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India has high digital expectations

News, 11 December 2015

NEW DELHI: Digital disruption has changed India, with start-ups redefining what consumers can expect in terms of experience and service, and these developments will lead to even higher expectations in the coming year, a new report has said.

These higher expectations will require brands to "reimagine marketing for the new Indian consumer", said Avinash Jhangiani, managing director/Digital & Mobility at Omnicom Media Group India which produced the report jointly with MICA, the Ahmedabad-based academic institute.

What's Next in 2016 suggested that one consequence of the rise of well-funded start-ups is that "established companies are being forced to let go of mass marketing channels and adopt digital for higher returns on marketing investments".

Among the digital trends that brands will have to address over the coming 12 months is the continuing growth of mobile. This is fast becoming the starting point for consumer-brand interactions, said the report, to the point that for some brands it even makes sense to be mobile-only – see moves to app-only e-commerce.

At the same time, mobile payment options are using loyalty programs to gain ground in what has traditionally been a cash economy, so helping to create a "commerce everywhere" environment in which brands will need to better gauge the desires of each consumer by analysing their online behaviour.

They will also have to consider how they can become more agile and collaborative in their marketing in order to reach those consumers in real-time.

As Guy Hearn, Chief Innovation Officer, Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific, pointed out: "There are now so many touchpoints that channel-centric planning makes diminishingly little sense.

"Instead, we need to better understand both the consumer journey and the consumer experience – and plan with a focus on consumer experience. The marketing department now needs to break down silos to create a focus on better customer experience and product innovation."

One aspect of that is the "internet of me" – where brands target individuals across their consumer journey programmatically with optimization and hyper-local targeting, showing them different messaging depending on attributes such as location, weather, device, local language or time of day.

Other trends noted in the report include the rise of OTT content, the move of social into walled ecosystems, further internet penetration in rural areas, and the growth of local language content.

Data sourced from Omnicom Media Group India; additional content by Warc staff