Pritha Dasgupta
May 09, 2013

Double Standards: Is digital eating into spends on traditional media?

Pritha Mitra Dasgupta speaks to two marketers riding heavily on TV - Nadia Chauhan Kurup, MD and CMO, Parle Agro and Chandramohan Mehra, VP and head – brand and cross sell, SBI Life Insurance - to find out if the rising ad spend on digital is eating into traditional media.

Double Standards: Is digital eating into spends on traditional media?

Nadia Chauhan Kurup, MD and CMO, Parle Agro (L) and Chandramohan Mehra, VP and head – brand and cross sell, SBI Life Insurance (R)

Have you increased the advertising budget for digital over last year? If yes, by what percentage?

NCK: Yes we have substantially increased our spends on the digital medium. While we have been quite active over the years, with specific brands, especially Hippo. This year we have boosted our marketing spends and strengthened our overall strategy and ensured every one of our brands are active digitally.Considering our spends previously were very small it doesn’t make sense to share a percentage jump over last year, but basically we have almost 10 per cent of our total marketing spends invested towards digital.

CM: We have significantly increased our advertising budget for the digital medium, almost by three to four times over last year. Having said that, the spend level is not the real measure of increasing focus on the digital medium by marketers, in general. For instance, for us the time and resources dedicated to efforts on digital now outweigh that on offline medium.

Where is the increased ad budget for digital coming from? Is it fresh investment that is being infused or is digital eating into the ad spends of traditional media?

NCK: Parle Agro has increased marketing budgets by 30 per cent this year over last year. We have allocated new money towards digital.While television still plays the lead role in our advertising strategy, digital is complementing television communication quite effectively and creatively.

CM: Our overall ad spend has remained flat so digital is definitely eating into traditional media. Most of our campaigns are skewed towards television and now digital is marginally eating into television. TV has been the dominant medium in the recent years. In the last two years, we have hardly used print.

Do digital media deliver better RoI than traditional media?

NCK: I do not think that the two mediums can be compared in this manner - both the mediums have their own set of objectives to deliver and both deliver them equally effectively from an RoI perspective. Assuming that the strategy adopted is strong and for digital very specifically, the creative quotient is high up.

CM: I wouldn’t say that. Both the mediums are complimentary to each other. The measurement of effectiveness of the medium consumed is based on marketing objective. In general, a strategic integration of both the mediums can deliver higher yield than either of them in isolation.

What is going to be the trend going forward?

NCK: For Parle Agro, television will continue to play the lead role with radio, outdoor and digital supporting the main campaign. We also see a lot of tactical use of digital for niche brand segments and for specific marketing objectives.

CM: Both mediums will co-exist and will be complimentary to each other. Currently, there is more noise around the medium than action. Going forward, it will reverse.

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