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Volume X Issue 10 | January 2015

` 75

P 10

Praveen Sinha

P 12

Case Study

100 CMOs P 18

Pranay Chulet

top INFLUENTIAL www.pitchonnet.com

Exerting influence to bring about a positive change

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Pitch| |January January2015 2015| | 57 Pitch


INSIDE

Pitch Volume XI, Issue-10 January 2015

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Annurag Batra Editor & Director Amit Agnihotri Director Nawal Ahuja

EDITORIAL TEAM

Consulting Editor

Vinod Behl

Deputy Editor

Rashi Bisaria

Correspondents

Kanika Mehrotra

Art Director

Shivaji Sengupta

Senior Graphic Designer

Joby Mathew

Photographers

Vilas Kalgutkar (Mumbai) Suresh Gola (Noida)

COVER STORY

28

INDIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL CMOs

AD SALES

Rajat Thareja Prashant Kulkarni Sneha Walke

9810134435 9886138249 9845541143

INTERVIEWS

0FFICES

NEW DELHI: Shop No. 32, 33 south Ettn. Part-I, Om vihar, Uttam Nagar, New Delhi 110 059 NOIDA: B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Phone: (0120) 4007700 Mumbai: 301, Kakad Bhavan, 3rd Floor, 11th Street, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050 Phone: (022) 2640 3303/09/14/16

10

- Praveen Sinha, MD, Jabong

Bengaluru: Flat No. 1,062, 1st Floor, 2nd Cross, 6th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indira Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 038 CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION

Vinod Sharma (Delhi) - 9999447209 vinod@exchange4media.com Anandan Nair (Mumbai) - 9819445200 anair@exchange4media.com On News-stands ` 75 www.pitchonnet.com Printed and published by Annurag Batra on behalf of Adsert Web Solutions Pvt Ltd B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Printed at All Time Offset Printers, E-53, Sector-7 Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 An exchange4media Publication

The rise of a fashion e-tailer

Limited Edition Publishing as a tool for Marketing

24

- Saanjay Sethi, Founder-CEO, Matrix Publishing Group

60

Spilling the beans on the Starbucks experience - Manmeet Vohra, Director, Marketing and Category, Tata Starbucks Ltd

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CONTENTS ‘We have connected with people at a very basic level’

- Sashi Shankar, Idea How LIC Scored Over Competition

- SN Bhattacharya, LIC ‘Marketing will have no option but to embrace technology - Kartik Jain, HDFC How SBI transformed the customer experience

- Mahendra Kumar Rekhi, SBI Lending Airtel a distinct personality

- Mohit Beotra, Airtel

The marketing mind behind India’s largest car maker

30 33 34 36 40

- Manohar Bhat, Maruti Suzuki ‘I hope to stay fit and make the brand stronger’

- Sujit Ganguli, ICICI ‘There cannot be a better time to be in marketing than today’

Sunil Kataria, Godrej

‘I hope for a greater consumption led growth in 2015’

- Sonali Dhawan, P&G

‘Marketers should remain solidly focused on the Consumer’ - Vivek Nayer, Mahindra

42 44 48 52 54

COLUMNS

04 ‘Mobile is the next wave for online classifieds’ - Pranay Chulet, Co-Founder and CEO, Quikr

IndusInd Bank on 58 a brandbuilding spree - Mohit Ganju, Head, Marketing and Communications, IndusInd Bank

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National Games - Ready to leave behind a legacy

18

Vinish Kathuria | Chief Operating Officer, Digital Quotient

08

Apurva Chamaria | Head, Global Brand & Digital Front Office at HCLTechnologies

14

Hamsini Shivakumar | Owner, Leapfrog Strategy Consulting

22

Amar Thomas | Country Marketing Manager, BlackBerry India

26

Gaurav Sood | Brand Communication professional, Brand Educator & Research Scholar 56 Annurag Batra Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Pitch Magazine

64

- Jacob Punnoose IPS

CASE STUDY

BLOG-A-THON

BY SAMSUNG 12

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INTERVIEW : JACOB PUNNOOSE

Come February and all eyes will be on God’s Own Country Kerala where the 35th National Games will be held. The last time Kerala played host to the games was in 1987. The state is all geared up for the huge event with new sports infrastructure in place and the Games Village in Trivandrum representing a miniature India, the most visual representation of India’s national integration at the Games. The Games are being marketed as a saleable commodity and many brands have come forward to associate with the extravaganza. The masterstroke was delivered by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who has associated with the Games as the Goodwill Ambassador. Ammu- The Hornbill, the official mascot of the games is already basking in the limelight, having found its way on to merchandise and into school textbooks. Much has been done to make the games sponsor friendly and to promote Kerala as a sporting destination. Rashi Bisaria caught up with National Games Secretariat CEO Jacob Punnoose to find out just how the Games are being marketed both within the state and outside..

National Games Ready to leave behind a legacy

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COVER STORY : HEMAL PANCHAMI

Rashi Bisaria: Can you throw light on how the Games are being promoted? Jacob Punnoose: This is the �irst time that the Games are being packaged and marketed as a saleable commodity. We have put in place a promotion and PR plan that will cover not just publicity but also aspects such as ground activities, merchandising, high quality television coverage and social media marketing that will elevate the pro�ile of the Games like never before and offer sponsors good value for their money. The fact that this National Games is held across a State and not in just one city, the steps we are taking to popularise the event, ensuring mass scale spectator participation, all of it will help in building an image that the Games has not had till now. Getting Sachin Tendulkar as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Games is a feather in the cap of the Government of Kerala. Sachin has agreed to associate with the Games slogan ‘GET SET PLAY’ and is involved in not just promoting the Games but also a

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campaign to inspire the young to take to sport and embrace it as a habit.

What kind of image are you trying to build for the Games? We are looking at the Games as a platform for strengthening the sporting culture among the Kerala youth. We are building some excellent stadia and renovating many others, so there is going to be a lasting infrastructure legacy that the Games will leave behind. Further, the experience of hosting an event bigger than even the Commonwealth Games is also bound to

have a positive long term effect on how the State views sports as a serious and worthwhile activity. A legacy Plan covering stadia, infrastructure, equipments and human resources is also being put in place,

Getting Sachin Tendulkar as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Games is a feather in the cap of the Government of Kerala

which will hopefully result in Kerala becoming a major sporting destination for national and international level competitions and high-end training.

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INTERVIEW : JACOB PUNNOOSE

Can you describe the campaign that Sachin is a part of as ambassador? Sachin is the goodwill ambassador for the 35th National Games. He is associated with not only promoting the Games but also in a campaign under the Games slogan of “Get Set Play” that promotes sports in general and events like the National Games as the stepping stone for budding sporting careers. Sachin will actively assist in promoting the Games through traditional media such as TV and print, and also through Social media and BTL activities like the unique mass

We’ll also have celebrity presence and school affiliate programs at all the host districts to encourage a full audience

run in Kerala on Jan 21, 2015 that will see a huge section of Kerala’s population participate in what is perceived as the curtain raiser to the Games.

What kind of new age and traditional methods of marketing are you using to promote the games? The main marketing thrust would focus on three aspects: namely top class competition, spectator participation and a top-class TV telecast. We’re leaving no stone unturned to ensure all the country’s best sports persons are made available by the IOA and the Federations. We’ll also have celebrity presence and school af�iliate programs at all the host districts to encourage a full audience. The stadia

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will also have sporting entertainment activities to keep engagement at a high level at all times. Doordarshan is the host broadcaster and will cover the Games Live for nearly 200 hours duration on DD Sports, with select events on DD National and regional kendras. For the �irst time the highlights package at the end of the day will be made available to private broadcasters for telecast. Promoting and publicising the Games will be mainly through PR, Ground activities and Media, including Print, TV, Cinema, Outdoor, Mobile, Online and Social media.

How important is social media for the Games this time around and how is it being harnessed? Have you launched digital campaigns? Social media is extensively used as a marketing platform. Various campaigns are already active on FB, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest

Promoting and publicising the Games will be mainly through PR, Ground activities and Media,

and Google including paid promotions. Several of our ground events will also be shared widely through Social Media. Celebrities including Sachin will help in promoting National Games through their own pages. The mobile platform is also being looked at as an innovative media. A unique Virtual Torch Relay App has been launched that will enable Indians across the globe to light a Torch, share it with a friend, and virtually become a part of the Games irrespective of where he is. A second App will also be launched in January that will help the public access all Games Related information including results and medals tally in real time.

This is the �irst time that the Games is being marketed as a saleable commodity. What difference has it made till now? The Games has been packaged as a multi-pronged eco system that would be sponsor friendly. Elements like advertising inventory, broadcast and promotions, merchandising programs, venue branding, media releases, ground activities and events are mapped against various sponsor layers. Authorised selling partners are presently meeting major corporates to tie up the sponsorship structure.

How will the image of Kerala be affected after this image building exercise? Kerala will be considered as a major sporting destination with the infrastructure being built and the legacy plan in place. -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com

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COVER STORY : Hemal Panchami

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COLUMN

Will 2014 be another Year of a Mobile First approach? Vinish Kathuria

Chief Operating Officer, Digital Quotient

vinishk@live.com

It’s been an eventful year for marketers with the rise of omni-channel, mobile-first marketing 8 | Pitch | January 2015

T

oday, the world around us is changing. Its connected 24x7 and now the consumers’ attitude on how they want to interact with brands and business has changed, the more customized and personal the approach the better. 2014 saw a new era in the rise of Mobile, Content Marketing and Big Data for many businesses. From an embryonic stage, mobile has irrevocably transformed digital marketing along its speedy evolution. It’s been an eventful year for marketers with the rise of omni-channel, mobile-�irst

marketing, and a rapid growth in Geotagging management – to name a few. The digital marketing industry will evolve even further in 2015, bringing a new set of marketing strategies and opportunities to look forward to. Here are some recent trends marketers should be attentive to for the year ahead. We heard a lot about the Mobile craze everywhere but 2014 bucked that trend. We are now going to witness major consumer transactions happening via mobile driven by mobile payment options such as paytm and freecharge. There is perfect atmosphere of strong consumer evolution to mobility in every aspect of their lives, as well as enterprises treating mobility as a strategic advantage. We also saw mobile usage of social media overtake desktop usage. The mobile-centric Instagram, grew to over 300 million active users. There are more mobile phones (7.2 billion) on the planet than number of people (7.16 billion). It happens very rarely that a prediction in digital industry comes true. There was talk about 2014 being a year of mobile and that statement has come true, with 2014 witnessing an enormous growth in smartphones and 2015 will be no different. Mobile presents a huge opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences. Google research shows that 7 per cent of www.pitchonnet.com


COLUMN mobile searches lead to a purchase within 24 hours, rising to 18 per cent for local searches. Smartphones are also changing communication habits – particularly for the younger generation – with 94 per cent of communication time for 12 to 15 year olds spent on text-based activities such as instant messaging and social media, and only 3 per sent spent on voice calls. In 2015, we will see the widely discussed mobile-�irst marketing approach �inally develop to take advantage of these high consumption levels. Retailers will push more high-volume, low-cost products through their mobile commerce platform, to gain enhanced data on consumer behavior, locality, adaptation, and ROI. In the 2014 elections, we saw most politicians using social media for campaigning. During the U.S. Presidential elections in 2008 and 2012 President Barack Obama’s team most effectively used social media campaigns. In India, we saw the Modi sel�ie on voting day, live rally broadcasts on mobiles, AAP using it for driving new member joinees and for getting citizen participation in its initiatives. Global revenue from app stores is expected to rise 62 per cent this year to $25 billion. From Ecommerce companies to travel out�its to government departments, everyone is launching mobile apps and driving signi�icant sales and user engagement through same such as paytm, free charge & other mobile centric means for micro small payments. It’s almost like a DoTcom revolution of 15 years ago - no one wants to miss the bus. The same followed by a rise in the Mobile handsets sales, led by newer and fancier smartphones is a major catalyst in making 2014 an era of the mobile and paving the way for the coming year. India is already the 3rd largest market for smartphones and will overtake USA shortly.

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Telecom operators have �inally started to see data usage from their customers and their 3G infrastructure investments have started to show �inancial results. Consumers are in a happy mode with lots of choices - many have than one handset, kids & teenagers are not the only one using them for social media India has emerged as the strongest market for digital companies that see a huge growth opportunity here. For Facebook, Whatsapp, Google - India is

2015 promises to ride this wave of momentum as smartphone will become more secure, more contextual, more location-aware, more targeted, and more integrated one of their top markets. Regardless of where an Internet company is launched today, India very quickly becomes a large user base for it. Rural India is also not untouched from this craze and has started seeing relevant information and entertainment services readily available to

them via mobile. Venture capitalists and investors are willing to bet long term on sustainability of mobile led digital evolution and are pumping in millions of dollars. So what does all this mean to a marketer? 1.

