This festive season is very different from the previous two years because everything is more readily available this time, people are going out and participating in all of the festivities. On top of it, the festive season is clashing with major global sports properties as well.
Due to this clash, brands are mixing their spending between festivals and sports, as per Prashant Deorah, CEO, of Puretech Digital.
“Right from October, November to December, a lot of sporting events are happening over the next few months along with Diwali. For example, T20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup are scheduled for October-November. This is all adding to the dilemma of the advertiser and the agency to have the right media mix to get the best ROI.”
He further said, “Since both things are happening at the same time this year, brands and our clients are betting more money on advertising. The challenge that remains is how much they allocate to the festivals and how much to the cricketing season because that's a big one.”
He went on to say that their clients are going to start their campaigns closer to the Diwali date line, for which there is another week or so left. Puretech is also going to start a lot of the campaigns for Diwali.
Festive is a big moment for all, and over the next couple of weeks a good spend is anticipated especially by the e-commerce and D2C brands in the market, as per Deorah.
He said, “This quarter and the next quarter are quite critical for businesses as their maximum budgets are allocated to whatever they do during this time. Hence this month and the next month, our major focus will be on communication strategy for brands.”
However, as a performance marketing agency, Puretech’s endeavour and objective are to maximise return on expense for their clients. They have already started initiating campaigns on e-commerce for meeting the festival demand and for them it's supposedly going to be a far better year than it's been in the last several years according to Deorah.
It will be interesting to watch the market over the coming weeks because the festive season is a time when everyone wants to get a share of consumers' eyeballs to make their presence felt.
Meanwhile, in the times when there are so many digital agencies and the lines between creative, media and digital are blurring, it’s a challenge for the agencies to ensure that they are seen as a preferred partner for brands, as per Deorah.
It is a very competitive market and few independent peers are trying to create a mark for themselves, also there are global network agencies that are already prevalent in the market which increases the competition.
Nevertheless, Deorah said that there are a couple of things which need to be looked upon as this is a performance marketing business where everything is outcome-oriented and measurable. Being honest and transparent goes a long way in this business, as per him.
Therefore, it’s very important to be holistic while building a digital marketing strategy for a client according to Deorah. It is important to do competitive research, persona study, figure out the communication and do some creative strategy behind it as brands go into a lot of detail while choosing the agency.
Making a promise and not delivering on it can impact the impression of the brand. Explaining what works for Puretech, Deorah said, “Working with fewer clients helps us scale as it is a strategy beyond just looking at getting more and more clients and working with them one time or part-time. This is how our relationship with HDFC Bank for over 10 years has been maintained, by delivering continuous performance, and it has grown naturally with time.”
Even while the contribution of digital to the adex is only increasing, digital agencies continue to struggle to maintain their revenues. In such a scenario, there is always some or other agency ready to work for a lesser commission. This is a problem that the agencies always face, according to Deorah.
He said, “Since there is no standardisation in the industry and there is no benchmarking of costs, prices and quality standards, because of which there will always be someone ready to work with a client at a lower price than we ask for.”
Hence, while pursuing projects and clients it is important to recognise their talent and quality. Deorah also pointed out, “We have lost projects in this bargain system which is okay, because eventually, it needs to be a viable profitable business. We don't try to tackle that anymore, rather we let the client make the call for themselves as they're mature enough and they understand the business well.”
However, as far as content marketing is concerned, one of the biggest differences currently is delivering work in a more targeted, personalised manner. Today we see a more emotional connection that brands want to establish with their target audiences, there is a change in the way content is being thought of, strategised and produced, added Deorah.
Sharing that one of the best examples of recent best marketing or advertising campaigns that he has come across is Zomato, Deorah said, “The brand has it all figured out with its crisp and thumb-stopping copy, engaging memes, quirky newsletters, impactful ad films and initiating awareness with customer awareness through its bulls-eye marketing strategies and techniques.”
“Relevance and timing are crucial when you deal with the digital-first audience. Through their striking Independence Day post to keeping up with the cricket fever through the #ZPL campaign and not to forget their heart-warming #OrderForHer campaign on Mother’s Day, Zomato emerges as a brand that has the digital ecosystem well captured.”
While talking about Puretech’s near-term and long-term targets, Deorah shared that they want to work in sectors that they haven't had a chance to work in before online. He said, “We've been very heavy on Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) on E-commerce. Though Puretech has worked on travel and education, now we are trying to get some share of work in FMCG, CPG, Auto and hospitality.”