Brand building on the internet should be a process that delivers both on the brand promise and the brand experience, said Daman Soni, CMO, Wecash, on Tuesday. Daman was speaking at the fourth edition of HT Brand Studio Live—a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. The event is webcast from the HT newsroom, and is co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia.
This time, the theme was ‘Digital first: Building brands on the internet’. The show thus sought to decipher how brands can stay relevant in an age where more and more consumers are spending time online, both for work and entertainment.
“Your product may have a great design, but if it doesn’t live up to the expectations of the consumer, it will never sell," said Soni, adding that brand-building on the internet requires a full-stack marketing approach. A full-stack marketer, according to Soni, is the one who is creative, eager to learn, and has a sound knowledge of both marketing and sales.
Going further into the discussion about customer journey, Sandeep Singh, Director-Marketing and Alternate Channels, Bira 91, spoke about what are today popularly known as digital native vertical brands. These are brands that are born online with a focus on customer experience. They believe in one-to-one interactions with consumers and are always ready to listen to them, said Singh.
However, how does a brand reach out to consumers on the internet where there are already many other brands jostling for space?
Prateek Chatterjee, Senior Vice President-Corporate Communications and Marketing, NIIT, gave us a cue.
“In a world where everybody is always scrolling down their phones, brands need to create meaningful content to attract the attention of consumers," said Chatterjee, adding that managing one’s reputation on all kinds of digital platforms is also key to long-term customer engagement.
Another way in which brands can drive their growth is through digital partnerships, highlighted Nikhil Rastogi, Director-Marketing and Digital Sales, Citibank.
“Digital partnerships are cost-effective, and help brands reach out to a large number of consumers," he stressed.
Talking about how digital marketing techniques can be applied to the education sector, Shravani Dang, Group Vice President-Corporate Communications, Avantha Group, said, “Empathy is the most important factor that digital marketers should consider while reaching out to students. You have to make them feel that they belong to your institute."
This is also necessary because what marketers do in the space of education has a massive social impact.
Explaining how companies can project authenticity on the internet, Rajiv Bansal, CEO, HT Digital Streams, said, “It all starts from building a culture that is customer-centric. I think it is also a fallacy that Indian consumers are not ready to pay for products online. As long as your services are of high quality, people will be ready to pay for those."
Manish Bhatia, President and Chief, Bath Products and Furniture Fittings Business, HSIL Ltd, outlined how luxury sanitary ware brands—which have different kinds of stakeholders involved—can use the internet to their advantage. He added that video storytelling helps boost the popularity of such brands to a great extent.
In the midst of all this, Sandeep Nagpal, Vice President and Head of Marketing, Cvent, emphasized on the significance that traditional marketing methods still hold today.
“The internet can either make us subservient or be used as a tool to further the reach of traditional marketing techniques," summarized Nagpal.
To watch the previous three episodes of Brand Studio Live, please click here.