9 Digital Marketing Trends ‘relevant’ for every Indian CMO

Finding the most relevant and unbiased digital marketing trends in India is quite a task for marketers and digital strategists.

Unlike some of the evolved western markets, digital media research is not taken seriously in India. Most of the published studies are sponsored by a SAAS technology player like IBM/Adobe/CISCO etc., which often gives a very biased POV about the digital landscape in India.

Due to lack of India specific trends and insights, most of the Digital marketing trends used by the digital agencies, are global macro indicators which may of may not have any implication for their Indian client.

Needless to remind, as a market, India is an aberration for many reasons.

While most of the digital evangelists keep repeating the same old boring numbers around growth of digital in India, Internet penetration, mobile usage, e-commerce transactions etc., hardly anyone goes beyond the 30,000 feet view to offer more actionable insight to the brands.

Also Read4 Digital Trends which are utterly useless for any CMO in 2017

There are a ton of 3rd party digital trend reports published by various media research companies, digital consulting companies, digital media agencies and marketing tech providers. Often a lot of data is colliding and contradictory.  Also, other than the fact, that everyone is talking about some really “Big Numbers”, there is very little unique insight you can draw from each report.

Out of all, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report is perhaps the most comprehensive and much discussed in the mainstream business media.

If you are an Indian client,  even that requires a bit of curation. With so much of visual data mentioned in the reports, marketers have a tendency to miss out on simple digital insights which could bring much needed focus to their digital marketing efforts.

Below are 9 digital marketing trends (and corresponding insights) which are super relevant for every Indian brand.

Digital Marketing Trends For Indian CMO

Forget the Desktop

With 80% share in the overall web traffic, Mobile is no more just a ‘part of strategy’. Mobile is the “STRATEGY”

( Also Read : How to approach mobile as a CMO? )

Social Media is becoming a black hole

According to Times DMA Asia CMO Survey, while social media is getting a lion’s share (~35%) in the overall digital marketing budget(including content production). over 1/3rd of CMOs feel that there is immediate need to bring better attribution to their social media efforts.

Clarity on Digital Measurement Metrics would be the most important area of focus in the coming years.

Voice Search would soon replace text

Thanks to enhanced NLP in android assistant and Apple Siri, 70% voice searches are based on natural conversation language.

According to a recent Google release, over 20% search queries have moved to #voice . Clearly, this would have a serious impact on near future digital marketing efforts. SEO & Content teams should start looking for cues in the natural language.

Digital Audience Hate Advertising

According to Mary Meeker study, 1/3rd mobile users are using some or the other ad-blocking app on their phone. Almost a similar number is willing to pay for the content to get rid of ads. Continuously falling CTRs and increased subscribers for OTTs are a case in point, that digital audience hates pure advertising,

In order to stay relevant and get higher engagement, brands must offer more content, less advertising.

Local + Vernacular Content

Local & Vernacular are climbing the charts across all digital studies.  Demand for local and vernacular content is going up YOY. Almost 50% of the current content consumed in India is ‘non English’

Creating ads in multiple languages and tailoring the message for different regions and audience segment is no longer optional if you are looking for wider audience reach.

Audience Trends

Millennial First Audience

Young Millennials are controlling the web, 65% of digital users are in the age group of 15-34 which makes 35% of total population. With such a huge and exponentially rising share in the overall digital landscape, young millennials needs special care during planning.

Every brand must try to gather audience specific trends (especially their digital customer journey) to craft their Millennial First strategy.

Customer Journey Matter More Than You Think

No of customers who stop doing business with a brand after single poor experience is going up every year. Omni-channel customer experience can’t be a non- priority anymore.

Honestly, as a brand, you should stop fiddling with the idea of doing digital. If you are doing digital, you must be prepared to optimise every aspect of your audience’s digital footprint that matters.

4 RTB Programmatic trends for 2017

RTB Programmatic trends have fascinated one and all in the advertising world. The pace at which they’ve grown in the last 3 years have stunned even the hardest of its critics.

Programmatic is projected to touch almost 80% of total US advertising ad-buy by 2017. The programmatic adoption is lowest in china which is projected to touch only 25% by 2017.

Global Programmatic Ad Buying Share

Global Programmatic Ad Buying Share

 

Right from the start of 2014, there is a never ending debate around RTB & Programmatic in the agency corridors, and it looks like in all probability, the advertising baton would be passed on from the conventional Ad Networks to Ad Exchanges & DSPs.

