Are you looking out for some really interesting, inspirational and power-packed events? Thanks to Covid 19, all of it has now moved online. Check out digital marketing webinars being done by Social Beat and DigiGrad.
Once larger physical events are allowed, you could possibly attend some of the biggest marketing and digital marketing events in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and other parts of India; that not just inspire but also give you an opportunity to network with the best marketers in the country. It’s an opportunity to listen to the finest in the advertising and marketing field – a forum that stimulates conversations and ideas around design, marketing, digital and more. You may also find it useful to read our book on digital marketing and view the Digital Bytes knowledge series on the Social Beat YouTube Channel or take up our digital marketing course at DigiGrad.
Here’s a quick glance into our compilation of top marketing events taking place across the country in 2021.
IAMAI is back with its signature event, IDS (India Digital Summit) on 19-20 Jan 2021. This year the central theme is ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ . The staggering increase in the total number of internet users in rural India recently presents us with the unique opportunity to establish India as a global powerhouse of Digital Growth. With over 150+ speakers its going to be a much anticipated event and award.
Often termed as Oscars of Indian ad awards, Abbys by Ad Club of Mumbai honours creative excellence in advertising. With a grand conclave and awards in Goa, its an event all agencies and marketers look forward to. It also organises Effies, which honours all form of effective marketing communications across India. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to Covid19 but we all hope to be back in Goa to celebrate creative excellence, soon enough.
Exchange4media organizes the Indian Digital Media Awards since 2010. It has always encouraged contributors in the 360-degree digital media space to keep getting better with the transformations taking place in the industry year on year. For this, it recognizes their talents, appreciates and celebrates them through these awards. It has showcased the work of many contemporary digital professionals and rewarded them for their beautifully executed digital blogs and viral campaigns. This event in itself is a huge networking opportunity for every business professional to connect and grow. Its 4th edition was held on the 4 and 5th of June, 2020. The 2021 dates are yet to be announced.
This is a grand event in Mumbai organized by the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India). The event in its 16th edition, is an endeavour towards establishing a great comprehension of the modern methods and mechanics of marketing.
Major Speakers were MDs & CEOs of leading companies such as Group M and Pepsico, top marketing managers of Times Internet, Starbucks, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, eBay and Renault amongst others. There were Panelists to take the conversations to another level. The sessions were followed by networking breaks at regular intervals.
Topics of discussion revolved around Marketing in new age Digital India and around the globe that included:
Campaign India hosted its tenth edition of its awards on 4th June 2020 to honour excellence in digital advertising and marketing. Dates for 2021 are yet to be announced. Rechristened Campaign India Digital Crest Awards (CIDCA) in 2013, the property has evolved over the last nine years from its origins (as the Campaign India Digital Media Awards), to remain contemporary, relevant and inclusive of the dynamic changes in the digital ecosystem. It also features an award evening.
Having conducted 6 editions, Foxglove continues to be a signature event in the year by afaqs. Every year it aims to to add more sub-categories to accommodate the refreshing work done in newer formats. Foxglove has become one of the most revered advertising shows in India thanks to over 500 unique entities who have participated over the years. A unique aspect about the award is that its only open for agency or organisations that are less than 12 years old. After all, creativity knows no age.
Social Beat, one of India's fastest growing digital agency in India; conducts Digital Leadership Summit in Mumbai, Bengaluru & Chennai and online. This is a CXO event which brings together Business Leaders and CMOs to discuss how to drive business results through digital marketing and share innovation across Video, Vernacular Content, Voice, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. The business leaders and attendees would be from across sectors, including FMCG, BFSI, Real Estate, Entertainment, Education and Internet Businesses. The 5th edition was conducted virtually in the form of Digital Premier League in Oct 2020.
Exchange4Media group boasts of another event that it hosts, the Pitch CMO Summit. It is considered to be their flagship event which gathers some of the greatest marketing minds to discuss the latest, complex and challenging marketing trends in the global market scenario. Every year, the event is theme-based. The theme for 2019 was “Reinventing Consumer Experience”. At the Pitch CMO summit on 28th February 2020, leaders from the Industry explained how to concentrate on ‘the buy’, underlines the challenges, and highlight the opportunities.
Digies, an initiative by afaqs!, aims to celebrate creative marketing communication initiatives by Agencies, Brands, Production Houses, Design Studios, Creative Studios, and Content Creators, from exceptional use of social media to integrating multiple platforms, from use of hashtags to a 120-seconder video, and more. There are 38 categories to participate in. Aspirants can submit their work in single or campaign categories. Additionally, there are 2 special awards, namely: Brand of the Year and Agency of the Year.
Conceptualized by the online video analytics & marketing company - Vidooly, StreamCon Asia is a one-stop congregation for content creators, video platforms and advertisers from the online video industry in India. It is one of largest event of its kind in India with speakers and panelists from UC Web, Indigo Airlines, Eros Digital, Fab India, Oyo Rooms, Trent, Dailyhunt and more. It will also feature many content creators and YouTuber Influencers giving it a power packed event for anyone who is leveraging video content. The dates for 2021 are yet to be announced.
