An interview session with Mr. Sanchit Sanga, Chief Digital Officer for Mindshare in Asia Pacific.
Mr. Sanga provides consulting solutions to the world’s top marketers for building digital excellence and establishing their businesses for future ready business models.
Renowned for playing a pivotal role in shaping the digital marketing industry in Asian Markets during the dot-com bust, Mr. Sanga’s is a self-professed stalker of Google’s business & loves fast moving data. Using digital data streams & tracking consumers’ trails, to inform marketing strategies of the world’s top brands is his biggest passion at work.
In this exclusive interview with Preety Singh for Digiperform, Sanchit shares his views on the evolving role of the media planners in India as well as how drastically technology is transforming the marketing. He also shares with us about various challenges faced by clients & agencies and how to cope up with those challenges.
Question#1: Sir! At present you are providing consulting to the world’s top marketers on establishing their digital businesses for future ready business models. So, what are the biggest challenges you face?
Sanchit: Challenges are around the ever changing landscape in the consumer’s world. Most companies are not structured to adapt & react to rapid change in consumer behaviours, technology evolution & deluge of data. Structuring systems & processes to embrace a real time attitude to marketing requires structural & strategic change, we are working with brands to embrace the new reality of the new marketing world. So challenges are a constant in our business but so is overcoming them as we go along.
Question#2: Why don’t you share some of the most effective measures that you have taking all the way to deliver a highly effective digital campaign?
Sanchit: We have set up robust processes around identifying consumer segments to isolate behaviours rathers than demographics for targeting purposes. We also put strategic rigour in building multiple communication methods using bespoke messaging for micro segments, multi screen planning & using dynamic triggers(Weather, traffic, events) to build creative messaging. We also measure results across the entire paid, owned & earned consumer journey. This helps us optimize & adapt in real time so maximum ROI is drawn for brands while providing consumers a seamless experience.
Question#3: So, what are the impacts of programmatic buying or any other tech tool on your work?
Sanchit: Programmatic for us is the backbone for intelligent targeting & automation of a manual system. We have a open source approach to technology partners & use multitude of tools to deliver solutions. For us programmatic is a service which is the nucleus of our offerings at Mindshare & tools are mere enablers to deliver that service.
Question#4: That one lesson you have learnt from the work you are doing at present?
Sanchit: Have a students mindset in digital, there are no experts in this space & your ability to learn something new everyday which make you successful. Moment you start believing you are an expert , it’s doomsday for your career in digital.
Question#5: The ubiquity of mobile handhelds is making it more & more crucial to have a mobile based marketing strategy! What’s your take on this?
Sanchit: Marketing strategies are created for channels & not for devices. Consumers use multiple devices in their brand journeys & isolating mobile as a strategy is myopic. We build brand strategies for channels like search, social, video, content which is delivered across devices like mobile, desktop, laptops or tablets. Content & stories are custom created based on which device the ad request is coming from & built in isolation.
Question#6: Talking about digital marketing where almost every day you come across new trends & technologies, which are the most exciting industry trends & technologies according to you that might help your clients?
Sanchit: Adoption of programmatic, development of wearables & connected objects (Connected clothing, connected water bottles etc) are the key ones for now. We are also excited with the development of the location aware ecosystem using beacons & other proximity tools, it creates a big opportunity to unlock last mile retail activation.
Question#7: Coming to the ever changing social media trends, how do you take social media engagement and what are the key factors you consider while planning to tap social media?
Sanchit: Social is a delicate space. Not every brand is high involvement & brands need to understand their reason to play in the social space. We advise clients to avoid the herd mentality & jump into social without understanding what marketing goal do they want to achieve from the social channel. We have through frameworks & audits which help brands identity their role in the complex social sphere which are being used as guides for their marketing ambitions.
Question#8: If you could talk about the main issues or challenges your potential clients are facing right now?
Sanchit: Our clients talk a lot of data deluge, the fragmentation of data within their systems & how best to leverage this opportunity with big data to build better consumer understanding, better products, better service structures & finally better measurement of ROI.
Question#9: Sir! Any recent campaign that you found most noteworthy and the factors that make them stand out?
Sanchit: The Nike women’s campaign for the Olympics featuring Deepika Padukone was a well crafted piece of communication delivered effectively across channels. It had all right ingredients of brilliant content & production, right mix of brand/social connection & created a stir across channels where it was delivered. Truly a example of surround sound marketing.
Question#10: Something that you would like to put across to the digital advertisers/ marketers from your experiences in the industry?
Sanchit : Commit to test & learn on a daily basis. Complexity in our world will only multiply & our role as industry practioners is to cut through the clutter & simplify the language, strategies & approaches when we communicate to clients. Using unnecessary jargon & acronyms to deliver simple messages is not needed & will only impact you adversely.