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Guest Column: Digital delivers more than cost effectiveness

20-July-2012
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Guest Column: Digital delivers more than cost effectiveness

Advertising spends are worst hit by recession and repercussions of it are seen in the sales figures. Advertisers across the globe reviewed their marketing budgets and came up with this new equation, wherein digital media enjoys the highest growth ever. Digital, by virtue of it being a cost effective medium, brings some solace to marketers.

Digital medium has the reach of 120 million internet users in India, a huge number by most standards of most countries. This user base is fairly tech savvy, literate and largely caters to the young audience and professionals from top cities in India – a lucrative segment for advertisers to watch.

Besides this, the medium is driven by hundreds of diverse publishers (websites) across each channel such as news, finance, entertainment... Each publisher drives a significant traffic of users with similar interest forming an interest group. This diversity is an exciting proposition to advertisers as they can find their potential customers by focusing on such interest groups and target them selectively.

Moreover, digital media has so much to offer in terms of creating awareness, impactful brand recall, user re-engagement, driving enquiries, immediate call to action and measuring campaign performance. An advertiser gets a window to experience the audience response and quickly absorb the learning in his marketing strategy.

Earlier, despite a large number of diverse publishers offering abundant targeting options and ample placement choices, advertisers could not benefit. It posed as a challenge to target a sizeable number of users that are scattered over a huge medium across thousands of media vehicles and also keep track of the campaign performance. The year 2006 saw the emergence of ad networks in India. Ad networks aggregated publishers and summed up their inventory for advertisers to easily run and manage their ads. Digital advertising then looked promising in this new form of ad network business. But this new form took away the control from the advertiser and the learning is absolute zero. The only credible details shared with advertiser are total number of views and clicks, which has no meaningful information. Ad network business grew faster than any form in this industry, which attracted large number of entrants. Competitive turmoil compromised advertisers’ interest and advertiser had no control to curtail it.

Media veterans believe that digital medium has a promising future, but it has to be coupled with advanced technology to bring out its true potential.

The author is CEO, Marmalade Digital

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