As technology levels the playing ground for digital platforms, the significance of content comes to fore once again. This was also one of the areas that Microsoft focussed on as it re-launched MSN globally. As part of its preview in India, which is one of the core markets of the relaunch, Microsoft brought together industry leaders in Delhi and Mumbai to discuss the future of cross platform for content players.
Adam Anger, General Manager of Advertising and Online at Microsoft Asia Pacific, who was visiting India for the relaunch exercise, put things in perspective when he pointed out that the proliferation of devices had already created the demand from consumers, however the industry has to yet to grow for cross screen marketing. “We have the eyeballs and an eager market for the content. It is our responsibility now to make a lot of improvement in that area and give the consumers what they want,” he remarked.
Aditya Save, Head of Marico’s Global CoE for Digital and Media, brought another significant point here stating that the challenge was not just cross
platform marketing but ‘contextual marketing’. He said, “From a marketer standpoint, you get the kind of people you want when the messaging or the content is in context to what the consumer seeks and where the brand can be part of the conversation or has something to offer.”
Three traits contribute to cross platform marketing – the behaviours of the people, the device consumers are using and the reach of the content, as Avinash Jhangiani, Managing Director of Digital & Mobility Head at Omnicom Media Group India points out. However, the device used by audiences play a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. With the development of the digital media, a large number of audiences are getting connected. “The method of connecting to this vast audience is an important aspect of cross platform marketing,” said Mr Jhangiani.
The importance of the screen was also pointed out by Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner, South Asia at GroupM, who reminded that the evolution of the internet in
the last decade had put a premium on user experience. “As internet decouples from the screens, the user experience has become more visual and players who are getting that right, can already see the difference in the audience engagement on those platforms,” he said. Girish Ahuja, Vice President – Marketing at TVS Srichakra in India
reiterated the role that the mobile screen is playing in this context. The challenges of marketing in a digital world has also come with many new opportunities, most of which opened up by mobile. “Mobile is already becoming the first device for consumers, and in markets such as India, the first screen where consumers have accessed the internet. At the end, convenience matters. Consumers have to also feel more comfortable with the digital space and gain that online experience,” he said.
Vivek Bhargawa, CEO at iProspectCommunicate 2 summed up the conversation by stating that content has to be more target audience related and not product related.
The Indian industry still has a significant way of go in this space. Brands are constantly under pressure of competition to gain more visibility over the rival, and this eventually boils down to the marketing strategy. Publishers have to provide content that is not only informative but entertaining as well. The major challenge for a brand will be to handle the behaviour of people. Brands will gain value if they deliver relevant content to its audience. The new MSN has also kept this thought process at its core. To accomplish cross channel platform marketing, it is collaborating with world’s leading media publishers. It believes that perspective from thousands of content publishers from across the globe will give its users an enhanced experience.
However, getting content from publishers may raise concerns related to policy of partnership between Microsoft and publishers and competition between two brands. Mr Anger however informed that brands are investing in content and Microsoft will help them by giving a larger audience thereby amplifying its exposure.
To overcome challenges of content dissemination, marketers are making an effort to integrate content across different platforms to a single destination. Reach of the medium will be indispensible for Microsoft’s mobile first and cloud first strategy. The new MSN has used content curation instead of creation as a key strategy, which will allow it immense scope to adapt to consumer feedback and bring in best practices.
The conversation between the digital leaders was taking place in Mumbai at a MSN Executive breakfast briefing, powered by Digital Market Asia.