Often referred to as ‘new media’, digital media seems to be shedding this tag now. According to a panel of experts including VikramSakhuja, Global CEO, Maxus; AshishKashyap, Founder & CEO, Ibibo Group and SalilKapoor, COO, Dish TV, digital media arrived long ago and is here to stay.
The panel discussion was about ‘How digital/social/mobile generation is impacting media strategies’ at Businessworld’s Marketing Whitebook Launch 2014, held in Gurgaon. The experts unanimously agreed that digital media has forced brands and media planners to evolve. While earlier media buying happened a lot because of emotional reasons it is now shifting to rationality.
Kashyap highlighted that buying ad space is now based on measurability and this measurability has been redefined by digital since its metrics are highly defined. He also added that the digital scene in India is such that it will become very hard for a native platform to scale. “In China there is no Facebook, WhatsApp or Google but local counterparts who are doing better in the region that these global giants. But in India no such evolution happened. As marketers we see a challenge in having to bid on these set platforms. We would want more local publishers to come forward and scale,” he said. However, he further added that in digital every piece is measurable so it will be really tough for a niche player to monetize.
Sakhuja shared that about five years ago digital only got about 2 - 3 per cent of the total marketing spends whereas today it’s getting 5 - 6 per cent. “Globally digital gets 20 per cent on an average and in India it could soon reach 12 -13 per cent of the total marketing spends. But it is for all of us to figure out how to accelerate this percentage,” he said. He further shared that verticals like gadgets & technology, automobile and e-commerce are the driving forces in digital marketing whereas BFSI and telecom need to catch up.
Kapoor added that sometimes it goes beyond just sectors and said, “It’s not about sectors but at times how brands want to use the medium that defines who is spending how much on what media.”
Sakhuja further added that it’s time the whole definition of the impact of digital was revisited. “People are talking output and not outcome. Digital is one medium that allows us to talk about outcome. What digital does is actually demystify everything and give us a clearer picture. So essentially we should shift our focus from efficiency to effectiveness,” he stated.
Talking about the big ROI question he said that when spends will go up the returns will go up automatically. Though ROI is an ongoing debate for quite some time, Sakhuja stated that if as a brand manager one sees a future in digital media they must start investing in it now.