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

Megha Tata at Festive marketing week

Industry veteran, Megha Tata shares pertinent insights and tips for brands and marketers, highlighting the current landscape of the A & M Industry with the ongoing festive marketing season.

Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery Inc. shares how crucial it is to balance the linear and digital mode of advertising at this time as the audience gets into revenge shopping with pent-up emotions at the festive season in 2021. While people get into a celebratory mood, the industry veteran urges people to maintain an optimistic outlook, albeit, by following the COVID-19 protocols.

Current A & M Landscape

As people seek respite during the ongoing festive season, there is a sense of optimism amongst brands and marketers, at large, shares Tata. The lockdown saw the rise of e-commerce that also paved the way for revenge shopping capped with pent-up that was not seen earlier, as people grappled with the new reality back in 2020. 

Highlighting newer hopes and the celebratory mood of the consumers during festivities, Tata shares that the same consumer who is an engaged shopper online will also move to the retail stores, and the consumer set will split up in the physical retail shops.

“I am positive regarding buying and selling in the coming quarter. Overall, there is a positive sense in the ecosystem during this festive season”, she adds.

The Evolving Media Mix & Consumers

With digital occupying almost the center stage of advertising for brands and marketers, consumers have shown a steady shift towards the medium. However, in the last 18 months, other media channels have also maintained their position in the realm of marketing. Megha highlights, “Television has continued to grow in spite of the digital consumption also growing. This is a great place to be in.”

While consumers remain spoilt for choices, the situation presents a dilemma for advertisers and marketers on how to bring a balance between the marketing linear and digital mediums. For digitally affluent broadcasters, the idea is to leverage both, she says. 

Further, she cites a few trends in the industry:

  • Many brands have only digital as the prime channel of communication. While the fundamentals of marketing have shifted towards digital, other channels have not vanished, completely.
  • Both digital and linear modes of advertising are here to stay.
  • Cryptocurrency is the new entrant in the market

Shedding light on the on-ground activations, Tata shares that while there are few events happening, there is a sense of caution amongst people. “The offline activities will not go back to the pre-pandemic levels, anytime soon. It is a wait-and-watch thing for the offline mediums and tactics”, she quips.

As the nation gears up for the theatres and malls to re-open, Tata puts forth that it would be interesting to see when the cinema halls open up, as the film fraternity is keenly awaiting the change. With a plethora of new and old content consumption opportunities, there is a keenness amongst the consumers to watch differentiated content. “Unless you are able to bring differentiation, it is difficult to survive”, she puts forth.

Also read: Social Samosa Presents Festive Marketing Week: Sessions to watch out for!

Rise of Content Creation & Influencer Marketing

As the landscape of media channels evolves with the changing consumer behavior, replacing advertising with content is the new change seen in the industry, highlights Tata.

“There is a fundamental change in bringing the brand communication to the audiences which is through content creation. Influencer marketing hence has become an essential mode, in that sense”, she concedes.

The industry veteran explains that earlier celebrities used to be influencers but now influencers have become quintessential to being the new celebrities.

“Influencer marketing has become a top of the funnel game for many brands”, she says.

While the trend will see an increase, influencer marketing helps the advertisers to target the exact audience while helping to achieve the marketing goals with the availability of granular data on digital.

Future Trends & Learnings 

As we move ahead in the last quarter of 2021, Tata shares that OTT channels will also hold utmost prominence for the advertisers as a huge chunk of the audience is present on the medium.

Encapsulating the festive marketing trends, she shares that content creation and influencer marketing are two of the biggest trends for the season. “This will only increase in the near future,” she adds.

Tata is hopeful for the last quarter and the year 2022. While urging people to remain optimistic, Tata shares a word of caution about the impending third wave. “Be very careful of managing the protocols so that we don’t come back with a third wave. We can’t afford it.”

Megha Tata shared her opinions at Social Samosa Festive Marketing Week: Day 1. You can watch the complete session, here.

Stay tuned for an exciting line up of sessions on Day 2 & Day 3. You can view the agenda here.