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Content marketing will shift from acquisition-based to retention-based communication, says Ashim Mathur of Dolby

Mathur talks about his brand's content marketing strategy, trends and growth of content marketing, changing consumer behaviour and startups using content marketing in a free-wheeling interview with BuzzInContent

Ashim Mathur

The next few years will define content marketing effectiveness with more AI tools to measure impact and acceptance of content. The marketers will have to rethink their content marketing strategies in order to interact with the consumers on the go. More than just reach, brands will look at different content strategies to hold consumer attention for long, says Ashim Mathur, Senior Director Marketing, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories.

“In the coming years, content marketers will need to reshape their content format, tone and style for a voice-activated, connected world where content is consumed in new environments on the go. Another trend we foresee is the shift from acquisition-based communication to retention-based communication, which will be aimed at holding the attention of consumers to gain trust and loyalty and trigger actions,” said Mathur.

Mathur thinks that content marketing is a byproduct of the evolving consumer behaviour. He said, “With the advent of social media, brands and marketers have had to evolve and adopt new strategies to keep up with their target audience. Some of the major changes we see is the uptake of internet and smartphones; these put an immense amount of power in the hands of consumers, and social media gives them a voice to make themselves heard.”

He has been associated with Dolby since 2010 in various marketing roles. Before joining the sound and technology company, Mathur has worked with Microsoft and LG Electronics. BuzzInContent caught up with Mathur to understand his strategies to grow brands through content marketing, views on the current scenario and tips on building brands through content routes.

How much does Dolby focus on content marketing initiatives among its range of communication plans and how much has it benefited?

Content marketing is an important part of our communications strategy. We believe that strong, relatable content is key when reaching out to the audience, especially through video and on digital platforms. The advantage of creating such content is that it enables you to strike a chord with viewers and connect with them at a deeper level by getting into their mind space. Developing effective content is a sure-shot way of building recall and engagement.

When did content marketing come to mainstream for the electronic and tech brands you have worked with and why?

For the last few years I’ve seen a surge in brands implementing content marketing as a core strategy. Fair credit has to be given to the aggressive penetration of internet, especially video consumption, which has given millions access to content. A lot also has to do with measurability. Organisations want quantifiable results, through which they can better their plans and understand the audience’s response and tweak their content accordingly. Tools on social media also allow you to reach out to highly targeted audiences, which give every brand a chance to be seen by the correct target. We can expect to see many more brands join the bandwagon soon.

Looking at the growth of content marketing, where do you see this stream in next the five years in terms of size and scale when compared to other forms of communication?

We believe content marketing has immense potential, which we will witness in the coming years. The next few years will define content marketing’s effectiveness with more AI tools to measure impact and acceptance of content. In the coming years, content marketers will need to reshape their content format, tone and style for a voice-activated, connected world where content is consumed in new environments on the go. Effective content will fall into three camps: Practical (help me get what I need), educational (teach me), or emotional (entertain me). Another trend we foresee is the shift from acquisition-based communication to retention-based communication, which will be aimed at holding the attention of consumers to gain trust and loyalty and trigger actions.

Why are some categories still reluctant to adopt content marketing? When do you see it being considered mainstream across industries?

There is still apprehension among some categories in bringing content marketing to the forefront of their communication strategy.  This may be due to lack of understanding or faith, as it is still early days for content marketing. Other reasons could be the effective functioning of traditional marketing efforts, which are a tried and tested method. For example, organisations have well-worn marketing paths that are easy to follow. Going off the beaten path into uncharted territory can be intimidating. Some businesses are reluctant to abandon traditional marketing tactics for what they may believe to be unproven content marketing or new media practices. There is also a lack of content marketing role models from whom organisations can learn best practices. We are still far away from content marketing being considered mainstream across industries, but the process is certainly picking up among businesses that are open to trying new things to connect with their audience.

How much has the changing behaviour of consumer contributed to the growth of this stream and what are those changes you would like to list?

Content marketing is a by-product of evolving consumer behaviour. With the advent of social media, brands and marketers have had to evolve and adopt new strategies to keep up with their target audience. Some of the major changes we see is the uptake of internet and smartphones; these put an immense amount of power in the hands of consumers, and social media gives them a voice to make themselves heard. This can work positively, because satisfied customers can be your best advocates, but can also make the marketer’s job more challenging as they have to address more immediately the concerns of the unhappy.

We see the content marketing initiatives across all the platforms still why is it that it is skewed towards digital as main medium?

The digital platform provides accurate measurability, which is an important prerequisite to quantify the reach and impact of a campaign. Another reason is that the digital platform can convert to a direct sale, which gives it immense potential and is bet big on. Millennials and young adults constitute a majority of the audience on digital, and these form the core target audience for most brands giving the platform greater preference from marketers.

Is it that the new age and agile businesses more comfortable using this stream in comparison to established businesses and why?

While new age businesses do look at digital as the preferred format, they are not the only ones playing the field. In fact, established businesses look at digital as an equally viable strategy and are willing to allot large budgets in order to increase their presence on digital in order to reach out to more audiences and further build their brand.

Content marketing is treated as a long-term brand-building exercise. Is that the reason that most brands ends up doing branded content despite beginning with the idea of content marketing?

The idea behind the branded content is to build brand recall by using an existing platform’s user base. Branded content goes a long way in terms of weaving in your brand/product proposition with relatable and sometimes even quirky content. While it may be effective in the short-run, branded content may not be the best approach to sustain over long periods. Content marketing enables you to sustain content on your platform, build context and engage with audiences over a period of time.

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