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If the TG is consuming more of a particular medium, marketers have to follow them there

As the Vice President – Brand
Marketing at Tata Sky, Vikrant Mudaliar takes care of marketing, brand management , sales , business development
, market research , media planning and buying ,events and  promotions , product planning for the brand.
Before joining TataSky in 2005, Mudaliar worked as the senior
brand manager for General Motors India. He has an experience of around 14 years

As the Vice President – Brand
Marketing at Tata Sky, Vikrant Mudaliar takes care of marketing, brand management , sales , business development
, market research , media planning and buying ,events and  promotions , product planning for the brand.
Before joining TataSky in 2005, Mudaliar worked as the senior
brand manager for General Motors India. He has an experience of around 14 years
in brand marketing and has also worked with brands like Jumbo Electronics
Company and Pepsi Foods India. In an exclusive interview with AlooTechie, Vikrant Mudaliar shares his thoughts and plans about Tata Sky’s digital marketing in
India.

 

How does the digital medium – both
internet and mobile figure in 
Tata Sky’s plans to reach out to
consumers?

With
over 50 million internet users and 650 million mobile users in India, the
digital revolution has changed the way people consume media. Today the tech
savvy generation with a huge disposable income is consuming and  discussing content over the internet and
mobile. As a strong believer in the medium, digital has always been a part of Tata Sky’s media mix since our launch in 2006. The medium has enabled
interaction with the consumers in real-time, gather insights, redress customer
issues, and supplement brand building and sales. 

We’re
constantly evolving our media strategy to cover every touch point with our
target audience through a mix of display advertising, search engine marketing and
 optimisation, social media marketing and
mobile advertising. The role of the corporate website has gone beyond just
information dissemination, now supporting e-commerce transactions, ‘Click to
connect’ functionalities and a self-care portal for subscribers. Search engine
marketing has proven to be an excellent tool for lead generation and display
advertising continues to be an important tool for our brand campaigns. We’ve
got encouraging results for our social media campaign, and the mobile apps we
created for Tata Sky+ have been greatly appreciated by subscribers.

How do you see Tata Sky’s digital spends moving
this year – in terms of growth and focus?

With digital providing more
avenues to reach the customer thus enhancing brand awareness and sales, we are
looking at spending a higher share of the advertising pie as compared to last
year. Digital is a rapidly changing environment and we’re constantly evolving
our strategy and budgets to keep pace.

What answers do you seek from your
digital advertising agencies and digital media partners while promoting your
brand on internet?

While promoting Tata Sky on the internet, we ask our digital agencies three simple questions:

What is the ROI on the
campaign/activity/media plan suggested?

Are the creatives in synergy with
the current brand campaign and customised to exploit the strengths of the
digital medium?

Have we used a 360 degree digital
approach, extending the campaign to all digital platforms – corporate website,
search, display, social media and mobile?

Tata Sky had initiated award winning digital campaigns and has also
launched the Actve Games campaigns. Which according to you have been some of
the most exciting and successful online campaigns that the company has
initiated for its brand so far?

The
launch campaign will always be
the most memorable wherein we changed the browser skin to have a Tata Sky interactive
unit on leading web portals. Amongst the most exciting campaigns would be the
viral campaign for Actve Darshan (adultdost.com) which won a Gold at the Abby (Goafest). It
received a lakh visits at that time without any advertising push. We also
created an interactive twitter banner on MSN for Actve – the mascot for our
interactive services, that won a Bronze at Abby (Goafest). This first of its
kind live interactive exchange enabled users to chat with Actve real-time via
twitter through the banner itself.    

What
innovations would you as a brand, want from online publishers in the country?

Innovations
should be well integrated into the destination instead of just placement for
disruption. Disruption has its value, but in an increasingly engaged world,
where consumers respond to brands on social channels just as they would with
any of their friends, publishers should look at how to provide consumers an
experience with the brand that’s seamless. 

How
do you see the importance of social media for promoting your brand in India?

A report
by Experian states that “Social media accounts for 13.16 per cent of all Indian
Internet visits. Facebook is the most popular social network in India with a 32
per cent share of all visits to social media sites and 51 per cent of market
share with respect to page views”. There are also many other forums and
discussion groups and blogs where consumers share experiences including those
related to specific products that constitute the gamut of social media. Hence,
both from an ‘owned media’ (Official Facebook/ Twitter presence) and an ‘earned
media’ (consumers discussing products and brands) perspective, Social Media is
an important medium.

Our
social media initiatives on Facebook and twitter revolve around Actve – the
mascot for Tata Sky’s interactive services. His Facebook page reflects witty
one-liners, pranks and contests, exclusive TVC previews and interaction with
the brand ambassadors. In a span of ten months, Actve’s Facebook page has
garnered over 367,891 lakh fans.

People
are speaking about mobile being a great medium for brand communication, but
still, very less amounts are spent on the particular medium. What is your take
on this?

If one
compares the number of internet and mobile users in India, the mobile medium
has far greater reach than the internet. However as a medium for brand
communication it needs to have the ability to provide consumers with a much
richer experience. The rise of smartphones, the increasing affordability and the
launch of 3G services will lead to higher usage of data services. Over time
mobile as a medium will definitely be part of the overall strategy in a bigger
way than it is right now.

Internet
is said to be a measurable medium. What is your take on this? Have we overdone
the measurement quotient and made this medium hard to understand for the brand
marketers?

I don’t
think the measurement quotient is overdone, I feel that there are still areas
in which online measurement needs to come to speed. Marketers are used to
measurement metrics from traditional media which provides an ability to plan a
media campaign and also measure the outcome. The dynamism of the internet makes
the planning metric difficult to measure.  Any new medium will be hard to
understand initially as there are no established metrics or benchmarks and what
is being measured is different from mass media. Also with new platforms
emerging, each of which need their own measurement metrics. So the medium is
evolving at the same time as the metrics. This requires advertisers to spend
time on understanding the digital medium to stay ahead of the learning
curve. 

 How
do you see more traditional advertisers like you embracing the digital medium
now?

Digital
has always been a strategic component of our media mix since our launch in 2006
and we continue to invest in the medium across its many forms. Embracing a
new medium is a function of ROI, reach and familiarity with the medium. If the
target audience is consuming more of a particular medium, marketers have no
choice but to follow him there. With 50 million internet users and increasing,
the reach of the internet is slowly rising in India and I see the share of the
advertising pie for internet getting only bigger from here.

How do you see your marketing
objectives aligning with what the online medium offers from two years down the
line?

The DTH industry is as dynamic as the online
medium. In this rapidly changing environment, we’re constantly evolving our
strategy to stay ahead in the game.

 

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