Will MSME economic package boost growth for the ad industry?

According to industry experts, digital advertising is expected to be a clear winner with MSMEs trusting the medium more than ever to reach out to their target audience

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 14, 2020 8:53 AM
Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech on Wednesday sharing some key aspects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic package spoke of the government’s commitments towards the MSME sector. As India Inc welcomed the boost to the sector, the advertising fraternity also saw hope of a revival in these COVID-stricken times.

According to industry experts, MSMEs are likely to loosen their purse strings a bit and resume spending on ads once their demand and supply chains start benefiting from the package committed to the sector.

Rana Barua, CEO, Havas Group India, has hailed the finance minister’s move. “Overall, it’s extremely positive and encouraging. Coming after what the PM set as a vision for a self-reliant India, I think today’s declaration from the FM is in the right direction and one which will benefit the key MSME sector, and also ensure a bit more (in hand) money for the consumer in these most challenging times.”

Digital advertising is expected to be a clear winner with MSMEs trusting the medium more than ever to reach out to their target audience. ‘Local ke liye vocal’ - the theme couldn’t be more apt for any other medium than digital, said Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO & Co-founder, Gozoop.

Sharing more on how the medium is set to stay on top of the mind of advertisers, Naqvi explained: “The intricacies of the mediums that exist within the ecosystem will give local businesses a great chance to interact in a localized and personalized manner with minimum wastage. The visibility from engagement to conversion will boost the confidence further in businesses to make digital a top priority and their go-to channel for marketing. This will also fasten the pace of digital penetration in our country, which also means that the investments of most brands will sharply turn towards digital.”

Brands cannot afford to shy away from advertising for long, stressed Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Bang In The Middle. “It’s a fairly simple way ahead. If you are owners of brands - products, services etc., and if you have consumers/customers - b2b or b2c, if you don’t spend advertising money you won’t be visible and you will slip off the radar,” Suthan said.

According to Suthan, while most b2b brands will be in touch with each other, and a simple email or call could restart the business, it may not be that easy for b2c brands. “With Covid issues very much around, the clientele will have to be assured on various counts to win back their trust. Being silent isn’t going to cut it. Being relevant and visible ought to be the way going ahead. And the only thing you can bank on is advertising. You need to advertise, and also don’t forget, the festive season is around the corner. It’s the perfect time to get ahead of this crisis,” he said.

Sharing further insights was Atul Pandey, Partner, Khaitan & Co., who said the reinvigorated rigour with which MSMEs would operate in the post-COVID world will lead to an increase in their marketing spends. He asserted that as soon as domestic consumption picks up and the new market opens up, MSMEs will try to capture the market share in every possible way.

Explaining further as to why digital would lead the charts for MSMEs was Ankur Pujari, Co-founder and Growth Lead at Hyper Connect Asia. With lockdown restrictions in place, digital platforms alone can promote SMEs and MSMEs, he agreed. “Social media data could be used to understand the trend in the market. There is a need to come up with various campaigns and ads and target the audience through social media platforms to generate high revenue against minimal investment,” Pujari added.

Reinforcing the emerging role of digital, Atul Pandey further said: “We have seen digital marketing using social media and chat platforms being at the forefront of new-age advertising. MSMEs will be interested in digital marketing due to its low cost and high reach model.”

With prospects of businesses bouncing back, scope for expansion and innovation being at the heart of things for MSMEs, content creators are also upbeat about the boost.

Kunal Lakhara, VP of Finance and Operations, Pocket Aces had this to say. “By redefining what constitutes an MSME through the increase in their investment and turnover limits, we will see a lot more organizations benefiting from the government’s schemes. This, in turn, will help India get back onto its feet and continue its high growth trajectory in the years to come.”

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