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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsHi, my name's Shuvo Saha, I'm director for the branding business at Google UK. So through the lens of Google, how are brands changing? I think digital has changed what brands seek to be and how bold a mission they try to take on. So for instance, take a brand like Red Bull. At the beginning, you would say that they were an energy drink brand that happened to have an association with extreme sports. Now, realistically, they've effectively become an extreme sports content brand that happens to be somewhat funded by energy drink sales. It's completely turned their model on its head, and that's only happened because of the possibilities of digital content.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsTheir entire content strategy lives online, on YouTube, et cetera, but it's not just the likes of Red Bull. Even a brand like Pampers. It's a brand which sells nappies, diapers. But if you look at their positioning, they don't just consider themselves as a seller off those products. They consider themselves as experts in baby development. And they don't just say it in an ad, they bring it to life for real. So online there's communities, there's forums, there's advice on how to bring up your baby. They really put their money where their mouth is, and that's what's really adding value. So these are two simple examples.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsWe see them again and again where digital effectively makes brands enabled to have either a bolder mission or to live their mission more boldly. There's a lot being written and said about the possibilities of digital channels, digital media, et cetera, but I think it's helpful to just try and reflect on the changes that that's bringing around. The technology, we talk about a lot. There's [? search, ?] there's auction-based media, there's real-time bidding. It's data driven. There's video online. But what, really, does this mean?

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsSo if you think about targeting people, not so long ago if you wanted to sell a camera, you would have to guess at the demographic and the sociodemographics of the people who might be buying cameras, and try to target some media towards them. These days, think about search. Far better, surely, to target people who are searching for digital camera. Really simple, really obvious, but search-based targeting is one of the most powerful ways of targeting an audience. Thinking about holidays, another great example. It's quite hard for a holiday firm to know for a specific individual when are they actually in the market for a holiday. No demographic will tell you that.

Skip to 2 minutes and 47 secondsHowever, you could target people who are watching videos about a trip to Cairo, and target to them a holiday to Egypt. So that's a great example of contextual targeting. So digital time techniques means that we reach people far more efficiently than ever before. So digital does demand big changes in organizations. It's not just a case of having to use a few extra media channels. The implications are more profound. We had a story recently from Johnson & Johnson. Their managing director for Northern Europe spoke at one of our conferences and told the story of his digital transformation across a period of four years.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 secondsThey had been struggling in the market, and they found that big competitors like P&G, and Unilever, et cetera, were able to outmarket them, outspend them, more power with retailers, better supply chain, et cetera. So actually, being able to be sharper with their marketing, more smart with their marketing, and, in particular, more digital with their marketing became actually mission critical, not just as a smart way to reach consumers, but mission critical for their business success. That was so important to them, that meant that they embarked on a huge capability building program. All of the marketeers in the UK were mandated to go on 24, 25 trainings per year, once every two weeks or so. That's a massive commitment.

Skip to 4 minutes and 14 secondsAnd that's a big organizational shift for any company. So if you want to play in digital, you have to think about the organization that sits behind it.

How digital is changing brands, through the lens of Google

Here’s a view of how digital is changing brand, through the lens of Google. As you listen to Shuvo Saha’s insights, think whether all brands can follow the content-led path of Red Bull and Pampers. Consider also whether there are limits to the effectiveness of targeted communication. And finally, how many organisations, in your view, have invested enough in learning to be digital?

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This video is from the free online course:

The Secret Power of Brands

UEA (University of East Anglia)

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