In cooperation with Taboola, exchange4media organized a virtual roundtable on the subject of “How the smartphone and telecommunications industry has adapted its start and service strategy to Covid 19”.
The panel brought together industry thought leaders to discuss how the smartphone and telecommunications industries would perform in 2021 as the world adapts and recovers from Covid-19 as they face new challenges on multiple fronts.
Speakers on this virtual panel included: Ruchira Jaitly, CMO-India, HMD Global (Nokia); Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO, OPPO India; Shivam Ranjan, Marketing Director, Motorola India; Avneesh Khosla, CMO, Vodafone Idea; Sandeep KS, Deputy Director – Marketing, Redmi India; Dinesh Sharma, General Manager, Commercial PC and Smartphone, System Business Group, ASUS India; and Chanan Fogel – VP, APAC, Taboola. The session was moderated by Nawal Ahuja, co-founder of exchange4media.
Sharing her thoughts on how consumer preferences have changed over the past 11 months, Ruchira Jaitly stated that consumers have come back to the core of what this category stands for.
“During this time, we could only be there for consumers. At Nokia, we believe technology is a driving force. Consumers wanted a digital detox while staying connected. “
“The promise of great content and the capabilities of a device during this time have also been a great comfort to consumers. It was a complete change in terms of consumer wants and needs. We also found that given the economic downturn we’ve seen, consumers are wanting to hold onto their devices longer. Most importantly, in our opinion, consumer choice will be more complex from now on, ”said Jaitly.
Redmi’s Sandeep KS spoke about the big takeaways for the brand over the past 11 months. According to him, smartphones have become all the more relevant in the past few months when it was necessary to stay connected.
“When it comes to marketing, we’re a very social and digital brand. Content marketing is something we actually live on. The greatest quality of our content marketing is agility. Additionally, we don’t take ourselves so seriously that we wait months for our content marketing to run. Sometimes we do content marketing on the fly, like a tweet that lasts minutes, ”KS explained.
Avneesh Khosla of VI summed up covid’s impact on Telecom and accepted that it was a giant roller coaster ride.
“We had to make our networks capacitive overnight and now we can see that consumption has galloped. Consumers now spend 3.5 to 4 hours on their mobile devices, which in our view means better returns. “
“From a consumption point of view, it’s no longer just entertainment, it’s enrichment. From crowd to curated experiences, it’s all about education, training, fitness and we are doing a lot of work to stay relevant and meaningful during this time, ”he added.
OPPO’s Damyant Singh Khanoria said the industry has been shrinking for a large period and is a massive challenge for OPPO’s business, which is an offline dominant brand.
“We had to change the way we sold equipment overnight and the way we interacted with our partners and our consumers was full of ingenuity.”
Khanoria also spoke about some positives, despite the darkness Covid-19 brought to businesses.
“The pace at which consumers update their devices has changed significantly. Over time, the average selling price of the devices will also increase. A positive trend at covid is that people have started buying more powerful devices. If we look at 2020 as a whole, OPPO has grown in a declining market. I think consumer buying sentiment is shifting from hardware to major innovation, ”Khanoria believes.
When asked how Motorola is trying to stand out in terms of its content marketing strategy, Motorola’s Shivam Ranjan said that megapixel and megabyte history is not enough to connect with smartphone consumers.
“We definitely have to deviate from hardware history if we have to differentiate.”
ASUS ‘Dinesh Sharma said the brand has differentiated its positioning in the crowded smartphone market by focusing on areas that are not served by competition.
“One of the relevant areas in this way was playing with smartphones. We have the ROG (Republic of Gaming) brand and we have flagship smartphones in the market. In this pandemic, gambling in India has grown phenomenally, according to many analysts. The growth rate was over 50 percent. “
“We enabled a console-like gaming experience on smartphones and didn’t focus on the camera story. We broke the 40,000 and 50,000 price barrier in India, which very few brands have been able to do despite massive investments, ”he added.
Avneesh Khosla talked about developing a differentiated content marketing strategy for VI, tracing that back to the sophisticated listening tools and sentiment analytics tools the brand relies heavily on to curate targeted messaging.
Chanan Fogel of Taboola explained how brands can avoid turning content marketing strategy into a vanity project rather than ROI, and how Taboola can help with an effective creative strategy. The trick of the trade is to be open to testing and open to experimentation, and it is the data that can drive this experimentation.
Speaking about developing a differentiated content marketing strategy, Damyant Singh Khanoria from OPPO emphasized that the right strategy is less about getting consumers to watch it than about getting it created.
“I think content marketing will be a thing of the past and it will be more about empowering consumers and how we look at differentiated content marketing.”
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