How new media ecosystems are accelerating brand building

Anupam Bokey, Chief Marketing Officer, Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt. Ltd. talks about how changes in the media ecosystem have helped the digital space emerge as a leader, and how brands can benefit from it.
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For decades, traditional media channels like television, print and on-ground interventions have been the backbone of promoting brands in our country. Significant investments on far reaching mediums like television, celebrity endorsements, and events were key pillars for a brand to establish awareness and build imagery. This was especially true for regulated industries such as tobacco and liquor.

The rapid proliferation of technology, low-cost data availability and government efforts towards rural digitisation saw the media ecosystem undergo a tectonic transformation, challenging marketers to re-think how they approached brand building strategies.

Changing consumer behaviour

The internet explosion in India has seen consumers across the socio-economic spectrum voraciously participating in a new media ecosystem that gives them greater autonomy to choose which brands they want to engage with and how.

The increase in video and search content suggests that consumers are taking back the reigns when discovering brands. They have evolved from making passive decisions to being available to brands on digital platforms to interact and strike conversations.

Peculiarly, in India, higher engagement is seen on vernacular content, opening up audiences across the country to new brands. As marketers, it has become critical to keep up with these fast-paced, tech-savvy consumers and deliver communications that are worth their while.

Digital wave

The new media ecosystem offers marketers several distinct advantages for brand building at an accelerated pace. From awareness creation to honing purchase intent, customers can be targeted at every stage of their consumption journey with hyper-personalized messaging and then tracked to measure conversions accurately.

Where traditional media formats limited the frequency of engagement, the digital media platforms allow for an almost continuous connect with potential consumers significantly ramping up growth trajectories.

Strategies can accordingly be modified or entirely revamped to deliver tangible business results faster. Capabilities for fencing campaigns to specific times, places, devices and even behaviours or interests, implies significantly lowered wastage and a better bang for your marketing dollars!

High adoption of e-payment gateways and wallets as well as the expanded ecommerce network, implies that connecting with customers is no longer a concern for brands in locations that may not have a physical retail space.

The emergence of digital media avenues has also spurred the rise of new age opinion leaders. Building imagery and a consumer connect for the brand is no longer limited to celebrities.

Brands can find intelligent ways of leveraging digital influencers who are seen as more credible and relatable, lending authenticity to a brand’s messaging. Digital influencers are able to create content that strikes a balance between being aspirational yet accessible.

Approaching new media

Brands starting off today need to strike a balance between traditional media platforms that can deliver impactful reach, and new media avenues that will ensure consistency of communication. Critical to building marketing strategies is to understand what the key job is, and which lever can help address the same effectively. Strategies crafted should have built-in measurement mechanisms, and be agile to adapt to change quickly and cost effectively.

When it comes to new media platforms, there is the added complexity of variety, which means it may no longer be easy to identify consumer behaviour patterns and plan communication accordingly.

Developing a rich understanding of the consumer, and mining for relevant insights, would aid in bettering how a media platform gets used. Increasingly, brands are making a concerted effort to create their own first party datasets which can be subsequently leveraged in future campaigns.

Thriving in the new media ecosystem also requires an experimentation mind frame, open to exploring interventions on new platforms, new formats, and emerging content trend.

To conclude, the benefits of participating in the new media ecosystem can only truly be realised with strategies that are open to constant evolution. Brands that are able to adapt to the agile nature of this media landscape can seek quick returns and see exponential growth. As a part of evolving media ecosystems, marketers should become changemakers and create a more holistic approach to communicating with their consumers.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)