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C irca 1941. The year when the first TV com- mercial – the first legal one – was aired in the US. It was a shaky, 10-second spot for Bulova, a watch and jewelry company. The commercial only reached, at best, a few thousand people: Only 4,000 TV sets had been installed in New York at that time. Imagine being a marketer in the 40s. Your entire model for connecting with captive audience tuned into screens in their living rooms is evolving for the first time. The implications and opportunities are plenty. You know it. To be able to deliver sound and motion together seems more than exciting. And you need new techniques that would help you position your brand. As you pioneer your way to witness a change in the relationship between people and technology, you get your head around the subsequent implications for marketing. The introduction of TV ads was an epic shift in mar- keting and each such shift has brought the consumer closer to the brand. There have been a few of these in the history of modern marketing. But today, the emer- gence of the Internet is the biggest. Seizing consum- ers and companies alike, the next big thing has already crashed into our lives. It has become our lifestyle. This time the catalyst isn’t a TV screen or a computer screen. It’s constant connectivity. This metamorphosis is even more monumental than any other to date. Its impact on consumers is more massive, and the rich- ness of business possibilities, more thrilling for brands. Our collective movement from online sessions to online lives has repercussions that truly open up the possibilities for connecting with consumers in mean- ingful ways. Consumers and businesses are able to interact in this ‘connected’ landscape that encourages the sharing of users’ information in a safe, valuable way. Seamless connectivity has exposed marketers to exceptional consumer moments and the need to con- nect with people in real-time. That alchemy is a mar- keting gold mine. The key for brands is to understand their value propo- sition for different consumer moments. How a brand aligns their messaging for each moment ensures whether consumers are having engaging experiences. Ten years ago, the best way to grab a consumer’s at- tention was to come up with a memorable TV com- mercial, design an eye-catching ad and maybe, if a marketer was feeling tech-savvy, run a banner ad. Today, everything has changed. While marketers con- tinue to hone their social strategies and experiment with big data, the future poses its own hurdles, as businesses concentrate their efforts on unifying user experiences, and knowing their customers in even deeper, more actionable ways. Marketing strategies are fundamentally about getting closer to the customer. To do this, you need to under- stand them. What are they looking for? When? What information do they have already? What’s their state of mind? Whether a consumer is shopping for grocery, movie tickets or a honeymoon in Goa, there is a drastic change in the purchase decision process. Consumers no longer see a distinction between on- line and offline shopping. Innovative marketers are embracing this new reality and using digital to extend their brand strategies. Every consumer wants to be immersed in interesting brand experiences before deciding to engage with it and companies are quickly learning how to use that to their advantage. But to succeed, it has to be done well. Are you ‘immersing’ your consumer well? I n 1971, an advertising creative named Bill Backer had a forced layover at an airport where he saw previously irate passengers laughing and sharing stories while drinking Coca Cola. That gave him the idea to see Coke not as it was originally designed to be, a liquid refresher, but as a source of com- monality between people, a universally liked formula that would help to keep them company for a few minutes. Thus was born the iconic Coca Cola Hilltop ad. For generations, the art of advertising, at its most celebrated, involved telling the brand story to the selected audience using the appropriate media. Done well, this worked brilliantly. As every marketer knows, stories are hardwired in our brain, and stories can evoke emotion and inspire action. Advertising became all about the big idea and a well- executed media plan. When we think of what we now call “digital”, two things have changed in this story-medium-audience model. Obviously, the medium has changed. Today, we consume content through phones, tablets, interactive displays, watches, glasses, and God-knows- what-next. These media not only allow for more interactivity, but also give the consumer unprecedented powers to reject, add to, or endorse the narrative. Perhaps less visibly but undoubtedly, these technologies have changed us, the audience. We have become more vocal, more empowered and more connected. We have less patience, shorter attention spans, and higher expectations. We refuse to listen. We demand to be heard. So even though your narrative may have remained the same, changes in the medium and in the audience mindset have turned brand storytelling on its head. As consumers reject the notion of being subjected to unidirectional storytelling, expressing their dissatisfaction at twitter-speed, brands are struggling to find the right agency partner that can cut through the noise and help them connect with their customers and sell their products. This opportunity has been seized by many “fully integrated”, “multi- dimensional”, “agile marketing” agencies who promise to create “immersive experiences” on the “second screen” by serving “snackable content” through “contextual marketing” enriched by “big data” and “gamification”. When they are not doing “custom activation” through “native advertising”, that is. The unfortunate reality is that when you think you’re losing out, all those buzzwords seemingly make perfect sense. Yet, brands are none the wiser on what is to be done, or how to get the most of their agency relationships. Let me offer three areas where marketers need to expect differently of their agency partners today. Don’t tell your story, allow the story to be inferred People connect with brands and brands connect with people through both emotional connections, where they share values, and through experiential connections, where there’s some sort of behavioral interaction. By asking your agency to use stories to design emotional and transactional experiences for customers, both online and offline, you can make sure that each connection inspires engagement with another. Whether your consumers are experiencing your story in advertising, social conversations or clicking the “Buy” button, your brand will become a part of the customer’s story, shared with greater authenticity and vigor. Remember, a story lived is better than a story told. Move away from campaigns to continuous engagement Campaign-focused thinking is at odds with how consumers experience brands today, and the always-on engagement that they seek. The traditional approach of advertising output has been the big idea and how it plays out across media. Marketing to today’s consumer requires multiple small ideas – each of which is context-aware as it plays out on a different platform, but all of which are connected around one organizing principle. Ask your agency to demonstrate the ability to think across the ecosystem of customer experiences, and the creative agility to come up with specific ideas that take advantage of native capabilities of each platform. Stop one-time content; sustain a conversation Being a connected brand means being present when your consumers are talking and interacting with you. For brands to do this well requires authenticity and a shift from creating great one-time content to sustaining a conversation. The emphasis should be on providing value and a level of utility to the customer. This requires a spirit of giving without an immediate expectation of return. Check if your agency can make the shift in perspective – agencies have been traditionally focused on short- term shifts in audience behaviors. In the ongoing cacophony of buzzwords and theories, many marketers either freeze and don’t do enough, or give in to the lure of the latest trend and sustain the illusion of action. You need to expect more of your agency. Don’t get impressed by your agency’s knowledge of tools and techniques. Instead demand that they explain how the storytelling for your brand needs to evolve for your consumers. Now is a good time to have a chat with your agency. - Rajdeep Endow is the Managing Director of SapientNitro, India and leads SapientNitro’s business growth, strategy and brand in the country. He is on twitter @endowscopy. From online sessions to online lives Why you need to have a chat with your agency MANISH KALRA, DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED MARKETING, AMAZON INDIA Marketers who are connecting with people in specific, real-life moments that matter are able to stay ahead in this competition for attention. Top 3 changes in the way marketing has evolved and how the role of a marketer has changed Prevalence of tech- nology and the ability to measure consum- er response immedi- ately has made mar- keting highly effi- cient, ROI-oriented more effective. Marketers are much more empowered these days, as they are able to measure the impact of their campaigns at a granular level, and this in turn, enables them to experiment, innovate and design messaging strategies that customers are able to correlate to effectively. Marketing is no longer a one-way street; now you can talk to customers and get their reactions real-time. With the advent of so- cial media and other online mechanisms, you are able to co-create messages and products with the relevant consumer inputs. How CMOs think about creating customer ex- periences and connect them to brand story While technology has given rise to different ways in reaching out to consumers through traditional as well as new-age media platforms, the basics of marketing still remain constant! You have to work backwards from the customers, and ad- dress their pain-points and bridge the need- gaps. Your brand should be able to tell a story that the customer will feel connected to, and in a manner that is simple to understand and rel- evant. It’s about being a part of their lives at the right time and at the right place. Biggest changes in customer expectations and how brands stay relevant for today’s consumers Customers are demanding and need person- alized services, and as long as you are able to give them customized solutions that address their needs within the least possible time, they will like you. You need to stay ahead of them to foresee their needs and think like them, as that would enable you to talk to them in a personal- ized manner. What agencies need to do better to help the CMO in this changing world Agencies need to stay ahead of the curve and de- velop skill sets that will help the marketers talk to customers across channels. The biggest gap in the agency ecosystem currently is that people do not have an integrated view of the media land- scape. There are either online agencies or offline agencies, but there is no integrated agency in India currently. Advice for the new-age CMO Use technology to your advantage! Many CMOs still feel alienated from digital marketing and do not make it a part of the essential media mix. Usually, it’s treated like one of the things that will get a small part of the budget and someone will manage. They must realize that they need to reach the customer in his day-to-day activi- ties, and digital gives you the chance to achieve the same in a non-intrusive manner! Custom- ers today are spending much more time online and marketers thus need to build an integrated 360-degree approach to their marketing plans to make them effective! MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE There is no integrated agency in India currently
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Marketing, Disrupted

