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BW Businessworld

‘IPL Biggest Playground Possible For Brands’

Big launches, whether it is a new phone or a new show, are where we see marketers take advantage of Twitter from a brand strategy standpoint

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In a recent visit to India, Alex Josephson, Head of Global Brand Strategy, Twitter, spoke to BW Businessworld’s Ruhail Amin about brand engagement on social platforms and how Twitter is ushering in a new experience for its partners. 


How are you enabling brands create a bigger impact on your platform?

Since Twitter is an open platform, we are able to pick signals from the consumers that brands want to reach and ultimately drive conversations and deliver solutions based on those insights. The audience on Twitter is influential and receptive and those two things are in tandem with each other to drive business results. For example, when it comes to influence, nine out of 10 Twitter users in India have recently influenced a purchase decision among friends or family, and beyond that 92 per cent of daily active users in India follow brands, and when they come to Twitter, they expect to hear from brands. So the two areas where we think we can help brands are — one, when they are launching something new, and second when they are trying to connect with what is happening around an event or an activity.

What kinds of trends are you witnessing in such associations in the Indian marketplace?
Last year Motorola was the first ever brand to live broadcast an event on Twitter and they drove around 370,000 live viewers with that single broadcast. They created an entertainment experience out of what traditionally could be just a new phone launch. Typically in India you see sports and music content live streaming on the platform, but in this case Motorola was turning the model on its head, and as a brand they were the broadcaster. So big launches, whether it is a new phone or a new show, are where we see marketers take advantage of Twitter from a brand strategy standpoint.

How does Twitter enable a safe environment for brands?
We offer an environment where you can target your ads adjacent to or within premium video inventory or content. We have machine learning built in place to detect every single piece of content, every single video impression that the brands run to ensure it is brand safe. And on top of that, as a last line of defence, we actually have a human team to review every single video ad impression before it is served.

Is Twitter looking at aggressive brand associations in 2019 given that there is IPL, Lok Sabha polls and IIC Cricket World Cup?
Asia Pacific is a key region to Twitter, and India is a key driver of that regional growth. So, we are doubling down on the size of our brand strategy team in India and expanding the technological offerings. We are very excited about IPL because the biggest playground possible for brands to associate with a major sporting event is cricket. We see half of the cricket fans on Twitter and they read cricket tweets several times a day, and they come to Twitter to stay up-to-date about the score and view exclusive content. These are the behavioral traits we have data on, and we share all these insights with brands to form an effective strategy, and I think it will be bigger this year than ever before.

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