9 Digital Marketing Trends ‘relevant’ for every Indian CMO

9-Digital-marketing-Trends-Predictions

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 Digital Trends which are utterly useless for any CMO in 2017

In the words of Dashiell Hammett:

“Who shot him? I asked.
The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: Somebody with a gun.”

 

If you are reading this post, there is a great chance that you’ve seen, how digital trend (or trends) are presented in various seminars & digital client pitches.

At times, the most basic and obvious information is presented as a “strategic insight”.

Below tweet is an example:

Needless to say, some of these digital trend can make any digital pitch excruciating long and boring.

Also read : How to hire digital marketing agency in India?

A lot of these “so called digital trend” ( & audience behaviour ), which is presented in the name of digital insights by publishers & media planners, adds little value to any strategic discussion.

I am sure clients are equally tired to see these slides in various conferences and pitches.

Below are few examples, which I believe are no longer “digital trends”, they are in-fact “a fact”, and we (as digital strategists and practitioners) must stop discussing & presenting them to our clients, not because they are not true, but because they are “too stupidly obvious to state in 2017“.

I’ve also listed these commonly spotted “digital trends” in the order of their extreme irrelevance.

Digital Trend #1

Digital is growing in India

Dude, like seriously?

If it was not growing, you wouldn’t have been standing there to present it in first place. Our industry has become a 10K cr industry talking about this for years.

From a strategic point of view, what is more important for a client to know is how their category is growing in the digital space.

Digital Trend #2

India Internet Users To Touch X Million by 2020

Fine, there are 200 million FB users, 250 million WhatsApp users etc. etc.

Is that even relevant for any brand? Clearly, no brand would like to target all of them.

Beyond a point, the “grandness” of these numbers are statistically irrelevant for any marketer.

The point that any brand would really like to know is:

a. how to find relevant audience

b. how to scale up their marketing in this large and ever so growing digital landscape of India?

Digital Trend #3

Mobile is BIG!!!

 

Honestly if you ask me, anyone (be it agency or publisher), who is caught even whispering that “Mobile is growing in India”, should be executed in G.O.T style.

I mean cmon guys!

The fact that mobile is a more powerful medium than desktop (or even television) in India, is like announcing that “Pandavas won the battle of Mahabharata” as Breaking prime-time News on Republic TV.

The smartphone growth, or the volume of smartphones getting sold is no longer of “strategic importance”.

What clients really want to hear from their digital agency, is how to create a truly “Mobile first” digital strategy in this complex digital landscape of India.

Digital Trend #4

Video and Content Marketing are like King and Queen

Dude, its like saying “hyper-link would be the next big scientific innovation of 2017”.

I understand, that many clients may not have the same level of digital maturity but calling video and content “as next big thing” is hilarious.

Last I checked, online video is eclipsing TV by a huge margin.

What would be interesting however,  is to tell any brand, how they can create quality engagement on the back of digital video content, which would also impact some meaningful metric in the real world.

Adobe Digital Insights 2017 – A Summary For Indian Brands

Adobe Digital Insights Report 2017

A new Adobe Digital Insights report, Best of the best JAPAC, was released, highlighting the internet usage trends demonstrated by consumers in the developing countries and the role played by smartphones in driving new internet users.

Below are the top 5 trends and digital insights from the adobe report:

Shift to Mobile

Adobe Digital Insights Report 2017

Smartphone traffic has grown across all markets, which is also contributing to adding new (first time) internet users.

But that is no longer a new trend, what matters is how the audience in various regions using their devices. Below are the factors which separate the trends from one region to other:

  • Stickiness to content
  • Personalisation

Performance Metrics

Metrics are shifting from Acquisition to Repeat Customer Visit. Below are the key variables for success adopted by most of the enterprise brands :

  • Relevancy & Targeting
  • Customer Experience

Social Media

The new social discourse is all about enabling one to one relationships. Millennials are willing to leave a brand if they do not get active one-to-one attention. This trend is common across all markets.