A niche awards night started by exchange4media in 2016, is now an annual summit. The last one took place on 2020. In the world of marketing, content has definitely changed the way marketers present their brands to consumers. As more and more brands choose creative content for engaging with their consumers, the need to stand out increases every minute. Indian Content Marketing Awards aim to promote and recognise this talent, expertise and hard work that go behind cracking breakthrough ideas & concepts to create exceptional brand stories. The Content Marketing Summit is also going to have an Asia Summit, so watch out for that too.
Adobe Symposium is one of the biggest Digital Marketing events in india. This event invites thought leaders in the field of digital marketing to redefine your experiences with Adobe partners. As their marketing promos claim – ‘Take it to another level, soar new heights like never before and extend your digital experience with courses straight from the Adobe Digital Learning Services’. Apart from these, there are several other reasons to attend this conference, including networking goals. This is the most sought-after experience for most digital professionals in today’s utmost competitive era and has been rightly defined as the event “Where digital marketing meets extraordinary experiences.” Every marketer looks forward to making the most valuable connections with their digital marketing pioneers and peers and if luck may have it, then with the digital marketing veterans and Adobe leaders too.
ad:tech is the original industry authority for marketing and media technology, where marketing, technology and media communities assemble to share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to compete in an ever-changing marketplace. The 10th edition of ad:tech in Mumbai took place on 27th and 28th October 2020 - the dates for 2021 are yet to be announced. The summit will enable participants to explore the future of marketing and discuss the ever-evolving and complex landscape, focussing on how technology, data and content are helping brands win through superior Customer Experiences, regardless of the touchpoint.
Social Beat, a digital marketing firm is conducting an innovative forum called the ‘Design Beat’. It is a remarkable platform for creative minds to pool in their ingenious ideas and thoughts to come up with solutions that impact lives. Eventually, the solution nudges users and bring about a behavioural change. The design hackathon brings together like-minded problem-solvers to crack the problem with their wits and imagination. The event is scheduled for the 1st of November. Participants will receive exciting rewards for their resourceful contribution. Get ready to grab this wonderful opportunity to showcase your talent!
CMS Asia is a premier not-for-profit event organized by the thriving marketing community across JAPAC and ANZ. It is a must attend digital marketing event for every content marketer. This year the summit is being held in four different cities – Sydney, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai. CMS Asia will features speakers and attendees coming together to explore and discuss the various facets of content marketing, emerging trends, best practices and innovative though leadership.
The South Asia leg of the summit will take place in Mumbai on April 15, 2020 tentatively.
The 4th edition of VdoNxt Asia is India’s largest convention for those who live by the promise of digital video. It is the complete experience: listen and network at the conference; get in touch with the latest in technology at the exhibition, and celebrate the best work in digital video at the VdoNxt awards. The last edition was held on 29th January, 2020.
If you are based in Bengaluru, you may find it interesting to read our blog on Top marketing events in Bangalore.
Do feel free to comment below or reach out to us in case you feel any other event in India deserves to be a part of this list.
The Digital Leadership Summit 2020 by Social Beat was conducted online due to the pandemic. The agenda was to discuss the current and future trends of digital marketing. The whole country has gone digital these past few months and the discussion enlightened the road ahead. The program commenced with the National Anthem after which the audience was briefed on the agenda.
There were 17 experts from various fields and organisations covering important topics such as hyperscaling, vernacular marketing, consumer journey automation, building a culture for innovation, etc among many other insightful topics.
Dr.Pramath Sinha, Founder & Chairman of Harappa Foundation, believes that the combination of liberal arts combined with technology has a bright future. Digital marketing in education, and digitising education, in general, itself helps in targeting students better due to their constant online presence. Digital mediums help students experience one-on-one conversations which enhances their learning experience.
Ms.Meenakshi Singh, Agency Business Manager, Google tells us that consumers have started adapting to the pandemic. Users are spending more time on small screens. She said that going digital is the new store-front. Consumers are expecting brands to use their digital assets for personalising their experience. Convenience is a key factor that drives consumers to opt for online shopping over in-store shopping. Brands that establish their presence online, actively work on their website and mobile user experience, clearly inform consumers about delays and stock availability are the brands that have a higher chance of succeeding digitally.
Ms.Ruchi Kohli, Agency Business Lead, Facebook enlightened that brands need to embrace new media habits. There is a spike in the dependence of digital media which may even cause demand surges. Brands need to create virtual experiences, vernacular content, and develop content for every part of the business funnel, especially on Facebook. Digital spending concerning mobile wallets and net banking has also been on the rise. Users will also shop more during sales and offers offered by brands on digital platforms.
Mr.Amit Verma, Head of Growth & Marketing, Rapido said Digital marketing is a cross-functional tool that has a multitude of benefits. He advises start-ups and brands to focus on a full-funnel approach. Look for channels that bring you the most distribution. Marketing vernacularly impacts conversion by understanding customer preferences. Focus on what you want out of your marketing strategies.
