"Massive is the only word that comes to me. The lineup of keynotes this year will blow you all away, do not miss any of them and there are 7 of them over 2 days. We have just about 18 repeats in speakers to that of last year, and when the total is close to a 100 speakers, it says a lot in terms of how we have managed to get freshness to the whole offering.” Says Rammohan Sundaram, Founder, CEO & Managing Director NetworkPlay, unfolding the upcoming ad:tech New Delhi 2012.
In a dialogue with MediAvataar.com, Ram expresses his strong conviction in digital media and how it will be mainline in India soon. NetworkPlay brought the biggest digital media conference, ad:tech to India last year and this year in the second edition of the event, Ram & team are on their way to accomplish something supreme.
1.What according to you will be the biggest digital trends in 2012?
Look, I believe that the time has arrived for the digital revolution in India and the biggest beneficiary due to this will be the consumer. Right from Ecommerce to accessing data at unbelievable speeds at a cost never dreamt before and that too from a mobile device like the tablet will propel the growth of reach into the remotest part of India when Reliance launches their 4G ready services. What this going to do is the long spelt dream of vernacular language content taking off, first time internet users through a mobile device in this case a tablet, big increase in mobile, video and rich media advertising keeping in mind the spend cuts that is eminent across categories. Spend cuts in traditional medium means goodness for the digital spends, digital spends will now start eating into the mainline spends starting now!
2.What will be the next big thing in Social Media?
Next big thing in social media is going to be Twitter. Twitter in some sorts has already been the point of access for all and every breaking news and with more and more stories and revelations being broken in through Twitter, this 140 character dynamite will be the next big thing in Social. And then there is Social Search, Social Commerce, the latter is already a big high within several consumer communities, which are seeking for deals day in and day out!
3.The second edition of ad:tech is all set to show up, last time itself it was overly subscribed, this time with better adoption of digital media in India are you observing even more participation?
Massive is the only word that comes to me. The line up of keynotes this year will blow you all away, do not miss any of them and there are 7 of them over 2 days. We have just about 18 repeats in speakers to that of last year, and when the total is close to a 100 speakers, it says a lot in terms of how we have managed to get freshness to the whole offering. We also have a day zero Masterclass where stalwarts from the business are going to walk all participants through social and search. This is slated on the 22nd of February. We have several new participants on the floor totalling over 70 and offcourse this year is an ad-network story in the reckoning. Ybrant, Tyroo, Ozone, VservE, Komli, VCommission, Affinity are all ad-networks that form our sponsor list outside of the big ones including Yahoo, Google, LinkedIn, Indiatimes and the rest. It is going to be the best in Asia, do not miss ad:tech this year.
4.80 speakers and 7 keynotes, enormous line up, must be a huge task to put this in order?
Where there is passion, ownership, dedication and commitment, nothing is impossible and I am grateful to have such a brilliant bunch of people. Experience and youth as combination has been a killer for us as a team and we are one close knit unit. Yes it is a difficult task but we are very committed in making every activity of ours a winner and that has been our driving force – “To Win”. Why just the events business? Across our offerings where we are growing at a phenomenal pace, our teams in the Impact and results business are equally potent. Events just contributes to 25% of our revenue, however events does keep us in the limelight and so people talk about our events a lot more, which is fair but our core business is growing at a rapid pace catching up with our competitors and within one quarter we will be the highest in revenues even there.
5.Three days instead of two, what is your expectation from ad:tech this time?
Three days is because we have one full day of Master-Class, a unique initiative where we bring in the best of people from various companies including Google, Youtube, Yahoo, Communicate2 to train a bunch of people on various new initiatives and techniques in the most sought after subject – Social and Search. That is why three days however this year we have a dedicated one hour of walk through to various pavilions in the business area, which is the expo floor to ensure senior executives are well aware of the various digital capabilities that are on offer in today’s digital ecosystem.
6.How do you see digital media evolving over the next 5 years?
It will be mainstream – Period!
7.Is Networkplay eyeing more such properties to bring in India?
NetworkPlay has always worked on every possible opportunity and it does not shy away from that, god willing we will soon bring in something that will continue our legacy of bringing the best properties into India and be preferred and established India Go-To-Market partners.
8.How the last year for digital arena was and what according to you remained the center point of all the happenings?
Did you know that Youtube will overtake MTV in India this year? Rajan Anandan, MD of Google India said that at the IAMAI Annual Digital Summit. This clearly indicates that Video is massive. Consumption of Video on the mobile is big too. 3G has enabled smart-phones to just be the preferred device across ages. Social has taken off, thanks to smart-phones. All this has definitely added tremendous value to that eco-system. Industry has grown very well and though there will be a slowdown in terms of marketing spends, digital will continue to grow in a big way this year. FMCG and Consumer Durable as a category has started showing serious interest in the space and I am told these categories are going to be the big push for next year as well.
9.Your advices to marketers who are already active on digital media and who want to kick start the virtual journey in the New Year.
Embrace the medium, get serious about what all digital can do for your brand – there are several examples including Airtel, Tata Docomo, Asian Paints, Unilever who have all started doing some wonderful work in the digital space. When budgets get stretched it will be digital that will help you not only as a response medium but also as a brand building medium. So get ready for the revolution because 2012 is going to be the defining moment in our lives for the digital vertical take off! Adios!
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