"Globally, the marketing strategy we adopt is different. Two years ago, digital marketing may not be important for India, but today digital mode of communication, is a fantastic marketing vehicle for diamonds," Fairevermark CEO and executive director De Beers, Stephen Lussier told agencies.
"If I think about television, I may get your focus for 30 seconds or 20 seconds.Within that I may probably deliver one idea. But in digital, I can engage you for an average of three minutes and I can tell a lot more ideas within that three minutes," he said.
"The idea of digital is a fantastic tool. The challenge is, we have to create enough interest, so that you can come. You need to be extraordinarily creative (in digital mode)."
He said De Beers was looking at developing phone applicatons.
"Already we have an application for i-pads.. The challenge in mobile phone space is that you have to make the content work in a smaller space, than what you can do in PCs or even in tablets."
"But it looks like smartphone is the ticket in the market," he said.
Currently they were piloting in Hong Kong through smartphone where if an individual downloads the mobile application and if one crosses the Forevermark Club or a store, "it will tell you that shop has got new Forevermark stones."
"You can use just less text and more visuals in a mobile phone. We try to produce basic content globally and the key is you have to adopt it in different market," he said.
Noting that the company spends about 15 per cent of its total budget in marketing, Lussier said, "we are creating some new interesting ideas for mobiles. I think it will be interesting making you to share with your friends on the experience of a diamond. We are working on that now. I think that will be a very big mobile market."
Responding to a query, he said there would be a 'price correction' on diamond in the coming months.
"I think we are going to see that. We hope to see some (price) stability. Over the long run, we expect price of diamonds to rise each year by even four to five per cent per annum," he said.
Observing that 'highly skilled artisans' were scarce for the diamond industry,he said when they had an opportunity to hire 27 people in Botswana, there were over 3000 applications.
"I think these opportunities were in administration, security, skilled labour. But there is too much demand for skilled roles. Lot of people apply, but they do not have the (required) skills," he said.
Referring to diamond production, Lussier said the next decade does not look like the world would produce diamond more than it was in the last 10 years.
"Mines are getting older and they produce less. The world's diamond mines, in most cases, are 30 to 40 years old but big mines are beginning to age. In the next few years, our major South African mines will go underground. If you go underground, you produce less," he said.
Besides, he said some mines in Canada would probably be closed in the next decade as production is coming down.
"Obviously, we are looking at new mines. We are even opening a new mine. We expect to mine in Canada and in the next three to four years, we will go and employ," he said.
''The average diamond mines cost about a USD billion to build and it is a very long term commitment and you have to wait for a long time," he said.
"The first 10 years, it is just like paying off, what you have spent. The first diamond was (produced) in 1966 after five years of the mines being opened. It is going to run for another 30 years.. so if that works well, you can use it (mines) for 70 years. But it takes a long time," he said.