ad:tech Delhi Day 2 Morning Session – David Fischer, Facebook

David Fischer Adtech New Delhi
Adtech New Delhi

After all the knowledge and insights gained yesterday, I was hungry for more and day 2 didn’t disappoint me much. After settling with my usual cuppa coffee, I sat down for a keynote from David Fischer who is the VP of Advertising and Global Operations at Facebook (these designations keep on getting longer don’t they?). David started his keynote by saying that Facebook takes you from “what to the who”. David shared an interesting fact that Indian users of Facebook spend 3 hours/ month vs. 1hr 50 minutes/month spent on Google. Deciding to let that stat sink in, David then showed a hilarious clip of a person getting married and as soon as the priest says “I pronounce you husband and wife”, the man pulls out a mobile phone and changes his relationship status on Facebook to “married” (that’s really cute).

Many of us associate Facebook with being a way to find old friends and make new ones too. But some people have used Facebook for social causes as well. David speaks of an incident when Beth was desperately looking for a kidney donor & found an angel donor who was ready to give a kidney for someone that person barely knew. So in case you thought that Facebook was just fun and games, think again.

Coming back to the topic of discussion, David draws attention to the fact that although there are around 90 million active websites, there are 500 million FB profiles. This stat shows you how popular Facebook is and also its reach and power.

Facebook and Indian Brands

Although the Internet in India is growing at a rapid clip, the rise in the numbers of Indians using Facebook has caused Major Indian Companies and Brands to sit up and take notice. Already, websites of the major brands in India have started implementing Facebook’s social pluggins and hence integrating facebook with their websites. David shared a few example of brands and companies which are doing this well.

  • The Times of India (India’s largest newspaper publication) allows users to post comments using their FB logins.
  • Also Cricinfo (a popular cricket portal) saw their referral traffic double after implementing the FB share button on their website.
  • Economic times used Facebook to find out what questions people wanted to ask the finance minister regarding the Indian budget and received a phenomenal response.

Website Vs Facebook which one is more popular?

Along with examples, David shared some interesting insights where a company’s Facebook page was more popular than its website. Hogwash you say? Then check these figures out for yourself

  • Coca Cola – 25 million likes on FB vs. 250,000 website visitors
  • Starbucks – 21 million likes on FB vs. 1.5 million
  • Oreo – 18 million likes on FB vs. 240,000

Wow I don’t know about you, but that was an eye opener for me. But there’s even more good stuff to follow in terms of case studies. Dig in!

Case Study – Amex using Facebook as a marketing platform. In the US they had an SME card that they wanted to market to the small business owners. Amex turned to FB where they took a day in November and called it “Small Business Saturday”. Amex backed this up with strong promotions and advertising through offline media and within 3 weeks they got 1.2 million connections. They backed this up with an offer & they were able to increase sales by 27% as a result of this campaign.

Closer to Home, Indian Telco Tata Indicom’s Facebook fan page has 300,000 fans and counting. David illustrated the benefit of all that fan power by saying that whenever Tata takes out an ad on FB, then people will be able to see if any of their friends like it or not. And according to research by Nielson, people are 68% more likely to click on such an ad ( with more social context) along with their purchasing intent going up by 4 times. This is because someone they trust has just endorsed the ad.

Q& A

Sensing a few queries from the inquisitive members of the audience, David fielded a few questions.

Q>One member of the audience asked that if a company’s fan page has 100,000 fans and it posts an update, will it be visible to all the fans.

A>I found myself thinking, good luck to finding an answer to that mate, but David Fischer jumped in saying that it really depends on Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm which ranks a story based on the number of interactions, time decay (as in how recent the update is) and other factors. Hmm.. I had just heard of the Edge rank recently at another social media event I attended so I smiled to myself while there was a buzz in the crowd as most had never heard of Edge rank.

Q>Nikhil from Medianama jumps in with his question on how does FB tackle Black Hat practices like fake profiles

A>David acknowledges that there are issues with fake profiles however they are not a major threat. He goes further to emphasize that there is a team at FB which looks at such problems and the team systematically deals with these types of black hat practices effectively.

Summing up this extremely interesting keynote, David spoke on how FB’s personality has always been an informal one and companies would so well to keep this in mind. In case your approach to a FB company account is taking a week to respond to comments after routing responses through legal, then that’s not the way Facebook works. David urged companies to put a 22 year old or a junior employee in charge of a company’s Facebook account since that person will generally be on Facebook most of the time and will understand the pulse of Facebook fans a lot better. I personally would agree and also emphasize that maintaining informality seems to be the key to establishing a strong connect with fans on Facebook.

