Brand marketing getting redefined in the digital era

Supriti Misra on brand marketing

Supriti Misra, COO, Digital, Value 360 Communications shares insights on how brand marketing is evolving with digital as the way forward for the future.

In this time of COVID-19, if work-from-home-setups, virtual conferences, and Zoom happy hours aren’t enough to define that we’re living in the digital age, there’s this piece of news: The Digital 2020 Report shows that mobile, digital platforms, and social media have become an indispensable part of people’s everyday life all over the world. The report also mentions that more than 4.5 billion people are using the internet since the beginning of 2020, while social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark.

The more we live online, the more important it becomes for brands to identify ‘where’ their potential customers are spending most of their time searching for products and services or having conversations that could include their brand names.

Is this a hint enough for the brands to switch to digital marketing for their brand campaigning?

With nearly 60 percent of the world’s population already available online, brands have started to realize the existing digital rush, which propelled them to invest in digital marketing.

Netflix is one of the biggest examples to change its branding strategy by pivoting from being a DVD-by-mail rental business to a streaming service.

This new-age brand marketing strategy in the digital era has been gaining momentum. Digital marketing has become an integral part for the brands to execute their marketing strategies; with consumers’ interests and behaviors changing as per the evolving trends and penetration of technology. Thus, as new-age marketers, have to know how to capture the attention of their potential consumers.

What to communicate

Although brand marketing is one of the primary components of a business to attract people, brand content is the king. What impression we want to put for the brand is defined by the communication strategy. In the current scenario, when consumers have a diversified menu card to choose from, the brands have limited time to catch their attention and convey their message.

An American author of Socialnomics, Erik Qualman once mentioned, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”

Branding content must focus on what the customer wants and needs, and not just on what they want the customer to want or need.  Other than effectively communicating brand ethos, brand content needs to mobilise new audiences and keep the old ones engaged. It is not just to create brand campaigns, it is to create experiences, and content that captivates their audiences and brings outstanding brand awareness.

Also read: Digital – A ‘Silver Lining’ In Times of Disruption

To whom

It’s important for brands to look at growth engines through two different lenses—one is data and the other is user feedback.

When consumers share their experiences on digital platforms, it is considered to be more genuine. Most importantly because the content sharing isn’t from a brand to a consumer, it’s from a consumer to a prospective consumer.

Marketers get tremendous knowledge and insights about consumers’ behavior based on the sources of information such as a web-browsing behavior or technographics. Brands need to know how, where, and when to use these data. Brand marketers can take a step forward and adopt AI and Data Science to gauge consumers’ behavioral patterns to understand the consumer journey and enhance their brand experience.

According to a survey by Infosys, 86% of consumers say that personalization has some impact on what they purchase, and it significantly influences their buying decisions. In the wake of COVID-19, when staying healthy and the idea of building immunity became even more prominent, some brands made a smart move.

Brands such as Bisleri and Hindustan Unilever added ‘immunity booster’ layer to their marketing strategy to communicate the message of immunity building coherently. Needless to say that digital legacy is becoming imperative as people are researching the brands before deciding if they want to engage with it. This is also relevant for consumers, who have historically been overlooked by marketers— consumers from tier 2 and 3 cities. The only way for brands to make a breakthrough into the ‘new-age’ customer market is by connecting with them through personalized messaging via Whatsapp, or email marketing.

Where to connect

At present, digital marketing is not just limited to Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads, but has expanded its reach through more innovative marketing platforms such as TikTok and YouTube.

According to a recent report, China and India are responsible for roughly 9 in every 10 minutes spent using TikTok around the world. 

The new-age digital influencers like TikTok or YouTube have the ability to engage and influence a massive audience, thus giving brands a platform to endorse themselves. A brand needs a defined objective and needs to identify the right platforms for marketing their content.

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc around the world and continues to do so; governments, health agencies and even brands are spreading messages of social distancing and reminders to wash hands. Dettol launched a TikTok challenge aimed at getting more people in India to wash their hands. The challenge was a huge success as it garnered 8.7 billion views in just four days. 

India is a mobile-first market. People here use mobile phones not just for communication, but also for business. Also, in a post-lockdown world where digital will be the ‘new normal in advertising industry’, it is absolutely important to be digitally innovative to capture the right consumers. With the continued growth of digital communication and our growing presence in the online world, spanning from eCommerce, social media, and mobile apps and beyond, digital marketing is the way forward.

This article is authored by Supriti Misra, COO – Digital, Value 360 Communications