e4m webinar presented by mFilterIt on Tuesady witnessed digital marketers coming together to discuss how to conserve online ad dollars from spilling and what marketers need to know in this post-COVID environment. Digital marketing leaders also decoded the new playbook for marketers.
The panel had Lalit Bhagia, CEO, DAN Consult; Shekhar Sharma, VP Digital, GroupM; Prasad Shejale, Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital; Vishal Chinchankar, Chief Digital Officer, Madison World and Gautam Save, VP Technology, Performics.Resultrix. The session chair was Ron Pullem, Principal Advisor, mFilterIt.
Pullem highlighted some of the main digital challenges that the industry saw in the first half of the year. “It started with Google in January announcing the phasing out of corporate third-party cookies. Closer to home, in India, Reliance Jio has raised 20 billion dollars from 11 investors which is going to allow them to go deeper into the mobile and also enter into e-commerce in a very meaningful way. This impact is going to be important for marketers, agencies, and advertisers in India. There is also this emergence of the advertising boycott of Facebook which no one thought would happen but has. Apple has announced optimal changes where consumers can opt-out of advertising. Lastly, the increase in the trend of mobile use, especially during this pandemic, has become more valuable,” stated Pullem.
Starting off the conversation, Sharma spoke about how this new market environment has changed the digital playbook. “The digital industry has always been at the edge of disruption. I go back four years when everything was actually disrupted completely getting into a very mobile-centric approach. We have had instances where marketers were quick to shut their entire desktop. There are three broad pillars to navigate in this post-COVID digital transformation that we are in which are the 3C’s: Content, Context, and Connections. Whenever you have any consumer talking to a brand in whatever form on your call center or interacting with your assets through a chatbot or watching a video all of this forms content. In this era what is critical is getting an ever-changing dynamics in terms of what the shape of the content is. If you were to actually look at it, everything is getting very utilitarian. We need to make every consumer’s life meaningful in terms of context and how we are interacting with our consumers. When you talk about spillovers, one of the key things that makes this entire digital ecosystem very fascinating is accountability. What I mean by accountability is the sharpshooting you can actually do on your consumers, segment the consumers in the way you want to address, profiling, and personalizing your consumers. Thirdly, it is about connections and creating each and every touchpoint with the consumer into content. It is about activating the appropriate channels or platforms or touchpoints to justify all the ROI’s.”
Sharing how the digital playbook has changed, Shejale remarked, “I’m a consumer myself and my behaviour patterns have changed during this pandemic. I’ve implemented this in my agency as well. My non-essential basket has grown now. My mind has started to look at more value. I’ve become more of a digital omnichannel. I started ordering things online and WhatsApp. Shop to loyalty has been shifted, choices have changed. I’m looking at convenience now. We need to make sure we put consumer changes on the table and then reflect that’s probably how our customers and clients are looking at it: the same way. We’re talking about reimagining now at this stage which is changing fundamentally the way consumers are using digital touchpoints. This has been a time well to build things for the future.”
Chinchankar commented, “It’s not about just a single media that works. Its always a media mix, part or integrated media that works. For me, marketing is clearly all about funnel marketing. There is top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. While we know that TV is a great medium that builds the awareness at the top of the funnel, it addresses largely also the bottom of the funnel for laser-sharp consumer targeting. Digital also has a role. It shouldn’t be only at the bottom but also at the top funnel in the consumer journey. In our playbook, we believe that there is something called an Outcomes Planner. We look at the encounter, explorer, experience and engagement. So where the consumers are and how are you going to encounter them, the experience when they buy your product and as a brand how do you engage with them throughout their life. We go behind where the audiences are that is where the cream is. As an agency, you need to bring in a lot more efficiency. You need to consider the medium that is really efficient. If it is giving you the right price, comparing it with the GRPs and CPRPs the other mediums are giving you. The need of the hour is a single currency with a single lens.”
Save shared, “To serve the client, we too needed to change the way of working. The main observation I’ve seen in my team is that instead of people working in a team the collaboration and decision making lying with a single resource has been amazing. Right now conversations are not just between the client servicing and marketing interactions. We are seeing conversations happening between the technology, the developer, IT team at the client’s space. This has been the biggest change in the way we interact with the organizations of the clients. Marketing technology is evolving and changing and can help the organization in many aspects. Right from lead conversion to managing multi-dimensional complex ones. All the building blocks need to come together to work in tandem and resolve the client’s issues that is the mantra for the post-COVID situation. This is how we will reboot quickly and get the attention of the clients and the audience.”
Bhagia, talking about how he embraced the challenges and triumphed through this time, said, “With COVID, the client’s priorities have changed. Whatever clients do with Digital, data, and MarTech perspective has become a high priority. One common trend and focus now is on using less marketing money to reach targets. The goal and targets are the same. The sources to market are changing. 20% of the customers are 200% of your profit whereas 80% of customers are for brand building. We’re not only using Martech to acquire customers, but we’re amalgamating AdTech with Martech to indulge the two to look at customer profitability and orchestration of customer retention and acquisition.”
Pullem asked the panelist, what new technological tools are required to survive in this post-COVID marketing environment, and change in consumer behaviour?
Sharma, sharing his perspective, said, “We need to create a process for digital transformation. We need to automate some staff jobs, ensure employees that their jobs are safe and they need to work on upskilling. In order to make sure that I’m on track, I need to transform my ops processes, reduce grunt work, create a design process for faster collaboration, call to action criticality, and have absolute trust in your employees.”
Shejale remarked, “There’s no one tool to ensure being on track. No two customers are the same. But in a situation where I have to choose one, it’ll be based on helping improve the efficiency of work style and customer retention and measure it.”
Chinchankar speaking on the same sentiment stated, “I think you can’t choose multiple tools to make a difference, you need to be very clear about one or two final tools that you want to really use.”
Save says that the base tool that I have is my resource and my people. “The tool that you will require is always the resources and talent and anything that can import this talent to help them in their work”, he added.
On a parting note, Bhagia concluded saying, “We need to redefine customer-centricity. The rules of engagement have changed. We need to go back and see what our business means to the customer and look at what kind of MarTech and Adtech can be implemented in the scenario.”