He Answers
Sandeep Singh
Business Head – Brand and Media Solutions, Quasar
Sandeep comes with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing. Having been part of the founding team at Quasar, he has won and managed accounts like Microsoft, Visa, Canon, Samsung, General Motors, Airtel in his 5 year stint. Sandeep specializes in Digital Strategy, Brand Activation & Social Media Marketing for clients to help them strengthen their digital marketing initiatives.
His Questions
Rajiv Dubey
Media Head - Dabur
Rajiv’s association with media spans over 16 years, primarily in FMCG media planning and buying (digital included). His focus now is on relevance of social media and internet in the FMCG business. Rajiv believes that Digital advertising has to move beyond spam and be more consumer focused in order to achieve consumer attention in markets such as India.
Rajiv Dubey: How relevant is the digital space and internet for women users with internet clearly skewed towards working males? Amongst users, 70-80% of women still do not have access to the net.
Sandeep Singh: At a mass scale I may agree that the reach is limited right now for brands who are targeting adult females – working or home makers. The scenario is going to change drastically 7-8 years down the line when the real digital natives will join work forces and become consumers with disposable income. For that generation, internet is as much part of their lives as TV was for us when we were growing up. Today also, if you will dissect the pie you will see higher percent of females users amongst 16-24 lot hooked on the internet . Also, along with being a medium internet is also a platform where people come to seek information & do transactions so context becomes more relevant than mere reach. If someone is searching for information on staying healthy or reading content on same – we know the context and can target this user to read more about health drinks and engage with our product. In this case demographics or reach take a back seat, what matters is the depth of engagement in the relevant context, both for consumers and the brand. According to me the future of advertising for any brand is to reach less people but reach them in right context leading to richer engagement and conversations.
Rajiv Dubey: In FMCG space where some of the products have low consumer loyalty how engaging internet will be?
Sandeep Singh: The answer is in the question itself – How does the brand loyalty come? To me that comes with love and respect. When consumers start loving your brand they become a loyal consumer and will swear by your brand to the extent of becoming your brand ambassador spreading good word about your brand. How does the love & respect come? We are dealing with people here and like between humans love and respect is mutual and comes with one person helping other improve their life. Digital medium is now giving brands that opportunity. All FMCG brands have a purpose and most of them help consumers improve their lives – a 30 second TV spot can only have enough time to talk about product benefits and not beyond. Digital gives an opportunity to have a deeper impact on consumer lives and help them improve their lives beyond the functional benefits while remaining in the right context. Ching’s Secret (http://www.facebook.com/chingssecret) is a good example here, they are doing a great job being an FMCG to get a loyal following for their brand on internet – they have close to about 1.2 lacs fans on facebook and they improve lives by giving recipes , sharing motivational quotes etc. Another great example is Kingfisher World (http://www.facebook.com/kingfisherworld) with more than 1.4 lacs fans – they improve lives by sharing interesting & exclusive content, giving event invitations etc.
Rajiv Dubey: Is it possible to retain consumers merely by creating a Facebook page and sending some unwarranted updates. How about consumer engagement and consumer delight?
Sandeep Singh: Well, I guess the answer is in the previous answer only. A facebook page or twitter is just a medium to talk to your consumers directly, what you talk is what makes you popular and “likeable”. Think it from a perspective of human being again – one never makes friends just by being at a party, one has to either get into relevant conversations and contribute or create relevant and interesting conversations for others to contribute. Entering social media is no different – Be there but be left out if you choose to just talk about yourself. Be there and get accepted if you choose to do interesting, relevant and open conversations which can add value to your fans lives.
Rajiv Dubey: With teledensity reaching over 670 million how relevant is it to targeting consumers?
Sandeep Singh: It is highly relevant to be built into your marketing as a platform – CRM, Response Based, VAS, IVR. If we look at mobile again from a medium perspective it is just few characters in SMS or small space in the form of WAP advertising, thus the potential gets restricted. The potential is much more in using it as an enabler that just a medium. Enabler for your marketing programs, enabler in improving lives, enabler in seeking consumer response.
Rajiv Dubey: Currently the mobile space is only limited to spam messages. How else can mobile become engaging medium without spamming? Mobile is currently an irritant
Sandeep Singh: I kind of beg to disagree here – the space is much bigger and much beyond SPAMMING. As a consumer what we experience as push is a spam. Intelligent Marketers will never resort to spamming. We have to use mobile as a pull medium and as an enabler. Like internet mobile can also be used to improve lives – a calorie calculator, store locator, a Q&A channel on IVR all can be used as a pull mechanism to bring traction towards your brands.
Rajiv Dubey: Search Based marketing-after achieving the search what next?
Sandeep Singh: I think Search is like knowing the mindset of a customer as he walks into a shopping complex – imagine a customer walking into a mall shouting what he wants. As he shouts there are multiple retailers who try to sell him as it’s a public knowledge now – you win the game only when you are genuine in your pitch and are able to give him exactly what he wants. Once you win the customer its about the kind of experience you give him a he engages with you. So giving a great experience post click is very important – make it relevant to the context user searched for and highly engaging and informative.
In conversation with

Vineet Mathur

Anita Nayyar

Rahul Marwaha

Shruti Kapoor

R.P. Singh

Gopa Kumar

Sandeep Singh

Rajiv Dubey

Yuzdi Badhniwalla

Nilesh Chhabria

Vishal Chinchankar

Shantanu Sirohi

Unny Radhakrishnan

Sudhir MD

Madan Sanglikar

Uma Sivakumar

Beerajaah Sswain

Raja Sanyal

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