Day 2 of Content Marketing Summit (CMS) Asia 2015: Lessons Learned from a Movie Director and a Radio Host

In my last blog post, I covered the Day 1 of the Content Marketing Summit (CMS) Asia 2015. Here's a recap of all the action as it happened on Day 2 of the summit, that is, February 20, 2015.

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9:30 am: Day 2 of the Content Marketing Summit started with the introduction of a new emcee, Geetika Ganju Dhar.


Geetika is a known TV anchorperson. She started the day on a perfect note, "Content marketing is oxygen."

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9:45 am: Nikhil Sarup, who brought the house down on the previous day, started the first session of Day 2 titled, "Kickstart your content marketing program - Results showcase".

Key learning from his presentation:
  • Content Marketing is about Speed and Scale.
  • Nikhil demoed how Kontent Cart could help businesses with custom-made content for their brands. Kontent Cart is a neutral online platform that connects brands, marketers and their agencies with content creators or writers for all content marketing needs. 
  • Nikhil chose two brands to demo: 
    • Order Fresh: The Company has a mobile app through which customers can order fresh vegetables and fruits, among other perishable items. They receive over 1000 orders a day.
    • DesiFirangi: The Company sells lingerie but is struggling with content (only four articles on its blog to date).
  • For Order Fresh, Nikhil demoed how Kontent Cart was able to create custom-made content for the brand (Example: "Brain Healthy Diet") that could be marketed on sites like NDTV as "Sponsored by Taboola" ads.
  • Says "Content can help discover your brand."
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10.00 am: George Paul, who works as Director and Head of Marketing with Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd., started the second session of the day titled, "Drive thought leadership with content marketing".


Key learning from his presentation:
  • 700,000 new Internet users are added every day.
  • Shared how Ericsson has helped shape the Network Society.
  • Says "We are beyond the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) inflection point."
  • Old industry logics are not valid anymore.
  • Verticals are integrating ICT into their value chain. 
  • New reality: Content remains KING.
  • We enable change and change makers.
  • Focus is shifting from products to services and from owning to sharing.
  • Content Marketing teams in Ericsson comprise:
    • Brand Marketing
    • Category Marketing
    • Product Marketing
  • Content runs through all the three teams through different channels.
  • Ericsson has a partnership with The Economic Times. They publish interviews with the "ecosystem players".
  • New reality: How successful the transformation is depends on how well our stories are told and how well our customers respond to our stories.
  • For Content Marketing, Ericsson hires two types of resources: content and activation.
  • In Ericsson, the product lifecycle typically spans from eight months to twenty four months. Planning is done a year in advance. The Strategic Marketing team is involved and they look at everything again in the middle of the year.
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10.30 am: The opening keynote on Day 2 was delivered by Vijay Krishna Acharya (or Victor).


Victor is the man behind Story, Screenplay, Dialogue, and Direction of Dhoom 3, the second highest-grossing Bollywood film. The movie has earned INR 542 crore (USD 85 million) in revenue.


Key learning from his opening keynote:
  • The 3 pillars of Hindi films in 2003 were Emotions, Drama, and Romance.
  • For promotions of Dhoom 3, Victor believed that "less was more". The content of movie was kept a secret. Actors were asked not to reveal anything about the plot to anyone. Except the trailer, no creative was released. The press interviews were done in three languages only: Hindi, Tamil, and Telgu. It became a talking point.
  • "Jassi jaissi koi nahin" and "Just Mohabbat" are two TV shows that Victor was associated with and are still very special to him. 
  • The TV audience had apprehensions about the content of the two shows, but Victor stood his ground.
  • Says "If you allow fear to come in your way of accomplishing something, it will prevent you from accomplishing it."
  • Victor engaged in a rapid fire session with RP Singh.
    • RP asked, "How do you plan content for the same product (read "Dhoom movie sequels") every time?"
    • Victor answered, "The reason to make a film should never be that you can cash in on the success of the previous film."
  • Victor finds Aamir Khan to be one of the best team players ever.
  • Says "We create a landscape where we believe anything can happen."
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11.00 am: Next, Amit Sinha Roy presented a session on "B2B Content Marketing: Global success stories". He shared how to acquire, retain, and grow customers profitably.