Before you proceed further, you may want to watch the below video by Pete Kluge to understand this increasingly complex Display Advertising ecosystem:

A lot of analysts are calling it a victory for the advertiser who (till recently) was shooting in the dark & a large portion of his dollars were going into the black hole.

No doubt, even the research figures are also skewed in the same direction, according to e-marketer latest report, by the end of 2017, RTB & Programmatic would jointly become $7-8 Billion market which would be 30% of the overall display market in the US.

In 2014 alone, US programmatic spends have clocked over $10 billion which is a clear sign that conventional networks have their task cut out.

RTB-Programmatic-Share-US-Display-Market

The very idea of being in control of what you buy & the transparency of what you pay for is a great motivation factor for any advertiser to pump in more marketing dollars. Till recently, the client had no visibility of where their precious dollars are being spent. All they were getting was bland click thru reports at the end of the month which was far away from the actual business transaction. The ad networks were not even remotely connected to the brand’s business objective.

How does RTB & Programmatic Work?

Agency trading desks have already started to add fuel to this fire by either partnering with the leading exchanges & DSPs or creating their own private RTB-cum-Programmatic marketplace to consolidate the digital buy for all their clients. According to a report by Adage, almost 15% of the brands are already working directly with leading DSPs & another 45% in the process of building their direct relationship with a DSP partner in the near future.

Media buyers are suddenly sitting in the driver’s seat where tools available to them are becoming increasingly sophisticated that covers deep analysis around user behavioural, demographic & psycho-graphic data. The DMPs ( Also watch: Top 5 Reasons to Have a Data Management Platform ) have added more arsenal to the DSP’s bucket by providing them multi-layered audience data points. The planner who was once busy crunching tons of excel data for his client is now having a last laugh. He can virtually run all his brand campaigns sitting inside his cubicle over a cup of hot Starbucks latte. This can also cut down huge resource costs for the media companies as single person would be able to manage entire digital account from his system.

But like they say, nothing comes for free, somebody has to pay the price for this, and it looks like that for now conventional ad networks will be in the line of fire from all corners due to lack of transparency in their DNA.

Here are key RTB Programmatic Trends for 2015:

Verticalisation of the RTB

Since the beginning of our use of data platforms for buying advertising inventory, one thing which has always become a point of debate around the world, and that is how can we apply data to content strategies that go beyond traditional “advertising” and help changing customer behaviour, eventually encouraging buying behaviour. This strategy & tactics should go well beyond boxing up of some large volume of inventory, to personalised solution workflows serving to the needs of specific industry verticals.

Galactic Rise of Programmatic Video

If programmatic ad trading was the success story of 2014, next year the industry will start to see the benefits programmatic video has to offer. Programmatic advertising has experienced stellar growth for the past few years and this is expected to continue – in 2011 global RTB-based spending was $1.4 billion and this is forecast to rise by almost 60% (59.2%) to $13.9 billion by 2016 (CMO.com). Programmatic video is expected to advance equally quickly with 40% of digital video ad spend predicted to come from programmatic by 2016 (source: e-marketer).

Personalisation vs Privacy

In 2014, user privacy & general data protection have received bulk of the attention of the global law enforcement agencies (read about Data Privacy Day ). Advertisers looking for re-assurance from the Ad Exchanges & DMPs that they are not compromising on user privacy compliance of a specific geo. Major industry players (Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, etc.) that own PII and niche players that specialise in “cross-device” will debate the scale, accuracy and privacy compliance of their IDs.

Multiscreen & Cross Device efficiencies

In 2014, we saw RTB’s & Programmatic began their conversations to a lot companies in global mainstream media and new products and technologies to launch in this space over the next 12 months.

As we respond to mobile’s ability to reach consumers at unique times in unique places we will begin to see developments into how we can reach customers across multiple screens. 2015 may just be the year when Programmatic would bring its efficiencies & returns to large advertisers by allowing them to manage their entire digital media spend across platforms.

 

Digital Trends: 50% of online ads are still non viewable

If you believed that your million dollars display campaign would generate massive brand recall and consideration, a European ad verification company Meetrics is ready to spoil your party.

According to the definition given by IAB on ad view-ability:

An ad is considered viewable if 50 per cent of it is in view for at least one second.

Meetrics Ad View-ability Study 2015

Meetrics Ad View-ability Study 2015

One of the key reasons identified above is the longevity of the ad, keeping that in mind, it won’t be long when ads (including banner ads) would be purchased on viewable time spent by the audience.

Online ad view-ability is a complex concept with several stakeholders ranging from brands and agencies to ad networks and measurement vendors.

Also ReadAd Viewability – a boon or bane for advertisers?

