In the year 2014 we saw a lot of significant developments for marketers in media, where the drive towards marketing in the digital space increased, also many brands took the first steps in the mobile marketing space. While the ad spend grew by 12.5%, the digital ad spends grew the maximum in 2014, showing an increase of over 35% that is Rs. 3,575 crore from Rs.3,042 crore in 2013 according the CMO Council. Ad spends are expected to further grow in 2015 by 13.3% in India according IPG Mediabrand’s Magna Global report.
Mobile marketing in 2015
According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) mobile ad spends was expected grow to over 43% and reach Rs.430 crore in 2014.
Speaking on this Deepali Naair, CMO, Mahindra Holidays & Resort India said, “I think in 2015 there will be a lot more focus on mobile. This could mean both spending marketing money on the development of mobile interfaces which could also include apps. It would also mean greater spending and investment on mobile advertising, which means mobile being used as a media channel. I think brands will do both.”
Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP – Head Marketing, Product, Digital & Ecommerce, HDFC Life feels that mobile internet adoption is increasing not just in urban India but in semi-urban and rural areas in India as well. “India currently has 833 million mobile subscribers and out of this about 28% are mobile internet users. Given that the smart phone market is poised to grow at 54% this year and the mobile internet market at 15% CAGR, it makes it imperative for the marketers to have a mobile-first strategy and optimize content and user interfaces, for the mobile platform,” he said.
Joginder Chhabra, Head of Marketing Intelligence and Consumer Insights, LG Electronics feels that in 2015 a major change would be not only the surge in the smart phone market, but the use of smart phones for commerce (m-commerce) will also increase. “For instance the m-commerce market is around Rs.2 billion and it is around 10-12% of the overall ecommerce market, so people have started using mobile also for actual buying. The rate of increase in growth of m-commerce will be more than other ecommerce companies,” he said.
Cricket properties to push ad-spends
With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 coming up next month followed quickly by IPL season 8, ad spends on cricket are expected to grow over Rs.2,000-2,500 crore only on TV according to media reports. Apart from spends increasing on TV for cricket we will also see increase in ad spends on digital for the same cricket properties as a lot of the audiences are expected to consume matches on digital platforms.
Mayank Shah, Dy. Marketing Manager, Parle Products said, “The (marketing) spends of brands will definitely increase. I am expecting at least 8-10% increase in ad spends this year and can even be more. It would also depend on how things turn out with the two giant cricketing properties coming up – the ICC World Cup 2015 and IPL 8. While IPL is always there and now added to that is the world cup which is great and comes once in four years. That is one big thing that everybody is looking forward to and would be seen how marketers will use these two opportunities to their advantage and how things pan out on media.”
Wooing the youth
With the youth being a large part of the Indian population, a lot of the strategies of brands are created with a youth-based approach. Even content on mediums especially TV is being created with a youth centric approach.
According to Anisha Motwani, Director, CMO & Digital Officer, Max Life Insurance, programming will become more youth inclusive. “There was a time when youth focused most of their TV energies on music, sports and reality shows and considered soaps well, very Aunty-ish. Now one sees youthification of many TV serials in an effort to reach out to the largest demographic of the country. Programming content on GEC and even news channels is now more geared towards attracting this segment. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of 18-25 somethings in family soaps. News anchors and journalists too are a younger lot today. Content is more glamourised with as much emphasis on getting good looking men and women as on acting ability,” says Motwani.
The year for digital marketing
With the digital market growing and ad spends in this space continuing to grow marketers see this space evolving in 2015 in terms of marketing and branding functions. Brands see the digital space as a way to build a bond with the audience and connect with them. “Digital space has given us the tools to express and connect with society. So people see more of a role for themselves to express their personalities through these. They will also endorse and stick to brands that help them in expressing their new digital selves. Brands which help them to connect with others and be important to other people will see lots of success,” says Tripathy.
Marketers in 2015 are also expected to use analytics in the digital space as a way of better decision making. “As a trend a lot of the marketers who have been on the digital space for some time will start focusing more on analytics and perhaps there will be a greater focus of taking decisions on the basis of analytics,” says Naair.
As the economy seems to be stabilizing finally, most marketers are looking at higher consumer spends in 2015. They also expect the ecommerce space to continue to grow with increasing number of customers taking to purchasing online. As brands will go online they also expect to see the vice versa for ecommerce brands who will start some brick and mortar stores in categories where touch and feel is a integral component of the buying process. Other than this, in 2015 marketers expect brand communication to get more real and show disruption or an irregular approach as they would like to show themselves more in a realistic light so that they can connect to people more easily.