GURGAON: Message quality matters more than the platform, according to a top Nestlé India executive who argues that digital has blurred the line between content and media and that e-commerce is primarily a "marketing proposition" rather than a sales channel.

Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, head of communications and eCommerce, Nestlé India, explained to Afaqs! that e-commerce was seen as a business – with an impact on sales, market share and on the online and offline behaviour of consumers.

"If you treat e-commerce as a channel it will be just a sales-oriented effort but if you treat it as a business, then it has marketing at its core," he said.

Radhakrishnan also distinguished the separates roles of content and media. "Content has to drive brand metrics and sales, media is a platform for distribution," he stated as he mused on how digital has muddied the waters. "The online video-TVC discussion is at the tail of what we do," he added.

"Of course, the platform, the spending level, GRPs, likes, engagement, etc. also matter. But discussing YouTube versus Facebook versus Twitter versus Snapchat is missing the point.

"Message quality matters more than the platform."

And messaging content can take many forms: packaging can be "a great communication tool", he noted, citing the example of the company's 'Educate the Girl' initiative, when the long-running 'Have a break, have a KitKat' line became 'No break from education'.

"We changed 100m packs. Would you be able to get that number of views on digital?" he asked.

Nestlé India's advocacy of the message rather than the platform means it seeks to does not allow itself to be distracted by the latest 'shiny thing'. "When we used to make TV ads, we used to make people feel something," said Radhakrishnan. "We used to drive emotions.

"If we apply the same principles to online as well – and not focus on metrics like 'I have to make people click' – it will positively affect business," he said.

"It's about adapting the basic principles of marketing to new realities."

Data sourced from Afaqs!; additional content by Warc staff