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2013, a year for M&As in digital: Industry experts

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2013, a year for M&As in digital: Industry experts

The year 2012 saw a sharp increase in adoption of digital strategies by brands and corporate, a trend that industry experts see as growing at a faster pace in 2013 and beyond.

Gillian Muessig, Founding President Emeritus, SEOmoz, noted that it was individualism and the culture of risk that led to the birth of Silicon Valley in the US. According to her, “The next Silicon Valley is going to happen in India."

She sees this trend of entrepreneurship only growing in 2013, along with a lot of mergers and acquisitions, with the small enterprises being picked up by the bigger corporate.

Sonya Sahni, Co-Founder, iStrat, too remarked that 2013 will see a lot of acquisitions taking place as clients bring in a “stock market environment” to monitor social. “A huge amount of social is no longer limited to Facebook; there are other core digital assets,” she added.

Muessig noted that testing things on social media provides the value of the product and social media as well.

Sandeep Amar, Former Vice President and Head - Marketing and Audience, Indiatimes stressed that consumer behaviour needs to be understood first. He added that there are a lot of basic things in digital – some work and some don’t.

While print and television continue to be the first love of marketers in India, the year 2012 saw a shift in this stance. As pointed out by Rashmi Chugh, Business Head and Publisher,,,, “Last year, people were trying to force fit social. But social happens on its own. Somewhere this realisation happened last year.”

Response mechanism from consumers changed last year, even as problem tracking comments and interaction behaviour changed on news websites.

Newspapers are learning to translate content to new devices. Digital spends matter as money coming into print is slowing down and shifting to digital.

Chugh expects to see a lot of digital spends in 2013, and with improvement in technology, digital will enhance itself to provide better experience to readers.

On the growing importance of mobile, Sameer Agarwal, Director - Marketing, Rocketalk, noted, “In 2012, every brand’s obsession was about owning, creating and maintaining a mobile app. There was a need to own spaces where users already existed, and in last two quarters of the year, brands moved from basic display to measurable engagements.”

He said that in 2013, the trend will move from campaign-driven engagements to larger engagements. “A lot of television money has started moving to mobile medium. Eight per cent of television money is moving among larger brands,” Agarwal added.

Meanwhile, Litin Purohit, Operations Head, Everymedia pointed out how social media is impacting movie marketing. “Today, the lead campaign is launched on social media before moving offline; for example, the movie ‘Cocktail’. Hence, we need to design campaigns that go across screens,” he added.

According to Kapil Gupta, Founder and CEO, OMLogic, “The year 2011 was the early adopter of social, while in 2012 social become pervasive. The year 2013 will see an increase in investment in social even as it becomes a core specialised job. We need to reach out to customer psychology, and not as a technology.”

“Clients today ask for integration and in-depth knowledge of the industry to provide good RoI,” said Avijit Arya, Founder and CEO, Internet Moguls.

Taking the discussion forward, Glen Ireland, CEO, Dentsu Digital said that challenges through the agency perspective is bigger. “Networks looking to expand are not clear as to how digital will be integrated and be cohesive with the agency,” he noted.

Bharat Malik, Country Head, OMG said that prior to 2012, CEOs were concerned only about RoI. He felt that there was poor understanding of the digital medium and closing the gap between brands and social media brands was a problem; while marketers were aware of the medium, they didn’t know how to tap the medium effectively.

The speakers were sharing their views at the ‘Impact Roundtable on Digital Marketing in 2013 and Beyond’, held in New Delhi on January 24, 2013.

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