Key learning from his presentation:
  • Over 24% of the world's Internet routes use Tata Communications network.
  • Some B2B Content Marketing success stories:
    • VMware: Best Social Amplification
    • Oracle: Best Interactive Content
    • IBM: Best Integrated Demand Gen Campaign
    • LinkedIn: Best High Impact RoI (Example: "Ask the Expert" on LinkedIn)
  • B2B telecommunications companies have great marketing campaigns too.
Videos of successful B2B Content Marketing stories were shown:

  • Where does the Internet come from?

Part 1



Part 2



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11.20 am: The highlight of the Day 2 was a session on "Audio Content: Opportunities & Challenges" by RJ Khurafati Nitin from Fever 104 FM. Nitin with his baritone voice is like an espresso shot.


Key learning from his presentation:
  • Radio is the theater of the mind. Not having the visuals has its own advantages.
  • Talking of real-life challenges, he narrated how he got the sad news of his grandma's demise in the middle of a live radio show. He didn't leave the show halfway, even in the face of adversity. 
  • Says "Listeners don't know which mood you are in and they don't have to know."
  • Played an audio titled "Kyun shaant hai Dilli?" It was a heartfelt appeal to Delhiites on taking control of their lives and showing courage in the wake of ongoing terror threats in the city.
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11.40 am: Post Nitin's session, Karthik Nagarajan delivered his presentation on "Personas & Mapping: How humanizing target audience works wonders."



Key learning from his presentation:
  • As a practice leader for social media at GroupM, Karthik is building an ecosystem to help over 60 different brands of diverse sizes and pedigree, leverage earned media - both as a marketing platform and for insights.
  • The practice is the custodian to some of the largest and best curated social communities in India, while also being a strategic insights and technology partner to them.
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12.10 pm: Next, there was a panel discussion on "Can brands become publishers?"

The following guests were invited on the panel:
Key learning from the panel discussion:
  • Smaller industries should first focus on curating and syndicating content.
  • 65% of customer journey is digital.
  • All brands are publishers.
  • A brand that wants to publish must not talk about what it does, but must talk about why it does it.
  • You cannot make a viral video. You have to create elements in the video which can make it viral.
  • Brands look for conversion and brand awareness. They also want to support their strategy in a native way.
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1.50 pm: Post lunch, Mohammad Danish presented a session on "Building a buyer-focused content - How does strategy stack up".



Key learning from his presentation:
  • Content is something you cannot run away from. It is part of your DNA and has always been around.
  • 60 to 70% of marketing content goes completely unused.
  • Consumption of content is an issue.
  • 90% of email is unopened.
  • 86% of TV ads go unwatched.
  • .01% of banner ads are ever clicked on.
  • Most brands think they are trying to act like real humans.
  • After Danish returned from Times Square, he couldn't remember a single brand he saw there. A recent survey reveals that 73% of respondents wouldn't care if the brands they used disappeared from their lives.
  • Says "Most of the content is floating in the wind".
  • Believes "Behind every piece of bad content is an executive who asked for it".
  • Make the customer feel important, not the brand.
  • Most efforts to build relationships start too high or too low in the buyer journey.
  • Showed the Oscar selfie by Ellen DeGeneres and asked the audience why 3.3 million people retweeted that picture. The reason, according to him, was that the celebs looked like us, the common man.
  • Redefine marketing by putting people at the center.
  • Be a 'Youtility'.
  • Marketing is so useful that people pay for it.
  • Example of exceptional customer experience: Indigo responds to traveler's requests by tweets. The resolution to issues is fast.
  • To build relationships at scale:
    • Know your audience.
    • Know what content works.
    • Make smarter decisions.
    • Use analytics.
  • Your audience wants stories created just for them. Will you give it to them?
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2.20 pm: Next, there was a panel discussion on "How agencies will approach Content Marketing for clients."