Mr.Damandeep Singh Soni, VP- Marketing & Growth, boAT recommends brands to stick to two channels and focus on optimizing them to grow fast. He advises using the right instruments to gather data. Some brands use free tools, but the cost of change becomes high in the long run. He advises marketers to visualise the data to create manageable and efficient content.
Ms Shweta Sivasankaran, Director, Marketing, Unacademy shared that maintaining a strong social media presence with relevant and engaging content, marketing with a clear tone will boost your traffic online. She also recommends spending time measuring, listening and analyzing. Shweta asks companies to use accurate and exact keywords, use clear CTAs. She believes that a combination of simple and compelling display ads, along with videos that have clear CTAs have a very powerful impact on social media.
Mr Ajit Narasimhan, CMO, Sundaram Mutual says that going digital is no longer an enabler but a strategic leader. Mr Karanpreet Bindra, Head of Marketing, Rupeek agreed and added that offering both digital and physical transactions saw a hike in the conversion percentage for their company. Karanpreet also said that for wealth creation products, where trust is a key factor, building perception and awareness around the brand online will help. The demand for Vernacular content is high. This avoids the problem of loss in translation for complicated products like loans. Ajit says creating videos is one of the best ways to create a visual feel of the brand, where the focus is to educate the customer.
Mr Sandeep Shukla, Head, Marketing, Jaquar group says that a key factor in building a brand is reaching customers. Digital media needs to give all the information they need in one place. He says that everyone is an individual marketeer while talking about the power of sharing and circulating content. Creating videos on YouTube empowers consumers giving them all the data helping them to plan and decide. He requests brands to embrace technology while focusing on communicating and keep the message clear and simple.
This was an extremely interesting and insightful experience. Thanks to the virtual world, the panellists came together to give us their thoughts, opinions, advice on how to make the most out of this pandemic using digital media, and its trends. The summit was concluded after the rendering of the National Anthem. To know more about vernacular marketing, video creation tools, or to read more useful blogs on digital marketing, visit the Social Beat blog page.
23 January 2020, Mumbai - Social Beat’s fourth edition of its Digital Leadership Summit was held in Mumbai, in which the top industry leaders across sectors came together to share their insights and experiences, as well as forecast digital marketing trends for the future. Last year’s Summit, which was conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, was a huge success, focusing on innovations across video, vernacular trends, voice marketing, and Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. This year, one of the biggest talking points of the Summit was tapping into India’s next billion data users, how they will influence digital transformation across Bharat, and leading through disruption in various sectors.
The Summit focused on the prospect of the digital space this new decade, especially this current financial year. Sectors that are expected to see transformation were also discussed, including FMCG, retail, e-commerce, B2B, BFSI, real estate, and Internet businesses. Abhinav Jain, Co-Founder of Shop101 and Kaushik Mukhergee, Co-Founder and COO of SUGAR Cosmetics took up the first two sessions. They spoke about their individual brands, and how each of them introduced their products to consumers in the Tier II and Tier III cities - targeting to reach close to 400 million new Internet users. Abhinav also shared his insights on leveraging social relationships of sellers and democratizing commerce with a seamless product. He then spoke about creating micro-entrepreneurs in Bharat, driving 70% of transactions from outside top cities.
This was followed by a panel discussion on leading BFSI through disruption. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Funds, and MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing, Digital and Corporate Communications at Tata Mutual Funds. Moderating the panel, David Appasamy, Head of Brand and Strategy of Social Beat, said, “While the banking and financial service sector has been slow to adopt digital, many upcoming trends and new technologies are taking efficiency and outreach to new heights. Big data, AI, and voice are just a few major trends that are likely to make a huge impact on BFSI.”
The next series of talks were led by Ravi Saxena, CEO of Wonderchef, Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Weddingz.in and of OYO, and Arjun Choudhary, Chief Business Officer and Founding member of mfine. Mr Ravi spoke about how Wonderchef has built its brand name and become a digitally-led business in a competitive market, while Sandeep and Arjun spoke about the disruption of their business fields in India, and solving challenges using the right channel mix and building great community networks. Sandeep also shed light on how innovation can impact a digital user’s behaviour, and the influence innovation has which can potentially disrupt the wedding industry.
The event came to a close with a final panel discussion on innovation and trends for 2020, digital growth, and focus on digital strategy and performance by industries across their respective fields, moderated by Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat. He stated, “The last decade saw a quantum leap in the growing number of data users. This decade will now witness the digital medium open its doors to vernacular content and marketing to a brand new audience, radically changing the landscape of digital solutions. It will be exciting to see the impact unfold.” He was joined by Vinesh Gadhia, Senior Vice President of Lupin Ltd., and Juhi Singh, Digital Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy Division of Marico.
