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Sanjeev Pasricha, MD CS Direkt- "Best events are where the social media consumer plays the hero"

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Experiential marketing and communications agency, CS Direkt, was set up in the year 1995 with their launch of the Apple Macintosh PC's in India. Their motto- To serve the increasingly more informed, intelligent and inquisitive consumer who looks beyond flashy packaging and towards engaging experiences.



19 years later, Sanjeev Pasricha, MD and CEO, CS Direkt, affirms 'God is in the details'. In an exclusive interview with EE he illustrates how this detailing can really help jack up an event through the use of social media.




EE: How can an event planner engage the social media consumer?



Always start with the audience motivation when you come up with any ideas, regardless of the medium. But in the Social Media space that’s even more critical! In fact, that’s the first part of CS Direkt's proprietary MOBD (Motivation, Objective, Benchmark & Differentiator) approach--where the ‘M’ consciously takes MainStage.




In this case: Whats in it for the netizen? Are they going to tweet just because there is gratification on offer? They might, but increasingly that’s not the only reason. Social Media consumers are looking for more—they're looking for great content, anything they can share, anything that could have a huge viral effect, anything that could build their own virtual social circle. So your event buzz needs to pitch on one, or ideally all, of these hooks to be effective.




But that said, what always works, regardless of which media, are ideas that are intriguing and engaging!



EE: What are the new practices in this space?



There are always new trends and new fads, but like I said, the very nature of Social Media hinges on a few things: friends, great content and viral impact. If your event's social media campaign allows them make more friends, produce some wow content and finally share it with the world, you’re guaranteed success. But if it does only one and not the others, your campaign is going to fall flat.




Getting people to sing, dance, click a picture, make a video, write a post, tweet etc. is all content creation. And it goes without saying, sharing, commenting, voting and liking are all validation that that content ‘works’ for the intended audience. If they have liked the content, then they’ve bought your event-story along with it. So a new practice is the proliferation of event campaigns that focus on user generated content and it’s viral-potential.




Another trend is the leveraging of cause-awareness. Environmental causes are still popular but now slightly jaded. Good governance, women’s issues, anti-corruption, education, even non-cricket sports related issues are all ranking higher in terms of ‘likes’ and event marketers aren’t far behind in leveraging them.



EE: How does the brand stand to benefit?




Well, It’s a win-win scenario now for both Brands and Social Media consumers! Now event marketing teams only need concentrate on the leveraging their strategies on topical issues or hot trends and basically letting things go viral from their on. In fact, the less events are seen hard selling corporate messages and instead are seen as mediums for personal stories or bigger cause-stories, the more associational benefits for the event in the long-term.



EE: How to facilitate action in this regard?



It starts with being very clear about what you want from Social Media buzz for your event. It’s alright to create some chatter about an impending event, but it’s even better to get the target audience to create some content that they could share and that you could showcase at the event. And it would be best if you could enable the Social Media consumer become more noticed, more liked and more influential in his friends circle all thanks to your event. Let him be the Hero of your event-story and you’ll be surprised how soon he or she becomes an evangelist for your cause!


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