Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The next big things a marketer must look at

How we spend instead of how much we spend is going to be the key factor in determining the success of a brand's marketing spends

Shruti Venkatesh
Published: Apr 23, 2016 10:47:21 AM IST
Updated: Apr 25, 2016 02:51:14 PM IST
The next big things a marketer must look at

As talks around digital transformation are gaining momentum, how we spend instead of how much we spend is going to be the key factor in determining the success of a brand’s marketing spends, said panelists at the closing session of the 2016 Click Asia Summit, which ended on Friday.

“Firstly, your history and legacy as a brand is valued. But brands need to understand that people are willing to pay more for a product which doesn’t need to be advertised, as opposed to creating a sub-parity product which needs heavy advertising,” says venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy, founder of Pinstorm and Managing Partner in Seedfund Ventures. He has worked with advertising agencies like Grey and Ogilvy in the past.

For example, he says, the first three Apple I-Phones never needed advertising, as they were far ahead of competitors. But the advertising for the latter ones escalated as the products were not as superior as the previous ones.

Another panellist, Robert Scoble cited the example of taxi aggregator Uber, to explain how a truly digital organisation is run. “Travis (Uber CEO) knows every employee’s feedback, where they are in real time. That is something organisations should aim for,” says Scoble, American blogger, technical evangelist, and author.

He adds that companies are going to spend more and more on digital, as that is all the customer is using today. “3D images and virtual reality are the next big things for a marketer to look at. Augmented Reality is just three years away. If you don’t use these, then you aren’t a part of the modern world,” says Scoble. It is no longer about talking on the phone. It is about using data to enhance my user experience.

“If you want to know what the future is, see what your kids are doing,” says Lucy McCabe, Vice President Consulting Services Asia Pacific, OgilvyRed, Ogilvy & Mather. Observing an average 12-year old will tell you what the next generation wants, so listen to them, McCabe adds.

Kavita J., Director, Click Media agreed. She says, “The journey we are mapping now is not of customers we have now, but of customers that we want to get to.”

The panelists also offered views on how brands need to study India as models which are successful in the West might not necessarily work here. “Only 300 million people in India know English. We have not been able to ramp up the regional languages yet. It will take time,” says Murthy.

The panel concurred on the view that companies need to become more consumer driven, understand what affects consumer behaviour and use technology to augment their experience. The technology and the marketing department could also converge to give way to a new designation.