pinterest will surely make it easy for brands to sell. The interesting part is that the shopping has also gone social in a way to make for an interesting ideal context wherein the influencers are friends and sometimes friends of friends.

The last word on whether we would love to do shopping on Facebook has not been said as yet and I think we will wait here in India to see if the global leads will confirm the users would love to keep shopping social but not entirely do shopping on Facebook.

The social media metrics getting an upper hand with the engagement being given importance was the key take way during the presentation on Social media metrics and measurement. Likes on a brand page do not translate to engagement or social talking in real sense. So if a brand x can garner 1000 likes and has over 900 talking about it then the ration of engagement is far higher than having 10000 likes and 10 people talking about it. Ofcourse the metrics is also looking at how positive and negative the influences have been in the social media which are now Facebook, twitter, discussion forums etc.

On the other side of Search we could see that even search is going social, simply because we find lot of people in the social side of the internet.

We saw how a decision like buying a car from a search would eventually become social with so many Facebook comments to twitter updates to reviews will make it more social in the days to come, though of course the starting point would have been search.

A very busy day for conferencing with loads of take away value to implement and experiment.

The final part of the day was the penultimate Keynote from Microsoft by Richard Dunmall, VP, Global Accounts & Agencies, Microsoft Advertising, finally to be followed by Kent Wertime of O & M Japan.

Richard took us on a journey of exploring the future of storytelling. Story telling as I see it will not be interesting unless it engages the user and most importantly how they can make the right connect for the brands to see it.

With Kinect and other gaming technology it has become all pervasive to be a part of everyone’s lives and we could see all the technology waiting to tell us stories of ourselves and the brand in the days to come. He extensively spoke about how everyone’s a storyteller and how digital is enabling them to do that. The future is digitally connected with humans and interacting things being the message and the message if I am put it that way.

The best is the human endeavour of touch and feel is getting translated to a mass technology and it will change the way we interact in the near future making human experience all the more important.

It ‘s all about you and how that is going to be the central point around which we have to make all our stories happen with the right people, at the right time and at the right place.

We also had a glimpse of what Kinect could do to engage brands and most importantly the possibilities are endless.

The closing Keynote of ad:tech New Delhi was by Kent Wertime, President and Representative Director & Chief Operating Officer, Ogilvy & Mather (Japan) K. K. & Ogilvy Asia Pacific

He took us on why this is the age of digital and the marketing will be called digimarketing in the days to come and what’s in store for the future.

Simply put the marketing has shifted from the brands being the center to consumers being in the center of the communication. Content will be the key again and it will possibly the most important part for any brand to connect with its consumers.

You cannot discard social since it will be at the center again. How we value data will also make it important for the brands to engage and how well can we mine them to use for the predictive models to tracking personal habits will be the key.

Its also about managing the consumer trust, making us go back in time on the basic premise that trust is essential in any communication.

Those were absolutely wonderful way to put across some of the most important points to ponder when we think digital is all about so many creative ways and engagement, but the basics remains the same. Those are all abstract forms for example in trust and engagement being one and another after effect.

A class of a presentation from an industry veteran brought the curtains down on what was absolutely engaging event for the digital marketers in the country and what ad:tech across the world is all about.

So will see you all next ad:tech soon in March 2013 and before that don’t forget ad:tech Bangalore makes a debut in September…