Digital mktg is better rooted now, but remains a complicated concept

While digital mktg forms an integral part of the media mix, marketers still struggle with factors such as measurement, RoI & digital brief, say experts

e4m by Saloni Surti
Updated: Apr 20, 2013 7:50 PM
Digital mktg is better rooted now, but remains a complicated concept

Not very long ago, digital marketing gathered pace and gained recognition in India. From the medium of communication and entertainment to the medium of need – digital has grown to become a pseudo science. With the growth of the medium came technological and social advancement, thus giving rise to a number of opportunities for advertising and marketing.

Digital advertising and marketing is now better rooted than before, however, it continues to be a complicated concept. As India warms up to digital marketing, exchange4media tries to find out whether marketers are on the right path?

Reality check
While digital marketing forms an integral part of the media mix and has witnessed some really good content, marketers continue to struggle with factors such as measurement, RoI and digital brief.

“Digital advertising is growing both globally and in India. In India last year, digital advertising grew by 68 per cent, while overall advertising income grew by under 5 per cent. So digital’s share is outgrowing traditional media such as TV, print, radio, cinema and outdoor. Also, given audiences’ need to interact with brands, it can only grow further,” observed Lloyd Mathias, Founder-Director, Green Bean Ventures and jury member for IDMA 2013.

According to the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2013 report, digital was the only medium to grow in line with the projection in 2012. “Finally, marketers are experimenting with and adopting the medium in a strong way, which used to be tentative just a couple of years ago. We are seeing brave concepts - whether display or social or video - being used. And the fact that many smaller brands are doing so much on digital media is an encouraging sign. This will make the medium grow not only with large advertisers, but also local level marketers who do not have huge scale,” said LK Gupta, CMO, Red Bus and jury member for IDMA 2013.

Weak links
While advertisers manage to pick the tool (mobile, web, social media, gaming, app, etc.) of their choice, they lose sight in terms of the aim of the communication. Marketers in India are still seen creating content with the aim of making it viral, or to get the maximum amount of likes for their FB page.

“Measuring the effectiveness of digital purely on the number of likes, shares and views may be shortsighted. There have to be many other factors, including the ability to spur offline debate,” added Mathais.

A slight change in the thought process of advertisers is what is required. Focus has to be shifted from creating virality and gaining likes to creating content or campaign that the target audience can relate to. Mathais pointed out that the expected shift will arrive when India hits the 300 million internet penetration mark - with over 150 million on broadband.

With the right kind of direction, recognition, intent and content marketers can get the desired results thorough digital marketing.

“The situation can change only if good success cases are brought forward, where digital has demonstrably helped build a brand and moved the needle on key metrics that marketers want. In this regard, initiatives like IDMA should help to showcase great uses of digital media and its usefulness,” added Gupta.

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