Digital Marketing: The ‘New Normal’ For Brands?

Even though traditional methods of advertising have not died down by far, most of the new-age brands (that came into the mind-space post 2010) are surely seen to be a little more inclined towards building customer buzz using digital marketing..

Digital marketing, when done with the right tone and attitude, whether serious, funny, tongue-in-cheek, witty, timely as long as it’s transparent, authentic and true to your brand, consumers instinctively know what the brand handlers are proposing.

In fact, there’s a growing concern in several quarters on whether traditional methods of marketing will still be relevant going forward. This concern has made many analysts to say that, anything traditional marketing will die out if it doesn’t evolve or stay relevant to the times.

For these Analysts, as long as information is absorbed through human eyes, ears, nose, mouth, body and brain, it’s reasonable to assume that technology changes how people consume it all, and so is the medium of marketing.

New age brands are forever in the quest of moments to exploit to stay relevant. The food delivery brand is often found to be a topic of discussion among consumers, regarding their relevance and engagement on social media. The brand’s Twitter handle seems like a daily conversation between people, where it engages the most with its consumers.

Speaking on this issue, Ibrahim Omale, a Brands and Marketing Analyst said that it’s all about the moment. “No matter the asset or medium, the conversations brand handlers create must be relevant to break through the decreasing attention spans of people. It is about the relevance of messaging,” he says.

When asked about why the brand resorts to this tactic more than using other ATL (above-the-line) advertising methods, he disclosed that, using this way, it becomes a part of everyday conversations and further becomes a part of the customer’s everyday life. “People see brands as an extension of their family or friend circle and that is exactly what they want to be.”

According to him, digital marketing has made becoming a part of a customer’s life easier, by recreating traditional ‘word of mouth’ marketing on digital, noting that life is social.

“Even before social media, arguably brands had a social presence. I suppose it was called ‘word of mouth’ then. When the word travels farther and reaches more people than ever before, it’s never been more important for brands to have a social voice. If you don’t have one, there’s always a chance that someone else (maybe even your competition) will define your voice for you. Surely, that’s an unacceptable risk.” he added.

Every brand, every creator on the digital marketing space wants to be noticed, and stand out, which is why they engage the way they do. The nature of content plays an important role, and the insight and contextual elements used in this kind of communication are so relevant to the target audience, that the content will never go unnoticed. The seamless nature of the content makes it worthy of sharing which works well for the brand.

Some brands adopted a new method to advertise with a campaign for emoji day, with the setting of a Whatsapp group. This was done since the behavior of the consumers is to have the most engaging discussion in their group of friends with a lot of emojis.

Similarly, with every moment and creativity, it is important to speak about what the consumer is experiencing or the need for a particular experience. “The subconscious mind today is absorbing too much information, which leads to consumers longing for deeper connections with brands.”

All of this eventually boils down to building a connection with the consumer. The brand has to be wherever its audience is and currently one platform doesn’t cut it. “If your content doesn’t resonate with customers then they won’t consume it.”

A brand like Unilever’s Lifebuoy has carried out large scale campaigns, on television as well as print as a way of connecting with its audience in the past. When asked about whether the method of resorting to social media may or may not work better than the methods Lifebuoy has adopted in the past, Kartik Chandrasekhar, global brand vice president, Lifebuoy, said that it depends on the brand. “For a big brand like Lifebuoy, you need ATL plus digital but TV is still the highest reach medium. But for smaller brands, especially in the D2C space, only social media is adequate,” he said.

In this digital era, where networking in itself means going to Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin, brands need to identify as to how they can maintain a proper mix of promotion through a good social media presence and a good large scale traditional media campaign from time to time that is worth remembering.

Analysts says that for the business that is heavily dependent on general trade, and there is perceived brand parity among the competition, a TVC campaign still makes more sense.

However, social media gives more power to the consumer, because it allows brands to engage and interact with them, pick up the trends and maneuvers their product and marketing strategy. Striking the right balance of both worlds is the key to success.

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