A creator has the power to change the course of a brand: Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik Nagarajan festive marketing week

To understand content as a cultural intervention during the festive season, Karthik Nagarajan highlights the changing course of the new-age, creator ecosystem in the A & M Industry and the nuances of content marketing in today’s day and age.

With the depleting attention span of the audience, content plays a crucial role to bring cognizance, acting as a relevant medium for cultural intervention. Addressing the challenges faced by marketers and taking us through the mindset of Gen Z, Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker India, and Head – Branded Content, GroupM India, talks about the relevance of content as a cultural intervention in today’s day and age.

Key Takeaways For Marketers

As marketers move towards the last few months of 2021, the focus and the presence of the millennials and the Gen Z audience continue to increase across digital touchpoints. At such a time, it becomes crucial for brands and agencies to understand the nuances of bringing relevant content to the consumers as it also behaves as a significant cultural intervention.

Data Is Creativity’s Best Friend

With a plethora of content options, the new-age audience is capable of discerning between authentic content and the content put out for the sake of it. As brands and marketers tap on the cultures and moments of festivals, Nagarajan highlights that data can be a marketer’s most important ally in bringing relevant and creative content for the target customers.

He explains, “Ten years ago, the ideas came first, then the platform followed by the protagonist of the campaign idea. With digital, today, you want to know who you’re speaking to first, what is the cultural truth, and then the idea cycle commences.” This gives birth to a creator ecosystem in the A & M Industry.

To bring a creative idea to life, it is also essential to listen to your audience, says Nagarajan. Data and technology pave way for social listening which brings more targeted and contextual ads for the audiences.

It Is The Age of the Creators. Not Influencers.

The digital era has brought forth a never-before-seen creator economy in the ecosystem. Nagarajan shares that today the people who influence us across social platforms are not just established Bollywood celebrities but creators, who are the new celebrities to engage with and influence the audiences.

He explains that for marketers, it is essential to understand the relevance of creators for new-age consumers. Highlighting more trends, he shares:

  • Today, the reason to join a new platform is the creator, creator-experience, and creators’ content
  • There is a major shift in social media advertising with the increasing influence of the creators – from copywriters owning a brand to creators owning the brand in today’s time
  • A creator has the power to change the course of a brand. This ownership has seen a tectonic shift.

Also read: Influencer marketing has become top-of-the-funnel game for many brands: Megha Tata

Empathy v/s Causevertising

As we move past the second wave of the pandemic, the consumers become smarter with time. While they appreciate relevant cause-based initiatives, GenZ quickly decodes unnecessary causevertising created to garner eyeballs. Nagarajan says, “Brands who commit themselves to a larger issue such as environment, rights, or equality, tend to be favored more by the Gen-Z audience.” 

At the confluence of brand positioning, corporate responsibility, commerce, empathy trigger lies your cause, he adds. Hence, marketers need to be cognizant of bringing relevant campaigns in line with their brand offerings, purpose, culture, and ethos.

Keeping authenticity and sustainability at the core for brand products, he puts forth, “73% Gen Z say that they would pay more for products that are produced ethically and sustainably.”

Through ethical reviews, the conscious influencers are also often able to influence the consumers to try a new range of products from various brands. 

For the future, he says that everything we do is going to have a commerce element and is going to be performance-led in the coming years.

Karthik Nagarajan shared his opinions at Social Samosa Festive Marketing Week: Day 2. You can watch the complete session, here.

Stay tuned for an exciting lineup of sessions on Day 3. You can view the agenda here.