In what appears to be a major shift in Unilever’s communication strategy, the MNC recently announced its first global digital roster. It has brought Euro RSCG 4D, Publicis Group’s Razorfish and independent agencies AKQA and Lean Mean Fighting Machine on board with an objective of embedding its global brands deeper into the digital landscape.
Another feather in the digital media’s cap and an indication of its growing clout in the media mix.
In India too, clients are getting digitally-savvier and the confidence gap between how much companies spend on digital and how consumers consume digital media is narrowing. “It (digital media) will move up in level of importance in the media mix and get a better share. Probably doubling from its current contribution of 2% to overall spends,” says Nitish Mukherjee, managing director, Leo Burnett India.
2010 is expected to be the year when there will be a definitive shift in brands’ approach to digital from just an advertising medium to a conversational medium.
Deepti Dang, head, marketing – commercial and SMB, personal systems group, HP, elucidates some of the key trends for 2010: Mobile - With the advent of 3G, WiMax and number portability in 2010, advertising, revenue opportunity and content will undergo a sea change; Social Search - With the power of community, experts and local knowledge merging with technology, search may start to change for the next 10 years in 2010 itself. Google is changing its algorithm soon; Open ID - The year where we can hope to see both a face-off and consolidation amongst the giants, MS, Google, Yahoo and FaceBook. There are still no clear answers around various issues including privacy and 2010 hence will be the year to get these answers and a possible consolidation of technology; Widget Marketing- This new form of marketing will become increasingly popular in India in 2010; Content Monetisation- Look forward to more and better opportunities for content monetisation. Web 2.0 has made content generation easy but monetisation is still a challenge; Advanced Analytics - Marketers will finally move beyond clicks and leads and lay emphasis on other key metrics to judge not just online performance but integrated marketing performance; and DTH/IP will converge with e-commerce. Now not just will there be a revolution in content consumption and monetisation, but also commerce through a click of a button on your remote.
The biggest challenge for the medium is limited Internet penetration. As is, coping with the rapid changes that web technology brings in. Marketers also have to make sure that their communication is real time and relevant at all times.
“Measurability is another concern often faced by us as what is the end result of these activities is a hazy picture right now. Also, how operators, marketers and agencies are going to utilise the advent of 3G technology remains to be seen,” adds Dang.
“No tectonic shifts. Still a new age emerging media, digital will continue to exert its pressure to be exploited by marketers. The emergence of an active social media through Facebook and Tweeting amongst a deeply engaged urban audience is an opportunity that brands should utilize with innovative engagement ideas. In addition to mobile VAS opportunities brands will also increase their spending on mobile based Internet advertising. Metrics is a big issue. Different estimates range from 20 million to 70 million. But even at 70 million the number is not big enough. The other challenge is talent which is still fairly limited.”
“Three major trends we foresee happening in the area of digital media in 2010 are: 1) Mobile Internet use and mobile video consumption will increase; 2) Online retail and digital-enabled retail will finally arrive in 2010; and 3) Celebrity/influencer initiated and driven social digital content will grow rapidly which will result in a marked increase in digital adoption in general. Social networking will grow at a rapid clip. More exciting will be the rapid increase in the adoption of mobile. Digital media is still an urban phenomenon and moving it beyond t both geographically and demographically remains a challenge.”
“The new media is growing at a rapid pace. With millions of new users joining social sites every month, penetration of the Internet and mobile phone in India provides a better reach for technology and creates adoption of technology usage by proving visible benefits. The growth of social media will also create a new trend of social shopping where individual can recommend to his group of friends products and services that they used. Many Consumers are increasingly using the web to research before making buying decisions, so the online reputation of your brand or product has a key role in influencing people’s purchase decisions.”
“Increased usage of analytics, behavioural targeting and 360-degree integration of digital media with offline media will be the key trends; E-mail and SMS marketing will continue to proliferate with advertisers using analytics to improve better targeting; and social media marketing will remain high creating a measurable impact, although monetizing this will continue to remain a challenge. In addition to the use of traditional online search and display advertising, community / cluster specific SMB portals and social media with user generated content will witness much greater usage.”