#SAMMIE2019: Road to 2020: Content, Influence, and Performance

Ajay Kaul, Chief Digital Officer, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts; Rahul Pansare, CMO & Head Of PR, FCA, Jeep; Jahid Ahmed, Head – Digital & Content Marketing, HDFC Bank &  Samyukta Ganesh, Head Of Marketing, Baskin Robbins evaluate content strategies, the performance of influencers, the influence of performance, and what 2020 holds for the digital industry.

The Session kicked off with some fascinating and insightful comprehensions of the content strategies of some of the eminent brands of leading sectors, followed by a diligent assessment of other sub-topics.

Educative content wins over hard-selling

Ajay Kaul, Chief Digital Officer, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts says, “Content that creates a desire for brand plays a huge role for us”. He believes content marketing is significant for raising brand awareness and increasing product interest in the consumers.

Jahid Ahmed, Head – Digital & Content Marketing, HDFC Bank mentioned that the company received 6 million in traffic from content marketing. This strategy also helped HDFC Bank create an impact on its SEO. It rose 620 keywords through content marketing.

Samyukta Ganesh, Head Of Marketing, Baskin Robbins thinks that ‘content’ is being used very loosely as a term. She believes that the content a brand puts across has to be educative and not be submerged in hard-selling. Content has numerous layers that creators have not tapped into yet.

Rahul Pansare, CMO & Head Of PR, FCA, Jeep thinks that short format content works better for them.

Industry experts conclude that content needs to have a higher purpose, be educative or entertaining; hard sell doesn’t work in content marketing.

Influence – Nano-influencers are up & coming

The discussion sheds light on ‘picking the right influencer’ The session divulged that it is strenuous for a brand to pick the right influencer. Few tactics they use are: demographic, likes to share ratio, what are the followers like, and more. Pansare mentioned that nano-influencers are more cost-effective and show up more organically. However, he believes, “If your product is good, it will influence”.

Influencers being educative is another significant facet of influencer marketing, that the discussion brought out.

Samyukta Ganesh, Head Of Marketing, Baskin Robbins appends that there are several who love Baskin Robbins. And, they have seen influencers organically talking about the brand, just because they love it.

On a slightly different note, she mentioned that it is very important to choose your influencer qualitatively.

Also Read: #SAMMIE2019 awards some of the Best Social Media Brands this year


Being able to serve the right message at the right time is fundamentally important in performance marketing. Right message + Right time = Conversion is a key point in performance marketing. Efficient use of credible tools is another crucial factor in performance marketing.

Experts suggest that performance marketing and brand building go hand-in-hand marketers shouldn’t be greedy with KPIs & ROIs. 

Road to 2020

Ajay Kaul states that the two trends we would continue to see are influencer marketing & online relationship management. 

Rahul Pansare thinks these trends are Voice, an influencer being educative which in turn affects the buying decision of a consumer.

Jahid Ahmed comprehends that the Road to 2020 is paved with three v’s – Voice, Vernacular & Video.

Samyukta Ganesh, states “Emotional & engaging content is never going to die”. She adds, “Digital is still the stepchild”.