Please note: Credit for all the photos go to the photographer Naina Redhu.

ad:tech Delhi Day 1 Evening Session – Rajan Anandan Keynote – Google – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Rajan Anandan Adtech 2011
Rajan Anandan Adtech 2011

Then it was time for the evening keynote. Generally they save the best for last and there is no doubt it is. Next up is Google India’s Rajan Anandan who is the Managing Director and Vice President for Sales and Operations (I know it’s a pretty long designation). He starts by saying that if you thought that India’s Internet growth has skyrocketed, you haven’t seen anything yet. He also gives some pretty insightful statistics which are listed below –

  • As on April 19, 2011, India’s Internet population stands at 100 million.
  • India has seen 20 times growth in search queries in the past 5 years
  • Out the 100 million Internet users
    • 30 million access the net from home
    • 40 million access the net from work
    • 30 million access the net from an Internet café
  • Indians spend 16 hours on an average online. This is more than the time spent watching TV
  • India is Google’s 3rd largest market in the world (in terms of users)
  • The Indian Online advertising market has crossed 1000 crores in 2010 and is growing at a rate of 50%

Wow I don’t know about you but those stats tell me that the Indian Internet story has some amazing potential when it comes to Digital Marketing. Rajan also shared that Indians generally use the Internet for researching products online; however tend to make the purchase offline. In fact Rajan gave an Industry wise breakup of research being done online vs purchases being made online vs. offline.

Research and purchase being done online vs offline

And the insights don’t just stop there. Rajan points out that in the travel industry, 1/3rd of all bookings will be made online in 2011. Further 54% of people doing research on travel are looking for hotels.

Rajan adds that telcos will find it interesting that 66% of people who bought a mobile phone say that the Internet is the 1st place they go to when researching phones to buy. Also more importantly 47% said that they changed their mind after conducting their research.

In light of the above points, I think it’s safe to conclude that whatever happens online seems to be influencing offline purchases or decisions. With such a plethora of reasons, it’s a foregone conclusion that companies will have to ramp up their digital marketing efforts considerably if they are to catch the consumer’s mind space.

Rajan also brings to light the importance of videos in the Indian scenario and lets us know that more video was uploaded on YouTube than was produced by the 4 largest broadcast networks in the world in the last 5 years (Awesome statistic). Other interesting aspects of videos on India are:

  • India is the 5th largest nation in terms of users of video
  • Dabangg was the 1st sponsored movie on youtube in India and crossed 1 million views in just a week

Case Study – Airtel ran a highly successful contest on theYouTube platform asking users to send in videos. Within 2 weeks, Airtel received 2400 uploads and half million page views which helped it gain brand recognition.

Kiran Mani Google India

Key Takeaways

  • Indians are heavy users of the net and with a high growth rate it’s only going to get better. Early adopters will benefit
  • With the Indian Online advertising market crossing 1000 crores, Digital Marketing has a very bright future in India
  • With the use of Internet banking on the rise, online purchases will increase in the future.
  • With most Indians using the Internet to conduct research on products before buying, companies will need to have a comprehensive Internet presence via websites, social media etc. Also reputation management will be imperative since bad comments and reviews will impact prospective customers adversely.

What a finale for Adtech day 1. Don’t know about you but my head is swirling with a million figures & ideas! Just to put those figures into perceptive, I had my team whip up a sweet Infographic on Internet Usage in India. Check it out and let us know how you like it in the comments section 🙂

Please note: Credit for all the photos go to the photographer Naina Redhu.

ad:tech Delhi Day 1 Afternoon Session – Marketing Masters

Went to my next session on the “Marketing Masters” series. These were quick 25 minute presentations on some of the best practices & usage of the digital space for their products by Digital Marketing professionals. Ramswaroop from Sapient talks about Footlocker. They were facing an uphill battle competing against the likes of Nike, Adidas etc. They created a series of videos of “Sneaker Experts” (basically their shoe sales reps). These guys eat/sleep & dream about sneakers. He then played these videos showing these sneaker experts in different situations. I personally loved the one where a girl was whipping the sneaker expert with a different shoe each time. The sneaker expert was able to guess the brand of the shoe successfully without looking. Needless to say the videos went viral. Have a look at the video

Marketing Masters Adtech New Delhi
Marketing Masters Adtech New Delhi

Similarly they have come up with a sneaker version of Wikipedia called (you can guess it) sneakerpedia. It is still in Beta. Idea is user generated content. Community of people who are crazy about sneakers. They advertised the website on traditional channels to get members to join & increase awareness of the site. It is a community space and not a marketplace. Have a look at

I am skipping a couple of sessions here as they weren’t that great or I ended up going for lunch. The next one I attended was by Wasim Basir from Coke. He actually comes up to stage & very passionately starts talking about what Coke is doing in this space in India. He talks about the campaign “Where will happiness strike next”. Special coke vending machines are placed in college campuses in India & a video camera records the results as the coke machine spews out free bottles of cokes. The emotions thus captured are priceless (got me thinking of the Mastercard campaign). Have a look at this video

