BrandWagon Ad Talk with White River Media’s Mitesh Kothari


The pandemic has brought about notable shifts across industries, and the case has been no different for marketing. Today, digital marketing has become a crucial aspect for acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. In our weekly BrandWagon Ad Talk series, industry experts highlight what’s changed over the past two years and, more importantly, are those changes here to stay. Mitesh Kothari, Co-Founder and COO, White Rivers Media, talks to BrandWagon Online about the dos and don’ts of digital marketing, the best marketing campaigns, and more.

What’s the difference between launching a brand in today’s digital age and before?

With the advancement of smartphones, the growth of the internet, and the rise of social media, marketing has become more digital now. Selective targeting, personalization and analysis of results is now easier than ever. Social media influencers are finding their way alongside A-list celebrities, and digital ads are replacing print ads. In a nutshell, marketing that used to be brand-centric has become customer-centric in the modern digital age.

What are the best recent marketing or advertising campaigns you’ve seen and why?

While many brands launched impressive campaigns during this festive season, the one that connected the most was Cadbury’s Celebrations #ShopsForShopless campaign. It allowed people to find nearby peddlers by simply scanning the QR code on the back of their Cadbury Celebration pack. The campaign is lofty thinking with technology-driven execution packaged in beautifully produced visuals that create a lasting impact on consumers.

Which brand over the past year has made the best use of digital and how?

Last year, Shark Tank, the world’s top commercial reality show, debuted in India. For this, it was crucial to develop an effective digital marketing strategy to achieve huge reach and make “entrepreneurship” a topic of table conversation in the typical Indian household. In association with Sony Entertainment Television, White Rivers Media has successfully shaped online sentiment to rally and build support for the country’s entrepreneurial potential. Propelled by the strength of its online community, Shark Tank India has become the most discussed content on Indian television, and entrepreneurs have become celebrities for the first time in the country’s recent history.

In a post-Covid world, what are the do’s and don’ts of digital marketing?

The pandemic has really pushed the boundaries of consumer-centric marketing. Besides quality, convenience and cost, consumers also consider factors such as sustainability and social responsibility when choosing a product. So, upholding good values ​​is a great way for brands to outperform the competition. It is also essential to understand that the power is now in the hands of the customer and that brands must keep pace with market demands to be the preferred choice. In local and personal terms, communication targeting specific consumer segments is another must-have thing for a brand in the post-pandemic era. Moreover, keeping up with the competition and meeting the exact needs of consumers is the right path to building a reliable brand.

The social media space can be a bit overwhelming as it gives brands the potential to grow among audiences and conquer different market territories in a very short time. But knowing your exact niche and taking calculated steps to grow organically is important. Not creating enough video content is another red flag for brands as in most cases it has been observed that consumers interact more with video content than any other form. Finally, customer experience is key to any brand’s success, so not placing enough emphasis on it while simply creating a better product is a big no-no for any brand.

A recent bad case of publicity you saw, and why?

It’s not exactly a bad case, but CRED’s recent ad campaign could have done better had it focused more on explaining more product features rather than repeating the same one. Additionally, brands should go down the nostalgia-based advertising route if they are confident that audiences would seamlessly connect with it. CRED has done very good advertising campaigns in the past, but this one was slightly insufficient.

Also read: Canon India launches ‘MAKE IT DRAMATIC’ digital campaign for EOS R6 Mark II

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