Feature | Tracking the growth of digital and mobile sectors in 2012

Source : Adgully

2012 is poised to be a great year from the mobile standpoint. The digital medium also seems to be catching up quickly. The first quarter of the year has passed and speculations about the performance of these mediums have become ripe. There have been murmurs around all the sectors that the business is being affected to a certain extent. Some agree while others believe otherwise. There have been mixed responses.

Adgully talks to a few industry experts to know the actual version of the story and how has 2012 fared for the digital and mobile sector.

Dippak Khurana -Co Founder and CEO, Vserv.mobi opines that the digital medium is a performance driven medium and requires a lower investment as compared to the traditional medium. Elaborating further, he says, “Advertisers evaluating the possibility of reducing their marketing budgets will therefore tend to decrease their spends in traditional medium and focus more on the digital and mobile medium. Also, currently Digital and Mobile medium does not constitute a major chunk of the overall media mix, hence cuts are more likely to be in traditional medium which has a higher share in the budget.”

Talking about the growth of the digital medium in the last six months, he said,” There has been a significant traction in the Mobile medium. Our revenues have grown tremendously and we have also seen an increase in the number of advertisers working with us. All our key performance indicators have shown exponential growth and we have seen this trend in India as well as global markets. The mobile medium has the ability to reach mass users in an impactful and engaging format. We strongly believe that it will see further growth, unaffected by the downturns.”

Expressing his views on how the slowdown has affected the total ad-pie he asserted, “Mobile as a medium has continued to grow with its ability to reach out to a mass audience and we haven’t seen any major impact as a result of the downturn. However, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of advertisers looking to reach out to consumers on the Mobile. So going forward, we do expect the ad pie to skew in favour of mobile and digital as it becomes an integral component in a brand’s marketing strategy.”

Speaking about future growth anticipated Dippak said, “We have seen tremendous growth in the past few months in terms of revenues as well as advertiser spends. We anticipate that this momentum will continue throughout the year. As a company, our focus lies on multiple categories of advertisers to broad base our revenue. Being a global company, we are also keen to continue the globalization of our services. Both of these combined will help us counter any market uncertainty.”

Ashit Kukian- President & Chief Operating Officer at Radio City 91.1 FM opines that the word recession is a little too pessimistic. He believes that because of the immediate past being a little bad, people are prudent about investments.

Ashit exclaims, “It is a little unexpected .The first two months were good. We do not need to be overtly worried because we have got three more months to see whether there has been any grave effect of the slowdown. Mediums like radio and internet essentially will do better, particularly the digital medium because of the ROI. Coming to radio, it has been able to create a space for itself amongst the prevalent mediums. There are three more months for us to weigh before we really sound doom on the economic front.”

Siddharth Puri -Business Head, Tyroo Direct believes that the year has been quite good as far as the performance of digital and mobile is concerned. He exclaims that the growth path that was projected is on track and even the future seems bright for these two mediums.
Siddharth said, “The ad-pie for digital is small but it will increase. The way digital works; there are certain channels that play an influential job. If that is figured out, then there would be no loopholes.”

Stressing on the importance of mobile advertising in recent times, he says, “Today, a lot of advertising is mobile-based. There is enough traction on mobile. The real growth will happen in the near future as advertisers will become more mobile friendly. A lot of advertiser traffic is consumed by mobile. With the penetration of tablet and mobile web happening, further growth will continue in the industry.”

Anuj Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, Affle, said, “Digital advertising has increasingly grown over the years. The expected growth rate for the year is close to 40% and in mobile the expected growth is 50-60% and is very optimistic. The first six months have been pretty good. We are optimistic about the year ahead.”

Anuj exclaims that there are many categories in mobile advertising. He also points out that spends on mobile are increasing. “Mobile advertising is stronger as compared to other media also because of the content consumption patterns” says Anuj.

Arnab Mitra- National Director -Digital at Starcom Mediavest Group observes that the year has been tough. He said, “A pinch fist approach is being noticed in almost every aspect of life including marketing . Digital Marketing is no different – the growth rates have been significantly on a slower side despite finally being a proven winner in the marketing mix for any brand lately. But there has been at least growth and that’s important, may be a turtle-ish one but we will take that. However, it’s a pity that our ace marketers only needed a slow down to realize the value of digital media. So though we should be happy with the importance this medium is being embraced with I have apprehensions towards the starting point being a wronger.”

Arnab remarks that growth in budgets for digital and mobile mediums have been significant; stating that it is ordinary considering the base is very small.

Commenting on the growth that these mediums have experienced in the last six months, he said, “It is interesting to focus on the mind time devoted by the CXOs of various brands on digital today. Every meeting that I attend entails no less than 80% of time been allocated in discussions on what’s happening in the Digital arena. This is a significant change and an utter point of interest for me and many others like me who believe in the potential of the medium. The last 6 months have definitely been a game changing phase for India on the digital front.”

Speaking about further growth anticipated, he said, “Digital is typically about 6-7% of the Indian advertising pie currently and could grow to about 12% in coming months/years.”

Talking about Starcom MediaVest group, he said, “We forecast a 20% share of our investments going towards digital marketing at SMG. This is fairly a much higher growth than what the industry will probably experience because we have invested heavily in handholding our clients through this transition. As an industry if we decide to have a plan of action for next 24-30 months I don’t see a reason why we can’t do what happened in UK. About 52% of the advertising dollars are allocated for the digital medium in UK. We have 250 Million smart phones out in this market and that will only help in growing the internet appetite of the nation. Brands are getting cognizant to this fact and will embrace it with the right partners.”

Arnab exclaims, “Market Sentiments have definitely been a trigger but the story going forward will have its own chapters and those can’t be written by a slow down. So irrespective of the low sentiment this industry will get its due and will grow at a pace of 250%+ Y-o-Y. But again these are numbers and I would rather highlight another more critical observation; we are a happy nation and like everywhere else our brands also love to receive the warmth from consumers instantly. Digital has driven better communication than any other medium.”

Arnab believes that brand managers are going to increasingly invest in such elevating experience creation practices because at the end of the day consumers will buy experience and not the features. “At Starcom MediaVest group, as a Human Experience Company we see and preach the same. One of our medium agnostic innovations got its rack in the Google world show case of new age experience creations, ” says Arnab.

Thus, the overall sentiment that the industry senses is that, although the first half of the year has not quite met up to expectations, there is definitely a ray of hope that the second half would fare comparatively better for the digital and mobile mediums. Optimism reckons in the voices of industry experts.