'Data-driven marketing, mapping macro trends is the need of the hour'

An eminent panel comprising Ashish Lingamneni, Mani Rangarajan, Sai Narayan, Siddharth Dabhade and Esha Nagar discussed the growing importance of building a distinct brand in a cluttered ecosystem

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 2, 2021 8:50 AM  | 3 min read
brantalk

Brand voice has never been as critical before as it has been in the last 17 months of the pandemic. Right from sales-driven strategy to solution-driven strategy, we have seen brand voices changing along with changing consumer behaviour. To discuss how to build a distinct brand in a cluttered digital ecosystem, eminent members of the industry convened for a panel discussion at Pitch Brand Talk held virtually on Friday, 30th July 2021.

The panel included Ashish Lingamneni, Head of Brand Marketing, Swiggy; Mani Rangarajan, Group COO, Housing.com,Makaan.com and Proptiger.com; Sai Narayan, Chief Marketing Officer, Paisabazaar.com; Siddharth Dabhade, Managing Director - India & SAARC, MiQ; along with session chair Esha Nagar, MD, Nepa India.

Nagar opened the discussion by asking co-panellists on the journey of their respective brands over the past two years and about their challenges and learnings.  Lingamneni initiated by saying, “It has been challenging times for the brand. There were two areas that Swiggy has worked on during these pandemic months. First, the brand has focused on resilience and building consumer trust and second is launching new services”.

Chiming in, Rangarajan pointed out, “There has been an increased sense of owing-a-house feeling in people during the lockdown periods. This has proven good for their brand.” He further added, “ Brokers have started participating in the digital ecosystem. Rapid pace of digitization has been observed in the past two years that would have been a slower process, otherwise”.

Drawing the attention of the audience, Dabhade said, “We were launched in the Indian market during the Covid era. Hence, we are a digital-first ecosystem and have only survived virtually. It will be interesting to know how work continues in a post-pandemic world”.

Moving forward, Nagar quizzed the panelists on increase in entrepreneurial instinct in people and why is it crucial to remain more empathetic and transparent in times like these.

Narayan explained, “The basics of marketing will remain the same for every marketer at any time. As entrepreneurs, we need to solve a consumer problem, then create a platform for consumers and always playing communication first along with thoroughly listening to your consumer base”.

“Transparency, problem-solving, trust and empathy are pre-requisites for today’s entrepreneur”, he added.

Talking about phygital model adopted by brands and the marriage of offline and online, Lingamneni informed that Swiggy adopted the omnichannel approach to reach its consumers.

Dabhade stressed on hyperlocalisation and personalization along with innovations to enhance the consumer journey while Narayan emphasized proper brand positioning by educating the consumer community.

Pivoting the insightful panel discussion towards data and data-driven personalization stories, Dabhade explained to leverage all data sources and enrich your database to have a better understanding of consumers and work accordingly.

He concluded by adding, “Data-driven marketing along with mapping macro trends for greater brand-consumer interaction are the two important takeaways for marketers today”.

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FAST & Freemium: Why more & more advertisers are streaming towards Connected TV

These platforms, say experts, provide access to massive amounts of user data, enabling precise targeting and cost-effective advertising campaigns

By Shantanu David | Mar 24, 2023 8:27 AM   |   4 min read

connected TV

Even the most traditional advertisers are now dipping their toes into streaming, while more adventurous brands are already making a splash. And with the introduction of subscriptions with ads on streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, as well as Jio’s push towards freemium TV, the Connected Television (CTV) landscape is evolving with each new login and the following reams of data, and terms like FAST and Freemium are creating more buzz than an old cable TV’s antenna.

Swati Kardak, Group Account Manager, Media Planning & Buying, SoCheers, believes that with IPL in their kitty and now rolling out of freemium TV, Jio has already got the ball rolling for them. “This is a big boon for advertisers and brands as FAST (Free, ad-supported TV), will open up opportunities for advertisers to widen their addressable audience size. It will also work as a magnet to attract more audiences to the streaming platform and ensure a long-term client relationship.”

