The game changer: How digitalization is opening doors for consumer appliance brands
Guest Column: Priyanka Sethi, Director - Head of Marketing, Haier India, writes why digitalization is not only the need of the hour but also the road ahead for brands to strengthen marketing
Published - May 29, 2023 9:10 AM | 6 min read
In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the marketing strategies employed by are undergoing a paradigm shift. The advent of digitalization has opened a world of opportunities, allowing brands to reach a vast audience, engage with consumers on a personal level, and build lasting relationships. It has dismantled geographical barriers and provided brands with an unprecedented reach. Through online and social platforms, brands can connect with consumers across India, from bustling metropolitan areas to remote rural regions.
The marketing landscape has been revolutionized by the growing interconnectedness and the rise of mobile-based solutions. In India, the digital advertising industry witnessed substantial growth from fiscal years 2015 to 2020. Its market size surged from around 47 billion Indian rupees to approximately 199 billion rupees. This upward trajectory is expected to persist, with projections indicating that by the fiscal year 2024, the industry will expand even further, reaching a market size of approximately 539 billion rupees. This demonstrates the remarkable growth potential and significance of digital advertising in the coming years.
Digital marketing now holds a larger footprint
Brands are significantly increasing their utilization of digital marketing tools and their various forms, surpassing the scale and reach of traditional marketing methods. This shift is driven by the fact that users now spend an average of approximately seven hours per day on their smartphones, resulting in heightened engagement rates. Brands recognize this as a valuable opportunity and capitalize on it accordingly. Moreover, as digital advertising expands its presence on emerging social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp Business, and Snapchat, brands will effectively tap into the interests and preferences of a vast number of potential and existing young customers. These platforms have become a perpetual presence in the lives of many individuals, offering brands an extensive reach.
Additionally, the increasing popularity of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, Connected TV, and gaming serve further motivation for brands to prioritize digital marketing strategies. The growing prevalence of these mediums provides brands with additional avenues to engage with their target audience and drive their marketing efforts.
Video marketing is expected to continue its dominance
Videos have the power to captivate and engage audiences more effectively than other content formats. The visual and auditory elements of videos create a compelling storytelling experience that resonates with viewers, leading to increased engagement and better message retention. India has witnessed significant growth in mobile and internet penetration, with a large portion of the population accessing the internet through smartphones. This accessibility makes video content easily consumable, leading to its widespread popularity among users. With the availability of affordable data plans, users in India are consuming more online content than ever before. This includes videos across various genres, such as entertainment, education, news, and brand promotions. Brands can leverage this trend by creating compelling video content that aligns with the interests and preferences of their target audience.
The need for regional-digital customization in India, regional digital too has become dominant in the online market space. With the government's push for Digital India and the pandemic-induced surge in remote, device-based working, the number of digital connections has already increased to more than 830 million. With rapid urbanization across regions and the decentralized growth of tier 2, tier 3 and tier 4 cities, regionalization of our marketing efforts is inevitable. In 2022, India's rate of urbanization was 35.9%, and by 2047 this is expected to increase to approximately 50.9%. Our customers are becoming more diverse and your typical ‘one size fits all’ selling efforts will no longer make the cut. Digitalization will be the go-to in the foreseeable future.
The digital payment revolution in India
Digitalization of payments too has disrupted the traditional marketing channels. Due to a lack of confidence and security concerns with internet payments, cash payments have traditionally been the preferred payment method in India. However, digital payments are predicted to account for 80% of all transactions in India by 2025 due to a large young population with access to smartphones. The Indian consumer has been adopting digital eWallets faster than the US, the UK, and China, according to ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry). This provides an opportunity for brands to utilize e-payments and e-wallets to promote OEM after-sales services online and monitor post-product purchase behavior for greater customer retention.
The pervasiveness of e-commerce platforms
E-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart have revolutionized the way people shop, making it possible for customers to buy anything from anywhere with just a few clicks. These websites have played a significant role in digitalizing the market by providing a platform for businesses of all sizes to sell their products online. They have made it easier for customers to compare prices, read reviews, and make informed purchase decisions. The importance of e-commerce websites lies in their ability to reach a larger audience, provide convenience to customers, and offer a seamless shopping experience. With the rise of e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar stores are now facing increased competition and are also forced to adapt to the changing market.
The rise of data analytics
An important opportunity presented by the digital economy is the ability to collect and analyze data about consumer behavior. Tracking website traffic, social media engagement, and purchase patterns, we gain valuable insights into what drives consumer decision-making and give us the ability to tailor our marketing efforts accordingly. This assists us to optimize our product offerings, pricing strategies, and promotional campaigns for maximum impact. It provides a wealth of data analytics that can be used to optimize campaigns and improve ROI on our investments in marketing.
Ecommerce platforms can be effectively used to leverage data analytics to better understand the customers’ needs and how they interact with the brand as it is critical to determine what appeals to them. To improve customers’ end-to-end purchasing experience through personalization of various platforms, use data to understand customer demographics and tailor their marketing messages through data and analytics based on factors such as location, demographics, and online buying behaviour such as monitoring the purchasing behavior of customers, their browsing on the website etc. With constantly changing needs of the buyers and unlimited options available in the D2C brand segment brands will need to focus on improving their capabilities. Hence, data-driven decision-making is necessary for success.
Hence, digitalization is not just the need of the hour but also the road ahead for brands to strengthen their marketing strategies, reach out to a wider audience and deliver the right messages across domains to create impactful and meaningful campaigns, resulting in an overall increase in brand awareness, perception, and consideration.
(The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com)
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