A day in digital. What I learnt from the Digital CMO Summit 2012

It’s not often you come back from an Indian digital marketing summit feeling like you have learnt something. This one was different. Rajiv Dingra and the WatBlog team worked hard to get the speakers to showcase new insights and points of view. There were no bad sponsor creds presentations, and barring, erm one presentation, I enjoyed all the sessions I sat through.

The format kept viewers active and engaged. Rajiv, as usual, bounced around moderating, questioning and engaging.

What where my learnings?

A Digital CMO summit? WTF?

Who would have imagined, a few years ago, that senior Indian marketers would come into session titled Digital CMO summit? While Shoppers Stop CMO Vinay Bhatia resisted the prefix, he spoke eloquently of the efforts his company had made in the social and digital space. Digital is here to stay folks and as Hungama’s Carlton D’Silva rephrased his new boss Michael Maedal JWT’s APAC President on one of the panels, digital will soon trump its analog predecessor.

Indian brands lead the way in Digital.

HDFC Bank, Club Mahindra, Suzlon, Shoppers Stop. Whooha! Out of the six brands on show, four were homegrown. IBM and Dell being the other two.

Home grown digital agencies do get their due.

Four on four agencies on the agency panel where Indian. No firangi ones on show. Nice! And if you add WAT, the guys who organized the event to the mix, this was a home run, through and through.

Panel Discussion L-R Rajiv Dingra (Wat Consult),Vikas Tandon(Indigo Consulting), Carlton D’Silva(Hungama Digital), Nishad Ramchandran(Hansa Cequity), Vivek Bhargava(Communicate 2)

Staying on the point, three of the four who sat on the agencies’ panel at the event were bought over by large multinational agencies. For top dollar one suspects, going by the Armani suit one of the panelists sported. :)

Digital is permeating organisations, not just marketing departments.

HDFC’s Kavitha Joshi spoke about it. Vivek Bhargava of Communicate2 made a point or two about digital and social going beyond marketing. Well said guys…

Digital campaigns to the fore

Shoppers Stop Tweet Store, Kolaveri, Mahindra’s Augmented Reality XUV500 launch. We heard campaigns being spoken of at the event more than tactics like SEO or platforms like Apps.

Content marketing has arrived

Many panelists spoke of the arrival of branded content. Shoppers Stop Videos, videos again by DSP Black Rock, Hungama’s work for Ferrari Ki Sawari. Great branded content is here and marketers are willing to spend marketing money on not just creating them, but marketing them as well, even though not everyone agreed that good content needs to be marke

Digital is coming of age. Let’s celebrate the CMOs who are making it happen

While some of us on the agency panel lamented the lack of importance that digital gets from big marketers, I for one want to look at how far we have come. Looking at the intensity and passion that many CMOs displayed. IBM APAC CMO Virginia Sharma had some 30 tweets going thru the day sending out highlights and engaging with the audience

Niche digital publications to the fore

Among the sponsors and partners were these new age digital publications. Social Samosa, of course, AdGully, Audience Matters. While there was a smattering of old world media, including an energetic girl from Hindustan Times, new age ones hogged banner space.

A wonderful audience

The lunch break dragged on until 3 PM and yet the panelist before lunch was bombarded with question after question taking the discussion well into lunch.

Digital CMO Summit India. A great conference, well put together. Cheers to all.