With great pleasure, Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, hosted Mantra’17, the annual media conclave on October 14th, 2017. The topic of the session was ‘Social Media Branding: Customer’s Journey from Awareness to Loyalty’ and the dais was graced with the presence of the following eminent panellists:
Mr. Swapnil Sinha: Head of Measurement and Attribution – India and South-East Asia, Google
Mr. Hitesh Sood: Associate Vice President and Head (Marketing), Idea Cellular Limited
Mr. Anuj Kapur: Managing Partner, Global Market Access Hub CSDS
Mr. Alok Agarwal: FMCG Marketing Director, Digital Marketing Lead, GSK
Mr. Sanjeev Kumar: Vice President & Business Head – Hotels, Yatra.com
The panel was chaired by Mr. Swapnil Sinha who inaugurated the event by raising the curtain. He initiated the discussion and captured the attention of the students right away by showing videos of two brands, Dove and Volvo trucks and explained how such videos with their unique appeal, relatability and subtlety can lead to brand association and get the people talking on Social Media.
Mr. Hitesh Sood stressed on the importance of Social Media in today’s world and was of the opinion that brands cannot afford to ignore Social Media. He apprised the students on the rise of Social Media traffic, especially since 2013, when data traffic was overtaken by small screen devices from big screen devices. Mr. Sood also said that almost 30% of the content on YouTube is about one brand or the other.
Mr. Alok Agarwal deep dived further into the videos shown by Mr. Sinha and discussed their impact on Social Media. He stressed on the spill over effect such videos can have and draw the customer’s attention towards spending some of his precious time on watching top quality content. This enables brands to build brand awareness and ensures that the consumer stays with the brand. Mr. Agarwal showed another video where a statement in a rally by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, mentioning ‘Crocin’ had gone viral and careful leveraging led to ‘#Crocin’ trending on Social Media. This showcased how brands can take pro bono media mileage and turn free content available on social media to their advantage.
Mr. Anuj Kapur added a new perspective of B2B segment to the discussion and shared his experiences from Motorola and Samsung. He was of the opinion that Social Media has led to marketers becoming content creators with customers too getting engaged as co-content creators. Mr. Kapur added a new meaning to customer loyalty where loyalty isn’t just about rebuying but more importantly it is about advocacy as majority of the customers rely on crowdsourced movie ratings, product reviews, etc. to make their purchasing decisions. Hence, loyalty isn’t the end game but advocacy is.
Mr. Sanjeev Kumar objectively explained the students that people are the focal point of any Social Media marketing campaign and they can be segmented into two types: 1. People who are active users on sites like Facebook, YouTube etc. 2. People on Twitter or Instagram who act as influencers and have the power of influencing public opinion through Social Media. Mr. Kumar also stressed on developing a personalised and authentic message for each consumer and for this, having a good understanding of the consumer is paramount.
The floor was then opened for questions and students took this opportunity to get further insights from the panellists on the topic of discussion. Importance of individual preferences which are driven by location preferences, usage of data analytics to gain meaningful insights, synchronised communication videos, viral content on Social Media where it is important for the users not to blindly believe in everything that he sees, misuse of user database for spamming and bombarding consumers with mails and research before choosing a celebrity for your product were some of the topics on which students based their questions upon. The panel addressed queries of inquisitive students with great enthusiasm and allowed the students to maximise their learning from the session.
The discussion was then concluded by Mr. Sinha who summarized the key takeaways from the session. The session ended by presenting mementos to the panelists as a token of appreciation for taking time out of their busy schedules and interacting with the students.