Thinking Aloud : As an online industry veteran, you have seen the industry’s evolution right from the beginning. What contemporary issues and trends you are witnessing these days in the online or digital medium?
Sanjay Trehan : The balance of power is shifting from publisher to the consumer. It is a very critical time as information dissemination is no more limited from only one end. The receivers or the online consumers have also started expressing their responses loudly and clearly.
Now the marketers have to keep their eyes and ears open in order to acknowledge and use this new mode of communication exchange. Consumers are finding out that their voice can now reach directly to the key people. And digital is acting as their favorite carrier of this. This is a major trend that we all are seeing and it clearly indicates that common users are empowered to express their views and digital is the only medium which is making all this possible for them.
TA : Among the digital landscape, which are the hot segments?
ST : I believe that social media, blogging platforms and mobile have emerged as the preferred mediums for common consumers.
TA:How would conventional media platforms react to this shift?
ST : Now, this trend is so visible that mainstream or destination based portals will find it difficult to attract the audiences, if they do not become specialists in key verticals. Impact on product mix is bound to happen. So, segmentation of audiences and categorization of subjects will happen in order to attract the customers.
TA : From the aspect of content, what are the significant changes that you see coming?
ST : Convergence of various mediums in media is going to be seamless and in some instances it has became very well visible. Consumers of content are consuming content on multiple devices, so the content hasto be optimized and flexible enough to be delivered on mobile, TV or print. Media approach has to be adopted uniquely in order to address this shift. I believe that the concept of converged newsroom is going to be adopted in India as well.
TA : What trends are visible in the area of user generated content?
ST : This will continue to drive the digital medium. It clearly shows the power of this medium. For example, the recent Dantewada incident was covered by Saadhna news channel which no one has heard of earlier. This was a clear example of regional hold and use of digital medium.
There are lots of instances when individuals have captured valuable content and shared their valuable content over digital platform. User generated content will keep on increasing.
Convergence of various mediums in media is going to be seamless and in some instances it has became very well visible. Consumers of content are consuming content on multiple devices, so the content has to be optimized and flexible enough to be delivered on mobile, TV or print
TA : How does the authenticity of online content come into this picture?
ST : It is true that credibility issue still exists. Maintaining credibility comes into play as majority of readers want to read authentic and credible content. But for many areas likelight hearted reading, fun and leisure related reading this factor does not comes into the top priority.
TA : Considering all this, what expectations do you have from the digital medium from the marketing aspect? What is expected to drive this market?
ST : Digital marketing will be much more vibrant in near future. The share of digital is going to increase significantly.