My Thoughts On The WAT Summit 2013 #Watsummit

A event report of the Digital Marketing WAT Summit 2013 that was held in Mumbai recently.

WAT_Summit_2013_Digital_Marketing

Last week I was in Mumbai to attend the WAT Summit 2013 for the third time. In 2011 we were part of the audience but in 2012 and 2013, we were also the Media Partners for the event. The one day event that happened in The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai was based on the theme – “A New Era Of Digital Marketing.”

WAT Summit 2013 Rajiv Dingra
Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO at WAT Media

Like the last two events Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO at WAT Media inaugurated the day by emphasizing why he considers 2013 as a new era in the digital marketing in India. He focused on how the different aspects such as social, digital, mobile, Ecommerce, etc. have not only dominated the market but are also driving innovations. Rajiv left the stage only to handover to Neville Taraporewalla, Sr. Director, Emerging Markets at Microsoft Corporation. Neville, in his 30 minutes keynote, shared how the web has turned into “U Centric Web.” He spoke extensively about how today everyone is a story teller, how the world is more about context and every surface is turning into a screen. The ecosystem is today building around “YOU”. His keynote ended with a small round of Q&A that was carried out by Rajiv himself.

Moving further after the keynote, the day witnessed five keynotes – 1) Making sense of jibber-jabber by brands 2) Digital Marketing – Can it build  a brand on its own 3) Ecommerce Market build brand v/s build business , 4) Mobile Marketing – Promises of reach V/S Actual impact,  and 5) Startup Marketing.

All the five panels of the day had a major focus on social media and how it is being used by the different players. The first panel saw a debate on social media being more effective on B2C and why B2B market is still struggling, how seriously social media is being taken by brands, etc. The highlight of the discussion was Ekalavya Bhattacharya, Digital Head at MTV India sharing how they are using the web and increasing reach of their TV show ‘Roadies’. Definitely a progressive move by MTV on social media.

The second panel saw eminent speakers from the Indian Digital fraternity. The panel discussion focused on how digital is growing and the investments being made in the same. However, the discussion was also occupied by how social is playing a major role.

The third panel started with a happy stomach since it was right after lunch and a key one as it focused on the Ecommerce market in India. I was looking forward to this discussion since there has been lot of concern with the growth of the Ecommerce market in India. The panelist representing the likes of Ebay India, Zovi, Myntra, etc. were a delight to listen as they discussed on the challenges, different ways of engaging with customer, logistics and the focus on social media. Search engine marketing, Facebook, Twitter are the favourites with the Ecommerce players.

Moving further, the rest of the day saw two more panels that focused on Mobile Marketing and Startup Marketing respectively. Mobile marketing discussed the ongoing challenges but also had some insights from the panel on how it is growing in India. The panel had a consensus that the market is investing on some exciting mobile engagements and advertisers are putting money on the medium. A very interactive session that was well moderated by Milind Pathak, Global Head of New Business at One97.

WAT Summit 2013 startup marketing
Panel 5: Startup Marketing

The last session that happened right after the small tea break was exciting since we had Alok Kejriwal, Co Founder & CEO at Games2Win to enlighten us with his insightful banter. Last 30 minutes of the day at the WAT Summit was really exciting and the focus was once again on social. Alok shared that before thinking of marketing a product, one should be confident about the product and then go for marketing.

The panel discussed on how startups should focus on doing itself, cutting cost and being smart, etc. But for me the high point of the discussion was the thought from Alok –

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_lhi”]The best marketing ideas come when you think that you don’t have a single penny to spend on marketing.[/pullquote]

A very crucial lesson for startups and entrepreneur like us and for every problem we have the great Google to help us.

The WAT Summit ended with this but the evening witnessed some great work by the Indian Digital Industry at the WAT awards. I was not there to witness it but you can catch the entire happenings here.

Congrats to the winners and lets wish that 2013 is another year of outstanding work!