The Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi successfully organized Confluence '16, the annual Marketing & Finance Conclave, on September 17, 2016. The first session of the event was focused on the theme “Digital Marketing: Exploring New Avenues for Businesses”. The panel comprised of the following eminent leaders from the industry:
Our own Prof. Harish Chaudhury, Marketing department, graced the event with his presence. The panel was headed by Mr. Rajesh Ramakrishnan.
The session took off with an introductory talk by the panel chair Mr. Ramakrishnan, where he presented the context of digital marketing in today’s business arena. He delineated three pillars of of digital marketing– Consumers, Brand & Media and subsequently discussed about how modern day ‘Time Starved’ consumers are always into achieving more in less time (stating their attitude as ‘Don’t give me the book, tell me the summary’), how brand differentiation is becoming a crucial factor in the era of tremendous competition and lastly, how the boundaries between different media vehicles are continuously getting blurred. Under the umbrella of all these scenarios, he proposed the necessary steps to be executed by the companies – Sharp Shooting in marketing choices – in which segment a company wants to be & more importantly where it does not want to be; delivering meaningful & relevant messages to the customers and customizing communication. Moreover, he elucidated these aspects with real time industry examples of ‘Bla Bla Car’ & ‘Passenger 6A’. Later, he emphasized on the importance of last mile experience of customers for the success of any digital marketing campaign.
After the brief introduction by the panel chair,other panelists shared their insightful views on the theme; Mr. Rajeev Jain started with an interesting challenge specific to the mouth freshener industry – maintaining brand value and simultaneously keeping the price as Re.1. Thereafter, he euphorically discussed how digital marketing has helped their company to maintain the brand excitement throughout the year (mainly in niche markets) & that too in a cost effective manner. Subsequently, he elaborated the issue with examples of Pulse, Rajnigandha & Silver Pearls.
Mr. Akash Deep Batra, strongly pointed out the relevance of the fundamentals of marketing amongst all the buzz about its transformation through digital platforms. He emphasized on the changes in nuances of the platform over the years. Citing specific examples he proposed that digital marketing concepts are not something new but are same basic principles just operated on different platforms now with the advent & inclusion of technology.
Sharing his thoughts on the topic under discussion, Mr. Ganish Bahl described how our life style & choices are getting affected with the advent of social media. Then he focused on the aspects that digital marketing is bringing to the table – connecting to consumers on one-to-one basis &obtaining information about target consumer’s areas of interest. Lastly, he encompassed all the upcoming trends in the industry such as better internet penetration with Jio, accessibility to low price smart phones, behavioural changes of customer & change of key items on e-commerce with the continuous increase in women consumers.
Mr. Rahul Kumar introduced the aspect of B2B digital marketing to the ongoing discussion; Mr. Kumar discussed about the shift that has occurred from traditional B2B communication model to the recent digital communication model. He pointed out the use of digital platforms not only in the process of communication but also as a tool to engage & transact with customers. He briefed about Firm Level Transformation with the advent of digitization, marketing automation & the backbone of new B2B model –Content, Community & Connectivity.He further enlightened the audience with the example of the offering of ‘Lifetime Facility Management’ in various product lines.
Moving on, Mr. Amit Handa, from his expertise in advertising industry, opined that digital marketing should be based on a customer-centric approach rather than the media-centric approach. He emphasized on the fact that modern day customers want every product/ service customized for them and that is why the digital platform should be utilized from the perspective of the customer’s journey. Further, he reinforced his views by providing examples of SBI & Sony.
Thereafter, Mr. Manish Chopra gave the discussion an entirely new dimension. He started with an interesting comparison- how the view of the screens of our smartphones has changed from 2012 to 2016 and how application heavy it has become. He then explained how smart phone is perceived to embody digital revolution in India; how the apps we use, know every aspect, every preference of our lives & provide us with personalized services, and how all of these seem to portray a utopian atmosphere. He then removed the veil & expressed the ground reality by dividing the Indian market into three parts: India 3 – Rural market which consists of 70-80% of Indian population neither have smart phones nor connected online, India 2 – People who have smart phones but aren’t connected online & India 1- People who use internet on smartphones; we are creating a buzz on focusing on this pool of digital native – a very small tip at the top of the pyramid & going beyond this range is the real challenge. In this context, he shed light on the importance of mass marketing in Indian business scenario, the myths associated with digital marketing & other possible challenges. However, he concluded on a positive note explaining how telecoms can become fundamental game shifters in order to explore the scope of digital marketing for new avenues of businesses.
Prof. Harish Chaudhury enlightened the entire audience with his interesting viewpoints especially emphasizing on how the Indian women who have almost 90% of the decision making power of the households should be connected to the digital arena.
The floor was then opened for questions where the students queried on various aspects such as negative impacts & challenges of digital marketing, mitigating the issue of ad blocker, company specific differentiation in marketing strategy etc.; for which the panellists gave their insightful opinions. Overall, the session was an enriching experience for the management students in the field of digital marketing.
The students of DMS, IIT Delhi extend their heartfelt gratitude to the entire panel for taking their time out and sharing their valuable views.