Apr 05, 2016

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A collection of viewpoints from marketers and SapientNitro, on the disruption occurring in the world of marketing.
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  • Circa 1941. The year when the first TV com-mercial the first legal one was aired in the US. It was a shaky, 10-second spot for Bulova, a watch and jewelry company. The commercial only reached, at best, a few thousand people: Only 4,000 TV sets had been installed in New York at that time.Imagine being a marketer in the 40s. Your entire model for connecting with captive audience tuned into screens in their living rooms is evolving for the first time. The implications and opportunities are plenty.

    You know it. To be able to deliver sound and motion together seems more than exciting. And you need new techniques that would help you position your brand. As you pioneer your way to witness a change in the relationship between people and technology, you get your head around the subsequent implications for marketing. The introduction of TV ads was an epic shift in mar-keting and each such shift has brought the consumer closer to the brand. There have been a few of these in

    the history of modern marketing. But today, the emer-gence of the Internet is the biggest. Seizing consum-ers and companies alike, the next big thing has already crashed into our lives. It has become our lifestyle. This time the catalyst isnt a TV screen or a computer screen. Its constant connectivity. This metamorphosis is even more monumental than any other to date. Its impact on consumers is more massive, and the rich-ness of business possibilities, more thrilling for brands. Our collective movement from online sessions to online lives has repercussions that truly open up the possibilities for connecting with consumers in mean-ingful ways. Consumers and businesses are able to interact in this connected landscape that encourages the sharing of users information in a safe, valuable way. Seamless connectivity has exposed marketers to

    exceptional consumer moments and the need to con-nect with people in real-time. That alchemy is a mar-keting gold mine.The key for brands is to understand their value propo-sition for different consumer moments. How a brand aligns their messaging for each moment ensures whether consumers are having engaging experiences. Ten years ago, the best way to grab a consumers at-tention was to come up with a memorable TV com-mercial, design an eye-catching ad and maybe, if a marketer was feeling tech-savvy, run a banner ad. Today, everything has changed. While marketers con-tinue to hone their social strategies and experiment with big data, the future poses its own hurdles, as businesses concentrate their efforts on unifying user experiences, and knowing their customers in even deeper, more actionable ways.Marketing strategies are fundamentally about getting closer to the customer. To do this, you need to under-stand them. What are they looking for? When? What information do they have already? Whats their state of mind? Whether a consumer is shopping for grocery, movie tickets or a honeymoon in Goa, there is a drastic change in the purchase decision process. Consumers no longer see a distinction between on-line and offline shopping. Innovative marketers are embracing this new reality and using digital to extend their brand strategies. Every consumer wants to be immersed in interesting brand experiences before deciding to engage with it and companies are quickly learning how to use that to their advantage. But to succeed, it has to be done well. Are you immersing your consumer well?

    In 1971, an advertising creative named Bill Backer had a forced layover at an airport where he saw previously irate passengers laughing and sharing stories while drinking Coca Cola. That gave him the idea to see Coke not as it was originally designed to be, a liquid refresher, but as a source of com-monality between people, a universally liked formula that would help to keep them company for a few minutes. Thus was born the iconic Coca Cola Hilltop ad.For generations, the art of advertising, at its most celebrated, involved telling the brand story to the selected audience using the appropriate media. Done well, this worked brilliantly. As every marketer knows, stories are hardwired in our brain, and stories can evoke emotion and inspire action. Advertising became all about the big idea and a well-executed media plan.When we think of what we now call digital, two things have changed in this

    story-medium-audience model. Obviously, the medium has changed. Today, we consume content through phones, tablets, interactive displays, watches, glasses, and God-knows-what-next. These media not only allow for more interactivity, but also give the consumer unprecedented powers to reject, add to, or endorse the narrative. Perhaps less visibly but undoubtedly, these technologies have changed us, the audience. We have become more vocal, more empowered and more connected. We have less patience, shorter attention spans, and higher expectations. We refuse to listen. We demand to be heard. So even though your narrative may have remained the same, changes in the medium and in the audience mindset have turned brand storytelling on its head. As consumers reject the notion of being subjected to unidirectional storytelling, expressing their dissatisfaction at twitter-speed, brands are struggling to find the right agency partner that can cut through the noise and help them connect with their customers and sell their products. This opportunity has been seized by many fully integrated, multi-dimensional, agile marketing agencies who promise to create immersive experiences on the second screen by serving snackable content through contextual marketing enriched by big data and gamification. When they are not doing custom activation through native advertising, that is.The unfortunate reality is that when you think youre losing out, all those buzzwords seemingly make perfect

    sense. Yet, brands are none the wiser on what is to be done, or how to get the most of their agency relationships. Let me offer three areas where marketers need to expect differently of their agency partners today.

    Dont tell your story, allow the story to be inferredPeople connect with brands and brands connect with people through both emotional connections, where they share values, and through experiential connections, where theres some sort of behavioral interaction. By asking your agency to use stories to design emotional and transactional experiences for customers, both online and offline, you can make sure that each connection inspires engagement with another. Whether your consumers are experiencing your story in advertising, social conversations or clicking the Buy button, your brand will become a part of the customers story, shared with greater authenticity and vigor. Remember, a story lived is better than a story told.

    Move away from campaigns to continuous engagementCampaign-focused thinking is at odds with how consumers experience brands today, and the always-on engagement that they seek. The traditional approach of advertising output has been the big idea and how it plays out across media. Marketing to todays consumer requires multiple small ideas each of which is context-aware as it plays out on a different platform, but all

    of which are connected around one organizing principle. Ask your agency to demonstrate the ability to think across the ecosystem of customer experiences, and the creative agility to come up with specific ideas that take advantage of native capabilities of each platform.