Meanwhile, “As subscription plans with ads are introduced, advertisers and brands have a unique opportunity to reach a large and engaged audience. These platforms provide access to massive amounts of user data, enabling precise targeting and cost-effective advertising campaigns,” says Keerthi R Kumar, Business Head-South, FoxyMoron.

According to the recently launched Gateway to Open Internet report, published by The Trade Desk and Kantar, 33% of consumers perceive ads on OTT/CTV as more premium than those on YouTube and other user-generated content platforms, making CTV/OTT a particularly attractive avenue for brands.

Additionally, 44% of consumers expect to significantly increase their usage of CTV/OTT in the next six months. The surge in popularity of Connected TVs also allows advertisers to reach a subset population of cord-cutters that they cannot reach on linear TV.

Tejinder Gill, General Manager, The Trade Desk, says that to capitalize on this fast-growing ad opportunity on OTT, brands will need to invest in data-driven advertising tools on platforms like The Trade Desk to help them to more effectively target and engage consumers across the multiple OTT platforms that consumers engage with today.

In Kardak’s opinion, Freemium will bring about a major cord-cutting change and a huge shift towards Freemium is most likely going to come from the traditional TV audience as they will be able to avail entertainment for free. “Therefore, brands and advertisers will have to be very mindful about picking the right content on FAST for their ad placement. In comparison, the audience on FAST is likely to be more massy, so, brands who have products or services catering to a larger audience should look at partnering with them,” she says.

The abundance of content and vast user base on platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus provide advertisers with the opportunity to target affluent audiences. With the introduction of ad-supported tiers, advertisers can leverage high-quality content to reach their desired target audience.

“AVOD and Freemium models offer precision targeting, real-time optimization, and measurement, leading to a shift in advertising budgets from traditional TV to OTT. As competition increases, advertisers must understand each platform's audience, engagement patterns, and results to make informed decisions that align with their business objectives,” says Kardak.

Vikas Mangla, Founder, Digital ROI, points out that by parsing through the consumer data available through viewership on these platforms, advertisers can develop new ad formats that engage viewers and do not disrupt their viewing experience. “Interactive ads, sponsored content, and native advertising are some of the ad formats that can help advertisers achieve this. For instance, Voot offers non-intrusive ad formats like sponsored content and integrated ads that blend seamlessly with the content,” he says.

Advertisers and publishers also need to analyze the collectible data to gain insights into their audience's behavior and preferences. This can help them optimize their ad campaigns, improve their targeting, and measure their ad campaign's effectiveness.

“For example, MX Player uses data analytics to track viewer behavior and preferences to create personalized recommendations for each viewer. Advertisers can also use data analytics to track ad performance and optimize their campaigns accordingly,” says Mangla, adding that publishers can leverage the popularity of streaming TV by creating content that resonates with their audience.

That being said, as Gill points out, “Another important consideration is frequency capping which is important to ensure consumers are not seeing the same ad multiple times across the different OTT platforms that they are engaging with. This is where programmatic media buying platforms offer value in helping brands preserve a positive ad experience.”

In conclusion, experts agree that the Indian market presents a significant opportunity for advertisers and publishers to reach a large and engaged audience base through FAST and Freemium. By adopting a data-driven approach, using new ad formats, programmatic advertising, data analytics, and content marketing, they can create more effective ad campaigns, engage viewers, and increase their revenue.

 



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Mark Zuckerberg announces new WhatsApp app for Windows

The app will enable group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 3:25 PM   |   1 min read

whatsapp

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new WhatsApp app for Windows, which will enable group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people - all from your desktop.

Making the announceemnt on Facebook, he wrote, “Launching a new WhatsApp desktop app for Windows. Now you can make E2E encrypted video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people.”