Website Traffic

Adobe Digital Insights Report 2017
Adobe Digital Insights Report : On Site Website Engagement Going Down

While the traffic volumes are still high in markets like India, but less time is spent on the website content across all key regions (including India).

For Indian advertisers, Paid Search coupled with personalised content is highly recommended to dominate share of wallet in the category.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking in any vertical should be based on following factors:

  • Where are top spenders allocating their marketing money?
  • What is the engagement metric used commonly in the vertical?
  • How to tailor-made tactics and metrics for smaller spends?

India Specific Digital Insights From The Report

  • Volume in smartphone traffic is growing in India across all industry sectors, but grew fastest in Retail with 45.3% average year on year growth, followed by Media & Entertainment sector at 39.2% and Travel & Hospitality at 34.4%.
  • Gaps in smartphone traffic widened dramatically between the best industry performers in the Finance sector as well as Media & Entertainment. Leaders are pulling away to capture higher share of traffic versus their competitors. In this respect, the best performers in Retail had the greatest gap between the best and the rest, with smartphone share totalling 67.8%. Top performers in Media & Entertainment sat at 53.0%. Top performers Finance recorded a much lower performance of 22.1%, suggesting there’s still room for fast-moving and innovative players in this sector to attract customers post-demonetisation phase in the country.
  • Desktop share of visits were down YoY in every industry except for Finance, indicating consumers in India continue to access financial content on the desktop device. Desktop share of visits in Travel & Hospitality and Retail sector decreased the fastest in 2016.
  • Mobile optimisation is playing a big role in helping consumers complete their digital needs faster, reducing their overall online time. This underscores the pressure on brands to get it right the first time, by driving innovative and personalised online engagements.
India Insights were first published on DT News Network

8 Digital Trends to keep in sharp focus for 2016

Today is the first working day in this calendar year, and if you are a digital marketing professional or entrepreneur, year 2016 holds some great opportunities for you and your organisation.

So whether you are a planner in some digital agency or leading the marketing for some e-startup. Here are some of the key digital and marketing trends to keep in mind before you start your work in 2016:

Trend # 1 – Good News! Digital is poised to surge ahead in 2016 as well

Trend - Digital growth in 2016
Source: FICCI-KPMG, Media Industry Report 2015

The growth in popularity of digital media continued to surge in 2015-16, with a significant growth in digital advertising of 44% due to emergence of ecommerce startups as a significant new category.

Trend # 2 – Mobile Internet is growing, but…

Growth of Mobile Internet 2016
Source: KPMG, India Digital Report, 2015
Smartphones vs Featured Phones Trend 2016
Source : IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Report on Mobile

While the growth is happening in the mobile Internet users, majority of that growth is coming through the feature phones.

Trend 3 – Growth lies in Non urban towns

Urban vs Non Urban Towns - Online Trends
Source: GWI (Global Web Indiex), 2015

Currently, 80% of the Internet traffic comes from Top 14 cities in India. But this will change very shortly. With schemes like Digital India, there is a huge possibility that the digital divide would disappear in the near future. Is your brand ready for the next 1 billion digital customers?

Trend 4 – Content becomes king as display loses significance in Mobile

Mobile Content vs Mobile Advertising - Trends 2016
Source: WARC-MMA Survey Report, 2015

There is little difference between the most favoured mobile channels in India and the rest of the region, with display (including in-app) advertising the most common today

Display advertising is also expected to lose some significance over this period, falling from 69% adoption in India today to 52% in five years, although it will still be the most-used channel.

Content, including native and ‘advertorial’, is expected to see adoption rates rise strongly over the coming years.

Trend 5 – Search + Social would continue to dominate digital media

Top 10 Digital Media Marketing Channels 2016
Source : Comscore Media Metrix , Oct 2015

Google display, mail, horizontals & and social are dominating the display landscape for sometime. The trend would continue in 2016, in fact this could be the year when the pace of social media growth might surpass search in absolute terms.

