Paul Writer launches Innovative Marketer Dialogue ,
Video interview series with CMOs highlights marketing best practices

Sanjay Tripathy
Senior Executive Vice President – Head Marketing
Product and Direct Channels, HDFC Life

 

One thing that will shape the future of marketing…

Marketing is undergoing a major change, the people and the marketing team are more equipped with the offline world of marketing. For instance, dealing in the form of one to many communication, be it TV or radio. We go through a simplistic structure, we go through their awareness to purchase, their preference, consideration and what they are most likely to purchase. My job is to create awareness through mass media marketing. When they are closer to purchase, they will deal with one of the sales person depending on the brand or the product and then he will finally buy your product.

With the digital and social media coming in, the world has changed, it is no longer one-way communications but it explores one to one, many-to-one and one-to-few communication lines. Social media allows peer-to-peer, friend-to-friend communication too. It is more likely that you will believe something said on social media when someone is posting something on the social media page, their Twitter or Facebook page and will trust them more. Online rating or a website that captures product rating like Trip Advisor ratings etc, people tend to believe it more than what the brand claims so brands cannot continue to have a one-to-one communication. What brands require is online reputation management, online monitoring of social conversations and this has come very important. You need to understand what people saying about the brand, what the brand signifies and who are your right followers and how to really become part of the conversation, you have to create content and become a part of the conversation.

The paid media used to be really important for marketing, the marketer now really wants to look at paid, earned and owned media options. The earned will probably override the paid and owned media because owned is your own digital asset that you have made, it could be social pages or website, but gradually the earned media will really take over. So are the marketing teams really ready for it? Do they have a right kind of skill set? Do they have the right kind of partners? Do they have the right kind of budgets or networks to really make that happen? Do they have the right kind of examples in the country to really learn from? Therefore I will believe that marketing is under WIP (Work-in-progress) as per the customers who are constantly changing.

The job of marketing is very simple, the primary job of marketing is to create engagement with the brand and creating more followers for the brand or what we call ‘ES boards’ for the brand. The more stronger the followers for the brand, the more the brands can sustain longer, people will accept the shortcomings and the failures of the brand but to make that happen today, marketers have to work in multiple fronts. To get the model right, they have to experiment a lot and see whether it is working or not. If you really look at it, this is the first time in the Indian elections that politicians are using social media is such a big way and they expect 2 to 3 percent votes because of social media, 2 to 3 % vote swing is a big thing in politics because that will probably determine the hundreds of seats in the election which will determine who will become the prime minister and who will rule the country next.

Social, online and digital are really changing the way marketing has been done for many brands and the change is very rapid so marketer need to understand and really accept change and they need to really ensure that they are in the best position to embrace the change and gain out of it.

“The more stronger the followers for the brand, the more the brands can sustain longer, people will accept the shortcomings and the failures of the brand but to make that happen today, marketers have to work in multiple fronts. To get the model right, they have to experiment a lot and see whether it is working or not.”

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