Think On A Consumer Strategy Rather Than A Mobile Or Social One, Says Tripti Lochan, CEO, VML Qais

Interview with Tripti Lochan, CEO, VML Qais about the agency, campaigns, industry thoughts on social media analytics and where is social media heading from here

Tripti Lochan

“The Open Happiness project from Coke has been my recent favourite because it is so close to the brand. It is really about happy times and that is what the brand is all about,” shared Tripti Lochan, CEO at VML Qais, Asia’s leading pure play digital agency, while talking about her recent favourites in global campaigns.

Tripti Lochan

VML Qais, the Asia arm of VML was formed by the acquisition of Qais Consulting in February, 2012. Tripti was one of the co-founders of the consulting firm that had kicked off in 2004 with a six member team in Mumbai,  and has been leading Qais as a CEO since early 2008.

Talking to her over the phone while she was in the airport lounge, it was good to know that the agency has been doing some amazing work across sectors with encouragement from the industry. She also updated that the agency which was launched in June, 2012 in India, has offices in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. In addition to this, they are looking to focus in terms of expansion in the South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

With brands like Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Revlon and Tata Motors in its portfolio, VML Qais has been doing some great work. When asked to share one of her favourite campaigns that the agency has done in India, Tripti was quick to share the “Spark The Rise” campaign.

“We didn’t create a campaign but created a platform for the brand which is all about conversations today. It was quite challenging, we also had constructive feedback but the framing was really positive,” added Tripti, who believes that today brands need to evolve from the mindset of working on campaigns, rather they should look at creating long lasting platforms.

A thought that I have believed in and felt that right now Asia is the most exciting place to be. Tripti, who understands the length of the Asian market, considers India to be more exciting because of the numbers, reach and marketing possibilities.

“India is now a very exciting market with the majority of youth population being online. I find marketers in India are looking for experimentation and that is the best part,” added Tripti. Discussing further on the Indian market, Tripti cited their recent campaign for Revlon adding that the impact for the brand in India is more compared to the western market.

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_lhi”]India is a consumer marketers dream.[/pullquote]

She was also of the opinion that in India brands have jumped into social media in a haste and are still doing so, but she thinks that there is no harm in it, as long as they stay in a framework where one can improvise.

So do you see the Indian brands investing money in tools, as social media analytics play a bigger role, was my quick question to her.

“In 2010 we had to monitor the pulse of the Gatorade brand and to achieve that we launched Mission Control. The objective was to monitor each and every conversation around Gatorade. The campaign was so successful that Coke actually had praised the work that PepsiCo was doing. We did the same exercise with ‘Spark the Rise’ campaign where we were initially listening to conversations around topics like infrastructure, entrepreneurship, etc,” she explained on how their agency has been concentrating on listening.

She also stated that the team at VML Qais believes in a lot of listening before they lay down strategies for a campaign. They did the same exercise of listening for more than two months while working for Revlon.

“For two months we focussed on listening to topics that were close to Indian women with regards to makeup and in fact we also were tracking what men think about makeup too, ”  Tripti enlightened.

Before she proceeded to board her flight, I concluded with my last question to Tripti – so, where is social media heading?

“The jury is already out. Social is moving to mobile. Social media platforms will have to invest in mobile or they will hurt profits. In addition to this, marketers will need to think of integrated campaigns to address the consumers, who are using all kinds of devices  today and we should be competent enough to serve them better. ”

In parting, she cautioned marketers to think on a consumer strategy rather than on a mobile or social one. Indeed in today’s social world, marketers will have to think in similar terms, otherwise brace themselves to be washed off.