BrandWagon AdTalk with Jajabaor Brand Consultancy's Upasna Dash | The Financial Express

BrandWagon AdTalk with Jajabor Brand Consultancy’s Upasna Dash

Digital marketing has become a crucial aspect in order to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.

Upasna Dash, Founder & CEO, Jajabor Brand Consultancy.

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. Upasna Dash, founder and CEO, Jajabor Brand Consultancy, 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? 

They say there are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen. This has held true for the last few years, where every year we have seen a huge paradigm shift in terms of user behaviour and technology. The biggest differences that have cropped up are the following:

  1. Mobile-first user behaviour- In the past few years we have had a generation of users who are mobile-first. These are users who have not gone through the evolution of TV to Desktop to mobile. Therefore brands have had to evolve to ensure that they are communicating with users at the right distribution platforms, swiftly & in real-time
  2. Two-Way communication- One of the biggest paradigm shifts has been consumers expressing their feedback publicly. Unlike earlier, brands can now execute, validate and garner user feedback within a span of hours. This also leads to spikes and dips in user sentiment like never before. One miscalculated message can nose-dive months of brand equity or one great campaign can catapult brand love. 
  3. Global Exposure- The internet has been one of the biggest equalizers. Today, a consumer sitting in a tier-2 city in India is exposed to trends in developed markets. This has led to wider exposure, demand for high-quality communication and a cultural pot-pourri for user experience 

What are the recent best marketing or advertising campaigns you have seen and why? 

As someone who has had the opportunity to work with some of the leading brands in the world across diverse markets, I strongly believe that powerful storytelling can truly move the needle by enabling brands, people, and ideas to meet their goals. In the recent past, I have admired what CRED has pulled off in a very short span of time. The challenge with fintech brands is building consumer trust. People find it hard to trust their life savings with anything digital. Cred identified the sentiment and delivered a campaign right on target. It did it by being ‘not too serious’ about itself and dipping its toes in pop culture. The result – is a unique and quirky identity.  It captured the pulse of the people in a way that has never been done before. 

Another excellent example is The Whole Truth, while we have worked with them briefly, the lessons on brand and founder authenticity have stayed with us. In a vertical crowded with lavish marketing spends and legacy brands, TWT has carved a niche with authentic, simple, and engaging content across the board. Their brand voice seeps across every distribution platform. The brand also admires Zerodha’s founders for defining what holistic leadership entails. Their thought leadership seems natural; it is not intimidating, and it has piqued the interest of many individuals in “investing” money in stocks and equities for good.

Which brand in the last year has made the best use of digital, and how? 

It has to be Zomato! Zomato is now providing people with an experience rather than “just their services.” With something so binary as food delivery, they have made an excellent “playbook” for digital marketing. With aesthetics, memes, and over-the-top content for festivals, people genuinely look forward to their pings. They have decoded virality with the most simplistic approach by just tapping into user behavior and creating a sense of FOMO amongst the masses. Zomato knows its consumers so well that they just catch their attention with anything they do. They have genuinely built a great case for a customer brand by being bold enough to be so public with their discourse.

 In a post-Covid world, what are the dos and don’ts of digital marketing?

COVID-19 altered the way individuals communicate and consume information. These shifts compelled brands to acknowledge the importance of continuous communication with their customers and not get replaced by just another “better deal.” Customers, on the other hand, are always willing to pay a premium for brands that remain relevant through effective and consistent communication. Faith and credibility are becoming increasingly important as customers have become capricious and impatient. Establishing trust through honesty is imperative to a brand’s success.  

In this new reality, marketers should avoid attempting to monetize the epidemic or communicating through a fear-based narrative. Every emotion in the universe springs from love and fear, and as a brand, you can choose which path to take. Therefore, each business should offer consumers a forward-looking approach to their communication. 

One recent bad case of advertising you have seen, and why? 

Byju’s is an excellent illustration of how not to communicate with your stakeholders! They are not the first business to face a crisis, nor will they be the last. However, in my opinion, they should have demonstrated honesty and transparency in their communication. The back-to-back announcements of layoffs and the onboarding of the world’s most renowned player (Lionel Messi) as a brand ambassador were not the best decisions. With the narrative they used, the brand came across as insensitive to the people and the masses. They should have been forthright and honest with the public about the misinterpretation of their prior commitments in signing “Messi” as their brand ambassador. It diluted faith in the brand for the people who used it. 

For every brand custodian and storyteller, the biggest lesson here is that the audience views you from the outside as a single entity. They listen, see, and perceive based on  what you show them. They do not see the different facets or layers of your personality, nor are they privy to the brand’s internal business decisions.

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First published on: 29-01-2023 at 12:36 IST