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GroupM fortifies its digital buying function with a separate unit

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GroupM fortifies its digital buying function with a separate unit

There is a lot of talk on how digital is the medium for the future even for those in the media agency business. Taking a cue from this, GroupM has created a separate unit within CTG that focuses on Digital Buying. Praseed Prasad, who has been with the Group for the last six years, is heading the unit. Interaction, the digital arm of GroupM, works closely in this function.

Talking about the function, Prasad, Senior Director, CTG Analytics and National Digital Trading, said, “Digital as a medium has grown very fast and the challenge today is to keep up with the pace where the rate at which it is being consumed is far higher than the rate at which media has been using the medium. We at GroupM have taken a step to leverage the medium by creating a separate unit focusing just on digital buying.”

While there are functions within a media agency that looks into digital, it is more from the planning or idea generation aspect and not from buying, where the canvas is huge and needs focused targeting based on the product. This unit looks at bringing understanding to the medium and creating standards like good or bad pricing of the medium.

One of the challenges of digital is also that the spend on the medium right now is not defined and is miniscule, which definitely would change in the future considering the eyeballs it commands. Prasad said, “Digital accounts for about 4 per cent of the total media spend with TV and print at about 42 per cent each and radio and OOH slightly above digital.

Therefore, amongst the five, digital currently would be the lowest though very much comparable to radio and OOH.”

If that is the reality, he also sheds some light on the recent trend. He said, “In the last two years, digital has been picking up steam in a big way with consumers with social media almost challenging the space held my email as the lead reason for using the Internet (search and email are still the largest, but social media is very close to it). The number of users has dramatically increased. As a comparison, India is estimated to have over 70 million Internet users, which technically means the Indian Internet population is amongst the Top 20 populous nations of the world, higher than the population of the UK, where ad spends on the digital medium have outgrown that of TV or print and is the largest advertised medium in the UK today. In comparison, ad spends on digital in India is about 3-4 per cent of that in the UK. However, the CAGR of ad spends on the medium in India is about 33 per cent, which is the highest amongst all media. The potential for growth of this medium is much higher.”


Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

There are some forces impacting the way our business works. The IT/ITeS sector has changed tremendously. Platforms like Twitter have made everyone journalists. Smartphones have made everyone a photographer. The trend that we are seeing is one of hyperdigitalization, which is causing the lines between product and services to blur. For example, <a href=

The OOH sector is among the fastest growing, globally. Brands and marketers have realized its potential and impact and begun to craft medium-specific adverts. Self-regulation is not only necessary but also essential to growth of the sector. The industry needs to exercise a certain level of this self-restraint to prove its commitment to maintaining the best standards in advertising.

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