NASSCOM ILF 2016: Transform or Die: The New Rules of Marketing in the Digital Age
Transform or Die: The New Rules of Marketing in the Digital Age.
Mohanbir Sawhney, Director - Center for Research in Technology & Innovation, Kellogg School of Management
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NASSCOM ILF 2016: Transform or Die: The New Rules of Marketing in the Digital Age
Transform or Die: The New Rules of
Marketing in the Digital AgeMohan Sawhney
McCormick Foundation Professor of Technology
Kellogg School of Management
Modern marketing is about agility
and experimentation, built upon
the foundation of the value
proposition and brand story.
The Whole-Brained Marketer
• Modern marketing is
grounded in creative insights
that inform the value
proposition and storytelling
• But modern marketing also
relies on analytics and iterative
Transforming Marketing in the Digital Age
Media Cross-media Transmedia
Process Waterfall Agile
1. Strategic Approach
Inbound marketing focuses on creating, curating and
distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and
retain customers. Instead of pitching your products or
services, it involves delivering information or services that
help customers solve problems or achieve their goals.
Outbound Marketing Inbound Marketing
“For messages to be heard in 2020, brands
will need to create an enormous amount of
useful, appealing, and timely content.
Companies will have to leave behind
thinking built solely around the campaign
model, and instead adopt the defining
characteristics of the real-time, data-driven
newsroom.” - Baba Shetty and Jerry Wind, Wharton School
Leading with Content
Principles of Effective Content Marketing
• Make it Useful: Your content should be useful to customers in some way
above and beyond what you offer through your products and services. It
should address some unmet need or answer a question your customers
• Make it consistent: Effective content is consistent both in terms of quality
and delivery. It should reliably deliver on the promises your brand makes
• Make it human: Your content should have a unique and human voice.
You need find your voice and be true to your voice.
• Avoid Sales Speak: The more you talk about yourself, the less people will
share and spread your story. Focus on telling a story, not selling a
• Be best in class: If you expect your customers to spend time with your
content, you must become the authority on the subject.
Return on Engagement – Types of Value
Provide Information: P&G Crest
Solve a Problem: Valspar
Create a Community: Sanofi Diabetes
Sanofi Diabetes experimented with new
ways to engage patients through social
– They released a Discuss Diabetes Blog, a
Facebook page, a Twitter account, and free
online education session for patients.
– Sanofi has also improved its transparency by
staying open in its social media presence and
sharing insights on how community engagement
has impacted the company.
– Sanofi also launched Diabetapedia, which is a
searchable resource for common diabetes terms.
Inspire: Corning “Day Made of Glass”
• Showcases the uses of
Corning glass products in a
day set sometime in the
future, reinforcing the brand
message and highlighting its
• Corning came out with several
“sequels” to the popular
• Corning has seen real
business results, including
sales growth of 14% and
specialty glass sales growth of
Content Creation Content Distribution
Keep an eye on
blogs, experts, other
Create your own.
Owned and Earned
Start here first.
Create a media and
Scaling / Paid
Invest behind the
Content Lifecycle Management
Content Marketing Hubs
2. Creative Strategy
Marketing as storytelling
The power of stories
Story Structure Template
Story Element Questions to Ask
Pre-Story • What is the main idea you are trying to communicate?
• What do you want your audience to DO as a result of your story?
• When and where?
• Who is the Subject? Hero is real/fictional/you?
• What does the character want? Identify his/her passion or Treasure.
• Who or what is getting in the way? Identify the villain or the Obstacle.
Action • What happened to the hero? Conflict? Temporary setbacks? Ups and downs?
• What happened to the hero in the end? Did s/he win or lose?
• What is the moral of the story?
• How does the conclusion link back to the main idea and compel the audience to do what
you want them to do?
Case Study: P&G “Thank You Mom”
• Twitter (#ThankYouMom and
• Facebook site “Thank You, Mom”
• $1,000 Visa gift cards to moms of all 357
• Continued storyline into “Pick Them Back
Up” , a montage of video clips featuring
moms “picking up” their children.
• Video series called “Raising an Olympian”
• The campaign was successful in its attempts to
combine the prestige of Olympic sports with the warm
sentimentality of the motherhood identity
• By allowing the audience to empathize with both the
success of youth athletes and with the nurturing
nature of their mothers, P&G created a campaign that
was both heartwarming and profitable.
