There is a lot of talk on digital being the medium for the youth and how it is helping clients reach this segment, which is otherwise difficult through traditional media. Youth, or those in the broad age-group of 18-35 years, comprise a huge group inhabiting the virtual world, making digital the favourite medium for a marketer to target this segment. However, this is not the end of the scope for this medium. There are other cross sections of population that can be targeted using this medium, which has not been explored fully yet.
Thomas Xavier, Chairman and National Creative Director, Orchard Advertising, explained, “At this point in time, digital as a medium basically implies Internet and mobile telephony. Keeping in mind the penetration of these two, I think it is not true that digital is only for youth. Digital has the potential of being a potent way of reaching small, but very tightly defined demographics. For example, if a marketer in holiday packages can use both mobile and Internet to reach high networth retired people, who incidentally are the ones who seem to want to take vacations abroad. Similarly, if I am a prominent restaurant in a locality, I can reach housewives with a happy hour offer.”
Harminder Kaur, Chief Strategy Officer, Ignitee Digital Solutions Pvt Ltd, said, “The digital medium can be used to talk to a variety of segments, provided we define these segments not in demographic terms, but psychographic and life stage terms. Like the Internet can be used to talk to aficionados or people who are followers of a specific product category and art form. With host of online clubs and communities targeting people who are tied together not by demo but affinity, Internet offers a great opportunity to tap into various interest groups. Marketers need to identify what are the common interests that their TG is likely to have, group them and then target them in these spaces.”
Kaur sees opportunity in what is categorised as ‘Just Parents’, specifically first time parents of kids in the age group of 0-4 years. She added, “Typically, the information search, especially by mothers, is highest for parenting and baby-related issues in this stage. This space not only offers great marketing opportunities for marketers in the parenting products/ services sector, but also for marketers who are selling to say women audience. Then there are ‘Empty Nesters’, who use the Internet to stay in touch with the Next Gen abroad, who can be tapped by marketers.”
There is no denying that the Internet holds a lot of potential for marketers to explore, which till now has been focusing mainly on youth. Sandeep Singh, Business Director, Quasar Media, pointed out, “There is a collective opinion that women are not on the Internet, which is completely untrue. While many men surf the Net for work, there is a large number of women who surf during leisure. This is a huge opportunity, which has remained untapped both by marketers and publishers, who can create quality content targeting women.”
Giving her take, Kajal Malik, Vice-President, Lintas Media Group, said, “There is a lot of scope to reach self employed professionals, corporate executives, businessmen and kids via the Net. Though digital cannot replace television viewing habit, it has definitely managed to add itself to the list of various other media vehicles present. While earlier on media plans digital was on an ad hoc basis, now clients consciously look for it as an integral evaluation method.”
Xavier concluded that the limitations of digital were largely technological. He added, “The reason why digital stagnates in India is because everyone is in a wait and watch mode for the next big idea. There are more trend watchers than trend creators. Instead of writing insipid SMSes I would like to see more craft in it. I would love to see more personal touches instead of group mails. Simply put, the biggest need is more honest salesmanship in digital.”