Jump on the mobile bandwagon quickly, or you will lag behind 2. Gear Up for Big Data & analytics to play a bigger role in next phase of mobile evolution 3. Gut based decisions will start getting replaced by more number driven decisions 4. The 3Ms need to be central to your marketing plans –i.e., Millions of people engaging with Multiple offerings on their Mobile devices. Mobile has started to impact almost every sector of our life - payments, healthcare, shopping, eating, travel, investments, and education etc. and its important for marketers to understand the changing trends and design their marketing strategies accordingly. Mobiles provide a personal connect to user base and customers, which enables impactful brand engagement with the audiences. It’s an era of dialogue creation, with integrated campaigns across platforms made even more convenient via mobile. 2015 promises to ride this wave of momentum as smartphone will become more secure, more contextual, more location-aware, more targeted, and more integrated. We will witness the most engaging mobile experiences till date come to life in 2015. There will be an integration of Mobility, the cloud, and the Internet of Things creating signi�icant opportunities for businesses to expand and for consumers to enjoy. But these opportunities will also come with newer challenges. Pitch | January 2015 | 9


INTERVIEW : PRAVEEN SINHA

The rise of a fashion e-tailer 10 | Pitch | January 2015

Within three years of being in the ecommerce industry, Rocket Internet-backed e-tailer Jabong has scripted its own success story. The brand has grown 140 per cent over last year. Having brought iconic international brands and exclusive designer lines to Indian doorsteps, Jabong is now firmly established as a fashion e-tailer. Rashi Bisaria spoke to Founder and MD Praveen Sinha about how the year has been for Jabong, its identity as a fashion portal and the lessons it has learnt on its way to becoming a sought after online shopping destination. Edited excerpts

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INTERVIEW : PRAVEEN SINHA Rashi Bisaria: How has the year 2014 been for Jabong?

Praveen Sinha: 2014 has been a great year

for us as we have improved our offerings to consumers including our customer service. Starting from our tie-up with Lakme Fashion Week to the launch of Jabong Online Fashion Week 2014 has been a year of incredible Growth in 2014 growth for Jabong. Iconic Growth on Orders Growth on Items Growth on Revenue international brands like Dorothy Perkins, River Island, Miss Selfridge, Burton, NBA, G-star and DC shoes launched Manish Arora and many more. With on the website are exclusively available in our wide reach, Jabong has been able to penetrate the far �lung, pan India India through Jabong. Associating with ace designer Rohit Bal, Jabong also launched an markets and made designer labels available to all. Customers in Tier II & exclusive pret line that’s affordable, keepIII cities have the purchasing power but ing intact the designer’s signature styles. do not get access to designer wear, so Jabong has recently launched, yet another easily. At Jabong, through these associaexclusive line by Gaurav Gupta Tribe’ designed by the acclaimed fashion designer, tions, we are able to combine quality and affordability, backed by a strong logistics himself. Bollywood youth icon Alia Bhatt has joined hands with Jabong.com to launch chain that promises on delivering smiles her signature line of apparel “Alia Bhatt for anywhere and anytime Jabong” which will retail exclusively on the In order to cater to the fashion needs of the movie buffs, Jabong has also associportal. We are continuously striving hard ated with many Bollywood blockbusters to provide a better shopping experience in terms of availability of brands and styles on and launched collections inspired by the same. The launch of “The Juice” magazine our portal! is another attempt to expand further into publishing fashion content and connect How have you strengthened your positioning as a fashion portal in the last with consumers. Jabong received an overwhelming reyear? sponse at the Lakmé Fashion Week as well. The fastest growing e-commerce Taking the legacy forward from the last seawebsite for fashion and lifestyle shopping son of Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Sumoffers more than 1500 international highmer 2014, Jabong – the Associate Sponsor street brands, sports labels, Indian ethnic of LFW reinstated the positioning it created and designer labels. last season. At Lakme Fashion Week WinJabong is constantly adding brands ter/festive 2014, Jabong created a fashion under its banner; international fashion revolution by bringing overseas fashion on giants like Dorothy Perkins, River Island, Indian ramps with the launch of two UK Miss Selfridge and Burton have come onbased high-end brands, Miss Selfridge and board. These brands are exclusively availRiver Island. It also showcased some new able on Jabong.com. We have collaborated age styles by talented young designers on with ace designers from the Indian fashthe Jabong Stage. ion scene who have exclusively curated a line for Jabong.com, Rohit Bal �irst and now Gaurav Gupta. These associations What have been the sales like for were undertaken with the sole purpose your private labels? of making designer wear accessible to all. Our Private labels have grown well. Apart from these celebrated designers, we also house names like AM:PM, Dhruva How will the new entity Global Pallavi, Satya Paul, Vikram Phadnis, Fashion Group, of which Jabong will be a

145%

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159%

140%

part, help the brand ? We are delighted to have joined forces and have created a global fashion giant which is active in 4 continents. This will lead to an even better experience not only for us internally but also for our customers. We can rely on common sourcing, outstanding IT competencies, and our experiences with private labels.

Please share 2 important lessons you have learnt from your journey in the Indian market. Today, the market place is �looded with several e-commerce options for shoppers to choose from. A variety of innovative products and services are being offered spoiling customers for choice. Online shopping is no more a privilege enjoyed by your friends and family living in the US or UK. Today, it is a reality in India. In the last couple of years, the growth of the e-commerce industry in India has been phenomenal as more shoppers have started discovering the bene�its of using this platform. One must learn that there is enough scope for online businesses in the future if they understand the Indian shopper’s psyche, and cater to their needs with the most effective customer service.

How many registered users do you have on today’s date? We have more than 2 million hits everyday -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com Pitch | January 2015 | 11


CASE STUDY

BLOG-A-THON BY SAMSUNG Samsung’s greatest content marketing initiative for the Galaxy Note 4

By RASHI BISARIA

I

n�luencing thought leaders and consumers is perhaps one of the biggest challenges marketers face today. But the new age marketer is trying out new tactics to get the relevant crowd talking about their products. They have started using in�luencers to launch new products and for sharing content. An in�luencer can mobilise opinion, create reactions and participate in the conversation around the product or topic in question. In�luencers also have a large base of followers which results in a much needed multiplier effect. Not surprising then that brands like Lenovo, Philips, Mondelez and Samsung have begun using in�luencers in innovative ways for brand building and creating a buzz about new products. Maximum number of Bloggers are on the front lines of bloggers engaged in such campaigns having become a single day by the the conduit for dissemination of brand information and views. Through their highly opinionated pieces, reviews and comments they have acquired a role no new age marketer can overlook. In one of the largest blog-a-thons organised by Korean major Samsung, the relevance of bloggers, the critical in�luencers of today’s times became amply clear. Samsung boasts of a base of more

61

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than 80 million Samsung mobile users in India, the country being one of the biggest markets for Samsung. But with numerous product launches every year, it is easy for the consumers to lose focus and loyalty, something which Samsung cannot afford in these competitive times. The company has seen a decline in its mobile phones division where pro�its have declined as much as 60 per cent in 2014. It needed a way to differentiate its products in the face of less expensive options that the Indian consumer had. Samsung also felt that the buzz and conversation died down

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CASE STUDY soon after the global and India launch of a product. The role of bloggers as key in�luencers in keeping the conversation positive about a brand could not go unnoticed and Samsung realised that building a narrative around the products was critical. In October , the company launched the much awaited Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in India and decided to weave a narrative around it. Samsung came up with the strategy to conduct a large scale blogger event and facilitate high quality content by in�luencers. More than 60 bloggers from across India came together to review Note 4, create video content with the help of 6 video production zones and interact with the media. The bloggers reached out to Media mileage worth over 1.2 million people. generated by the More than 5800 conversations were generated in a bloggers (Reached single day. The blog-a-thon over 1.2 million resulted in the highest posipeople) tive net sentiment ever for Note 4. 35 Review videos were created for Galaxy Note 4. creating the best positive vibes for Media tie-ups ensured this Note 4. It was an exclusive launch for was a 360 degree digitised activation bloggers and made the community campaign with TV and Radio coming feel important and respected. The together to support the endeavour. Twitterati made sure that tweets about By touching the lives of the blogger the launch were exchanged through community, Samsung had ended up the day. Tech bloggers kept updating

11 mn +

35

The number of review videos created for GALAXY Note 4

the website of Economic Times with reviews and articles through the day as part of an exclusive tie-up. Connecting with bloggers has become one of the smartest ways of connecting with the target audience. It seems that in�luencer marketing is a trend that is here to stay and will be an integral part of a brand’s marketing strategy. Times have changed and celebrity spokespeople are not the only in�luencers at hand to advocate your brand. Independent website publishers or bloggers can exert the same in�luence if used as a part of a smart overall strategy. In fact, studies have shown that celebrity brand endorsements are sometimes not trusted by consumers as much as blogger endorsements are. Technorati’s 2013 Digital In�luence Report shows that consumers are turning to trusted blogs when looking to make a purchase. -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com

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COLUMN

The Periodic Table of Digital Marketing Apurva Chamaria

Head, Global Brand & Digital Front Office at HCLTechnologies

apurva.chamaria@gmail.com @a1purva

Everything social is digital, but everything digital is not social 14 | Pitch | January 2015

A

nyone who has tasted a pinch of Chemistry in school would remember a complex chart called ‘The Periodic Table of Elements’. Elementary as it was, the instruction and mastery of chemical elements along with their corresponding elements was critical for every science student. A quick search on google for “periodic table” showed me about 2,46,00,000 results which shows a huge appetite for periodic tables which that explain a widely dispersed and popular phenomena. Closing in on the subject at hand, the periodic table has also been formatted to suit Social Media Tools and Content Marketing. However, for anyone who deals with all things digital, none of these periodic tables are comprehensive enough. We in the digital space have to deal with complex tools and platforms, analytics and intelligence, vehicles of message delivery while marrying the functions of sales and marketing with customer relationship management. No matter where I looked, all I saw were tables incomplete and incomprehensive!

So I created one of my own! The columns of my periodic table are divided into 6 prominent groups. Each group is further divided into what can be described as a sub-group of elements that aid digital marketing. The period table is a grid designed on cross-referential information architecture. Digital Marketing is an exhaustive subject and therefore as I explain the chips and tabs of the periodic table, I will break it up as a 4-part series to go over each group and its elements.

PLATFORMS

– Everything social is digital, but everything digital is not social! For brands and organisations, this has of course resulted in a boon of opportunities, allowing brands and faceless companies to build a persona, build a community and open a line of communication that is more personal and effective. Companies are selling, buying, hiring, extending after sales support and even building their R&D functions based on observations on social media! Here is why: • Builds increased brand recognition • Improved brand royalty • More opportunities to convert • Increased inbound traf�ic • Decreased marketing cost • Better search engine rankings

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COLUMN

Facebook that started as a social networking site has grown to �ind tremendous utility in the business world. The site which is available in 37 different languages, using Facebook for marketing has its own winning points. Why Facebook? • There are over 1.35 BN monthly active Facebook users across the world. This number is rising exponentially every year at 14% • 4.5 BN ‘Likes’ are generated daily • Every second 5 new pro�iles are being created

Twitter –With 140 characters holding up the ace of ‘tweets’, Twitter is the

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SMS of the internet! The average ECPE for Twitter is USD 0.45

Why Twitter? • There are 284 MN users worldwide • Thought leaders, experts in niche, market leaders and in�luencers use Twitter for business

Search – A search is a technology that combines a set of programs that includes a crawler which goes to every page and website to represent it on search engines. It’s like the Census of�icer coming to your house for a headcount making sure you are counted! Google by virtue of being a large internet conglomerate specializes in

products and services that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing and software. Google, to the digital marketer is the gateway to a world of multiple opportunities.

Why Google? • Google controls 67.6 % of the US search engine market • With Android enabled devices leading the smartphone race by dominating 80% of the market and 1.6 BN units around the globe, Google is the preferred platform of search for all mobile users • Gmail has more than 500 MN users with 1MN Android installations across the globe Pitch | January 2015 | 15


COLUMN Email – Email for long has ceased to be a simple carrier of mail and communication. The use of the email for marketing purposes has transported the business of communication to a whole new level where the focus is on getting every email opened and read. Email marketing allows companies to send out targeted communications to their audience.

Gmail – If there is only email address to be had then it has to be Gmail! With Android being the leading choice of operating system for mobile users, Gmail is the preferred choice of email.

Why Gmail is Important? 1. Numbers speak for itself. Gmail has 425 MN users! 2. 67.5 per cent of Gmail users access their emails on their phones making it a perfect vehicle for email marketing 3. The average user of the Gmail user is 31

Technology – No matter what platform, or functionality or versatility of the application, technology is what drives business. Technology is the application of design, production and utilization of resources that gives the user / consumer a superior experience. Joomla is an award winning, free and open source content management system (CMS) for publishing web

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content. It is built on a model-viewcontroller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS.

Wordpress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. It is one of the most important blogging and website content management systems in the world. Drupal is free, open source software that can be used by individuals or groups of users to easily create and manage many types of websites. It includes content management platform and a development framework.

Mobile Devices are shrinking, as people want to make information accessible and on-the-go just like them. Mobile therefore is now becoming the preferred medium of content consumption on the internet. According to Prof Andreas Kaplan mobile marketing is any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using their personal devices. Mobile banner ads have a usual CTR of .23 per cent. With the exponential rise in the smartphone users across the globe, and people spending an average of 30 hours and 15 minutes on their phones mobile marketing is the way forward.

