The impact of the pandemic can be clearly seen across all sectors. While essential services industries have been working around-the-clock to meet the surge in demand, other sectors like hospitality, retail, and entertainment have been struggling to keep the lights on. For marketers, however, the pandemic has opened up a world of new opportunities. Although outdoor advertising budgets have been thrown out of the window, they can now embrace smarter ways to advertise to an easily accessible audience online – and devise strategies to enable sharper targeting and accurate messaging across customer profiles.
The impact of the pandemic on digital marketing
With the behavioral patterns of consumers of almost every industry changing in unprecedented ways, the digital marketing industry is experiencing significant growth. While print, radio, OOH, and in-cinema advertising experienced a massive drop, digital advertising experienced a massive upsurge. When the global workforce began working from home, they ended up consuming a lot of content digitally, either on their mobile phones, laptops, and/or televisions. According to reports, total TV consumption grew by 8% while internet hits exploded by 50-70% across India during the COVID-19 disruption.
Despite all the cost-cutting measures that most industries had to undertake, digital advertising agencies had enough reasons to celebrate. With people spending more time online reading news, virtually socializing with friends, watching movies on OTT channels, and spending more time playing online games, digital consumption and engagement have increased. The pandemic has completely altered the market dynamics for digital advertising, compelling marketers to rethink their strategies to steer change effectively. Since users are more online than ever, advertisers and brands need to plan & invest in AdTech platforms and focus on custom messaging and localization to reach more consumers with relevant messages and win big in key growth markets.
The opportunities for digital post-lockdown
As restrictions slowly get eased, the digital marketing industry growth in India may well open up too. Now is a good time for brands & advertisers to focus on building strategies that will help them operate and optimize according to the new normal. From employing modern AdTech Platforms to embracing Programmatic media buying, embracing white label solutions for customer loyalty, and engagement to digital advertising – there’s a lot to consider. Some smart brands are doing well during the pandemic to connect to, engage, and retain their customer base.
This gives us a glimmer of hope that digital advertising opportunities in post-lockdown India may be just as plentiful.
- Digitization across customer touchpoints: As consumers become increasingly comfortable with digital interfaces, companies need to channel their investments towards digitization across customer touchpoints. From social media channels to e-commerce sites, gaming platforms to digital news subscriptions, OTT advertising, EduTech, and more, marketers should work towards driving ad spends in new ways that leverage innovation.
- SaaS-based advertising: As companies look to cut their ad budgets to sustain their businesses, SaaS-based advertising can be a great way to enable the required level of cost (and scale) efficiencies. Simple subscription fee-based pricing for programmatic buying platforms means companies only need to pay for the products and services they use – drastically bringing down the upfront investments they need to make for annual digital advertising contracts.
- A focus on personalization: With digital marketing industry growth statistics showing promising numbers, it is a good time for digital marketers to personalize ads to enhance the end-user experience. It is easy for users to get flooded due to increased advertising by brands trying to make the most attractive ad rates. Moving ahead may need the adoption of smart ways of personalization and leveraging white label solutions that can aid in better servicing customers in different locations, different time zones, and with different needs.
- Analytics for better ROI: With so much uncertainty and unpredictability in the market, embracing analytics can help bring about new standards in transparency, flexibility, and control in spends. Modern reporting platforms can provide unparalleled real-time visualizations and interactive analytics, giving organizations clear visibility and real-time control over their budget. Such insight can help make better decisions, win customers, optimize media investments, and improve conversions and ROI.
Build a digital-first strategy
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes never before imagined. As more and more people work from home, the dependence on digital is rapidly increasing. According to a report, Indians spent approximately 4 hours per day on their smartphones in the third week of the lockdown. At the same time, online video accounted for more than 70% of the country’s total data usage. As conditions set on for the continued growth of the digital marketing industry in India, marketers, agencies, and brands need to work towards building a digital-first strategy and invest in modern AdTech platforms and white label solutions to better meet the demands of the modern user who is spending far more time online than ever before!