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Differentiated marketing and communication strategies

  1. Sanjay Mehta Boarding a fast moving train?? DIFFERENTIATED STRATEGIES FOR MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Sanjay Mehta Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength
  2. Sanjay Mehta Try boarding this train as it zooms past your platform on the railway station… What marketers are going through in changing times is not much different…
  3. Sanjay Mehta Where do these insights come from? About Me..
  4. Sanjay Mehta Our clients include…
  6. Sanjay Mehta • You have a product or service to sell – you need to market – you need to reach your prospect with your communication • Traditional ways have been advertising, direct marketing, PR, etc. • More specifically, print advertising, TV ads ($$), hoardings • PR largely meant, building relationships with journalists • Direct Marketing: Emails (spams?!), telemarketing (how we hate those?!) and mailers (junk?) • Would need budgets and yet, not very effective in changing times • Even so, many companies use these and are dependent on these The Traditional Ways of Marketing / Advertising
  7. Sanjay Mehta “First the news business, then the music business, then advertising. Is there any industry that I get involved in that doesn’t get destroyed by digital technology?” - Andy Nibley, who has led Reuters, Universal Music and ad agency, Marsteller
  8. Sanjay Mehta • Digital Tech allows client’s ultimate fantasy, “customize specific message to the specific consumer, at the specific moment” • It’s also a marketer’s nightmare • “The irony is that while there never have been more ways to reach consumers, it’s never been harder to connect with consumers!” • Death of mass marketing is death of lazy marketing • 200 Old Spice videos made in 48 hours; more work for less money • Controlled, one-way message is now a dialogue with millions • The power of the advertiser is rivaled now, by user influence The New Possibilities and Realities in Marketing
  9. Sanjay Mehta • Brands choosing to work with specialist digital, PR, social media agencies, rather than generalists: “looking for the right skills” • Tech challenges to what was once considered an expensive art form, e.g. creating a video (< $2K) or media planning (web ads?!) • Creativity is not that exclusive – how about crowdsourcing ideas?! • Kraft worked with GeniusRocket for one of it’s brands: – Against millions to agencies for one spot, got 7 spots for $40,000 – Also syndicated to web platforms for tracking, testing, sentiment analysis – For agency to be cutting edge, high overheads; GeniusRocket is a lean team Other Real Challenges for Traditional Advertising
  10. Sanjay Mehta “Why are so many marketing campaigns brand-destroyers and money-losers? Why is “branding” becoming a devalued asset, whose returns are dwindling (witness Google building the world’s mightiest brand with barely a penny of orthodox marketing expenditure)? Why do people and communities exact steeper and steeper discounts, price-cuts, and margin-crushing concessions from the beleaguered, besieged companies once known as the masters of the universe? The half-life of companies is shrinking and the weary practice known as “marketing,” adding little to no real value, seems powerless to help.” A strong condemnation of marketing as it stands today, by Umair Haque (HBR)
  11. Sanjay Mehta • About ‘pushing’ products down • Already overstuffed gullets of ‘consumers’ • By ‘targeting messages’ packed with imaginary benefits • In ‘grand campaigns’ that make overblown promises • “See this beer? It’s going to land you a girl of your dreams!” • Current marketing is about “talking down” to your customer In a changing world, Marketing is still a lot like this..
  12. Sanjay Mehta What Listening Up is NOT: • Stalking your customers to find their moments of weakness • Focus groups and differentiation • Data mining and then some more! • The UP is important: having dialogues about what really betters lives of people, their standards of living, and then finding real ways to make it happen for them Can Marketers go from Talking Down to Listening Up??
  13. Sanjay Mehta • Genuine talk with customers – not just about their wants and needs, but also about their hopes, fears, opportunities, threats, achievements, regrets; find ways to give long term fulfillment • Empowering more people in organization to talk to customers, not just the powerless cashier or customer service rep; org change! • Letting your critics rip at you – and listening to them; empowering people to be heard, instead of shouting them out • Investing not just in market research, but in people • Asking questions that matter – and being tough to face the music So what does Listening Up entail?
  14. Sanjay Mehta New Model, New Role Changing Marketing Model Where are the budgets? Not just Marketing, anyway
  15. Sanjay Mehta The Changing Marketing Model : From the Funnel to an Ellipse..
  16. Sanjay Mehta CONSIDER EVALUATE BUY ENJOY ADVOCATE BOND THE LOYALTY LOOP The Changing Marketing Model : From the Funnel to an Ellipse..
  17. Sanjay Mehta Marketing Budgets? Not leaving enough for the crucial touch points? CONSIDER EVALUATE BUY BOND Allocations not just about media (TV/Print/Radio etc) but about consumer touch points! Provide for ‘non-work’ budgets like creating, monitoring owned and earned media spaces!
  18. Sanjay Mehta Not just Marketing, anyway! Yet Marketing must be in charge..! Marketer as the Orchestrator: in charge of all Owned Media – in addition to traditional and digital marketing, also manage customer service, product literature design, product registration, warranty programs, etc. Marketer as publisher, content supply chain manager: Tons of content being produced by brands and for brands – owned and earned media; marketing to take charge Marketplace Intelligence Leader: From Google Analytics to Social Media Monitoring data, the insights must reside with marketing (“what the customer says / does, etc.”)
