In 2015, India recorded a growing number of 277.4 million internet users. This figure is expected to grow to 411.1 million internet users in 2018.
Most of these new users of the Internet span a range of towns, villages, mostly with phones and some across other devices. The historic reach that was largely possible through radio, TV and print now has a viable competitor in digital channels.
The sophistication in digital reach however is you can pay for performance. So you don’t need to buy a 30 second slot whether someone watches it or not. You buy a 30 second slot on Youtube and pay per view. This is true for most forms of advertising digitally.
At Langoor, in the last two years we have seen enquiries grow more than 400% for digital marketing. We believe the market is now on board with digital marketing as a primary channel. In a lot of instances, the budgets have moved from a meagre 5% to, in some instances, 100% of a brand’s marketing is digital only.
The primary benefit here, besides pay for performance is efficiency of reach. You’re able to target a lot better today than you ever could.
What does it mean for its future in India
Mobile-First will Matter :
Given that users are experiencing Internet for the first on a Mobile, mobile-first approach will be crucial to success of a range of campaigns. Mobile inventory for advertising continues to be cheaper than desktop inventory and much cheaper than mass media buys such as print or TV. The opportunity to leverage mobile for digital marketing continues to be huge and I believe the Indian marketer is waking up to that fact.
Social Media Engagement & Testing Campaigns :
Social media is starting to become sophisticated. Different media reach allows for different demographic targeting. The audience on Instagram is great for fashion, retail while Pinterest is excellent for reaching women. Social media, importantly offers a real ‘always on’ marketing opportunity. Indian consumers have started engaging with brands on social media actively.
Importantly, social media also offers the opportunity to test campaigns before nationwide launches.
Online Video :
Video consumption, all over the world, but especially in India is through the roof. Creating online video content today can garner much greater engagement than any other form of content online.
Also, why create a full blown commercial only to find out it tanked as a concept. You can create eight light-weight concepts and enable them online. The one with the best engagement and ‘sharing factor’ can then be taken on air on TV.
Made for India & Vernacular Content :
We are still replicating western concepts on western made digital platforms when it comes to digital marketing. Indian innovation for marketing on Indian channels is only starting to be explored. The direct-mail / SMS industry has started Whatsapp oriented spam campaigns, mostly leveraged in India. While that’s unfortunate, I am expecting a lot more sophistication here where we should start seeing serious investment in Indian Innovation. This includes vernacular advertising and innovative advertising on digital marketing channels.
Importantly, reaching the last person on the Internet will require us to move beyond English as well as western ideas of marketing.
Right Tools for the Right Job :
Given the toolkit digital platforms have opened for the Indian marketer, I suspect the future of Digital marketing is bright. We’re seeing niche targeting happening a lot more strongly than it ever has. People are appreciating the idea of not using the hammer (traditional channels) for all jobs, but having a tool kit (a range of digital channels) for the future of marketing.
The growth of digital marketing has enabled agencies such as us to go from digital-only to digital-first and also expand our toolkit. The future of digital marketing, and as such, marketing in India is promising.