He is a die-hard optimist and a passionate communications enthusiast who has mastered the art of turning a crisis into opportunity. Lalit K Sharma, Founder and CEO of Mantrin – an advertising agency and brand consultancy with 360-degree marketing solutions – has taken brands to another level with his unmatched ability to build campaigns over the last two decades. Nikita Agarwal talked to him about his journey, challenges and gathered some interesting insights into the industry.
You have been in the field as the ‘campaign man’ for two decades, how has your experience been?
Yes, we have been in the field since 2001 and it has been a lovely journey. You rightly called me a ‘campaign man’. I still remember when The Indian Express covered us in May 2006 which technically was the first recognition of our campaign and ideas and the journalist had quoted me saying, “A customer needs a relationship, a bond and a lot of added advantage in communication“. We have always followed AIDA (Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action). The quality of awareness decides the future of a business. I think many of the clients, brand managers and agencies need to realize the importance of the ‘message‘ in a creative campaign. I have evolved a lot in these 21 years; the transition from PR practitioner to a Brand Consultant has been a wonderful journey and there is still a lot to explore. Earlier it was print, then came radio and outdoor and now, digital has changed the way we decide the fate of a brand campaign.
How has the industry evolved in the last two decades? What is the major change that you see in the marketing strategies?
There is a great change in the industry. Everything changes with the audience; in the past, the population mix was totally different, and their exposure was of a different kind but today, we have a good number of digital-savvy people who have different ideas than, say, those of the same age group in 2005. As I mentioned earlier there was only print, but there are newer media now. Radio was doing great till Gaana and Spotify stepped in. TV has been challenged by OTT; the audience and media of this age are changing. At Mantrin we understand this and work 24X7 to keep pace with the change.
When talking about a marketing campaign, what are the most essential five points that come to your mind?
The audience, message, campaign objective, budget and media plan. It is quite a simple yet challenging task; all that matters is the understanding of your audience, then building a message that achieves the purpose within the budget allocated through the right media mix. Even a single point missed may affect the result.
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