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With digital there is going to be valuable opportunity for everyone: Joshua Spanier

08-March-2018
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With digital there is going to be valuable opportunity for everyone: Joshua Spanier

In India on a short visit, Joshua Spanier, Senior Marketing Director of Global Media for Google spoke to exchange4media about the key strategic shifts taking place in the digital domain, the rise of India’s digital economy and the importance of always-on advertising.

Here are some edited excerpts:

There has been a growing debate about the need for redefining metrics in digital advertising? What is your take on it?

I believe good advertising in any medium can be very effective. On of the benefits of digital media has been the metrics and data that give you a clear picture of what is happening far more so than traditional television or print channels or out-of-home. I think the big thing which is changing, is that the industry was promised or seemed to believe that digital could solve all problems and that there would be data to prove everything. But what has been forgotten is that as much as you can use data and insights, if your original creative or message is not very good then it doesn’t matter how well you are measuring it because you won’t find any good results. What I see a lot around the world is that teams are not focusing enough on making smart, clever digital creative. They take their TV or print ad and run it online. They don’t take advantage of what digital platforms can do. I believe that digital can drive real business results.

How are major digital advertising platforms like Google and Facebook dealing with disruption that could threaten their grip on the markets?

I want to answer it from my perspective as a marketer. With technology, the ability to do things has democratized everything. In fact, small companies can become big companies overnight and I guess that also means that big companies can become small companies if they don’t do things smartly. But it is such an exciting time and we now have algorithms which can optimize a media campaigns trillions of times in milliseconds.

Communication is becoming an 'always on' phenomenon, is there a fear of overdose?

Our customers are buying every day, they are making decisions every day, we should engage with them continuously. So there is a rational approach that always-on marketing makes a lot of sense. Now the critical thing is that there are different tactics and channels and opportunities for 'always on' marketing. Sometimes you need TV commercials and a big brand push, and very visible and quite cluttering advertising. Sometimes you may think that we might not have a lot to say but there is content marketing which you can do. The way I think about it is—how much is too much and, is it useful, is it relevant, is it entertaining, is it good experience for the consumer.

What kind of opportunities and challenges do you see in the Indian market as far as digital adex is concerned?

What I’m really struck by about India, is how the cell phone has become central to everyone’s life. I recently visited a family here and everyone said –my cell phone is my TV and I get my entertainment from it. So there are opportunities and challenges for all the media publishers. I see incredible opportunities for both TV networks and for other online video producers on YouTube and other sites to create interesting, engaging content which people can access either on the big screen TV or on their phones and there is going to be valuable opportunity for everyone.

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