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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Key Takeaways From Click Asia Summit 2012 ( Day 1 and 2 #CAS12) …





This is the second year consecutively that I have attended the Click Asia Summit Conference. It is sort of becoming a habit now and am already looking forward to the 2013 summit. Its not because of the gloss, glamour, delicious food or the happiness I experience every time I have to go to Mumbai (The city where I was born and spent 23 years of my life) but  because of the sharing of knowledge related to the digital marketing world .

This interaction is the best way to start the year with confidence and set the right direction especially for entrepreneurs like me who work with very small teams and limited budgets. Conferences like these are an energy booster and help to plan for the coming year.

I have attended many conferences across the globe but when such an event takes place in India and especially in Mumbai , it gives me a sense of pride and pleasure.

#CAS12 the 3 day digital conference and networking started off on the 15th of Jan. 2012 with with an evening full of networking, conversations, and of course, laughter at The Comedy Store!

Day 2 post lunch had many options of sessions to select from but the day started with everyone attending the Keynotes by

Dr. Shashi Tharoor ( Member of Parliament, India) who spoke about “The Impact of digital media on politics and India in general”

Dr Tharoor highlighted the impact of social media on news , politics and India in general. He has been one of the early adopters of social media and has influenced celebrities to follow suit . He said that freedom of speech is the mortar that binds the bricks of our democracy together but free speech in Sweden isn't the same as free speech in Surat . He went ahead to say that Unlike a newspaper, social network sites are like postmen who take the news to your door. He also added that one cannot sue the phone companies for sending a defamatory or obscene SMS, similarly a person who puts up something defamatory on FB should be prosecuted not FB itself.

He totally spoke pro social media and said that social media is inescapable and is here to stay. He also added that a message needs a medium it is the message which is important and not the medium.

Lucy McCabe from OgilvyOne Worldwide,Singapore spoke on “The Digital marketing 2.0: The big picture“


She spoke very effectively and highlighted the point that the people of the library era and the people of the Google era think differently. My vote for the best speaker for the day went to her because of the way this difference was presented in her presentation.

She said that the shift of the source of information from the traditional library has made Google the new norm.

For the people of the Google era digital is not about technology but it is just stuff which helps them with their homework and other day to day activities. In 5 years from now we will not be attending conferences on digital marketing because it will be just stuff. She then spoke about the social media impact and redefined the digital relationships between people and brands in a whole new way by saying that people did not come on FB to make friends with brands, 50% of people who use FB have never 'liked' a brand since that's not the reason they are on FB and digital is not about the clicks, its about the conversation. On this medium brands should ask "what can we give back" if they want time, money, advocacy and data as a digital exchange. Customers don't wake up and go "ooh, wonder what branded digital content I can interact with today"

Connect Me -> Be Useful -> Entertain Me. Three things people want from brands .


Finally she focused on the fact that The future of agency lies in solving problems with innovative ideas


Cyriel Kortleven from New Shoes Today , Belgium spoke on “Get a creative boost... Break the curse of knowledge “

He started his keynote with wired 7 questions for triggering creativity . He said that our brains see something and make assumptions with almost everything we do . His digital marketing analogy with the human brain was quite interesting where he highlighted that the curse of knowledge is that we get stuck into thinking patterns and habits and we can break the borders of the box for thinking patterns and habits by not limiting our power with buts and ifs , but unleash the power of 'and' by asking and what else.

Post lunch the sessions were divided into 3 categories as follows:
  • TECHNOLOGY/MOBILITY TRACK 
  • SOCIAL MEDIA TRACK 
  • SEARCH & SOCIAL TRACK 
My interest and inclination as usual is the social and search sessions hence I glued my attention to those sessions which were as follows.

The first session was by Mr. Sandeep Amar on Social media impact - An analytics overview .
For him social media meant only Facebook , the idea I just could not digest. He seemed to be pro FB and totally against Google which again was very annoying for me to sit through and listen to. The audience spoke more than him and he was unable to answer any questions satisfactorily.

He went ahead to say that Negative posts receive more comments and less Likes. This calls for marketers to delve into their Facebook Insights. The very thought of FB = Social Media which he put forward made me lose interest in the session.

Rajesh Sharma’s session was on “Beyond the initial hype – building sustainable and scalable digital businesses, the PE perspective ! “

He put forward the question – Will Ecommerce boom or burst in 2012?

  • As per his presentation the key points were: 
  • There are more no. of enterprises coming up online 
  • Technology is no longer a challenge anyone can get a website made but only the setting up of the ecommerce venture is easy sustaining it and making it grow is a challenge. 
  • It is not necessary that the people who set up the business may be the right people to scale up the business . Hence we need experts for every specialized job. 

For the success of the Ecommerce Business we need an EAT Model
E- Experiences
A – Aspirations
T – Transactions


The dotcom 2000 burst was because the T was missing then. Now people buy confidently online.

Mahesh Narayanan highlighted the urgency to go mobile ASAP and to Make sure to track and measure your reach,whether through your app or through your mobile site. He said that mCommerce will become big in the next couple of months in India and the consumers on the go should be focused. 



Vivek Bhargava spoke on “How to use analytics and other technology tools to plan a content strategy for an Enterprise Business “

His mantra was to focus on the psychographics and the target audience and the most reliable strategy was to create videos and see that they go viral. He also highlighted that SEO is now all about web presence optimization and the content was the glue to conversations and If a user is engaged with your brand then the propensity to buy from that brand is much higher compared to others.

Manish Maheshwari spoke about Reaching internet-dark mobile users…in as less as 5 hours


This session was about how to use SMS to reach out to people who do not have internet access , what he spoke about was SMSing via http://textweb.com/ which has the internet on SMS .

He pointed out that :
  • SMS kills all others (Mobile web, apps) in terms of accessibility, reach 
  • An average Indian Send 29 SMS a month 
  • SMS, as advertising medium has 5% interaction rate 
  • SMS is most used app on mobile phones, even on smartphones. 
Chris George - Search and social : Digital marketing in the SME sector in India

He shared that:
  • 76% of people think that companies lie in advertising 
  • India has second highest base of #Linkedin users 
  • 41% of internet user trust information published on #Facebook
  • We are at the intersection of search and social 
  • Aim of SMM should be - brand building and crowd sourcing...creating advocates 
  • The selection of the social media medium depends on the message which needs to be sent across and the messenger matters. 
Lalit Bhagia The multi- tasking digital consumer

He focused on the point that The challenge today is to get the attention of the consumer's nonstop limited attention 87% of the people are on social media while watching TV . We are multi-tasking all the time, hence the content that we share or upload on aour site or Apps should have an overall appeal and should pull the visitors attention from all the other task that he is doing at that moment.

Cross-leveraging SEO & SEM
Benedict Hayes (Moderator)
Navneet Kaushal, Hareesh Tibrewala,Benjamin Gonsalves


The day ended with a panel discussion on how to cross-leverage SEO & SEM.

The focus on this session was that at the end of the day whatever SEO and SEM strategy that you have the campaigns are judged by the ROI they generate.
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