• More than 2,800 total media placements
• 2.6 billion impressions through various broadcast and
social media outlets
• $500 million in incremental sales in 2013
The Customer Insight
IT professionals aren’t just geeks,
many are also musicians
The Creative Idea
Introducing the Sound of Azure
• Use metaphors and analogies
– In your story
– As the entire story
– Instead of telling the entire story
• Appeal to emotion
– Find out what your audience cares about
– Generate empathy
– Use verbatim words from consumers
• Keep it real
– Make it concrete
– Avoid technical jargon
– Be authentic
• Create an element of surprise
– Grab attention with a surprise at the opening
– End your story with a surprise to seal it in memory
– Hold back a key piece of information till the end
• Stylistic tips
– Use surprise, mystery or a challenge
– Use short sentences and small words
– Write in the active voice
3. Media Strategy
Transmedia storytelling is a process where
integral elements of a fiction get dispersed
systematically across multiple delivery
channels for the purpose of creating a
unified and coordinated entertainment
experience. Ideally, each medium makes it
own unique contribution to the unfolding of
Defining Transmedia Storytelling
In transmedia storytelling, each medium does what it does best
- so that a story might be introduced in a film, expanded
through television, novels, and comics, and its world might be
explored and experienced through game play.
Each franchise entry needs to be self-contained enough to
enable autonomous consumption.
Offering a multilayered approach across media motivates more
engagement and creates a more rewarding narrative
Understanding Transmedia Storytelling
Three Little Pigs: The Transmedia Version!
Anchor: The Novel
• Pig 1 has a blog with family history and
family dynamics that led to the pigs
decision to live apart rather than
• Wolf has a website to learn more him,
his antisocial tendencies, and follow him
as he plots and adjusts his plans
• Pig 2 takes to Twitter to find building
materials that can sustain a Wolf attack.
• Pig 3 creates a cooking blog and cooking
demo videos for YouTube.
• Wolf supporters form Team Wolf and
contribute strategy, information, additional
maps, and alternate endings and plot
developments on a Ning network.
• Pig 2 posts eco-friendly home designs and
materials on Pinterest and holds a contest for
homes made from sustainable building
• A new game called “Angry Pigs” is available for
download at the Apple Store involving pigs,
wolves and wind velocity.
• Pigs link with other story worlds, like Little Red
Riding Hood or Puss n’ Boots featuring Wolf
Tips for Transmedia Campaign Design
• Focus on Telling a Good Story
– Have a clear plot, main idea and outcome
– Make sure you allow for audience participation in helping to shape the story.
– Make sure every piece of content can be easily shared
• Think about how you will distribute a story
– Look at the your owned, earned, shared, and paid media.
– Think about how you want each platform to participate (e.g., use blogs to get a
more in-depth exploration of the character’s thoughts or a backstory; use Twitter
for real-time updates on what’s going on right now, report on events, provide
reactions, stream conversations between characters, etc.)
• Make each piece and narrative easy to find
– Connect each piece to the main plot and anchor story
– Ensure there is a balance of the linear and non-linear experience so that the
audience does not get lost or confused
The goals of Agile
Marketing are to
improve the speed,
adaptability to change
of the marketing
Agile Marketing Goals
Conventional vs. Agile Marketing
Principles of Agile Marketing
• Validated learning over opinions and conventions
• Collaboration over silos and hierarchy
• Iterative experiments over Big-Bang campaigns
• Customer discovery over static prediction
• Flexible over rigid planning
• Responding to change over following a plan
• Many small experiments over a few large bets
Agile (Scrum) Marketing Process
Key Shifts to Embrace
• Move away from long term planning: Shift to short-term, versatile
marketing plans that involve constant testing and experimenting of
tactics. The time between creating and executing a strategy must be
reduced drastically to ensure it is current and timely.
• Embrace marketing technology tools: Use tools like Digital Asset
Management (DAM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Web
Content Management (WCM) facilitate the creation and execution of
multichannel and multinational campaigns. Use web analytics tools for
real-time customer intelligence.
• Foster internal collaboration: Drive collaboration within internal
departments. Use nimble project management; for example, holding
shorter, more frequent scrums instead of longer, infrequent meetings to
get key stakeholders on the same page.
What’s Wrong with Campaigns?
• Campaigns are wasteful. Marketers spend a
significant amount of effort ramping up a
campaign, planning media and messaging, and
the like, only to have it fall by the wayside after
the campaign ends.
