The agile digital marketing

Digital marketing is agile. Heard it, said it and experienced it many times earlier but I think the recent #CWC15 trend on Twitter is just one of the simplest and most perfect examples to explain this agility. Twitter this time definitely upped its engagement quotient manifold with its live cricket dashboard. It was a very well crafted and well promoted initiative with prompts and alerts at most visible places. Even a non-cricket lover couldn’t miss to notice it.

Twitter riding on an event is nothing new, neither marketers trying to grab consumer’s attention on all possible screens. But what was interesting to observe was the speed at which marketers could change their communication on this medium, engaging their audience in the moments that mattered, with messages that were contextually relevant at that point of time.

Just look at some of the screenshots grabbed on Twitter last week. Many brands came out with interesting messages that were very different from their general marketing communication, though some surely appeared to be force-fit in their quest to be different or relevant to the game. But overall the noteworthy point was the number of brands advertising on Twitter this time or the number of messages that brands could promote everyday depending upon which match it was and who was winning or losing the game. Imagine coming out with so many options during traditional advertising days? Imagine the cost implication or effort required to do it then? And no, I am not at all comparing the new age vs. traditional medium like television for things like reach. No doubts, television wins hands down at least in Indian market when it comes to reach but if I have to just take the digital medium as a second screen option, then the flexibility that this medium offers to adapt and be real time is fascinating!


And to me, the one brand that stood out completely on Twitter during ICC World Cup 2015 was Cadbury 5 Star. Not only were they smart in their content, they were also nimble enough to change as required. This Ramesh-Suresh duo knew how, when and what to speak. Otherwise, remember the reactions on seeing those super upbeat ads for any team during the commercial break on television esp. when that team was losing the game.


If I have to quickly jot down the steps on how to engage with your audience real-time without going into too much theoretical details of agile marketing, then I would sum it up in just three simple steps:

  • Listen intently
  • Communicate constantly
  • React instantly

Easy, isn’t it? Think again :-). How many of us listen carefully before communicating? How many of us communicate judiciously instead of reacting? How many of us react immediately without listening properly? Sometimes the simplest things are actually not so simple to handle and so is the case with digital medium. While the medium is very easy to use but not everyone knows how to use it to its full advantage. And those who have figured it out are already excelling in engaging with their audience on second, third or multiple screens.

BTW, I started my post with digital medium but when it came to referring to this year’s world cup, I only used Twitter as an example. I am myself wondering why I could notice all of it only on Twitter and not anywhere else? Is it just me who thinks that Twitter was the most preferred second screen option during this world cup? Would love to read some numbers by other sites but for now I would leave you with this latest post by Twitter that officially states on how #CWC15 played out on Twitter across the world.

Political Advertising in India 2014 – Worth it?

Did I just hear that this year the estimated spend on political campaigns in India is $5 billion? $5 billion? That’s like 30,000 crores in INR! $5 billion? That’s just $2 billion short of what they spent in last presidential election in US! $5 billion? That’s way beyond the permissible spend-limit on election campaigns in India. And from where did all this money come from? Curious, like really! But let’s leave it at that. There has to be something because of which everybody is discussing the campaign, the new age strategies, the messaging, the spend but not the real source of spend :). Partly we know the reasons of it, don’t we?

Now coming down to the campaign this year – I think it’s been phenomenal, be it the massive scale at which it has been managed or the diversity in messaging and medium that has been tried out. At least there has been an attempt of targeting different types of audience with different communication strategies this year. Hats off to the agencies and associates involved with these campaigns. As a marketer, I think this year’s campaign was noticeable and impactful and BIG!

But as a consumer? Well, I’m sure we have read this hundred times before – “No amount of good advertising can actually save a bad product”! And how relevant this seems for political advertising in India this year? Every time I see the ads like this or this on TV, I cringe. Neither the creative route is wrong, nor it has got to do with my being pro or anti any party. It’s simply the messaging, the commitment or the positioning that these ads are trying to make – those are false, just so blatantly false. And the leaders who are the faces of these ads just do not have any connect with the messages being communicated. The more I see these ads, the more irritated I get. Not to forget the bombardment that happens on radio, hoardings & digital media. Again reminds me of yet another famous saying in marketing world – “Nothing kills a bad product or service faster than good advertising”. These ads at least to me are just reminders of false promises by these political brands.

