In the digital era branding is a form of story telling, where the customers and stakeholders interact and engage with the process actively, experts said yesterday.
As recently as three years ago, people used few tools for digital branding and marketing, said Debabrata Mukherjee, vice-president of marketing at Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, at a daylong seminar styled Branding in Digital Age. Bangladesh Brand Forum organised the seminar, which was presented by American International University-Bangladesh and powered by Dhaka Bank and BEXIMCO in association with The Daily Star.
The event, which was held at Le Méridien Dhaka, aimed at inspiring management, brand managers and digital marketing departments to be a part of the digital transition.
“Nowadays, you will have to engage people with content, which needs to be precious. It might be 30 seconds long to get better results. And take this expenditure as an investment, not as costs,” said Mukherjee.
People are using the digital platform to tell their stories, so marketeers will have to shift their plans and adopt it without wasting any more time, he said. Internet users in the Asia Pacific region are spending more time online than in the developed world, so their contents should be different, he said.
At present, 3.5 billion of the world's 7.4 billion population are using the internet. Internet users are online 252 minutes a day in the Asia Pacific region, while it is only 118 minutes in the developing world, he added.
In another keynote, Nigel Hollis, executive vice-president and chief global analyst at Kantar Millward Brown, said the marketeer's job is to help people justify their decision as to why they have to buy a specific product. “And here, the digital channel can play an enormous role.”
Referring to a study, Hollis said watching television is declining in the developing world. Even laptop use has dropped slightly, but mobile phone usage is increasing tremendously. “Marketing people need to understand this customer behaviour in designing digital products,” he added.
Politicians are using digital platforms for their campaigns nowadays and getting success, with Donald Trump being the prime example, said Hermawan Kartajaya, president of the World Marketing Association and co-founder of Asia Marketing Federation.
“Before going for digital campaigns, mangers should understand their customers' needs and what they want. Here, artificial intelligence is important.”
Syed Saad Andaleeb, vice-chancellor of Brac University, moderated a panel discussion. Kazi Mahboob Hasan, senior director and head of transformation at Grameenphone, and Munawar Misbah Moin, group director of Rahimafrooz Solar, was part of the panel.
“Neither China nor India is the most populated country in the world now. The Facebook population is the biggest nation now and digital branding campaigns should target this population,” said Jagdish Sheth, a professor of marketing at Goizueta Business School of Emory University, in a pre-recorded speech. Three case studies from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Singapore were presented. The presentations showed how digital content engages their customers with a specific product or brand.
BBF also celebrated its tenth anniversary at the event. Shariful Islam, founder and managing director of BBF, said they established the forum not only to brand companies but Bangladesh as a whole as well.
On the occasion, BBF launched its mobile app, where all the programmes and information of the organisation will be available.
At an earlier session, Charles C Villanueva, pro-vice chancellor of American International University-Bangladesh, and Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and chief executive officer of Dhaka Bank, also spoke.
The annual Board of Management meeting of Asia Marketing Federation (AMF) took place on Friday in Dhaka for the first time.
A total of 32 representatives from 16 different member countries attended to focus on the year's theme: how to collectively make AMF more impactful through multilateral collaboration.