Suneil Chawla recently participated in the Pitch CMO Summit 2019 held in Bangalore. The Pitch CMO Summit is a flagship property of exchange4media group, and the presenting partner for the event was The Hindu. Each year the summit focuses on current and relevant marketing topics, in the transforming global market. This year's theme for the event was ‘Demystifying Brand Building Experience’.
The discussion started off with the topic ‘Survival of the Fittest: How Brands can win in the Digital Age’. The panelists for the discussion were Aarti B Iyer, Marketing Head, Unibic; Ashutosh Vaidya, Chief Marketing Officer, Kurlon; Mangesh Panditrao – CEO, Shoptimize; Meera Iyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Medlife.com; Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, Head of Marketing, Baskin Robbins India, and Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder, Social Beat & Influencer.in. The session was moderated by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President and Chief Knowledge Officer, EQUiTOR Value Advisory.
The discussion started off on a political note which then moved towards recognition of a brand followed by how brands need to constantly adapt to changes and keep up with new trends. Suneil Chawla speaks about the importance of gaining the trust of a customer by reaching out to them and how digital makes people create shortcuts which helps in a faster response.
The event was a grand success with insight being shared by industry leaders, helping in understanding the role of digital marketing and brand building experiences.
2nd April 2019: Social Beat, one of India’s leading digital marketing agencies, bagged two top awards in the ‘Digital’ category at the recently held ‘Maddys 2019’ in Chennai. The first, a Gold Award, is for the Best Use of Digital for Klay Schools, and the second, a Bronze, for the Best Digital Public Service for Social Beat’s road safety awareness video.
‘Maddys 2019’ is an annual award event organised by the Ad Club of Madras to honour the most creative minds of the Indian advertising industry. This is one of the top advertising awards recognising path-breaking campaigns in various categories such as Print, Radio, TV and Digital.
Commenting on the digital initiatives for Klay Schools, Vikas Chawla, co-founder of Social Beat, said, “Klay is one of our premier clients in the educational sector and our specialised digital initiatives have played a significant role in establishing them as one of the preferred pre-schools in India. We began with a refresh of their website keeping in mind factors like design functionalities and user - experience. We also leveraged their YouTube channel with a series of videos highlighting the environment and the approach adopted by Klay schools in nurturing future generations. The center-specific digital campaign strategies proved to be a great tool for increased visibility, creating brand awareness and driving walk-ins.”
In addition to this, Social Beat also won an award for their unique video highlighting the importance of maintaining good road etiquette. Speaking about this recognition, Suneil Chawla, co-founder of Social Beat said, “The video titled ‘A Day in the office ft. Bad Drivers’ highlights the bad behaviour of drivers on the road compared to everyday work life. We projected basic road safety rules such as ‘Don’t text while driving’ and ‘Don’t drive on pavements’ using some common professional etiquette examples. This video was a huge hit on all our social media platforms.”
These awards follow close on the heels of the prestigious ‘Best Digital Marketing Agency of the Year’ that Social Beat won at the Marketing Maverick Awards held in Mumbai.
Social Beat recently concluded the Digital Leadership Summit for 2019 held at Bangalore. The event was a grand success. With industry leaders sharing their insights. Mr. Atin Chhabra - General Manager, Marketing at Schneider Electric shed light on the digital transformation of B2B Customer Experience for large and diverse organizations like Schneider Electric. Here are some of the highlights of the session.
Gone are the days when companies introduced a product in the market and it had to be accepted by the consumers. Times have changed, today there are more platforms for consumers, more architectures to experiment on and more connected products. This gives rise to a demand-side play, consumers these days do not demand more products or services but a more engaging customer experience.
Mr. Atin speaks about how it wasn’t long ago when the competition was determined on the basis of products or services. Another company selling similar products or services they were considered as competition. However, that isn’t the case anymore. For a company like Schneider which deals with energy, management, and automation, the competitor for Schneider would be Amazon. This is solely because of the customer experience offered by companies like Amazon. The thin line between who competitors are and who offers a better experience is diminishing.
Traditionally competitive advantage was factored in on the basis of 2 key points which are:
However, gone are the days when competitive advantage meant low cost and differentiation. Today there are a number of companies that offer both lower costs while also being highly differentiated. One of the most important takeaways from this differentiated competitive advantage is the scale of operations and the experience they have within the specific domain. This indeed is competitive for any traditional company.
To adapt to this companies may look at case studies on big internet giants like Google, Uber, and Amazon, but this constitutes only 6% of the total companies in the world. Other than these big companies that make the 6% while the rest of the 94% of companies which have existed for more than a century or two. What is it that these traditional companies that make up the 94% have done? How do they compete with the big names? According to the statistics, these traditional companies who have implemented digital transformation strategies have seen a 9% increase in revenue. They have seen a whopping 26% increase in profitability. Not only does the digital transformation for companies help in money making but also helps in saving costs. These companies are known as digital masters.
Digital Masters look at digital transformation on two dimensions:
Digital Capabilities today are spread across 3 different functions.
