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Don’t see mobile as an extension of traditional media: Industry experts

GroupM’s CVL Srinivas, PepsiCo’s Vipul Prakash, Zee’s Sunil Buch and OLX’s Amarjit Singh Batra throw light on the key principles to becoming mobile capable at the MMA Forum in Gurgaon

Shanta Saikia | Delhi | September 18, 2015


Different companies are at different levels of mobile capability, some have reached a level of maturity and others are finding their way on the journey.

The MMA Forum 2015, held in Gurgaon on September 16, saw industry leaders like CVL Srinivas, Chief Executive Officer, GroupM; Vipul Prakash, Vice President – Beverages Category, PepsiCo India; Sunil Buch, Chief Business Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises; and Amarjit Singh Batra, Chief Executive Officer, OLX India, discuss the key common principles to becoming mobile capable using examples from their clients’ perspective. These leaders provided insight into how media owners can best work with agencies to build mobile insight and capability.

CVL Srinivas CVL Srinivas

Commencing the discussions, CVL Srinivas noted that while there had been a lot of hype generated regarding growing clout of mobile, the floodgates hadn’t really opened up and mobile happened to be just 2 per cent of the total adex in India. “While there has been a lot of talk happening, marketers are not putting in enough money on mobile,” he added.

While confessing that he didn’t know anything about mobile marketing, PepsiCo’s Vipul Prakash raised the question as to why would any brand builder care to use mobile just because it was the in thing. “Whenever you start with mobile first, the whole focus is to either use technology or a medium or a cool app, and what happens is that between the brand team, the partners, the medium owners, we sometimes forget the main reason for our existence – which is actually selling your product,” he remarked.

According to Prakash, while the whole world was going gaga over viral videos being share, people were sharing 20 years ago as well, which was mostly through word-of-mouth. “Today mobile is a great interface, but it cannot do everything better for you compared traditional media. Mobile doesn’t give you any significant advantage over traditional media,” Prakash felt.

He asked all stakeholders not to see mobile as an extension of traditional media and added, “Being on mobile is like being in a perpetual beta stage.”

Sharing his thoughts on mobile marketing, OLX’s Amarjit Singh Batra pointed out that it was transition phase from PC to mobile. He added that in order to have a successful mobile marketing strategy, there was need to have proper orientation of mobile within the organisation. “There is a high churn rate on mobile. Thus, there is need to work towards retention and long term relationship with customers,” Batra said, adding that there was a lot of blind tragetting happening on mobile today.

Giving  media brand’s perspective, Zee’s Sunil Buch said, “There is a distinct shift towards going non-linear. This industry is about huge inertia. Mobile effectiveness will come from visual elements. Today, mobile is used for engagement.” He called for greater integration of mobile with entertainment as people accessed content related to movies, music, games, etc., on their mobiles. At the same time, Buch also pointed out that how to keep data recent was a challenge in the absence of an industry metrics for mobile.

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