#SAMMIE2018: Relevance outperforms originality any day: Virginia Sharma, LinkedIn

Virginia Sharma

Virginia Sharma, Director – Marketing Solutions, India- LinkedIn delivered a Keynote at #SAMMIE2018 sharing insights on What Amelia Earhart, Warren Buffett and Jessica Jones can Teach us about Content Marketing?

LinkedIn recently celebrated the milestone of 50 million members in India out of 540 million worldwide. “White collar population of the world is about 800 million and we are halfway there. The world’s workforce is 3 billion people and our goal is to make those 3 billion people find opportunities. And we do that predominantly by first and foremost being the member of the company,” said Virginia Sharma, Director – Marketing Solutions, India- LinkedIn. 

Sharma shared some amazing statistics, trends, and ideas giving tips on how to make the most out of your LinkedIn Marketing efforts.

Audience– all about first in mind. A lot of people say that being first to market is a sure guaranteer of success. There is a very large correlation between brand awareness and market share but it doesn’t mean that you need to actually have brand awareness at all levels.

It is important that you are first to mind in a particular category.

Sharma illustrated this by mentioning that the everyone knows that Lumiere brothers were the first to fly but does anyone knows who is the second?

“But we all know who is the third to fly. Why? Because she was the first woman to fly. She was Amelia Earhart.”

The idea over here is that she created a new category. It’s difficult to be first but it’s okay to be first in a category. Especially if you don’t have the biggest budgets, just think about putting together first-a- mind metrics.

“We also call this topic ownership but in this particular grid what we try to measure is where are you in this grid.”

So, the ones who are standing strong with top awareness are thought leaders. The ones who have weak awareness but have high reach or are big spenders with poor content, they are the noisemakers. We have people that have no awareness they are the laggers. But the most exciting people in emerging awareness- these are brands what we call the quiet threats.  These are brands who have high quality engagement in terms of the conversation they want to own. But they haven’t amplified it enough. We want them to help make their content first-to-mind.

Also Read: Winners bask in the glory of #SAMMIE2018 as Flipkart, Ola and more win big

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Indian pharma has a really tough time owning conversations because of generic drugs. So, certain pharma brands decided to hold a conversation around health and wellness and we saw that globally they were top ten in the medical industry. Breaking the clutter and being first to mind.

Originality Delusion– This is the first phrase in Hindi that I learnt in the advertising industry which is ‘Kuch Bada Karte Hain’. I didn’t really know what that meant when I first moved to India. The problem is we get bored of our own marketing and we oftentimes hear from marketers that we really want something that never has been seen before.

The world is run by paranoid people because evolution has proved that if you actually do new things and are not afraid you get E in and paranoid people that protect themselves and repeat the routine- survive. You audience is one thing that are familiar and what they recognize. This is specially seen in B2B as there are much more higher decision risks. If you made a wrong decision you could lose your job.

WIn just 5 weeks, Tropicana’s sales went down 40% with their new packaging – 50 million dollars were lost. The reality is only one in five new ad campaigns are outperformed old ad campaigns. There is probably a reason why you see ZooZoos come up again. Its not about how sexy the packaging looks but about improved sales.

Relevance outperforms originality any day on any piece of content. Being relevant is more important than being original.

For this there is a very simple concept called- Maya. Don’t sell original, sell most advanced and acceptable. Dont look for kuch bada karte hain.

With this insight what did Tropicana do – they took the old packaging with the straw and the look and feel. They introduced new packaging with reusing plastics and better storage which led to bringing back the sales revenue which they lost. So, Maya as a concept is more important then originality.

Media Value Investment – I merely sees media planners as digital investment teams. When you think of Warren Buffet, he has a very simple philosophy –

Value is what you get whether it is talking about socks or stocks.

Some of you may think he is talking about cheap leads. But he is talking about things undervalued. When you think about buying media are there any undervalued audiences out there. Actually the most undervalued asset is the individual contributors. We have found that only 24% of the briefs actually reach this audience. This is really an undervalued inventory. Why is this important? Because they are the ones who are doing the research while you devise a campaign idea. People don’t understand the value in investing in brand when they get the quick returns of performance.

50% of all advertising is mistaken for your competitor’s brand.

The brand is losing not just in the way it’s been executing but also in the way they have been distributing it.

The science of beautiful marketing is actually doing full form of marketing. Learn that craft, take an interest in seeing leads coming down – great ideas delivering great business results.

#SAMMIE2018 Best SocialMedia Brands transpired on the evening of July 31 in Mumbai where Virginia Sharma had the audiences hooked to her keynote session. See the session below


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