“The new Windows desktop app loads faster and is built with an interface familiar to WhatsApp and Windows users. You can host group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people. We’ll continue to increase these limits over time so you can always stay connected with friends, family and work colleagues.

Since introducing new multi-device capabilities, we’ve listened to feedback and made improvements including faster device linking and better syncing across devices, as well as new features such as link previews and stickers.

As we continue to increase the number of devices which support WhatsApp, we’ve just introduced a new WhatsApp beta experience for Android tablets. We’re also launching a new, faster app for Mac desktops that is currently in the early stages of beta,” he wrote further.

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MarTech can brilliantly answer the ROI question: Hareesh Tibrewala

The Joint CEO of Mirum India spoke to e4m Editor Naziya Alvi Rahman on a host of questions with respect to the India MarTech Report 2023 that will be unveiled at the e4m Pitch CMO Summit today

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Mar 23, 2023 2:41 PM   |   1 min read

Mirum

Hareesh Tibrewala spoke to e4m on a host of issues related to MarTech while delving deep into the India MarTech Report. He started by addressing the roadblocks in the implementation of MarTech in the country.

He also explained the point about MarTech explorers in terms of the sectors, which is invested in this marketing technique.

Tibrewala further spoke about how martech was critical in the role of a marketer and how it could be extremely significant for calculating ROI.

The conversation also veered toward the importance of MarTech in the cookie-less world and the advent of Web3.

Watch the entire conversation here.

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Google opens up access to Bard

In a blogpost, Google said that Bard could provide tips or explain several posts

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 1:07 PM   |   1 min read

Bard

Google has said that it is opening up access to Bard, the ChatGPT competitor, as per media reports.

The tech major will be expanding the access to Bard in more countries and languages.

In a blogpost, Google said that Bard could provide tips or explain several posts.

Google unveiled Bard in February. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the soft launch of the AI to "trusted testers". 

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MarTech no longer only about marketing, it needs to drive sales: Mirum India report

The survey for the report shows 88% of respondents expect to increase spending on MarTech over the next 3 years

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 12:43 PM   |   2 min read

Mirum

Mirum India, a Wunderman Thompson company, has put together a report on the emerging MarTech landscape in India.

The report captures how MarTech solutions are being utilized by brands to effectively communicate their brand messages to the right set of audiences at the right time.

The report highlights that while the global spend on MarTech solutions is around 25% of the total marketing budget, in India, majority organizations spend less than 15%, indicating significant potential for growth. With MarTech spending set to increase across company sizes and sectors, 88% of respondents expect to increase their MarTech spending over the next three years. The report also emphasizes the need for brands and organizations to work with growth partners as preferred by MarTech HEROES, focusing on ROI, and delivering value to the brands.

The report will be unveiled on March 24, 2023, at the e4m Pitch CMO Summit in Mumbai. The summit will see India's most reputed brands and top management coming under one roof to interact and share insights on their game-changing success stories.

Speaking on the report, Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO – Mirum India, said, "The estimated size of the MarTech industry in India is expected to be between $35bn and $50bn by 2026, presenting a sizeable opportunity for businesses. Our latest report highlights how brands are using MarTech solutions to effectively deliver the right brand message to the right customer at the right time, creating fabulous customer experiences and increasing brand loyalty. It is interesting to note that marketers globally spend 25% of their budgets on MarTech solutions, and our report shows the emergence of MarTech EXPLORERS, who are keen to leverage the power of MarTech. This presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to grow and thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape."

CVL Srinivas, Country Manager – WPP India said, "To succeed in the rapidly evolving tech and data driven world, organizations need good marketing automation tools and diverse skill sets. The report highlights the need for growth partners, preferred by MarTech HEROES, to ensure strong ROI for clients. It brings clarity to the ecosystem and presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to create fantastic customer experiences and increase brand loyalty. At WPP, we've invested heavily in building our tech and data practices, creating a comprehensive ecosystem where value is delivered at every touchpoint."