  20. Sanjay Mehta • You need a plan! And ideally, you plan early • Closely linked to the brand positioning that you choose to take • Will need to map resources to the plan you make • Who all will participate from your end? Which teams / persons? • It is not just about marketing communication – also need to cover internal (e.g. HR) communication, communication to investors (or prospective investors), vendors, partners, prospective employees • The “brand” is present in ALL of these – now consider who all will participate from your end! The Core Issues of Communications
  21. Sanjay Mehta • Think high level messaging - a manifesto of sort maybe? Example: • “Everything we communicate will be to encourage the value of a unique & personalized experience for every traveler; especially creating content around the reasons for travel, and the related activities that follow” • Create similar top level guiding principles for each target group • Formal, semi-formal and informal communications • Decide tonality and style – a brand personality that comes out • Document these to the extent that you can for CONSISTENCY What are you communicating? To whom?
  22. Sanjay Mehta • Visualize the target group as a person – describe that individual • Likewise, create the “author” profile in detail, from your side – for all types of communication that you are doing • Identify key objectives, milestones and deliverables • Plan as per your budget; budget as per your plan • Look at benchmarks, make assumptions, revalidate or tweak • From the individual Facebook post that you do, to the targetted email that you send out, start with a “desired response” and then see if you got there – over time, work on targets based on this Being Objective Oriented – Measurable too!
  23. Sanjay Mehta • Be clear – you’re going to create a LOT of content! • Time was when a 4-sheet brochure was all you needed • You may end up ‘publishing’ 10,000 – 100,000 pages of content! • The brochures (and several of them), instructions manuals, service reports, standard email responses of various kinds, even the telephone scripts for variety of inbound calls – just a beginning! • Your recruitment ads? Your investor introduction presentation? • Your financial report – for the bank, for the prospective investor • ALL and many more are a part of your COMMUNICATIONS! Companies and Brands are PUBLISHERS today!
  24. Sanjay Mehta • How about a blog? How frequent? Whether one is enough? • YouTube anyone? Creating video? How about a podcast?? • Slideshare rocks! A must-do! • Pinterest? Instagram? Oh, and now Instagram videos? Or Vine? • If you are a retail outlet, you cannot miss Foursquare? • And the big three: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – any idea what they demand in terms of content if you want to be effective?? • Google ads, SEO articles, display banners, third party forums… • YES, YOU’RE GOING TO COMMUNICATE A LOT!! Communicating in the digital space
  25. Sanjay Mehta • It’s largely about storytelling.. So think stories! • You cannot or may not be able to produce unique content – can you repurpose same content many times over? • You CAN afford to ignore some platforms – pick your battles • Go deep rather than wide • Know where your audience is – but think, slice and dice! • Slice and dice is one more reason why a lot of content is required • Focused, relevant content, for the audience and the platform • CONSISTENT with the brand, consistent with guiding principles How do you plan and prepare for lots of communication?
  26. Sanjay Mehta • “If you’ve communicated consistently to a particular audience, for a reasonable amount of time, your next communication, even if it carries NO mention of you or your brand, must be recognized by the reader as coming from you!” My Litmus test on Consistency
  27. Sanjay Mehta • Once you have your guiding principles, your sliced audiences, your overall objectives, etc. figured out • Start with articulating clearly the qualitative objective • Where relevant, put corresponding quantitative target numbers • Put down competition research – what platforms they are present on, what are they doing, qualitatively and quantitatively; this needs to be updated regularly • You may already be communicating – so record your current status in detail – platforms, numbers, demographics, etc. The Detailed Communication Plan
  28. Sanjay Mehta • Tonality of communication – detailed sketch of “who is communicating” • Communication keywords – based on what your TG’s searching • A lot of ‘discovery’ of your content happens via search engines; hence choice of keywords based on TG usage is crucial • Identify any key events in your calendar – launches, public events that matter, trade shows, conferences, etc.; factor for those • Define communication pegs – make several samples and keep • These will be independent for each platform and audience Fleshing out your communication plan
  29. Sanjay Mehta • For LinkedIn, you may like to decide what kind of profiles you want to connect with, and what communication you want to have • What groups will you participate in? And what will you talk about? • A Blog may require a detailed architecture to be defined • Third party platforms / groups that you may like to participate in, and content strategy for those • Specific campaigns or engagements to be detailed out • Hygiene for all platforms, e.g. About Us, T&C, Contact Info etc. Platform wise specifics
  30. Sanjay Mehta • The Content Communication Plan that you draw up with the level of detail described earlier will be your Bible – stay with it • We live in the world of a 140-character tweet, a 6-second video Vine, a 15-second video Instagram • The audience has low attention span, the audience is busy • The space is cluttered, your competition is not just your direct competitor but MTV and Fastrack too! • So be creative, K-I-S-S, cut to the chase • Unlearn the poetic, long-drawn writing our school taught us! Final Thoughts
  31. Sanjay Mehta THANK YOU Sanjay Mehta Joint CEO, Social Wavelength +91-98200-40918 @sm63Acknowledgements: The Future of Advertising – Danielle Sachs Marketing Can Do Better – Umair Haque Branding in the Digital Age – David Edelman (HBR)