Your Life Within The Pixel Will Change - Prateek N Kumar, MD & CEO, NeoNiche
Prateek started his career with Sercon India Pvt. Ltd (now a part of WPP group), a BTL agency that brought the concept of database management, audience acquisition, and lead generation seminars for B2B businesses. He then moved on to Shobiz Experiential Communications Pvt Ltd, where he started the Integrated Event Marketing Services Division and converted it into the largest profit centre within the organization both in terms of head-count and revenues within 5 years. Now the CEO and Managing Director of NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt Ltd, EE got talking to the expert about the use of technology in Experiential Marketing and his predictions of the future.
A couple of years ago there were ad agencies and event agencies. An ad was perceived somewhere and executed by someone else, creating a disconnect. “We at NeoNiche try to fill that gap and erase the disconnect. We act as a marketing extension to the brand that we serve and then also carry out the execution of the event.” says Prateek N Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt Ltd.
“The era of one size fits all has gone. There is a difference in the way you would approach a marketing situation in rural areas vs urban areas. The situation has changed, dependency on technology has increased, people are more technologically connected. Tech creates that synopsis and makes it easier to reach out to them directly.” says Prateek, commenting on the current scenario. “Newspaper ads die out, hoardings are mostly ignored by passersby and most of them are not even visible at night, while technology has made it easier for brands to reach out to their customers at a time they know they will get the attention and have a bigger impact.” says Prateek.
Giving examples of how NeoNiche used technology to execute events, Prateek said, “We created an experiential marketing campaign for one of our clients - Salesforce.com - called Hackathon. The target audience of this event was mainly developers. Conferences were held in major cities, but there was a live streaming which also enabled all the people not physically present at the banquet to become a part of it. The event eventually reached out to pan India, while actually being physically carried out in a few urban cities. Technology enables you to do that. You could be at one place but you can reach out to millions at the same time.” The sky is no longer the limit.
Technology enables the brand to reach out to its target audience in smaller, tier 3 cities. Such cities don’t usually have the infrastructure for events and it is difficult to convince brands to event in such cities. “There is a lot of expenditure involved plus there are a lot of difficulties that you have to face when it comes to conducting events in such cities. But that doesn’t mean you ignore that consumer base. Technology enables you to reach out to pan India, thus reaching those cities too which would otherwise have not experienced the campaign.” says Prateek.
It’s no news that execution of marketing events usually involves a lot of expenditure, and its usually big brands that have that kind of capital that are able to reach out to their consumer base easily. That’s where startups fall behind, but technology comes to the rescue. “If you’re looking at start ups who don’t have the bandwidth to spend millions, for them we have created an entire CRM system. So basically we create a level playing field - you receive the same thing that could be given to big enterprises.” says Prateek.
Predictions in technology developments? “10 years back was a generation of Internet 1.0 - where everyone was basically talking about the internet, e-mails, etc. Then came Internet 2.0 where people began talking about social media marketing which include Twitter, Facebook, etc. We are now moving on to a digital era where we are using experiential medium in a digital space. So in the future Google Glass, Google Earth, and social handles will evolve more.” says Prateek. Evolution of social handles? “Till date you have been utilising Facebook as to what Facebook offers you and not really what you would want it to do. Soon it is going to be an era of users in which customizing power will lie in your hands. Before Facebook came into the picture there was Orkut and Hi5. Who even talks about those now? That’s because consolidation happened with Facebook as Facebook gave you everything that these sites combined did along with youtube and tagging access. For a country like India that is still developing, as power and electricity reaches out to more cities there will be an evolution of mobile devices. Your life within the pixel will change.” says Prateek.
How does experiential marketing help brands that are not tangible? “Everyone is talking about experiences. No brand in today’s date is really talking about what they do. For eg Coke is a means to happiness which is an experience. They are not talking about the taste of coke but what it will make you feel like. Similarly mobile handsets are not telling you that you will be able to make calls for them or send messages. They tell you how using them you will stay connected with your near and dear ones and ease your life. Anyone and everyone is talking about experiences, be it a brand that has a tangible product or a brand that offers service.” says Prateek. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience.
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