Monday, 3 May 2010

Authenticity v/s Immediacy - Marketing in the Digital Age

I recently attended a very interesting Marketing Conclave conducted by IAMAI, in Delhi. I share with you some of the main my outtakes from this event, which saw an extremely illustrious set of Panelists.

My CEO was to participate and moderate the 3rd session as well; however, due to a regrettable illness he was unable to make it.

While the title of this post appears to state that Immediacy and Authenticity are mutually exclusive, it is not so. Immediacy and Authenticity of content exist in a continuum… ranging from Twitter & Mobile communications to TV & the printed Newspaper, Magazine and Trade Journal.

Media formats are not antagonistic but coexist in an increasingly connected world, which seeks both instant information and in-depth analysis – at different junctures.

The main learning for me, was that there are three models of content consumption patterns, each of which has its own flaws and strengths –

1)     Subscription Based – People pay to use or consume
2)     Advertising Subsided – Brands pay to assist and build their usage or consumption
3)     Free User Generated – The basic human tendency to share and be heard or noticed

The first category has existed from the first Gutenberg Bible, most currently familiar media fall into the second category (newspapers, TV Channels, etc), and the third category (SMS/MMS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs) is what has been spawned by the Digital Age.

While the first 2 categories have happily co-existed since the Industrial Revolution, it is the emergence of the third category in the last 2 decades, that brands are grappling to leverage and society-at-large is trying to assimilate.

Another intelligent marketing concept was Return on Objective (ROO) as opposed to ROI (Return on Investment), which is about defining a goal and a time frame, and measuring success on the basis of the objective/goal and not on the investment.

This was illustrated with a simple example – A Business (B) has 5x to invest and wants to make it 20x (return) in a fixed time period (T), there are 2 investment models (P & Q) –

Model I (P)– spend 3x and get a return of 15x in time T
Model II (Q)- spend 4x and get a return of 18x in time T

While (P) is higher on ROI; (Q) is higher on ROO, because Q was closer to the goal of 20x.

Some other interesting India-centric and empirical take-aways from the meeting –

Ø       There are pros & cons to 360 degree marketing plans –
o        Pro – consumers don’t live in silos, and consume more than one medium
o        Con – Targeted & Selective communication is missing, as the advertiser has no focus, and want to be everywhere

Ø       Quality Content will not be free-of-charge forever in any medium. But, it will take time for Indian Consumers, Advertisers and Producers to find an acceptable exchange value.

Ø       Digital needs a Robust Common Currency – CPC, CPM, CPA, are not accurately valued measures.

Ø       All Non-Digital Media was Passive Lean Back – Radio, Broadcast TV & Print. Digital is the first interactive media – from Digital TV Recording to Mobile Internet.

In India -

Ø       The perceived editorial validity and authority of Print remains above Digital

Ø       A newspaper is a “Nation in Conversation with Itself” while Digital is personalised and localized – “Me, Myself & I

Ø       When focusing on the Youth market – it’s “Print for Parents” (for credibility) & “Digital for Youth” (for action)

Ø       The Time spent by SEC ABC in top 15 metros on TV and Online is the same.

Ø       There is not enough political will to incentivize DTH TV over Cable TV

Ø       Online delivers a predominantly male audience.

Ø       The current number of competitors in both DTH and Mobile is unsustainable (similar to the early days of private participation in Indian Aviation)

Ø       The main uses of Mobile and Internet are for transactional purposes – the final Action or Purchase

Ø       Online Text based Ads on Search Result Pages provide the greatest effectiveness in terms of Immediate Action, while, display ads and ads on content pages assist to build awareness, interest and desire.

On Mobiles –

Ø       Mobiles are the new medium for Text, Audio & Video – BUT will not replace any other medium (TV did not replace the newspaper)

Ø       Mobiles hold more promise than the Internet, as Indian consumers expect everything online free, but are used to paying for mobile VAS (Value Added Services)

Ø       We are going to rediscover WAP  - With multiple phone OSes (Android, WinMo, Symbian, MacOSx, etc)  - WAP will be the new “APP

Ø       3G is going to be the panacea for Mobile growth and technology development in India

Ø       Vernacular SMS is still a distant future – no visible timeline

Ø       NFC that converts Text to Speech for illiterates is still a distant dream

UPDATE - Speaking of Technology - I found these two articles very useful in understanding this - our "Age of Communication"


End Note: -
“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”
- Albert Einstein

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1 comment:

  1. MNP Before 3G Roll Out Mandatory for Telcos
    What about the DND Registery?
    MNP= Mobile Number Portability
    DND = Do Not Disturb (telemarketers)