MUMBAI: Print maintained its position in 2013 as the preferred marketing medium in India, according to a new study which also highlights digital as the fastest growing area.

The Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2014 report said that print accounted for 41.3% of advertising expenditure in 2013, while television took 39% and digital 9.6%. The remaining 10% was split between radio, outdoor and cinema.

Within the print market, dailies had grown twice (10.6%) as fast as magazines (5%) and Hindi dailies, in particular, had overtaken English ones in terms of ad revenues.

Overall the advertising market had grown more rapidly than expected during 2013, at 11.1% against the original projection of 7.4%, and the pace was predicted to pick up during 2014, hitting 16.8%, helped by some Rs 5,000 crore of election advertising.

"India will be the fastest growing advertising industry in the world in 2014," said Sam Balsara, chairman and MD of Madison India, as he anticipated that many politicians would "come up with their own small campaigns apart from the heavy advertising which will be done by the political parties".

He recommended brand advertisers invest during the first half of the year as the increased "noise levels" during elections would make it difficult for marketers to be heard.

Print, TV and radio were set to increase at between 15% and 17% in the coming year but digital was expected to grow almost twice as fast, at 29.5%.

Balsra noted that outdoor was also growing at around 10% a year, helped by the resurgence of transit media, and he suggested that it was time marketers did some "re-engineering" in the cinema sector.

Speaking more generally, Balsara advised the use of mainstream media for brand building but digital for sharper targeting. And he cautioned against launching new brands, arguing that "clever brand extensions" were the way to go.

He further suggested that while marketers should make use of all available analytics they could also hold back 20% of their budgets to be allocated on gut feelings.

Data sourced from Pitch; additional content by Warc staff