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Sanjiv Mehta

FMCG brand Hindustan Unilever Limited was among the few giant brands to realise the growing need for content marketing early in India. Emphasising on the importance of content marketing, Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director at the company, said that content will become the core of every communication and the traditional means of one-way communication with consumers will soon become outdated.

Mehta said, “Today technology enables us to design the contextual communication and have geo-targeted personalised ads. Intrusive advertising will be the thing of the past and the brands will need to integrate themselves within the passion points of their consumers.”

The marketing fundamentals still remaining the same, with consumers at the heart of it, content will enable us to take the art of storytelling to a new level, feels Mehta. He said, “However the stories of tomorrow definitely have to be more authentic, relevant and bring in talkability.”

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He said relevant communication is the key to the minds of the consumers and hence, marketers need to become more relevant. “People are looking for more passion content rather than content that is pushed down the throat. It is clear that content drives talkability. In today’s world, we need to simplify the message and focus the buzz around the community.”

The HUL MD emphasised on the growth of new-age internet and social media influencers that are challenging the traditional celebrity-lead endorsements.

Mehta said that the brands with purpose will have more relevance in the millennial consumers' lives. “As technology takes over consumers’ lives, we have to stop the brand from commoditising. The traditional differentiation on the product, proposition and price will be necessary, but will not be sufficient. It is now more important to imbibe purpose into the brand. It is clear that the brands with the purpose will have a much higher preference for the millennial consumers,” he added.    

Television will remain relevant for many decades to come, said Mehta. Marketers need to balance the art of offline and online communication. “In a country like India, it will be immature to write the obituary of television. However, what will make people succeed is the art of being ambidextrous, which is balancing the online with the offline,” concluded Mehta.

Mehta was speaking at the recently held second edition of the Marquees Awards at St. Regis, Mumbai on August 29.