Why is digital an indispensable medium for marketers and brands today?

We spoke to digital agencies & brands about the increasing growth of internet advertising, why the medium is preferred by advertisers and the future it holds 

e4m by Shweta Raaj Singh
Published: Jun 24, 2019 8:37 AM  | 5 min read

With digital advertising on the rise, most brands are trying their best to leverage the medium. According to recent reports, India’s overall spending on entertainment and media has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 per cent – narrowly ahead of China’s 10.9 per cent, and more than double the 5 per cent CAGR that has been projected for entertainment and media globally. 

The rise in spending in India will be led by digitally driven sectors such as Internet advertising (at a CAGR of 20.4 per cent), video games (16.7 per cent), and Internet access (15 per cent). 

With the medium becoming the obvious choice for advertisers, exchange4media spoke to digital agencies and brands about the increasing growth of internet advertising, why the medium is preferred by advertisers and the future it holds. 

According to Rahul Pansare, Head of Marketing and PR, FCA India, the digital medium is the backbone of the entire path to purchase. “The journey starts with online research and ends with sharing memories and experiences on social platforms. Due to this high level of involvement and engagement on digital platforms, internet advertising is the preferred choice for auto brands. The future of digital marketing is difficult to predict because of its continuous evolving character. However, the trend is towards meaningful content and influencer marketing.”

As per experts, over the last couple of years, media consumption among consumers has undergone a massive change. From linear television programming to OTT, from morning news to news on the go, from family screens to personal devices the list just goes on. Sabyasachi Mitter, Founder of Fulcro, also spoke about digital being an indispensable medium. "For a marketer, this makes digital indispensable to business, not just marketing. Influencer opinion can make or break products and brands within hours. Content and not advertising is creating brand affinity and advertising is passing the baton to experiences. This makes digital central to a brand and its business goals, something no marketer can wish away anymore. With the dominance of marketplaces and online service delivery, many brands are today building their go to market strategies with digital alone. These trends will intensify in the near term as more and more consumers change their buying behaviour and rely on digital for all stages of their purchase cycles." 

Chirag Gander, Co-Founder, The Minimalist, says the digital medium has the advantage of being the quickest and cheapest medium. “It is given that advertisers will follow wherever consumers are. Digital also happens to be by far the quickest and cheapest medium compared to other advertising platforms. Moreover, today there are tools to measure effectiveness of each communication. The attention span of consumers will keep decreasing. Hence, advertisers have to be more agile and explore better ways to attract and retain consumers. Things will become more and more data and technology driven. The future of digital advertising will need a perfect combination of the left and right brain.”

According to Chadan Bagwe, Founder of C Com Digital, the medium has been preferred by advertisers due to reasons like the cost factor and the reach. Also, digital platforms are highly influential in Purchase Decision Making. But, the most important one would be that it supports growth. 

“Consumers use internet searches, online store reviews, online videos, comparison sites and social media platforms as the primary tool for pre-purchase decision, making it trackable. It also offers more insights on effectiveness than traditional advertising," he added.

For brands equally, digital media is of paramount importance in terms of reach. Hence, brands invest heavily on digital spends. Sai Sangeeta Israni, GM, Marketing, Spykar lifestyles Pvt. Ltd said, “Spykar, being India’s preferred fashion denim brand for the young and restless, has the prerogative of establishing a connect with the youth and digitally native Gen Z. Hence, use of digital media is of paramount importance for ensuring widespread outreach for the brand. This platform enables one to break geographical boundaries and reach a sharper set of audience with targeted ads. The medium allows one to experiment a lot. Over the last year, there has been a rise of 120 per cent in our marketing budgets for digital spends.”

According to Vanda Ferrao, Head-Marketing, Licious, “The digital media in India has come a long way and to us it’s a way of doing business. Considering the fact that we are a digital native company, the choice of the digital advertising platform not only makes business sense, but also allows us to connect with our customers extensively and effectively. The digital campaigns allow us to reach out to a higher number of audience and target them more efficiently by categorising the ads basis geography, ethnicity and customer preference. Digital also comes with the added advantage of real-time engagement and results which in turn help us modify our strategy if there is a need. Reducing data costs, increased internet and smart phone penetration and increasing time spent on mobile phones, are all great news for digital advertising and it is here to stay.”

For Gautam Anand, Orchestrator of Content, AGENCY09, Digital is a two-way communication medium where the advertiser is not just able to validate but also quantify the sentiments. The engagement strategy can also be altered with better ease and the results are instant. Talking about the future it holds, Anand said: “The users are already aware of endorsed content and frivolous advertisements. Users these days have begun demanding for content wherein brands are honest about their offerings. If they like the way the brand respects their queries and interacts with them, they will engage even more. Secondly, platforms supporting closed group conversations will emerge.” 

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