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Why contextual advertising is making a comeback

As part of e4m TechTalk, Dimpy Yadav, General Manager - Xaxis India, writes contextual advertising is re-emerging for delivering relevant & targeted messages to India’s audiences

By Dimpy Yadav | Mar 23, 2023 9:18 AM   |   4 min read

techtalk

For years, contextual advertising has taken a back seat in favour of hyper-personalised behavioural targeting. But with tightening regulations and deepening concerns around data privacy, contextual advertising is reasserting its place within India’s marketing ecosystem. And it’s about time too.

Contextual advertisement placement is a proven marketing strategy that dates back to the very origins of the modern industry. In today’s digitised world, this tactic involves showing ads that are directly relevant to the content that a user is viewing or even to the user themselves. They can align contextually with anything from a web page to a geographic location or even the weather.

So why is contextual advertising making a comeback in India in 2023? And how can the nation’s marketers and agencies rise to this new digital challenge?

The right context

It’s been seven years since the Indian government launched its digital India campaign and the nation’s digital economy has grown at a phenomenal rate – 2.4 times faster than the overall economy between 2014 and 2019.

Meanwhile, smartphones have become more affordable, internet infrastructure has expanded, and data has become significantly cheaper. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the adoption of digital interactions has accelerated even further, with food deliveries, telemedicine, and online gaming surging in first-time usage.

For marketers, digital and mobile media have become more accessible and cost-effective mediums. This year, advertising spending on mobile is expected to comprise 78 per cent of India’s total digital media expenditure. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending in India grew YoY by 35.9 per cent in 2021 and is forecasted to grow by 28.4 per cent in 2022

India’s digital explosion comes amid a tectonic shift away from the third-party data collection that marketers have relied on for years. Consumers have become more cautious about the data they share online while global regulations around data collection like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have constrained brands’ unfettered access to personal data. In this climate, contextual advertising, which leverages the content of the environment instead of the personal data of its visitors, serves as a privacy-friendly alternative.

A loyal audience

One of the key criticisms of social media over recent years is the potential to miss or misuse key contextual information. Although social media gives brands access to massive audiences, campaigns can easily fall flat if they aren’t executed in just the right context. Even the best creative cannot drive engagement when it appears in an irrelevant or inappropriate environment.

But that dependence on its environment is also one of contextual advertising’s greatest strengths. When utilized in partnership with established publications, it capitalizes on the built-in trust and loyalty that those outlets already enjoy with their audiences. When a receptive audience is combined with the modern capabilities of global scale, digital precision, and algorithmic efficiency, the results can be powerful.

Trust in context

Improvements in targeting capabilities and data analysis have also made it possible for advertisers to target audiences through keywords and topics as well as demographics and interests. Marketers can meanwhile be selective about the types of content they want their ads to run alongside, reserving their investments for audiences that are more likely to take an interest in their products and, therefore, more likely to engage with them. For these reasons, they can feel confident that their content will be well received and their investments will be profitable.

Still, marketing based on context may be a difficult transition for industry leaders who are more familiar and comfortable with behavioural targeting. But it’s hard to argue that the shift towards a contextual mindset will be anything short of necessary and more than likely fruitful. Recent research by Integral Ad Science (IAS) revealed that Indian consumers are more likely to positively receive and remember contextually relevant ads.

Last but not least, contextual advertising will aid marketers in the desired outcome from their campaign. According to a study conducted by IAS and personal computer manufacturer HP, purchase intent was 14 per cent higher among consumers who viewed the in-context ad. In addition, consumers reported a 5 per cent increase in positivity toward the HP brand after seeing an in-context ad

As third-party personal data is becoming less accessible, contextual advertising is growing more sophisticated, giving marketers the power to meet receptive audiences with relevant content. That’s a fundamentally sound path to success that benefits both brands and consumers alike.

