Predictable = boring

Predictable = boring

Tushar Vyas from GroupM believes that the convergence of mobile, digital and traditional media is impacting brands and the way they communicate with their customers. Irrespective of the medium, brands can win if they’re interesting

Tushar Vyas, managing partner (South-Asia) at GroupM, has witnessed first-hand the transition that took place in the world of branding as traditional media got disrupted by social, mobile, cloud and analytics-driven technologies. He says, borrowing a line from an Oldsmobile commercial, “This is not your father’s Internet. The benefits of technology now have very little to do with the PC.”

In this feature, we bring to you the excerpts from his talk at the Brand Owner’s Summit.

Technology is creating a disruption (in the media world) on three fronts; digital is empowering traditional media, operational processes are becoming digitised, bringing with it new opportunities for incredible consumer experiences and data bridges are being built across platforms.

First, mobility is playing a key role in technological disruption. Quite agreeably, with an exception of an hour or two, most of us spend a significant portion of the time we are awake accessing and sharing information online, through mobiles. Moreover, digital is empowering and improving traditional media across the board and digital entrepreneurs are playing white night to traditional media. In fact, it is influencing television programmes as well. For instance, IPL, MTV and Colors use social conversations and visualisation around their television shows, to enhance interactivity and viewer engagement. Also, social media is enhancing the power of television and mobile devices are becoming the primary access point to that.

Second, with digitisation, consumer experiences are being enhanced and seamlessly integrated with media platforms. For instance, Walmart’s ‘Get on the Shelf’ initiative gave an opportunity for its customers to decide which of the 4,000 odd products from various inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses, should be stocked at its stores in future. The objective of this initiative was to achieve stock optimisation based on customer choices and to socialise the retail experience.

On the third front, as media and retail integrate, brands will be able to connect the dots between channels, to deliver and measure a coherent brand story.

World wide social web 

Content consumption is moving multi-screen. For instance, while YouTube is synonymous with online video, a brand like Sony has launched Sony Liv, an online channel where consumers can catch up with all the channel’s programmes. Video is catching up on the mobile platform too. For instance, Vulcip, a mobile video and media company, is recording a monthly user base of 14 million.

At a broader level, news as a concept is becoming more curated and customised, participative and, instantaneous. Importantly, mobile is becoming a gateway that connects the physical and virtual world and from being called the social media on the web, the whole web is becoming social. Another point to note is that geographical boundaries have dissolved and consumers can, today, buy any product around the globe, through e-commerce sites such as E-Bay or people can earn a professional degree from Ivy League universities without being on campus.

Write the press release first 

The interesting implication of this is, in order to gain a significant, organic impact, brands have to ideate and design unpredictable campaigns. A good example would be Amazon’s product design philosophy of “working backwards”. When Amazon begins to create a new product, it first writes the press release and then works backwards to identify what it needs to make the product described, a reality. By doing this, it ensures that the purpose, function and design of the product are strong enough to prompt media attention and fit the scale of its original goal.

Brands need to ensure that their content is available on multiple platforms and generate light weight, relevant, engaging interactions on their own platforms in addition to social networking sites. Simultaneously, brands should use data effectively to drive informed choices. They should create a micro segment of their target audience and design customised, one-to-one messages for each group. Lastly, brands should be willing to experiment and innovate to keep pace with a changing environment.


Profile of Tushar Vyas, managing partner (South Asia), GroupM 

Tushar Vyas is managing partner, South-Asia, GroupM, a media investment management firm. During his tenure, he launched an interactive digital media business unit, GroupM Digital Practise, in India and played an instrumental role in expanding the service into the search, mobile and social domains. With over 150 clients today, the digital arm has won several accolades for consistently being a top performer.

Earlier, Vyas was the director and CMO of SureWaves, an early-stage startup by second generation entrepreneurs that provides content delivery, network management, media planning, reporting and integrated advertising aggregation services on multiple digital platforms. He has also participated in various digital, mobile and social media summits and was a part of the IAMAI governing council.