Ashish Sehgal, Chief Sales Officer, ZEEL talks about how TV advertising will be propelled by World Cup, IPL, launch of new channels, with FMCG and e-commerce being the main contributing categories .
What are your thoughts on the Pitch-Madison report from a TV broadcaster’s perspective?
I agree with the (growth) number which is close to about 14% in television, obviously propelled by a lot of spending by ecommerce giants and also a lot of money pumped in by political parties for advertising. Also a lot of brands start to utilise anything which is impactful in media and since elections were one of the impactful mediums through which they could communicate a lot of other categories increased their budgets and that overall propelled the advertising pie. Talking about 2015 I would still say that Madison estimates are still conservative, I believe it should be anything in the range of 12-14% again this calendar year. Because, first you see a lot of advertising happening in the World Cup, there will be IPL for sure and it is looking bigger and better. A lot of channels are being launched. Consumption of inventory is always welcomed by most of the FMCG advertisers and that will see them probably putting a little more money, sentiments are looking better. This year there was subdued advertising growth by FMCG which are the mainstay of the TV medium, keeping that in mind I believe again the major propeller will be the FMCG category, completely backed by ecommerce which again will put a lot of money this year. They (ecommerce) have been continuously advertising till now, there isn’t even a single month where they don’t advertise. They are also going on the route of FMCG where they have to advertise on a daily basis. Categories like auto and consumer durables they are also going to increase. If the GDP growth increases there is a lot of BFSI advertising which starts to happen.
Do you think that growth in digital has come at the cost of traditional mediums?
Frankly to judge that it is difficult in today’s age because the overall number (value) for digital is still not that great and what number was shown was Rs.3,200 crore whereas print and television stand at more than around Rs.15,000-16,000 crore, so saying that any growth which is coming in absolute value, it is not that much, even if it is 30-32%. Whether is coming at the expense of any other medium is difficult to say because if the advertiser is increasing his overall pie, he is looking at various new mediums which are coming in play and probably putting a little more money onto the new mediums which gives him more ROI and hence you would see higher percentage increase happening in the digital scenario.
Do you see IPL in anyway affected by spends towards the World Cup?
IPL has created this space very smartly during a time period which is typically the start of the financial year. A lot of companies’ budgets get renewed at that time. Because of that April and May see a lot of advertising coming in. Traditionally now what has happened is IPL being a fanfare in the country, it is not only about television advertising it also connects a lot of 360 degree marketing objectives for any brand which advertises on IPL. I believe that every advertiser has started to keep a separate budget for IPL. However, whether it is going to increase or decrease it is difficult to say. In my opinion since the overall advertising pie is growing so this year IPL also should see a surge in advertising.
How much do you think geo targeting will contribute to the growth of the industry?
I would see geo targeting in two different ways. One is geo targeting on national platforms on national channels, especially I am talking from a television point of view, where there was not option for a local advertiser to advertise on a national channel. Technology is helping them target consumers in their market itself. So that will help increase a lot of advertising through these retail advertisers firstly. Secondly, geo targeting has also gone local and regional for many years now and that has helped propel a lot of local advertisers in that market anyway. That is also helping the national advertisers to localise their advertising and utilise that. Geo targeting is not happening today, it has been happening as an ongoing process and has developed to an extent that even national channels are looking to geo target with local brands. Geo targeting will help a lot in the future but as of now it is a very small pie, I think in another 3-4 years it will start contributing in some percentages. If you see from ZEEL’s perspective regional channels have been the propeller of the growth of the organisation for the last 5 years. And today we have reached a stage where national channels only contribute 45% of the revenue, the balance 55% comes from the regional and smaller unique channels.
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