According to public data, close to 70 percent of digital transformation investments go to digital customer experience. This is because over the course of time customers have also changed, this change is not limited to B2C but also B2B customers.
The change is such that 57 percent of the B2B customers have decided what to purchase even before contacting the vendor. Almost 55 percent are looking for B2B products on social media platforms other than LinkedIn. The most astonishing fact is that 86 percent is willing to pay 16 percent more price for an amazing experience. While a good digital experience is important for the digital footprint, it is important to have content to offer a good experience.
DCX or Digital Customer Experience is becoming the forefront to interact, engage and transact with customers. It is very important to get the basics of user experience correct.
Here are the four pillars for creating a digital customer experience function or strategy.
These four pillars need to be kept in mind while creating a digital customer experience strategy. As each pillar looks into important aspects of a digital customer experience this ensures the strategy covers these aspects.
Here are 4 pillars looked upon for the digital transformation agenda at Schneider:
Digital Marketing was considered to be the future of marketing until a few years ago but of late it has all boiled down to digital customer experience. This digital customer experience works across the entire company. It is important to increase the competence of the people, while hiring is possible, the most effective way is by upskilling and strong digital community program. The top-down approach helps in building a stronger digital community within an organization rather than hiring a small group.
The Digital Leadership Summit 2019 held at Bangalore was a massive success, to say the least. With insights shared by leaders of the industry. Mr. Ishan Gupta - Agency Lead, New Business at LinkedIn shed light on how companies and B2C brands can use LinkedIn as a platform to grow their business and how leveraging on the LinkedIn network can help businesses. Let’s have a look at some of the key insights of the session.
New Customer Experiences
The linear supply models have become outdated in recent years. Customers today want a new and fresh experience while on the internet. According to recent statistics, almost 73% of members on the platform are ready to accept content which is consumer-centric. These users are keen to accept content that is B2C which also lifts the tag that LinkedIn is only a B2B platform or focuses only on B2B. This acceptance of B2C also makes the platform become the perfect environment for consumer brands to reach out to an audience with whom they can engage with while on the platform. Almost 98% of the existing advertisers believe that the platform is a great place to be on for engagement with consumers.
There is a significant amount of investment being made towards enhancing digital capabilities by brands. This includes creating a space for the brand within the digital ecosystem and making the brand visible to the consumers on various platforms. However, the most important part of the digitization of brands and businesses is customer experience. Good customer experience is very important for the brand and especially the in the digital space the digital customer experience is key to the success of the brand and as a result, almost 70% of the investments towards digitization of a brand or business goes towards creating a good customer experience.
LinkedIn is the largest platform with a global reach for professionals and it is with no doubt that the members of the platform are among the highest paid executives. One-fourth of the userbase of the platform belongs to the highest tax bracket. This also means that the spending capacity of one-fourth of the users is high enough for consumer brands and even luxury brands to target. Good digital customer experience is very important for a business and if the customer is satisfied with the digital experience more than 85% of the customers are willing to pay a premium of almost 16%. All this is possible only because of the good customer experience provided to a customer on a digital platform or marketplace.
Planning for the future
With almost a fourth of the user base being of the highest tax bracket, it is no surprise that the users will be planning for their future. This planning will also include investments of different kinds including investment in the securities market. One in seven users of the LinkedIn platform have invested their money in the market in the form of mutual funds. This makes for some very useful data for the mutual fund companies, and also gives them a clearer idea of their target group.
The data that is collected on the platform with the help of the userbase can help the B2C business. This data can be used for tailoring new products which can focus on a specific target group. The data helps in curating a buyer persona which makes it easier for companies to work on consumer products which can better suit the needs of the consumer. The average user of LinkedIn is on the platform for a specific reason and not just to browse or while away time which makes the platform different from social media platforms.
The best part of having an audience from a platform like LinkedIn is that audience engagement is really good. These audiences have been bucketed into various segments with the help of the new advertising platform.
Mass Affluent: There are more than 3 million mass affluent users on the platform. How the categorization of mass affluent works? Any individual having investible assets worth more than seventy lakh rupees is considered to be a mass affluent. This is the extent to which data can be narrowed down to for categorization purposes.
High Networth Individuals: This again is a very niche segment that can be used to target a certain category of individuals within the platform. The targetting of high net-worth individuals or HNI’s can be done by brands or businesses looking for clientele with a market offering that targets the niche markets.
Young and mobile: Brands, businesses and even jobs that target young and mobile people with the help of the new advertising platform. The target audience can be reached out to directly with the help of filtering in order to be target specific. This again helps in target specific marketing campaigns, this makes the campaign's cost effective as well as direct.
Function and Industry: With the help of the new platform it becomes easier to narrow down on a person or target group working at a specific function or hierarchy within a specific industry. Making the options to target consumers even more specific and enhancing the interaction with the targetted audience much faster and more effective. This then helps in getting a better return on investment making the initial investment purposeful for the business.
