On 19 March, Pratik Gupta, co-founder of FoxyMoron, will speak at the LSESU India Forum. Ahead of the conference Alisha Shaparia spoke to him about how the process of digitising India has evolved, and the impact this is likely to have in the future.
What do you think is the most significant shift in the digital landscape? How can businesses capitalise on the changing marketplace?
The entire industry of organised retail and services is changing completely. This can be seen in the kind of investments that are being made in digital and organised applications in India, which changes the way the supply changes through the board. This is going to get further compounded with more investments and education.
E-commerce companies are evolving from being marketplaces themselves to ally with smaller companies to bring them into their ecosystem. The shop-in-shop model, which used to exist in the offline space, now also exists in the online space. This eliminates a lot of the supply chain, giving the companies better access to products and margins.
Overall, brick and mortar is now becoming a lot more digitised and this is the primary change in today’s marketplace.
How viable and conducive do you think the Digital India campaign is in terms of its content, infrastructure and capacity?
Digitising India is going to create a whole set of opportunities and problems in its path. India is a country of 1.3 billion people, which are its biggest asset and its biggest liability. Getting more access to information through digital will better people’s lives but it will also result in a lot of job loss, which will impact the lower strata of society. Digital replacing human need is a cost of capital that India will have to pay over the next few years.
275 million people in India are on the Internet currently and this exhausts the number of people who can speak fluent English. The second wave of digitisation is going to come from localised content: content is going to get a lot more vernacular and local and thus more relevant to those coming onto the digital. It is an exciting time.
Have you already seen a massive impact of this digitisation on the marketing sector?
Just as the Indian Premier League from 2015 and 2013 differs massively, the companies that were brick and mortar have been replaced completely by companies that were running digitally. While digital companies obviously ruled the online space, they are now also ruling the offline space in advertising. More companies are beginning to realise that the largest proportion of people that are online are the buying class, which makes digital the best space to advertise goods that are a non-necessity.
Digital is highly measurable – companies can know what their marketing dollar is doing, which makes this means far more effective. The investment of digital has increased from 1-2% to 14-20% of companies’ annual budgets.
Talking about metrics, what do you think companies need to pull out of their analytics to best understand whether they are maximising impact?
Depends on what you are trying to do. Let’s take Pepsi and Flipkart. Pepsi is focused on their reach – for instance a reach of 90% of the target of 500 million people at a frequency of 5. They want to hammer the message to you on a regular basis. Flipkart, on the other hand, would want people to be engaged with their service a lot more and would perhaps be looking at metrics like cost per download, a completed order or a click.
What do you think is crucial in a successful formula to drive growth using digital?
Digital as a whole will cut through every aspect of a business and therefore companies should adapt digital in its entirety. Because digital is so nimble a medium, one expects change instantly, which is achievable by embracing digital throughout the business.
Also, companies need to have a set objective for a digital marketing campaign, which is in sync with the plan.
What is the best medium to get through the youth?
They say it takes 10 years for a generation to flip but now it takes 3-5 years for a generation to flip if you gauge by thought process and behavior. I would say social media – we use Facebook as a mass medium but we know that the more engaged lot will be on Instagram and Snapchat, which are more recent phenomena. Digital is evolving every day, every minute so depending on what is new in the market, one needs to evolve marketing strategies accordingly.
Can you tell me about a brand in India that has adopted the most successful youth marketing strategy?
Maybelline New York India: It has built its entire brand via digital – more than half of their budget is spent on digital marketing. It is on all forms of social media and has been able to engage with a very large number of people even though the algorithm of Facebook kept changing by maintaining an organic reach to the audience. This is the only reason why it has been able to sustain its market presence for so longer. Maybelline pushes its boundaries of interactivity, which evident from the awards it has won, as well as the real victory: its business success.
What has been FoxyMoron’s formula to success?
It has been one thing and one thing only – we use creativity to solve business problems and not just those of marketing like other firms. Our approach is more holistic in understanding businesses and we have worked with brand managers and businesses and tried to infuse creativity through their systems. Also, we have a really fun environment and always ensure that we dish out the highest quality of work for our brands.
The LSESU India Forum: India’s growing global footprint takes place on Saturday 19 March 2016 and will feature panels on Finance, Entrepreneurship, Entertainment, the Media and Politics. Tickets are now available here.
Cover image credit: Digital Ralph CC BY 2.0.
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About the Authors
Pratik Gupta is co-founder of FoxyMoron, one of India’s leading digital marketing and media solutions agencies which provides services to top brands such as L’Oreal Paris, Star Sports, Rajasthan Royals, Maybelline New York India, French Connection and Parle amongst others. Prior to his role as Director for New Business & Innovation at FoxyMoron, Pratik worked at companies such as Castrol India Ltd. and Balaji Telefilms Tvt. Ltd. He was ranked 50 in the Top 100 of the Digital World by IMPACT Magazine.