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    Hello and welcome to a webchat with Alokananda Chakraborty on 'What will it take for digital advertising to catch on in India?'


    Hello everyone

  • A


    How much impact do you think will digital advertising have in India? What will be its advantages?


    As things stand, digital advertising is still very small in India. It is a little over 14% of the total advertising spend, according to emarketer. But it is growing fast. And as more and more consumers move to digital media, brands must also move in that direction. There is no choice really. For brands, the advantages are many. It is easy to figure out the return on their media expenditure. Also with the help of technology it is really easy to locate your core consumer, find out her interests and preferences. So it allows for better targetting.

  • B


    Hello ma'am, I'm working as a media advisor for an MNC in Bengaluru for the past six months. I have seen that some of the striking problems in this sector come in producing remarkable content. What would you advise developers of digital content? Also, how much can one benefit from selling through social media?


    Developers and marketers have to keep two or three things in mind. First a large chunk of people who access the internet do so on their mobile phones. So the format you are using is important. Two, there is a need to focus on content in local languages. Google, for instance, has just reported that Hindi content consumption on the internet is growing at 90% plus. So you can see the potential.

  • D


    Amid a torrent of opinions, advertisements, random chatter and spams that the social media is full of, what are the ways in which digital advertisements can be made more impactful, especially so that they do not fall prey to the 'skip ad' syndrome?


    At the end of the day, all advertising, whether it in the so-called traditional media or in the digital medium, has to be creative and engaging. Why do you think people flip channels when the ad spots come up? There is just too much clutter and people are impatient. You really need to stand out to be heard. The same formula will work in digital. As more and more brands move there, the advertising has to be awesome to get noticed. It's simple really. You have to think digital first. Don't try to force-fit made for TV ads to the internet. It won't work.

  • A


    It might not be right to say that digital advertising is not working in India. There has been some pick-up in recent past, particularly the past few years. What, according to you, will help digital advertising gain momentum from here?


    No one is saying that digital advertising is not working in India. The thing is it is just too small. At 14.2% of the total ad spend, it is the third smallest worldwide, according to emarketer. What has to happen now is a mindshift--both on the part of the advertiser and the agency. Many agency heads I have spoken to have told me that the advertisers are sometimes not sure whether they ought to put in huge sums of money online. They have many reasons for that. On the other hand, when you talk to brand managers they say agencies still don't get it. So there is a disconnect somewhere. I guess, when both the parties involved see the benefits of the medium and what can be done on it--the potential of the medium really-- things will start moving faster. But as I said before, marketers needs to come around to the fact that their ads, and all their content, have to be mobile friendly. Plus there has to be more emphasis on local language communication.

  • J


    Hi Alokananda, there is a lot that is being talked of digital taking over print. But slowly both advertisers and companies are discovering that the digital media has a severe space constraint, with users being extremely impatient on mobile/web than print or TV. Have they found ways to cross this serious challenge?


    Digital overtaking print? Not anytime soon. You must understand advertisers have dealt with impatient consumers on other media as well. On television, for instance, viewers have been impatient with its linear flow. For starters, the digital medium doesn't have that constraint. It can be highly interactive. In fact, that is the biggest advantage of the medium. And advertisers are taking advantage of that already. They are communicating with consumers not just after a product is launched. Smart marketers are involving them right at the product conceptualisation stage. They are seeking feedback on their communication, logo... the works. So it is all happening. No need to worry just yet. But digital taking over print? I would suggest you hold your horses on that one.

  • M


    A good idea to make Digital-specific ads would be to engage interactive graphics. Google changing its logo is an excellent example. But doing such things on a regular basis would not only increase costs but might also be cumbersome. What are your thoughts on this?


    Look at the benefits alongside the costs. The upfront costs might be higher, but there is less wastage. Plus better targeting. It may not be so cumbersome and costly over the long term. Experts will also tell you not to put all the eggs in one basket. Try to find your optimum combination. Start by asking yourself what you really want from that digital strategy -- build a brand (long term), engage the consumer or just a spike in sales (short term)?

  • V


    Hello, I'm an entrepreneur running a start-up for two years in Chennai. I understand digital advertising is a big revenue market for us. So, I want to know how I can find the right person to lead and execute my social strategy?


    Actually, it all depends on what you want from your social strategy. Most big agencies offer such services. Being a start-up you might consider roping in a start-up agency as well. Put in a query through social media... I am sure you will find the right person..


    Thanks, Alokananda, for answering our readers' quesries on What will it take for digital advertising to catch on in India?'