One key part of digital which is seeing maximum brand building efforts is social media. To fuel engagement, interactivity and create virality, marketers are innovating on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and the like. However, this is also the space that is seeing a me-too phenomenon, with scant differentiation between the social media strategies of various players.
Industry experts and observers at the Impact Roundtable, ‘Digital Marketing in 2013 and Beyond, held in New Delhi, yesterday were of the opinion that a lot of players, in 2012, started to change this trend. â€œTill last year, a lot of people were trying to force-fit social. However, slowly the realisation that social happens on its own, is slowly creeping in,â€ said Rashmi Chugh, Business Head & Publisher, Hindustantimes.com, Livemint.com & Livehindustan.com.
Experts are also of the view that brands will now begin to move beyond Facebook and build on core digital assets like websites. Sonya Sahni, Co-Founder, iStrat, said, â€œThe next wave will be that of responsive digital assets. Social will become more performance driven.â€
The medium, meanwhile, is also becoming the first choice for brands to make themselves heard and known. Litin Purohit, Operations Head, Everymedia, in the context elucidated the example of the recent Bollywood movie, ‘Cocktail’, where the lead campaigns first broke on social and then moved to offline channels. Having said that Purohit along with Kapil Gupta, Founder & CEO, OMLogic reiterated that brands need to reach out to customerâ€™s psychology to ensure greater engagement through social media campaigns rather than merely look at it from a technology perspective.
If 2011 saw early adopters of social media, in 2012 social became all pervasive. â€œIt has now become more of a tactical approach. Going forward, marketing through social media will become a core specialised job,â€ said Gupta.
Purohit felt that if differentiated content was important, equal pedestal should be given to context too.
If web 1.0 and 2.0 which were about information and conversation, Web 3.0, according to Gillian Muessig, Founding President Emeritus, SEOmoz, will be all about ‘community marketing’ and the concept of â€˜private socialâ€™ will gain importance.
However, the key to building brand loyalty, according to Bharat Malik, Country Head, OMG, would be through reward marketing. â€œRetargeting and reward marketing will enter India in a big way. It is already a popular way to retain customers in UK,â€ he said.