    Stop one-time content; sustain a conversationBeing a connected brand means being present when your consumers are talking and interacting with you. For brands to do this well requires authenticity and a shift from creating great one-time content to sustaining a conversation. The emphasis should be on providing value and a level of utility to the customer. This requires a spirit of giving without an immediate expectation of return. Check if your agency can make the shift in perspective agencies have been traditionally focused on short-term shifts in audience behaviors.In the ongoing cacophony of buzzwords and theories, many marketers either freeze and dont do enough, or give in to the lure of the latest trend and sustain the illusion of action. You need to expect more of your agency. Dont get impressed by your agencys knowledge of tools and techniques. Instead demand that they explain how the storytelling for your brand needs to evolve for your consumers.Now is a good time to have a chat with your agency.- Rajdeep Endow is the Managing Director of SapientNitro, India and leads SapientNitros business growth, strategy and brand in the country. He is on twitter @endowscopy.

    From online sessions to online lives

    Why you need to have a chat with your agency

    MANISH KALRA, DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED MARKETING, AMAZON INDIA

    Marketers who are connecting with people in specific, real-life moments that matter are able to stay ahead in this competition for attention.

    Top 3 changes in the way marketing has evolved and how the role of a marketer has changedPrevalence of tech-nology and the ability to measure consum-er response immedi-ately has made mar-keting highly effi-cient, ROI-oriented more effective. Marketers are much more empowered these days, as they are able to measure the impact of their campaigns at a granular level, and this in turn, enables them to experiment, innovate and design messaging strategies that customers are able to correlate to effectively. Marketing is no longer a one-way street; now you can talk to customers and get their reactions real-time. With the advent of so-cial media and other online mechanisms, you are able to co-create messages and products with the relevant consumer inputs. How CMOs think about creating customer ex-periences and connect them to brand storyWhile technology has given rise to different ways in reaching out to consumers through traditional as well as new-age media platforms, the basics of marketing still remain constant! You have to work backwards from the customers, and ad-dress their pain-points and bridge the need-gaps. Your brand should be able to tell a story that the customer will feel connected to, and in a manner that is simple to understand and rel-evant. Its about being a part of their lives at the right time and at the right place.

    Biggest changes in customer expectations and how brands stay relevant for todays consumersCustomers are demanding and need person-alized services, and as long as you are able to give them customized solutions that address their needs within the least possible time, they will like you. You need to stay ahead of them to foresee their needs and think like them, as that would enable you to talk to them in a personal-ized manner.

    What agencies need to do better to help the CMO in this changing worldAgencies need to stay ahead of the curve and de-velop skill sets that will help the marketers talk to customers across channels. The biggest gap in the agency ecosystem currently is that people do not have an integrated view of the media land-scape. There are either online agencies or offline agencies, but there is no integrated agency in India currently.

    Advice for the new-age CMOUse technology to your advantage! Many CMOs still feel alienated from digital marketing and do not make it a part of the essential media mix. Usually, its treated like one of the things that will get a small part of the budget and someone will manage. They must realize that they need to reach the customer in his day-to-day activi-ties, and digital gives you the chance to achieve the same in a non-intrusive manner! Custom-ers today are spending much more time online and marketers thus need to build an integrated 360-degree approach to their marketing plans to make them effective!

    MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE

    There is no integrated agency in India currently

  • Lets explore how a story system of experiences in-spired epic vacations in the Sunshine State of USA.The Challenge: Since Ponce de Leon first set foot on Floridas sandy shores in 1513, millions of travelers have flocked there, making it the No. 1 tourism destination in America. Yet, VISIT FLORIDA had even loftier goals: to make Florida the No. 1 tourism destination in the world setting out to boost annual visits to a whopping 100 million, along the way. But Florida faced a challenge. While millions like the idea of exploring everything from its breathtaking beaches to thrilling theme parks, the states diversity got in the way of a clear and desirable positioning. The Sunshine State was finding it difficult to connect with, and inspire new adventurers. Combining brand purpose with human experience: A unifying emotional connection was found in the brand purpose: To brighten the lives of all. As Florida celebrated the 500th anniversary of its first tourist, VISIT FLORIDA invited new age explorers to share their own treasured memories on the new VISITFLORIDA.com website. An interactive, and continuous scrapbook of never-ending Florida stories took shape. The Organizing Idea: A compelling organizing idea MAKE IT EPIC inspired stories about families and their epic vacations. Then, to inspire other families to book their truly epic vacations, a system for sharing epic vacation stories and building customized epic vacation itineraries was created.

    The Storyscape: A System of Epic Experiences Amazing Florida stories share a common characteristic - an unexpected transformative experience that is hard to explain. Theres no real reason how or why it happens. It Must be the Sunshine, as our tagline says. The Epic family story captivates the imagination with countless Must be the Sunshine expressions, from tales of exhausted kids and jubilant parents - all experiences that inspire connection. Driving Participation through Purpose: No matter where a consumer is in the VISIT FLORIDA journey, each connection allows participants to create their own story, and each experience brightens the next encouraging them to plan, book, and share their own epic family adventure. What can the sunshine do for you? Epic Breaking Results: One month, post the launch:t%PVCMFEJHJUHSPXUIJOTJUFUSBGmDt .BSLJOH UIF NPTU USBGmDLFE NPOUI JO 7*4*5FLORIDA history

    VISIT FLORIDA Testimonials: Unlike other destinations, we dont have to invent narratives. People are telling great Florida vacation stories all the time. SapientNitros campaign capitalizes on that insight.

    Senior Executive, VISIT FLORIDAOur family campaign is so emotional it makes me wish I had children.

    Board Member, VISIT FLORIDAFor details log onto: http://www.visitflorida.com/

    We live in an always-on world, which has redefined consumer behavior and unhinged the effectiveness of traditional marketing approaches. Its time for brands to engage the new-age consumer with powerful, engaging and unforgettable experiences. Starting now. Never ending. Read on to discover how.

    Ads to Worlds

    Tihe success of Kaan Khajura Teshan, the innovative rural mobile marketing initiative by HUL is an indication of things to come. As is that of Coca Colas unique Small World Machines digital initiative which set out to break down bar-riers and create a simple moment of con-nection between India and Pakistan.

    Change is in the air. Change is in the way we interact, consume, protest, par-ticipate and much more. Across the world, certainly, but very definitely in India too with 65% of Indias population is aged

    35 or under, a population easily defined as aspirational and the impatient. The mo-bile phone has become the primary source of entertainment and connectivity in most parts of the country, providing easier ac-cess to content than the television set or cinema halls, while the rapid uptake of digital and social platforms, is provid-ing new ways to consume entertainment, interact and purchase. India is no longer restricted to a single screen. Change is just

    a click away. So, if one is a brand that aims to sell or

    talk to this demographic in the future, the only way to do it is to meet them on their own terms. Ad spots on Sunday morning family TV time between sonorous epics are gone. These things dont talk TO ME. I mean really TALK to me, said a youth I met recently.

    So what should brands do? There is no loyalty and no time to build laborious brand relationships. Marketers, technolo-gists and corporate leaders are searching

    for ways to more effectively connect con-sumers with their brands.

