When it comes to digital in India, we are at an interesting point in time. Apparel and books are bought via E-commerce. Cabs are hailed through ride-hailing apps. Video and music is streamed and games are played online. Digital has fast permeated into our daily lives in a way that for a big chunk of India's populace when it comes to their daily lives, digital is the way to go. In fact, there could not have been a better time to go digital in India.
Recognizing this trend and the fact that digital, particularly mobile is where their audience is, marketers have taken this route too. In fact according to a recent IAMAI-IMRB report, digital advertising spend in India hit INR 5200 crore by the end of 2015, growing at a CAGR of 35% between 2011 and 2015; way ahead of the global digital growth rate of 10% during the same period.
Industry verticals that love going the digital advertising way
Their target audience is online. All of their buying and selling happens online. It is not even a surprise therefore to find E-commerce leading the pack in terms of volume of digital advertising spends in India, followed by BFSI and Telecom.
However, what comes as a surprise is the fact that at 40%, the share of digital advertising from the overall advertising spends for BSFI is the highest, compared to other industry verticals, even E-commerce, which comes a close second.
This is because today Internet (bank/financial services website, blogs, media websites) are the starting point for the consumer's pre-purchase journey. The BSFI sector has been quick to gauge the shift in consumer intent for purchase and is responding by shifting its marketing focus to digital and will continue to do so as more of its services go digital.
Video, mobile, frontrunners for digital ad spends
While digital ad spends on search stood at INR 5200 crore in 2015, share of video and mobile in total digital ad spends saw a massive rise. While video saw a year-on-year growth in spends of 173%, mobile saw a 116% rise in ad spends between 2014 and 2015.
As Indian consumers started increasingly shifting to digital, mobile has been their preferred medium for accessing digital content and services. If you want to find your connected consumer today, mobile is the place to be. On the other hand, increasing consumption (owing to hardware, connectivity and other ecosystem advancements) means more opportunity to engage the consumer via video. Furthermore, as a medium itself, video lends to a rich and immersive engagement experience which makes for a very effective marketing medium.
Consumers love digital ads more now
A reason why digital advertising, especially on mobile, is on the rise is because consumers are more receptive to it. There has been a substantial rise in consumers who feel that relevance with digital ads has increased for them and these ads are helping them find the right product and aiding their purchase decisions better. Many see these ads as informative and unlike traditional media such as television, digital media offers a greater amount of flexibility over viewing or not viewing an ad.
Digital ads are also more effective
The report also observes that ads on social networking and mobile are seen the most in terms of digital advertising. More people click on these ads, engage with them and more of such ads have resulted in a purchase. In fact, 86% of those who have seen an ad on a social networking site have clicked and viewed it while 76% of those who have seen a mobile ad have clicked and looked for more information.
Everything said above pretty much sums up the fact that digital is the bigger future for marketers to engage consumers. However, what is interesting is how industry sectors beyond those whose mainstay is digital are going guns blazing with digital ad spends and the role of mobile as a centerpiece to everything digital in the country. For those chalking out a digital advertising strategy, this should certain help decide where your focus should be.