PMAR 2020: Impact is more important than efficiency: Manoj Kohli

At the launch of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2020, the country head of Softbank, Kohli underscored the big trends and changes that will define advertising in the coming years

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Feb 15, 2020 12:14 PM
Manoj Kohli

The Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2020 was unveiled on February 13, 2020. The track report offered a detailed insight into the advertising spends and predictions about future growth. The findings of the report also function as a guide for brands, advertisers and marketers to plan their goals. It offers a comprehensive analysis of advertising mediums like print, digital, TV radio, OOH and cinema, giving marketers a heads-up about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

The report launch was followed by insightful sessions by marketers. Manoj Kohli, Country Head, SoftBank India, in his chief guest’s address, spoke extensively about how businesses and investors look at advertising, and also gave an insight into the trends for the coming years.

Kohli underscored the importance of digitisation, right at the outset: “Companies across the world are adopting technology, digital media OTT space for attracting customers. It is a trend which will pick up speed in the next 5-10 years. Companies that are not producing digitisation are slowing down. And companies who are adopting are growing faster. It is a very important trend.”

He then shifted focus to changing consumer trends. “Consumer behaviour is changing in a big way. I believe, behaviour even in small towns are different from what it was five years back,” he adds.
Kohli highlighted that the youth are leading consumer behaviour trends and older customers are following them step-by-step. “Older customers are gaining a different way of behaviour. Housewives are shopping from various eCommerce sites. Older people are using iPads for news. The youth are leading this change.”

He also added that when it comes to optimization of ad spends, impact is more important than efficiency. “We have to look at impact more closely. Impact can overcome the efficiency of cost. It can give a much bigger leap in the market share versus being more efficient. This is not to say efficiency is not important.”

Speaking about technology playing a bigger role in the future, Kohli added AI will make optimisation far more precise in the coming years. “In five-ten years, technology will help AI will help optimisation. Consumer behaviour will be precisely tracked. Efficiency can be improved and impact can be enhanced.”

Apart from these observations, Kohli also listed the four big changes that are set to happen in the next five years.

The first one that he listed was digital enhancement. “Traditional media’s volume is de-growing. TV viewing has come down by 10 minutes. Even the column centimetres of print has come down. These are initial trends of what digital media will do. If the global digital media 50 per cent, then India is heading towards that.”

Kohli also emphasised that consumers don’t prefer static media. “They prefer online, on-demand media, which can only come from digital. The news of ‘just now’ not yesterday’s. They want movies, serials, etc. as per their expectations rather than the schedule of television. Digital gives that flexibility to the consumer to see, read or research what they want. I am clear there will be a steep rise of digital.”

The second change that he noted will be big in the coming years is companies foraying into the deep markets of India. These companies will grow very well, according to Kohli.

Citing the example of HDFC and Airtel, he said that brands can turn into leadership brands by advertising deeply into smaller towns and villages.

The third big change, he believes is the type of products that the customers want. Challenging the notion that people want premiumisation, Kohli said that in the long run, Indians are looking for value for money. “Sasta, sundar, tikao – basically, the Indian customer is value hungry, even if he or she is well-to-do,” he pointed out.

The fourth big change, according to Kohli, is the rise of start-ups. He highlighted that the majority of the top 10 brands by 2025 will be start-ups. “Those are the brands that will take charge of the market. Start-ups are leading pace and momentum of growth. These brands will take charge of the customer’s mind much more than any traditional brands, “he added.

“These times are unprecedented. This industry has done so well and grown so well. The economy is already expected to grow by 6+ per cent. And I hope h2 will be better than h1,” Kohli concluded.

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