Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some pre Ad:Tech Bangalore thoughts...

Ad:Tech Bangalore is finally here. Yay! Finally an acknowledgement by our industry that marketing is more than about media, but also as much about about technology. A couple of fellow advisory board members got together prior to the conference and as marketeers often do, we got into a heated discussion about advertising trends. Very specifically the recent VW print ad campaign (sadly, more people talked about what was "on" the ad than in the ad, but anyway).   

Some would call this a sincere (or desperate?) attempt at getting a little spark into the otherwise painful morning experience of reading an Indian newspaper. Let me be clear that while I don't have a strong opinion about the ad itself, it did get me thinking about the state of advertising in India from a marketing technologist's perspective: 

1. Most advertising is repetitive , boring, little differentiation or relevance. 
2. Despite all the talk about two way engagement, about ads are still  a one-way dialogue, trying to catch attention (In the case of VW, it was a many way conversation about everything but the product). 

Usually advertising and engagement are never used in the same breath. "Oh advertising, that's for awareness...we need engagement!" But there are ways enhance engagement in advertising without using silly plastic gimmicks. 

  1. Enhancing engagement with brand by invoking individual’s values and ethics: Values are all  that anyone stands for  - whether it is relationship with family, friends,  causes that are noble for mankind. Most often, story lines are around a particular value that the brand stands for and that creates the oneness of the brand with the individual.
  1. Enhancing engagement through technology: When I say technology – it could be anything that attracts your attention as an innovative way to reach you.  For e.g. we search for many things on the net – it could be cameras, jewelry, sports shoes etc. But what about advertisement of those same stuff you had been searching for,  appears with offers when you are either on facebook or a news channel ?  Those offers will not be seen on any other computer with a different ip address. So what is interesting here is that advertisement are directed to individuals who have actually been searching for those items. This makes advertisement more meaningful and targeted.
  1. Enhancing engagement through social channels: Liquor and movies get a huge promotion through word of mouth. Some of the iconic liquor brands are very active on facebook and are engaged with “real” people on conversations on what are the best methods to prepare a drink and even seeking feedback. The engagement levels are amazing. Its like hearing from the experts on what are the best ways to say cheers. Similarly movie buffs are keen to be updated on the latest on new releases and reviews.  Here too the engagement level, especially with young men and women is immensely high.
I am really excited about Ad:Tech today - lots of learning, interaction and hopefully meeting some fabulous new people in the marketing and technology community. Hopefully, i will also get to see a few next gen Chief Marketing Technologists too! #AdTechIn is about to begin!

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