More and more marketers are making the transition to digital and allocating more spend to this form of communication. Digital is an important element of the marketing mix.
Almost all marketers have started using a wider range of digital channels in the past year to leverage the platform. Websites and email are still the favourite channels for effectiveness and share of budget. The biggest challenge in digital marketing is measurement and integration. Very few marketers claim they have competency when it comes to integrating social with other platforms. Even fewer are competent in integrating mobile.
exchange4media spoke to top marketers and digital experts on what, according to them, was the biggest challenge that was faced by the marketing fraternity in 2014. All had similar insights. Here is what they had to say:
According to Sashi Shankar, CMO, Idea Cellular, marketers are losing control on communication on social media channels. “But, with the growth of technology, marketers have the opportunity to track online conversations and data to understand trends and consumer expectations.”
“Most companies have jumped on to digital in some way or the other to follow consumers as they see it as an opportunity. However, digital budgets are still much less in comparison to others as it’s still a challenge to believe that digital footprints convert to sales when it comes to brick and mortar businesses. This needs a change of mindsets,” said Shikher Gupta, Head – Digital Marketing at Videocon Industries.
Sandeep Aurora, Director, Marketing and Market Development at Intel feels that as new platforms evolve, content consumption is going up. Platforms are not growing at the cost of existing platforms. The number of screens is increasing. The biggest challenge for a marketer is to figure out how to draw an all-inclusive strategy to connect with the consumers so that you don’t lose out on any opportunity. While doing that, one needs to make sure that you are not splitting yourself too thin. Whatever medium you choose, you need to go deep enough, he stated.
“Digital has emerged as a very important platform for brands to connect with consumers. And, I think, it is going to continue to grow in terms of relevance. That’s the biggest change any marketer has seen this year. This medium is going to make marketing more interactive. Brands will need to become more honest, more forthcoming, and more transparent,” Aurora added.
Digital is helping brand communication, feels Vivek Sharma, CMO, Philips India. “Young consumers are researching all intended purchases online, comparing them with relevant brands, and then making purchases offline. It is a huge challenge to please that digital consumer and convert the browsing into sales,” he said.
“Nobody can predict the future, but I do think that we will see more open source solutions and more players will enter the game. We will see a lot more integration, a lot more channels tied into each other,” said Daman Soni, Business Head – India, LINE.
A GroupM report also stated that digital media showed the maximum growth with 35 per cent this year.
To that effect, Papri Dev, Managing Director - India, Zeno Group, said, “Overall, it's a positive outlook for the industry. Particularly (and not surprisingly!), the digital space which along with higher spends will see advertising breaking new ground, marketers being experimental. The strategic and targeted solutions available to brands in the digital and social channels makes it all very interesting. From our experience and work in the region we are seeing brands in the e-commerce and consumer technology sectors exploring new frontiers with both earned and paid media in India.”
Even though there are many competitive challenges faced by marketers today, most marketers believe that digital is a challenge that, if channelized in the proper manner, can make or break the image of any brand and prove to be their biggest opportunity.