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Rise of Platforms, Exchanges and Marketplaces

The panel discussion at ad:tech New Delhi saw advertising and marketing professionals extensively discuss as to how one needs to keep on experimenting in the world of new age mediums yet stick to the baseline of advertising which is identifying the right audience and engaging with them to drive business metrics

A panel discussion on the Rise of Platforms, Exchanges and Marketplaces was held on the opening day of ad:tech New Delhi, which saw various industry players from the domains of marketing and advertising talk about how the rules of the game haven’t changed despite the emergence of multiple new-age mediums and why should one keep on experimenting.

Moderated by Sonali Malaviya, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, EssenceMediacom South Asia, the panel comprised of Gazal Bajaj, Head-Media Management, Nestle; Gulshan Verma, CEO, Jio Ads; Shalini Poddar, Head of Ads, Disney+ Hotstar, and Gavin Buxton, Managing Director- Asia, Magnite.

According to Bajaj, it’s a fad nowadays to try out new things and most organisations have found a method to that madness. “We also try to follow a speedy discovery and a speedy pilot followed by a speedy failure and success because it is increasingly becoming important for every organisation to know what’s happening and make the trials and move on,” she said.

Bajaj also went on to add that when it comes to Nestle, experimentation is a part of the day-to-day business and there’s no such fixed budget for the same because it doesn’t work that way, instead there has to be a fixed starting point in the form of business objective or a tactical campaign brief.

“Most of our pilots have to get answered as to what we want to do and they can’t be a pilot without fitment. In fact, fitment is more important than scale because if there is no fitment, I don’t know what we’re testing for,” she said.

Seconding Bajaj’s viewpoint, Verma of Jio Ads also said that fundamentally, there is a two-fold approach that is currently prevalent in the market wherein somebody has to experiment and then say it is moving metrics in terms of reach, sales, etc.

While commenting on how has the transformation been from moving from peak hour to IPL for Jio, Verma stated that even though Jio started off as a telecom player, the ambition from the start was to be a platform company which is why what has been fundamental to them is connecting people through content and platforms like Jio Mart, Ajio, NetMeds, etc. 

In the views of Disney+ Hotstar’s Poddar, the baseline of advertising or marketing lies in finding the right audience, engaging with them and then driving business metrics. “But where I see the envelope being pushed is the fact that we’re now also dealing in parts of content and storytelling and building that at large for our advertisers and brands,” she said.

“For example, we have ITC Bingo Mad Angles not just to advertise but to actually to have an integrated content with us, which is why they associated with Taaza Khabar and used the lead characters to show an association with their variants which spoke to the personality of the flavour and the personality of the show and deepened their journey,” Poddar added.

Magnite’s Buxton said that in one of their recent surveys, 20% of the population was willing to pay for ad-free viewing of quality content and nearly 70% of the population stated that they are more likely to watch personalised ads which tend to fall in line with what they consume.

Commenting as to how has the journey of moving from linear TV to CTV been for Nestle, Bajaj emphasised that when it comes to contextual advertising on CTV, it is crucial to understand that in some way, one is still buying the big screen experience which is why the rules of the game haven’t changed and that contextual brings an ability to reach out to the right people in the moments that they’re willing to listen.

“The 4Ps are still relevant, but with CTV what we see is that it brings the best of both worlds- the lean back experience of TV for consumers and helps the advertisers to identify the right audience and advertise on moments that people are willing to listen,” she added.

Moreover, she also went on to point out that for the brands with limited distribution, it is more viable to just be on CTV, but for large advertisers, it’s not an either-or but inclusion of both and that both of them will coexist till the time there is a larger shift to the CTV adoption.

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