BlackBerry was one of the �irst generation smart phones to have made its way into people’s hand. The Canadian company that started off as a market leader in smart telephony may have lost its sheen but it is still as important. iOS When Steve Jobs gave the world the �irst generation iPhone, he knew he was changing the game forever. From then till iPhone 6 released last, each smartphone coming from Apple is considered the gospel of smart telephony. The same frenzy continues for it mobile tablets. In 2013, Apple has sold about 800 MN iOS devices across the world. Mostly upwardly mobile, with a �ine taste of things, apps from iTunes give ample play way to marketers. Android rules the roost when it comes to mobile platforms. With Android enabled devices leading the smartphone race by dominating 80 per cent of the market and 1.6 BN units around the globe, Google is the preferred platform of search for all mobile users Publishers – Online publishers are people or a group who publish content, from the smallest blogger to the largest entertainment, news, e-commerce and information sites, on the online space. Publishers provide a platform to advertisers to showcase their ads. Google Display is the largest player in the pool of publishers. Almost everyone wants to place ads on Google and making it a winning proposition is Google Display. A group of a million websites, videos and apps where ads can appear, lets brands and companies choose from a range of target websites to place their ads in. In the next part of the series, we will look at Automation and Analytics and Intelligence closely and go over the elements that go into the Periodic Table of Digital Marketing.

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COLUMN

IRS 2013 Results

No.1 IS NOW

in the Hindi Belt

WITH 1.42 Cr READERS Hindi Dainik (in Crores) *Hindi Belt

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Hindustan

Dainik Jagran

1.42

1.34

Delhi+NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar & Jharkhand

Pitch | January 2015 | 17


INTERVIEW : PRANAY CHULET

‘Mobile is the next wave for online classifieds’ The online classifieds space in the country has been dominated largely by two players Olx and Quikr. Both players have contributed towards developing a culture of buying and selling old goods online in India. The surge in internet usage, has only given a boost to this business. The Indian online classified market is expected to grow to INR 31 billion by 2016. Today Quikr operates from more than 1000 cities in India and is trying to capture the smaller towns by making them Quikr users even before internet users. Kanika Mehrotra caught up with Pranay Chulet, Co-Founder and CEO, Quikr, to find out about the evolution of the classified model and trace Quikr’s growth trajectory. 18 | Pitch | January 2015

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INTERVIEW : PRANAY CHULET

Kanika Mehrotra: How has the classified model evolved in India from the time you launched? Have perceptions changed? Pranay Chulet: We have traversed a long distance in a very short span of time. First we had to open people’s eyes to the fact that online classifieds are an alternative way to buy and sell things. In India, people have always relied on a closed social circle to sell their products. Today, there has been a cultural shift as people have started to gravitate towards online classifieds. Secondly, the contribution of mobile has shot up drastically. For us, mobile has long overtaken desktop in most key metrics and will continue to drive growth.

KM How much have you grown over the years? PC Our business has grown three times in the last 12 months and we will grow our business 10 times in the next three years by continuing to build our brand and credibility. KM How many registered us-

ers do you have at present? PC Today, we operate from 1000+ cities across India and while the data is not super organized, it’s a billion dollar plus market already and growing fast with more than 30 million unique users. With over 13 categories and 170 sub-categories, our most popular categories are mobile phones, electronics, real estate, cars and bikes. In numbers of listings, real estate and jobs are big for us followed by education and services.

Where is most of your growth coming from and why? PC We are growing rapidly and the company has become one of India’s top classifieds players with a deep

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understanding of the local market. Our mission is to provide the local community with a platform to help consumers sell, buy or find anything they want in the quickest, easiest and most convenient possible way. While most of our revenues come from the top five cities, 70 per cent of Quikr’s online traffic comes from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We are trying to capture the smaller towns by making them Quikr users

For us, mobile has long overtaken desktop in most key metrics and will continue to drive growth even before internet users. For example, we launched our missed call campaign in 2012, to help first time ad posters/non-internet users to buy or sell anything on Quikr just by giving a missed call. Since then, we have started seeing a lot of traction from rural areas with people selling cattle, tractors, farm equipment etc.

KM How much are you spending on marketing and which medium are you using the most and why? PC As a fast paced, growing internet company, the digital medium is a key part of our overall marketing plan. In fact today, a large portion of our total marketing spends go towards digital. However, we also have very highimpact offline marketing activities such as TV which is a big medium for creating reach and awareness

amongst millions of Indians. We also use outdoor advertising aggressively as well as print advertising. We have recently tied up with the popular comedy collective AIB to target the youth and have released online videos and TVCs under the new theme ‘Buyer Aur Seller Ka Perfect Matchmaker’.

KM What are the challenges you face in this business? PC Our main concern is improving the quality of advertisements posted on the Quikr platform. While we are growing exponentially, it is important that the quality of advertisements do not go down. The listings on our platform are all user generated content and there can often be a lot of spam and junk ads that get posted on Quikr. In fact, we spend a lot of time curating the ads and today almost 35-40 per cent of the ads that get posted by consumers are removed because the quality of the ads is not satisfactory. In terms of our listings, we use a combination of human effort, technology and phone verification. The use of technology filters is an added advantage. Our technology team has spent several hours to create some cutting-edge tools that filter listings with unwanted words and/or detect wrong listings. At different times, the team has also reached out to customers for verification on the phone to crosscheck the authenticity of the listing. If we do come upon a listing that is spam, we delete the listing. We also spend time educating buyers about what to check before buying the product listed by the seller.

KM How do you see the online classifieds business evolving in the coming years? PC I think the next level of the online

Pitch | January 2015 | 19


INTERVIEW : Pranay Chulet

While most of our revenues come from the top five cities, 70 per cent of Quikr’s online traffic comes from tier 2 and tier 3 cities classifieds business is going to be on mobile. As per the telecom regulator TRAI’s data, the total internet subscriber base in India at the end of September 2013 stood at 210 million, of which, 188 million (90% users) access data/content on mobile devices. Given that India will have 519 million mobile internet users by FY-18, according to Morgan Stanley’s report, it is obvious that mobile is the next wave for online classifieds. It can be said that mobile will dominate user behavior for shopping, trading and simple searching/browsing. KM What are the 2 most

important lessons you have learnt from your journey in the Indian market? PC It is very important to go local in your marketing as India is a very diverse, multicultural market. We have had a lot of success with our innovative marketing ideas such as our Missed Call Service and Maximum Selling Price (MSP) and these innovations require a deep understanding of the Indian market.

KM How important is customer ex-

perience management and how do you ensure a superior experience for both buyers and sellers? PC For a young company like ours, customer satisfaction plays a very important role since we focus on consumer to consumer (C2C) which helps connect individual buyers and sellers. India is a very value conscious country and it is important for people to know why they would need to use

20 | Pitch | January 2015

Mobile will dominate user behavior for shopping, trading and simple searching/browsing the product. These reasons help us to build our strategies to retain users and maintain a good user experience. With the launch of our Maximum Selling Price calculator on our website and on our mobile app, we have ensured our users experience the simplest way of determining a reasonable accurate value for their used goods before posting an ad for these items on Quikr.com.

KM What steps have you taken re-

cently to enhance the experience? PC As an Indian company, we are very much in touch with the values of our target audience. Keeping this in view, we recently launched the Maximum Selling Price that helps sellers to de-

termine a reasonably accurate value for their used goods before posting an ad for these items on Quikr.com. Secondly, we are aggressive on mobile and our focus is to connect with mobile users in India. The growth of mobile is shaping the Indian e-commerce market and with the expansion of our mobile business we are well positioned to be at the forefront of the Indian online classifieds market. Today, more than 80 per cent of our transactions happen on mobiles daily, which is a huge number. We launched our Quikr App which allows buyers and sellers to communicate, buy, sell and shop on the go. By making our website available in multiple regional languages, we are reaching out to even more consumers from all over the country, thereby expanding the online classifieds market in India. From a product development front, we have improved the entire user experience by making Quikr even more user-friendly, simple and easy to use. -kanika.mehrotra@exchange4media.com www.pitchonnet.com


INTERVIEW : Pranay Chulet

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Pitch | January 2015 | 21


COLUMN

Swacch Bharat & Saaf Hindustan: What’s in the Word? Hamsini Shivakumar

Owner, Leapfrog Strategy Consulting

hamsini6@googlemail.com

For centuries, in India, we have had the existence of personally clean people surrounded by physical dirt and filth 22 | Pitch | January 2015

S

wacchh vs. Saaf, what’s in a word? Gopal Gandhi in his recent article draws the distinction very well. Saaf is about cleaning, it brings to mind the act of cleaning and making things clean. It is suggestive of hygiene and being dirt-free. It is a practical and action-oriented word with a simple end-state in mind. Swacchh on the other hand is both clean and pure. It straddles the space between ‘safaai’ and ‘shuddhta’. When the clean and dirt-free state is attached to the idea of purity, it tries to take on a moral high ground and a moral imperative. And this is the idea’s albatross in a modern and aspiring India. For centuries, in India, we have had the co-existence of personal swacchta and shuddta with gandgi, personally clean people surrounded by physical dirt and filth, the contradiction not bothering anyone. The Ganges at Varanasi is the perfect illustration of this. The holy water is always pure even if there is visible filth floating on it. Ganga is always swacch and shuddh even if it is ‘ganda’ / not ‘saaf ’. Saaf Ganga is clear – the river needs cleaning and getting rid of the physical dirt that is present in the water. On the other hand, the believer bathes in

the shuddh ganga even while next to him is a buffalo in the water, washing off its excrement. Thus, the lofty idea of swacchta closes the viewer’s eyes to the lack of ‘safaai’ or ‘gandgi’ that surrounds him. Apart from this, the notion of purity and pollution was also used as a cultural device of extreme discrimination through the ages, until the formation of the democratic Indian state with a liberal constitution. The copy writers in the PMO may have searched for the word that did

justice to the seriousness of the Prime Minister’s mission. But, by choosing a word with so many cultural connotations that work in the opposite direction of the goal, they may have unwittingly undermined the mission’s impact on the aam aadmi or the average man on the street. Another slogan from the campaign that Gopal Gandhi draws attention is ‘gandgi hatao’. When the term

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COLUMN ‘hatao’ is used as an exhortation along with gandgi, it raises the question…after we remove…what then, where does the dirt and filth go? Is this cleanliness campaign pointing to a re-distribution rather than removal of dirt, garbage and waste. Of course many activists, journalists and technocrats have pointed to the fact that the type of social attitude change that is sought to be engineered by the Government/ Prime Minister will be ineffective, unless accompanied by infrastructure development and legal enforcement for the management of waste that is generated not just by citizens going about the business of living, but by industry as well. Let us draw a parallel with a totally different category, oral care and oral hygiene. Having understood the criticality of beauty and good looks in contemporary culture, toothpaste brands are launching new products addressing the need for white teeth in the context of beauty and beauty benefits vis-à-vis the established view of white teeth in the context of hygiene. If we examine yellow teeth as a sign, it is a negative sign which signifies both lack of hygiene and lessening of beauty. Clean, white teeth as its opposite is a positive sign for hygiene only. To establish the connection of white teeth to beauty, marketers had to invent ‘bright’ white teeth as a different positive sign that links teeth and beauty. White itself has different ‘qualifiers’ that discriminate its shades and states, thus white becomes an index both of

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By choosing a word with so many cultural connotations that work in the opposite direction of the goal, Copy Editors may have undermined the mission’s impact

hygiene and of beauty. The lessons for the Clean India enterprise is that if policy makers wish to direct the public’s eye and perception to a different vision of cleanliness, it needs to invent new signposts to guide people towards the desired end-state and showcase the benefits of the same to them. “Swachch” as a sign, points to the age-old ideology of cleanliness in India, pure from within living in the midst of dirt all around; internally pure but externally unclean. “Saaf ” as a sign, with new indices to measure the results and a new vocabulary for clean would have been far more effective in re-orienting Indians to the need for greater cleanliness and hygiene in their lived environment.