The tool for the platform is effective to the extent where a person or a group of potential consumers can be targetted based on the basis of the school attended by them. Making the search and targetting of consumers more effective to say the least.
With a rapid global shift towards digitization the digital customer experience of utmost importance for a business or a brand. A good digital experience for a customer helps the brand in attracting more customers while also having loyal customers. Engaging with the customers is important to help the brands understand their customers and the requirements in order to cater to the specific customer groups and their requirements.
2019 marks the 11th year since YouTube’s entry into the Indian market. To help marketers and creators understand the massive impact YouTube has made in India and its importance in the digital ecosystem today, Youtube hosted the 2019 Brandcast in India.
YouTube currently has over 265M users in the country and this number is expected to reach 500M by 2020. This incredible number is in relation to the increase in the total number of internet users in India that has grown from 15M just five years ago to 100s of millions of users today. Its ability to provide a personalised media experience and offer content in various languages has made YouTube one of India’s most-used platforms.
Over the last 11 years, YouTube has become a platform for storytellers and creators to share content in different languages and reach an engaged audience in rural areas and big cities alike. It has become a success story for numerous YouTubers like ‘Mostly Sane’ who uses YouTube to discuss social issues such as mental health (the channel is currently at 3M subscribers) and more recently Priyanka Chopra, who chose YouTube to extend her audience reach with hew new show ‘If I could do just one thing’.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, says it is the preferred social platform for creators and businesses alike due to its ability to reach out to a large audience pool in a personalised way. When Pepsi ran an ad campaign on YouTube, it saw a 14% increase in sales and 3.3x return in ad spend. Alternatively, Hyundai’s ad campaign had a massive audience reach of 221M. The ability to scale and impact on YouTube can result in business leading results. Currently, vernacular content is taking centre stage and has helped increase engagement across all channels.
Mark Patterson of Group M discussed the video revolution in India and how it has changed the way brands communicate with their customers. Group M is a media advertising company that has had a presence in Asia for more than 2 decades and is responsible for 1 in 2 ads in India.
Mark highlighted the evolution of the media landscape and how mobile video has become a secret weapon for many marketers. One of the main reasons for this is the change in the way users consume content and seek entertainment. They look for three things: convenience, customisation and choice. Statistics show that 60-70% of people in India consume content on mobile video every day.
The digital spends in India remain comparatively low when compared to China where 64% of ad spends is digital while this is only at 18% in India. However, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world at a 14% GDP and digital ad spends is expected to catch up soon.
Mark Patterson also discussed the three main themes on the why and how of digital advertising in India and how YouTube affects these themes.
1. Driving results across through the funnel
YouTube has allowed marketers to have a mass reach and gain more awareness of their brand with tools such as YouTube Masthead.
2. Unlocking creativity
YouTube allows for personalised messaging that has helped deliver performance. This has resulted in a 20% uplift inconsideration, a 31% increase in awareness and a 900% increase in search queries.
3. Cross channel planning
While this is still a fairly new concept for most media agencies. Group M has taken a step in this direction by integrating YouTube reach data with Group M planning tools. This has helped them optimise maximum reach across multiple devices.
It is no secret that Youtube has become the secret weapon for many marketers to reach their target audience. To take advantage of the immense reach that Youtube offers, Social Beat collaborated with our client Sundaram Mutual to create a masthead ad to promote their new fund. This campaign generated incredible results, proving the effectiveness of Youtube as a medium to reach out to the target market.
Sundaram was launching an open-ended equity scheme and wanted to create awareness around their product within a short period of time. Digital marketing has been proven to provide finance companies with the reach they require so Youtube was the obvious choice when it came to achieving the objective.
Mastheads are usually charged on a daily basis so we used the 24 hour period we had as effectively as we could. To enable maximum viewership we ran the campaign over the weekend. For the entirety of the day any individual that accessed Youtube through their desktop, tablet or mobile device saw the masthead ad at the top of their pages. This helped us increase our subscriber base and drive traffic to the website.
The 20-second Sundaram masthead achieved phenomenal results. Sundaram’s subscriber base grew from 356 to an outstanding 56,000! It has increased since then and is currently standing at 57,000 and growing every day. The video also generated 14 million views in a span of 24 hours.
To achieve these incredible results, we adopted a digital-first marketing strategy to reach the target audience. We were also able to track and measure our results to scale the brand to new heights.
You can read more about our Youtube ad campaign with Sundaram Mutual here.
Ben Jones, Creative Director at Google says that 30% of ROI is driven by media elements and targeting data. The other 70% comes from creative. There are three elements that affect ROI in digital:
Many people assume that with all the content out there, the consumer’s attention span is decreasing but this is not true because people today prefer long-form content to short-form content. What has changed is how quickly consumers reject and accept the content they consume. The content needs to be longer, richer, deeper and grab the attention of the viewer faster.
Another way a brand can improve ROI is by understanding the customers better with more personalised messaging. They should change content according to the target audience and in a way that will allow the brand to relate to the customer better. Statistics show that customisation of the ads specific to the target market can result in a 10% lift in ad recall.
