New Trends in Brand Engagement: @MaheshMurthy at The Paul Writer Conference #CMO2011

Paul Writer, a peer-to-peer community for marketers organised the The Paul Writer Futurist CMO Conference last week. Digital and social media featured prominently in discussions on the latest marketing trends.

Day 1 featured a session by Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstorm and Managing Partner, Seedfund who delivered a talk on ‘How the rules of brand engagement have changed in the new online and offline world?’

Some of the key marketing trends that Mahesh spoke about included 

  1. Digital media is no longer a niche. At 100 million in India, internet users cross the television and satellite users by a long mark.
  2. The reach of social media platforms like Google (100 million), YouTube(31 million) and Yahoo (28 million) is higher than the reach of the television properties like IPL (6 million) and Star Plus (5 million).
  3. Similarly, the rise in mobile users is much more than the reach of television users.
  4. Not all of digital media is growing equally. Newer social media platforms like Blogspot, Youtube and Facebook are growing at a faster rate in terms of unique visitors per day, when compared to the traditional media platforms like Yahoo and Rediff.
  5. The development in size, spread and ubiquity of social networks must be noted in order to capitalize on the same.
  6. The true change is in consumer behaviour,which is deeper. A Nielsen study on ‘who do consumers trust?’ shows that recommendations by friends and then recommendations by strangers influence decision making. This makes Facebook and Twitter important platforms to reach the consumers and influence the decision making process.
  7. Social media can enable brands to reach the consumer directly by creating a medium of engagement on social networking sites rather than reaching the consumers via a mainstream medium.
  8. It pays more to invest in unpaid media rather than paid media because of its the reach and spread.
  9. The focus of brands should shift to creative budget from media budget.
  10. Since traditional media is vacating editorial to engage in marketing and advertising, brands can use this as an opportunity to create unbiased editorials on social media and engage the customers.
  11. The success of social media lies not just in the number of fans, but also performance metrics and engagement levels.
  12. Marketing must be treated as a 24/7 job since the customers engage with the brand at all times regardless of time of the day or day of the week.
  13. It is important to break the walls among different categories like marketing, consumer service, sales and brand management and bring them together into one cycle. The challenge lies into engaging with all aspects of the brand in real time.
  14. The era of the digital specialist is gone and brands now need to be much more agile and technologically adept in order to survive.

Here is a quick video from his session at the conference.