• Campaigns don’t engage customers. They can be
great at driving awareness or direct response, but
they do little to build loyalty and advocacy.
• Campaigns are product-centric. They rarely focus
on what customers want and care about.
• Campaigns cannot be sustained for long. You run
out of things to say.
• Always-On marketing focuses on communicating
whenever and wherever relevant to customers, rather
than only communicating while a brand has marketing
dollars to burn via a campaign.
• Always-On marketing involves building brand
experiences that are personalized, automated, and at
• Always-On marketing does not operate on a budget
or launch calendar – it operates on a content calendar
Shifting from Campaigns to Always On
Built around messages Built around a purpose
Divide people in boxes to efficiently
Unite around passions and interest
in the brand
Operate on our schedule Operate “on demand”
Control what is being said Curate and respond to what people
About being interruptive About being useful, relevant and
Exist in as many channels as
Create a hub for everything you do
Chinese women aged 24-35 who
enjoy fashion and are confident,
thoughtful and optimistic, like to
go places, meet friends and get
inspired in their adventures.
Target Customer in China
BRAND STATEMENT: LIVE COLORFULLY
Create a year-round story in digital platforms to
showcase how “the Kate Spade FUN girls lives an
interesting, colorful life as she travels colorfully
around the world and does fun things…
Creative Idea: Always On Marketing
• “Travel colorfully” wechat campaign to kick off the social discussion of the year
using the marketing theme
• Performance: Attracted 3,928 fans and 5,537 responses in 13 days
Introduce the places kate spade has
travelled in this year
Announce one winner weeklyReply “travelcolorfully + name” to get
a cruise ticket with replier’s name
Q1: New York/Europe – wechat campaign
• ‘What’s your travel style Game’ on Douban platform
• Performance: 58,211 visits and 11,601 new fans on Douban site
• Create an interesting interactive game to engage the audience on Douban
Q1: Europe/Italy - Douban Campaign
Sep1: Press the button
to start game
photo with mobile phone
and align eyes area to
take 2 shots
all shots to a cartoon
filter that can be shared
on social platforms
Sep4: Fill-in name and
• Interactive Wechat using the advertising visual to echo the annual theme of travel
• Performance: increased 2,685 followers and got 7,011 engagements in one week
Q2: Latin America - Wechat campaign
2 3 4
Step1: click “start”
to start the game
Step 2: select your
Step 4: fly sky lantern
independently or by
inviting your friend to
scan the QR code
Step 6: input
for chance to win a
•Launched an interactive Wechat campaign on 5 Sept, highlighted KSNY Sept traveling to
Shanghai theme, coinciding with the traditional the Mid-autumn Festival.
•Performance: 10,701 visits and 1,850 users left their information in 3 weeks.
Step 3: write your
wish on your
s iconic tourist sc
enes between two
of user and friend
Q3: Asia “Flying Wish” Wechat campaign
Website and blog
Kate spade girl
New York – living
this is the story of a
charming girl who laughs
out loud, sings off-key and
believes in taking chances.
She is quick and curious
and playful and strong.
She lets her imagination
run away with her. She
has never been one to
stick to convention…
Kate spade girl
having fun in
Meeting a China girl
with the same
Story : describing a
New York girl visiting
+ Playful behavior
+ Shanghai city
+ China local cool
items / stuff
+ Chinese subtitles
iWOM on different platform
News / KOL / Video / Music / Weibo/
your own playful style .
Weibo to announce
Dedicated apps / wechat
Upload playful photo by
Apps for your own
Video content / Messages
through Youku / douban
Extend the localized playful
content to all cities in China
Conversion : retail shop
sales / Ecommerce sales
The story continues with the Kate Spade girl from NY meeting the Kate Spade girl
in China (celebrity cast) who loves to live colorfully and travel colorfully ….
Next Phase: Real Kate Spade girl
Learnings from Kate Spade Case
• Contextualize the brand story to the local context
• Create a programmatic content and engagement
• Leverage popular local digital channels (Weibo,
• Build one strong voice across the platforms
• Link social engagement with the brand website
• Leverage celebrities to create social amplification
Three themes in Always-On Marketing
• Frequency (small pieces of content)
• Agility (content iterations)
• Duration (the L-O-N-G idea)
Transforming Marketing in the Digital Age
Media Cross-media Transmedia
Process Waterfall Agile