    First and foremost, brands need to move beyond transactional communica-tion and start working on building an emo-tional connection. Brands need to connect with consumers across the physical space, virtual space and emotional space.

    The question is how? Enter: Storyscap-ing.

    Storyscaping is an approach to connect

    brands with consumers, recognizing that real connections can only be built through shared values and shared experiences and forged through shared stories.

    Consider the Experience Space as the context in which the brand can better understand and service consumer needs, thereby creating a useful and purposeful role for the brand in consumers lives. Do-ing so provides both emotional value and experience value. Think of it as the space in which a brand will create a world for immersive experiences.

    Traditionally, marketers would look for rational product benefits and then tie them to some emotional benefits. Today, the smarter companies have discovered and now operate on a brand purpose, the brands cause or belief. Brands need to un-derstand that consumers have functional and rational needs, such as to have clean clothes and also emotional needs or de-sires, such as to be a good mother. While functional needs drive consumer behavior, the fulfilment of emotional desires makes the consumer feel good or better. In real-ity, these are inextricably linked and un-derstanding these shared connections is the key to the foundation of Storyscaping. When a brand thinks, acts and shares from its purpose, it will connect with the

    consumers emotional desires through the establishment of shared values.

    But technology innovation must be ap-plied to creative imagination to make this happen. Take for example the launch of New Axe MatteEffect, a premium Hair Styling Line under the Axe Platinum Se-ries, which was a more evolved, more re-fined, more grown-up version of the AXE brand that people know and have come to love. A brand primarily associated with bros, bikinis and body spray, the challenge for Axe was to enter the slightly more so-phisticated category of mens styling - the booming premium mens hair products. With the AXE Matte Effect line, AXE want-ed to keep younger customers by gradu-ating them to a premium AXE product and attract guys already in the premium market. Merging hairstyle and lifestyle, the brand was built around the Matte Man and his motto: Less effort. More style. Through fun interactive content, the brand provides entertaining life advice, style tu-torials and more for a unified experience across web, print, in-store and mobile. It has been positioned for success with an engaging premium world, allowing the brand to keep engaging with existing cus-tomers and connect with an entirely new audience.

    Some brands are great at connecting emotionally with story, whereas others de-liver great products and build environments and things for great experiences. The mar-keters goal should be to create a world for both, where shared stories exist as a Sto-ryscape. It is no longer about the big idea but about the organizing idea which can straddle across channels and platforms to provide the same brand experience.

    Today, when real is virtual and online is offline, businesses need to change their approach to use their marketing dollars to provide consumers the experiences they crave for. The sooner brands and market-ers realize this and start investing in this thinking, the more rapid their success.

    K V Sridhar is the Chief Creative Officer at SapientNitro, India

    CREATING WORLDS, NOT ADS

    Staying true to the brand promise of global brands when markets are diverse globally as well as region-ally with different levels of digital accessThere are obvious challenges, in dealing with di-verse markets, globally and regionally, especially when a brand exists and lives in the digital space. Digital access, quality of access, device and plat-form penetration, savviness and social behavior all differ from country to country. What makes market-ing even more challenging is the usage sophistica-tion and technology adoption curve. One could also add cultural differences to this list.By definition, a truly global brand necessarily feeds off an enduring human need. Think of all the suc-cessful global brands around us - they bring some-thing that is quite personal, irrespective of who we are, where we live and where we come from. Great brands surprise us with their ability to customize and yet they have an underlying sense of familiar-ity. Having said that, it is unlikely that the promise of a global brand will change. It could, however, customize.

    ROI in delivering a consistent brand experience across platforms vs. a silo-ed approachWhen brands exist in our lives, they exist within a memory box that triggers usage occasion, thoughts, images, feelings and a personal-ity. When a brand can retain its identity and its personality across platforms, it becomes stronger and more entrenched. Add to that, the way we en-gage with mediums often pre-defines our needs and defines a fuzzy but defini-tive role for every medium (TV in the living room is un-likely to play the same role as the Mobile phone on the

    go). So, ROI is a no-brainer.

    30 seconds spot vs. a connected narrative across platformsA connected narrative is essential for a brand, of which a 30 second spot is a part. That means the 30-second spot is still important and requires its own level of thinking to maximize impact, just as much as the 140 character message. Maximize each message and each medium. Importantly, maximize the brand campaign.

    Key considerations for marketer to consider while telling the brand story through the digital mediumCustomers today are spoilt for choice and starved of time. In their hyper busy, on-the- go lives - theyre looking for real solutions and engaging conversa-tions. Pushing advertising down their throat is not even a remote possibility. Digital (which is actually many different things at many different times in their lives) is a very personal domain that brands have to earn their place in. Here are some thought starters:- If its just an ad it probably wont work. Which is the last ad anyone remembers seeing on the Inter-net? An idea that got you startedmore chance of making it.- Are you being true to the brands personality?- Are you contextually relevant to the environment and audience? Or are you just generating eyeballs.- Is it potentially interactive?

    - Have you done enough to get the person to press like/share/RT?

    - Are you committed to staying en-gaged?

    MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE

    A TRULY GLOBAL BRAND NECESSARILY FEEDS OFF AN ENDURING HUMAN NEEDCelebrating the Sunshine State through the Power of Shared Stories

    VISIT FLORIDA: A Storyscape

    RAMEET ARORA, Chief Marketing Officer, Zomato

    STORYSCAPING IS AN APPROACH TO CONNECT BRANDS WITH CONSUMERS, RECOGNIZING THAT REAL CONNECTIONS CAN ONLY BE BUILT THROUGH SHARED VALUES AND SHARED EXPERIENCES AND FORGED THROUGH SHARED STORIES.

  • We live in an always-on world, which has redefined consumer behavior and unhinged the effectiveness of traditional marketing approaches. Its time for brands to engage the new-age consumer with powerful, engaging and unforgettable experiences. Starting now. Never ending. Read on to discover how.

    Desire, Power, Access: The Journey

    A friend of mine, who someone dubbed as the philosopher of malls, once noted that in socialism the body politic, the collective society, disci-plines the individual. The first signs of break-down come from desire, the immediacy and diversity of need, where the individual breaks away from the body politic. This he said was precisely what happened in India where a new generation had no memory of ration card scarcity, of deferred gratification. Desire can overwhelm or reshape discipline and the individual becomes sign, symbol and symptom of this new revelation. He claimed that we should classify the indi-vidual, his needs, his desires, and his physi-cality because the body and its manifestation represent the cartography of desire. Touch, taste, smell, sight get liberated and each be-comes a powerful dialect of its own. Once

    the sensorium explodes, choice becomes fundamental. The search for the very differ-ent is obsessive, Like Maggi sauce, every con-sumer wants to be different. Variety becomes fundamental so even a packet of noodles speaks in a million dialects.Desire always meets discipline in a dialecti-cal way, speed combines with slowness. The six pack body and the beauty contest realize that VLCC, the gymnasium, the akhada all speak the language of the fit body. Excess in ordinary life is frowned upon. The new sages are from gymnasiums, and adventure clubs, but there is little sense of the ascetic. Conspicuous consumption, combining modernity and tradition, status and mobil-ity becomes important. A whole array of new mentors and experts of the body, gym, health club and nutritionist do for the body what religious cults did for the mind or soul.

