Paid advertising not future but present necessity for any business: Panel

The latest e4m Business Leaders Roundtable, powered by Google, brought together a distinguished panel to discuss how businesses can keep pace with consumers in the age of digital

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 21, 2021 6:14 PM  | 5 min read
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e4m Business Leaders Roundtable: Unlocking Digital for Growth, powered by Google, brought together a panel of distinguished marketing luminaries for a thought-provoking discussion on how businesses can keep pace with consumers in a world of constant digital transformation. 

The discussion featured six speakers along with Session Chair - Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO & Co-Founder, Gozoop. The speakers were Anita Nayyar, COO, Media and Communications, Patanjali Ayurved Limited; Arun Kumar S, Vice President, Navrathan Jewellers; Nirupam Sahay, ED, and CEO, Lighting and Consumer Durables, Surya Roshni; Nipun Mittal, CMD & Founder, Olefia Biopharma Limited; and Tanveer S Uberoi, Director, Agency, Partnerships and Sales, Google Customer Solutions (GCS), India; and Ruchita Taneja Aggarwal, Head New Business Sales, India, Google. 

Naqvi started the hour-long session by examining the key role played by digital assets in the recent Diwali celebrations and their growing importance in everyday life, as well as how companies were realising the benefits of using tools like paid advertising.  

Anita Nayyar of Patanjali noted that businesses that thought they could survive without digital and paid advertising were making a grave mistake no matter how big the brand was. “I think, the reach of digital is becoming unquestionable,” said Nayyar, pointing out that companies like Google have been driving this digital transformation. 

Arun Kumar S of Navrathan Jewellers noted that while his brand only has a presence in Bengaluru, it’s known across the world, and which is why the traditional jewellery company is going increasingly digital and using paid advertising and social media to reach out to international clients. “We want to reach out to more and more people, and are exploring tools like Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence to gather data on what consumers want, and how we can help fulfil those requirements,” he said. 

Nirupam Sahay of Surya Roshni also explained how the business has gone digital: “We’ve moved from conventional lighting to LED, which is a digital solution. You can customise its brightness and colours and so much else, which you couldn’t do with conventional lighting. As a product, we’ve gone almost completely digital, with LED making up 90% of our sales. And now we’re moving increasingly into smart products, with lighting that can be controlled and timed by your smartphone,” he said, adding that the company had recently pivoted to tools like paid advertising, social media and other digital media. 

“We are already seeing positive returns whether it is increasing brand awareness or incremental sales which, I think, are the key parameters you would look at in any form of advertising. And we can see the impact that is happening, so we can see the share of digital-only increasing in our advertising pie,” continued Sahay.

Elaborating on the utility of paid advertisement, Tanveer S Uberoi of Google said that having a high level of education and conviction about a medium is one side of the story while the other is the deployment of the medium. 

“It depends a lot on what their (brands') business objectives and marketing objectives are in order to really put a quantifiable number in terms of what a marketing figure should actually be like,” said Uberoi. “That's where any paid marketing comes in. There'll always be an organic push, but there needs to be a paid position where to really make an impact.” 

Uberoi also noted that every brand would have to migrate to selling online, and as it was unavoidable. The earlier one invested in the ecosystem, the stronger the brand presence. 

“By 2021 end, the majority of internet consumption is going to happen on the back of vernacular language. So does paid marketing come into play to show content and vernacular languages? Absolutely. You can't run away from this. This is the medium of the future. The moment you do launch online, you will find a larger customer pool and then acceptance by other clients,” he said. 

Speaking about how Google Ad Solutions are helping brands accelerate their growth, Ruchita Taneja Aggarwal said that the pandemic had propelled brands that traditionally sold products offline onto digital channels since print circulation was affected and people were no longer being exposed to out of home advertising. 

She said, “If you were to really look at the last 12 to 18 months, digital as a share of overall AdX in India is already at a significant percentage. Based on industry reports that we study from other markets that are a little ahead of India, their digital constitutes even more of the overall AdX. We feel very confident that India will move in that same direction and we're seeing that journey happen even at a brand level. These are all large, traditional advertisers who had a higher propensity to trust traditional media channels that worked for their brands, consistently over the last decades. But now, they've actually tested their marketing objectives on digital and they've seen good results.”

Reverting to an earlier question of whether digital can work for sales that are offline, Taneja Aggarwal said it had become a ubiquitous part of the advertising mix with a market share that would only grow. 

The experts reiterated the undeniable fact that paid advertising had become necessary for any brand looking to sell a product, regardless of category or language. They concluded that paid advertising and digital marketing weren’t something they needed to be ready for, but are very much part of conducting a successful business today.

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