Interview: There are 4 pillars of our digital marketing strategy: Sunita Bhangard, Vodafone Idea

Idea Digital Marketing strategy

From the initial ads around caste wars to Hunny Bunny to #MeriRealLife now, Idea Telecom, as a brand has always resorted to a bigger cause. Sunita Bangard shares the secret sauce of the Idea Digital Marketing strategy chapter. 

Social Samosa gets in a conversation with Sunita Bangard, President Marketing – Vodafone Idea limited to understand the brand’s digital marketing strategy.

1. What was the idea behind #MeriRealLife? Right from the ideation to the execution please take us through the journey.

#MeriRealLife campaign is developed basis research inputs from mental health professionals from MPOWER, an organization that aims to end stigma and encourage dialogue around mental health. Insights from research by MPOWER suggest that the constant need for validation leads to a loss of self-worth, a feeling of being ‘not good enough’ resulting in anxiety and related issues, especially amongst the youth actively engaged on social media.

As a brand, we thought this concept will connect the most with the audience. However, while bringing this idea to life, it was important to drive the authenticity of the message. The campaign introduces this concept through the lens of two people who talk about the real story behind their social media stories and videos –the perfect look and the relationship goals. The cast questions the shallowness of this behavior and to what end are we doing this. The film ends with the characters have this moment of reckoning, where they encourage the world to share their real photos and videos with #MeriRealLife.

2. Idea has a history of associating with causes – what prompted you to take up the cause of responsible use of social media?

Idea has always believed in purpose-led communication driving thought leadership for the brand. Our previous campaigns like ‘Caste Wars’, ‘Education’, ‘No Ullu Banaoing’, ‘IIN’, ‘Video Can Change Your Life’ have been more than campaigns. They have been ideas for the nation that have brought out the brand’s belief in the power of mobile network and technology to transform people’s lives to enable societal change.

As a thought leader, Idea believes that we need to propagate a culture of “Responsible use of Social Media”. With this latest campaign, Idea wants to elevate the role of Idea 4G beyond the category conversation to something that reflects its transformative role in people’s lives and society.

3. As a brand, what is your objective from social media marketing and how does #MeriRealLife contribute to achieving it?

There are over 400 million internet users and over 200 million active social media users in India spending anywhere between 2-4 hours on the medium. It is a forum where people influence and get influenced. It provides a large scale platform for not just reaching and engaging with the audience but also helps us get a pulse of the audience by analyzing conversations our audience is currently engaging in with their peers. As a brand, Idea has always propagated ideas that solve for pressing issues of the hour through telephony solutions. Social media also provides valuable insights into these issues our audience is facing, helping us craft our communication strategy.

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Through #MeriRealLife campaign, Brand Idea wants to elevate the role of Idea 4G beyond the category conversation to something that reflects its transformative role in people’s lives and society.

Through social media, we will start conversations about the campaign theme #MeriRealLife and encourage a culture of sharing your real life on social media.

Also Read: Idea urges people to use social media responsibly with #MeriRealLife

4. How does social media help telecom brands in connecting with their end users?

With over 200 active social media users and daily usage of about 2-4 hours, social media has become a hub for conversations. The platform allows brands to hear what conversations our audience is engaging in about our brand, and with each other, giving us a pulse of the audience 24×7. While conversations on the brand help us understand the customer experience, get feedback on our products and service, conversations with peers provide rich insights that help us build our brand campaigns.

Additionally, with such a large customer base, social media has in itself become a media channel for advertisers to reach a very targeted audience. Considering the level of segmentation offered by social media, brands can execute highly effective and targeted campaigns.

5. What are the four pillars of your digital marketing strategy? Also, basis what parameters do you calculate RoI on your marketing efforts?

The four pillars of Brand Idea’s digital marketing are Performance, Brand Communication, Social and Content.

Performance-led campaigns: Driving business objectives eg. new acquisitions, recharges, leads for postpaid etc. ROI is measured basis the objectives.

Brand Communication: Given the increase in digital consumption, it is imperative to use the medium as a pure media channel to amplify brand campaigns to achieve incremental reach within the digital audience.

Social: Start conversations, build engagement and interactions, get feedback and respond to queries on social media platforms.

Parameters on social media include engagement, customer sentiment, TAT for customer response management.

Content: Develop content that is interesting to the intended audience, by weaving in Idea’s brand story.

6. Please share a few digital marketing trends you foresee.

One of the big trends we see is hyper-personalization of digital communication, basis micro-segmentation. When you have a customer base that is so large, hyper-personalization becomes the need of the hour for impactful and effective advertising. The confluence of data, storytelling, and technology makes for a powerful concoction that will be at the heart of all digital activities.


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