Trend 6 – Mobile vs Desktop

Mobile traffic has already witnessed a huge surge. In 2015, Google finally stated that mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in ten countries. The search engine giant also introduced the Mobilegeddon algorithm update in order to level down websites not optimised for mobile devices. However, you are not required to have a desktop website optimised for mobile, as a mobile version of your website is just enough.

Trend 7 – Technology is dominating the online conversations

Topics of Online Conversations & Searches
Source: Global Web Index (India), 2015

Within the GlobalWebIndex survey, digital consumers are asked if they have recently talked or posted an opinion online about 30 different subjects and product categories. If we rank these in India, it is technology, which dominates – with areas like mobiles and computers coming out on top.

Trend 8 – Mobile strategy will constantly overlap with Social Strategy

Mobile vs Social Media in 2016
Source: WARC Asial Survey, 2015

Considering 70% of audience is consuming social media on mobile only, it won’t be incorrect to say that, in 2016, mobile strategy would continuously overlap with social strategy. This is something the digital planners must keep into consideration before building overall digital matrix.

Digital Trends in Mobile App Marketing for 2014

With the pace at which connected tech is evolving, very soon Smart TVs, integrating television along with the power Internet technologies and social media, will replace Television.

Having said that, India is still world’s third largest television market in the world with a combined viewership of 415 million. Millions of these potential Consumers still consuming majority of their daily entertainment & infotainment through television broadcast on a daily basis.

Continue reading “Digital Trends in Mobile App Marketing for 2014”

In a multiscreen world, everything is online

Multi Screen User Behavior Analysis

One does not require to browse any strategic research to acknowledge the growth of digital devices. It is more than apparent now that consumer is not going to stay happy with just a single (TV) screen. From Television to PC to Mobile phones to Smartphones & now Tablets, consumer is hungry for more & more screens to satiate his hunger for information, content & communication. With the advent of more & more devices, consumer’s attention span on any single device is getting minimal but his habit of screen hopping is rising exponentially. The trend is certainly in the favour of new age media specialists who have learn to thrive in randomness.

There are few eye opening trends which have forced us to look at Multi Screen user behaviour as the next big wave in the media industry, not just from theoretical perspective but from pure business standpoint as well, here’s why:

If you notice the graph below, according to the latest comscore reports, Almost 40% of total TV viewing audience across all age groups (in US) are showing light TV viewing
pattern.

US Average TV viewing per week ( by age group ) - Comscore 2013

The trend doesn’t change much on weekends(refer to graph below) where Almost 40% viewers are falling in zero to light viewership status. This clearly suggests that consumption is shifting in big numbers to other devices.

US Weekend TV viewing analysis (by age group ) - Comscore 2013

Lets look at couple of more interesting statistics in this regard. To tell you honestly, I was not surprised by this one, especially when I myself an owner of multiple information/ communication devices.

According to comScore data, Over 70% of US consumers (all ages) are now using TV & PC in the same room

US Multi Screen viewership Pattern Analysis - Comscore 2013

Close to 65% are watching TV while surfing computer at the same time.

US TV Watching while using other gadgets like PC
It is however even more interesting to see what these users are surfing while they are watching TV. According to comScore data,
Multi Screen Marketing - reasons for watching TV shows online
57% of audience at least once watch their TV show online.
This is a great eye opener for all broadcast companies to rejig their programming strategy. This can open up not just new revenue opportunities for all content owners but a step towards a handshake between traditional & new media marketing companies.

Alarmingly, 67% users are watching their favourite shows online.

because they missed it on TV or they want to match it to their schedule, classic example of a modern family who is on the move or hectic lifestyle/busy with jobs/ kids at home with remote control in their hands.

The statistics above clearly demonstrate a paradigm shift in the social landscape which is now becoming more predominant as the number of nuclear families increasing day by day. As media & marketing professionals, we cannot afford to have a narrow point of view about things simply because the line between online and offline is about to vanish.

Before I sign off here, I would like to leave you with this Keynote speech  on “Winning with Mobile in a Multi-Screen World” from Bon Mercado Head of Mobile, Google