And then there are videos like these on women safety that has been doing rounds on social media. I’m sure it can’t be the work of formal advertising agency associated with that party but whosoever has done it, it’s such a trash. This is not just one video, I have also seen official videos speaking of women empowerment or safety in India. After all the incidents that has happened in last few years as gang rapes, molestation, rapes of minors, this is such a sensitive subject that perhaps should not have been used in any campaign. It’s not one or other party but we know that this is one issue that many parties have failed to fulfill their promises multiple times and at multiple levels. The consequences of such false commitments are so huge, then why even dare to bring these in your campaigns?

When the core itself is not in place, when there is a lack of trust in the prime product promoted, when the product has failed many times on its own commitments in past, then do you think any advertising can actually save such product? Yes, I know campaigns are required but did it change your perception?

Would love to know your views on Political Advertising in India for Elections this year. Liked it? Believed in it? Worth it?

As for me, how I wish that after every such political commercial on Television, we the viewers would have got to view this “No Ullu Banaoing” campaign by IDEA! Good sequencing, what say readers :)? And on that note, must say that love these IDEA ads and I think these IDEA ads are surely the highlights of Junior Bachchan’s career more than any of his movies.

*And a post on this blog after more than one and half years. Must thank political campaigns that finally compelled me to write here after this long gap 🙂

Recent posts at Pluggd.in

Have not updated my new posts on Pluggd.in here, so providing the links to some of recent posts at PI:

WoMM – The Evergreen Strategy for Free Marketing: “Word of mouth” marketing is an age old concept now and from bigger organizations to start ups, almost everybody wants to take this free marketing path. While some think that WOM is something which will happen on its own, some go ahead & incentivize their customers to spread the word and then there are some who take extreme steps of contracting paid outsourced help to create positive word of mouth for their brands. Despite this being “known-by-all” concept, how many startups are there who genuinely have been focusing on this free marketing route and targeting the consumers who can be influencers for fresh leads? Read More…

India to overtake China in mobile market by 2013 [Report]: As per a latest report by London based Informa Telecoms, India’s mobile subscriber base is set to rise to 1.159 billion by the end of 2013, thus making it the world’s largest mobile market. While India is poised to have phenomenal growth, the market in China is actually set to slow down. By the end of 2013, the number of active mobile subscriptions in China will be 1.106 billion. Read More…

Voice Blogging Service by Airtel – Voice is a Commodity: Bharti Airtel has officially unveiled its voice-blogging service now enabling Airtel subscribers to share recorded voice updates with their friends and family members. Read More…

Oyegirl.com – Online shopping portal exclusively for women: Joining the ecommerce trail now is Oyegirl – an online shopping portal for women. Though Oyegirl.com is yet another online shopping portal but this one is different in a way that it’s targeting only women and as their introduction reads – it is India’s first ecommerce portal exclusively for women. Read More…

Indiatimes launches HiBuddy, Voice Blogging Service: We had earlier written about voice based blogging service by Airtel. Now Indiatimes has introduced a similar voice-based social networking and blogging platform, called ‘HiBuddy’ for Reliance mobile phone users. Read More…

Facebook reaches 12 million user base in India: While Facebook crossed 500 million user base mark worldwide, it has also shown very positive growth in India and has touched 12 million mark as on yesterday. Users in India are uploading more than 53 million photos in a month and even mobile usage has increased nine-fold in the past year. Read More…

Consumer Confidence Index – Indians are Super Confident: While it was 127 in last quarter, it’s 129 for this quarter; Indian consumers remain most upbeat in the word despite food prices crisis at home and improving outlooks elsewhere. With a two point increase, at 129 points Consumer Confidence Index is the highest in India in the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey followed by Indonesia and Vietnam both 119 index points. While India is ahead for last two quarters, but up till Jan’2010 it was actually Indonesia which was topping the list. Read More…