Bringing wisdom to the crowd

A Z M Saif | Published: September 14, 2018 20:45:48

The media communication ecosystem has been facing profound challenges in the 21st century.  Big bangs are happening around us in the media industry and we- with our brands- are trying to achieve everything by throwing big noisy, grandeur marketing messages at consumers through advertising, social media updates, commercials, blogs, website etc.

On the contrary, on my journey in advertising for more than two decades, I have been categorically taught to convey one single message to the audience who are the consumers and customers. When brands are desperate to get their attention, we forget that our multidimensional touch points find us niche in certain devices, channels in various contextual realities of life. And one such reality is the immeasurable mood and mind set in a highly demanding world. Hence, having multiple signals may create confusion. And more importantly,  we need to remember that customers are extremely smart,  rationale and careful about their choices.  Therefore, it is imperative to bring wisdom to the  crowd to produce the  right kind of signal.

In advertising, and the media world in general, I believe we need to be extremely focused on 'what matters most' as our effort drives results from best identified signals- which is where data-driven insightful wisdom lies. For instance, mobiles have evolved to be a very close factor in our everyday life. Therefore, it has become a very important source of data and centre of signals.  All in one approach will not suffice when it comes to content. Instead, a focus on creating unique, high-quality and utterly authentic content that is entertaining, useful and also interesting for consumers will bring the desired result. It is needless to mention that as each brand has its social pillar - social media will continue to provide its social reach with strong verification as users not only click it or read it- they also share it. When great contents are consistently appearing, it creates authority and opens up opportunities to build a glowing engaging profile. This will undoubtedly produce real value for consumers. Whereas, disruptive content creates brand amplification in a saturated market. This inevitably has the potential to generate leads and increase brand relevance to the buyers' journey.  This content tells an intangible story which has a profound, long-term impact instead of meagre one time sales. This value is intangible and doesn't have a direct monetary value;  likewise it is invaluable to the business model and the relationship between the brand and consumers.

 It is rarely seen that superpowers ever get together for any occasion but Football World Cup. The World Cup brings about a borderless, adrenaline-packed experience to not only football fanatics, but also the communities and social circles around them. What a powerful contextually motivating source of multiple contents for more than 3.5 billion people exposed to multimedia?  This is just an example. We need to think about more such unique and disruptive contents to engage consumers.

 To be able to deliver this kind of work, we need growing creative human resources who in turn need to be groomed from their childhood. Our classrooms need to sow the seed of curiosity and nurture 'critical thinking ability, both amongst the growing buds and for adults. Institutions need to take entry executives through a language understanding and creative training process at least for a period of three to four months during their management trainee phase, which I have personally experienced with companies like P&G, Mobil, Monsanto, etc. Institutions can make a significant change in developing communication and behavioural skills of its workforce and that will surely have a snowball effect and build a wise media eco-system.

The writer is Managing Director of Paper Rhyme.

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