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Straight Talk
Digital advertising has grown at breakneck speed but not the talent pool - StraightTalk With Agam Chaudhary, CMO - Digitalabs

Established in the year 2010, Digitalabs became a part of 21 year Communication conglomerate, Laqshya Media Group in the year 2018. Serving more than 1000 clients, Digitalabs has helped brands like LG, Jaquar Lightning, Religare, FICCI, Macmillan, Century Ply, Lenovo, M3M, Discovery Channel, TLC, Patanjali, Forever Mark to create and engage in meaningful conversations thus build relationships with the customers.

In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Agam Chaudhary, CMO, Digitalabs, the Digital arm of Laqshya Media Group speaks on the way marketers see social media campaigns.

Edited excerpts.

While there are still many brands in India who are yet to mature on traditional advertising, what is your take on their awareness of digital?

I believe that nearly all brands who advertise on traditional media have a fair sense of how it behaves and how best to leverage it. There always will be outliers in any situation, and it is so here as well. However, the majority of brands understand and use traditional media pretty well.

Awareness about digital advertising is not as widespread as vis-a-vis traditional media. Big brands have all come to grips with the reality of the digital era. It's the SMEs that are still playing the catch-up game.

Digital advertising has grown at breakneck speed, and the pool of people who can manage campaigns effectively has not grown at the same pace, so to match demand. This leaves a lot of SMEs with no access to experienced resources that can decode digital marketing and run high RoI campaigns. I believe this demand-supply gap will take a while to fill and till then we will always have businesses who want to get into digital but have little idea as to how it can be done effectively.

Which industry in India is unleashing the fullest potential of digital media?

All industries that have their business offering tied to the Internet and those who have offerings targeted at millennials and younger audiences are largely dependent on digital media for their business growth. Streaming services, mobile phone manufacturers, aggregators of all kind and lifestyle product manufacturers have been leveraging digital media really well.

You claim you do not provide services but solutions. Please explain the difference between a brand perspective.

A service would typically be "We'll set up a website, put up six into three social media updates a week and run PPC campaign on a regular frequency". A solution, however, entails understanding a client's pain points, delving further and understanding the end consumer's pain points and then offering a customised communication/outreach plan that addressed both their needs.

For example, a brand that is in its very initial stages, educating the TG through an information-based campaign and driving traffic to their website is a solution. For a well-known brand offering a flash sale, advertising on the right keywords & platforms followed by driving sales through a high conversion checkout process is a solution.

What suggestions do you provide for brands in the B2B space and SME companies?

Our primary suggestion(s) for anyone really, are to practice authenticity and deliver high quality, usable content, online. Those two form the base of any successful digital media presence.

From a consumer perspective, how do they see digital? Do you think that a campaign in social media can change their purchase pattern?

Digital media has empowered the consumer. They feel more in-control given that they can communicate with the brand directly and that their voice (reviews, ratings etc.) actually matters. Digital has also levelled the playing field a lot more for brands given the low barrier of entry for presence in the digital-sphere. This in turn provides the consumers with more choices, and better deals. What's not to love?

Social media campaigns do, and increasingly will influence purchase patterns. For example, in light of climate change and environmental degradation, we will see a lot more brands leverage their environmentally ethical manufacturing/philosophies and customers will choose the ones that they feel the most at ease with.

Please share an interesting case-study where the digital media campaign had brought a huge impact on an organization?

Durex ran this very interesting campaign for a novel product addressing a long known but hardly-spoken-about gap. They used hashtags like #DurexMutualClimax and #ComeTogether on a high powered social media campaign to create hype and then synced it with a high conversion online sales strategy. I believe the sales numbers were exceedingly impressive.

While there are many digital media companies in India, why many companies are still not looking seriously at digital media campaigns?

The expanse of digital media platforms and the amount of noise being generated on them everyday, a high degree of saturation has come into play. So it takes a very strong concept and serious budgetary commitment to run a comprehensive campaign.

Also, a campaign has to manage multiple online assets being managed in perfect sync. A lot of companies take a while to get their "online voice" right, let alone the 'platform voice'. So while a 'campaign' might seem easily deployable, given social media's ease of use, it takes a serious amount of capability to do it right.

What is the roadmap for your organization in the coming year?

In the coming year we aspire to:

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