    The techniques of the body cult and of spiri-tual culture are not different and both see salvation or success in the new forms of technology. Technology is seen as a form of competence, a badge of globalization. Today consumption overwhelms production in de-fining identity. Consumption of perfumes, food, books, shoes, clothes needs a new lit-eracy and brands precede the new tutelary structure. Sales become important because sales discounts and imitations allow for a

    new literacy. Janpath and other pavement stalls are full of Gucci bags not as an act of imitation or piracy but as an imitation pass-port into a global world. Without informa-tion, desire cannot reinvent the city. Watch a saloon, a haircutting shop, a pan wala to un-derstand the new literacy around products. The cities are outer envelopes for the desir-ing body. They are concretely urban, where every nukkad, chaidabha, pan shop elabo-rates a desiring machine. To the concrete city, we add the downloaded city where de-sire is now not about neighbors envy but about global lineage and connectivity. Mere locality is insufficient for desire, which is why every Indian has a double, a second life in London or USA. In a consumer society, education, health, become commodities, re-worked as well being. The student or patient sees himself as client, or a customer, and of-

    ten treats the teacher or doctor in a new way. Paisa vasool is a more aggressive attitude where all of the society becomes a catering or service society. Information devalues all knowledge institutions and the school and University are now valued for mobility and status not for the content of knowledge provided. The relation between cosmetics, tonics, medicines, hygiene, disappears as medicine is reworked as a continuous turf of the body. Similarly bookshops unless second hand, will combine stationery, knick knacks, greeting cards, books, to create a different ambience. The future thus becomes supple and open ended, oddly even when the econ-omy is showing little signs of improvement.- Prof. Shiv Visvanathan is an Indian public intellectual and social scientist best known for his contributions to developing the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS).

    DESIRE AND THE FUTURE

    I met Raj on a trip to Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Kerala. As our for-est guide he was to be our eyes and ears in the elusive jungles of Periyar. As he rowed us deep into the Periyar Lake we came across a waterfall that I tried to capture on my DSLR. Even after many attempts I wasnt satisfied with the re-sults. Thats when Raj offered help. Minutes later I was gaping at poster-quality shots that seemed straight out of a Nat-Geo magazine! I learnt that Raj had acquired his skill on cameras borrowed from friendly cli-ents like me. Further, he would request these clients to add him on Facebook, post the pics shot by him and tag those in his name! This way he could build an impressive FB page and a friend list that included wildlife enthusiasts, trek-kers and photographers from across the world. Technology had become his window to the world and had given a new meaning to his life.

    Digital in India Ubiquity with skep-ticismRajs story puts to rest the often ex-pressed doubt Has Digital really arrived for the 1.2 billion Indians? But one may still dismiss it as an aberration if one were to pose the next question Is Digital doing us any good? Train jour-neys are no more about chit-chats and befriending strangers but about oblivi-ous commuters lost in their own worlds through their gadgets. Birthdays may at-tract virtual wishes but phone calls and personal visits have reduced drastically. Digital has ushered the age of narcissism where we take up photography with the intent of clicking selfies. Likes and retweets have become the currencies of this transactional world. They symbolize

    our passivity and absolve us of our guilt at the click of a button.Just like humans, most brands too cant think of digital being anything more than a platform to express self-love. Digital strategy is yet another tactic to ensure ruthless presence wherever-the-TG-goes. Brands intrude, talk inces-santly about themselves and then wait impatiently for a downpour of Likes, which, even if it happens, doesnt trans-late into much.

    So, whats the missing piece in our understanding of this enigma called digital?For a moment, consider the most sig-nificant events that have galvanized In-dians by leveraging digital. Anna Haz-ares anti-corruption crusade, political activism for BJP and AAP, Mumbais sophisticated hunt to nab serial eve-teasers or the latest support for Kash-mir floods... The thing common about all these phenomena is their ability to impart a meaning to our everyday-ness and help us belong to something larger and worthwhile.

    The opportunity to Walk the Talk For India, the digital age coincides with the unprecedented rise in cynicism and mistrust. Till even a decade back mere advertising could make a brand sound credible. The popular notion being, if its being advertised, it must be good. Today, the worth of ads is not much beyond its entertainment value. Ads are consumed as rhetoric and promise statements are re-garded as poetry. Amidst such a scenario, digital can enable a larger role for brands.Unlike the traditional mediums that are mere pipelines to deliver a message, the digital space is a Verb. Its a place to do and act. It gives brand a chance to co-create meaningful experiences for their customers to live what they have professed so far. It can help them make the much overdue departure from Sto-rytelling to Storyscaping - replacing the grossness of words with the subtlety and realness of experiences. Thankfully, a handful of brands are getting it. Take Harley Davidsons ex-ample it uses digital to start conversa-tions about tattoo, promote content on bike modification and fixing the Harley brotherhoods communion. By doing this, the brand transcends its physicality and becomes an enthralling story thats lived together. In India, brands like Tata Tea, HT Media and Saffola have done some bold work in this direction. The choice finally rests on us. We can continue to debate digital in the most pri-mordial terms of reach and awareness; we can continue with the narcissism of posting selfies (our ads) and counting likes. Or we can show the maturity to co-create acts and real connections that can help both consumers and brands find meaning and acceptance the ultimate purpose of all human actions.

    MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE

    GIVING DIGITAL A HUMAN HEARTINTERNET AND ITS UNLIKELY CANDIDATESOM SHANKAR

    Octogenarian, Vipassana meditation teacher and technology enthusiast who still teaches a bunch of 200+, one-on-one!The one thing that the Internet has helped me achieveThough I hardly leave my house because of old age, this handicap doesnt

    limit me from being in touch with my friends, family and students who are spread across the world.

    Latest significant thing I did on the Internet?Conducted doubt-clearing sessions for practitioners of Vipassana on the internetYour recent buy, and who influenced it?I have recently bought the MI3 phone from Xiaomi after comparing reviews online. Its at par with a Nexus 5, but at half the price! I get my information from the Washington Times and gadget websites that I visit online regularly.Branded to you meansReliability when you dont have time to do research yourself.

    HONEY SAXENA FOUNDER, INDIA VILLAGEUsing digital to change the fortunes of women and artisansThe one thing that the Internet has helped me achieveThe Internet is helping my clothing brand, India Village, revive the tradi-tion of block printed garments. My vision is to make this beautiful craft equivalent to a fashion statement. It should stop selling like a commodity. Latest significant thing I did on the Internet?Launched India Villages website and FB page which are proving to be a good source of business and encouragementYour recent buy, and who influenced it?I have bought machines and design catalogues. The Internet tells me whats latest and whats not. This way even my village craftsmen can evolve with the changing trendsBranded to you meansA dream of a superior persona that makes consumers pay extra

    SHYAM NATH & MALAThe retired couple who visit their grandchild in the US, everyday!The one thing that the Internet has helped me achieveWe didnt miss the growing up of our grandchild... Internet gives us the feeling that were one large family living under one roof.

