The last three years have brought a significant shift across business functions, and marketing is no exception to it. Digital marketing has become a critical and integral part of customer acquisition and retention strategies. In our weekly BrandWagon Ad Talk series, industry experts highlight what has changed over the past two years and, more importantly, are these changes here to stay. Kulwinder Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, SG Analytics, talks to BrandWagon Online about the dos and don'ts of digital marketing, the best marketing campaigns, and more.

What is the difference between launching a brand in today's digital era versus earlier?

Today, every CMO leverages the two best strategies available to him – market research insights and data analytics. While the digital era has made it comparatively easier, and cost-effective for firms to launch new brands, it has become apparent to think outside the box and cut the clutter to reach their target audience. They are designing effective, eye-catchy campaigns using a variety of channels like rich media, social media, search engine optimization, email marketing and personalized marketing tools.

Another big difference between launching a brand in the digital era is the growing significance of harnessing data. Previously, businesses and marketers relied a lot on gut instinct and intuition to arrive at a marketing decision. But today, data is used as a ‘moment of truth’ to gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and make better and more informed decisions to allocate the budget, accordingly. Using data, brands can harness the power of a good marketing campaign and create more relevant content to achieve their business goals.

With the correct channels and consumer data, businesses are reaching their customers and achieving their marketing goals.

What are the recent best marketing or advertising campaigns you have seen and why?

Myntra's ‘Be Extraordinary Every Day’ campaign embraces the power of fashion and transforms it into our everyday lives. The campaign focuses on the idea that fashion can empower and make everyone into the superstars they were always meant to be. Switching roles and turning celebrities into curious sidekicks, the new brand campaign gives a twist to the typical celebrity endorsement approach by everyday people into stunning and elevated fashion.

Myntra has successfully presented its widest range of the latest styles and trends along with their 3-day delivery and easy return and exchange policy, thus making it ‘The destination for everyday fashion’.

A successful marketing campaign is about achieving tangible results while keeping track of measurable indicators for the brand’s success. It is paramount for marketers to find a balance between the target audience's interests and the values behind their business to present an authentic and meaningful campaign. By establishing a connection with existing customers and expanding into new markets while also capitalizing on social media trends, marketers can harness the power of a good advertising campaign in several ways.

Which brand in the last year has made the best use of digital and how?

In recent times, marketers have understood that the secret sauce to delivering an eye-catching campaign is by putting the right data to work. The brands that can get it right can grab consumers’ attention. While it may look complicated, it begins with understanding the target audience, having the right data-backed insights, devising a brilliant marketing strategy, and then cranking it up a step.

One such campaign that caught my eye was the collaboration between Heinz and Absolut. While the pairing may seem a little odd, this collaboration just made sense. The two brands collaborated and launched a limited-edition tomato vodka pasta sauce inspired by Gigi Hadid's viral TikTok recipe.

The brand was able to leverage the power of the right consumer insights and interest to design a product that was already popular. Heinz and Absolut Vodka were able to deliver just what the audience was looking for.

In a post-COVID world, what are the dos and don'ts of digital marketing?

Personalize your brand's messages: The audience is more likely to engage with relevant content, so ensure to personalize the message of your campaign as much as possible.

Segmenting the audience: Segmenting the audience to target the marketing campaigns more effectively. This helps in creating more relevant and engaging content that resonates with the target audience.

Leverage data for growth: By harnessing the power of data, brands can design a good marketing campaign to understand their target audience better, enhance the effectiveness of their campaigns, create relevant content, personalize the marketing message, and track the success of their campaigns.

Don't be afraid to experiment or reinvent: The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and it has become mandatory for brands to experiment with new trends and elements. This helps in finding what works best for them. While digital marketing is challenging, it is an equally rewarding endeavour.

One recent bad case of advertising you have seen, and why?

While 2023 began on a muted note for advertisers, the industry was hopeful that the IPL season would infuse momentum into the spending. But then came one such questionable brand endorsement from a famous brand that is now throwing open the debate of ethics. This recent and debatable ad is Kamala Pasand's IPL ad that roped in cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Chris Gayle and Virendra Sehwag. The ad is nothing to write home about as the cricket stars are seen engaging in a short and forgettable banter over ‘humara generation and nayi generation ki soch.’ And at the end, they consume silver-coated cardamom and call it a day. The ad did alienate people, and as expected, the internet did not appreciate legends in cricket representing and endorsing such choices.