Keynote Panel at #SESND: Integrated Marketing – What does it mean?

The SES Conference in New Delhi was kicked off on Tuesday morning, December 4, 2012, with a keynote by Crispin Sheridan, Senior Director of Search Marketing, SAP who talked about the history of search marketing, in his session titled ‘Search engine marketing — The essential best practice guide for 2013′. He closed his talk with a few insights on connected marketing.

“Connected marketing is more about the change in consumer behaviour than about the technology.” – Crispin Sheridan

This was followed by a keynote panel on integrated marketing which was moderated by Suresh Babu, Founder, Web Marketing Academy. The other panelists were Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Dell; Amit Sinha Roy, Head of Marketing, Audience and Strategy, Tata Communications; and Ranjeet Nambiar, Founder, Urja Interactive.

They each presented their view of what integrated marketing entails  Ritu Gupta, began the session by sharing Dell’s aim: to be present across all touchpoints where consumers are likely to be, and reach out to the consumers in as many places they can, trying their best not be intrusive. “The challenge here is to be where the consumer is and since Dell targets the youth – the way youth consumer media has been evolving over the years and is continuing to evolve – it is difficult to capture the attention of the youth, since it  is very fragmented.”

Amit Sinha Roy talked about the importance of knowing what it is that the consumers want. Earlier this used to be fairly hit and miss, marketers had to experiment a lot to see what the customers responded do. Today, technology, social and search gives the marketer tools to get a better idea about what the consumers want. Consumers have preferences about how they want to be engaged with, someone prefers a phone call, someone prefers reading online – so you create whitepapers for them, some prefer to be reached via email – the need is to be more relevant in connecting to them. “We can use these tools to find out their preferences and reach them in a way that they prefer. Integrated marketing, for me, is connecting more effectively.”

Ranjeet Nambiar also agreed with Amit. “It’s not just about selling to the customer once, it’s about making a connection and forming a relationship.” He also stated that in addition, to making connections and using the technogogy as a tool, there is another big opportunity that we’re not looking at, especially in India. The requirement is to sell efficiently, and that’s where intelligence comes in. With so much data about what products consumers like, their preferences etc., there is a huge opportunity to engage with them. This can also be a threat because consumers are so knowledgeable and so vocal about their demands, that if they are not pleased with their experience, they don’t hesitate to broadcast it. But then, they broadcast it even when they are happy with an experience. “The point is that the marketers should use this tool to engage intimately and with relevance, that’s the big opportunity of integrated marketing.”

A stimulated discussion was followed by questions from the audience. Stay tuned to @IndiaSocial for more updates on the SES Conference, New Delhi.