Pitch | January 2015 | 23


INTERVIEW : SAANJAY SETHI

Limited Edition Publishing as a tool for Marketing

After two and a half decades of managing a variety of leadership roles at international publishing, media and broadcasting companies, Saanjay Sethi, Founder-CEO, Matrix Publishing Group, one of the youngest Managing Directors in the Indian Book Publishing industry decided to branch out on his own. Having spent five years leading the sub-continent business for a global conglomerate, Sethi introduced India to an innovative tool of branding. He launched ROOTS & SHOOTS, his limited edition publishing Imprint which introduced a new territory of Book Publishing . He showed how Limited Edition Books or LEBs could be used as tools of tactical and strategic communication. As a first generation entrepreneur, he has created a unique business concept for his young company Matrix Publishing Group. Rashi Bisaria caught up with the publisher to find out more about the concept and the unconventional business model. 24 | Pitch | January 2015

Rashi Bisaria: You are an independent publisher, but you do not engage in a traditional business model. Can you brie�ly share your professional journey with us? Saanjay Sethi: Immediately after college I got a break with a publisher and within a decade I was heading the SAARC region for another top-US publisher. However, by then I was also disillusioned with the book-trade, because of the huge cerebral-gap between the Indian and global industry dynamics. I therefore decided to reboot my career. Over the next decade I managed Sales, Marketing, BD and Operations for an apex media brand and a leading international broadcaster. That’s when I acquired a fuller perspective of the communications space. While completing the second decade of corporate slavery, I had decided on erecting a business-model which would synergise my key learnings across the two mediums i.e. book-publishing and media. I launched my entrepreneurial venture in 2010. Can you describe your differentiated offering? I have a �irm belief that if businesses do not reinvent themselves every few years, they perish. After we published a couple of Coffee Table Books under our �lagship imprint Matrix in the �irst few

years of inception, we decided to launch Roots & Shoots as an Independent Imprint so that we could offer some unique and distinct value proposition to our Customers, hitherto not offered by any Book Publisher in India. In Roots & Shoots we not only design and produce innovative books. We also actively participate in conceptualising, conceiving, developing (content writing and photography), positioning, branding and promoting them. At times, we also develop RoI models for customers, thus (besides earning salience and branding) they recover their investments, make signi�icant revenues and also margins. Our books are largely for private distribution. We enhance the perceived-value of such books as Limited Edition Titles, because only the customer/sponsor can distribute or sell these books to identi�ied stakeholders. All books are produced at an exportapproved ISO-9001 offset printing plant, we only use imported paper, board, etc. and our design-specs and production-values are at par with global standards. Since we provide standard publisher embellishments and branding elements, including our 13 digit ISBN, etc. to all our titles, the lay-person cannot differentiate between a traditional or our custom published title. How can this concept help

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INTERVIEW : SAANJAY SETHI brands in building their image? Can you give a few examples? First is Customer Engagement. Today media clutter is at its peak. Each one of us is targeted with hundreds of messages across equal number of mediums. Technology has made information available real-time, but recipients either do not take every message seriously or its recollection value diminishes as soon as the next few messages hit you. To engage serious, high-value and long-term customers or any other important stakeholder, brands require tools that can attract and hold customer attention in his/her spare time. Moreover the message should be exhaustive, expansive and presented in an uncluttered environment. And, if the medium is not expensive, then the Brand Manager/CMO is even happier! Second, customer retention is another key issue amongst brands and businesses due to media clutter, increasing competition, price-wars, and discounts. Almost every brand is forever investing millions of valuable bucks, churning out print and online collaterals. While most online messages are lost in the overcrowded cyber world, almost every print piece end-ups in the waste-basket within a few hours or at best days of distribution. Longevity and retention power of any book, (even more in case of LEBs) is far superior in comparison to any other communication medium. Third, customer endorsement, brand perception and loyalty require real customers and not paid models. Globally LEBs are used for strengthening such objectives. And LEBs are lifelong ambassadors for brands that are often

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We decided to launch as an Independent Imprint so that we could offer unique and distinct value proposition threatened by new competition, price or discount wars or such short-term issues. In short, LEBs are most cost-effective, potent and effective Tools of Strategic or Tactical Communication. They build customer loyalty; enhance perception, value and image of Brands, Products and Companies. Moreover the message contained in LEBs is controlled, safe from any third-party intervention.

In the age of digital, what is the future of limited edition publishing? What gives you the edge? The digital-world certainly has its advantages and so do printed books. Neither can replace the other and a smart communicator must use all opportunities in both segments to enhance their communication objectives. You will be surprised to know that at Roots & Shoots, after referrals from existing customers, the largest proportion of our new business comes from effective use of the cyber-space! I also believe digital is perishable. It is easily corruptible. It can be misused in the age of Photoshop, piracy and unregulated social media. Books

are immortal, and so is the message contained therein.

Among brands, which category �locks to you the most for custom publishing? We are a very young imprint and within a year we have published some very interesting LEBs for a number of HNIs, a high pro�ile GoI ministry, a prestigious media industry-body, an international Travel and Tourism brand, besides a few other industry bodies, institutions, think-tanks, etc. In the pipeline are LEBs about CXOs, an Asia-wide Infrastructure Industry Body, besides several titles in the Wedding, Genealogy & Events segment.

Have brands and corporates started realising the worth of LEBs? We are an entirely new concept for the Indian ecosystem. I have personally met hundreds of Brand Managers, CMOs, CEOs, Business Owners, PR, Image & Brand Managers/Consultants, HNIs, senior bureaucrats, journalists, media professionals, wedding planners/photographers to share my global experience in this space. The manner in which I have envisaged the future of the Imprint is also rather unique! “Ours is a business of Passion”. At no point of time do we visualize producing any more than 45-50 LEBs a year. Therefore I do not aspire to make this Imprint into a “corporate-entity”, as then we will lose our competitive edge in the market -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com Pitch | January 2015 | 25


COLUMN

Augmented reality-

the future is here! Amar Thomas

Country Marketing Manager, BlackBerry India

T

he new age customers are ‘mobile’ consumers. Whether they are traveling to work, at the park with their kids or simply relaxing at home, people around are immersed in their phones. Someone’s trying to save their lives on Candy crush; some are chatting with their friends over an instant messenger, while others might be making last minute �light reservation or just shopping for groceries. Chances are that you yourself are reading this article on your smartphone, sitting in the boardroom, while waiting for a meeting to begin! The way smartphones have pervaded our lives and rendered us handicapped in their absence, is nothing short of enthralling. The question therefore: In this day and age, where consumers are connected 24/7 with friends, families

and at the same time purchasing and shopping through their mobile devices, can brands and marketers ignore the mobile platform as a crucial consumer communication tool? How can brands ensure they captivate their customer’s attention, to take a second look and follow through to buy the products, services and solutions they offer on their devices? Interestingly, the marketers have now found an interesting and innovative outreach solution: ‘augmented reality marketing’ (AR), an easy tool that seems to have caught mainstream attention aided by the massive popularity of mobile and smartphone technologies. In simple worlds, AR marketing is the use of smartphones and smart apps that help engage consumers with rich and appealing content while inviting them to be part of a novel experience,

Augmented reality marketing’ (AR), is an easy tool that has caught mainstream attention aided by the massive popularity of mobile and smartphone technologies 26 | Pitch | January 2015

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COLUMN rather than just be a passive participant of the brand message. Touted as the technology of the future, augmented reality is making its way into the market place as brands continue to realize its potential to engage consumers. In fact, a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality market is expected to reach $659.98 million. Another recent study put together Trigg-AR, estimates that 30 per cent of mobile subscribers having data plans in a mature market will use AR at least once a week this year. It further predicts that the market for AR apps is expected to grow by leaps and bounds with revenues touching a �igure

of £ 3.2 billion by 2016, from a mere £112.75 million currently, with a CAGR of 95.35 per cent. Furthermore, the study suggests that 2.5 billion AR apps will have been downloaded by 2017. The �igures seem to be startling and the opportunities tremendous. But then what is augmented reality marketing and how can brands leverage the same to create an engaged and loyal brand consumer? Simply put, augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video and the user’s environment in real time. Augmented Reality recognizes a visual picture or �ilm, blends new information, and displays the virtual result. Imagine a situation.

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What if a chain of restaurant could use augmented reality smartphone app to determine a consumer location and then incorporate graphic vision with powerful processors to provide directions to a local restaurant or recommend other cafes? Exciting! Isn’t it? In fact, at the moment, there are tons of apps featuring augmented reality, available for everything from gaming to driving to furniture arrangement! One of the brands that has successfully utilised augmented reality marketing is Maybelline. Maybelline created a ‘ColorShow’ app to help millennials experiment with nail polish colours. A cross between a game and shopping, the app helps customers to get creative before they buy. The app puts Maybelline square in the middle of the creativity and personal style of their millennial audience. Auto dealers such as BMW and Mercedes have been experimenting with the virtual showroom concept since 2012, with features such as interactive car con�igurators and gesture controls paired with the ability to cars in multiple driving settings. These are changing the high-end automotive shopping experiences in exciting new ways! In the travel sector globally, companies such as Expedia have created a rather surreal mash-up between a promotion, game and trip planning tool to form a microsite that allows users to explore ten cities by combining webcam technology with live interaction and storytelling. Jewellery brands such as De Beers now offer a smartphone app that lets users try jewellery virtually. From a consumer perspective, this empowers them to use their smartphones to scan quick response (QR) codes to read information about the product, on what it does, how other customers have reviewed it, how prices compare with the competition. More

As these technologies become a reality, brands will have to change their consumer outreach and engagement strategy importantly, they can come in well informed about the range of products they can buy to more purchases and better satisfaction. It also empowers them with a know-how, giving them a close to the ‘real experience.’ From a brand perspective, it stands to change the very fabric of marketing as we know it! Marketers need to understand these emerging technologies and adapt their strategy accordingly. We have been hearing the buzz about wearable technology and the possibilities of super connected devices, with the internet of things evolving. As these technologies become a reality, brands will have to change their consumer outreach and engagement strategy. All in all, mobile marketing has already come quite far in just the past few years, the fact remains that there is much more that can still be done. With almost every electronic device available being built to connect to the Internet, smartphones and other gadgets alike will bring marketers and users together to create experiences, in�luence purchases and make life easier. Pitch | January 2015 | 27


COVER STORY

POWERED BY

INDIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL CMOs

28 | Pitch | January 2015

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POWERED BY

COVER STORY

CMO

s have increasingly become the faces of the organisations they represent. Their opinions matter especially on topics like social media, Big Data, customer engagement, innovation. Their influence extends beyond the realm of marketing. Over time they have come to personify the brand they represent. The role of the Chief Marketing Of�icer has evolved from being the leader of the marketing function to become the critical representative of the organisation itself. The list of skills desired for the marketing leaders of today have increased over time. exchange4media partnered with Traverse Research n’ Consulting to choose the 10 Most In�luential CMOs of 2014. In their pursuit to �ind the best CMOs, we looked at the strength of the brand in the industry as well as the in�luence of the CMO. We looked at Consumer Brands for the purpose of this research and the eligibility criteria required the CMO to have been with the CMO position for more than a year. The goal was to identify the key charac-

teristics that created the winning combination- of the brand and the CMO. Sashi Shankar of Idea Cellular has bagged the top spot in the rankings . This has not come as a surprise as the brand has been going from strength to strength. Idea has scored high in areas such as brand performance, and mention in media. Sashi has been at the helm, steering it in the right direction, exerting significant influence in the industry. Idea’s brand visibility under him has increased and Idea’s campaigns have a high recall value. The credit for Idea’s high brand engagement and innovation goes to Sashi. The other contenders in the list follow close behind as far as the scores are concerned. They are not only marketers par excellence but have built an equity of their own. They have all reached the pinnacle of their careers and are accomplished marketers in their own right. These CMOs have not only shown the way to others who are still learning the ropes but established thought leadership, shaping the way the industry thinks and acts.

The 2 key factors in choosing the CMOs for this list 1. 2.

Influence of CMO Strength of Brand in the Industry

The sub-factors in choosing the CMOs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Mention in media (including credibility of outlet) Influence in industry Influence in industry Involvement in other projects/campaigns Integration between traditional and new media

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Success in digital media Building new competencies Brand performance Brand Value Brand Equity

Knowledge Partner www.pitchonnet.com

Pitch | January 2015 | 29


COVER STORY : SASHI SHANKAR

POWERED BY

01

‘We have connected with people at a very basic level’ 30 | Pitch | January 2015

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I

f tugging at people’s heartstrings and carving a niche in popular imagination are ways to build strong brands, Idea has accomplished the feat. Today, through a focused consumer strategy and smart execution, it has become the fastest growing Indian telecom company and records over one percentage point growth year on year in revenue market share. At present, Idea is focusing on increasing data adoption among subscribers. It has been trying to create awareness about the bene�its of using internet especially on the mobile phones. It has also been taking the network to smaller tier 3 and 4 towns where there is huge unful�illed demand. A strong brand message and mass communication strategy has endeared Idea to users from all walks of life. Steering Idea through its journey is Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Of�icer who has been with the company since 2001. In February 2014, Idea Cellular introduced a new brand campaign showcasing the importance of mobile internet in India. The focus was not merely to sell a product but to develop the market. The jingle ‘Idea internet lagoing, India ko no ullubanoing’ jingle was a unique take and positioning of data services. Commenting on the campaign, Sashi Shankar said, “Our new campaign aims to further build on Idea’s strong mobile internet service network, on a pan-India basis, and get non-users to enter the category by making them understand the utility and bene�its of using internet on mobile” Idea Cellular in July announced ‘Raju

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POWERED BY

A strong brand message and mass communication strategy endears Idea to users from all walks of life.

Ban Gaya Director,’ a mobile-based contest on its �lagship digital property – www.IdeaPopcornStreet.com – to hunt for talent for �ilm making.Idea has also been partnering with different properties. It tied up with the show ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’-The Game. The show’s onair success led Idea to extend its partnership with the property on the digital medium as well. The game offered a unique brand integration and reached out effectively to consumers.

M-commerce is what Idea Cellular is moving towards. Sashi Shankar is also assessing enterprise solutions and cloud services as a possible revenue stream for the organisation. Sashi believes in increasing number of users for the whole industry. The need of the hour is to make subscribers use data services. He tries to keep brand com-

munication and performance in line with his vision. Idea scores the highest in ‘brand performance’ compared to all parameters and Sashi Shankar has emerged as the Most In�luential CMO in the 2014 rankings released by exchange4media in partnership with Traverse Research and Consulting. Sashi spoke to Pitch about his goals for 2015, Idea’s brand philosophy and the evolution of marketing. Edited excerpts:

Pitch | January 2015 | 31

SASHI SHANKAR - THE BEST IS YET TO COME

COVER STORY : SASHI SHANKAR


COVER STORY : SASHI SHANKAR

POWERED BY

Rashi Bisaria: What makes Idea what it is today? Shashi Shankar: The brand promise ‘An idea can change your

life’ has actually become the corner stone for all our actions and initiatives. We have tried to walk off the beaten track. We have been connecting with people to show them how mobile telephony can change their life. While mobile telephony has changed people’s lives dramatically, Idea continues to do so in different ways. We have connected with people at a very basic level, both in terms of their hearts and minds. We try to tell them how an Idea can solve problems both in the society and at an individual level. This is what makes Idea what it is today.

