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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Digital is Time

My understanding of the digital is divided into some parts. Here they are –

During a visit to Delhi, I bumped into one of my ex-colleagues (who used to report to me at Wunderman, Delhi; now a Creative Supervisor at an esteemed agency) quite by chance. While both being on the rocks, he suggested me rather intellectually (I didn't know though, whether it was the effect of his hard and speedy draws at the drink) that the digital is the future. I got amazed! As I never knew of his calibre of prophecy. From then on, I read, listened to, and put conscious, subconscious, unconscious efforts to understand what's this digital all about. More so, as to some, it's the nemesis of the conventional medium. To some, it's the redefinition of communications. To some, it's the future. And to some, (who are simply the simple thinkers like me), is nothing but confusion.

Well, if there is confusion or problem, there got to be a solution. In that case, a definition of understanding will help my polite brain think hard and wise; at least for a change. So I thought. Yes, I thought. Nothing BIG, but simple and humble. And this helped, and still helps me define the digital as: (all about) TIME.

TIME!!?? Why so?

Let me explain. If this is future, then how come we define it so surely at present? If this is present, then what were we thinking of and doing with at the past? The answer is: We were, still are, will ever be thinking of and doing with the digital. However, it's now only or of late that we have started to create a buzz or make a noise around the digital halo… so that our myopia hitherto can be sold off henceforth as our foresight into the future.

Also the digital is TIME, because it helps a consumer consume communications in time, on time, for time and with time.

In time… because: "Eventually" it helps the consumption of communications.
On time… because: "Immediately" it helps the consumption of communications.
For time… because: "Increasingly" it helps the consumption of communications.
With time… because: "Relevantly" it helps the consumption of communications.

To prove my points, what else can I furnish but a few real life case studies –

Case 1
ProblemSamsung IT had a problem. Their System Integrators (SI) of printers and monitors were having a very cold relationship with the organization. Resulting: a constant dip in sales was happening and the Brand image was also suffering. To address this problem, Samsung wanted to bring the SIs across India on a common platform. The objective was to get the personal data of the workforce to forge a one-on-one interaction and relationship with the SIs in no real time, in fact within a month, rather conveniently. Samsung approached ARC Worldwide, Delhi and the agency approached me for the solution.

SolutionI thought of two performance-based-instant-reward programs for the printer-SIs and for the monitor-SIs. I christened the programs: "Singapore Calling" and "Desh Bhi, Videsh Bhi", respectively. Simultaneously, a site was created called after I characterized a virtual "friend-philosopher-guide" identity: "Sambhai" from Samsung IT for the SIs. On the site, the program details were flashed and through the print ads in the chosen newspapers and trade magazines the SIs were communicated and invited onto the site for more details. In fact, to participate the SIs had to register on the site first and foremost.

ResultThe initiative was an instant hit among the SIs. And more than 70% of them registered on the site. The mission of getting the personal data of the SIs was accomplished with a huge success.

Case 2

ProblemIndia's one of leading matrimonial sites* wanted to reach the net savvy people, especially the male (20-40 years), in a unique way. But they were reluctant to spend much. Still they wanted good result.
*Can't name the site as per my contract with the client.
SolutionI took the viral route. Simply used a famous social network and friendship site as the reference site. Just created 100 fictitious profiles of sexy and inviting gals on that site. Each gal invited a visitor (a guy) to click on a provided link in her profile, in case the guy wanted to see the hot pictures of hers. Once clicked, the visitor reached on yet another page where the gal asked him further to click on yet another link, if he wanted to access her personal contacts before caring for an intimate date. And when that link was clicked, the guy found himself actually on the matrimonial site's home page created with a number of prospective brides' brief info and compelling snaps.

ResultThe number of visitors on the matrimonial site increased more than 30%. And the number is still increasing.

CONCLUSIONIn order to sum up my take on digital medium & communications, I cite the following –

· Digital is not the nemesis of other mediums & communications and vice versa.
· Digital is our chance to consume communications & information the way we want.
· Digital is the domain of 4Is: Instant, Interaction, Inspiration and Innovation.
· Digital is the medium for convergence, as well as for divergence.
· Digital is not only about creating site, banners, batch, eDM, etc. and counting the hit per click… instead it's all about redefining communications, replacing USP with UCP (Up, Close & Personal i.e. You Create Positioning).
· Digital is the only medium that's purely experiential, thus communications on/in this medium got to be "exclusively and personally common" but not common, uncommon or alien.
· Digital is all about TIME.

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