Omar Jamil, CEO Latitude blogs for Aurora from New Delhi
Session 3 – Marketing to Women Consumers in Asia
Yeonhee Kim, Senior Partner and Director & Head Retail Practice, Asia BCG
Abheek Singhi, Partner & Director, BCG India
An interesting session – looking at how (and indeed even if) marketers should target women consumers. However, after the previous two sessions (and given that this session is just before lunch), it was probably not the best idea to lead with so many graphs and stats. I have to confess, I’ve kind of tuned out with Abheek’s presentation. Awaiting Yeonhee’s – and hopefully the discussion will be interesting.
Ah, ok here’s something interesting – ten mistakes men make when marketing to women. Some good pointers here (makes me think of the Mel Gibson movie ‘What Women Want’) – basic point: men don’t listen (I think a lot of women will agree).
Another nice insight: the ‘make it pink’ phenomenon. While women may love the colour pink, they also know there are millions of other colours. So broaden your palette. I think this could be applied further.
However, Abheek’s presentation not focused on Asian women. Yeonhee is going to tackle this. Yeonhee starts by outlining some of the key aspirations of Asian women. Asian women’s characteristics different from other cultures. Asian women optimistic in general. Asian women tend to be less in control of household spending compared to Western women (more depending on spouses).
Ok…. Yawn…! So far this session has not talked about *how* to market to Asian women – rather it’s giving findings about women – women in Asia (in different countries) interested in various products (women in China prefer shampoo, women in India prefer something else etc etc).
And that’s that. Off to lunch now…
Session 4 – Pursuit of Big Ideas in the Age of Now
Robert Senior, Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board
General sense of optimism; although Robert thinks the title of the session is a bit ridiculous (as, he says, were many of the session titles). We live in the now. The now is a real point.
Today’s generations are creative – this is the generation of ‘screen-agers’. We have a revolution going on. The language of advertising is changing. It used to be all about ‘new’ – in today’s, ‘new’ is disposable – been displaced with ‘now’. These are moments of the people – and people demand action.
And this – action – is the main theme of Robert’s presentation.
Used to be about catching attention, now it’s about interacting; used to be about informing, now it’s about inspiring; from interruption to interaction; from Return on Investment to Return on Involvement; used to be about local, now it’s global; pumping markets to creating movements.
Three killer questions: do I want to see it again? Do I want to share it? (If they don’t share it, don’t air it) Do I want to improve it?
Now is about instant following. Shows the T-Mobile flashmob ad as example…… and halfway through the sound drops out…. Come on!
T-Mobile most viewed branded YouTube channel.
VUCA – Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous. We live in a VUCA world.
“Fear is toxic – if we let fear into our worlds, the game is up.”
“The creative mind isn’t immune from fear, but doesn’t deal with fear. The creative mind takes problems, loves problems, and tries to find solutions. There’s something very exciting for creatives in this VUCA world. VUCA through the creative lens is vibrant. Opportunities are endless.”
Volatile becomes vibrant, uncertain becomes unreal, complex becomes crazy, ambiguous becomes astounding.
“The time of the lone wolf is over.” – quote from a lovely Native American poem – “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Great quote: “Our ideas can be the prism of our hope.” Capture the moment – rules are just there for guidance. Ideas are powerful – we smuggle strategies in via ideas.
But what is a ‘big idea’?
Robert totally disses the entire language of the ‘big idea’ – aren’t all ideas supposed to be big. I am riveted! “Ideas are never born big; every idea in that first meeting are brittle, they’re tiny – anyone can kill an idea. The real thing is to see the value in an idea and to build it from a very vulnerable thing into a cannonball.”
If you have to hunt down a big idea at inception, then go into a forest, find a deer with big eyes and kill it – that is a Big-Eyed Deer. Awesome!
So how do you nurture a tiny idea into a big idea? Speed. Agility. Perpetual BETA.
Marketers have an obligation to have ideas that move people.