What lies ahead for the telecom sector in 2015? 2015 will be a very important year for a couple of reasons. We are moving from a voice era to a voice and data era. 2015 will be more exciting as we feel that internet’s in�lexion point will be reached and adoption of internet will increase rapidly from this year onwards. As companies expand, adoption of internet will become rapid

Marketers will be increasing their percentage outlay on digital but it’s not going to become the primary media very soon

As a marketer what are your expectations from 2015? We are running very fast to keep pace with the customer, to understand consumer insights. We will be looking at ways to become more customer centric, and try to understand customer behaviour better. Marketers today have lesser control over how the consumer behaves and that is the challenge we need to surmount. How do you see marketing evolve in the coming year? Marketers will need to ask themselves the following pertinent questions: How do I use social media and digital media to be able to connect to customers? How do I invest in analytics to understand my consumer better? How do I understand the pro�ile of the customer?

Do you think the signi�icance of traditional media will reduce due to the advent of digital? The importance of television and print will not go down dramatically in the new year. Marketers will be increasing their percentage outlay on digital but it’s not going to become the primary media very soon. It is some time before we can develop the measurement abilities for that to happen.

Where do you want to take Idea from where it is at present? We believe the best for Idea is yet to come. We will be focused on the consumers and how we can communicate the relevance of internet to the masses. Our investment will be focused on driving this initiative.

32 | Pitch | January 2015

What are your personal and professional resolutions for 2015? My personal resolution is not to have any resolution. The professional resolution is to take Idea to greater heights . We need to get closer to the consumer and understand him better. www.pitchonnet.com


02

I

n the last 40 years of its existence, Life Insurance Corporation has evolved with time and so has its marketing and advertising. From a time when LIC had to provide knowledge to people about insurance to keeping up with the hyper competitive times of today, LIC has come a long way. Messaging and brand communication has played a huge role in this journey. It instilled con�idence in people to the extent that the term LIC became synonymous with life insurance. When the sector opened up to private players in 1999, LIC began focusing on building the brand more aggressively through clever marketing tactics. LIC has used internal communication as a marketing tool as well. LIC has been launching new products, and has positioned insurance as more of a pull product than a push product. In its Vision 2020, product will play a major part. LIC empanelled 14 advertising agencies to handle its media, digital and out of home (OOH) duties. The media duties of the corporation will

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POWERED BY

How LIC Scored Over Competition be handled by seven agencies including R K Swamy BBDO, DDB Mudra, DraftfcbUlka Advertising, Hindustan Thompson Associates, Crayons Advertising, RediffusionDentsu Young and Rubicam and Prachar Communications.

When the sector opened up to private players in 1999, LIC began focusing on building the brand more aggressively

The digital mandate will be handled by Beehive Communications, Hansa Vision and Quasar Media. For OOH, four agencies including Kinetic Advertising, DDB Mudra Max, Moms Outdoor Media Solutions and Crayons Advertising have been selected. LIC has been innovative in offering paperless insurance tying up with all �ive insurance repositories for offering policies in a digitised format. It continues to be the market leader and one of the most valuable �irms in the country. The vision of the company is to provide insurance cover to all by 2020. It intends to keep launching new products under the able guidance of Executive Director, Marketing, S N Bhattacharya who has been chosen by exchange4media group and Traverse Research and Consulting as one of the Top 10 In�luential CMOs of 2014. With structured advertising around many of its products such as ‘Jeevan Saral’, ‘Jeevan Anand’, the company boosted its brand value pushing the LIC brand name. Its tagline ‘Zindagi Ke Saath Bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi’ sums up the LIC brand proposition lending the company unparalleled identity and credibility in a crowded market.

Pitch | January 2015 | 33

S N BHATTACHARYA - POSITIONING INSURANCE AS A PULL PRODUCT

COVER STORY : S N BHATTACHARYA


COVER STORY : KARTIK JAIN

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‘Marketing will have no option but to embrace technology 34 | Pitch | January 2015

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As a marketer he espouses the use of technology in marketing and knows how critical it is to harness customer data. Kartik Jain has led the bank’s site to become the highest traffic website among all private sector banks in India as per data from Comscore. Social Bakers ranked HDFC Bank among the Top 5 most socially devoted brands across all categories in India for 3 consecutive months in 2014. He has taken mobile technology usage for banking to the next level. Kartik believes 2015 will be the year of the customer and marketing will have no option but to embrace technology. In conversation with Pitch, Kartik opens up about his expectations from the coming year.

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Rashi Bisaria: What makes brand HDFC Bank what it is today? Kartik Jain: HDFC Bank as a brand has focused on delivering a consistent customer experience across touch points. We deliver the widest range of �inancial solutions required by the customer under one roof, with a quick turn around time and in a convenient manner. We have ensured that our customers can easily access us with our footprint of 3600 branches and 11,515 ATMs across urban and rural markets. Furthermore, through NetBanking and MobileBanking, our customers can conduct the widest range of transactions in a secure manner, round the clock. What lies ahead for the Banking sector in 2015? Growth of the Banking sector is directly proportional to GDP growth. With the positive sentiment around the macro economic fundamentals the outlook for the industry is sanguine to say the least.

As a marketer, what are your expectations from 2015? It will be the year of the customer, more so than ever before. The rising tide of a resurgent, con�ident India will be characterised by the increase of consumerism and choice. This will lead to the evolution of customer needs, allowing brands to offer segmented value

We have ensured that our customers can easily access us with our footprint of branches and ATMs across urban and rural markets

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propositions thereby expanding the market.

How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? Marketing will have no option but to embrace technology. The increasing penetration of smart phones, social media and digital channels coupled with the availability of rich data, will give marketers a hard view of how each marketing rupee is being spent at a customer level. Control will quite literally pass on to the hands of the customer as a result of which content led engagement will become even more important. Technological, analytical and digital skillsets will become table stakes for marketers.

Where do you want to take HDFC Bank from here? Today’s customer expects instant grati�ication and speed of response. HDFC Bank understands this and is focusing on delivering faster turn around times, greater convenience and quicker ful�ilment across all products and services. Digital platforms with single-click straight through processing will be key enablers towards this objective. Your personal and professional resolution for 2015? Balance between the two! What are your predictions for the marketing industry for 2015? a. Social media channels such as Facebook and Youtube will establish themselves as alternatives to television and become a part of every marketer’s media plan b. Big Data will move from the discussion table to usage, for data led marketers c. Personalisation, customisation, one to one marketing will become the norm. d. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.

Pitch | January 2015 | 35

KARTIK JAIN - ENSURING FASTER TURNAROUND

COVER STORY : KARTIK JAIN


COVER STORY : MAHENDRA KUMAR REKHI

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How SBI transformed the customer experience 36 | Pitch | January 2015

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T

he State Bank of India experienced many highs in 2014 and the public sector bank has slowly but surely earned the con�idence of consumers. It launched its digital Banking strategy ‘ Intouch’ to build a stronger connect with the young generation earlier this year. Intouch outlets offer multiple services like instant account opening, instant issuance of debit card, live interaction with experts, opportunity to buy �inancial products all under one roof. Among all parameters considered, SBI has scored the highest in brand performance and Brand Value. This proves that as a brand SBI has built a strong equity in the minds of consumers. The bank has taken big strides in providing technology enabled solutions and has also launched Tech Learning Centres

The bank has been leading the mobile banking space with 46 per cent growth in registered mobile banking users in 2014

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At the INTOUCH Dream Zone exploring options for a new car. #GetINTOUCH to finance your dream car.

for customers. In December, 385 TLCs across length and breadth of the country conducted interactive learning sessions and demos of the bank’s tech-channels for about 15000 customers. Going forward, these workshops will be held on the third Friday of every month between 4 to 6 pm and will be in addition to the guidance on tech-services being provided to the customers through product-brochures, information on website & interaction with customer helpline or frontline staff at branches. State Bank has shown keenness to create awareness about electronic

banking for the ease and convenience of consumers. In July 2014, the bank appointed Global Advertisers as its outdoor advertising agency to help potential investors of SIP understand market risks and bene�its. The pan-India outdoor campaign was launched across 21 cities to promote awareness and was deployed on various formats. The bank has been leading the mobile banking space seeing around 46 per cent growth in registered mobile banking users in 2014. SBI is one of the few public banks which has made huge investments in IT systems. The bank launched a Twitter handle this year in April aimed at educating customers and also set up an Isamic equity fund- an endorsement of Shariah compliant �inance. The brand building activities have been spearheaded by Mahendra Kumar Rekhi, DGM Public Relations who has over 30 years of experience in the �ield of banking and Finance. He has been with SBI since 2010 contributing to brand development and image building for SBI, the ‘banker to every Indian’.

Pitch | January 2015 | 37

MAHENDRA KUMAR REKHI - STAYING IN STEP WITH THE TIMES

COVER STORY : MAHENDRA KUMAR REKHI


COVER STORY : MAHENDRA KUMAR REKHI Rashi Bisaria: What makes SBI what it is today? Mahendra Kumar Rekhi: SBI has always been a pioneer

in offering value proposition through products and services to the bank’s customers and this was only possible by the bank’s forward looking initiatives many of which were ahead of their time. It was in the 70s when the bank realized to segment its business verticals and later into branches based on customer’s pro�ile to enable customers to process their transactions. Even before the rating agencies came into the picture, SBI proactively started rating corporates with loan application based on their balance-sheet before deciding upon the loan rates to be offered. Ratings later became mandatory for the bank by regulators. After liberalization, development was seen across the country. That was the time when banks realized the need for a fast loan disbursement process and hence it centralized the process where all approvals were done from zonal of�ices and branch personnel could shift their focus on expanding business. Economic growth leads to increased spending capacity and surplus money, which helped to graduate individual needs to comfort. SBI anticipated the potential demand and became the �irst na-

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SBI has remained at par with private sector peers in technology advancement tionalized bank to expand its product line by introducing consumer durable loans, credit cards, auto loan segment, gold deposit scheme and so on. Taking the image of a pioneer bank forward, SBI introduced �ixed-cum-�loating rate home loans followed by others in the Indian banking industry. SBI has remained at par with private sector peers when it comes to technology advancement. From ATMs to internet banking, the bank has always lived up to the expectations of the largest customer base of Indian banking industry. Today, SBI holds close to 22 per cent share in debit card spends over POS and ecommerce. What lies ahead for the banking sector in 2015? Stress in the sector will continue till the time the economic situation does not revive. Only when there is some pick-up in demand and the GDP starts inching up will we see some relief in NPA levels. How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? In the coming year, digital and mobile marketing will play a dominant role in reaching out to the customers. We have seen digital and mobile marketing undergoing substantial transformation in the recent years. The trend will continue in the coming year. However, print media platforms will dominate in the coming year.

Where do you want to take SBI from here? SBI has recently introduced in-touch technology to provide advanced digital banking services to the youth of the nation. The technology offers a ‘cashless branch’ to its customers. One can open an account through a kiosk that will take your picture and scan your �ingerprints and documents. It can immediately open an account registering your digital signature. Today’s youth live in a digital world. At SBI we want to break their myth that banks are busy and crowded and create a space where they will be comfortable.

38 | Pitch | January 2015

What are your predictions for the marketing industry for 2015? Brands will be more focused on the social aspects of online marketing. Mobile analytics will also become a much bigger factor in 2015.

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COVER STORY : MAHENDRA KUMAR REKHI

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Manohar Bhat VP Marketing Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

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Sujit Ganguly Senior GM & Head Brand & Corporate Communication, ICICI Bank.

Sunil Kataria COO Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej India

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COVER STORY : MOHIT BEOTRA

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Lending Airtel a distinct personality 40 | Pitch | January 2015

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M

ohit Beotra , an IIM Kolkata alumnus, has steered the journey of Airtel as Chief Brand Of�icer for the past 5 years. In a competitive industry, Airtel has achieved many milestones over the past 5 years. Currently, he successfully manages the strategic equity of Airtel. The current brand identity of Airtel built by him is visible in India, South Asia and 19 countries in Africa. In 2011, Beotra was one of the people behind the super successful advertising campaign, ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hai’, carrying the brand’s youthful connect forward. Before becoming Chief Brand Of�icer at Bharti Airtel, he also spent 2 years as Vice President, Prepaid Marketing at Bharti Airtel, before joining Lowe Lintas India as Executive Director where he spent six years. Perhaps, it was the time spent at the 3rd largest agency in India which gave him the wherewithal to take brand Airtel to the next level through successful campaigns that have a high recall value. Having started his career with Lintas India set him on the path to become the brand expert he is today. Airtel became the �irst Indian brand to touch 200 mn subscribers in the country and with the leading market share Airtel has always remained a rewarding brand for top media agencies for their advertising pitch. It is under his creative leadership that Airtel built its latest positioning of ‘The Smartphone Network’. Commenting on the new ad campaign Beotra said, “Data is clearly driving the next phase of the telecom revolution across the globe. In recognition of this

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For Beotra, a brand’s personality matters. He has made it clear in his communication that being consistent is important

phenomenon, we at Airtel have made signi�icant technology and network investments to ensure we deliver the best data experience for smartphone users in India. ‘The Smartphone Network’ campaign by Airtel drives this very message in a manner that is intrinsic with our brand positioning,” The brand has all plans in place for the 4G rollout and this is what is going to make the coming year very crucial for the brand.

