Digital marketing lags in India

9 May 2013
MUMBAI: Indian consumers are adopting digital technology faster than marketers are embracing the medium, with effective measurement metrics a potential stumbling block, a leading industry executive has said.

Nick Seckold, head of digital (Asia-Pacific) at Mindshare, told the Business Standard, that in common with many other Asian countries, Indian consumers were rapidly adopting technology but marketing investment had not seen the same growth.

"I would like to see more advertisers learning from other regions or markets that are probably a bit ahead, and figuring ways in which they can say 'yes' more often than saying 'no'," he said.

He conceded there was a challenge in reaching the non-smartphone users who form the greater part of the population but said work was "evolving" in this area.

He noted that advertisers tended to default to television, but suggested they should "think more about how they can extend that reach from the first stream onto the second and third."

Some advertisers were "starting to get it", he said, and they were looking especially at online video.

One of the problems he cited, however, was how to measure effectiveness. "It's much more difficult for digital channels to factor in traditional metrics just because the platforms and inventory levels are different," he observed, adding that he regretted the lack of a Nielsen-like audience panel.

He argued that the effectiveness of a digital campaign in support of a broader activation could not be assessed without studies about such things as research online and purchases offline, making it little different from TV in that respect.

"So, it annoys me slightly that often, advertisers use this as a convenient excuse for not investing," he added.

He also said digital agencies faced a challenge in demonstrating to advertisers the value of their work.

"We are not saying 'stop spending on television and put everything on digital'. We are merely saying 'address the balance of your channel investment strategy'," he concluded.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff
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