Magnon Group’s Bajpai gives insights into social and e-commerce space and mentions how influencer-led campaigns are shaping decision-making.
Vineet Bajpai, Founder & CEO at Magnon Group and a jury member for Social Samosa SAMMIE BSMB 2022 sheds light on the major obstacles that the digital industry has faced in the past year. He also shares the effects it has had on consumer behaviour in a brief chat with Social Samosa.
How has digital marketing grown in the last few years and how do you see it evolving in the future?
Digital marketing had been gaining steam but came fully front and centre during the last two years of the pandemic. Today’s digital space is an aggregate of pandemic-induced norms fast-tracked by tech-enabled transformations. Format-wise, we are officially in the era of influencer-led campaigns which use social proof to influence decision-making. The shift in preference from celebrity influencers to Nano and regional influencers is an evolution and is bound to have interesting developments and ramifications. Marketing managers are also moving towards performance marketing where ROI and reach are key success indicators. We also see social and e-commerce evolving with more intel available on consumer behaviour that’s guiding spends.
Any changing consumer behaviour patterns that you have seen off late?
All roads point to the consumer with more zeal now, aided by the proliferation of everything digital. Consumer behaviour studies indicate a heavy tilt towards online purchases suggesting that digital has become the new way of experiencing, comparing and buying.
A huge focus has also been on personalisation and consumer relationship management with Al emerging as a major enabler. The one-size-fits-all approach fell off the wagon some miles ago as contextual and targeted messaging-based approaches are showing better results. Consumers also prefer to engage with the brand via channels like email and mobile. This underpins the importance of both marketing and customer service being focused on mobile-accessible channels.
It has been clearly established that convenience and choice-led offerings have largely replaced age-old buying habits. However, word of mouth still sways preference in the form of social proof and product ratings. This leads us to an exciting inference that amidst all the conversations around experience, the quality of the brand offerings prevailed.
As per TAM AdEx, digital ad insertions have dropped by 13% during Jul-Sep ’22 over Jan-Mar’22. Do you think this is because of mounting inflation fears, or what has led to this drop?
This reported drop is intriguing, but a lot more needs to be studied before we can conclude what caused this drop. Fears of mounting inflation should reflect in product sales data across categories as well but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Brands all over have been more enthusiastic about lateral approaches and this attribution is due more research.
What are some major obstacles the digital marketing space witnessed in the past year?
Both brands and agencies faced operational challenges early in 2020 and were struggling to adapt. The smoke settled largely in H2 2022 with a new set of realities emerging. Conventional communication strategies and traditional advertising methods no longer hold ground.
Changing consumer behaviour and buying patterns are now the hallmark of this new marketing reality dominated by e-commerce. In fact, Google’s research along with Behavioural Scientists in the UK, out early in 2021 points to the conventional user journey models now being replaced by a ‘Messy Middle’. This was based on closely observing 31,000 purchase journeys with over 1,000 volunteers. The researchers found 6 basic cognitive biases that can easily be built into communication to drive buyers to purchase. Supercharging communication with all 6 gave unprecedented results for the research participants. With e-commerce being the new battleground, this is now apparently the mantra for better performance.
Evolving privacy regulations have emerged as another challenge as higher website traffic comes with a whole lot of compliances to meet.
What does the road map for Magnon Group look like in the coming year?
Magnon is an established brand today. We’re seen as one of the most respected advertising groups in the sub-continent. We now hope to raise the bar with deeper client engagements across brand challenges and drive better ROI for our clients with improved operational efficiency and shorter go-to-market times.
We’re now back in our office and are loving it. For the year 2023, we are sharply focused on reinforcing our client relationships by expanding service offerings to existing clients. We also have a few exciting pitches in the pipeline, and we’ll hopefully get to partner with more global names.
Lastly, what are you expecting from the nominees this year at SAMMIEs?
I am very excited and looking forward to seeing some thought-provoking and disruptive ideas. It is going to be a great experience dwelling on the creative execution and strategic planning behind these campaigns. Here’s wishing them all the best for the awards.