The world had changed long before the pandemic , it started with internet , networks could connect across the world , I found one school batch mate and then a few more and then most of them . We met again after 35 years ! This was magic , I could find my school St Xaviers batch of 81 Tribe thanks to the internet . We once again bonded and stories came alive , thanks to the internet.
But then one one more change had already happened and that was the launch of apple smart phone , it was a phone , it was a music pod , it was internet all rolled into one . Over time apps were built that allowed for social connections , that allowed tribes of a few to connect . The smart phone was the world literally in our hands.
When people connected , they shared stories , stories of their lives , they listened to stories , stories that made them laugh , stories that inspired them , people shared stories with their friends and their family members . Like a virus pandemic that we see now spreading across the world , stories spread , the word ‘Gone Viral’ was born.
A bigger shift was occurring in the marketing world . Interruption marketing as we knew it was losing it’s grip , mass media , mass media advertising was losing meaning as consumers could no longer be interrupted . They did not want to be interrupted and they had also lost trust in Brands. They had logged off mass media and switched to consuming content on the smart mobile device .
A bigger shift occurred when price of data fell , now there was no restriction on the quantum of content being consumed , more mobile phones , more data being consumed , this was gradually killing interruption marketing .
Shift to Video
No one would have imagined that anyone could own a personal broadcast network and that could be beamed across the world . So long as you had a single viewer that was sufficient. Long tail had arrived. Influencers arrived , they were the new media , they could influence decisions.
As networks improved along with fall in data prices video became the primary data consumption capturing 80% of the data traffic.
Now stories were being told on video and stories were being shared across platforms like YouTube, facebook , Instagram , Linkedin.
Brands saw the shift from mass media to digital , from advertising to entertainment and they started to shift . Brands were now telling stories to capture audience attention , they are entertaining , educating , informing , there is a shift .
Brand for Good
There was another challenge that was faced by Brands , Brand Trust was at an all time low and in the post COVID world this is even more true , consumers expect Brands to be compassionate , they need to move from selling to connecting . These are troubled times where consumers feel the need to be cared and supported . Brands that care are top of the mind of consumers.
Amongst the gloom and doom consumers are looking for stories of good , stories of hope . Brands need to connect with stories of good .
Time for Good Stories
As head of social responsibility and Co-Founder of Mastek Foundation, I could see that there was a gap between doing good , philanthropy and business purpose . Now they all come together . They are not different divisions . Thankfully I wore both the the hats , head of marketing communications and head of Corporate Social Responsibility. I saw this change early.
When I combined the idea of students working on projects to build IT solutions for social sector with mentoring from Mastek employees I found I was building a strong employer Brand Story.
The future of Brand communication is Storytelling for good in the digital world , stories that inspire change , stories that connect with the heart , stories that are passed on . These would be stories told through visual mediums. There are so many good stories to be told.
Brands exist for a purpose and it is time to tell those stories . Every Brand has its own broadcast channel , its time to put the switch the channel on.
I am now on a mission to connect Brands with Good through Storytelling on good in the digital world.