    Latest significant thing I did on the Internet?Called a priest over to my house and conducted the naming ceremony for my grand-

    daughter over Skype!Your recent buy, and who influenced it?Bought gifts for my sons family as were visiting them in the US. Took a quick opinion from my granddaugh-ter over WhatsApp. Branded to you meansSomething that communicates our status in society

    Women aged 35-44 are the

    heaviest internet users among age/gender

    groups

    54%March 2013

    54% of display ads in India are

    never seen by target audience

    India is the 3rd Largest Online Population in the world, with 73.9 million online users

    74%

    74% of internet users in India visit an entertainment site

    Women comprise 39% of the Indian internet population

    Non-PC traffic in India zooms ahead, grows from 10.9% to 14.2% in 2013

    75% of the Indian online population is under 35 yrs

    75%

    75%

    80%

    85%

    90%

    95%

    100%

    PC Mobile Tablet Other

    Non - PC Traffic: 14.2%

    Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13

    52.6

    67.5

    India

    +28%

    India is the 4th Largest Audience of Searchers in the World with a 28% increase in unique searches

    73.9%

    39%

    Rohitash Srivastava, Director- Marketing & Brand Strategy, SapientNitro

    *Source: Comscore India Digital, Future in Focus, 2013 report.

    DIGITAL INDIA

  • Brand loyalty - reality or myth?

    Is brand loyalty dying a slow and painful death? In todays age of social media and rapid-ly changing consumer behaviour, can we ensure that consumers stay loyal to a brand? These are the pertinent questions for every marketer today.Ernst and Youngs global survey Consumers on board: how to co-pilot the multichannel journey, among 30,000 consumers in 34 countries (launched in 2014) re-vealed how behavior is evolving. Buying online is becoming more commonplace, except purchases related to cars, telephone and mo-bile contracts, and consumer loans. While price remains the top criteri-on in the buying decision, price and quality are the factors that most in-fluence the buying decision. How-ever, rising brand loyalty across all markets underlines the appeal of brands that have invested in build-ing trust and delivering an engaging customer experience.The rise in social media has funda-mentally changed the way brands now connect with their consumers. The traditional route of customer service has evolved. Consumers now interact with brands directly through many channels. Hence, social can never reside only within marketing; it has to be the um-brella pillar comprising product, marketing, and customer services teams and so on. Every arm of a brand needs to go social for that engaging customer experience. To

    leverage the true disruptive poten-tial that the digital medium offers, it becomes crucial to adapt your systems, processes and personnel to best suit its unique demands. Brands need to gear up for a social change.Social media is all about keeping conversations real by concentrat-ing on interactive content. Many businesses simultaneously blast the exact same message across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. not realizing that this comes across as fake, imper-sonal or spam-like. Businesses should make the effort to under-stand how each individual plat-form works and tailor their mes-sages and content to be platform specific. All brand disciplines, including strategy, media and creative, need to work together to create optimal content. Customer connect is also all about seamless messaging across all channels. Talking in one lan-guage in every transaction is crit-ical for brand loyalty. Its impor-tant to build a brand personality, which is consistent across media and communication. Storytelling must be adopted to communicate brand personality, values and ex-periences to build that competi-tive edge. In a world of real-time responses, you must be vigilant of what con-sumers are talking and discussing about you. And this requires new skill sets. You must have a focused

    and dedicated team to drive the digital customer experience ini-tiatives within the organization. Authenticity, genuineness, hon-esty in your communication plays a much bigger role today, in build-ing trust and long term relation-ships with consumers. Speed has a new parlance; the faster you are in responding to queries etc., better the connect and loyalty!Earlier, brand-customer interac-tions were mostly one-to-many with the brand telling its one sided story. The scale of customer interactions with the brands has increased considerably. With the multi-channel experience avail-able these days, consumers want to feel special in every brand in-teraction. To build loyal relation-ships that extend and last, you need to understand the basic principles of the new definition of customer engagement and put them into action.

    CONNECTED EXPERIENCES HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BRAND LOYALTY

    MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE

    Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP, Marketing, Product, Marketing, Digital and eCommerce, HDFC Life

    Melanie Cook, Head of Strategy, SapientNitro, Singapore & Hong Kong

    We often hear it said that consumers are less loyal to brands in this digital age because the cost of switching is decreas-ing, decision-making is more transac-tional and people are more difficult to attract. A recent survey by Retail Week says that Overwhelmingly, the chal-lenges outlined in the interviews focus on the ability to connect with consum-ers and build loyalty, and the hurdles posed by the multichannel age.To overcome these challenges, brands need to turn the concept of brand loyalty on its head. The reality is that very few brands have or have had peoples true loyalty. Brands have en-joyed brand-habituality, and some have earned loyalty to its brand purpose. Encouraging brand-habitualityIf you look at brand loyalty as building the need in people to habitually return to your brand, the strategy changes. Habits are created when the reward center of the brain is stimulated by a particular behaviour, thus encouraging us to repeat the experience. For brands to become habitual choices, market-ers must understand what rewards consumers so they can leverage it to form habits. Consumers are rewarded by inspiration, information, compari-son and maximisation.Fresh content from great sources inspires people so they widen their horizons. Reports on

    whats hot and whats not would do this. Information like product reviews, how many of their friends bought a prod-uct and how it rates, help people make more informed choices. Giving people the ability to compare choices helps savvy shoppers conclude that they are not missing out on a better deal, which in itself is rewarding. In a more literal sense, maximizing a persons experi-ence with the added extras of loyalty programs is also very rewarding. Loyalty to a purposeLoyalty is a bigger cause than ourselves and it forms our moral code. If I am loyal to an ideal and you ask me to do something that would contradict that ideal, I am unlikely to do it. The Android brand is open source be-cause it was created to equalize the op-portunity available to everyone in the digital space, and people loyal to this purpose are loyal to Android. Because people are vocal about their loyalties, the

    cost of switching is heightened. In our example, switching from Android to the elitist iOS costs far more than money, it would cost people their ideals. On the other hand, if Android were to build a walled garden like Apples, making An-droid less inclusive, the cost of switching away from Android would be negligible for people. In order to earn peoples loyalty, brands must have a clear brand purpose and obviously act upon that purpose in everything they do.

    People are more promiscuous because brands are failing to interest themWith all the data available to us, it is easy for brands to understand what consumers are leaving for. Find out what tempts consumers away and turn crisis into opportunity by using them as attractions towards brand. In this digital age, brands should think about building loyalty in four ways:1. Make each connection between the

    brand and consumer build brand-habituality by giving generously in exchange for peoples attention.

    2. Act on the brand purpose, and en-sure that it is felt in every experience people share with the brand.

    3. Recognize that choosing brands is not a transactional, commoditized process, but a decision that people see as a reflection of their identity

    4. Ask not what is relevant to brand, but what is interesting to target audience.

    BRAND LOYALTY IN THE DIGITAL AGE. What it is and how can brands earn it?

    Relevance creates loyal consumers

    Weve got loyalty the wrong way around

    The new loyalty rules for influencing the digital consumer

    Building loyalty though e-commerce in China

    The Digital face of consumer loyalty

    GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

    Ritika Basu, Director, SapientNitro, IndiaConsumer loyalty in India, in the digital age, con-tinues to be a dichotomy. On one hand online retailors struggle to break the consumers rela-tionship with the local kirana storeowner, who knows family histories along with preference of atta, sugar and bread. At the same time the coun-trys Millennials are happy to flit from Flipkart to Junglee to Jabong with loyalty towards only one thing - price point. Overcoming this transient transactional nature of digital interactions requires building a long-term relationship mirroring the kirana storeowner mind set. Brands need to leverage technology to create the same relevant and engaging interactions across all channels especially mobile. Given the cultural, political and financial diversity of the Indian mar-ket, data and segmentation insights need to inform client retention strategies. Digital hasnt really changed the essence of con-sumer loyalty it has merely challenged it. If lever-aged right digital can give back what it has theoreti-cally taken away, you just need to know how.That being said like everywhere else in the world, with entry barriers being lowered it takes no time for competition to copy your next great idea. So nothing garners loyalty more than good old customer service and value.