I think this was my FAVOURITE presentation in the entire conference. Perfect mix of information, content (great ads) and truly inspirational – an excellent follow-up from the Swami’s morning session.
Take home for me: dream and dream BIG!
Closing Valedictory Keynote
Indra Nooyi, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo
Must confess at this point I am rather all-conferenced-out. I wasn’t wildly excited by the Coke presentation – but am holding onto my opinions until Indra starts… although the looooong Pepsi ad at the beginning is not inspiring my confidence.
Talk is basically presenting the picture of where the world stands today, vis-à-vis the recent and not so recent past. It’s interesting, but not so much as to capture me attention.
Main message: the way to tackle uncertainty is through creativity. In an uncertain world, brands provide continuity and connectivity. But do big advertising ideas still have the impact they used to? Are they cutting through the clutter? Indra does not have an answer… she wonders if agencies and the industry have moved with the times… Have marketers changed enough, re-written the rules? While the content of the Indra’s speech is sound, it’s not extremely engaging. Although now that she's finished and has started a discussion with the CEO of Omnicom – much, much better!
Ok finished now, so I’m going wrap up here with some final thoughts of an overview:
So…. All in all, the conference was good – not great, but good. I think the speakers, while all from fantastic backgrounds, to me, mostly lacked the charisma needed to capture the attention of such a large crowd. The best sessions were the ones on the Asian Creative, the Google guy, the Twitter session, Contagious, Twitter, Swami and Robert Senior – most of today's sessions were good – I forgot to mention Duncan Goose's presentation which was also quite interesting and engaging (I think the problem is it was followed by the Marketing to Asian Women session – yaaaaawn!!!! - and then lunch. Not to mention, post lunch we saw Robert Senior who was simply fabulous – worthy of a standing O).
There could have been more interactivity – I think that might have countered the problem of being 'talked at' - which is how most of the presentations felt. Panel discussions are always good – but many of the presentations were simply speeches or presentations – and you need to be a damn charismatic speaker to engage an audience of 1200 people! Personally, I feel that such conferences are better served by having 2-3 keynotes during the day (morning, afternoon, evening), with several break-out sessions in between. This not only allows the delegates to pick and choose the discussions most relevant to them, by their very nature, they are more interactive and engaging – plus delegates get to share knowledge and findings, so the learnings are more robust. With all the social media discussions, it makes sense to follow a 'social' format in my opinion! There could also have been more speakers on digital – there was nothing on online video (one of the fastest growing mediums in advertising globally), nothing on targeted advertising – I would have loved to hear how time-shifting TV viewing habits are affecting television advertising – the list is long and I could go on forever!
I think the conference organisers could have perhaps planned a few things better: first off, seating… secondly, technology. I could not get a working WiFi connection in the main hall, and barely got a connection in the second hall – and that blocked most websites, including Google, so I couldn’t do any background research. As a result, I ended up using my iPhone’s Personal Hotspot (yay iPhone!) to file these blog posts and connect online.
I also felt that the entire affair could have been a lot ‘grander’. We’re in Delhi – a city steeped in history and culture – and yet so far, we have not been beyond the gardens of two hotels. Could the conference organisers not arrange some more historic venues for the evening entertainment? For instance, if this same conference were held in Lahore, I could imagine evenings of entertainment at the Lahore Fort, Kamran’s Baradari, the Asif Jah Haveli, the Haveli Baroodkhana – Hell, even Cucoo’s Café. It’s unfortunate the only parts of Delhi the delegates got to see as part of the conference were the lobby and garden of the Taj Palace, and garden at the Hotel Ashok.
Don’t get me wrong – it was all very nicely set up, elegant, clean etc etc… I just felt that given the city of Delhi, I expected more.
The grand finale evening is yet to come – it’s being held at The Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon. I’ll post a blog if the evening proves worth it – which I’m certain that it will. But if not, this is it from me.
Keep watching this space!