In 2012, in an exercise governed by MRC ( Media Ratings Council ) , a total of 17 advertisers and 12 agencies participated in pilot across 22 campaigns, representing more than 3 billion served impressions that ran in variety of different environments.

Data released by the MRC to pilot participants revealed the following key findings.

  1. View-ability rates – or, the percentage of impressions for which the viewable/non-viewable status was determined – varied widely by campaign; from a high of 78.6 percent to a low of 7.3 percent.
  2. The percentage of served impressions measured for view-ability ranged from a low of 0 percent to a high of 76.7 percent.
  3. Network placements in pilot programs generally had lower measured and viewable rates.

In another detailed and more recent study published jointly by Google & DoubleClick, there were some fascinating insights (including some from media planning and creative perspective) which opens this discussion further:

56.1% of all impressions we measured are not seen, but the average publisher view-ability is 50.2%. (Refer below graph)

Ad VIEWABILITY DISTRIBUTION ACROSS DOMAINS

Ad’s page position matters, as the most viewable position is right above the fold, not at the top of the page.

Average viewability by vertical position

The most viewable ads units are vertical units.

VIEWABILITY RATES BY AD SIZE

Page position isn’t always the best indicator of view-ability. Not all above-the-fold impressions are viewable, while many below-the-fold impressions are.

Page Position Ad View-Ability Distribution

While it ranges across content verticals, and industries, content that holds a user’s attention has the highest view-ability.

industry wise ad-viewability

Key Take Away

There is no doubt that with increasing spends in digital it is important to not overlook what just might be the most profound potential impact of a new view-ability metric: how it may change the experience for consumers.

View-ability data enables advertisers to identify both high- and low value inventory and then shift budgets and targets accordingly to maximise reach and ROI. By understanding trends about what inventory has the highest view-ability, advertisers can better formulate their media strategies.

Mobile first approach is now a must for brands

There has been a constant debate around the role of mobile in the present digital ecosystem.
While on one side, few digital & social media enthusiast are completely tilting their opinion towards use of mobile applications and rich media, another section is extremely bullish towards mobile video & its capabilities in taking the brand message to the end consumer.

In the meantime, Mobile has already crossed the stage where it was just a part of those endless client-agency brief meetings. Today it has the power to justify the status of “Next big mass medium” by virtue of the sheer numbers it possess.

Mobile internet adoption is growing at a faster rate than the adoption of radio, internet and television. By 2015, nearly two-thirds of all “online” advertising will be served up by a mobile device.

According to latest comScore reports, out of 234 million mobile user base of Age 13+ in the United States, 22% accesses videos on mobile & over 11% watches TV on their mobile device.

Almost 22% of those with HHI $50K+ accesses the video content through their mobile. These figures may look small compared to overall size of the market but from a digital consumption point of view, these are definitely huge & still going strong exponentially.

While mobile is a great complement for conventional brand marketing, mobile display & rich media are greater for direct response & engagement. Perhaps the answer lies in the way any advertiser would be using mobile videos in their digital media mix.

Conventionally, most of the digital agencies are recommending standard run of the mill pre-rolls to all their clients, just to keep their client’s investments safe & to give better ROI for the brand. On one side it may be growing the mobile video category, but it is shrinking the rest of the mobile by limiting the possibilities & typecasting the medium in the eye of the marketeer.

Lets find out how various marketeers are using Mobile currently as a part of their overall marketing efforts.

Mobile Media Marketing Tactics used by Brands & Marketers

Marketers are focusing on mobile as another messaging channel, and mostly ignoring its potential as a medium through which to build deeper customer relationships. The beauty of  mobile is not just taking the brand message & delivering it to a wider targeted audience, but it is actually adding another layer of engagement with the customer before, during & after the point of purchase.

Mobile media intelligene, if effectively used, can peel off deep complex layers of human behavior when exposed to certain communication. Today, Mobile as a device allows a user to touch & engage with a brand message in a certain space & time. The information, if used for segmentation of brand audience can help create rich audience experience over time.

Jason Spero from Google talks about the mobile revolution in the usage of devices that has happened over time. He explains the importance of mobile and how to use mobile to connect with your already engaged consumers.

The global marketers surveyed by Marketing Charts do see the potential for mobile as a relationship-building channel, even if they haven’t yet fully embraced it in such a way. 55% cited mobile’s accessibility and always-on nature as a critical benefit, and about half feel that mobile will play a role in influencing customer interactions through its ability to provide more relevant and personalised experiences. This further proves that what’s holding marketers back are immature irrational & inexplicable strategies and a lack of talent to produce the right content.