The session was moderated by L. Subramanyan, and the following guests were invited on the panel:
Key learning from the panel discussion:
  • We are building houses but it is furnishing that matters. Content is furnishing.
  • Technology can't be ignored but it should not become the end.
  • If you are not starting more conversations around your brand, you are doing something fundamentally wrong.
  • Once you have the success matrix you are looking for, you make your plan accordingly.
  • Make content that resonates with your audience.
  • It's more about having a talent ecosystem, rather than having one thing at one place. 
  • Think about content, not campaign.
  • Think of content as a marriage, not a one-night stand.
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3.05 pm: Post the panel discussion, Sandeep Amar presented a session on "Content Marketing solutions from Publishers - The changing paradigm".


Key learning from his presentation:
  • Content marketing is the biggest tool for search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Brands have the means to reach users, but they do not have credible content sources.
  • Brands cannot be credible content sources, while ending up promoting their own brand.
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3.35 pm: Next, Harish Bahl (Founder & Chairman, Smile Group) presented a session on "Tip for Content marketing: Measure input KPIs".


Key learning from his presentation:
  • As a business builder, Smile partners with the best entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and multinational companies to build digital companies from scratch, expand operations, and increase its footprint by rolling out internationally.
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4.05 pm: The ending keynote address was delivered by Sandeep Aurora.


Key learning from his keynote address:
  • Average attention span of a consumer is about 9 seconds.
  • Content has to be weaved seamlessly into the story.
  • Technology can empower the world (Example: Dharavi - A Look Inside).
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4.35 pm: Next, Vijay Simha, Chief Content Brewmaster, Kontent Cafe, presented a session on "Data Porn: Content marketing lessons from Pornhub".



Key learning from his presentation:
  • Try to create content which can live on its own.
  • Porn is bigger than Christmas in Japan.
  • Alibaba is using bra sizes to understand how people spend.
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5.00 pm: Final session of the summit was presented by Roopak Saluja who talked about "Content is King, Distribution is God". Roopak is the Founder & CEO at The 120 Media Collective.


Key learning from his presentation:
  • There is lot of focus on aesthetically pleasing advertising.
  • To create content, it takes a lot of effort.
  • The "Why This Kolaveri Di" song video was tweeted by 1 million people and liked by 3.6 million people on Facebook.
  • Content drives sales directly. Example: Toy industry benefitted after the release of The Lego Movie and Toy Story.
  • Other examples shared: LEGO® Star Wars™ The New Yoda Chronicles app.
  • Different strokes for different folks. Quoted Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."
  • Netflix spent USD 3 billion last year. The next season of House of Cards can be seen online on Netflix from Feb 27, 2015.
  • Creators are becoming distributors and vice versa.
  • Distribution is the battleground for engagement.
  • Inspire content from whatever it is that you're doing (Examples: GoPro, Vessel, and Snapchat).
  • Will launch an exciting product called Sooperfly on April 1, 2015.
Video shown:
  • Red Bull Stratos - Felix Baumgartner (freefall from the edge of space): Felix Baumgartner is the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall.


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5.30 pm: Time for the CMS Asia 2015 Awards Ceremony. Here is a list of this year's winners:
  • Brand of the year: Dove (Beauty Real Sketches & More)
  • Agency of the year: The 120 Media Collective
  • Campaign of the year: Chilli Paneer Interactive Films by DBS
  • Innovator of the year: Courtyard Marriott for The Elevator Pitch (Times Internet)
Closing remarks from RP Singh:
  • This year the summit had 310 attendees (10 registrations from a single company itself).
  • RP took a moment to thank Taboola who paid the conference bills and Geetika who hosted the Day 2.

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