An interview of mine by SupportBiz. Sharing this here.
May 24, 2013
Spice Holding Group: New age advertising and marketing for SMEs
The digital age gave birth to a democratic business ecosystem. Now with smart marketing practices, smaller companies can also have the liberty to access their clients themselves. The web interface allows the SMEs and start-ups to make a strong impression through their web presence. The social media platform too enables these new brands to have a direct connect and initiate a dialogue with their consumers. It sounds very lucrative; however, it has certain criticalities which can only be managed or judged by experts.
Sajith Ansar, founder and CEO of Spice Holding Group is an expert in this domain. Through his company, he caters to the needs of the SMEs’ non-traditional marketing practices. In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, he highlighted some glimpse of cutting edge trends in the non-traditional marketing and advertising practices for Indian SMEs.
What are the key trends in the area of marketing and advertising?
The trend for today’s organizations is to constantly innovate methods that engage them directly with the consumers. Companies now are interacting with their specific clientele by using non-traditional media like social media platforms and activation ideas to emotionally connect with their consumers.
What are the roadblocks or challenges for better penetration of innovative marketing practices?
Social media and digital marketing is a double edged sword and unless there is enough preparation, this may backfire. Companies should know how to respond to complaints and attack on their integrity which happens publicly and may fan rumors and doubts easily. There are so many instances of companies, who have lost credibility because of using social media without preparation.
Reaching out to the market and customer engagement are two important deliverables of any advertising agency.
What is the level of understanding of Indian advertisers on these points? You can provide a comparative feedback based on UAE and other countries.
Indian advertisers have a great understanding of customer engagement and today more and more ads are born with strong Indian sensibilities without aping the west. Ads that connect with consumers across states and demographics, purely because they speak to the very heart of India. Blending elements like humor or sentiments with strong visuals that are rooted in India, so many brands have reached out and leapt into the hearts of consumers.
The UAE has another challenge of having hundreds of nationalities and the need to connect across all these sensibilities. UAE does not have much manufacturing industry and many foreign brands have entered the market with their own guidelines and DNA. Advertisers need to evaluate these frameworks and local cultural sensibilities and create advertising pieces that stand apart. Other challenge like smaller population and target market that the advertisers appeal to, also cut down budgets and media mix. I feel that advertisers in India are lot bolder with their concepts and media platforms today.
What is your go-to-market plan of action for Indian market?
We offer branding solutions for home grown brands in India and the GCC. We bring our knowledge and expertise of working with hundreds of brands worldwide. We work with startups and SMEs and local companies and help them compete with the multi-nationals. We help them find their USP and differentiation and communicate that effectively in an integrated manner.
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