    Carlos Borges, VP Strategy, SapientNitro, BrazilEveryone would have read reports about how the new generation is less loyal than before. In a digital world that they have grown up in, consumer reviews and price meta-search websites are more relevant than advertising. How can brands adapt to this new context and increase consumer loyalty?This context challenges brands and agencies to think beyond advertising, and look at relevance in the lives of their consumers. Meaningful marketing means walking the talk and finding shared values and com-mon purpose with consumers.Take for example a very valued Brazilian brand- Ita (bank). With the concept change the world Ita introduced bike sharing to the country, aiming to re-duce the chaotic traffic in the cities.So, you should have a clear brand purpose and offer something relevant to your target audiences lives. This is the most meaningful method of gaining a last-ing relationship with consumers, in Brazil or in other parts of the globalized world.

    Justin Cloete, Senior Manager- Marketing Strategy & Analysis, SapientNitro, AustraliaLoyalty is the wrong word. We go back to brands for the experiences they deliver, whether functional or emo-tional, and not because we feel faithful to them.To win repeat custom the real goal youve got to de-liver a consistently gratifying set of experiences. Great brands are those that always leave you with a better feel-ing; whats changing now is that when we return to a brand (or choose not to) in todays environment, we are comparing more complex experience ecosystems. Recent research shows that the desire for personalised interactions and self-service is mitigating Australias in-herent desire for a bargain. Increasingly, we expect com-panies to have an understanding of our individual tastes and goals across all channels.Dont waste your time chasing the fictional customer that loves you through thick and thin. Rather, enable be-havioural loyalty by ensuring that physical, emotional and virtual transactions consistently and distinctively connect with what people want to experience. Your brand will then serve as the shin-ing emblem of what customers want more of, and youll see them again.

    Hazel Reed- Senior Brand & Communications Strategist, SapientNitro, UKOur understanding of customer loyalty has shifted mas-sively over the last 10 years. We now know that exclu-sive brand loyalty is a myth in most categories. In How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp shows that consumers tend to buy from a repertoire of brands. Marketers should fo-cus their efforts on growing penetration and increasing share of wallet.UK brands are shifting away from discounting and transactional schemes that drive repeat purchase in the short-term. In the longer term, creating emotional loyalty through shared values and connection with the brands purpose is the most effective means of influenc-

    ing consumer decision-making.Digital has really exciting potential to re-invigorate loy-alty marketing. Consumer value today isnt just about purchase. Rewarding the value that consumers create through social content and engagement is an untapped opportunity that all marketers should be thinking about. And mobile is now at the stage where it could be use to create richer, personalized, in the moment reward experiences.

    Florian Pihs, Senior Planning Director- Strategy & Innovation, SapientNitro, ChinaSimilar to other developing countries, China has witnessed remarkable changes in the past couple of years. While exceptions exist, brand loyalty is much less developed in China than in more developed economies. Brand loyalty in China has always been shorthand for trust in product quality. High investments in broadcast media were perceived as a sign that a brand is successful and reliable. With internet pro-liferation, the dynamics have changed. Now, con-sumer reviews play a critical role in building a brand in the era of e-Commerce. The digital platform has provided cheaper and faster ways to build a brand, which has enabled more local brands to challenge global behemoths.Few brands have managed to address the issue of brand loyalty successfully in China and Coca Cola is a great example. Brand loyalty has to be built on the back of a constantly great product experience, with communication both validating the choice as well as inspiring repeat purchase.

  • Connected Experiences

    Were living in fast times with respect to in-novation. New technologies, products, and services are continually appearing- chang-ing how, when, and where companies inter-act with their consumers. Thinking back on the last fifteen years, digital technology has changed every aspect of our lives: its changed how we shop, communicate, plan travel, man-age our finances, educate our children, and much more. Companies and brands have had to keep up with this rapid pace of technology, first understanding that interactive brand ex-periences powered by technologychanged how consumers interpreted brands. With the arrival of digital, it gave all brands the oppor-tunity to fully translate themselves into a two-dimensional realm: no longer were brands built solely on what they said about them-selves, but how they behaved. Brands were no longer merely perceived, but experienced. In addition, social media not only gave consum-ers a voice, but also allowed brands to come alive in new, authentic two-way conversations

    with their customers. We are now in the midst of another funda-mental and potentially even larger chapter in the transformation that includes the col-lapsing of physical and digital components of a brand. To consumers, distinctions between online and offline are no longer meaning-ful: we are all online, all the time. Digital tools and services like mobile phones are now with us 24 hours a day, throughout any given day. In many cases, shopping for a product has be-come an ongoing activity, broken down into snackable moments that include multiple visits to a website, a visit to a retailers mobile site, exploring the physical product in-store, and then a scan of the products bar code to check reviews and competitive pricing. The purchase of the product can happen anywhere (web, mobile, store), but the shopping occurs continually. Shopping has evolved to become an ongoing activity across a journey, across physical and digital channels. In the case of retail, many brands are ris-

    ing in new ways to meet this challenge. For example, Apple recently appointed Angela Arendts, former CEO of Burberry to oversee all retail shopping, digital and in-stores. In the press release announcing her appointment, Tim Cook said, I have wanted one person to lead both retail and online teams for some time because I believe it will better serve our customers. This trend has also been adopted by Marks & Spencer in the UK and the US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, where one executive is now in charge of both online and retail teams. Bridging the physical / digital divide, however, is a significant challenge for many brands. In a study last year, eConsul-tancy found, The greatest challenge is that a customers experience is now an aggregate of online and offline events, mobile and desktop, store and device, marketing and service. Yet few organizations have one executive with the mandate to correlate these disparate but con-nected pieces.This physical / digital transformation will

    represent a shift in approach for most brands. In most cases, it is not a choice of either/or, digital or physical, but an integrated and con-nected approach that leverages the best of each medium. Digital-only brands are investi-gating physical experiences, such as Amazon stores, E-Trade branches, and Warby Parker boutiques. Physical brands are continuing to invest in digital services, like Unilevers Kan Khajura Tesan which reaches people in re-mote locations through a mobile service, or Nikes Fuel platform that quantifies an athletes program, providing a new level of insight into physical experiences. And for Nike, it provides a way for people to deeply engage with the Nike brand on a daily basis.The forthcoming digital/physical revolution will inevitably leave many brands unable to compete effectively. One of the biggest differ-entiators of those brands that will lead versus those brands that will lag in this connected world will be how deeply do those brands focus on the customer. Simply put, those

    brands that focus on the brands role within a customers experience -rather than customers role within a brand- will be better setup for success. These are simple words but make a big distinction: is the business brand-centric or experience-centric? Those brands that are deeply-experience led, where the business is focused on understanding the wants, needs, behaviors, and pain points of the people it services will be better placed to succeed in a connected physical / digital world.

