Digital: The next big visual medium for marketers

While advertisers still bank on TVCs, the impetus to make a decision is generated faster on digital platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Feb 13, 2013 2:48 AM
Digital: The next big visual medium for marketers

Human beings are more receptive with visual content; in advertising, this principle has been tried and tested. With the advent of social media, all one can say is that the platform has changed but the older approach still works.

In India, while advertisers try to capitalise on TVCs, the medium of digital visual has not been leveraged as much as it could have been. It has been observed that the impetus to make a decision is generated faster (by value) on the digital visual medium, which has emerged as the television/pin board of the internet world.

Internet penetration in India is less than 10 per cent, which is more than the total population of many emerging markets. However, still more than 90 per cent of the Indian market is untouched. India’s internet economy is expected to reach 10.8 trillion by 2016. The growth rate of internet in India is four times that of the current GDP. This makes India diverse, dynamic and a vast market to capture for internet companies.

After trying and experimenting television as a visual medium, is it time for the marketers to be more aggressive on digital visual content sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pintrest, Google Videos, etc?

Of late, Google released new insights on ‘India’s YouTube Audience’. The insight, which primarily states that more than 70 per cent of Indian YouTube users are below the age of 35 and 72 per cent posses a graduate degree or higher, has coined the term ‘Generation C’. The term denotes a young, tech-savvy group of trendsetters who command the online content and culture.  The company stated that ‘Generation C’ thrives on four Cs: Creation (creating and uploading videos on a daily basis), Community (swapping videos with friends via e-mail and social networks), Curation (caring about finding videos that matter to them using subscriptions/content preferences, etc.), and Connection (30 per cent of YouTube videos are viewed on mobile).

YouTube is just another case but we are trying to explore the bigger picture here. The medium of digital visuals! With burgeoning audience volatility and lesser shelf life, brand marketers have to come up with robust plans at every instant to attract more eyeballs. The visual medium of the digital world offers the same.

It is brownie point for an advertiser when a consumer herself comes to the page and watches a commercial rather than an advertiser thrusting his ad in between the content. “The line between advertising and content is blurring and the message is getting blended. It’s a huge advantage for the marketer,” said Danielle Tietd, VP – Marketing, YouTube.

With the advent of smartphones, the game has turned upside down. The youth are instant and they like to share, watch and comment instantly. And within the digital domain, the visual medium works far better than the other domains. The young Indian, which is tech-savvy, switches between devices 27 times a day! Greater connectivity also improves user interface and that too on any level.

The market scenario is incomplete if it does not offer a level playing field. So what is in store for marketers who do not have deep pockets? Content creators are the key here. SME players can outsource their content to these creators and upload it on the portals. There are many creators in the market who create content for the digital medium on a daily basis. Small and medium businesses can capitalise the opportunity.

Ironically for many audiences the reverse is also true, where some of them find ads on the internet as ‘intrusion of privacy’. “We have to maintain a fine balancing act between the average hits and the variant hits and therefore see where the line is being crossed,” said Tietd of YouTube.

According to the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2013 Report, 32 per cent is the expected growth rate for internet as an advertising option in 2013. The key would be capturing the pulse and the taste of the rapidly expanding internet population of India, especially the ones who are volatile.

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