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ad:tech New Delhi 2012: Investing in digital ideas

Social media is a lucrative option for marketers to reach their TG that is usually the youth, but is it worth the moolah spent. Yes, say the experts

ad:tech New Delhi 2012: Investing in digital ideas

Social media is a lucrative option for marketers to reach their TG that is usually the youth, but is it worth the moolah spent. Yes, say the experts

Ananya Saha | Delhi | February 24, 2012

The first day of ad:tech 2012, the two-day digital marketing, media and advertising event, saw parallel panel sessions on brand strategy, performance marketing, retargeting and remarketing, branded content marketing, innovative technologies for improving brand engagement, advertising opportunities in online and social gaming, and video as a driver for user and advertiser engagement.

The panel session on 'Leveraging digital: Pushing the industry to invest in ideas' was moderated by Harish Bahl, Founder and Chairman, Smile Group, with panelists including LK Gupta, CMO, LG Electronics India; Arun Sharma, VP & Head, Media & Rural, Bharti Airtel; Sanjay Ahuja, Director - Telecom & Media for India & Saarc, Avaya; Gaurav Seth, Senior VP, Marketing & Communications, MAX; and Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Ltd.

Throwing light on LG’s digital roadmap, Gupta said, "Five years ago, LG's spend on digital marketing was barely Rs 1 crore. Today, it is in excess of Rs 40 crore." He was of the view that if a marketer wants to succeed with digital medium, it is important that to spend on the digital team.

Though Seth of MAX did not share the exact figure of how much the channel spends on digital medium, he said, "The year-on-year spend on the medium has grown drastically."

Sharma of Airtel said, “Two years ago, Airtel's spend on digital marketing was less than 2 per cent of the total media mix, but currently it stands at 10 per cent. In 2013-14, digital and social media will undoubtedly be the largest medium for Airtel to reach its audience."

Khiani of Times Internet said that the need of the moment is to “identify the need of social and digital marketing”. Elucidating on TIL's stance, he said, "We have grown 45 per cent year-on-year on display. We decided to 'verticalise' our display ads depending on the strength of our properties."

Gupta concluded the session saying, "We should not flog digital media to death by over-expecting on deliveries from the medium. A marketer should be content to know that he has reached the desired audience through this medium."

Performance marketing & Brands as publishers

While the 'Performance marketing: Display Matters' session discussed how new display optimisation technologies and next-generation ad exchanges are offering a fresh take on display advertising that historically lacked target pricing, placement and ROI oon search, the session on ‘Brands are new publishers' talked about combining branded content with killer marketing strategy.

Ravi Kiran, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Friends of Ambition, raised the question, "Why is it important for brands to embrace content, and what are brands doing to embrace content?"

To which Nikhil Rungta, Country Marketing Head, Google India, responded, "To me content is everything ranging from information to entertainment and marketing."  Atit Mehta, Country Media Manager, HUL, said, "Content is everythng that is circulated. The challenge is, who is going to create the content, and do we have the required expertise."

Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV India, responded, "Today, MTV India makes more money by co-creating content than selling airtime." Supporting his thought was Wasim Basir, Director, Integrated Marketing Communication, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, who gave the example of how 80-85 per cent of 235 million messages about Coke Studio were instigated by the consumers themselves.

Another highlight of the day was the Marketing Masters featuring experts from Yahoo!, IBM India, Ford India, Kotak Mahindra and Nokia amongst others.

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