He says Coke is not scared to experiment & thus they launched the Coke Shadow Ad first time in India online and not on TV. They did an SMS blast to 8 million people informing them that they can be the first to watch the video. Of course the video went viral. You can watch the Coke shadow video

ad:tech Delhi Day 1 Morning Session – Babs Rangaiah & Elisa Steele Keynote

ad:tech Delhi was finally upon us. I was very excited as this was the first time India was hosting the event. As I walked into the reception area at Hotel Leela in Gurgaon I saw a flurry of activity all around. The Atmosphere was electric as Digital marketing enthusiasts, experts and newbies got their first taste of Adtech in New Delhi. So after finally getting settled in and grabbing my cup of coffee, I was ready to experience and of course gain some dollops of wisdom, tips and strategies from this event.

Adtech New Delhi 2011
Adtech New Delhi 2011

After the formal introductions by the Adtech team & following the lighting of the lamp, first off is Babs Rangaiah who is Vice President of Global Communications Planning at Unilever. Not many would guess that Babs grew up in a small village outside Bangalore. With an impressive bio like having spearheaded innovative campaigns like Dove’s Evolution, I was all ears for this session of Adtech.

Keynote Babs Rangaiah Adtech New Delhi
Keynote Babs Rangaiah Adtech New Delhi

Babs starts off impressively saying that if the 19th century belonged to the British, the 20th to USA then the 21st definitely belongs to the Asian giants China and India. Armed with an arsenal of videos, Babs uses the Dove Evolution videos to drive home the point that this entire campaign was exclusive to YouTube and was not aired on the idiot box. This campaign won the Cannes Lion and became a viral video on YouTube. Here is the video

The next campaign he shows off is the AXE ‘Wake up Service’ one. This witty campaign was based on interesting statistic that 80% of mobile users use the mobile as an alarm clock. Carrying forward the concept, the sexy AXE angels calls you at the time and then wake you up (if that doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will). Have a look at the video

The next video although long is something every digital marketer will relate to. It’s a hilarious dialogue exchange between the Advertiser vs. the Consumer played out between a typical couple. In the middle of the humor is an important line spoken by the woman “You are not even listening” which a common problem in this industry where the consumer doesn’t get digital advertising solutions which address the consumer’s need and requirements. Hmm I for one hope that changes soon. You can see this hilarious video below

Babs also speaks briefly about the emergence of social media and topics like the facebook social graph, likes, twitter. For social media, he outlines a few tools he likes to use which are– Allows you to create a custom page with the latest buzz – Well the name says it all. Allows you to snoop on your competitor’s keywords and adwords – Helps in measuring your brand’s social footprint – Shows how influential you are on the web. – gives you a host of statistics making your digital ad planning a whole lot easier

Phew time just flew in this interactive and interesting session. A few key takeaways that I took from this session are
• If you create videos which can go viral videos, you can engage your audience actively and improve your branding on the web.
• Sharing of video content via social media or other channels promote your brand and also expands its reach.
• Also with the emergence of social media, it’s actively participate in online conversations and be proactive. Such steps can only enhance your brand online.

Elisa Steele Keynote – The Future of Digital Marketing

Fresh from the leanings and knowledge from Babs Rangaiah’s keynote, I settle in for Elisa Steele’s keynote on “The Future of Digital Marketing”. For those who don’t know,  Elisa Steele is the Chief Marketing Officer of Yahoo. She starts off commenting on how the customer of today has changed. With the recent influx of Smartphones, more and more consumers are accessing websites on mobile devices. Also today’s consumers love videos. It is a huge engagement opportunity for brands. Hmm… hard to keep taking notes as she is talking at a fast clip.

Keynote Babs Rangaiah Adtech New Delhi
Elisa Steele Yahoo Keynote Adtech Delhi

She moves on to social. It is not just about fans but rather creating engaging conversations. She says sometimes you need to step back from the conversation and let fans answer questions posted by other fans. She talks about a local Indian brand – Hippo who used Twitter to refine their supply chain. They posted a question to their followers about which retail stores were not stocking their product. Hippo then made sure that within 24 hours the store would have stock. This led to a huge jump in sales – 76%…wow!!

During Q&A Elisa Steele was asked if there is an opportunity for “marketing outsourcing”. She says the answer is a resounding Yes & Yahoo is already doing this. She said she found that in addition to our computer skills she also found Indians to be very creative.

That is a nice pat on the back for us! (give myself a mental slap on the back). Aside to myself start a marketing outsourcing business, need to investigate this. Phew that’s the end of this session.

Please note: Credit for all the photos go to the photographer Naina Redhu.