In the ninth edition of INMA South Asia News Media Conference, marketers from different categories conversed on the topic ‘Where Advertising is going next in South Asia.’
D N Mukerjea, Editor, Fortune India moderated the season and started with a significant question to the panellists by asking them there spends on digital platform.
Sanjeev Handa, Vice President, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, said that they have an in house team set up which works eighteen hours to monitor the internet chapter. “Their agenda is to listen and shift the noise from the sound,” said Handa. He observed that people are exchanging negative and positive conversations on this digital space. “As marketers it becomes challenging to identify and engage with the right set of people,” he added.
Answering Mukerjea’s question Handa said, “Our spends are much lower than the industry average. We normally spend around 5-6% on digital on our total spends.”
Sharing his opinion on the digital spends, Harpreet Singh Tibb, Director- Marketing, India and South Asia, Kellogg India shared they spent around 18% on digital and this amount is demonstrated on the global platform as well. In the digital sphere the real question is the right target audience and taking cues from this the impact or worth of the spends. Principles of marketing are not going to change in digital”
Every business process is impacted by digital,” highlighted Sandip Tarkas, President, Customer Strategy, Future Group
Sharing his thought process on the advertising sentiments on digital and how advertisers react to the digital medium as a marketing platform, Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, Initiative BPN, said, “Some think digital is a great way to connect with consumers while some others have adopted digital into their business---they are leveraging this platform to make a strategic shift in marketing, media, planning and PR to reach out to consumer.
Mukerjea reiterated that digital spends this year are one fourth of print spends. He also added that while digital is growing around 35 % print is registering a 5 % growth.
Adding to these thoughts, Suresh Balakrishna said, “It is true that digital is growing around thirty five percent. For example in the year 2005, 74 % of Zee’s revenue came via advertising and 26% was generated from distribution. This trend must have slightly altered now.
He added that the existing economics of the print business will change and getting subscription on digital is a challenge for India. Consumers will learn to pay more in daily newspapers and magazines. He also added that newspapers and magazines will continue to exist and learn to operate in a new paradigm.
On how print organisation can remain more attractive to advertisers in an era of digital space, panellists singularly stated the power of innovation.
Sanjeev Handa pointed out; “Innovation is what really attracts consumers. Consumers like new and we like new innovation. What we did with our latest offering Baleno with a special paper is a clear example.”
Harpreet Singh Tibb also endorsed the innovation factor. He suggested creating an ecosystem between print and digital, whereby both can coexist by mutual adoption of best practises..
Sandip Tarkas stated that print has the ace as far as content is concerned and observed that print needs to monetise their content on the digital space.