The pandemic has brought about notable shifts across industries, and the case has been no different for marketing. Today, digital marketing has become a crucial aspect in order to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. In our weekly BrandWagon Ad Talk series, industry experts highlight what has changed over the past two years and more importantly, are these changes here to stay. Amit Relan, co-founder and CEO, mFilterIt, talks to BrandWagon Online, about the dos and don’ts of digital marketing, best marketing campaigns, and more.
What is the difference between launching a brand in today’s digital era versus earlier?
The shift has come in terms of customer behaviour and customer acquisition process. During the pre-digital era, brands need to have a good product, good-looking packaging, and an attractive positioning campaign. The focus was on capturing the attention through media like newspaper ads, TV, event sponsorships, and celebrity endorsements. Brands had to convince the customer with the value only and purchase used to follow. Although, in a modern digital era, a major change has happened in the way customers obtain information about products or services. From product info on the website to communication on social media, followed by reviews on various platforms about the product and its ownership and then keeping the customer engaged with loyalty programs. The brands need to have omnichannel presence as users have easy access to information, thanks to digitalisation. This is also fuelled by the presence of multiple channels or marketplaces to launch the products. The marketplaces now have started to create their niche, general, fashion, kids, travel and hospitality, grocery, among others. The expectations of buyers and the focus of brands have clearly shifted from communication to experience.
What are the recent best marketing or advertising campaigns you have seen and why?
- #indiranagarkaguna : One of the greatest attention grabbers. The focus of the product is to improvise the habit of clearing credit card bill on time in India. The campaign created millions of conversations over social media, and this was backed by a clean and easy-to-use interface of the app making Cred one of the growing brands.
- #VigilAunty : Looking at one of the biggest pain points of modern users, online financial scams, Vigil Aunty from HDFC is one of the finest campaigns. The issue was spoken about and education on how to protect yourself was provided in a fun manner making it highly engaging and relevant in today’s time.
Which brand in the last year has made the best use of digital and how?
Even for digital, content leads the conversation. The best use of digital is when the context of the published content is relevant. And you can’t pick one brand to be the best. There are multiple brands that have excelled to capture the attention of users and create a solid brand recall. Cred with #indiranagarkagunda, Cadbury with the reinvention of #KuchKhaasHai is few of the best campaigns. Zomato took digital engagement to the next level with Zomato Premier League. Predicting winners of the match in a cricket-loving nation was fun and food discounts added to the probability of participation. This was one of the best digital campaigns that increased the engagement, orders and recall of the brand.
In a post-Covid world, what are the dos and don’ts of digital marketing?
User behaviour has changed massively in the last couple of years. The average monthly consumption of mobile data per person has gone up from 9.7GB in 2018 to 17GB in 2021. With such high consumption of digital content, brands are targeting people on every possible online platform. For brands, there are certain things to take care of. To list them down:
- With stricter regulations coming from operating systems, the future is cookieless environment making it difficult for brands to ensure the ads are going to the right audience. To counter this, brands need to adapt to contextual ads where ads are placed in a relevant, contextual content environment.
- The spending needs to be smart. Brand bidding takes up a good chunk of ad budgets. mFilterIt offers a campaign ON/OFF solution to make your brand bidding campaigns super smart. With this technology, the brand can activate its brand bidding campaign when its competitor is bidding on the brand’s keywords and automatically switches it off when the competitor is not running the campaign.
- With the rise in digital ad spends, there are unwanted activities that drain the budget due to invalid traffic. Advertisers need to step up and have ad traffic validation solutions to ensure clean genuine traffic from their campaigns.
- Data is going to play an important role to get insights and decision-making. For brands selling on e-commerce marketplaces, mScanIt is the solution for brands to build intelligence about their products as well as their competition.
One recent case of bad advertising you’ve seen, and why?
You really can’t point out any campaign as wrong or a bad case of advertising as the brains behind it might have a different opinion than a larger audience. A lot of times brands have to face backlash because few people react in a negative manner in the first go and then the larger public form an opinion based on those comments. Although, brands can employ technology to track and understand the sentiment of their brands over the internet and can take corrective measures, wherever required. For me, the real bad case of advertising would be the one without the use of technology to measure its effectiveness.