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The digital industry should offer a standard measuring metric that gives comprehensive results

Simeran
Bhasin started her career in the hospitality industry in 1998-99, where she worked
with the Manipal Group of Hotels in Sales and Marketing. She has also worked as
the brand manager at Britannia Industries Limited from July 2005 to June 2006. Simeran
moved back to Titan as Marketing Manager – Fastrack Watches in February 2006
and took over sunglasses category to become Marketing Manager Fastrack in 2007.
As the head of Marketing for Fastrack across all its categories (watches,

Simeran
Bhasin started her career in the hospitality industry in 1998-99, where she worked
with the Manipal Group of Hotels in Sales and Marketing. She has also worked as
the brand manager at Britannia Industries Limited from July 2005 to June 2006. Simeran
moved back to Titan as Marketing Manager – Fastrack Watches in February 2006
and took over sunglasses category to become Marketing Manager Fastrack in 2007.
As the head of Marketing for Fastrack across all its categories (watches,
sunglasses, bags & accessories), she also heads the retail marketing andoperations
for the Fastrack Chain of stores across the country. In an exclusive interview
with AlooTechie, Simeran Bhasin shares her thoughts and plan about using
digital as a marketing medium for Fastrack.

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

Fastrack is a youth oriented brand and
digital media, both mobile and internet, are very important means of
communication for us. It really depends on the kind of advertisement the brand
wants to execute. Like if it is an offer related communication, than SMS works
the best and in the same way, where the audio visual impact is important,
internet works the best. There have been a lot of interesting campaigns we have
executed on the internet, whereas on the mobile, it has been more of an
amplification of what we are doing.

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

Fastrack is probably one of the earliest
brands to have recognised the power of social media. We started our foray on
social three years ago on Orkut and we were also among the first to create a
brand page on Facebook. From January last year, we have grown from 30,000 fans
to over a million and that is because we have leveraged the medium well as a platform
of driving engagement with the youth.

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

Last year we have spent around 8 per cent of
our media budget on digital and next year we plan to take it to 10 per cent. So
we think this is a substantial growth because our overall spends are also
growing.

Mobile is being
held as a great medium for brand communication, but still, very less amount is spent
on the particular medium. What is your take on this?

We still don’t have that many wap enabled
phones and there are less innovations happening on apps. We did have SMS 2.0
that did the rounds, but to my mind, that didn’t have a very large impact, both
from the adoption and marketing point of views. Things are likely to change
with 3G and technology is becoming cheaper. The truth is that a technology is
adopted both by the customer and the marketer, only when it is cost-effective
it seems like there will soon be an inflection point in mobile marketing and it
will become imperative for every brand to have a mobile presence. SMS 2.0 will
also evolve and there would be a lot of other ways forward in the mobile space.

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

Well, the medium is so fresh and new that we
don’t want to repeat something that other brands have already done. We look for
first-hand innovations that allow us to create a buzz among the consumers and
derive phenomenal value.

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?

Measurement makes it easier for the marketers
to understand the medium. The only thing is that there is no one metric that
can be used as a standard format of measuring web audience. I think that we are
waiting for this industry to evolve and offer a standard measuring metric that
gives us comprehensive results. 

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

It’s not about being a traditional or an
online brand because for any brand, it is very important to provide the right
information whenever the consumer searches about that brand on the internet. So
it is important for every brand to be present online and showcase information
and products because that might turn into a sale.

How
important is having an ecommerce presence for Fastrack?

This is very critical and we are working on
something similar. However small it might be, it is important to have a sales
point on the internet because as I said, every search made about the brand on
internet, might turn into a product being sold.

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

As the medium evolves, we will be focussing
more on this medium because we see a lot of our target group spending more time
here than on TV and this also provide us a cost-effective way to reach them.

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