The technology decision makers in the media and entertainment industry are prepping to up their game, be it with policy changes with the Goods and Services Tax Bill, or drawing the best out of digital tools for a competitive and sustainable media business in the country. The India Brand Equity Foundation reports, a CAGR of 14.3 per cent to touch Rs 2.26 trillion by 2020, and revenues from advertising would grow at 15.9 percent to Rs 99,400 crore.
With such a scale of expected growth, it is becoming extremely crucial for decision makers to identify and analyze challenges in time, since the information and business centers are constantly merging in organizations.
Three such executives, representing big brands across the industry: Rajat Tyagi, CIO and digital head, PVR Cinemas; Rajeev Batra, CIO, Bennett Coleman and Co.; Rajneesh Mittal, CTO, Zee Entertainment, about what this year demands in terms of technology integrations and how they plan to tackle that.
As a CIO, what are your priorities this year?
Rajat Tyagi: It is all about digital expansion. The priorities include focussing on growing online business and customer engagement through web or app, digital engagement platforms, both online, social and in cinema locations. We also expect to strengthen automation to improve the backend processes within the business.
Rajeev Batra: I would be focussing on analytics for market competitiveness and decision support systems, customer relationship management, content management systems and digital archival. I am also concentrating on business process reengineering which is meant to do more with less, including GST implementation. A focus on governance, risks and compliances management, information security enhancement, mobility, and apps for enterprise and customer engagement makes for my priority list as well.
Rajneesh Mittal: As a CIO, my top priority is to continue relentlessly with the digital transformation for my enterprise. It includes empowering our employees in the workplace through various IT solutions, engaging more contextually and comprehensively with our customers, and drive operational efficiencies through automation. Another goal is to develop the team in a more business-oriented mindset, rather than only on the IT capabilities, to take the business ahead.
What are the business challenges you foresee?
Tyagi: Engaging customers with an experience that is most convenient, is a challenge.
Batra: Due to demonetization, there has been an apparent short term adverse impact on growth of several cash-centric sectors, causing curtailment in their marketing and advertising budgets, and consequently less revenue available for advertising and entertainment. With digital natives’ affinity towards small screen, mobile devices are causing a shift in the readership pattern of audience. We also often face non-willingness from audiences to pay for exclusive or premium content, making digital paywalls currently not applicable.
Mittal: There are definite challenges as traditional business models are getting disrupted and new paradigms are emerging. As a global broadcaster, the challenge for us would be to figure out how traditional broadcasting businesses stay relevant in the digital landscape while at the same time we embrace the new channels. We further have to drive effective content monetization and increase the revenues in the face of these challenges.
How do you intend to leverage IT to overcome business challenges?
Tyagi: We’re focussing on partnering with leading digital innovators to provide unique and superior customer experience. We look to build a one-to-one connection with customers, through analytics and targeted communication.
Batra: We intend to provision additional channels to expand the reach of content and messaging for enhanced eyeballs and attention, specifically through social platforms and cloud-based applications and building a bridge between print and digital using augmented reality and point of interest based apps. Also, gathering information from international counterparts on audience analytics could help tune in the content on par with current time.
Mittal: With all the contexts about consumers available from different sources, it’s just a matter of putting mathematical modelling around key data points and figuring out what will it take to keep the consumer with you or bring a new one into your fold. Driving better bang for the buck for advertisers is getting exciting each day with all the analytical capabilities available that can help them reach their target consumers. IT can help optimize and automate processes that have the potential to deliver content to various end consumption points the way it is desired and without any human touch points.
With the advent of digital technologies and analytics, is finding skill, talent an issue?
Tyagi: To provide targeted communication, analytics is key. Tools and solutions that can automate some of the analytics functions is needed.
Batra: Finding relevant skills for analytics is a challenge, and even the solution providers come with rather limited knowledge in this domain.
Mittal: Finding the right skill fit is always an issue because the technology landscape is changing very fast. The talent that we increasingly look for are the ones who blend technology and business well. And that’s definitely a scarcity. But a way of tackling this is to up skill the existing resources and bring that business acumen to IT by continuous interaction with business champions. We let core IT folks work in tandem with business teams to understand their typical day in life and work to help execute use cases leveraging technology.
Moving forward, do you see analytics driving the marketing? How will it help you in delivering greater RoI?
Tyagi: Better customer engagement is possible using more focused interaction, based on customer preferences. For this, analytics is necessary to understand customers better.
Batra: Specifically, we are looking to drive advertising for targeted sales through predictive analytics and better audience management. And, editorial analytics to help with relevant content. All these will enhance revenues and align the content to the readers’ choice, which obviously will help in enhanced market share and valuations.
Mittal: Analytics will not only help marketers see their consumers and behavioural patterns better, but also in right context across all channels. Put this together with other parameters – marketing resource allocation, time and money, prioritization of investments – and you have a medley that only analytics can help solve.