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Mohit takes care of all Airtel sponsorship associations, and was responsible for developing the Formula 1 Airtel India Grand Prix from initial conversations till �inal execution. He is the one who successfully managed the partnership of Airtel with Manchester United, BCCI and many more. As Vice President - Prepaid Marketing, he was instrumental in the boom of the Prepaid card . It was the period in which the customer base of Airtel Prepaid cards in India had virtually doubled. For Beotra, a brand’s personality matters. He has made it clear in his communication that being consistent is important. Having an instantly identi�iable personality gives the brand and edge. According to Beotra, the personality of the brand comes across through its communication where Airtel celebrates relationships and human connections, acting as a catalyst in these connections. From voice driven offerings, Airtel is now venturing into data driven offerings and is maintaining a youthful personality. Under the able guidance of its Chief Brand Of�icer, Bharti Airtel is all set for its next phase of success.

Pitch | January 2015 | 41

MOHIT BEOTRA - SET FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF SUCCESS

COVER STORY : MOHIT BEOTRA


COVER STORY : MANOHAR BHAT

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The marketing mind behind India’s largest car maker 42 | Pitch | January 2015

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M

anohar Bhat has been in the news throughout the year even as brand Maruti Suzuki kept making news with new launches and campaigns. The Vice-President Marketing of the most trusted and reliable car brand in India has never minced words when talking about taking the brand to the next level. Even during tough times, the brand has been buoyant, embracing competition and facing challenges head on. Connecting with customers has been a priority for Bhat. Whether it was the mileage car rally for the entry level Sedan Dzire in 31 cities in 2013 or introducing a new way of driving with the newly launched Celerio in 2014, Bhat’s connect with the consumers always had a fresh appeal. With the launch of the Ciaz, Maruti �illed yet another need gap in the market. The Swift and Dzire customers who wanted an upgrade could now go in for a Ciaz. In a bid to encourage women driv-

ers’ participation in motor sports, Maruti organised an all women car rally in September 2014 in the capital. Road safety and community development have scored high for the brand and Bhat has been vocal about the causes. Maruti Suzuki was also in the news when it became the Associate Sponsor for the recent Indian Super League. On the occasion Bhat stated, “It always helps to get in early. We are betting on the fact that it will be a success.” In July 2014, Maruti Suzuki also launched limited edition variants of the van Ertiga in line with the brand’s

In 2012, Maruti Suzuki was ranked the top most Indian brand in the social media space, according to NM Incite. It had replaced Samsung

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vision to offer product differentiation to customers. In November 2014, Maruti launched the Alto K10 in the mini-car segment with improved fuel ef�iciency. Having joined Maruti Suzuki in 2008, Manohar quickly rose up the ranks to become Vice President, Marketing & Product Development. He has been with the automobile sector since 2004 and was with Hyundai Motor before joining Maruti Suzuki. In 2012, Maruti Suzuki was ranked the top most Indian brand in the social media space, according to NM Incite. It had replaced Samsung mobile at the top spot. It also enjoys high volumes of conversations on platforms. Bhat has been social media savvy and knows the importance of keeping customers engaged both of�line and online. Commenting on the brand’s social media presence, told the media, “It’s important to connect with passionate people who are interested in your brand more than twice a day. Twitter gives that freedom of great frequency without making it look like intrusion.”

Pitch | January 2015 | 43

MANOHAR BHAT - ZOOMING AHEAD

COVER STORY : MANOHAR BHAT


COVER STORY : SUJIT GANGULI

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‘I hope to stay fit and make the brand stronger’ 44 | Pitch | January 2015

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Brand ICICI has scored the highest points for brand performance among all parameters. As Head, Brand and Corporate Communications at ICICI Bank, Sujit Ganguli has steered the Bank for close to 5 years, ensuring that it delivered and kept customers satisfied. One of the ways by which this could be achieved was through use of social media where the bank has inched ahead of competitors. It was the first to launch banking on Facebook, has a separate YouTube channel and launched 6 mobile apps this year.Reacting quickly to customer queries and keeping them engaged is now a part of ICICI’s DNA. With an experience of twenty years behind him including stints at HUL and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Sujit has managed to guide the bank’s growth and ensure its success on digital media. His sincerity and focus shone through as he spoke to Pitch about his plans for ICICI

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Rashi Bisaria: What makes ICICI what it is today? Sujit Ganguli : ICICI has changed the paradigm of banking in India. While several banks today are associated with modern banking, ICICI was the one that heralded that change and introduced the highest number of innovations and solutions in banking. People perceive us as a solid and safe bank. We are also seen as the bank that started retail �inance in India. We ushered in the retail �inance revolution. If people can buy homes, cars etc today, a large part of it was initiated by us. ICICI is also seen as a �inancial powerhouse which has

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delved into every aspect of �inance in the country. We are a fully diversi�ied �inancial services group and our subsidiaries include India’s leading private sector insurance companies and among its largest securities brokerage �irm, mutual funds and private equity �irm. What lies ahead for the banking and �inance sector in 2015? We are all hopeful about the country’s return to a high growth path. As that happens, per capita income will grow and people’s aspirations will increase. We see that as a huge opportunity for banks like us to �inance those aspirations for homes and cars, white goods and electronic items etc. These

Digitisation, mobility solutions, banking on social media, will become dominant and their adoption rates will go up even more

Pitch | January 2015 | 45

SUJIT GANGULI - STEERING ICICI ON THE GROWTH PATH

COVER STORY : SUJIT GANGULI


COVER STORY : SUJIT GANGULI

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Our latest initiative, which launched in 2013 and which we are very proud of is our skilling programme

aspirations will be further fuelled by a large number of people entering the workforce every year. The combination of more people entering the workforce and income of existing working class going up will present an opportunity where aspirations will need to be ful�illed. Digitisation will unfold in a big way. It has been rolled out in the past few years, and the pace is going to pick up even more in the coming years. Digitisation, mobility solutions, banking on social media, will become dominant and their adoption rates will go up even more. The Prime Minister has announced the Jan Gan Yojana. Banks will need to take it up seriously. We have already undertaken it wholeheartedly. As manufacturing and infrastructure take off in line with the PM’s vision, banks like ours which have traditionally been strong on the infrastructure side will have a critical role to play. ICICI is one of the largest players in the area of infrastructure �inance. As the country needs more rail lines, roads and ports , power plants and mines, ICICI will assume a greater role in �inancing it. How will marketing in India evolve in the next few years? We have had many innovations

46 | Pitch | January 2015

on the digital and mobility front in banking. The usage of technology like internet banking, the ATM revolution , mobile apps will play out in a big way in the coming years. Apart from our regular mobile banking App we have launched six different mobile apps this year, all of which aid in making banking even more convenient. I foresee greater adoption of apps by consumers and more interaction with customers on social media. We have a social media banking platform and were the �irst to launch banking on Facebook. You will see banking on more platforms and more features on those platforms.. Digital advertising will emerge as an important tool. While traditional advertising will continue, digital advertising will give us a competitive advantage as it enables us to see response and returns almost immediately. Digital advertising will grow by leaps and bounds.

What are your personal and professional resolutions for 2015? I resolve to attain better health

for both me and my brand. I hope to stay �it and make the brand stronger. ICICI is a preferred, household name. I would like to increase the preference for ICICI in comparison with other banks, keep abreast with new technology and marketing trends, leverage them at the right time to be able to offer the best solutions to the customers

What lies ahead for ICICI Bank apart from achieving its goals in marketing communication? We, at ICICI Bank take our sense of social responsibility very seriously and we focus on several areas in this �ield. We have been doing so for the past ten years much before it became compulsory to invest in CSR according to the law. We are proud of our latest initiative, the ‘ICICI Academy for Skills’ which was launched in 2013. As part of this, we take people who are educated between classes 8 to 12 and offer them a fully residential, free programme, in 8 or 9 different disciplines in 9 centres across the country. We provide them with practical skills like repair of ACs and pumps, coffee preparation for coffee outlets, of�ice management, web solutions, painting etc and then we also help them get placed. 6500 students have passed out in the last 12 months and this number will keep on increasing. We will become even more serious about this role of ours making more efforts towards it . You will see more efforts from ICICI Bank on that front.

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SUJIT GANGULI - STEERING ICICI ON THE GROWTH PATH

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COVER STORY : SUJIT GANGULI

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COVER STORY : SUNIL KATARIA

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‘There cannot be a better time to be in marketing than today’ 48 | Pitch | January 2015

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Rashi Bisaria: What makes Godrej

After successful stints at Marico, Idea Cellular, VIP Industries, Sunil Kataria joined Godrej in 2011. With more than 20 years of marketing experience behind him, the Chief Operating Officer, Sales Marketing and SAARC at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd has his finger on the pulse of the masses. From shaping the iconic journey of Cinthol to adapting to digital media, Sunil has ensured Godrej keeps pace with the changing needs of the market. He has also tapped into the progressive rural India which has contributed significantly to the revenues of the company. He believes in collective team effort and staying ‘future ready’. Sunil shares his thoughts for 2015.

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Consumer Products what it is today? Sunil Kataria : GCPL is a highly successful and inspiring organisation because of its core values and an amazing set of people that work together here. Our driving principles are creativity, agility, transparency, and the freedom to live out your dream through an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit .This translates into behaviours where one can question status quo easily, cross functional boundaries don’t exist , hierarchies act as facilitators and there is sharp focus on creating the new �lawlessly. This is also the reason why we have been ranked as the number one FMCG company in the Great Places to work survey. What lies ahead for the FMCG sector in 2015? The FMCG sector has gone through a major slowdown over the last 18 months but I think we have seen the bottom. The overall consumer sentiment is up and we are seeing early signs of consumer demand picking up. As we see more structural reforms coming into place, the overall economic growth should pick up strongly

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in 2015. I see 3 trends panning out in 2015 for FMCG: A) There will be a sharp volume uptick led by the discretionary categories in the coming year B) The revival of the premiumisation story - this had been on hold due to pressure on consumer wallets over the last year but the fundamental desire to upgrade remains intact in the Indian consumer mindset and this should again come to the fore. C) FMCG – E commerce partnerships will evolve substantially. Till now FMCG has not leveraged this much but I see ecommerce emerging as a strong niche channel for FMCG companies from 2015.

As a marketer, what are your expectations from 2015 There cannot be a better time to be in marketing than today. We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the way consumers behave and the way they interact with brands and this is truly challenging and exciting as a marketer. For example in the earlier days people would never think of ordering apparel and footwear online as the �irst issue would be getting

We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the way consumers behave and the way they interact with brands

Pitch | January 2015 | 49

SUNIL KATARIA - INNOVATION IS THE BEDROCK OF OUR STRATEGY

COVER STORY : SUNIL KATARIA


I foresee a huge level ofKATARIA experiCOVER STORY : SUNIL mentation from marketers

the perfect �it and the feel of the fabric, but these parameters of consideration are now passé as we see fashion leading the e commerce sector revenues. I foresee a huge level of experimentation from marketers and agency partners as we learn the new realities of consumer behaviour, starting from the way consumer insights get captured, integrated media planning happens in a fused convention, digital media, digital content creation, and consumer engagement through multiple touch points in shorter time cycles .

How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? There are some key evolutions that are already happening but will gain strength in the coming year : - Marketing will move from generalisation to personalisation as technology becomes all pervasive and this would entail getting closer to the consumer for understanding regional & local in�luences . -- Marketing and sales organisation structures will change to build in new skill sets required for managing the changing environment – Marketing technologists who have a digital DNA and understand technology will become part of brand teams. Similarly, E commerce skills start forming part of the future sales structures . - Data analytics will increase in importance as more data becomes available and at shorter cycles. More companies are likely to invest into this to improve marketing ROI - Role of media agencies will become critical but their work will be really cut out as they will need to provide quicker and sharper engagement opportunities in an integrated space

50 | Pitch | January 2015

Where do you want to take Godrej from here? It’s about the collective team effort

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and collaboration at GCPL. Innovation has been the bedrock of our strategy as we build a truly differentiated and diverse portfolio. We would like to see ourselves as the most innovative organisation. In the country that continuously delivers differentiated products to the masses of India and while doing this, continues to build a culture that is amazingly ful�illing for our people who make this happen. Your personal and professional resolution for 2015? Personally, I would de�initely commit myself to a more disciplined health and �itness regime . On the professional front, I would like to make sure that GCPL sales & marketing teams continue to sharpen their competencies in line with the changing environment and stay future ready . This is also the year where we will have a spate of new product launches and I would like to ensure they are rolled out �lawlessly and successfully .

