Happy with digital currency, uncertain of upping spends: Marketers on ABC's foray

Although a digital measurement currency is the need of the hour, marketers expect no immediate increase in digital spends as an impact of the measurement results

e4m by Abid Hasan
Published: Sep 1, 2015 8:23 AM  | 5 min read
Happy with digital currency, uncertain of upping spends: Marketers on ABC's foray

The recent announcement made by Audit Bureau of Circulations of entering into digital measurement, has been received positively by marketers as well as publishers.

ABC’s Council of Management is of the view that digital measurement would complement the print measurement in years to come, especially for member publications that have digital editions of their respective publications.

This move is also beneficial for the marketers as they will get a digital new currency and feel more comfortable about spending on digital.

But with the availability of digital currency this scenario will change with the upcoming digital currency? We talk to marketers to get their opinion

Talking to exchange4media, RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Amul said, “Digital measurement is definitely a great move. But in our view, it does not assure that this will lead to higher spends in digital.”

Sodhi said that he sees the consumer behaviour changing and people consume content on multiple digital touch points like social and search. “Content/news also is available here and now on a real-time basis and that's the key to this medium. There won't be a drastic shift to consuming content via digital editions for the respective publications. But, yes, it would mean the publications will keep pace with changing times and become relevant to readers beyond their physical distribution reach,” he said.

Frank Schloeder, Director Marketing, BMW said, “Getting more measurement on digital spends and more reliable information would be very good. However, this alone will not immediately affect our media spends in the short term. Digital is gaining importance generally and, therefore, the spending share will go up step by step, but this is independent of measuring. Measuring will help to spend the money in a better and more focused way.”

Highlighting the problems faced by digital media in India, Rajiv Mishra, Vice President, Media, CSR and Spokesperson, Samsung – South West Asia said, “Digital media has been one of the few beneficiaries of the recession, as in few markets globally, the internet advertising outperforming television for the first time, and this may become a trend in India as well.”

 He also highlighted that digital media struggled to attract big brand advertising because India was unable to measure the impact of those ads.

He said, “Digital lacks a similar trading currency in comparison to TV, print and radio. It makes marketers uneasy, not only because of the inability to compare similar data, but also because the standard measurement metrics of online display ads – CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand) – offer little insight into how an audience has come to see an advert or the depth of their engagement with it.”

 Mishra also feels that this may be about to change, as ABC has .decided to initiate the project of digital measurement, “We should appreciate this initiative,” he concludes.

Piyush Srivastava, DGM-Head Media, Usha International said, “Right now newspapers are carrying advertisement of various advertisers but as far as increase in digital spends is concerned it'll not impact my digital spends because the e-paper version of any newspaper carries the same ad of the physical copy.”

He also added, “If the shift from reading physical copy to digital happens then it'll impact the digital advertising space.”

Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President - Head Marketing, Product, Analytics, Digital & E-Commerce, questions the value addition ABC can offer to marketers and it’s a wait and watch scenario.

He feels that digital world is heavily measured today and further monitoring is almost real time and one can assess click through rates, likes and comments.

Tripathy said, “From a media planning perspective, it is always good to have one source but it's also important to have a reliable source. There have been multiple issues with these measurement systems in the recent past and hence, it's important to see their methodology and check data over a period of time to ensure its utility.”

Sharing his thoughts over the increase in digital spends, he said, “Digital spends have been going up on an annual basis for most marketers including us. We will continue to invest in this medium since there are obvious returns that can be measured, even today.”

Welcoming ABC’s foray into digital measurement, Amit Sharma, Corporate Vice President - Digital Marketing & E-commerce, Max Life Insurance said that in a market starved of a common measurement currency for offline and online, ABC's proposal comes across as a welcome step.

He said, “It is bound to bring some clarity to the burgeoning digital marketing landscape. While they are yet to reveal their plans in detail, we are keen to understand how rich this measurement would really be, given that digital is more dynamic than print. Frequency to information in addition to width and depth would be useful to understand.”

He feels that online assets of publications are a small subset of the digital landscape. He recommends ABC to spread their wings to measurement beyond just the print publications and be more inclusive in their coverage.

Deba Ghoshal, Head Marketing and Key Accounts, Voltas said, “With more and more readers opting for online versions of publications, particularly business publications; this step would certainly help in arriving at a more objective decision. The question is, how will they do this, and what would be the accuracy of this exercise."

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