Bharat Subramaniam
Feb 03, 2020

Opinion: Key trends to look out for in digital marketing

Personalised and highly relevant experiences will become the new normal says the author

There will be around 225 million viewers of videos on smartphones by 2022 in India which is a steep rise from the 2018 figures which stood at just a little over 100 million.
There will be around 225 million viewers of videos on smartphones by 2022 in India which is a steep rise from the 2018 figures which stood at just a little over 100 million.
Digital is increasingly becoming the most potent weapon in a CMOs arsenal. With highly curated and customised content outreach, digital marketing has empowered brands to transform customer engagement, and drive performance. We have been intently listening to the best minds in the industry on digital marketing to understand agents of this transformational change. 
Mobile marketing will drive 'growth': CMOs across businesses are increasingly relying on digital marketing to transition from brand awareness to performance marketing. While they admit the importance of brand awareness, they are keen on enhancing performance, increasing revenue per user, and connecting the cohort/ community of their users or servicesthrough engaged brand communities. Mobile marketing, in-app engagement and notifications and the user engagement data captured thereof, will enable micro-segmentation and superior targeting. Mobile marketing will be the vital cog that will significantly align digital marketing efforts with performance and business growth. 
CMOs will increasingly drive budgets towards engaging audience across mobile apps to create a native and immersive experience which grabs the complete attention of the customer and induces desired call-to-action successfully.360-degree marketing agencies should build expertise and execution capabilities in mobile marketing to leverage this trend. 
OTT platforms will challenge the duopoly in digital advertising: People are always in search of good content. Digital content and video consumption, complemented by internet penetration and broadband access, is on the rise. There will be around 225 million viewers of videos on smartphones by 2022 in India which is a steep rise from the 2018 figures which stood at just a little over 100 million. Video streaming sites such as Hotstar drive very relevant traffic for targeted users such as cricket enthusiasts during IPL. As per a recent KPMG report, 15 per cent of the advertising monies in India will flow into OTT platforms. What else is breaking this duopoly? Well, its e-commerce sites like Amazon. In the US, it is catering to nearly 4.6 per cent of all digital advertisement spends. In India too, Amazon is reshaping customer behaviour. Consumers are directly searching Amazon for the products and Google is losing search volumes to Amazon. Will it lead to advertising dollars being spent on e-commerce sites?
Micro-moments marketing will enable market share expansion: The smartphone is the first port-of-call for information, peer reviews and purchase. The genesis of a purchase decision at the smartphone screen is a common occurrence today. Micro-moments are those few important seconds or minutes when you have the attention and buying intent of the audience. It is worth leveraging these moments to gain in business and increase market share. More than 90 per cent of the audience is not committed to a brand while searching for information online. There is ample research to prove that more than 34 per cent of the consumers have bought the product or service of a brand they initially did not intend to buy. Micro-moments are also important because people discover new brands in such moments. 
Marketers will try to increasingly move their bucks to tap into these micro-moments for the above-mentioned reasons. Digital marketing agencies who have done quality work in capturing micro-moments and translating the attention of consumers into business will have a definite edge. 
I think 2020 will mark the beginning of a tectonic shift punctuated by the following:
It will be content that thrives over just a community. The potent combination of quality content and relevant community will attract brands and customers alike as compared to social network communities that rely on user generated content. 
The sun of 'personalisation' will shine bright. The linear marketing funnel will be completely disrupted in favour of personalised engagement, especially during micro-moments with genuine purchase/ consideration intent. 
Performance will take centre-stage – Increase in mobile-first customers, power of data analytics and the resulting micro-segmentation will enable contextual and focused targeting and drive desired call to action and performance with respect to revenues and growth. 
In conclusion, should we safely assume that 'content is still the king'?
It’s a little deeper than just that. 
While content will remain the king, it will be presented like a rockstar who might just blow you away with the contextual experience. 
This will happen through new-age mobile innovation techniques wherein content syndication will be taken to the next level. Brand stories will become part of the narrative as against just an irrelevant ad banner popping up because a brand could buy media. This will create immersive and highly curated experiences and the resulting brand stories will be well etched in the customer’s minds to create the desired influence and call to action. 
Now, extend this to the oldest mediums in marketing such as billboards and it marks the genesis of digital-out-of-home advertisements. This will lead to a complete transformation of traditional hoardings. And, with programmatic advertising coming in, we will see the era of contextual advertisements being served on hoardings based on the footfalls, time of day and multiple other parameters. 
The digital frenemies: Technology and marketing
The power of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will create the most immersive customer engagement that has ever been made possible. Progressive web apps, chatbots, etc. will completely transform customer interactions and conversations. When marketing and technology collaborate in an unprecedented manner, interfaces will transform into experiences (augmented reality, virtual reality). 
We are stepping into an exciting decade which will be an era of experiences backed by in-depth knowledge about the customer. Personalised and highly relevant experiences will become the new normal. The brands that adapt to this new normal will shine. What’s more, they will definitely outshine the competition. 
(The author is managing director, Big Trunk Communications)
Campaign India

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