What’s On

Irrespective of the screen, consumers seek good content

As consumers transcend seamlessly between laptops/PCs, tablets and mobile phones, marketers are faced with many new opportunities, and challenges. While some of these screens play second to traditional outlets such as TV, in some cases, platforms such as mobile are first screens. Increasingly for a marketer, the key task is to find a place in the connected consumer’s life.

In the last few years, many experts have looked to define the role that the different screens play for these audiences, and where marketers can look to be part of the conversation unobtrusively. Social media can be credited in opening up this conversation further and platforms such as mobile give it scale. Social media put power back in the hands of content than just the ability to afford a strong share of voice. But that scenario is changing.

“People say social comes for free. You put a great video, some great photos and the content is shared and liked. But that is not true anymore given the spends involved in seeding that content. It is a great business to be in but as marketers, sometimes, we struggle with the many illusions to kill,” stated Veronique Meffert, Head of Digital at Great Eastern.

Great Eastern took a focussed approach to content marketing two years ago, when as part of its rebranding into a Life company, the brand engaged with health awareness and similar kind of content. One of the challenges in front of the brand was to enhance its image amongst the younger TG as well.

She was also quick to add that the question boils down to how to orchestrate, and amplify, the content. Quoting an example from Great Eastern, she said that some social media channels could also give viewership without making any spends. “We recently hosted a video on YouTube that got us over 350000 views despite zero spending. We engaged the influencers community such as bloggers for this and that can be very powerful. In an ideal world, you would have all these platforms work closely but today we are defining the roles they are playing,” Ms Meffert explained.

Adding to the point, Priti Mehra, MD, Millward Brown Singapore reiterated that from a marketer viewpoint, it is all about amplifying media for different people across different screens. “The whole idea of multiscreen usage is only going to grow. With smartphone penetration, especially in APAC, it is about delivering the apt message through various touchpoints. Fragmentation of media does not imply message fragmentation.”

Ms Meffert and Ms Mehra were speaking at the relaunch announcement event of Digital Market Asia in Singapore.

“As a marketer, it is interesting to see the opportunities that come with mobile. For us as a brand, we do not have right content to engage consumers through mobile screens yet but right now, we are focussed on creating content that is relevant,” informed Ms Meffert.

Replying to why despite mobile penetration, industry spends were still at 5 per cent of overall ad spends, Ms Meffert said that, the industry would work together to increase spends on mobile as that opportunity evolved.

What was interesting about mobile was the manner in which it was used by consumers – whether it is simultaneous or individual usage of screens. There are insights into what is driving these differences but in APAC, it is still ‘test and learn’. The markets are different in context to their evolution.

Ms Mehra explained that content was an important part of driving the right communication towards the various screens. “Whichever screen you use, when you are using multiple screens, it has to engage and be relevant for the consumer. Content plays a critical role there to grab audience attention,” she said.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.