What are your predictions for the marketing industry for 2015? Making predictions is easy but seeing them come true is the tough part !! I feel 2015 will be the year of fusion where old conventional marketing and new technology based practices will blend strongly . We are likely to see : - A host of new product launches and increased spends behind them as growth starts picking up . - Conventional media will hold its own but we should see many improvisations that will sharpen the effectiveness of their delivery. - Data based analytics and decision making will see rapid adoption . - “Mobile �irst” will come to life as smartphone penetration would increase on the back of budget smartphones and 4G deployment . - E commerce discounts binge may tone down in intensity but the channel will continue its blazing growth momentum as new customer acquisitions continue to roll in . www.pitchonnet.com


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‘I hope for a greater consumption led growth in 2015’ 52 | Pitch | January 2015

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Sonali Dhawan has spent 16 years at Proctor & Gamble and in October 2013 was appointed Marketing Director for P&G India. Her experience ranges from pet care for P&G Asia, Beauty for P&G India to media operations and regional brand management. In May 2014, P&G Hygiene and healthcare appointed Sonali as an Additional Director of the company. She also served as a panellist at the ‘Women Leadership Lecture Series’ held at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and is also on the Council of Indian Society of Advertisers. Dhawan, who does not believe in new year resolutions, shares her views with Pitch.

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Rashi Bisaria: What makes P&G what it is today?

Sonali Dhawan: At P&G, innovation has

been and will continue to be the heart of our business and our success – the primary way our company and our brands touch and improve lives – and as a result, drive our business. We innovate for the everyday life. We discover meaningful consumer insights to fully understand our end-users. These insights are then translated into noticeably superior products. P&G India’s focus across product categories is on delighting consumers with product innovations that deliver superior performance and value.

Also, key to P&G’s success over the years has been our People. P&G’s people and its ‘Build From Within’ culture have been a key enabler for us to drive productivity and executional excellence. We will continue, just as we have throughout our 175-year history, to go to great lengths to innovate and develop products that enable us to WIN with our consumers, customers and stakeholders. What lies ahead for the FMCG sector in 2015? I hope for a greater consumption led growth in 2015. In the last two years, we have seen a slowdown in the country which has impacted the overall economic growth. I believe that an improved economic environment coupled with more in control in�lation should augur well for the Indian FMCG industry.

As a marketer, what are your expectations from 2015? I hope for greater consumption led growth and as a marketer, I believe that companies which can offer consumers great solutions to improve lives will be best poised to take

P&G’s people and its ‘Build From Within’ culture have been a key enabler for us to drive productivity the advantage of growth in the sector. I �irmly believe that P&G will be one of them.

What are your predictions for the marketing industry for 2015? How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? With the advent of technology and proliferation of mobile devices, communication has become more personalized than ever. In 2015, marketers will be innovating to understand their consumers better and in-depth to come up with new and innovative ways to target them. Communication will be more incisive and tailor-made according to the needs of consumers across different categories. Also, the rise of digital platforms will have a key role to play in how marketers optimize them to communicate to their consumers in a better targeted manner. Where do you want to take your vertical from here? I would like P&G to continue to be among the top performing companies in the Indian FMCG sector, as it has been over the last decade.

Your personal and professional resolution for 2015? I do not believe in the concept of new year resolutions. Any day is an ideal day to make a resolution.

Pitch | January 2015 | 53

SONALI DHAWAN - PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE LIVES

COVER STORY : SONALI DHAWAN


Sonali Dhawan has spent 16 years at Proctor & Gamble and in October 2013 was appointed Marketing Director for P&G India. Her experience ranges from pet care for P&G Asia, Beauty for P&G India to media operations and regional brand management. In May 2014, P&G Hygiene and healthcare appointed Sonali as an Additional Director of the company. She also served as a panellist at the ‘Women Leadership Lecture Series’ held at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and is also on the Council of Indian Society of Advertisers. Dhawan, who does not believe in new year resolutions, shares her views with Pitch.

www.pitchonnet.com

POWERED BY

Rashi Bisaria: What makes P&G what it is today?

Sonali Dhawan: At P&G, innovation has

been and will continue to be the heart of our business and our success – the primary way our company and our brands touch and improve lives – and as a result, drive our business. We innovate for the everyday life. We discover meaningful consumer insights to fully understand our end-users. These insights are then translated into noticeably superior products. P&G India’s focus across product categories is on delighting consumers with product innovations that deliver superior performance and value.

Also, key to P&G’s success over the years has been our People. P&G’s people and its ‘Build From Within’ culture have been a key enabler for us to drive productivity and executional excellence. We will continue, just as we have throughout our 175-year history, to go to great lengths to innovate and develop products that enable us to WIN with our consumers, customers and stakeholders. What lies ahead for the FMCG sector in 2015? I hope for a greater consumption led growth in 2015. In the last two years, we have seen a slowdown in the country which has impacted the overall economic growth. I believe that an improved economic environment coupled with more in control in�lation should augur well for the Indian FMCG industry.

As a marketer, what are your expectations from 2015? I hope for greater consumption led growth and as a marketer, I believe that companies which can offer consumers great solutions to improve lives will be best poised to take

P&G’s people and its ‘Build From Within’ culture have been a key enabler for us to drive productivity the advantage of growth in the sector. I �irmly believe that P&G will be one of them.

What are your predictions for the marketing industry for 2015? How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? With the advent of technology and proliferation of mobile devices, communication has become more personalized than ever. In 2015, marketers will be innovating to understand their consumers better and in-depth to come up with new and innovative ways to target them. Communication will be more incisive and tailor-made according to the needs of consumers across different categories. Also, the rise of digital platforms will have a key role to play in how marketers optimize them to communicate to their consumers in a better targeted manner. Where do you want to take your vertical from here? I would like P&G to continue to be among the top performing companies in the Indian FMCG sector, as it has been over the last decade.

Your personal and professional resolution for 2015? I do not believe in the concept of new year resolutions. Any day is an ideal day to make a resolution.

Pitch | January 2015 | 53

SONALI DHAWAN - PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE LIVES

COVER STORY : SONALI DHAWAN


COVER STORY : VIVEK NAYER

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10

‘Marketers should remain solidly focused on the Consumer’ 54 | Pitch | January 2015

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In Vivek Nayer’s own words, “When our customers buy a Mahindra commercial vehicle they don’t just buy a product, they buy into a unique longterm relationship and ownership experience which enables their prosperity and well-being. This is in line with Mahindra’s Rise philosophy which seeks to drive positive change in the lives of our customers.”Apart from driving a positive change, Mahindra as a brand has successfully adapted to the changing times. It acknowledges the power of digital and has integrated it well into its marketing mix. Under the able guidance of Vivek Nayer, Chief Marketing Officer, Auto Division, Mahindra has been able to use the latest trends to its advantage. Whether it be the selfie contest, or usage of augmented reality or flash-mob, the brand has been promoted through innovative means.The Mahindra Rise campaign was an interesting concept which received a promising feedback. Nayer shared his vision for 2015 with Pitch.

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Rashi Bisaria: What makes brand Mahindra what it is today? Vivek Nayer: At the core, Brand Mahindra is what it is today because of the trust we have earned from our Customers, Fans and Partners.We stand true to our core purpose of RISE ie driving positive change in the lives of all our stakeholders. We stand for certain core values and principles and our individual product brands too stand true to certain Brand Values – Tough, Rugged, Reliable, Accessible - and that is what our customers have come to recognise and value us for. What lies ahead for the automobile sector in 2015? We are cautiously optimistic looking ahead to 2015 and hoping for the economy and consumer sentiment to get kick started again.

POWERED BY

media will keep increasing and especially with the advent of 4G, video content marketing will become a very important tool for marketers. Consumer segmentation and targeting your core target audience with messaging that is relevent to them continues to become more and more important in this high media clutter and multiple platform environment.

Where do you want to take Mahindra from here? We want to remain the No. 1 SUV player in the country but also make all our customers and fans avid promoters of our brand so that their families and friends too come into the Mahindra fold.

As a marketer, what are your expectations from 2015 We live in very exciting and ever changing times and as a marketer one should also expect to keep evolving with times but at the same time remain solidly focussed on the consumer, their needs and aspirations. How will marketing in India evolve in the coming year? Clearly, the role of Digital and Social

Pitch | January 2015 | 55

VIVEK NAYER - DRIVING A POSITIVE CHANGE

COVER STORY : VIVEK NAYER


COLUMN

Brandenstein:

A Brand’s biggest fear is its own Doppelgänger Imagery

Gaurav Sood

Brand Communication professional, Brand Educator & Research Scholar

gauravkaransood@yahoo.com

The positive evocation of a brand gets clouded by its villainous imagery – the whiplash of negative aura enveloping brands gains ascendancy 56 | Pitch | January 2015

M

ary Shelley, published a novel in 1818 – a novel that talked of an eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scienti�ic experiment. Victor who attempts to create life, is horri�ied by what he ends up making, a monster which came to be dubbed Frankenstein. Little did she know that this monstrous concept would become a nightmare for brands and branding professionals. Today, branding professionals set out to create strong brands through different branding strategies (Mindshare, Emotional, Viral and now Cultural branding); but in the process are also empowering the stakeholders to create a double of a brand. Akin to Victor creating life, branding professionals create brand imagery in the minds of its stakeholders. But then a brand building exercise is not a monologue. The stakeholders through various means can Jam the Brand messaging and cir-

Branding professionals set out to create strong brands through different branding strategies but in the process empower the stakeholders culate the distortion in the popular culture. Therefore, a scary eventuality happens, events turn up in such a weird manner, that parallel brand imagery gets created and the brand actually becomes a demon, a monster. A Brandenstein – a brand doppelgänger. So what is this doppelganger brand imagery? The positive evocation of a brand gets clouded by its villainous imagery – the whiplash of negative aura enveloping brands gains ascendancy. This phenomenon is known as Doppelgänger Brand Image. Doppel (double) Gänger (walker

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COLUMN

or goer) is a paranormal double of a living person, and is deemed a harbinger of bad luck. Doppelgänger Brand Image, comprising negative perceptions, creates a compelling set of motifs that in�luence the impact of a brand. The creation of this Doppelgänger Brand Image confuses customers and can lead to “brand avoidance” effects (Congress party down to mere 44 seats). The Doppelgänger Brand Image is jamming the messages and stories about a brand that are circulated in popular culture by consumers, anti-brand activists, bloggers, and opinion leaders in the social or non-social media. Look at a speci�ic brand like Indian Premier League (IPL), a globally recognized cricket extravaganza valued at $3.2 billion in 2014. Brand IPL is a hybrid of cricket and entertainment – a model that was successful and instrumental in India’s control over world cricket. But look further, and we become aware of problems therein (�inancial irregularities, match �ixing scandals, nepotism, off-the-�ield conduct of players etc.). Interestingly, cricket was historically noted as a gentleman’s game; however, IPL is mired in controversies of match-�ixing and misgovernance, bringing to fore uglier aspects of the commercial event. The IPL stakeholders at large carry out circulating jokes, mimicking the messages, critically commenting on the unorthodox approach of the game (Cheer girls, auctions, parties, �ixing etc.), hence creating the brand IPL’s doppelganger – The IPL Brandenstein. Again, look at Congress – a party with a legendary past, towering high and mighty on the Indian political scene even half a century after independence. And yet, what a www.pitchonnet.com

drubbing the brand has taken in the recent elections, the party down to a demeaning 44 seats. The corruption, remote control governance, Pappu, silent PM etc. created a Congress party brandenstein. What a stark antithesis to its earlier greatness and stature. Microsoft, the pioneer in personal computer operating systems and of�ice utility software, is accused of ruthless capitalism, saddled with numerous censures and litigations on anti-trust. This doppelgänger imagery forced Microsoft to increase its corporate communication spends on promoting itself as a socially responsible company.

The emergence of a powerful, popular Doppelgänger may signal that a brand has ‘peaked’ and must either evolve or decline Similarly, Pepsi, the icon for youth, enjoying a leading market share, is implicated in harmful ingredients debate, and charged with in�licting harm to water tables. The delicious serves by McDonalds are painted as unhealthy. Goldman Sachs, the world leader in consulting and advisory, is portrayed in diabolical cold inhuman hues. The list goes on. Nike got embroiled in sweatshop practices controversy and sales dropped. Tiger Woods and brands he endorsed got rubbed negatively. This Doppelgänger, if heightened in intensity, can acquire mega dimensions of a Brandenstein, and well

nigh bring about death of a brand, a messy painful death. An in-depth biopsy into Doppelgänger Brand Image is worth studying. It can yield deeper insights that can be used for better understanding and management of any brand. This emerging concept holds tremendous potential for deeper forays. The emergence of a powerful, popular Doppelgänger may signal that a brand has ‘peaked’ and must either evolve or decline. Brand researchers have explored the creation and circulation of monstrous Doppelgänger brand imagery by anti-brand activists and found that this powerfully in�luences public perception of a corporate brand. The practice of parodying messages and media activism or hacktivism in order to drastically alter their message is a core mechanism herein. The opposing stakeholders are busy jamming the brand messages and making them viral. The brand manager’s challenge is to reshaping the brand as per contextual and strategic considerations. Accordingly, one has to allow for tactics to ward off the Doppelgänger brand image. One can venture in this direction: Can Doppelgänger Brand Imagery affect Brands in a “positive” as well as “negative” manner? Are strong Brands more likely to be more vulnerable to Doppelgänger Brand Imagery? Let our brands not morph into unwelcome brandensteins. The brand managers need to strategize how to manage the brand’s Doppelgänger. The best way to �ight fear of course is to challenge it, than avoid it! 