Research has shown that In India 60-70% of content is consumed via the mobile device. Therefore, when creating content, brands need to keep in mind that the shots framed and the stories told are optimised for the mobile user. It is important for agencies to rethink their digital content strategies this way so they are able to get the brand message to the target audience better.
To help agencies adopt the above strategies in their content plan, a new Rethink Council has been created to identify how brands can rethink their marketing and targeting to measure and maximise creativity to connect to the customer.
YouTube Brandcast India 2019 ended with an insightful discussion with world-renowned director Zoya Akhtar. She highlighted the importance of the role YouTube played in her recent film ‘Gully Boy’ and how she was able to discover and do in-depth research for the movie through YouTube. YouTube also played a huge role in promoting the supporting content for the movie such as trailers and interviews.
YouTube has played a crucial role in the evolution of digital media in India and YouTube Brandcast 2019 highlighted the importance of the digital platform and how it has changed the way people consume content in India.
As a part of our Second Digital Leadership Summit at Mumbai, a panel discussion was held on the future trends of digital marketing - AI, augmented reality and vernacular content. The two panellists were Ms Channan Sawhney - Head, Digital Marketing, Johnson & Johnson and Mr. Prathyush Kukreja – Head, Product Monetisation at Haptik. The session was moderated by Mr. David Appasamy, Head of Brand & Strategy, Social Beat.
Prathyush from Johnson & Johnson enlightened the
audience on how the perception of AI has changed over the years. He said that
in 2015, AI was just a buzz word and no one really knew what AI was. The
preconceived notion was that AI will automate everything, leading to
unemployment. But, in 2018, the scenario has changed. Expectations have become
realistic and technology has come to a place where it can add value to
achieving the necessary business objectives.
According to Prathyush, this is an era of Conversational AI, a subset of Artificial Intelligence backed with data collected by brands and advertisers. Brands must build conversational AI to communicate with the users based on their behavioural and transactional or historical behaviour. Unlike a television commercial or a radio advertisement, conversational AI is not linear and one-to-one. When you use conversational AI in advertising and branding, each and every customer is unique and the content will be customised according to the needs of that particular user. He further added that Artificial Intelligence considers several other factors such as the buying nature and purchase frequency of the user. This where AI is today. AI is no longer a buzz word today, but, it is a tool of competitive advantage. Currently, brands are competing with each other to develop better AI to deliver better ROI in terms of acquiring users and telling better brand stories.
Channan from Johnson & Johnson said that AI technology is not utilised to its fullest in FMCG industry. If used properly, AI has the power to break the clutter and make the brand stand out. Brands can convey right messages to the user in such a way so as to create a long lasting impact on the audience. Johnson & Johnson is employing AI technology rather than AR. Google and Facebook have already started their AI and AR journey. Other brands have huge benefits from this. But, for FMCG companies, implementation of AI technology is extremely important since this is an industry that communicates with its audience on a day-to-day basis.
According to Channan, consumers are always on a look out for good content on the Internet. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, there is a huge demand for content related to pregnancy and newborn care. It is observed that most of the customers prefer consuming the content in their own local languages. If you are a market leader in a particular industry, it is important to take the lead and provide the kind of content that the consumer is looking for. That’s why Johnson & Johnson has adopted an active native content strategy. One of the biggest priorities for Johnson & Johnson is to strengthen their regional content strategy so as to deliver the right brand messages for the audience in a manner that they want to hear.
Prathyush highlighted the importance of integrating voice search and vernacular content to build the effectiveness of conversational AI. Nowdays, majority of people are accessing the Internet using vernacular languages rather than English. The Internet has witnessed a commendable shift with the introduction of voice search. This technology is much user-friendly in the sense that users can directly talk to the device without even touching it. Hence the power of voice search is immense. According to data from Google, after the introduction of voice search, Hindi is the most preferred language for content consumption. Taking this into consideration, Haptik is also working on developing a conversational AI with vernacular capabilities. Many of the leading advertisers are also leveraging Devanagari scripts and other local languages in their lead generation and branding campaigns on various digital platforms.
Channan cited that one of the biggest wins of investing in AI is that market study has become easier like never before. With the adoption of AI technology, brands can provide efficient solutions to customers in a much faster manner. This technology has the huge power to transform the way in which data is processed and maintained for delivering business results
Prathyush spoke about an interesting campaign that Haptik had conceptualised for the Bollywood movie Thugs of Hindostan. Google Maps was a great digital marketing tool for this movie. When somebody asked for directions, instead of the usual voice, users could hear directions from Aamir Khan himself. These innovations by Google and Facebook can be adopted by companies specialised in AI technology in order to help brands and advertisers offer value to their customers.
Prathyush cited a recent case study on how HDFC Life
executed a branding campaign using AI. The brand wanted to create awareness
about importance on investing in Life Insurance among the millennials. For this
Haptik created an AI personality called Shayari
wala who educated the millennials on the importance of investing in the
form of shayaris. The main reasons why HDFC strategised their campaign in this
way is primarily because millennials love story telling and they consume
content that is fun and quirky.
