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What’s not working for marketing in 2023?

The panel discussion on Day 1 of ad:tech New Delhi saw various brand professionals elaborately talking about why it is crucial for marketers to go to the market physically and not merely depend on data dashboards to gain real consumer insights

The various problems which marketers are likely to face in 2023, and pertinent solutions for the same, were discussed during the course of a panel discussion on the opening day of  ad:tech New Delhi.

The marketing and media technology event concluded its opening day with over 120+ speakers, 6000+ marketing professionals, and 25+ sponsors and partners participating in the various sessions in different capacities.

Moderated by Karthi Marshan, former CMO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, the panel discussion saw various brand professionals talking about why marketers must go to the market physically if they want to understand their target groups better and not get lost in the illusion of rigour or data.

When Marshan asked the marketers as to whether there was any gravitas in the rumour that marketers don’t like being questioned about attribution, Shankar Prasad, Founder and CEO, Plum, stated that it is a very debatable topic because it in itself is not possible for a lot of mediums.

Adding to Prasad’s point, Sukhleen Aneja, CEO, The Good Glamm Group, said, “Short-term attribution on digital metrics is absolutely doable but long-term attribution is the one that makes the biggest difference. Therefore, if one is able to understand the brand equity trackers and the importance of it, then only one will be able to build long-term brands.”

Moving forward, Vidyut Kaul, VP- Personal Health (Indian Subcontinent), Philips, also touched upon how there is no long-term without short-term, but because today most brands are focussing more on short-term attribution to maximise impact and to get the numbers, the dashboards can sometimes create confusion.

“Sometimes what happens is that you might have great numbers or conversion rates, but what is the real metric that matters is how many consumers actually know about the brand and would like to make a purchase. When we talk about real consumers, one should go to tier-II cities and see how many people actually know what the purpose of the brand is and how they connect with it,” he added.

Plum’s Prasad also went on to back Kaul’s viewpoint and stated that sometimes people only see the illusion of rigour in their data on excel sheets and dashboards, which is why they get misled by the numbers.

“The truth is that one needs to make it a point to go to the market as much as they can because that’s where the truth resides and helps in designing things better albeit the product, communication, distribution, etc. for the real people,” he added.

Moreover, Kaul also added that since Covid led to a spurt in digital penetration, many marketers lost the traditional marketing touch of going and seeing what the consumer is doing and then understanding what’s happening out there’s precisely why dashboards have become like illusions.

Commenting on how content is now becoming the driver of the business of marketing, The Good Glamm Group’s Aneja stated that the most important thing to realise in content marketing is- who is the TG and what is the context. For example, if the context is to shop, one would want to be crisp and if the context is to learn, one would have to educate the people. 

Contrary to Aneja, Kaul shared that India is a country of brands and therefore one can find an audience for everything. 

Furthermore, Prasad also shared that there are mainly two issues with the brand-influencer association, i.e.-commoditisation of not just the influencer but also of information and lack of attribution on the digital platform.

“Influencer marketing in my opinion is no different from celebrity marketing and just because celebrities are the oldest trick in the trade doesn’t mean everybody succeeds. Likewise, influencers are a trade that are failing in the current times as it all, in the end, comes down to how one is using them for brand building, credibility, etc,” Aneja said. 

Moving on, Philips’ Kaul also emphasised that when one doesn’t have a differentiation, the only card left to play is that of pricing. “The equity doesn’t come overnight and takes a lot of effort and sometimes when the brand takes the price-cutting route, the brand value also diminishes along with it,” he said.

In fact, Aneja also pointed out that if one has been able to build aspiration then one must ideally be able to charge a premium for it because there are a few things that one may do for survival and some for thriving, and one needs to find the right balance.

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