There will be a huge jump in digital advertising when 5G happens: Nandini Dias

At yesterday’s e4m webinar 'Technology: Shaping the Future of the Media Industry', Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM highlighted the growing significance of technology in a changing media landscape

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 2:50 PM
Nandini Dias

 At the virtual discussion 'Technology - Shaping the Future of the Media Industry' Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM engaged in a conversation with Nawal Ahuja, Co-Founder, exchange4media about the role of technology in media, which is now in a state of flux due to COVID-19.

 The global pandemic Covid-19 had put a dent in businesses worldwide. The media industry was certainly feeling the heat. But it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the industry as the changing market environment also saw an acceleration of technological innovations, which were then promoted by businesses to stay ahead of the game in this new marketing ecosystem.

 The virtual conversation witnessed discussions on how brands along with technology can leverage the data they possess and the strategies media agencies need to take to bring growth back on track.

 The lockdown has changed the narrative

 Dias kickstarted the session with an observation on how the lockdown has changed the narrative for most companies and brands, and how it will alter several aspects of business permanently. She shared, “Across sectors, companies and brands are striving hard to stay relevant by driving innovation, building business models, and campaigning to reconnect with their audience."

 She pointed out that media agencies, over the last five years, have become communication agencies. "We no longer look at ourselves as confining to only media strategy or buying. We have expanded our scope particularly and that has benefited us quite a bit.”

 Dias shared that the level of competency that Lodestar UM has at the moment is at an all-time high and they have been trusted by some of the most reliable brands in the market.

 Pillars for a Communication Agency

Dias stated, “We looked at content. Within content, we look into celebrity and influencer marketing. The second big pillar is around data and analytics. Globally, last year we have got a very large data company called Acxiom. At one end we looked at Acxiom to take us forward in the whole data and analytics sector. The third part is the consultancy. Media agencies are innately placed today and they understand the brand, media, technology, research and data.”

 Business going forward for the Media Agency Ecosystem

 Dias remarked, “The current consumption of media is related to the pandemic. The current share of media habits changes back again because things will open up again. Simple things like OOH are completely shut but as soon as people start going out all of the media habits will change. It will become DOOH more than OOH. If you see news channels there was a 40% surge that happened and that has slowly that declined. GEC’s were down and now it’s gone up. People moved to digital and OTT content. The conversation which is happening currently is because of the pandemic. A lot of people have taken advantage of what the current situation is and some advertisers are waiting and watching."

She explained that in three years from now, the pattern will shift to digital. "If you look at the August media spends both TV and Radio are back to pre-COVID times in terms of the spots booked. Three years from now, we will see Digital happening far more than it is today. It will take shares from OTT, print, TV but the changes may not be as dramatic as it is today.”

 The increase in demand from clients for Digital Media Advertising

 Dias shared, “Multimedia advertising is not happening now. So, clients depending on the funnel they are in are trying to use different mediums. A lot of them are thinking that you must drive the lower end and looking at leads more than creating desire. While they have been doing this for a couple of months, my advice to clients has been the other way around. You may tap into people who are in the market but for the economy to come back in its full form we need to create push and desire.”

 COVID has resulted in Digital eating into a larger share of the adverting pie and is doing it at a faster pace. Sharing her perspective on this Dias says, “Digital Transformation was already happening. I think COVID has just made it leap forward. It is not just about COVID; the path to purchase and the consumer journey has changed. It is no longer the linear journey that we use to see in the past. So, if the path to purchase is no longer linear and now it’s more multidimensional then in a way, each category will behave differently and their needs will be different. Hence you will find the percentage that was used by different categories will be different. The digital transformation for India has moved faster due to the COVID situation. A game-changer will be 5G and the minute that happens there will be a huge jump in digital advertising.”

 Talking about digital platforms that will emerge as winners after the lockdown Dias said, “Every day is a new day and different media channels will move up and down in terms of consumption. I think the interesting conversation on data is about what agencies and clients are doing with it. The more programmatic we go the more the platform becomes irrelevant because then it is only for the person who is in the market. It will then be about their intent, interest, and the cohort that I need to reach and it doesn’t matter whether I reach it through Facebook or a programmatic platform. It will be interesting to see how clients are looking at consumers and how the whole AdTech/MarTech story is playing out. At the client end, they are also building their database and MarTech tools. It will be interesting to see how these tools will progress and what will change the business scenario.”


 Dias also commented on IPL 2020 saying, “We have not seen live sports for a while and are highly anticipating it. We are at home so the difference between the evening and afternoon show rating won’t be there. TV will do better because if you are in a place where you can see a bigger screen you will watch it there. Because it is the right time and the festival time we need to create a push. If you don’t create push this whole festival will go away. You may have great ratings and you may have some advantage in terms of pricing. We are all hoping that the pricing is something we can work around with. It can’t get better than this and I have been advising clients that this is the time. The leap that we want in terms of visibility and push will take place and it will be a great time to bounce back.”

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