The views expressed here are of the author alone, and do not necessarily re�lect the views of Pitch

Pitch | January 2015 | 57


INTERVIEW : MOHIT PRANAYGANJU CHULET

IndusInd Bank on a brandbuilding spree In the last one year, private sector banks have become aggressive in the digital space, one of them being IndusInd Bank. The bank boasts of a special innovation team and has become a pioneer of the Video Banking facility. Simplicity combined with innovation is the bank’s modus operandi. In September, Lodestar UM became the bank’s media agency and the focus has been to strengthen the brand across all media. Rashi Bisaria spoke to to find out how the brand is achieving its goal of responsive innovation. 58 | Pitch | January 2015

Rashi Bisaria: What is responsive innovation?

Mohit Ganju: Any innovation which is inspired by aspirations of the customers, is termed as Responsive Innovation. To emerge a best-in-class brand, IndusInd Bank has made ‘Responsive Innovation’ a central theme of its brand building program. The Bank has combined responsiveness with innovation to launch a wide range of

banking products and services which are unique, convenient and very relevant to the Indian consumer. Banking is a sector where the basic processes leave consumers with little choice. The real difference can be brought about by the convenience that we provide to them. Against this backdrop, we have consistently built its products and services around the Responsive Innovation theme, which began in 2008. All brand campaigns including the current campaign on “video branch”, featuring Farhan Akhtar is an extension of this theme. Under the Responsive Innovation theme, the bank has been offering services which are not only innovative but also relatable and usable for the customers. IndusInd Bank is committed to responsive innovation to create convenience and offer the most advanced services.

These innovations are obviously based on consumer insights, so how are you getting these insights? Do you do extensive research? We stress on consumer insight . After extensive customer feedback and brand research over the years, the bank has unearthed some crucial insights. We have identi�ied that the customer seeks products and services which offer convenience, time effectiveness and safety in banking. For us it has been a process of discovery to understand the key customer requirement and then work on it to come up with a product or service which would meet such requirements. Hence, it has been a continuous journey to understand customer behaviour. What is the consumer pro�ile you are targeting?

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INTERVIEW : MOHIT GANJU As the world is rapidly transforming so are the banking requirements and so is customer behavior. The aspirational level of the customers is forever evolving. With digitization coming of age, the customers have become more technology savvy. We are looking at targeting the young, progressive generation which is open to new and innovative propositions.

How have the consumers’ needs changed in the last few years? The choice before the customer today is far wider both in the selection of banks as well as products. The aspirations are changing . To stay in tune with the customer’s requirement, an organization has to be �lexible. Globalisation and digitization have made the environment very demanding. In this new era, a bank needs to be available across all touch points, such as internet and mobile in addition to the branch presence. People are always on the move and they want to make the best of their time. All our new products highlight the change in the trends of customer behavior and their requirements. Though the traditional brick and mortar model is here to stay, customers are becoming far more digitally savvy and are looking at banking in the digital space. With ecommerce on a growth trajectory, we have sensed the need of the hour and have provided our customers with a new channelvideo branch banking, a �irst of its kind initiative offering an experiential banking service to customers. Which media plays the biggest role in your media mix? Television has played the biggest role as it meets our target audience and helps in building the brand. It is indeed a strong medium and has strength to emotionalize and personify a brand. Apart from television, IndusInd has taken a 360-degree integrated marketing approach to propagate the service messages with TV, out-of-home, radio,

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digital and cinema forming an integral part of the multimedia campaign.

How important has consumer experience management become for this industry? Consumer experience management has become a critical differentiator in today’s highly competitive industry. Through good customer experience management , the brands can achieve the following: • Strengthen the brand preference through differentiated experiences. • Boost sales from existing customers and also get new sales through word of mouth. • Improve customer loyalty through valued and memorable customer interactions. • In our case, we have built our theme on responsive innovation which means our innovations are based on the requirements of the customers. We wish to delight our customers.

We have identified that the customer seeks products and services which offer convenience, time effectiveness and safety in banking What steps have you taken to manage and enhance the consumer’s experience? Keeping in line with the theme of ‘’Responsive Innovation’’, which is deeply ingrained in our business model, the Bank continues to introduce market-�irst products. A few such innovative propositions from the Bank which provide the customers a new experiential form of banking are the Video Branch facility. This is a step to offer round-the-clock services that are easy to access. By simply downloading the Video Branch

app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store, customers can connect with the bank and carry out their banking transactions from anywhere in the world. Yet another innovation is the Bank’s �irst Digital Branch at IndusInd Cybercity Rapid Metro station, Gurgaon. It is the �irst bank in India to have a fully Digital Branch at a metro station, whose branding rights are owned by the Bank. Further, the Video Branch machine allows customers to connect with the remote teller over a real-time video call and perform regular banking transactions like statement printing, cheque deposits, opening of FD account and encashment, funds transfer along with dispensation of cash. The Digital Branch lobby also has a smart table with iPads on which customers can do a host of banking and non-banking transactions. As a part of the overall rewards enhancement strategy and with a view to further drive online purchasing convenience for its customers, we have launched www.themorestore.in, an online store that enables its customers to redeem their reward points towards purchase of items from an attractive online catalogue as well as purchase merchandise from the site. This is India’s �irst rewards redemption platform integrated into an online marketplace that provides the best of both worlds to the customer. My Account, My Number empowers customers to choose 10 out of 12 digits in their IndusInd Bank Savings or Current Account, which could be a combination of any of his favourite numbers. Further, the service is available online too.

What will your marketing strategy be in the new year? The market is vast and there are many opportunities out there, but innovation is the way to survive and be noticed. Simple communication is the most effective form of communication. Our marketing strategy will be based on strong customer insights and the need to �ill the gaps in the industry. -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com Pitch | January 2015 | 59


COVER STORY : HemalVohra Panchami INTERVIEW : Manmeet

Spilling the beans on the Starbucks experience

60 | Pitch | January 2015

In India, Starbucks is a little over two years old. To the well heeled and well travelled consumer, Tata Starbucks offers a great option apart from home and work.The brand has been making slow and steady expansion in the country, its growth marked by thoughtful steps. Its focus is on strong relations with its patrons, growth of the Starbucks community and word of mouth. It has deliberately side-stepped traditional media campaigns and recently launched its first campaign in India on its Youtube Channel, Starbucks Coffee. The thought behind the unique initiative is that ‘good things happen when we get together’ and is communicated through a series of unscripted videos shot in stores. In conversation with Rashi Bisaria, Manmeet Vohra, Director, Marketing and Category, Tata Starbucks Ltd spilled the beans about the coffee chain’s future plans, delivering the Starbucks experience and what makes the campaign special..

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COVER STORY : HEMAL PANCHAMI

Rashi Bisaria: Why did Starbucks launch its �irst India campaign at this point of time? Manmeet Vohra: We truly believe in the power of human connections. Our global campaign, Meet me at Starbucks is based on the thought that good things happen when people get together. We believe this resonates very well in India as well. Today we have a million ways of reaching out to each other but nothing comes close to meeting someone for that personal moment of connection. At this time of year with the festivities of the holiday season where friends and family gather together to celebrate good times, the timing to launch could not be better. We believe that when we meet, we get closer, we give more joy and we connect better. Every Starbucks store is a social space outside of home and work – a Third Place – that anchors the community and this campaign celebrates that feeling. How will the campaign be communicated? Where can we see the videos? At the heart of the campaign is the idea “Good Things Happen when we get together”.This thought isbrought to life through a series of unscripted

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videos shot in-store across 28 countries including India that we have released. Each of these videos captures millions of those people who get together at Starbucks stores every day - and the various stories they have to tell. The videos can been seen on our YouTube channel, Starbucks Coffee.

The marketing for Starbucks in India has been an understated affair. Is that deliberate? Our journey in India has been a little over two years now and as we continue to grow, our focus remains on developing solid relations with our customers through participation in the community, word of mouth and interaction with our baristas.It is the moments of connection created in our stores that we are known for around the globe and we wish to create the same here in India. Which part of the country is Starbucks most popular in? We recently marked our second anniversary of operations in India and we are humbled by the response we continue to receive even today in each city where we operate. Currently, we have 61 stores

across six cities – Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. We are focused on delivering the unparalleled Starbucks Experience to our customers in their local neighborhood across the country. We are delighted that many have begun to make Starbucks a part of their daily routine.

Our focus remains on developing solid relations with our customers through participation in the community and interaction with our baristas

Pitch | January 2015 | 61


COVER STORY : HEMALVohra PANCHAMI INTERVIEW : ManMeet

Through a steady, disciplined approach to growth we aim to encourage more human connections in every new neighbourhood store markets and it is available for online purchase in the US. We continually evolve our menu to meet our customer expectations and will do so even in the future.

Going forward, are you coming up with some India centric offerings? Given the diverse and dynamic cultures of India, we have always aimed to ensure that we provide a unique values-based Starbucks Experience that is respectful of India’s strong culinary heritage and of local tastes and preferences.Our stores here offer global favorites in handcrafted beverages like the Frappuccino and Signature Hot Chocolate, both of which are immensely popular with Indian customers.In terms of food, customers seek the Starbucks international favourite Blueberry Muf�in amongst other variety of options like the Tandoori Paneersandwich or ChatpataParatha Wrap, offered at our stores. Very recently, to mark our second anniversary now export our India Estates Blend to other Asian

62 | Pitch | January 2015

How is coffee as a category doing in India? India is a fast growing, dynamic economy with very diverse culture and preferences. While India is traditionally a tea drinking nation, the out-of-home coffee consumption has seen a steady increase and the evolved consumer base has transformed coffee into a mainstream beverage. The growth of café culture and the rising spending power hold strong potential for growth in India.

What are your plans for 2015 in terms of expansion, new offerings, marketing? It has been a gratifying journey but it’s only the beginning. We are focused on thoughtful growth, respectful of the strong Indian coffee heritage. Through a steady, disciplined approach to growth we aim to encourage more human connections in every new neighbourhood store. This helps us de�ine the Starbucks Experience for our customers in India and enables us to deliver high-quality coffee, handcrafted beverages delicious food and legendary service to a wider customer base here. -rashi.bisaria@exchange4media.com www.pitchonnet.com


COVER STORY ::Hemal Panchami INTERVIEW Manmeet Vohra

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COLUMN : ANNURAG BATRA COLUMN : ANNURAG BATRA

It’s time to redefine the role of the CMO Annurag Batra

Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Pitch Magazine abatra@exchange4media.com @anuragbatrayo www.facebook.com/anuragbatrayo

W

e all know how fast times are changing, and how fickle the consumer mindset can be. We know competition is bursting at the seams and brands are scrambling for consumer mind space. The new age marketer does not have his role cut out and has to be flexible to mould the capabilities of the organisation to meet ever-changing requirements. It is a multi-channel world and the CMO needs to harness it to his advantage. Therefore, the CMO today has a very different role from the CMO of yesteryears. The profile of the CMO has undergone a transformation. This dynamic role requires the person to be a master strategist and forge strong bonds across different departments. The CMO has to work in close coordination with the CTO, the CEO , the Human Resource head and other department heads to implement his marketing plan and the goals he has set for the organisation. He needs to be clear about his vision and get the others to follow it too. He needs to play the role of the catalyst who brings everyone together on a common platform. He needs to be a master communicator and a diplomat who can balance different points of view and take the organisation forward towards a common goal. These goals require him to be a multi-skilled person who is agile in his role. Therefore, this highly coveted role has become personality-driven and the CMOs who can use the strength of their personalities, their charisma, their unique

This highly coveted role has become personality-driven and the CMOs who can use the strength of their personalities, their charisma, their unique talents to drive change, are considered influential 64 | Pitch | January 2015

talents to drive change, are considered influential. The cover story this month talks about the influence today’s CMO exerts not only in his organisation but also within the industry. The top 10 influential CMOs of 2014 are easily role models for future CMOs. They are dynamic individuals with above average persuasive powers, a better grip on digital media, greater versatility and myriad talents, with a finger on the pulse of the customers. They have realised the customer is king and are single-minded in their focus on the consumer. They have a superior understanding of the consumer due to data-driven insights they have used for this purpose. They acknowledge and appreciate the power of social media and believe in listening to the consumer. Each CMO on the list is not simply a classic marketer but plays many roles rolled into one. He has been able to grow the brand in more ways than one. He has improved the brand’s performance and value, shaped the brand’s personality along with his own and made it stand out. These CMOs have pushed the envelope and taken the brand to new heights. They have shaped mindsets and controlled thought leadership. They have exerted their influence to bring about positive change, tackled challenges creatively, blazed a trail for others and changed the rules of the game. These personalities have gone beyond the call of duty to take their organisations to the next level. Exchange4media along with Knowledge partner Traverse Research n Consulting has come out with this list. The cover story delves into their minds to know what motivates them, what they predict for 2015 and their personal and professional resolutions for this year.  www.pitchonnet.com


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Pitch | January 2015 | 7


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6 | Pitch | January 2015 6 | Pitch | January 2015

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Pitch January issue 2015  

TOP 10 INFLUENTIAL CMOs

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