Most significantly of all, it has the potential to transform digital media investments into real-world business outcomes. Although the value of premium publishing has always existed, marketers are now able to prove its success with clarity and maximum return on expenditure.

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Brands can be the real winners as gaming firms hit the jackpot with innovative games

Indian gaming firms received $1.4 billion investment over the past five years. This opens up huge opportunities for advertisers

By Kanchan Srivastava | Mar 23, 2023 8:55 AM   |   4 min read

gaming

The Indian gaming ecosystem, which boasts of more than 1,100 startups and a 40 crore-strong gaming communities, is thriving like never before.  With their unique offerings such as NFT-based games, fantasy sports, real-money games and cash prizes, home-grown firms have gained popularity across the globe. Over 86 Indian firms have received $1.4 billion investment over the past five years, including two unicorns and seven soonicorns, according to a latest report of the research firm Tracxn. 

Globally, gaming firms received $20.4B funds over the past five years. Of this, India’s share is roughly 6.8%. The United States (42.2%) Chinese (18.3%) firms got the lion’s share. 

Fantasy sports platform MPL ($150 million), which is a unicorn, is among top 10 funded companies globally over the last 2 years. Games24x7, another Unicorn from India, also received $75 million. 

Soonicorns like Zupee ($72 M), WinZO ($65 M), Hike (NFT gaming, $261 M), JetSynthesys, Octro, EloElo and Games2win also bagged the jackpot. Even four early stage startups-Bombay Play, One World Nation, Studio Sirah, Awon Gamez-have also managed to win their first rounds of funding over the last year. 


Even as the cryptocurrency sector across the world tanked, Venture capitalists have shown keen interests in Indian Web3 gaming startups that offer play-to-earn (P2E) entertainment and use crypto coins and NFTs for transactions. Companies with blockchain-based offerings pocketed $620 mn in 2022. Gurugram-based Rario, Bengaluru-based Lysto.io and Delhi-based Hike are among them, Tracxn data says. Hike pivoted from instant messaging to social, gaming, and crypto in 2021 only. 

“Indian gaming companies have been building local products with capabilities to cater to mobile-gaming markets across the world. Gaming as a category has shown itself to be driven by a highly monetizable audience base: one that tends to spend a lot of time on content and online engagement, is likely to be a trend-setter, has the propensity to spend and is often the chief purchase influencer in his/her family and friend circle,” opines Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO, Rooter - Gaming and Esports Content platform. 

He further noted, “Indian gaming startups have been quick to encash this opportunity. Gaming content platforms like ours are building scalable, tech-driven, revenue-generating models that have garnered interest from marquee global investors.”

According to Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus,

“Since gaming is an industry that is completely digitally led, there is an almost infinite reserve of digital content that can be converted into NFTs. Also, the gaming audience is more tech-driven and understands the concept of NFT quite easily. These two factors give the NFT-based gaming industry a big advantage.”

Karan Taurani, senior VP of Elara Capital, echoes the sentiments.  “Indian gaming companies have quickly realized the shift of casual gamers towards real-money games. Web3 gaming is a far more sustainable ecosystem for both players and gaming companies and hence there are huge growth opportunities. Investors know this fact.”


Big opportunity for brands 

Such overwhelming investment in the Indian gaming startups opens up a huge opportunity for advertisers. Most of the gamers are young and have a significant purchasing power. 

The Indian online gaming industry is estimated to grow to more than Rs 15,000 crore in 2023, representing a CAGR of nearly 22%,  as per the latest 'India Online Gaming Report' of GroupM. 

“Most of the potential of this platform is still unutilised”, an advertising executive said. He added, “Gaming platforms offer tremendous scope such as in-app advertising, brand integration, rewards and advergaming. Brands can also reach their target audience through communities, e-sport tournaments, team associations, NFTs and influencers.”

The in-game advertising market globally is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7% to reach about US$220 billion by 2027, almost two-fold compared to 2020, according to a report of Research and Markets.

 

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