Companies

Social gets all the action

Sravanthi Challapalli Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 23, 2011

Why this frenzy: The video on YouTube showing actor Dhanush singing “Why this Kolaveri”   -  Business Line

Spends were still in single digit, but 2011 saw digital media finally gain traction, and 2012 should propel growth.

They gave wheels to a revolution and helped a jilted lover's whine be heard worldwide. The Anna Hazare movement fuelled by Facebook and Twitter, and Kolaveri di on YouTube are proof of how India's young are increasingly living on the Internet, especially on social media. Year 2011 was when marketers got to know the might of the medium in connecting with their consumers.

Social is the new digital

Digital marketing is past the nascent stage, but campaigns have not been thought through, says Mr Ramswaroop Gopalan, Country Manager (India) of interactive marketing/technology services company Sapient Nitro.

In 2011 marketers invested in learning about it. “Fast-moving consumer goods companies realise the rules of engagement here are different, and find enough talent to do this through digital marketing shops,” he says.

“Digital as a word has come into the dictionary – earlier we had to start off by defining it,” says Mr Krishna Kumar, CEO, Media2Win, an independent full service digital agency.

Spends are still in the “early single digit phase”, but with social media's growth, consumers are “choosing their own journey, push doesn't always work,” he adds.

Mr Preetham Venkky, Business Head at the Chennai-based KRDS, India's sole ‘preferred developer consultant' for Facebook, says 41.3 million of India's 112 million users are on the site.

“Social is the new digital,” he says. Social networking sites are not just about fans.

They're at the core of consumer engagement activity, being embedded in company's Web sites and microsites.

He points to the growing trend of businesses launching products first on social media – apart from Kolaveri di, Katrina Kaif's Chikni Chameli item number from Agneepath launched first on YouTube. So did Gautham V. Menon's trailer of Ek Diwana Tha.

Look out for location marketing

Mr Viral Oza, Director (Marketing), Nokia, says digital marketing shouldn't be seen as separate from other marketing. “As a brand, the engagement with consumers is both online and offline,” he says. To illustrate the potential of digital, he reels off a statistic: A Nokia activity around the Champions League on the medium resulted in five million users participating in just three weeks. He thinks location-based marketing and videos will be the next big trends.

Media2win's Mr Krishna Kumar says it's only now that marketing campaigns are truly 360-degree. “All media, including TV and print, are getting interactive and including elements of digital activity,” he says.

E-commerce expands

E-commerce, the analysts said, was a big trend in 2011. While Mr Kumar sees more e-commerce businesses springing up in 2012, Sapient Nitro's Mr Gopalan says brand marketers are going to wait a little longer before they move there.

Mr Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Senior Vice-President (Marketing), Myntra.com, says: “We don't see much shakeout next year but expect clear leaders will emerge in each category who will continue to attract more investment while others will struggle.”

The Akash effect

Mr Gopalan says the low-cost Akash tablet computer will see Bollywood and cricket-based businesses, with an established tradition of giving away free downloads, jump on to this bandwagon. Though the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's regulations have hit SMS marketing, the mobile phone will be a very powerful instrument in the future, he adds.

In 2012, Mr Krishna Kumar says, the focus should be on building better technical infrastructure – faster broadband speeds, better pricing – as the consumer is ahead of the times. Another 200 million people can get online if this happens, and the early single-digit spending will progress to double digits, he says.

Published on December 23, 2011
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