People want new, personalised and curated experiences: Nikhil Rungta, Verizon Media

Nikhil Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media, shares insights on the role of the emerging tech in the overall growth opportunities for digital marketing in India

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 8:33 AM
Nikhil Rungta

According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, India stands in the second position after China, with over 451 million monthly active internet users majorly comprising the millennial population. With the onset of the 5G network, this penetration is only going to create further disruption in the digital ecosystem, providing a plethora of opportunities for the next-gen marketers to interact and engage with their customers in an innovative manner.

Nikhil Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media spells out the role of the emerging tech and its growth opportunities for digital marketing in India.

Edited excerpts 

How will 5G amplify the DOOH space?

The power of programmatic allows for robust, precision targeting and measurement. But the spectacular benefits of 5G will take DOOH campaigns to the absolute next level.
5G, the next-generation wireless tech will mean high bandwidth with lightning speeds, data transfers in the blink of an eye, zero lag time and low latency. Data will be collected and analyzed in real-time, in a 5G world. Far beyond full-motion video technologies like image detection, live streaming and augmented reality (AR) will come into play.

Given the low latency with 5G, it would be possible to have immersive ads on taxi screens, in ride-sharing cabs, for instance. Marketers could aim for much greater interactivity with their smartphones handy, consumers could unlock AR experiences on a billboard, or even become part of a DOOH experience in real-time.

How can agencies integrate mobile and DOOH and customize their campaigns?

A leading fitness brand we work with globally found that the combination of DOOH and mobile retargeting delivered exceptional results. By tying OOH advertising exposure to app download data, they not only saw the influence of their advertising, but they also gained insights into the demographics and usage patterns of those driven to the app by advertising. While each channel had a positive performance independently, OOH and mobile retargeting together had an even greater impact with skyrocketing lift. 42% of exposed consumers visited a location within one day.

When 5G arrives, marketers would be able to personalize messages on digital screens at scale for individual users when they are physically present at a location and effectively guide them to make a purchase. Marketers would be able to interact with consumers on their phones in real-time and deliver connected experiences across different screens in their routine, delivered precisely and make it relevant to them.

With the rise of OTT music platforms, how will the programmatic audio space grow?

Monthly active users on audio streaming platforms grew by a very healthy 50% last year. Keep in mind that audio streaming platforms in India have less than 1% paid users (and nearly 14% are bundled, users.) This means the remaining 85% essentially stream music and other audio content in free, ad-supported environments. So, this is an opportunity that’s going to spike upwards and should be on every marketer’s radar.

With programmatic audio, marketers can reach engaged listeners wherever they go across top audio publishers with efficient targeting, measurable delivery and dynamic creativity. One of the things we do with brands that partner with us for programmatic audio campaigns on our DSP is to help them unlock the power of data, so they can deliver intelligent, dynamic audio ads that can make that personal brand connection.

In terms of native advertising is there a scope of taking it to the next level of virtual engagement via Augmented Reality (AR) native ads?

There is a particular use case right now for this format, with retail stores and malls across the country closed as a precautionary measure over COVID-19. Augmented Reality (AR) native ads could be the closest to experiencing a product in person, besides seeing it in the environment it is intended for. Being a 3D ad format that places simulated products in real-world environments, AR native ads allow consumers to experience a product from all angles, making the purchase decision easier. When retailer Pottery Barn used our native AR format in a campaign, engagement rose, with the experience driving an average time spent of 2.4 minutes within the ad, as well as an 8.9% CTR. The ad helped create a seamless path from inspiration to purchase since users could view a variety of home furnishings within their actual home environment.

We recently launched a new functionality, where users can flip the AR experience to a smartphone’s front-facing camera, unlocking new engagement opportunities with a collection of ‘Face Features.’

Lastly, what are the trends that digital agencies need to keep in mind with the emerging technology

An agency can effectively leverage the targeting opportunities of Connected TV and harness the precision of programmatic to TV advertising for its clients. We are increasingly seeing brands explore audio ad formats that can deliver a personalized ad experience to these listeners, a trend that will only grow this year.

People want curated experiences, personalization and ‘new’ experiences. Through new ad formats like XR, for example, agencies can probe new and innovative ways to connect to consumers and their passions.

For agencies, it’s an opportunity to explore, since this can steer India’s mobile consumers from browsing to buying. However, agencies have to stay cognizant of the client's and consumers' need for trust and transparency.

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