    BRANDS AND THE EMERGING BILLION OPPORTUNITY POWER OF DIGITAL IN AN ALWAYS ON WORLD

    MINT MEDIA MARKETING INITIATIVE

    Donald Chesnut, Chief Experience Officer, SapientNitro

    Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder and CEO, Vserv Nitin Mathur, Senior Director Marketing,

    Yahoo APACThe Mobile TransitionAs one of the worlds fastest growing smartphone markets with a growth rate of over 50%, Indias user base is expected to surpass that of the US in 2016, becoming the second larg-est market after China with almost 200Mn smartphone users.This rapid growth precipitated by the advent of low cost smartphones, had marketers replicating their web based marketing strategy to reach out to the mobile internet users. Eventually, the arrival of touchscreen and larger dis-play size devices indicated a marked difference in mobile capabilities and the way people interact. This led

    marketers to devise mobile market-ing focused strategies. The Emerging Connected BillionToday, smartphone sales and mobile internet are mainly driven by the de-mand from emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia, Middle East Africa and Latin America; giving rise to the Emerging Connected Bil-lion. Consumers in these markets often access internet for the first time

    through their mobile devices. India continues to show prolific growth in smartphone & mobile internet adop-tion with over 277 million data users expected by FY17.The Next WaveSoon, these Emerging Connected Billion will be using the power of

    mobile internet to interact with the brands and apps they love. This per-sonal and always-live medium is the center of the consumers universe and a source of petabytes of data. Mobile big data, with immense marketing potential, is currently untapped. The need of the hour is to derive intelli-gent and actionable smart data. However, to create this smart data, it becomes imperative to partner with telcos, app developers and data man-agement platforms, which have ac-cess to a wealth of big data. By form-ing meaningful partnerships, brands can gain a deeper understanding of consumers and drive effective results. The FutureAs emerging markets realize the full potential and power of the medium, they will inevitably turn to smart data to help them draw accurate in-sights and deliver relevant offerings. Brands in India are already transi-tioning from a Mobile-Also to a Mo-bile-First strategy. It is only a matter of time before they adopt a Mobile-Only strategy.

    Its hard to remember the time when your mobile was not the first thing you saw in the morning, browsing content on the go and sharing pho-tographs with friends wasnt a part of your daily routine.The web has evolved from being a novelty to becoming an integral, daily experience across the globe. For marketers, this constant connec-tion to the web offers a plethora of opportunities and is changing the way we create brand experiences. Two ma-jor shifts have changed the equation

    for marketers through the webs ubiquity and vast information sourc-es, consumers are more connected and empowered than ever before; two, the explosion of mobile has added unprecedented momentum, scale and changed the rules of engagement. Out with those campaigns that are de-signed for the offline world and given a digital flipin with the ones that have a global, community-driven ap-peal and virality built into their DNA. Today campaigns are not limited to geography - take Coca-Colas One World, One Game campaign, for instance, which went live globally on TV and digital screens before the re-cent FIFA World Cup. It appealed to football lovers all over the world in multiple media formats, and was not confined to geography or screen type. Marketers are embracing the web to solve deeper challenges than brand awareness, they are conscious of what they stand for. Virality and shared storytelling play a huge role in brand

    stories for instance during the re-cent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, McDonalds decided to keep its restaurants open 24x7 for the group of protesters camping in the streets. In the same stroke, they were able to connect with the global audience fol-lowing this story. Mobile devices are now driving the case for more personalized content and seamless advertising, than ever before From ads targeting just at you, to content marketing, to campaigns on social networks. Today everything is digital. Your campaign is always on, evolving in real time. As marketers, we definitely live in interesting times!

    CONNECTED EXPERIENCES: A BLENDED APPROACH TO PHYSICAL/DIGITAL WILL DOMINATE THE NEXT ERA OF MARKETING

    BRAND EXPERIENCE IN THE SOCIAL ERAPERVASIVE DESTINY IN THE AGE OF YOU

    Ashish Mishra, Managing Director, Interbrand Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager,

    TripAdvisor India

    Opportunity abounds for retailers that heed the call to innovate. Demo-graphics are shifting, behaviors are changing, and consumers increasingly want what they want, exactly when they want it. But, above all, one macro trend prevails and shows no sign of let-ting up: digital and the Age of You. The Age of You that is upon us will enable micro-segmentation, absolute cus-tomization and personalization - no-tions hitherto considered impossible. The elements of the future ecosystems are all ready. However parallel devel-opments around Big data, technology platforms, content, software, devices and apps together have created a com-plex information overdose. The future at its own pace would naturally adjust them around the customer needs and desires. The bookends to always con-sider would be the influence of dy-namic socio cultural contexts and ex-pressions at the multiple touch points of the new customer journeys.Today, anyone with a product and a website can build their own sales channeland, as weve learned, new

    entrants can shake things up fast. And as pure online players increasingly look to enter intoand disruptnew categories, such as grocery, the pen-etration of e-commerce will continue to impact traditional retail till they borrow enough from each other to become one.In this Darwinian struggle playing out in the malls, shopping centers, and in-ternet retail hubs of the world, a great turning is afoot which brings with it a historical opportunity. Digital, which currently threatens all that retail once was, also promises to make it what it was destined to become: a living the-ater, a crucible of human creativity,

    and the field where brands and con-sumers meet to foster prosperity and co-create the world of the future.From mobile shopping and augment-ed reality apps to virtual storefronts and fitting rooms, retail brands are reimagining the customer journey through a digital lens. They are also taking the art of display to new heights and creating meaningful social ex-periences in physical retail environ-mentsgiving customers more rea-sons than ever to get out the door and into the store.In the end, it is the brand, not the foot-print that will endure.

    Imagine planning for that once in a lifetime trip to a special palace resort. We probably read about it a thousand times, well not literally, but through thousands of reviews that have been coalesced into a single rat-ing. Each of those reviews is a brand experience for the palace resort, the review website, and perhaps also for the destination tourism board. A brand experience that occurred way before, the actual product/service ex-perience took place courtesy Social Media. Social is perhaps the most important new medium that mar-keters could use for influencing au-diences with customized messaging. Brand experience is one that a brand has intentionally (or other-wise) created in order to engender a certain behavior among its intended consumers, social can either be one of numerous elements acting togeth-er to create a desired behavior or the key element driving the desired be-havior. Social is all about human in-teraction and discovery. Keeping this

    in mind, brands can create programs which either target communities or endeavor to create new communities that engage in completely non-curat-ed conversations, which could lead to offline, in-store experiences. The word of mouth aspect of social is the most important and effective one that brands should tap. The second most important aspect is the social graph, the connections that foster trust, credibility and dissolve barri-ers to purchase. In the online world, brands that thrive on communities are using these connections to de-liver personalized experiences.

    Unfortunately most brands that jump onto the social bandwagon have ended up using it as another medium wherein they believe they can disseminate their messaging to a large mass. Their motivating boardroom punchline being my 16 year old son/65 year old moth-er spends his/her spare time on Facebook. Let your customers experiences become brand experience stories that inspire other potential custom-ers to create unique stories of their own, which they will then narrate on social. And theres nothing that humans have loved more or compre-hended better than stories, making mythology older than philosophy.

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