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Young Lankan marketers have lot of potential to compete globally - Gamika

6 October 2022 12:00 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Gamika De Silva, with his 24 plus years of experience in Marketing, has brought his skills to various sectors including Banking, Telecommunication, Super Markets, Consumer Durables and Insurance. He is currently the Assistant General Manager – Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. 


Gamika’s relationship with the Effie Awards - a global symbol of marketing achievement, has continued to grow stronger. This was most recently highlighted when he was selected as a member of the Jury for the Global Best of the Best Effie Awards. In an insightful interview, Gamika revealed his experience and the significance of the Effie awards to Sri Lanka.


What is the Global Best of the Best Effie Awards?
It is all about bringing forward Gold Effie winners of each Effie programme worldwide and regional winners, to decide on the best of the best. They compete on a global stage for the title ‘Global Grand Effie winner’ in their respective categories. All Global Grand Effie winners will then contend for the Iridium Effie, which will be awarded to the single most effective marketing effort worldwide. 
The challenge here is that all the entries which need to be judged have won Gold at some level. This brings about a lot of competitiveness which results in the Jury having to focus on the minute points which may differentiate a score. 


Please share your experience in being part of the global jury.
One of the key learning and inspiration for me is to visualise how communication overcomes challenges and resolves problems for brands, communities and governments. 


I was exposed to cases from Pakistan, South America, Ukraine, Brazil, Peru, France, the Middle East and Africa. Some of the challenges highlighted and insights unearthed, are relatable to us in Sri Lanka as well. It is amazing to see how some countries used these little insights to create big ideas. 


Further, I was quite taken up by PR led campaigns, and the impact they created. In the Sri Lankan context, PR is still seen only as a ‘supporting marketing tool’, but it has so much more potential to harness - especially in terms of having an impact on consumer sentiments. 


Almost all entries were from countries which faced post COVID difficulties and socioeconomic challenges. Therefore, most of the learning can be directly applied to our context. As I was exposed to Sri Lankan entries for Effies for several years, I see much potential in our marcom community.  It is a discipline we need to build into our system from the time a brief is given, up to execution and monitoring of results and impact. I saw several cases in the global context where research stats were submitted to showcase pre and post-behavioral impacts. 

 


Comparing the submissions you witnessed, what can you say about the Advertising industry in Sri Lanka? 
I think Sri Lanka has had some excellent case studies, with regard to marketing communications solving business challenges and there’s immense potential.


I would rank us quite high in terms of creativity and strategy. However, Sri Lanka can improve in terms of production quality and overall direction. Focus must be placed on analyzing and utilizing data andidentifying insights, trends andsentiments, before converting them and creating an effective big idea.


Another area that I see room for improvement is the ‘articulation’ of cases. Overdoses of information must be avoided. Instead, the story should link up well in a manner which makes it easy for the judge to comprehend the case. 

 


How can the marketing industry in the country empower young talent? 
Opportunities are always available. The difference is in how the youth capture these opportunities. Marketing is a social science and it keeps evolving. Marketing shouldn’t be limited to a marketing manager or a brand manager, but should run across an organization.


From the perspective of the Effies, ‘effective communication’ is key. This is something that lacks in Sri Lanka and other countries, often resulting in many of the social, cultural and political issues. 


I feel that the youth should step up and ensure that they focus on ‘effectiveness’ in their approach towards communication. They must understand to whom they are speaking to, how to propose an idea in a way that the audience understands, and have a clear idea about the expected outcome. This will help them understand the critical aspect of framing a brief in the most ideal context.


The marketing industry should also allow these new ideas to come out. For example, Effie Worldwide has a Young Effie program and Sri Lanka should implement something as such for the youth in marcom where winners get to present campaigns to the top board members of global brands. The preparation and exposure they receive through this is immense and will inspire them more.  Also from the clients’ perspective, we have to empower and give freedom to the creative experts to explore new possibilities, because a budget allocated towards a good marketing campaign, is always a positive investment for the brand.


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  Comments - 1

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  • pintos.rivals.0u Tuesday, 11 October 2022 09:02 AM

    Lots of empty big words, just can't articulate well to answer the question. Shows exactly why Sri Lanka is lagging behind. If the leaders can't do it, how can you expect the next generation to make a difference.


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