According to Channan, Augmented Reality is a great
story telling tool for brands if it is used for delivering the right message.
For instance, some of the brands have incorporated AR for product packaging. A
well conceptualised AR lead can communicate great brand stories to the
On the contrary, Prathyush said that the use of AR in
branding and digital marketing is still vague and unclear. There is no clarity
on how brands can measure ROI, drive sales and generate leads using an AR
campaign. Augmented reality is a great platform for education and can be easily
adopted by real estate and gaming industries. But, it will take a few more years
for AR to establish itself in the digital landscape.
AI plays a huge role in automation of ads, said
Prathyush. The time taken for education and lead generation have become much
faster with the use of AI technology. According to Channan, marketing
automation is all about programmatic ads, best custom audiences and precision
marketing that help in delivering right brand messages for the right target audience.
Channan also highlighted the importance for brands to
identify ways to migrate content users to vernacular chatbots. For this, brands
must focus on investing in real time machine learning and customised content
that can play a huge role in understanding your customers, drive sales and
This was indeed an insightful panel discussion and brand strategists from across sectors understood the need for adopting such advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality to drive sales, generate leads and withstand competition.
The recently concluded second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit held in Mumbai saw many industry leaders sharing key insights and discussing trends in the digital marketing landscape. Among our speakers was Mr Abraham Alapatt – President and Group Head: Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services and Innovation at Thomas Cook. Mr Alapatt spoke about unlocking growth through innovation. Let’s take a look at some key insights from his speech.
Set up in 1881, Thomas Cook has been around for 137 years. Today Thomas Cook has grown in strengths from a travel agency to a brand that deals with travel, foreign exchange, business travel and many more. Thomas Cook’s massive growth since 2012 all boils down to innovation. For a brand or company to stay relevant and sustain success, they need to continually innovate to come up with new and fresh ideas for operations, products and service
Alapatt spoke about his role as head of innovation at Thomas Cook. Innovation isn’t something that is forced. Innovating your process or brand for the sake of innovation is redundant and will only do your company more harm than good. As a brand, try to look for a particular value to enhance. The easiest way for businesses to innovate is to find new customers or create a unique opportunity with an existing customer. The best way to this is by implementing a full-funnel marketing approach will help target and retain customers better. Take a look at our video on full-funnel marketing and how it can help your brand.
Many brands are still yet to make the shift from traditional marketing to digital. Today, ignoring the power of digital marketing means leaving your brand in the dust. By employing a digital-first strategy, any brand can achieve higher reach, better engagement and an increase in generating high-quality leads. Here, Alapatt cited two examples. The first was targeting people who make pilgrimage visits. The Thomas Cook website lets users create personalised tours and packages centred around pilgrim centres around the country, pre-book the darshan and continue on the holiday. This feature helped them tap into a whole new target audience including those in tier I and tier II cities. The second was adding an “Explore” feature to target millennials. The explore button gave millennials the chance to create their own personalised list of activities including adventure sports, sightseeing, etc. as well as a prompt to download an app that shows your every route needed for your vacation. The idea behind these features on Thomas Cook’s website was essential to explore new categories to tap into India’s next billion internet users.
Alapatt touched briefly upon Thomas Cook’s virtual reality feature that gives customers a sense of their planned vacation. In the last few years, virtual reality has become a significant part of mainstream digital marketing efforts. Google India’s Year in Search Report 2017 posits that the Indian travel market will hit $48 billion by 2020. Given these substantial numbers, VR is an excellent way for a brand’s audience to “experience” their products or services without direct physical effects. Not only does this help increase engagement, but combined with an effective digital marketing strategy, VR can help mould the future of marketing for your brand.
YouTube is currently the world’s second most popular search engine. In India alone, there are now around 225 million active users on YouTube, with this number expected to increase to 500 million by 2020. Brands need to leverage the power of YouTube or face losing out on a sizeable audience. From ensuring your video content uses techniques like YouTube SEO to exploring multiple formats, brands can improve performance and conversions. Videos have been around for decades, but have recently found their spotlight in terms of social media and digital marketing. Going forward, videos and interactive content will be at the forefront of digital marketing trends in 2019 and beyond.
Innovation does not need to be restricted to marketing efforts or revenue made. Several brands around the world focus on giving back to their community and society at large. Thomas Cook, too, with the aim of social impact started a Centre of Learning. The primary objective of this institution was to drive skilling and employability. They are also involved with multiple NGOs and government organisations that help uplift those in need. CSR via innovation is another way to scale up your business in 2019.
This session by
Mr Abraham Alapatt was insightful for several of the attendees. The pace of
growth today is astounding. Business models transformations that took ten years
are now changing in as little time as three years. To stay ahead of the
competition, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and brands must anticipate change
and act with the future in mind while continuing to deliver results.